May 31, 2009

What Would the Media Say?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 2:05 pm

While doing this morning’s groundpound, I got to thinking about how the New York Times and other Democrat Party organs mainstream media would say if the Bush-Cheney Administration did some of the things that The One has done. I imagine the headlines and lead-ins would look something like this:

Wresting control of the automobile industry from the shareholders, many of whom hold shares through their individual IRA’s and employer 401K plans, the Bush-Cheney Administration will dictate the manner in which the industry functions in order to further the Bush-Cheney Agenda.

The Bush-Cheney Administration called for a civilian security force that is “as strong as and as well-funded as the military.” The ACLU issued a press release calling this “a dangerous plan, which could yet further erode the privacy rights and liberty of citizens.”

The ACLU vowed to oppose the Bush-Cheney Administration’s dismissal of a suit brought against uniformed members of a White Power Group who were videotaped brandishing clubs in front of polling places and intimidating non-white voters.

The Bush-Cheney political organization was established by the Bush-Cheney Administration wholly independent of the Republican Party. The organization, which brandishes its own distinctive logo and is answerable only to Bush-Cheney, is feared by many to be little more than a private police force to be used by Bush-Cheney to further their agenda.

May 29, 2009

My Goddamned Mail: The Rest of the Story.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:13 pm

This is a follow-up to the post below.

This morning, as promised, shortly after the local post office opened, I was standing before the special place where one must stand to get “held mail.” It is not manned by anyone; rather one must push a button for “service.” (The section of the post office where the regular walk-up windows are is locked until 10:00 a.m.). The morning hours for “service” at this window are 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. Good thing I was there about 8:20.

I pushed the button, and a voice came from a speaker saying, “Can I help you?” Fortunately, I had mentally rehearsed a super-condensed version of the facts, as I knew I would not have anyone’s attention for very long. It sounded something like this: “MymailwasheldwhileIwasonvacation; it was supposedtobedeliveredonSaturday; itwasn’tdeliveredthenanditstillhasnotbeendelivered,despitethreephonecallstothe800numberandonecalltothispostofficeyesterday!”

After I made my run-on speech, there was no response; the speaker box was silent. I felt as if I were in Oz asking for an audience with the Wizard.

To my surprise, a person (the source of the voice) actually appeared and listened to my story.

“You did this online?”

“Yes, I did. Apparently the communications sent to the local post office from the 800 number don’t register here.”

He said, in a very nice way, “It’s better if you deal directly with the local post office. Who knows what kind of red tape they have there.” He then said, “You’ll have to talk to the Carrier Supervisor, but he won’t be here for another fifteen minutes. Would you like to wait, or do you want to call later?”

I said, very calmly, “I’ll wait. In fact, I am not leaving until I get my mail, or someone tells me exactly where it is and when it will be delivered.” I pointed out that I had already spoken by phone with a person who was identified to me as the “Carrier Supervisor,” and his name was “Jim.”

“Nah, he’s not The Carrier Supervisor. His name is ‘Tom’.”

I asked, would he please tell “Tom” as soon as he arrives that I am waiting to see him. He assured me that he would. He then asked for my address, and wrote it on his hand with a ballpoint pen. Then he asked me my name. That, he didn’t write on his hand, apparently having committed it to memory.

The promised fifteen minutes turned into twenty-five minutes, and the guy who was supposed to direct “Tom” to me, apparently took pity on me, because he appeared again and said, “I’m going upstairs to check on your situation myself.” (I guess “Tom” plays loose with his hours.)

About four minutes later, he appeared with a large box full of mail. “Here’s your mail. I went directly to the carrier [who obviously had not started on his route yet]; he knew all about it.”

After a bit of questioning on my part, it seemed clear that the carrier was aware of the start date of the mail-hold, but didn’t know of the end-date, or was given the wrong end date. The latter is more likely, because my new post office friend asked if I wanted my mail delivery resumed.

Did I want my mail delivery resumed? WTF? It’s difficult to imagine how anyone could have listened to me and concluded that I didn’t wan my mail delivery resumed. It was an “Alice in Wonderland” moment.

Still, I was so happy to have a box of mail in my hand, I simply thanked my new post office friend and motored off to work.

Here’s the clincher: When I arrived home from work, there was a message on the answering machine with a timestamp of 4:41 p.m. “This is the So and So Post Office. You made a complaint? You can call back at [gives phone number].” The monotone-speaking drone was obviously calling as a follow-up to my call to the 800 number made on WEDNESDAY!~ (I hadn’t given the Thursday 800 Number Lady my phone number). Here it is Friday goddamned evening and this idiot is calling me based upon a call I made Wednesday morning.

One thing is for shit sure. Had I not gone to the post office myself today, there would have been no goddamned mail delivery again today.

I have no plans to return the monotone-speaking idiot’s call. I’ve spent enough goddamned time on the phone trying to get my goddamned mail.

The next time we go away, I will personally deal with the mail carrier and follow-up by filling out the appropriate form at the local post office.

Then again, maybe I’ll just ask a friend to pick up my mail.

May 28, 2009

Where’s My Goddamned Mail?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 10:14 pm

Before we left for vacation, I used the United States Postal Service website to place a hold on my mail. I have done this several times in the past, and it worked flawlessly.

Not this goddamned time.

The accumulated mail was supposed to be delivered on Saturday, May 23rd. By around 4 P.M. that day when the mail had not arrived, I called the 1-800 “Customer Service” number printed on the confirmation of my mail-hold. After several waves of robo-prompts, I reached a human, gave her my mail-hold confirmation number and described the problem. She apologized on behalf of the government and said she would be sending a notification to my local post office of the problem and asked if I would like a follow-up call. She explained that our local post office was closed and that, because Monday is a holiday (Memorial Day), our mail would not be delivered until Tuesday. She provided me with a confirmation number of our call.

Annoying, but OK. Things sometimes happen.

Tuesday, May 25th rolled around. The local post office called Mrs. Parkway early in the day. The local guy obviously didn’t read the “notification” as he said only “We’ve been notified that you have a complaint.” After she said that it was more of an inquiry than a complaint, she explained that the mail wasn’t delivered on Saturday as it should have been pursuant to the dates on the mail-hold.

He left the phone to check. He returned to the phone and said, “The mail is not in the bin, so it must be on the truck. I will probably be delivered today.”

You guessed it. The goddamned mail was not delivered on Tuesday. I again called the 1-800 “Customer Service” number and, after re-suffering through the robo prompts I gave the new lady my previous confirmation number and explained that my mail still had not been delivered. She proffered the canned apology for my inconvenience and sent yet another “notification, this time “For Immediate Attention.” She said that I would get a follow up phone call and my mail delivered on Wednesday, May 26th.

Wednesday, May 26th – No goddamned mail delivery.

I was too angry to suffer again through the 1-800 “Customer Service” prompts, and I vowed that the next day I would call the goddamned local post office directly. It was then I learned that there is no goddamned way for me to get the goddamned phone number of my goddamned local post office. I don’t know if this is true all over the country, but I tried 411, Google and my goddamned local phone directory. They all provided the goddamn 1-800 “Customer Service” number.

This morning, I made my THIRD call to the 1-800 “Customer Service” number and re-re-suffered through the robo prompts. When I got yet another new lady, I explained that I had already called their number twice and I still have not received my mail. She asked, “Would you like me to document that?” which meant yet another useless “notification.” I explained that their “notifications” obviously mean nothing to my post office and that I was tired of making phone calls. All I want is my mail.

She asked, “Have you called your local post office?” Staining to keep a civil tongue in my mouth, I explained that there was no way for me to get the phone number of my local post office. I thought she might have known that, but maybe there is something particularly secretive about my local post office.

She replied, “I can give you the phone number,” and she did. She said, “It’s best to call directly,” and she asked if I would like someone to call me. I said, “No, I just want my mail.”

I called the local post office, and Joe Postal Worker answered the phone. Knowing this was the first time he would be hearing the story, I calmly explained that my mail delivery had been held for delivery until Saturday and, here it is Thursday and I still have no mail. I explained that I had already made three calls to the 1-800 “Customer Service” number.

He took my name and address, and I thought, “At last. Someone will find my mail.” Wrong.

He said that he would transfer me to the “Carrier Supervisor.” Sweet Jesus Christ!

The Carrier Supervisor came to the phone and, of course, I had to explain the entire saga yet again. He put me on hold while he went to “check.” He returned to the phone and said, (Are you ready?) “It’s not in the bin, so it must be on the truck. It should be delivered today.”

I said, “Wait. I was told that on Tuesday and my mail was not delivered.” He said, maybe your carrier was out for a few days? I thought, What? The “Carrier Supervisor” doesn’t know whether a particular mail carrier was out? And, if my mail carrier is out, that means I get no mail?.

I asked, “What should I do if the mail is not delivered today?”

“Call again,” was his response.

I said, “No, my next call will be to the Postal Inspector.” He wasn’t impressed.

Guess who didn’t get any goddamned mail today? Yes, that would be me. In sum, the post office failed to deliver the mail on Saturday, on Tuesday, on Wednesday and on Thursday.

Tomorrow I plan on driving to the post office and telling them in person to find my goddamned mail. I don’t want to hear any shit about it “not being in the bin.” I don’t give a shit where it isn’t. I want to know where it is and I want to know NOW.

Your goddamned tax dollars at work.

May 27, 2009

Bacon Vodka Redux.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:17 pm

baconA bit more than a year ago, I wrote about my plans to make my own bacon vodka. As often is the case, Life 101 intervened and nudged bacon-vodka-making close to the bottom of the list of “to do’s,” where it remains to this day.

That is why I was more than a bit intrigued when Cousin Jack asked in a comment to this post, whether I had tried commercially made bacon vodka. It is called “Bakon Vodka,” and it promises “No tinge or burn on the tongue, no obnoxious smoky or chemical flavors, just a clean refreshing potato vodka with delicious savory bacon flavor.”

What’s not to like about that?

Apparently the stuff is currently sold in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, and it is apparently selling very well in Oregon and Washington. I submitted my name to the Bakon Vodka peeps on their website so they can notify me if and when it becomes available in the Garden State. In the meantime, I expect a report from you peeps who drop by here from those states where the stuff is available.

Consider it your contribution to science.

May 26, 2009

Too Much to Handle.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:42 pm

I’m accustomed to returning from vacation to a pile of work pouring over the transom. But, returning home to news that North Korea is detonating nukes, the Government is poised to take over General Motors and The One is nominating a person to serve on the Supreme Court whose overriding qualifications seem to be that she is a Hispanic woman who is chock full of empathy is just too much to handle.

I therefore will address a problem that is more manageable in scope, even though I have no solution. More specifically, I cannot figure out why one or more boids have taken to shitting on my very nice Weber grill cover that protects my very nice Weber grill. Yesterday I hosed off two particularly nasty boid toids, only to find another one today.

I know you’re thinking, “Yo, Jimbo. Is your grill under a tree that may be fancied as a resting (and shitting) place for one or more boids?” The answer is that my grill is not under any trees. It is not under anything other than open sky.

So now you’re thinking, “Yo, Jimbo. Maybe the boids are landing on top of your grill to lounge around and take a shit.” Wrong. If that were true, the boid toids would be on top of the grill. The offending toids always appear down the front of the grill.

All the evidence strongly suggests a full-out aerial assault. Boid Toid Bombardment, if you will.

I’m pissed, and I am also puzzled, because I don’t know what to do about it.

Still, I can take some comfort in knowing that boid toids on my grill cover are easier to deal with than Korean nukes, creeping galloping socialism and a Supreme Court Justice who will make shit up as she goes along.

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 11:28 am



… and every day.

May 24, 2009

Back Home.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 3:28 pm

Actually, we arrived back in New Jersey on Friday, but the week-long party left everyone, including Yours Truly, pretty well knocked out.

Despite our valiant efforts, I understand that there may still be some vodka on the liquor store shelves in Southwest Florida. For the initial stocking, we typically descend upon a small liquor store on the way to “Camp Usual Suspects,” and buy a veritable shitload of booze in all of about four minutes. I can imagine the very friendly owner doing a happy dance in front of his cash register after we leave. His kid can stay in the private school.

This year was marked by a daily thunderstorm and generally sketchy weather, but no matter. We are unstoppable, highly mobile, and we have perfected the rain drill. We can get our FIVE coolers and assorted snacks under cover in a matter of minutes.

I was taken by the number of fancy-schmancy, seriously expensive waterfront homes that are for sale on Fort Myers Beach. It seemed to me that as many were for sale as were not. I recall that some of them were being built last year and obviously have never been lived in. I expect that the bursting real-estate bubble and consequent job losses by those who can afford to live in or speculate on such houses is the cause of the blossoming “For Sale” signs. We all expressed confidence that The One will make everything better.

Of course the contrast between the sunny and spotlessly clean, uncrowded Fort Myers Airport and the bustling, crowded, loud shithole that is Newark Airport was, as usual, bracing. Welcome to the Garden State.

A glitch. The Post Office was supposed to deliver the accumulated mail on Saturday, and when, by 4 o’clock it hadn’t arrived, I called the “Customer Service” number. I got a very nice lady (based somewhere in 1-800 Land) who took my confirmation number and all the deets, and, after all that, she told me that there is no way I could get my mail until Tuesday, as my local post office was closed. She apologized (presumably on behalf of the Government) for my inconvenience and said she was “sending a report” somewhere. I felt undeniably serviced. I’ll still get my mail on Tuesday.

That’s about it for now, Peeps. I’ve got to ease back into the blogging thing.

Oh, and a special thanks to my friend Elisson for his excellent post about Hair Care (see below). I shall have something to say about that in the next few days, as I know you’re all wondering how I tend to my magnificent mane.

May 23, 2009

On the Care of Great Farookin’ Hairâ„¢

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elisson @ 6:25 pm

When your Trichy gets Stichy…why, then, it is time to wash it.

I refer to the hair, that protective layer of keratin filaments that sits atop our heads. Except for that rare soul among us who has Great Farookin’ Hair – you know who you are – the amount of said protective layer has been diminishing for many of us who have attained a Certain Age. Nevertheless, even in diminished amount, it still requires a certain level of maintenance.

Unlike Scottish journalist Andrew Marr, a noted champion of the practice of leaving the hair unwashed, most of use like to wash our hair at least several times a week – or even daily. It’s not a complicated process. All you have to do is apply an appropriate surfactant (“shampoo”) which helps emulsify and remove the oily residuum that is naturally secreted by the scalp, along with any filth that said residuum may have attracted.

Most men are not too picky about the shampoo we use – unlike the ladies, who prefer to spend amounts on their hair care products that equate to the combined GDP of several African nations. Hell, I’ll even use those little bottles I find in hotels… when I’m not packratting them, that is.

The first shampoo I remember using, back in my Snot-Nose Days, was Prell. As far as I know, Prell is still around, though I haven’t seen it in years. I still remember its distinctive aroma, its bright green color. It used to come in a clear plastic squeeze tube, the better to show off the transparent emerald goop within.

I have no idea what was in Prell, but what I do remember was its ability to remove every trace of grease or oil from the hair – including the natural oils you wanted to retain. Washing your hair with Prell was like washing your hair with Naval Jelly. It was the perfect shampoo to use if you had just spent a month living out of doors, rooting through dumpsters in the back of meat processing plants for meals, without having taken Shower One. One squirt, a little warm water, and you’d be ready for dinner at the White House.

Needless to say, I do not use Prell anymore. A month of that stuff and your average Han Chinese would look like Carrot-Top on a bad hair day.

These days I’m partial to Neutrogena T-Gel Extra Strength, with the bracing aroma of genuine Coal Tar. I alternate that with Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Oil shampoo, which gives the scalp a lingering tingly sensation akin to sticking your head in a vat of liquid nitrogen.

What do you use? Ivory soap? Talcum powder? Or that Clairol Herbal Essence that gives the ladies orgasms from ten feet away?

May 14, 2009

Gone Chillin’ With the Usual Suspects.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:25 pm

mariners-sunsetYes, peeps, tomorrow we will be traveling with the Usual Suspects to the Sunshine State for a week of relaxation, boatloads of laughter and a few adult beverages. True, the sunsets are magnificent, but not nearly as magnificent as spending a week hanging out with the Usual Suspects and the peeps from various states we have come to know over the years.

If you find yourself on the west coast of Florida, just follow the sound of the clinking ice cubes.

A few of youse guys have keys to the joint. Feel free to use them in my absence.

See ya some time around Memorial Day.

May 13, 2009

Chuck Schumer the Swine.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:06 pm

Here is Chuck on the subject of torture in 2004, followed by his position in 2009.

He needs someone on his staff to teach him how to use a search engine and to introduce him to You Tube before he opens his fat mouth.

This is yet another asshole who has done nothing for a living except being a politician. I wish the New York voters would send his sorry ass packing, but I doubt that will happen, because the voters in New York are almost as stupid as the voters in New Jersey.

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