Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh, but a Turtle is Verboten...

You do realize turtles would have taken care of this situation in a few minutes...

A plane had to return to the gate when maggots began falling from an overhead bin onto an unsuspecting passenger.

The recent US Airways flight was leaving Atlanta and heading to Charlotte, North Carolina but had to go back after the gross discovery.

The maggots were traced back to a container of spoiled meat that someone had brought on the plane and left in the overhead bin.

Crews checked the rest of the carry-on bags and the plane was fumigated and thoroughly cleaned before taking off.

The passenger who brought the rotten meat on board reportedly deplaned in Atlanta and was placed on another flight but it's not clear why the passenger was carrying it.

Repeat Offender! Will the Car-nage Ever End?

Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil, who last week had declared his sobriety, was arrested on drunken driving charges after getting pulled over by police in his Lamborghini near the Las Vegas Strip.

The 49-year-old rocker was taken into custody about 11:15 p.m. Sunday when he was stopped in the black sports car after leaving the Las Vegas Hilton hotel, Officer Bill Cassell said. Neil was released Monday (June 28) after posting $2,000 bail.

The arrest was not Neil's first drunken driving case. In 1984, he crashed a sports car head-on into another car in Redondo Beach, Calif., killing his passenger, Nicholas Dingley, a 24-year-old drummer with the group Hanoi Rocks.

Hey, Mel

Even Jesus isn't returning your calls.

Monday, June 28, 2010

This Could Happen to Me!

Ten-year-old Carley Helm feared her brand-new pet turtle was doomed, the victim of confusion over airline policies regarding the transportation of reptiles. I don't agree with policies concerning the salmonella potential reptiles or the stupid rules of airlines. Why should I be surprised the two intersect?

But thanks to some scrambling by AirTran Airways officials, it made a safe journey from Atlanta to General Mitchell International Airport on Thursday afternoon.

And yes, Carley is sure it’s the same turtle — she can tell by the small white dot below its nose.

After visiting their father in Atlanta, Carley and her two sisters were traveling home Tuesday with the tiny reptile, named Neytiri after the leading lady in the blockbuster “Avatar.” With the turtle in its container, they made it through security, aboard the AirTran aircraft and to their seats in the cabin of the aircraft — showing off Neytiri along the way. No one raised any questions. Meanwhile, several passengers snuck explosives aboard.

However, as the plane began to taxi on the runway, the pilot announced it was turning back because a turtle was onboard, violating Federal Aviation Administration policy. OMG! A Reptile Emergency! On a PLANE!! A tiny turtle terrorist!!!

The FAA prohibits reptiles and most animals onboard commercial aircrafts — with the exception of dogs, cats and household birds in approved containers that fit below the seat, said AirTran spokesman Christopher White.

“Reptiles are in no form allowed onboard for safety reasons,” White said. “They are very, very commonly known to carry salmonella.” Oh, please. Let's talk about what humans are commonly known to carry. Let's talk about that filthy recirculated air you swirl around the cabin.

“I know policies need to be followed, but (AirTran) should make sure their employees know what the policies are,” her mother, Tracy Helm, said Thursday. Why not just use it as a new source of revenue like everything else the airlines touch? Three Dollar Turtle Carry-On Thursdays would be a nice special. Surprised they didn't make them buy the turtle a seat.

Back at the gate, the girls asked if the airline could keep the turtle until their dad — who was on his cell phone and rushing back to the airport — could pick it up, said their mother. They were told that was not possible, but they could catch a later flight for free.They have human baby-sitters, why not pets? Oh, wait, they can't keep track of my luggage, even with extra fees. The little guy would have ended up in some soup.

One of her sisters, Rebecca Helm, 22, opted to deposit the small container with Neytiri into a garbage can next to Gate C2 and told her dad to look for it there and rescue it. When he arrived, the can was empty, and he was told the garbage had probably already been emptied. Impossible. I've been to airports.

Notified of the situation, AirTran officials immediately began contacting everyone who had worked near that gate Tuesday, White said. It turned out an AirTran ramp supervisor had rescued Neytiri from the trash and given the tiny reptile to another employee, who took it home to her 5-year-old son, White said. Whew!

The employee who had Neytiri returned the turtle.

Neytiri made the trip Thursday to Milwaukee in the cargo of a Delta Air Lines flight because AirTran only transports luggage.

The turtle’s flight did have one last glitch, but this one was common to all air travelers: an hour-and-a-half delay. Happy ending, but we need to change the rules!! Turtles are NOT dangerous, and should travel with their owners.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Where is Gulfzilla When You Need Him ?!

EMPIRE, La. (AP) — BP chief executive Tony Hayward took a day off Saturday to see his 52-foot yacht "Bob" compete in a glitzy race off England's shore, a leisure trip that further infuriated residents of the oil-stained Gulf Coast.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oil is Lost

Saw these two items at the grocery store today and couldn't help but think,
"What a great dip to serve at the next BP Shareholder's meeting!"

Two and a Half Alibis

For the second time in four months, Charlie Sheen’s car was reportedly stolen and found at the bottom of a cliff after the actor left his keys in the ignition again. TMZ reports:

Cops have already been to Sheen’s home today. Charlie told them the last time he noticed his vehicle sitting in the driveway was at around 4 PM. He said he had no idea the car was stolen until cops showed up.
Law enforcement sources say cops actually joked when they got the call early this morning that it was Charlie’s car, never really believing lightning would strike twice. One law enforcement source calls the most recent incident “suspicious.”

The FIRST time this happened, I suspected he did it himself, and just didn't want to be questioned/drug-tested. This time I'm sure it's him, and he's cracking up. Cracking up perfectly innocent cars. If he gets anywhere near his stash of 1950's collector cars, I'll kill him myself.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In Other News


I'm heartbroke I didn't attend the Vanity Handicap to get my "Zenyatta Bobblehead", but just the thought of 17-0 is breathtaking. A true superhorse! Where's the beanie baby?

Also, Rachel Alexandra is back in the winner's circle after the Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs.

They have yet to meet.

Belmont Blues

Did not do well picking winners at the Belmont.

My hopes were on an Exacta box with Drosselmeyer and Dave in Dixie (who finished second to last. Thanks a lot, Calvin).

Oh well.

Half right.

Some Stories Just Re-Write Themselves...

Was it insured by State Farm?

Squareville – “Cartoon Horse” was a target as soon as he arrived in Squareville.

His ears were mauled. His treasure chest jostled. And eventually, despite being bolted to a 300-pound concrete slab, he simply was gone, stolen from his home at 218 Main St. Police believe that it was taken sometime between 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday.

In a totally unrelated story, Dozens O' Donuts had their annual All Night Sale 9 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday...

“Whoever executed this theft either had equipment or a team of people,” said Ann Henslee, community outreach director for the Main Stay Therapeutic Riding Program.

Or help from the police?

“It’s insane. It’s crazy. And it’s very depressing. We’re terrified for the other horses.”

Is it too soon to suggest next year's theme be Flesh-Eating Zombie Horses from Beyond the Grave? Thestrals?

“Cartoon Horse” was one of 26 decorative rocking horses that appeared on the Square last week as part of a fundraiser for Main Stay. Main Stay has provided individualized equine-related therapy to help people with disabilities since 1984.

Rocking Horse Rustlers at Large!!

The “Rock On” fundraiser is a follow-up to last year’s “Horses of a Different Color,” in which fiberglass carousel horses were painted by local artists and placed around the Square.

Those were actually attractive. Perhaps the vandals were making a point in a misguided way. Everyone I've spoken to this year thinks the rocking horses are really ugly.

Each horse had a different theme, and at the end of the summer, the horses were auctioned off, raising about $50,000 for Main Stay.

I'm not seeing a market for this years, we'll have to see.

Despite the popularity and success of the program, “Horses of a Different Color” was not without incident. In August 2009, vandals hit three of the horses one morning, causing more than $450 in damage.

Bad enough, but none disappeared.

“Luck of the Irish,” near the former O’Leary’s Pub, got the worst of it.

The rocking horses featured in this year’s fundraiser were placed on the Square on Thursday. The kickoff is today on the Square with an ice cream social and a concert at 7:30 p.m.

Henslee said that within six hours, the horse, located almost directly across the street from the Classic Cinemas movie theater, had been damaged.

“Someone had been very cruel to its ears,” Henslee said. Later, it was apparent that the treasure chest below “Cartoon Horse” had been “disturbed.”

The artwork was disturbed to begin with.

Henslee said the theft was a loss for Main Stay, which planned to auction the horse in September as part of this year’s fundraiser. However, she said, it also is a loss for the community.

“How can you move something that heavy without someone hearing that or seeing that? There are bars around there, a movie theater, apartments,” Henslee said.

And the cops were where?? I feel so safe in Squareville.

Woodstock Police Sgt. Richard Johns said that there was little evidence left at the scene.

Were there two parallel lines dragged off into the sunset?

“[It’s] just gone,” Johns said. “From my understanding, it’s quite heavy.”

(Insert Twilight Zone music here)

Johns said that the police planned extra patrols around areas where the “Rock On” horses were “to keep an eye on them.”

Nothing like shutting the barn door after the rocking horse is gone...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

An Inconvenient Filing

What's this? After forty years Al and Tipper Gore are divorcing? Say it ain't so!

Guess the only place the temperature was dropping was in the boudoir... no renewable energy there, apparently.

Supposedly they announced the split to their closest friends via e-mail - and I hope it included Tipper's observation that she just couldn't listen to him tell the story of how he invented the Internet one more time. Right there, any judge should give her more than half the marital assets. Wonder who gets Oscar and who gets the medal?

Can you just see Al tooling down the PCH with the sunroof in his Prius open, blaring Gangsta Rap now that he's free?

Is it just a coincidence this news comes after the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history? Al's ties to the oil industry are just the Tipper the iceberg, if you ask me.


Did You e-nhale?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cars 3 in 2D

Why? Because 3D is stupid, that’s why. Until I’m issued one red and one green contact lens, I really don’t want to hear about it.

I understand Pixar has moved up the release date of “Cars 2: World Grand Prix” by a year, planning a June 2011 release. Why? It seems so rare to move up a release. Was the film done ahead of time? Didn’t want all the voice actors dead by the release?

How unusual for an animated feature to arrive early. Something else must have canceled in order to move it up. Or perhaps someone figured out the target audience was not going to care by 2011. I’m not talking toddlers with maturing tastes, I’m speaking of ‘people pissed off by Owen Wilson’s recent projects’. This select population is in need of rescue well before 2011, but we’ll take what we can get.

Anyhoo, from what little I’ve been able to find regarding the plot of this film, it seems we’re in for even less of Sally Carrera this time around (1). This upsets me on many levels. Yes, yes, I know Walt Disney has an absolute cottage industry built on making little girls want to be princesses. Sure, we need “Boy” movies every bit as much. But what about little girls who love cars?

Sally merchandise has been extremely slim pickins(2). All they want to promote is the male buddy bonding of Lightning and ‘Mater. Perhaps this entertains the boys that secretly wish they were at the princess movies, but for the Porschephiles it’s just another example of the good ol’ NASCAR boys club.

Supposedly Lightning and Mater go to various countries to compete in Grand Prix events and experience culture shock. Where Sally even fits into this, I do not know, but Holly Hunt was listed as a voice talent, so I will assume she makes an appearance. The first film showcased so many things I love: Route 66, the Southwest, Porsches and other sports cars, Owen…

So I figured I was too late for Cars 2. No one called me to consult. Seems I’m going to have to rectify this myself. That’s right, I’m going to have to write the script for Cars III: The Rebuild

Brief Outline:

Sally, still living in Radiator Springs, a once-boom-town now suffering through the recession like the rest of us, gets a call that her father (silver Porsche 356) is on his last cylinders and she must travel back to the Fatherland to see him one final time. She kisses Lightning goodbye and tearfully boards a plane that will take her home to Stuttgart.

Sally arrives in time for five-hankie goodbye where Daddy tells her how proud he’s always been of her and explains he is bequeathing a large swath of the downtown business district to her, as her brother the 914 lacks the horsepower to oversee such a venture.

Before Daddy can even be properly crunched into scrap metal, an incredibly evil (but sexy!) black BMW M1 shows up and says he was an old friend of her father’s and he only wants to help her during this difficult time. It’s painfully obvious to everyone except Sally that he has nefarious intentions, but if she figured it out in the first 20 minutes, we couldn’t fill another 83, now could we???

Initially flattering, he soon starts dominating Sally and trying to make decisions for her. She allows a few, trying to cover in front of friends and family when she realizes they weren’t in her best interest. Slowly, she starts to awaken to the fact she has relinquished too much power. Feeling embarrassment and melancholy, she starts to cry oil(3) alone in a coach house. Singing spark plugs and an air filter that plays itself like an accordion do a huge musical number to cheer her up. (Did you forget this was a Disney film for a moment?) Great bathroom break.

Still, Sally isn’t quite ready to make the break. She doesn’t know how she could head home to America and still oversee German business operations. Fortunately, she meets the sleekest, coolest, most beautiful older gal Jenna (British Green Jaguar XKE) who is a willing mentor on all matters of both the pocketbook and the heart.

Jenna dazzles Sally with her self-confidence and intelligence. She makes some helpful business suggestions and it’s clear the M1 is very threatened by her. The girls go tire shopping and over some 40-Weight at an outdoor café, Jenna tells Sally she better dump the Bimmer before she ends up like so many other cars, unappreciated and unloved. She points out that High-Maintenance is not a dirty term, it’s an excuse for guys to neglect you. The Check Engine Now light comes on in Sally’s little dash, and she decides the new racing tires she just bought are perfect – for leaving Bimmy fast. This turns into a musical number, These Slicks Were Made for Squealin’.

After Bimmy is out of the picture, Sally decides she wants to return home to her true love, Lightning. She asks Jenna to act as her business manager for a handsome salary. Jenna agrees, introducing her to a much-younger new boyfriend, a gold Audi 8. “How very Ford of you!”, Sally smiles. – get it? Ford – Forward? Ford Cougar – Jaguar- younger guy…? Ok. I thought it was funny. Never mind.

So Sally hurries home only to find Lightning has taken up with a heavily airbrushed Toyota Celica with a Nitro Pak. Incensed that he can’t appreciate all-original equipment, she leaves him(4). Credits roll as Sally plans a triumphant return to Radiator Springs where she plans to act as a mentor to other young cars(5). She watches a sunset as the screen blackens down to the International Vehicle Car oval “D” sticker she received near her back bumper – a little tramp stamp she picked up abroad.

~The Beginning~

1 per Wikipedia, Pixar has been criticized for its lack of strong or main female characters

2 Also, would somebody please make the theme bedding in Queen size? Nooo…. Only twin…

3 Although Sally looks young enough to be water-cooled.

4 Think Sandra Bullock and Jesse James

5 “Pixar films follow the same theme of self improvement. With the help of friends or family, a character ventures out into the real world and learns to appreciate his friends and family." At the core, according to John Lasseter, "it's gotta be about the growth of the main character, and how he changes.”

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Look Who's Lucky

Whoo-hoo! Got a whopping $6.80 from my $2 bet on Lookin' At Lucky. Hey, least I picked a winner. Not like I invested it in BP or anything evil. Now, on to the Belmont. No predictions at this time. Twitter amongst yourselves, I'll be back later with my picks.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Preakness Picks

Right now, I like 5, 6, and 7.

Lookin at Lucky, 7, is a great horse who just couldn't perform in the Derby. He may well be the favorite in the Preakness.

Also sparking my interest is Yawanna Twist, 5, which would be a long shot who could pay some good money.

Tiny little Jackson Bend will be #6. He's just cute. That's reason enough in my book.

I Could Have Told You That

Love Affair With New Cars Lasts Longer for Women

It’s called the “honeymoon period” and it doesn’t just apply to your spouse. It also covers swooning for that brand-new car, and it turns out women love their new cars longer than men do.

According to a survey conducted by LeaseTrader.com, women are more than three times more likely to stay in love with their car longer than men. A woman’s average honeymoon period lasts 14 months, while men only make it about four months before the luster of the new-car relationship wears off. I still love my cars - many years later.

The poll of approximately 2,500 drivers also breaks down the moment people know the magic is gone.

For women, the automotive love affair is over when they let a spouse finally drive it (39%), Ha! start carpooling with other people’s kids (24%),Never eat in the car (12%),I'm OK with this now put makeup on in the car while driving (9% — and also a big no-no) Why not? and leave clothes in the car (6%). Does a Gym Bag count?

Men know the flame has expired when they park around other cars (33%),Still touchy about this! start transporting sports equipment (22%),Rollerblades in a bag are not a problem clean their cars less frequently (17%),Gasp! are bothered by high payments (12%) Always and don’t care who drives on long trips (3%). Oh, yeah, I like to let the hitchhiker take over...

Our only editorial comment on this poll is we bet most of the 22% of guys who cited “transporting sports equipment” were likely just trying to impress a female pollster.

Survey: Women Love Their New Cars Longer Than Men (DriveOn)


Top Ten BP Excuses
10."The Gulf of Mexico was overdue for its 3,000 oil change"
9."We promise we'll get around to it by Labor Day"
8."Relax, it's only leaking 210,000 gallons a day"
7."Giving everyone a free BP travel mug"
6."Louisiana hasn't had a disaster in 5 years"
5."Guy from Goldman Sachs said it would make money"
4."Blame FEMA"
3."Did you hear Ricky Martin's gay?"
2."Blame Toyota"
1."Honestly, we're so reckless -- surprised it took this long"

From Late Night With David Letterman (5/3/10)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Doggone It

Dear Owen Wilson,

You used to be my favorite movie star. Starsky and Hutch. Shanghai Knights. Cars.

Then came Marley and Me.

Please, go back to the writing. I like intellectuals. That also look like blond gods. (almost enough to compensate for the whole 'Owen Cunningham' thing your parents also bestowed upon you.)

Now... Marmaduke? I didn't think you could sink any lower.
(both of these movies occurred AFTER his suicide attempt. Go figure.)

Did you know?

Owen and Luke's father was the first to bring Monty Python's Flying Circus to American TV where he managed KERA, a PBS station, in Dallas, TX.

Quote he should live by: "I can't think of a movie I wish I'd acted in, but there are movies I wish I'd written."

Quote of his that I live by: "I don't feel like I'm a hundred times happier. Can't we petition someone to make it so that outside stuff is the key to happiness? I'm tired of people always saying, 'It's gotta come from you!' Can't it come from, like, a new pair of shoes?"

The Coupon Curve

Every time a coupon expires, a kitten is killed...

r at least you would think so, the way I run around every week with a stack of store promos in my hand.

Last week was a perfect storm of redeeming as I tried to squeeze every last dollar out of my portfolio of offers.

First up was Kohl's. I had ten dollars in Kohl's cash*, which could be spent on anything. I found two kitchen towels (cute dragonfly design) for $1.99, a candle for $4.99 and a $6 hair band. Between the $10 off and a 15% off I ended up only paying $2.71. Score!

Next was Ulta. I really need to slow down with this place, but they keep sending the coupons...
Spend $10 or more, get $3.50 off. Simple. Straightforward. Easy. Spent $11 and paid $8.01 after tax. Good. Not great, but adequate.

Finally, JC Pennypinchers. Why do I bother? Oh, they have petite sizes, that's why. So I had this mother's day coupon for $10 off any purchase of $25 or more. Then I had two other ones; $10 off any purchase $50 or more, and $15 off any purchase $75 or more. Hmmm.

Usually, I can't find anything and waste two hours even trying to find something coupon-worthy. Somehow, I managed to find all kinds of things I wanted. To maximize the coupons, I needed to make on $50+ and one $25+ purchase to get $20 off. Easier said than done!

It must have taken me almost three hours to get a low priced item to align with the $25. I had $20.99 pants, but there is absolutely NOTHING in the entire store for $4. Not a single sock. Oh, sure, packages of three for $10, but not single pairs. No food items. No clearance jewelry (their junk jewelry starts at about $6 on clearance, and I won't give them the satisfaction of turning my wrist green) no washcloth package or lip gloss for $4 - nothing.

Who are these people? These evil math geniuses who have created this bizarre pricing algorithm designed to keep fashionistas like myself from cashing in on multiple offers? So unlike Kohl's!!!

Determined to get the snow-leopard sweater or die, I settled on an $8 pair of sunglasses. Sheesh. At least I got a vinyl sleeve to put them in, the only reason I like buying sunglasses there.

I need to swear off all shopping for the summer. No more! Save it for the gas tank. Burn those offers from the mail without even opening them. Hit delete on all emails. Cease! Desist! Decoupon!

*I think I earned this by spending $50 in Kohl's the week before. Al needed dress pants for work. He will only wear black (if only he had Johnny Cash's talent or money.... Nope. Just thirst for no-fault dressing. What he's doing with me, I have no idea.) so the transaction took all of 14 minutes as I shopped for him. Out of 3, only one needed to be returned.
Not bad.

Super Odds

Faster than a speeding oil slick

Well, Horse Racing has been quite volatile so far this year. First, the good news: my five-dollar bet on Super Saver to win payed $44 - a fantastic return on the second-favorite horse in a Derby crowded with the mediocre.

The really sad news is my darling Eskendereya (Es-ken-DRAY-ah) had to be retired as a result of soft-tissue injury. I really wanted him to go for the triple crown, but it's not to be. The tiny sliver of silver lining is he was sold to billionaire winemaker Jess Jackson, the same guy who owns Curlin and bought Rachel Alexandra and made the right decision to race her against the colts. (Too late for the derby, to my eternal dismay)

In other really bad news, Rachel Alexandra has finished second in her last two races. Now as a four-year-old, I was hoping she would finally race Zenyatta, but after those performances I think we all know what that outcome would be...

For this Saturday's Preakness, I'm not going with Super Saver. He's just not that good. Calvin is great, the horse isn't. Perhaps Lookin at Lucky? I haven't seen a final line up, so I will keep you posted as to my picks.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Might Have Been

I'm devastated that Esken-unpronounceable-dereya is out of the Kentucky Derby.

Now what? Lookin' at Lucky looks great on paper - never finished out of the money- but going in as the favorite is pretty much the kiss of death. Devil May Care? I'd love to see a filly (and Pletcher) win it, but I'm not convinced. One thing is for sure - I'll put some money on Super Saver to win. One would think I could get a $2 bet for only a $1.50 on a horse with a name like that...

Friday, April 09, 2010

Your Point Being?

You Are a Snarky Blogger!

You've got a razor sharp wit that bloggers are secretly scared of.

You're honest and critical. You never hold back, even if you're opinion is controversial.

Okay, let's be honest. You try to make your posts as controversial as possible!

And that's why your audience reads your posts as often as they can.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

There's a Word for That

And that word is spelled w-r-o-n-g. Or perhaps s-a-c-r-i-l-e-g-e.

Just when you thought the dumbing-down of America was pretty much complete, comes this little tidbit: Mattel announced their newest edition of Scrabble will allow proper nouns.

What? After sixty years they're just opening the floodgates of 'but I know someone who spells his name that way'? Are they paying a corporate sponsorship fee to the first couple to name their child Qzxtb? Did they lose a bet with Barbie? Get bored of the Hot Wheels loop?

The games company said it would be introducing the rule change – the first in the game's 62 year history – to "enable younger players" to get involved.

Admit it - you mean the txt gn - why not accept LOL and WTF?

This could cause a power shift between the generations, with those possessing a keen knowledge of the top 40 singles' chart legitimately able to cite such high-scoring examples as singers N-Dubz (17 points) and Jay-Z (23 points).

Oh, like they would be caught dead playing some antique game with tree pieces. With Grandpa.

A Mattel spokesman said: "The layout, the colors of the board, the rules and the game itself have all remained unchanged for over 60 years.

So let's mess it up! Let's change for the sake of change! Let's make the board 3D with sound chips while we're at it. (Hologram adapter sold separately)

"These changes are the biggest news for Scrabble lovers in the history of the game and will provide a great new twist on the old formula. We believe that people who are already fans of the game will enjoy the changes and they will also enable younger players and families to get involved.

That drab old formula that required thought, spelling skills and a dictionary. Yes, let's get rid of that. People will rush right out to pay $19.59 for a new set of printed instructions inside our box. It will give them a magical site license to play the game with standards lower than your typical Washington Lobbyist.

Why stop at Scrabble? Why not make more games easier for today's ADHD youth?

Like "Chutes". Who wants to scale those pesky ladders? Life should be one big happy slide.

Or "Monopoly - Bailout Edition". Run out of money? All your hotels mortgaged to the hilt? Never fear, just cut up some slips of paper and write denominations on them. Distribute to give your players a federal bailout. No one need ever lose again! Always get out of jail free!

I'd love a more realistic version of "Life" - instead of having twins or going to college they should now offer more likely scenarios like "stay on your parents couch to age thirty" and "do you want fries with that" as an occupation space. No cash in this version. Just Promissory Notes.

(No) Risk - players compete to take over the world with junk bonds and load funds.

(Get a) Clue - players realize they are trapped with a bunch of dislikeable idiots in a drafty old house.

Fortunately, I was able to find this explanation of the whole ruckus online.

Whew! They sure Trickstered me.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Max-imum Auto Abuse

For why"Artsy Types" should not be allowed to purchase collectible automobiles, read this incredible story.

Correction: Incredibly upsetting story.

I remember that promotion! I recall really, really wanting to win. I wasn't sure how I was going to house and finance an entire museum, but those pesky details could be worked out afterward.

Sad to say, I was a bit of a Peter Max fan, but that was when I had no idea about any of this.
Psychedelic paint looks cute on a VW Bug, but if he touches the Polo White exterior of that 53 I'm gonna sic Zora's ghost on him...

Now, I just think of those poor tires rotting into a New York garage floor. It sure wasn't Jerry Seinfeld's building. He would have stepped in. If nothing else, to kick them out so he could have room for his Porsche collection.

I know! They should have done a Hoarders episode on Max. At least that would have been entertaining. I'd volunteer to take them to a good home. I don't know if all 36 could fit in my barn, but I'd sure give it the old college try.

As for me, I'm just awaiting the day I can join the list of very rich comedians who collect cars.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Virtual Retail

Dear Video Game Programmers and Purveyors -

Want more girl gamers? How about a game we can relate to? Like shopping.

Not too hard to develop a dream game for me, that’s for sure. Just throw a little retail therapy into your basic racing game and you’re sure to have me hooked.

First, players select a cool car. Choose carefully! A Ferrari can get you to more stores, quickly; but an Escalade will have more room for purchases. Next a little menu of famous malls will come up, complete with floor plan and list of stores. To win the game, you’ll need something from the shoe category, formal wear category, jeans, etc.

You’ll then be issued a credit line and stack of cards and coupons. Your challenge is to get every item on the list for the best price. Think of all the educational tie-ins! Math skills galore! Trunk size vs. volume and shape of packages = geometry. Finding a good parking spot = probability. Which mall at what time of the day = statistics. Budgeting and coupon redemption = Finance and Accounting.

Throw in some nutrition lessons, too. The winner will be the one who can shop eight hours on a large cappuccino and stick of sugarless gum. Just like real life, the anorexic player will be rewarded.

Not exciting enough? Throw in some Zombies!

Suggested Names:

Grand Shop Auto

World of MallCraft

Wii Love to Shop (with credit card wrist-flicking action!)

Super Shoprio

Mall-tal Combat

Count Me Out

Mailed in my Sensless form the other day. If the Government wants to know where I live, why don’t they just use GoogleMaps like everyone else and save the taxpayers a few billion?

What’s with asking if I own my home free and clear? Smacks of socialism. What’s it to you, Government? Thinking up new ways to tax the five fiscally responsible people left in America? Trying to decide how many more billions to throw at the banks that made all those stupid lending decisions? Need to know who might put up a fight while you’re declaring Eminent Domain willy-nilly?

How many people live in my house? More than I’d like. How’s that for an answer? Not interested in getting any more representation, thank you. The idiots elected now don’t need any further help.

Race? What does it matter? All I can do is pick a box I “identify with”. So what? Does that somehow mean I’ll be perceived that race by the Government or my neighbors? Of course not. People and institutions can discriminate based on all kinds of wacky and erroneous perceptions. Why even care what I think? Unless you want to round me up and put me in a detention camp for lying on an official form. Won’t happen? Don’t be so sure. The Census Bureau has a wonderfully colorful history of having its data mined by other divisions. Credit them for helping find draft dodgers, fill internment camps and generally terrorizing the citizenry.

Supposedly, it has to do with representation. Do we get a certain amount of legislators of a certain race? Nope. Just a money ploy. Sad to say, America is actually well below the average of most other nations as to the number of women holding public office. Which explains so much.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Well Lookie Here!

The only things at Toyota coming to a screeching halt are sales!

Ford: up 43% in February.

Toyota: down 20%

Why I Haven't Got Time For Your $#%@

The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday.

The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

"Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis," NASA officials said in a Monday update.

Is it just me, or does it seem to be 'Earthquake Season' all of a sudden???

Closing Ceremonies

William Shatner? Really? That's the best you can do? Was Rush busy?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wish I'd Said That...

"The Olympic Games were fun, but there were some high-profile mistakes, come on. Admit it. Like the terrible decision to let Toyota design the luge." -Bill Maher

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Whoo-hoo! Job opening in lovely Orlando! I'm whale-qualified.

File under "Surprised, Not":

A killer whale killed a trainer Wednesday afternoon at SeaWorld's Shamu Stadium in Orlando, Florida, a public information officer for the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

Are they called Cuddly Whales? Nope. Face it, they're just dolphins with really bad attitudes and even sharper teeth. A lot like me.

Sorry, but I'm totally seeing the Orca's point of view here. Honestly, how many times would you jump through a hoop for a dead fish? Two-thirds of the planet is your playground and suddenly you're trapped in a bathtub for twenty years. Wouldn't do much for my willingness to play nice.

Also, what was with Naked Guy? Taunting the tigers not fun enough in the middle of the night?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Am I the Only One?

Cringing every time a Toyota is spotted in the rear view mirror? What if they can't stop at this intersection?

Wood You Believe Him?

So could Alice Cooper be helping Tiger Woods start a garage band? As he writes in his book "Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: A Rock 'n' Roller's 12 Steps to Becoming a Golf Addict", taking up the game was a wonderful way to combat the urge to party on the road.

"I traded one bad habit for another habit, only this habit (golf) was a lot healthier," says Cooper, who went through rehab in the late '70s and early '80s but has been clean and sober since 1983 and has counseled other celebrities about kicking their addictions. "Golf ended up being a good trade-off," he says. "The thing about this book, is that when I look at the whole juxtaposition of who Alice Cooper is, the golf addiction and the music addiction, still, it's pretty interesting how they can co-exist."

Maybe Tiger and his band could practice on Elin's private island so as not to annoy the neighbors? One thing is for sure: he had better make a very good showing the first game of his return to professional golf, whenever that might be. Otherwise, millions of men will use it as an excuse to take a mistress (or three, or... ) since it seems to improve the golf game.

All across America kids will be getting their dads little coffee mugs that say 'World's Best Golfer'. Lucky Elin. The kids are still small enough to need some help shopping for Daddy's big day and she can wrap the one that says 'World's Worst Husband'.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Trade Up!

To a vehicle with more steering ability and stopping power than your average Toyota!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lower Education

Face it, right now you're thinking about how many of your co-workers this could apply to:

Ms Bishop, who has four children, obtained a PhD from Harvard University in 1993. She began teaching at the University of Alabama in 2003. She was told last year that she would not get a tenured, or permanent, position and that this was her last term. Colleagues described her as a brilliant researcher but a poor teacher and communicator.

She held her regular anatomy and neuroscience class on Friday before going to a faculty meeting at a university building in Huntsville, Alabama, where she allegedly pulled out a 9mm handgun and began firing. Witnesses said that she then left the room and dumped the gun in a lavatory before being arrested.

When she was led away, she told local television: “It didn’t happen. There’s no way. They’re still alive.”

But wait! It gets better.

The shooting has prompted police to reopen the case of her younger brother’s death in 1986. The police chief in the Boston suburb of Braintree said at the weekend that Ms Bishop, then 19, was freed after his predecessor apparently halted the investigation. “I don’t want to use the word ‘cover-up’. I don’t know what the thought process was at the time,” Paul Frazier said.

Ms Bishop shot her brother Seth, 18, a violinist and prize-winning science student, with a shotgun during an argument, he said. She was arrested at gunpoint after allegedly pointing the gun at a car to try to force the driver to stop.

A former auto-body worker claims Amy Bishop put a gun to his chest and demanded a getaway car just minutes after she shot her brother to death 24 years ago in a controversial case that is now being reviewed.

The police chief at the time, John Polio, apparently ordered officers to free Ms Bishop and declare the shooting accidental. “I spoke with the retired deputy chief who was . . . responsible for booking Ms Bishop. He said he had started the process when he received a call from then police chief John Polio, or possibly from a captain on Chief Polio’s behalf,” Mr Frazier said. “He was instructed to stop the booking process. The release of Ms Bishop did not sit well with the police officers.

According to the police chief, Ms Bishop’s mother, Judith, was a public official who sat on a police personnel committee. Apart from a short entry in the Braintree police log the case file on the death, including a seven-page report, has disappeared.

Hmmm. Bumped off an inconveniently smarter sibling? Just a baby bird pushing the weaker ones out of the nest to get all the worms. Natural selection. Nothing more to see here. Move along.

Oooh. What about this?

Grieving relatives of three professors gunned down at a university faculty meeting questioned why their accused colleague was hired despite a dispute with a former boss who received a pipe bomb and the shooting death of her brother.

And this sure doesn't describe anybody you work with...

...had described Bishop as “not being able to deal with reality” and “not as good as she thought she was."

So much for the good old days when you hoped your kid got into college for a draft deferment, since a war zone was a dangerous place where they could get shot.

Economy: 1 Waistline: 0

Played hooky from the Health Club tonight.

Just last week they asked me to fill out an appraisal sheet on the instructors. As usual, I spent no time critiquing the classes and about two paragraphs begging them to buy a bottle of bleach and clean the place. Anyhoo...

I'm suffering from a really bad case of the Febru-drearies and decided my serotonin levels would be better boosted by shoe-shopping than exercise. Common mid-winter malady. Didn't do ANY shopping in January, as I had bought so much at the end of December at after-Christmas sales, there really wasn't any new merchandise to be had.

Might have made it through the short misery that is February except for that insidious retailing trick known as the Birthday Coupon. Buisnesses are not stupid. They know a free movie equals a popcorn sale, a free dinner equals a beverage and a $10 off coupon could lead someplace fantastic.

Went to Kohl's last week because I had a 30% off coupon. For 15%, I don't leave the house. 20%, I might stop in if I 'need' something. 30% off is a Holy Day of Obligatory Spending.

So I bought waaaaay too much stuff and earned $20 off in Kohl's Bucks or something. It was some deal to get you back in the store the very next week with the promise of $20 off. Turns out I wanted to return a blazer. I was in no rush until I read the coupons carefully. Hmmm. Seems the 30% was good to Feb. 17. The $20 off started Feb 15. That means.... Gasp! February 16 was a magical equinox of savings !!! They NEVER overlap offers!!! What happened? How did the stars align? Will the Year of the Tiger be especially good to this lowly Snake?

Wasting no time, I found a pair of Candie's stilettos I had been coveting in the celebrity magazines. On sale for $39.99, minus $20, minus 30% = SCORE!!!

I feel so much better now. Shouldn't have had the pasta for dinner, but the shoes were worth it!!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Oh, sure it was stolen...

Troubled actor Charlie Sheen had left his Mercedes-Benz in his open garage with the keys in it when it was stolen and later found crashed in a ravine off Mulholland Drive, police said Friday.

The 2009 Mercedes four-door sedan was found badly damaged about 350 feet down from Mulholland Drive about two miles from Sheen's home in a gated community in Sherman Oaks.

After an extensive search on foot and by helicopter, rescue crews did not find a driver or passengers in the vicinity of the stolen car.

Los Angeles fire and police officials learned the car had been in an accident just after 4 a.m. when the Mercedes' electronic security system automatically notified them. After locating the vehicle, they discovered it was Sheen's and went to notify him.

Meanwhile, Sheen had also received an alert from his car's security system and reported a burglary to the police, who responded to the report about 5 a.m.

Los Angeles police said the car was probably abandoned by the burglars, who had stolen items from other garages in the neighborhood. Nothing else from Sheen's home was reported stolen, said Officer Bruce Borihanh of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Another luxury car stolen from a nearby neighborhood was discovered off the side of the road about 200 yards from where Sheen's car had been found, police spokesman Richard French said.

The 2009 silver Bentley coupe was reported to police about 1:45 p.m. by a press photographer.

French, who called the Bentley's appearance "highly coincidental," said it was unclear if the car was stolen by the same thieves.

Sources said police ruled out any domestic dispute in the Sheen incident after interviewing the actor and his wife, who was out of state.

Death Poem to a Prius

TOKYO—Toyota's president emerged from seclusion Friday to apologize and address criticism that the automaker mishandled a crisis over sticking gas pedals. Yet he stopped short of ordering a recall for the company's iconic Prius hybrid for braking problems. Stopping short of anything but Seppuku is unacceptable.

Akio Toyoda, appointed to the top job at Toyota Motor Corp. last June, promised to beef up quality control, saying, "We are facing a crisis." REALLLLLY?

Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, said he personally would head a special committee to review checks within the company, go over consumer complaints and listen to outside experts to come up with a fix. Now I feel better.

"I apologize from the bottom of my heart for all the concern that we have given to so many customers," said Toyoda, speaking at his first news conference since the Jan. 21 global recall of 4.5 million vehicles. See my first comment.

Toyota's failure to stem its widening safety crisis has stunned consumers and experts who'd come to expect only streamlined efficiency from a company at the pinnacle of the global auto industry. Heh, heh, heh. Sell in America. Become American.

"Toyota needs to be more assertive in terms of providing consumers comfort that the immediate problem is being addressed ... and that it can deal with these crises," said Sherman Abe, a business professor at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. Like handing out anchors as a stopping aid?

It took prodding from the U.S. government for Toyota to recall the vehicles, about half of them in North America, for gas pedals that can stick and cause sudden acceleration. Wow, must have been really bad for the U.S. to recognize there was a problem.

Asked if he should have acted more quickly, Toyoda replied in hesitant English: "I will do my best." Play the language card! Great move.

Also on Friday, Safety Research and Strategies Inc. of Rehoboth, Mass., issued a report saying that Toyota and the government must look closely at vehicle electronics for a cause of sudden acceleration. Static electricity causes acceleration?

According to the report, there is evidence that Toyota and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have not identified all causes of the problem, which they have blamed on sticky accelerators and floor mats that can bend on top of gas pedals and press them down. What about obese American feet?

NHTSA earlier this week began studying whether automobile engines could be disrupted by electromagnetic interference caused by power lines or other sources. See?

Safety Research and Strategies, which has received funding for research on Toyotas from five law firms, said the report released Friday was not paid for by attorneys with interest in the Toyota problems. Of course not.

"Absent a mechanical cause, the automaker and the regulators must look more closely at the vehicle control systems, including the electronic throttle control design and the the associated sensors," the report says.

Toyota has said it investigated for electronic problems and failed to find a single case pointing that direction. The company says its systems have failsafe mechanisms. See also: Titanic

Toyoda was the second successive Toyota president to offer an apology for defects in the company's cars. The first, Katsuaki Watanabe, shocked a news conference in 2006, bowing low to the group before promising to improve quality. Which worked fabulously.

Toyoda bowed as he greeted reporters, but not in apology. See my first thought.

He told the hastily called news conference that the company had not decided what to do about problems in the braking system of the Prius gas-electric hybrid. The high-mileage, low-pollution car is a leader in its field and a symbol of Toyota technology. --Gone wrong.

Toyoda and Shinichi Sasaki, who oversees quality control, offered no new explanations for the braking problem. The old ones were working so well.

Prius drivers in Japan and the U.S. have complained of a short delay before the brakes kick in -- a flaw Toyota says can be fixed with a software programming change. The lag occurs as the car is switching between brakes for the gas engine and the electric motor -- a process that is key to the hybrid's increased mileage. Minor nuisance. Unless that's your kid on the bike.

Toyota spokesman Mike Michels said Friday the company continues to weigh options on how to handle repair of the problem, and it is communicating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Due to anticipated traffic congestion around dealerships?

Among the options are a service campaign in which Toyota would notify owners to bring their cars in for repairs, or a full-fledged safety recall. Michels said he could not say when Toyota would make a decision. Takes as long as a Toyota to stop.

The automaker said it fixed the programming glitch in Prius models that went on sale since last month, but has done nothing on 270,000 Prius cars sold last year in Japan and the U.S. Sure they did.

The lack of action has raised questions about whether there is a bigger problem. From people like me, of course.

Sasaki denied any cover up. HAAAAAAAA!

"We have nothing to hide. We have just been investigating," he said. If by investigating, you mean hiding our accounts off-shore.

Sasaki said complaints were climbing by the day. The company was checking into them, one by one, and test-driving customer's cars that had developed problems, he said. And convincing the customers they are crazy, like any good dealership garage.

But he appeared to view the problem as minor, occurring only at slow speeds. Define 'slow'.

"We don't see it as critical because if you push on it a bit, then the car will stop," he said of the brake pedal. If you say so.

Jeff Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University in Tokyo, said Toyota may be trying to avoid the large costs involved with a recall. The automaker has already said repairs for the gas pedal recall and lost sales will cost it $2 billion. Wakizashi would be cheaper.

"Toyota is saying ... there is no real problem yet also announced they fixed the problem as of January," he said. "Odd, given that there is no problem to fix." It's that language thing again.

There is also high level government concern in Japan about Toyota's quality fiasco. From who, the president of Hello Kitty?

Transport Minister Seiji Maehara, who oversees auto regulation, has urged Toyota to consider a recall for the brake problem. But it needs to be a very cute recall.

In the past, the world's No. 1 automaker has moved quickly to address problems and the handling of its most recent problems has experts puzzled. Like I said, Americanization...

"There's a sharp contrast with previous times in terms of handling these kinds of situations," said Koji Endo, managing director of Advanced Research Japan. "I really don't know why -- if it was the change in management or if the PR office was responsible or what." Out drinking Saki and congratulating themselves on not being Chrysler?

Some experts speculated a degree of arrogance or corporate insularity may have clouded the company's judgment this time around. All those Enron employees had to go somewhere...

"Toyota is the top of the totem pole," said Kenneth Grossberg, a marketing professor at Waseda University in Tokyo. "They don't have to learn from anyone else." See also: GM

Grossberg noted that Japanese companies "have a problem with rapid decision making." Duh.

"Until they get everyone to sign on, it takes forever," said Grossberg, who has spent 16 years in Japan, including several years as a Citibank executive. Uh oh.

Toyoda said the company was cooperating with the U.S. investigation into the Prius problems and moving as quickly as it could to repair the gas pedals on a wide-range of models. Right after lunch.

The NHTSA's safety database includes several hundred complaints from 2010 Prius drivers. Most of the reports, which date back to May 2009, detail problems with brakes that are slow to respond or sudden lurches of acceleration when the vehicle goes over potholes or other rough spots in the road.

"This is asking for accidents to happen and something must be done to fix this problem," wrote one driver, who described four cases of loss of braking power and acceleration on bumps. All the complaints in the database are anonymous. And equally ignored.

Sasaki told the news conference he was grateful that LaHood had pressed Toyota to go ahead quickly with the gas pedal recalls in the U.S.

"It would have become even harder to win back the trust of customers, and the damage to the Toyota brand would have been greater," Sasaki said solemnly. "It was hard but in hindsight I am grateful to Mr. LaHood."

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tanks For Nothing

SHARON, Wis. – Residents in some of McHenry County’s northwest towns might have been surprised to see a tank rolling down the road Sunday.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Department had been called to assist with a 12-hour standoff in Sharon, Wis., said Capt. Dana Nigbor of the Walworth County Sheriff’s Department.

The incident that began as a domestic dispute Saturday when Eugene J. Lehman, 46, had burned his wife’s clothes in the yard and fired several shots, Walworth County Sheriff David Graves said.

Lehman’s wife and children, an adult and a teenager, were able to escape. Police were dispatched about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, and the standoff ended about midnight Monday.

Lehman had shot himself in the abdomen, Graves said. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Oh, doesn't this article just raise more questions than it answers? A tank? For a domestic dispute? Excuse me? Was this Jack Bauer we were holding at bay? I think not.

Have you seen the town of Sharon, WI? Don't blink. The 'downtown' consists of an ice cream shop and an insurance agency. There are no traffic lights, but do use caution when crossing the railroad tracks, as there are no gates.

A tank? Was the F-16 busy? Is twelve hours some magic number: Time to Call the Tank?

Did the suspect demand to see a tank before surrender? One guy with a gun, and we need heavy artillery? Wouldn't it have been hysterical if he saw the tank, threw down his puny gun, and made the 'one second' gesture with a finger in the air and ran in the house... only to return with an RPG?

I can see summoning a tank for a riot. Civil unrest. A parade. But one nut with a weapon? Isn't that tear-gas territory? This happened in January, or I'd have suspected there were year-end Tank Budget dollars they had to spend or lose.

Oh, wait! This explains it. The Sheriff is up for reelection. "Tough on Tanks" must be his stance. Or "Tank Talk on Crime". Perhaps a special delivery Tankagram?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Suspect

...The same people who run my health club are secretly running the country.

On the wall of the machine room is taped an invoice showing the shiny new rowing machine in corner cost an ungodly $1228. Excuse me? Is this supposed to make me feel good? My membership dues at work? Wow, look at that investment! Isn't that shiny! I feel healthier already! Whew! Sure glad they didn't spend, oh, say a $1.39 for a bottle of bleach and disinfect any of the existing equipment. Rip out any creepy carpeting and put in tile. Sanitize and paint the lockers. Heck, no, that's just crazy talk. Sparkly new equipment, that's what I'm here for, buddy.

Except... I've been going to this club over a year. I saw the old rowing machine. Dirty. Old. Unattractive. UNUSED. Gathering dust. UNUSED. Neglected. UNUSED.

So let me guess. Some genius decided, hey, let's buy some new equipment. What is the one thing no one is using? The rowing machine? What a great idea! We'll buy a rowing machine because the only reason no one is using that one is because it's so sad. As soon as we put a new one in, there will be a line three deep waiting for it!

Let me tell you, the only reason the line is three deep to use the rowing machine is because all the ellipticals and treadmills have "Out of Order" signs on them! Buying an 8-track tape player is not going to get all the kids to dump their iPods, idiots.

Oh, wait, people want to work on their rowing skills for the Cardboard Cup Regatta? A guy named Noah called with a stern warning about what a few warm days could do to the mountains of snow blocking their parking spaces out front?

Don't get me started on the price! For that, it should come with an Evinrude. Better yet, pick up the paper or go to Craigslist - by February first about ten thousand workout-Christmas gifts should be up for sale cheap.

Really find it hard to believe the suggestion box was stuffed with "Oh, please, a new rowing machine!!!" More like, "Oh, please, a towel I can't see through!"

Did a world-famous rowing athlete bestow a grant or leave money in her will for this windfall? I surfed around to try and find some, and let me tell you, they are household names! I'm surprised Michael Jordan didn't join a crew during his (wink, wink) retirement period from basketball. Yep, that's where the glory is - keeping a small boat from sinking.

Now that my health club executive committee has solved the little speed bump of what to do with twelve hundred dollars, I'm sure they can go right on to ...

health care!!