Thursday, December 2, 2010

Daily suggestion on how to have a kickass day

Tip #27 - How to have a kick ass day

"Find money walking across the parking lot of Wal-Mart"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It’s a pomegranate world whether you want it or not

Whenever I manage to find something I like, I generally stick with it and don’t feel much obligation to change. Change is only good if it’s better.

I can't begain to tell you how many of my favorite things have been discontinued just to make way for something "new and improved".

For example, I grew up in a simpler time when juice came in flavors like orange, apple or grape. There was no need for exotic stuff or weird blends.

Anything fruit flavored was based off these simple flavors and it never got more unusual than maybe raspberry or cherry.

In the 80s however, something seems to have gone awry. Someone discovered that they had these large weird green berries in the land of goofy animals and suddenly everyone on the planet was trying to figure out what they could stick kiwis in that had never had it before.

So who was the first guy to think "That looks like a fuzzy green testitcle, let's try it out" anyway?

Kiwi wasn’t really good enough by itself so you had to mix it with something else, usually bananas. I never have liked bananas so I never really like the weird mixtures of kiwi either. Kiwis are OK by themselves but to be honest, it’s just not as good as orange, apple, grape, cherry and the oh so exotic raspberry.

Apparently enough people like having kiwis mixed with other crap though that it was deemed a success. I’ve got no real beef with that except once kiwis became “de riguer” the entire product development staff at every large food conglomerate suddenly seems to have realized that they have to keep concocting weird ass tropical fruit flavors or there is really no justification for their jobs.

So, starting in the 90s legions of people with no real purpose in life started concocting all sorts of bizarre and clearly inferior mixtures of whatever oddball fruits and flowers they could find on the internet. It became like the great race to the south pole and eventually jumped the shark.

Mangos, dragonberrry, quince or whatever oddity you could find a native eating began to infiltrate the food isle. Weird flowers and spices are starting to appear. Pomegranates and some nasty tasting thing called Acai berry have risen to the top lately as the Lindsey Lohans of weirdo fruit of the day.

To be honest, pomegranates suck as food. You have to pick at them, they are full of seeds and the flavor is mediocre at best. It’s sorta like trying to unwind the rubber bands on a golf ball core just to find out there’s nothing more interesting inside than a rubber ball (of course, I’m sure golf balls aren’t made that way anymore. There’s something new and exciting now like Nike balls made out of titanium hair wound around a balled up core of Tiger Wood’s tramp’s phone numbers or something)

Gratuitus photo of Racheal Uchitel nearly naked

Problem is, there is only so much shelf space on a rack so to make room for all these weird flavors, something’s gotta go. Well, have you noticed lately how you can hardly ever find plain old orange soda or grape gum down at your local zippy mart? To hell with that, we need something new and fashionable like pomegranate mango.

I’ve had this habit of drinking wine coolers instead of soda since the 80s. They taste good and aren’t as sweet as soda and I just like em. That’s about to end though as now the only tolerable flavor left is something called “Seagrams Exotic Berry” (raspberry flavored) and even that’s getting hard to find.

Gone are lemon-lime, orange, lemonade etc. They’ve been replaced with weird stuff like “Calypso cooler” (this is bright blue colored) and “Jamaica me Happy” or “Fuzzy Navel”. Ad men suck alright. I have to confess that drinking wine coolers is a bit “frue-frie” at best but it’s downright intolerable to be drinking something that tastes weird and has a name only Richard Simmons could appreciate.

However, this is what broke the back of this old camel. I went to loot out the kids Halloween candy and boosted a Tootsie pop. The wrapper looked a bit off to me so I looked a little closer and saw this:

Come on people, - You know this isn't right!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Before YouTube there was the Xerox machine

The other day while I was sorting out and tossing old papers, I realized that I’m old enough to remember some stuff that has gone the way of the Cold War.

For example, I can still recall the putrid smell of purple mimeograph fluid (and the uncontrollable urge to sniff a fresh copy even though it smelled like puke).

Most of all, I remember what it was like to fuck off at work before email and the internet. Back when office correspondence came to you in a brown reusable envelope with a red string closure, nearly everyone below the rank of area manager had some sort of “copier joke” tacked to the wall in their work area.

These were usually tattered sheets that had been copied over and over so many times they were barely readable, covered in defects and spots like an octogenarian’s DNA.

At one point they were ubiquitous. You could travel from one business to another one on the other side of the country and there’d be the same blurry page taped to the side of a filing cabinet. I remember wondering who could have drawn the originals and exactly how old were they? Copiers date back to the late 1950s but the mimeograph was invented back in the 1870s.

While digging through my old papers, I ran across a small stash of these. Most of the ones I had inadvertently saved were just simple text with jokes like “Stress is the body’s reaction to resisting the natural urge to kick the shit out of someone who desperately deserves it” or compilations of made up corporate sounding acronyms that spelled out variations of the word “shit”.

There were two of these though that were universal. No matter whether you were in a government office or a warehouse you’d see these two taped up in all their yellowed glory to some cubicle.

The first of these was Snoopy’s work week. He starts out dancing on Sunday and progresses miserably through the week, slowly improving towards the weekend. Girls always had this one.

The only one of these more common than the “Snoopy at work” was “Never give up”. Say those words to anyone who remembers the first brick cell phone and this is what comes to mind:

Monday, September 20, 2010

He must have really liked that car

Here’s a vintage photo of unknown origin of a guy who went to extraordinary steps to save his car from a flood. I’m assuming the car did not run or he would have just driven it someplace safe.

I hope all that water didn’t loosen up the soil and cause the tree to fall over from all the weight hanging off one side of it . It would be a real bitch to do all that and come back and find your flooded car with a huge tree on top of it. Note the house on the right is completely flooded out.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

South Africa’s contribution to a more irritating world

So last night I decided to go down to “Plaza de Largartos” in El Paso to see “the grito” or the traditional cry of independence of Mexico. It was being held in El Paso this year instead of Juarez because Reyes Ferris, the mayor of Juarez (who wisely lives in El Paso) decided that it was too insecure to host the bicentennial Independence Day celebration of Mexico from Spain in Mexico and the whole thing was moved across the border into the US.

After driving around for an hour around the area cordoned off by the El Paso police (who unlike the various Mexican police are doing their jobs instead of shooting at each other) I finally parked and started walking toward the celebrations.

I knew from 4 blocks away it was going to be unpleasant. The sound wafting around the buildings was familiar and I knew immediately that the 2010 World Cup has forever changed the world into a less enjoyable place. That irritating bleat of vuvuzelas was growing louder as I got closer. Seems some enterprising soul had gathered up all the leftover red white and green horns unsold after Mexico got knocked out of the World Cup and remarketed them as holiday noisemakers.

The typical vuvuzela owner is a kid about 3-4 feet tall or 5-6 feet tall at the end of his horn, which puts the damn thing right at ear level. After about 30 minutes of being deafened by every third passing kid, I knew it was time to leave and went to Taco Tote to watch the whole thing on TV. Definitely the right decision since they weren’t selling beer downtown and the national fireworks in D. F. were stunning.

Today is the 200th year of independence of Mexico from Spain, which our local narcos celebrated by adding some red to this green and white taxi on Ave. De Technologico.

"Viva Mexico!"

Monday, August 30, 2010

1950s Fiat dealer in Vermont - Make that California

Here's a cool shot I ran across of a Fiat dealer in Vermont in the late 1950s (Note- A reader of this blog I pretty much trust states that this dealer was in California, not Vermont). The blue car in the front is a Autobiachi based off the Fiat 500. Even nicer is the Fiat Jolly in the showroom. Originally sold with wicker seats and a canvas "surrey" top these car are highly desireable today and a mint example can fetch north of $60,000 at auction.

Not bad for a Fiat 500 with roof chopped off!

"I'll take the 2 fer deal!"

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Islamic gay bar at ground zero?

So it seems in the furor that has erupted over the building of “something by Muslims” near the site of ground zero in New York , conservative blogger Greg Gutfeld has come up with his own novel response to this.

He has proposed the building of a "islamic freindly" gay bar next door. I guess the logic behind this is that Muslims find homosexuality to be an affront against Islam and would be equally offended as he is to building “a mosque” next to the former site of the World Trade Center.

Here’s his entire proposal, including the part about not serving alcohol in his bar since Muslims “don’t drink”:

However, I can’t get over some conservatives proposing opening a gay bar. This has got to be a first or at least the first time they’ve been willing to admit they consider gays more “American” or “normal” than Muslims.

I suppose there’s a master ranking of “hated people” tacked up on the walnut panelling in some smoke filled backroom of the RNC national headquarters up in the Hamptons or something.

I’m curious though, what does a conservative gay bar look like anyway?

Do you open the door and walk into a tiny room full of coats?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Little known facts – Washington really is the evil empire

Sometime back in the 1980s a contest was held for children to design grotesques for the National cathedral in Washington DC. Third place runner up was kid named Christopher Rader, who drew a picture of Darth Vader. This was accepted and immortalized in stone on the cathedral.

The statute was designed by Jay Hall Carpenter and carved by a guy named Patrick J. Plunkett and sits on a gablet on the northwest tower.

I know it sounds like something I just made up but I’m not that good. May the force be with you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

El Huerfano

There’s lots of stuff in America that people just don’t know about. Not big enough to garner national notoriety but interesting nevertheless. As a service to my fellow Americans, when I find this stuff I’ll tell you about it here.

Driving north on I-25 in southern Colorado is mostly a boring exercise spent looking at endless rolling plains with far off mountains it the distance. However near the town of Walsenburg is a curious rock formation erupting from the grassy plains.

Named “El Huerfano”, or “The Orphan” by Spanish explorers in the late 1700s, it is a volcanic cone of large blocky gaseous basalt several hundred feet high.

The butte was used as a marker by early travelers and first appears in Spanish documents in 1818. The area was incorporated as part of Mexico in 1821 and large tracts of land were granted to favored individuals and many small settlements and ranches were established near El Huerfano. Many of the towns and landmarks around it still have Spanish names. The area became part of the United States in 1848.

This drawing, based of an 1853 photograph made by Soloman Carvalho (photographer to the Col. John C. Freemont’s 5th western expedition), shows Huerfano Butte looking pretty much the same as it does today, minus the four lane highway running past it.

There’s not much in the area so the Colorado highway dept. constructed a pulloff on the side of the interstate so you can stop and view the little orphaned mountain in the middle of nowhere.

It’s located a few hundred yards off the highway on what looks like private ranchland but there’s really no one around for miles to stop you from taking a closer look. A dirt road runs beside the rock formation that you can go down to get closer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So you think your kids need a British nanny?

OK, this is a direct rip-off from the New York Daily news. I don’t claim any responsibility at all for writing this but how could I not share this. Unaltered and as reported on their website
A 30-year-old British woman's death, when using a sex toy while watching a porn movie, was probably caused by her state of arousal, officials said.

Nicola Paginton, a children's nanny, was found dead in bed - naked from the waist down - in October as the porn movie played on her laptop, according to the Daily Mail.

A pathologist and coroner said during an inquest that Paginton died from a sudden heart arrhythmia, likely caused by "her activity before death." the paper reported.

Police had been called to Paginton's home after her employer, Sarah Griffths, went to her house when she failed to show up for work. She and a neighbor saw Paginton lying on her bed with her cat sitting on her chest.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Car bomb pandemonium in Juárez

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder in Juárez the narcos ramp it up a notch. Yesterday someone ran a small car filled with explosives (said to be a Ford Focus by local news Chanel 44) into two pickups full of Federal police on the main thoroughfare in downtown. The explosion at the corner of Sieptembre 16th and Bolivia street killed two police officers and a medical technician. The blast also injured seven more officers (these guys ride standing up in the bed of the pickups) and two bystanders.

According to Channel 44, the attack was in retaliation for the arrest of an member of the “La Linea” drug cartel. Channel 44 reports that this individual was responsible for collecting protection & extortion money for the police (exactly what group of police wasn’t made clear). They also report that each person reporting to “35” had to bring in $16,000 pesos (about $1500) each month!

Later in the day, this “narcomanta” appeared painted on a nearby wall (messages are usually left at the scene of murders and public placement of torture victims to communicate to the rival cartel). It says; "What happened on 16 (de Septiembre avenue) will keep happening to all the authorities who keep supporting El Chapo. Sincerely - the Juarez cartel. We still have car bombs."

As if the residents of Juarez didn’t have enough crap to worry about, now they must add car bombs & IEDs to the list. I guess narcos go to see “The Hurt Locker” too.

Update 3:34 PM:
After investigating the crime scene, athuorities have determined that about 22 pounds of C4 explosive was detonated with a cel phone from nearby. Borrowing a page straight out of the Al Queida terrorism handbook, the narco dressed up a body in a stolen police uniform and called the police to report a victim first. Once the police showed up to investigate the bomb was detonated. This shows a fairly sophisticated plan of attack using techniques developed by insurgents in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. One only has to wonder how and from whom they learned these techniques.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mexican slang lesson of the day – “Cuernos”

Mexicans have an expression when you cheat on your spouse. They say that you are giving them “Cuernos” or horns.

Now think back to your childhood and when you were watching Bugs Bunny on Saturday morning and he would humiliate Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam and they’d sprout an ox head to show what a fool they had become.

Yea, like that only you’ve been given the horns by your mate. Another common slang word in Mexico is “Guey”, which is a bull or oxen and pretty much means your share the IQ of the animal, which is how your spouse managed to give you the cuernos in the first place.

This make me wonder who was involved in deciding who would win the “Troops Choice award for Entertainer for entertainer of the year” at Spike TV’s Guys Choice awards.

Sandra Bullock graciously accepts the Troops Choice award for Entertainer for Entertainer of the year (Hey George, are you gonna tell her?)

Seen at a BP station recently

Well, you didn't thing BP would accept responsibility did you?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It’s always 12:00

When I first entered college one of the guys down the hall brought a VCR with him. His parents owned a video store and he got one of the old rental units with him. This was early on in the technology and it was a pretty amazing thing to have in the dorm room.

People seem to have forgotten how much “shock and awe” some of the early consumer electronics had when this stuff first came out. I was so amazed by this thing that I had to have one. At the time the hottest thing was being able to freeze the picture and advance the movie one frame at a time. Advancing a frame at a time was a valuable feature for drunken college students to settle arguments or catch a peek at a nipple or two.

I saved money all summer to be able to buy a 4 head Sony VHS machine that could freeze picture without a static line on the screen (a technological breakthrough at the time) and that would advance 1 frame, 5 frames or 16 frames at the time. This was a state of the art hot rod machine at the time and set me back $400 in the mid 80s. It had all sorts of tracking control and tape speed adjustments that towards the end of VCRs were completely eliminated.

This machine was incredibly well built and I got about 10 years of service out of it. I can’t think of any consumer electronics around today that have that sort of longevity to them.

This VCR carried me through college, enduring hundreds of showings of Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, Pink Floyd The Wall and the original Terminator movie. Back then it was a bit more of an event to rent a flick and watch is as opposed to today’s ability to watch movies on your phone or anywhere with a few clicks.

Plus, I miss the soft greenish blue flashes of light from the machine that always thinks it’s midnight.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Blog reboot - with a promise

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote anything here and it’s about time I started back up. After witnessing BP’s massive clusterfuck in the Gulf of Mexico, I realized that the world needs my guidance.

So stay tuned for more articles about weird vehicles, bad advertising and other enlightening information about stuff you never knew about before.

Now for the promise. After my last article in which I defended Jesse James for behaving like a guy I got a lot (well for this site it was a lot) of feedback about sticking to other topics. Therefore and henceforth I halfheartedly promise not to write about celebrities and who or what they are doing. I still feel that the world lacks enough Perez Hilton, TMZ, Radar Online and US magazine but I’ll try to stick to stuff I know more about like old cars and hit men.

Next up: tales from the past, volcanoes and a review of human powered cargo trucks.

Post Scriptum 6/8/10 - Well it was a half hearted promise and who could resist that one?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Vote for me or I’ll bust yo’ fool haid!

I was pretty astounded this morning to read in the WSJ that Lawrence Tureaud, who is otherwise know as “Mr T”, has announced his bid for Republican Party candidate in the 2012 Presidential election. Mr T is famous for playing B.A. Barracks on the original “A-Team” TV show, an iconic cultural gem from American television. The interview, which I suspect must be some sort of comeback bid for it's bizarreness, was conducted in the parking lot of a Chicago Tastee-Freeze. He was quoted as saying “Barack Obama is sissy-boy! I can give him a beat down with one hand!”. When asked about his apparent lack of political experience, his response was “I ain’t no worse than Bush fool!”

He also stated that his decision to run as a Republican had something to do with not being a “granola eatin’ wimp”.

During the interview Mr. T seemed to be quite at ease and answered most of the questions directly, except for how comfortable he thought he’d be riding on Air Force One. It’s quite possible that he may have misunderstood this question as his answer was “I ain’t gittin on no plane.”

Whether or not he’d make a good president, I would have to probably side with him that he “ain’t no worse than Bush. Good luck Mr. Tureaud and I will be looking forward to seeing a primer black and red van in the presidential motorcade.

“Check the date fool!”

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Character assassination of Jesse James by the cowards of Twitter

The bullshit dealings of the average people thrust into the Hollywood spotlight are not my usual subject here but thescandal de jourthis week is just too hard for me to ignore. Hard for me to ignore mostly because it involves two of the people I most like to watch on TV.

Everyone loves a good tale of woe with a villain and a damsel in distress. What better actors than the tattooed bad biker dude Jesse James andAmerica’s sweetheartSandra Bullock?

Toss in a bevy of the trashiest looking strippers you’ve ever seen and that’s enough to keep Perez Hilton and TMZ occupied for weeks.

Like a mad mob of tea baggers waving flags and threatening children, a flock of what I assume is mostly women have taken to the internet to voice the fact that they have tried Jesse James in their minds and have found him guilty.

Google has this odd little updating headline that appears mid page that scrolls blog updates and tweets in real time as they are posted. It’s utterly amazing to me to watch as one internet toughgirl after another posts foul mouth recommendations to Sandra Bullock about how she should dump her husband and/or remove select body parts. All of the accusations by the Rachel Uchitel wannabees appear to have been taken as gospel by these tweeting twits without any reasonable examination of alternative realities.

As a sometime skeptic, I have to look at the alleged scumbaggery and ask a few obvious questions. Well, obvious to a person who’s only seen one or two episodes of Oprah in his life.

I have however, read many of the issues ofGaragemagazine so that qualifies me to ponder this.

Let’s take alleged skank #1, MichelleBombshellMcGee. This is the professional stripper/tattoo fetish model who initiated this whole thing by selling her story to In Touch magazine for a reported (by TMZ of course) $30,000. According to this woman, James had an 11 month affair with her on the couch of his motorcycle shop. A motorcycle shop that thanks to the Discovery Channel is quite a tourist attraction. I guess that couch comes with one of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloaks.
According to her story, she went there looking for work as a model for the magazine. That part of the story is certainly believable as each month some curvaceous chick is sprawled across a car or bike in the centerfold section of the magazine. I’m sure a lot of the tweeting twits would find this distasteful enough to call James a pig but it’s a pretty longstanding way to sell car magazines and as smart and cunning as he may be (Donald Trump’s words, not mine), he did not think of this.

So I thought she probably went down there and maybe something happened as I read the story. Jesse James himself seemed to lead an air of truth to the story as he quickly issued a public apology. Bad dog!

As the story unfolded, skank #2 chimed in. This would be his ex wife Jamie Lindemuller, a stripper/pornstar who’s known to pretty much hate the guy (ever wonder how it feels to walk into a party and when the chit chat turns to careers you saypornstar?-I do).

She had plenty to say, including stuff like he had phonesex with her, she wasn’t surprised as he’s a “chronic cheater” (you watch, this will develop into a syndrome to be treated by self proclaimed healers likehoarding disorder”) and that he tried to get her to cheat on Sandra with him.

Uh, maybe she’s just wanting to get even I thought to myself and then I envisioned a grand scheme where she sent skank #1 over to the shop to seduce him so she can bring his world down.

Then suddenly (but not surprisingly) skank #3 appears out of the woodwork. This chick seems to be the least credible of the whole group. A tattooed blond stripper who’s got a rap sheet a mile long and claims she slept with him too.

I don’t know about most people, but I just have problems believing stories by people who to beat up the cops trying to arrest them when they get busted. Also, as she’s making this accusation, sheis defending herself in court for blowing a .18 on the breathalyzer. Holy shades of Animal House Batman, that’s a serious bender!!! US magazine obviously has high standard for it's sources.

Another minor point that makes me question her is that she’s pretty ugly. Like his look or not, Jesse James has proven he can bag the best looking women around (from pornstars to cutest actresses, ask any guy to make a list of girls he’s like to be with and it’s going to include a few pornstars and Sandra Bullock). World class philanders have standards too people.

Next, as if in a race to grab the headlines, a photographer who, while not completely skanky looking, appeart to be cut from the same cloth chimes in too. This one however, unlike the others who seem to be claiming they were are all with him at the same time, says she only had sex four times and it wasn’t any good.

Hmm, just enough to get the website of her photography and modeling business splashed all over the web. I don’t think that’s a bad plan for getting free celebrity endorsements for a small business do you?

Lastly skank #5, a lawyer from the Tiger Wood’s debacle smells a wounded fish and mucks up yet another chick (aka: skank #6) claiming to have had therapy on the West Coast Choppers couch. No monetary gain there is there.

Now back to the twittering hoard. “Loserseems to be the word of choice they paste on James as they bash out 140 well chosen characters on their iphones. I got news for you, a quick Google search shows that Sandra Bullock is worth about $85 million dollars and Jesse is worth anywhere from $35 to $100 million. I believe it, every truck on the road has a WCC sticker on it. Funny way to define loser ladies. As many of you pointed out, I'm sure he was glomming onto Sandra Bullock for the money.

OK cel phone nation, let me ask you a simple question. “What’s six inches long, has a bald head, and drives strippers crazy?”

Give up? Of course you do. You are all women and don’t get what motivates strippers. I’m a member of that pig gender known as “menand will help you out here.

The answer is a hundred dollar bill. See ladies of twitter, strippers (and the one lone lawyer) do what they do because the love money more than anything else.

Now look at Jesse James, a tattooed biker. It’s a well established fact that bikers like to hang out in places where strippers are. Who’s gonna believe a biker when a stripper’s talking?

Did he do it? I don’t know, maybe. But my big question is why are all the women of the world so quick to believe the word of four strippers and a lawyer? Esp. when there’s $35 million dollars in $100 bills at stake?

PS: I’m pretty sure Sandra Bullock knew he was a biker when she married him. Let her sort it out.