Friday, July 28, 2006

Insanity Rules The Day and I have proof!

If you've ever gotten to the end of a week and wondered "what just happened?" You are not alone.

I am just about spun out.

For the past two weeks we have watched the Middle East melt down into what can only be a considered a prelude to WW4 (WW3 is currently underway for those not paying attention.)

The fact that sane people are discussing a cease-fire with a terrorist group is just stupid. The group calling themselves Hezbollah is not an officially recognized part of the Lebanese govt - yet they have been allowed to attack Israel... They have been allowed to set up camp in Lebanon and fire at will or kidnap Israeli soldiers. All funded by Iran and Syria. What a shocker. Two rogue nationals who have vowed to wipe the Jews off the planet are financing the terrorist group attacking Israel.

But all of that serious talk means nothing when you realize that a website exists dedicated to cats that look like Hitler.

That's the site. Cats that look like Adolf Hitler! The page has over 200 cat photos on it!

Here is the one they believe to be the most Hitler-like kitty.

I give up.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More shocking news than I can stand.

The papers and news sites are all atwitter over the big stories of the day.

America is fat.


America is so fat, half of us cannot fit on the X-Ray machines designed to show us what's gone wrong with our bodies because we are so damn fat.

If I could, I would bet the fat farm on what will happen next. Some obese person will die and their family will sue a hospital for not having equipment large enough to X-Ray the deceased... And if doctors had been able to see what people on the International Space Station can see, this life may or may not have been saved. We're too big!

Instead of making the national weight issue important, we're going to make everything bigger. Bigger clothes, bigger cars, bigger everything.

The really sad reality is that we're going to need bigger caskets - lots of them.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday's Thought... sent to me.

show up

tell the truth

pay attention

do your best

don’t be attached to the outcome.

Great Advice.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Yes, I copped a plea! But I witnessed something amazing.

Over a month ago I was stopped while driving in the sleepy town of Riverhead, NY on Long Island. This East Coast Mayberry is in a prime location... close to the heralded Hamptons and the Long Island Wine Country while also being home to some of the best outlet shopping this side of QVC.

And of course the NY State Trooper was wrong.

I did not roll through a stop sign... He missed it... I know this because my bride was sitting next to me and I never roll through a stop sign when she's in the car (or any other time for that fact). My 14 years of clean driving aside, I was convinced that I had a case and made time to defend myself in Riverhead Town court on 7/20. Everything changed once I arrived. My actual court date was not 7-20, but the ADA agreed to see me after they dispensed with the cases already on the docket.

I had accidentally arrived in Riverhead Town Court on a day when they were holding Drug Court. So in order to expedite my situation, I needed to sit through drug court before dealing with my traffic ticket. The Assistant District Attorney met with me in the hallway and offered me a plea deal. If I would admit guilt, the offense would be reduced from a moving violation (WHICH I DID NOT COMMIT) to a "broken tail light". The town collects $185.00 and my record is without any moving violations! Everybody wins, right? Yes... but that's not what this story is about.

As I sat in the back of the courthouse, I witnessed what must be happening in courthouses all over America. People (mostly young people) were appearing before judges to deal with myriad charges related to their drug problems. Some were caught driving without a license, others had more serious offenses... but the most interesting part of all of this was the relationship between the "criminals", the court house employees, the police and most importantly the Judge.

Never in my life would I have expected to witness proceedings like this.

The Judge knew each and every defendant. He knew the ones that needed emotional support and those who might be better off with tough love. I recall him looking a 19yr old man in the eyes and asking him, "Am I going to read about you dying in a snow drift six months from now?" The same Judge made every effort to inspire a young mother (whose drug and alcohol problem made her appear much older than her actual age) to stay on the path of sobriety that would soon reunite her with the 3 yr old daughter who "no doubt misses her mommy."

Judge Smith gave each case the customized attention not seen in the most expensive restaurants in Manhattan... He made a special effort to show compassion, wisdom and fairness to each defendant. And when it came right down to it, he brought a smile to the faces of almost each and every one of the people who stood before him. That's important. He made them feel like people - not just bodies in a system that supports itself by routinely processing bodies through it's turnstiles. That just may be the most important gift he could give to each one of these folks. Confidence, belief, hope, and possibly a second, third or fourth chance.

And so to the men and women of the Riverhead Drug Court - I salute you. I thank you... The Bailiff, Asst District Attorney, Probation Officers, Court Officers and you Judge Smith. You choked me up, and made me realize just how fortunate I am. And how fortunate we are to have Civil Servants working tirelessly on behalf of all of us, but most importantly on behalf of the people who need you most - those troubled souls who find themselves in drug court, battling a demon 97% of us will never have to face.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

You Could Indict A Ham Sandwich or Barry Bonds

Wednesday and I am full of topics and short on time. (No shock here.)

Happy Birthday to my youngest brother, Christopher John. You still have much to accomplish and all the skills to do it, with your eyes closed. I wish I had 1/10th of your natural computer skills.

Barry Bonds, the baseball player who has eclipsed Babe Ruth's home run record and is closing in on Hank Aaron's total, is reportedly facing an indictment any minute now. Barry Bonds who has defied the conventional wisdom and continued to be productive long after his peers have seen their careers on the wane, could be indicted tomorrow or the next day. Barry Bonds, a man at the center of baseball's steroid controversy, but also a man who has declined to answer even one question about his association with alleged questionable substances and the characters who distribute them. Barry Bonds is supposedly facing an indictment for tax evasion!

Tax Evasion! Let us all remember that Chicago organized crime boss Al Capone (a man who listed his occupation as "furniture salesman") was arrested and convicted, NOT for his crimes against the people of Chicago... but for tax evasion!

The news today was peppered with stories of American citizens being "rescued" from Lebanon. I do feel for the people who are caught in the cross-fire of this war, or flare-up, or whatever one is calling it... but I do NOT understand why anyone would travel to this region for vacation! Even Arkansas would be a better option.

President Bush vetoed a bill today. His first veto since taking office almost six years ago. That is a story unto itself.

Why he vetoed the stem cell bill is a very personal issue for him. I am happy to see a President who sticks to what he believes, but I wish he believed just a little more in science and pushed for advancing medicine over a partisan political agenda meant to stoke the fires of the upcoming mid-term elections.

I miss the musings of Hunter S. Thompson.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Today we were "treated" to some very interesting statements from two of our media mega-stars.

First from OPRAH WINFREY - finally some answers about the inordinate amount of time she spends with galpal, Gayle King - you know - the one with the matching car... Gayle King, the woman who hosted "The Gayle King Show" in 1997 (produced by Oprah), Gayle King an editor of O, the Oprah Magazine, the one who seems to show up on EVERY PROJECT OPRAH DOES...

But you are smart enough to decide for yourself.

From the new Oprah's magazine...

"I understand why people think we're gay," Gayle says. "There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it - how can you be this close without it being sexual?"

In the article, Winfrey and King talk about their 30 years together and the "four-times-a-day phone calls." The two friends say they would have no problem telling the public if they were in a sexual relationship. "The truth is, if we were gay, we would tell you, because there's nothing wrong with being gay," says King.

(Right, we all see what coming out of the closet did to boost Rosie O'Donnell's daytime career.)

Oprah has her own theory on their lives together. "Something about this relationship feels otherworldly to me, like it was designed by a power and a hand greater than my own. Whatever this friendship is, it's been a very fun ride."

I wonder what Steadman thinks about this "fun ride."

And then there's Katie Couric.

Just a few months ago CBS opened the vault and is paying her a BAZILLION dollars to host the CBS Evening News (still languishing in last place among the networks... Back in June, when it was announced that she would be making 15 million a year to read a few news stories every night at 6:30... Katie told us she "hopes to end 'pretentious era' in news" --- Say that with a straight face as you cash the 15 million dollar paycheck!

With less than 50 shopping days until Katie takes over the news anchor spot we are finally learning what she has planned for us. Katie wants to address complaints that the news was "too depressing" by perhaps taking a "more solution-oriented" approach to stories when possible.

Apparently Ms. Couric is being paid so much that she's going present the evening news as well as interpret it for us.

Anyone else starting miss Dan Rather?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Saturday Night, any one for a little levity?

Those who know me are aware that I have an older brother who happens to be a colo-rectal surgeon. He WAS a thoracic surgeon before he decided to switch specializations and move from the chest cavity to the - - - well, the end of the line, as it were.

As you might expect, I did corner him and ask, "WHY WHY WHY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOULD ANYONE MOVE OUT OF THIS NICE NEIGHBORHOOD INTO THAT ONE???" His answer made complete sense. He stared calmly into my eyes and said, "There are 5000 Board Certified thoracic Surgeons in the country and there are but 500 Colo-Rectal Surgeons." BRILLIANT I thought, he's really thought this one through. He's moved from a lucrative market into a super-lucrative market, in a slightly less desirable neighborhood.

And then he finished the job by saying "Sooner or later, everyone's gotta come see me." From what I've been reading, truer words were never spoken. Since that day I have upped my fiber intake, tripled my tomato consumption and cut way back on red meats... all in the interest of avoiding any meetings with my brother outside of family gatherings. So far the plan is working.

But today I was also the recipient of a funny little piece of internet forwarding and rather than clog your inboxes with spam comedy - I am posting it here - with all apologies to my brother and his chosen profession.

Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous...

A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

1. "Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!

2. "Find Amelia Earhart yet?"

3. "Can you hear me NOW?"

4. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

5. "You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married."

6. "Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?"

7. "You put your left hand in; you take your left hand out..."

8. "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"

9. "If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!

10. "Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."

11. "You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?"

12. "I wish I could quit you." (you had to see Brokeback Mtn to get that one)

And the best one of all...

13. "Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?

Friday, July 14, 2006

100 blogs... but this one means something.

Pray for peace. Now.

The escalation of violence in the Middle East is cause for concern here and all around the globe.

When I read that 200,000 people were living in bomb shelters in Israel, I was shocked. Just the fact that BOMB SHELTERS exist for anything other than museum trips is a foreign concept for us. There should be no practical use for Bomb Shelters among civilized peoples.

This is beyond saber-rattling.

Pray for peace.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Where is my JET PACK?

It's the middle of the baseball season and my mind rewinds to the summer days of the late 60s and early 70s when my brothers and I would be treated to one of life's great experiences - going to the ballpark with our dad. In our case these games were at legendary Comisky Park in Chicago - home to the White Sox.

Until last season and their World Series win, the White Sox were one of baseball's most consistent losers. Seasons would often start with the promise of being competitive and quickly fade. While never as disappointing as the hapless Cubbies of Chicago's North Side, the "Pale Hose" rarely came close to being competitive, but that never diminished the excitement of going to the stadium and drinking in the game and every amazing experience. The richest of these was also one of the most rare - the double-header!

Before baseball became a business dominated by TV ratings and driven by multi-millionaires who make more money than the captains of Industry, there was a time when teams scheduled several double-headers in each season. These were days when a team would expect to play two games, back to back... for the same ticket holders! And when my dad would tell us that we could pick out a game to attend that summer, my brothers and I would scour the schedule for a couple of things. First we would look for a game that giveaways... like BAT DAY or CAP DAY. Not only did you get to see a game, but if you were one of the first 20,000 youngsters (14 and under) in the park - you were given a bat for free, and your picture appeared in the paper the next day. Both the Tribune and the Sun Times printed a wide shot of Comisky filled with bat-waving children. (Thanks to lawyers and a few hundred unruly fans, nowadays they hand out the bats and free baseballs as fans LEAVE the stadium.)

If we could not convince dad to take us to a giveaway game, we'd immediately look for a double-header! Imagine that - TWO GAMES in one day! Back to back! 18 innings of professional baseball --- all those chances to catch a foul ball or see a home run and witness the exploding scoreboard - a highlight of ANY visit to Comisky. A double-header also meant twice as much ballpark food! Hotdogs, Coke, popcorn, crackerjack, peanuts, frosty malts - a young man's dream buffet! Ever fiscally responsible, mom usually made sandwiches which were consumed as early as possible in hopes of establishing a need for us to eat the bad and expensive food.

Between games, as the players showered and regrouped second game, the field was home to some of the most unusual entertainment. I recall times when we were treated to expositions of dogs catching frisbees, radio controlled airplane dogfights (as the stadium P.A. played "Snoopy Vs the Red Baron"), golf legend Patti Berg hitting golf balls from home plate into center field, and my personal favorite - THE JET PACK demonstration!

For 30 minutes we watched in slack-jawed amazement as two jack-packed men flew into the stadium, landed on either side of the pitchers mound and then circled the park, just a few feet above our heads. This was the future! The announcer told us all that it was only a matter of time before we all would traveling to school or work via jet pack! My brothers and I talked about those jet packs for weeks, we spread the word at school --- "Get ready people, lose the Schwinn - ground travel is so last decade! We're headed to the skies!"

I believe the year was 1970... 36 years ago... My Schwinn is gone, and has not been replaced by a jet pack. I am however, getting to work on a computerized, automated transportation system - the New York City Subway.

Oh yeah, those double-headers are also a thing of the past...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The best joke ever - RUINED BY TERRORISM!

Once again we are reminded of the vital importance of the battle against hatred and terrorism.

Today INDIA was targeted by bombers who seek to disrupt the progress of democracy and multi-cultural. Hundreds were killed and injured. Life in Bombay is changed forever, but more importantly, my plans for today's blog were also obliterated.

You see I had this joke all loaded up and ready for today and really today only --- July 11th... or 7-11.

OK, OK... here it is... fresh from Delaware Senator Joe Biden's handy guide to offensive humor.

"What time is it in India?"

"7-11, on the dot"

Stop laughing... you've got people to call and tell this joke.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Birthdays for someone else... really.

For the past few months I've been fascinated with the birthday rituals we all maintain. If (and when) I am made Emperor these rituals will change or be completely eliminated.

I'm guessing the whole concept was "born" centuries back when it was actually an accomplishment for a child to reach it's first year of life. That alone would be cause for a celebration. The advances of medicine, sanitation and nutrition have made the infant mortality rate a miniscule fraction of what it was back-in-the-day. Sadly the celebrations did not shrink in proportion. Instead they seem to have gone quite the other direction, to the point of absurdity.

Children's birthday parties are a multi-billion dollar industry. And teen birthday parties are so out of control that MTV has created a reality series to chronicle the obscene spending - it's called "My Super Sweet 16" and if you ever want to see the end of civilization as we know it - find this show and watch with jaw-dropping shock.

So, in the interest of saving the world, I offer my solution to the birthday party problem; Everyone - you, me, your cute-as-hell nephew gets to celebrate our birthdays with parties and gifts and bad singing at Japanese steak houses for the first 10 years of your life and any year you make it past 70.

The other years, if someone wants to do something to celebrate your Nativity - how about they make a donation to a charity in your honor? Buy a bunch of toys for Toys for Tots, feed the hungry, send a phone card to a soldier SOMETHING positive.

Of course the people at CHUCKIE CHEESE and HALLMARK and SPENCER'S GIFTS will be gunning for me - but that's the price you pay when you are Emperor.

And to my niece and nephew who are celebrating their 21st birthdays in two days... I have good news and bad news. The good news is - you can now legally drink in all 50 states. The bad news, you can now legally drink in all 50 states. Happy Birthday kids - sorry about killing your party. See ya when you hit 70!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Stupid Boys and the Polish Twins!

Don't get your brain all bunched-up when you read the title - just a couple of news items that tickled me this week.

#1 - Women are kicking men in the brain department. Current statistics say that for every 100 women graduating from college in America, there are only 73 men doing the same. That kind of gap will ultimately hurt men and hurt America. There are some of you screaming "It's about time!" or "Finally women are getting ahead!" But let's not lose sight of the entire equality issue. Neither sex is better than the other --- AND our young men are vital to our world. Keep them educated and all of our futures are brighter.

A sidebar to that stat also says that 1 out of 4 children of college educated parents cannot read a newspaper and understand it.

Let's push reading something besides the Playstation manual.

Identical Twins Running Poland???

The wires are burning with this story...
"The country on Saturday faces the prospect of having identical twin brothers simultaneously hold the posts of prime minister and president, in what would perhaps be the most striking feature of the country's ever-chaotic political scene.

President Lech Kaczynski, who took office in December after winning the October election, would swear in his twin Jaroslaw — chairman of the socially conservative governing Law and Justice party — as the head of a new Cabinet if he wins confirmation in parliament."

Other than the slew of Polish jokes about to bubble from every comedy club in the EU and here in America... Let's see what happens and then we start writing the screenplay.

Happy Saturday.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Who's afraid of North Korea? South Korea! Duh.

This is the flag of North Korea... kinda looks like a Texaco flag doesn't it?

And who is their "Dear Leader?" This guy...

So this Goober has a nuke... and rockets big enough to hit California. Any questions?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I'm not obsessed with this, I just don't understand why it's happening. The state of New Jersey needs money - so they close down two of the most profitable enterprises - the Lottery and the Casinos?

If I need more money, I don't stop working - I stop spending.

Last week, Gov Corzine closed the non-essential state offices... including the very profitable NJ State Lottery. No lottery sales has had a ripple effect on the private sector. The Gov's smooth move of closing the lottery has cost the states convenience store operators millions in lost sales!

What to do? Call the lawmakers back to work on a holiday and make a very public issue of this problem.

After working on the 4th of July with no tangible results - Gov Corzine came up with another brilliant decision - shut down the casinos in Atlantic City! Keep in mind that the casinos are private businesses that are licensed by the state and as a condition of that license, the state has monitors who work in each facility - no monitors means that the casinos must close. When the casinos close, the hotels which serve and support them are also in trouble.

The state needs to either stop spending so much money or collect more revenue. What I don't understand is the logic of closing businesses that are essentially cash machines. No matter, the Gov has his plan and he's sticking to it. In fact, both sides appear to be dug in for a very long battle.

What I want to know is... where are the NJ celebs in all of this? If California has a vote on providing day care for the children of blue-eyed, left-handed parents whose names end in a vowel and half of Hollywood shows up to "save the day." But the entire state of New Jersey closes down and I wonder where her favorite sons are??? Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis, Danny DeVito, and Zach Braff - where are you?

Perhaps they are working a Native American casino in Connecticut, you know - the kind of operation that puts no money into the state coffers.

Monday, July 03, 2006

American Democracy - 230 yrs Young!

It's the eve of our nation's birthday. Waaaaaaaaay back in 1776, on July 4th, in a sweaty and steamy hall in Philadelphia, the bravest of the brave stepped up and put their names on the Declaration of Independence. America went from colony to a breakaway republic! Think about it.

The second paragraph of this amazing document is worth re-reading.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


At the time the British Empire spanned the globe and was only growing more powerful. Yet this group of 13 colonies dared to say... wait a minute, we need to be in control of our own destiny - and while we're at it - we have a few ideas on how to run a country. The Declaration of Independence was born... which begat the American Constitution.

And fast forward a couple hundred years to where we are today. If you haven't looked into the Declaration or Independence or the US Constitution since your High School days... well, you might want to dive in there and see what all the fuss is about. Genius, pure genius that continues to astound the best legal minds of our times.

So who were these men? We all know John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and John Adams... but what about the others? As a tribute to all of the signers, I list there names and the colonies they represented.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:

New Hampshire - Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts -John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island - Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut - Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York - William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey - Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania - Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware - Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland - Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia - George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina - William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina - Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia - Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Jersey - Closed.

This story may not have much effect on your life - but it does. The state of New Jersey is shutting down. Newly Gov. John Corzine says the state is out of money and so he's decided to close it down.

I applaud the Gov's decision. For once a politician is doing what you and I have to do when we run out of money - PUT DOWN THE CREDIT CARDS AND STOP SPENDING!

Granted, he did try to raise taxes before shutting everything down - but that didn't work. (Enough with the taxes, please. Stop spending!) So the state of NJ is closed for the moment.

Of course the state will provide basic services and people should not worry about anarchy in the streets... but the place is closed.

Nobody will really feel the pain until Wednesday when the state has told the casinos that they will not be allowed to open. The DMV is closed, as are the state courts and the NJ Lottery... on Wednesday they will close state parks and monuments.

I do feel badly for the 45,000 state employees who will be sitting at home waiting on the green light to return, but really... what if we closed it permanently? NJ "the garden state" would be cut up and split off between it's neighbors. NY, CT, and PA could pick up a little extra real estate!

Gov Corzine would also be forced out of office, but I'm guessing he'd like to be Senator Corzine again... this whole Gov thing is a little more work than he expected. So Gov... how about a "NJ Going Out Of Business Sale?"