Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Remind me again why they are mocked?

PARIS - The French already enjoy a 35-hour work week and generous vacation. Now the health minister wants to look into whether workers should be allowed to sleep on the job.

(snip)

Why not a nap at work? It can't be a taboo subject," Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said Monday. He called for further studies and said he would promote on-the-job naps if they prove useful."


And, like most of Western Europe, the French also enjoy universal health care and six to eight weeks of vacation a year. But, you know, the rightwingers here mock them and call them names because of their antipathy toward Bush and his war.

In fact, they should be laughing at us for our 50 hour work weeks, two or threee lousy weeks of vacation a year, and a helter-skelter health care system where one serious uninsured illness can wipe out a middle class family's savings.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What a trashy, low-class stunt

"The city of Miami is planning an official celebration at the Orange Bowl whenever Cuban president Fidel Castro dies.

Discussions by a committee appointed earlier this month by the city commission to plan the event have even covered issues such as a theme to be printed on T-shirts, what musicians would perform, the cost and how long the celebration would last."

- AP

We all know Fidel Castro is a tyrant and blah blah, but there's something unseemly and childish and just tacky about an American government entity planning an official "celebration" over a man's death.

But those Cuban immigrants in Florida are intolerant zealots who basically control South Florida politics, have Republican presidential candidates kow-towing to them every four years, and almost caused riots in the streets when the Clinton administration - rightly - returned 8-year-old Elian Gonzalez to his father. This sorry spectacle is another way for Florida to grovel before their political sway.

If the Florida Cubans want to celebrate and have parties and honk their horns and set off fireworks when Fidel shuffles off this mortal coil, fine, more power to them. But taxpayer money should not be paying for it, and a municipality should not be organizing it.

Monday, January 29, 2007

This is just too sweet


The White House has a new pastry chef. According to the Times, the chef, William Yosses, has previously worked at Paul Newman's restaurant in Westport, CT, and at Tavern on the Green here in the city.

For some reason, the paper doesn't note that he also co-authored the book, "Desserts for Dummies."

Luckily the Wall Street Journal does.

Sometimes it's just too easy.

Sublime mysteries of the universe #173

What is the deal with the price of soda? Why does it fluctuate so much?

My four go-to sodas, I always have them stocked up in my fridge, are Coke (or Pepsi), 7-Up (or Sprite), Ginger Ale, and Seltzer (Seagram's, Schweppes, or Canada Dry).

I get the 2-liter bottles of each. But one week a particular brand in the supermarket will sell for 99 cents – although sometimes you can get them for 89 cents - oh those are good weeks! Then the next week it's $1.49.

How can they jump up and down in price so dramatically so often? If milk suddenly had a 50 cent increase one week, people would be marching in the streets.

It doesn't matter if it's Key Food or C-Town or Food Emporium, the prices are always changing like crazy.

At least you never really have to pay more than 99 cents, because one of them is always on sale, but there's obviously a price collusion thing going on - one week it's the Coke brands on sale, the next week it's Pepsi. It never seems to happen in the same week. My cynical mind imagines shady shenanigans going on in these evil soda cartels, which are apparently just as devious as the oil bastards.

(And don't even get me started on the price of cans of soda. I used to work in an office where there was a soda machine which sold 12-ounce cans for 85 cents - almost as much as a 2-liter bottle. Bastards).

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Christian nuts strike again

The right-wing Christian fundamentalists have struck again, and, once more, a local school board is cowering before them, subjecting the reality-based community to their bullshit.

According to The Washington Post:

“Frosty E. Hardiman is neither impressed nor surprised that "An Inconvenient Truth," the global-warming movie narrated by former vice president Al Gore, received an Oscar nomination this week for best documentary.

"Liberal left is all over Hollywood," he grumbled a few hours after the nomination was announced.

Hardiman, a parent of seven here in the southern suburbs of Seattle, has himself roiled the global-warming waters. It happened early this month when he learned that one of his daughters would be watching "An Inconvenient Truth" in her seventh-grade science class.

"No you will not teach or show that propagandist Al Gore video to my child, blaming our nation -- the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet -- for global warming," Hardiman wrote in an e-mail to the Federal Way School Board. The 43-year-old computer consultant is an evangelical Christian who says he believes that a warming planet is "one of the signs" of Jesus Christ's imminent return for Judgment Day.”


Ok, first, this clown's name is Frosty? Second, he has seven kids? Third, why do local communities continue to let these numb nuts dictate teaching in the classrooms? The Post goes on to report:

“His angry e-mail (along with complaints from a few other parents) stopped the film from being shown to Hardiman's daughter.

The teacher in that science class, Kay Walls, says that after Hardiman's e-mail she was told by her principal that she would receive a disciplinary letter for not following school board rules that require her to seek written permission to present "controversial" materials in class.”


Wonderful. So we have a teacher who showed a respected and well-researched documentary about global warming, a doctrine that no serious person in the scientific community denies – hell, even George Bush noted it in his SOTU – being punished to appease a religious nut who has burdened the world with SEVEN fucking kids, who will no doubt grow up to be as bigoted, close-minded and ignorant as Frosty himself. (I assume that's a nickname, but, ya know dude, when you're a 43-year-old computer consultant, it might be time to lose the wacky nickname.)

This whole thing is like when the fundamentalists were able to get the teaching of evolution either banned from classrooms in Kansas, or at least have the theory of “intelligent design” – basically a form of creationism – taught alongside, as if they were equal.

You know, I really don't care if these freaks believe angels in the sky watch down on us, and man was created in god's image and the earth was created in seven days just 3,000 years ago. But don't try to impose your fairy tales on the rest of us through taxpayer-funded public schools. If you want to believe all the religious shit, fine, indoctrinate your brats in a fucking religious school.

Even better, why don't you just team up with the fundamentalist Muslims who also hate modern life and all its sins, and go live with them in some paradise on earth in the middle east and leave the rest of us the fuck alone. I somehow get the feeling Frosty and al Sadr would get along just fine.

Assholes.

(Yes, this story really made me angry, in case you didn't notice.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yet more words he can't pronounce






We all know by now that George W. Bush couldn't say the word nuclear if his life depended on it (it comes out new-kew-lur).

But the SOTU speech showed he apparently also has trouble with:

Insurance (IN-surance in Bushspeak).

Terrorist (terrah-ist).

Peninsula (penishula).

Vehicular (vee-hick-alur).

It's always sort of funny to hear him mangle his words, but it's actually quite sad that the President of the United States can't speak the English language.

Oh, and the most unintentionally funny line of the night, given the results of the November elections: “Whoever you voted for, you did not vote for failure.”

Quick, someone alert Rick Santorum's voters.

Second funniest line: "Our economy is on the move."

Sure is. Tech jobs to Bangalore and manufacturing to San Pablo.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

SOTU alternative

If you're home tonight and despair of watching the State of the Union address (unless you want to play the Bush drinking game and get pleasantly sloshed, of course) the ABC Family channel is airing the film "Big Fat Liar."

Just a coinky dink, I'm sure.

Random food and TV thoughts #27


My friend Sarah is taking cooking classes these days and wanted to show off her tandoori chicken, if you know what I mean, so she came over to Chez JBK Monday night to make it here, since she basically has a crappy kitchen while I have my beautifully renovated gleaming stainless steel workplace.

Let me first say it was magnifique. I supplied the alkie and went with an amusing little Riesling - I'm getting so good at pairing the appropriate wine with the appropriate food, if I do say so – as well as a six of Red Stripe Jamaican beer. Kudos to the chef and bartender.

She went heavy on the spices, so after dinner, waiting for the flames to die out, we tried to find something on the 1,994 channels Time Warner supplies. This includes every movie channel known to man, with their various multiple feeds and their On-Demands, and yet still couldn't find a goddamn thing that looked good that one of us hadn't already seen.

So we ended up going to the pay-per-view On Demand section and settled – and I do mean settled – on "The Wicker Man." It's a Nicholas Cage remake of an old British thriller. Ok, people, if you take one thing away from my Too Saucy ramblings, besides instructions on how to vote, take this away: do not, repeat, do not under any circumstances watch this movie. It was two hours of my life and $3.95 that I will never get back. Oy. Bad.

After the movie, as I grumbled about how Sarah had talked me into it because “Nicholas Cage is such a good actor,” I was flipping around and noticed that one of the movie stations was showing "Sliver."

Again.

I don't get it. This movie seems to be on continually. I'm not exaggerating - it seems to air at least once a week on at least one of the movie stations. Last month, I actually saw it was airing on Showtime Two and Encore Mystery almost simultaneously.

What the hell is up with that? Why is this film – a so-so, B-level mystery movie from 1993 - always playing? Did it somehow slip into public domain? Does the producer have blackmail pictures of the heads of all the movie channels? I saw it years ago and wasn't particularly bowled over, yet it keeps coming back. It even features one of the lesser Baldwin brothers in it – ugh. Truly a mystery.

Meanwhile, we landed on "Scrubs," which I've started catching in syndication as I never actually watched it in its network run. It's not bad. That blondie who played one of the daughters on Roseanne Barr's show for a season is a regular and she's pretty cute. Even better, the episode that aired last night had guest star Amy Smart, who is so adorable it's not even funny. May I just say - grrrowwr.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Antidote for Blue Monday


Some rather alluring pix of Gisele Bundchen in French Vogue, as found by the Oyster. Alas, none topless, all with that artfully-placed arm - the little tease.

Blah

I wondered why I was feeling sort of blah today. I figured it was just the weather, gray and chilly in NY. Or else the realization that George Bush will be on just about every channel tomorrow for his State of the Union address (time to get in a bottle of Jack for the new Bush drinking game - take a shot every time he says "bipartisan.")

In fact, it turns out January 22 is officially the unhappiest day of the year. So happy Blue Monday everyone. Now leave me alone.

Friday, January 19, 2007

To think I almost deleted it

They are sneaky bastards, but you have to give those email spam scanners credit for staying on top of the news. I've noticed that the latest email scam, where they try to get you to fill out electronic forms and give them information, now says: “Claim your Apple iPhone,” the hot new electronic gadget I salivated over when it was announced recently.

Of course, the phone isn't close to being available yet, won't be for several months, and has not even been approved yet by the FCC for public use anyway - but somehow the friendly folks at “Prize Claim Center” have one just for me.

I'd love to fill out their form, but, unfortunately, I'm a little busy these days. I've recently been in communication with the former defense minister of Nigeria, who has been deposed and needs me to help him spirit $7.2 million in gold bullion out of his country by sending a $3,000 Western Union money gram to his cousin. He personally emailed me last week. I was so honored. I'm not really sure why they need my $3,000, but apparently they will be so grateful they will give me one quarter of the $7.2 mil, so, you know, I'll be sitting pretty once it all goes down.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Instant Karma's gonna get ya

"The Iraqi prime minister said statements such as Condoleezza Rice's "give morale boosts for the terrorists and push them toward making an extra effort and making them believe they have defeated the American administration," Maliki said. "But I can tell you that they have not defeated the Iraqi government."
- Washington Post

It's a nice bit of cosmic justice to see the crap usually thrown around by the Bushies - if you dare to criticize Boy George or his policies you are helping the terrorists - be thrown right back at them. And by their puppet in Baghdad, no less.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Nature is amazing




"Baby chimpanzee arrives naturally at Chimp Haven"

Mother and child are reported well.

Oh Lord, why has thou forsaken me? Again.

I almost went postal today. And, once again, it was thanks to the very bain of my existence – some numbnut who insists on using plastic to pay for a miniscule supermarket bill, and, even better, CAN'T GET IT TO WORK!

I was in a grumpy mood anyway. It's the coldest day of the year – literally freezing at 32 degrees right now – and today, of all days, natch, I had to go into midtown.

On my way home, I stopped in at Key Food for some supplies, chief among them a six of Newcastle Brown Ale on sale for $5.99 – beautiful. Those things cost that much for a pint at a bar.

But then I get stuck behind some genius who decided to pay his big $3.68 bill – I'm not exaggerating, $3.68 – with a goddamn card. And, of course, he couldn't get it to work, they always seem to have problems with their PIN or whatever, so then the cashier had to cancel it all and Einstein paid with cash.

A transaction that literally should have taken 15 seconds went on for about two minutes. And I was stuck there fuming.

Please, people, please, I'm begging all you folks who use plastic for any purchase under $20, please do your grocery shopping at, say, 7 am, way before there's any chance in hell I'm going to be in line behind you.

Thank you.

What was that noise?

"Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is proposing to cut property taxes by roughly 5 percent and eliminate the city sales tax on clothing and footwear as New York enjoys the bounty from its booming economy and real estate market, city officials said yesterday."
- NYT

No taxes on shoes? Every girl in New York just had a simultaneous orgasm.

One of the signs of the apocalypse

"NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution Tuesday confirmed that it is bringing out a fall 2007 syndicated series with Steve Wilkos, the security guard from The Jerry Springer Show. Wilkos, a former Chicago police officer, will offer advice and dole out "his version of justice" on the series, according to NBCU."
- Broadcasting & Cable

I guess this is for those for whom the Springer show is a tad too high falutin.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My cynicism alarm is ringing

There's something too strange about this case in Missouri where that youngster who was kidnapped four years ago was, thankfully, found alive, along with another boy who had been kidnapped just recently.

There were discovered at the home of the alleged kidnapper, an overweight pizza parlor worker and part-time funeral home employee (and doesn't that whole combination just shout “Welcome to Bush country!”)

The thing is, the kid who had been gone for four years (he's now 15) had apparently been free to ride his bike around the neighborhood, visit friends' houses - he'd even been seen camping in the backyard with the supposed kidnapper, and neighbors just figured it was his son.

I call shenanigans.

And, yes, I've heard the theories that it's some type of Stockholm Syndrome, where the kidnappee begins to identify with the kidnapper. Or else, that the kid was threatened with violence against him or his family if he ran away.

But, I'm sorry – we're talking about someone in his mid teens, not a 4-year-old. You're telling me if you were kidnapped and have access to a bike you're not out of there in an instant?

There's something more here.

Granted, I am the suspicious, cynical type. The most famous example being the case of Elizabeth Smart, the young Utah girl kidnapped and missing for several years, and eventually found alive. Same thing – she had apparently been walking around outside, visiting fast food restaurants, etc., not chained up in a basement somewhere.

When that case broke, I remember turning to a co-worker (it might even have been the infamous “Jan Brady” of this blog fame) and saying: “Jan, get off the phone to Vegas and listen to me. That girl didn't want to be found.”

When I saw the TV footage of her playing that damn harp, she looked miserable. I'm not saying she wanted to be kidnapped, nor this Missouri boy. But I don't know if either were so eager to be found.

Why aren't they kissing our butts?

Sunday: in his "60 Minutes" interview, Bush said: "We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude."

Today: "The United Nations said on Tuesday more than 34,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in violence last year and it chided the government for allowing the killers, some of them inside the security forces, to go unpunished."

I just can't figure out why those ungrateful bastards aren't singing Bush's praises to the heavens.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Double standard alert

The Air Force has relieved a female sergeant who posed for Playboy of her duties for not meeting its “high standards.”

Strangely, they allow the magazine to be sold in base PXs. And, of course, the armed forces turn a blind eye when military men - by the thousands - visit brothels or strip clubs every single day around the world.

By the way, I'm not saying they should start actions against the guys who go to the clubs or visit hookers. If you're old enough to be in the military and you want a little fun when you're stationed in some hell hole (Baghdad or Biloxi), why not?

But why pick on a woman because she posed for a very softcore girly mag while ignoring the other “morals” violations commited by men every day?

Hell, it's actually illegal in most places to go to a hooker; it's not against the law to pose for Playboy.

But, as usual, when the holier-than-thou moralists get their way, the hypocrisy is never far behind.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

“Mi arca una arca”

Here's a great visual demonstration of why girls should really try to stay about, ohh, 21-ish. It's really the perfect age for them, before, you know, the unforgiving “girl years effect” kicks in at around 22.

It's the “Box in a Box” spoof of the infamous “Dick in a Box” video from SNL. The girl is named Melissa and is a student at Penn (it's not her singing though). And damn, she is pretty cute.

Oh yeah, and there's some nice Bush-bashing (as in W.) in the video too, so you know it's good.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Did someone show him his new poll numbers?


George Bush apparently cried at a ceremony honoring troops killed in Iraq. Now it's being hailed as a demonstration of what a decent, compassionate guy he is.

Oh puh-lease.

First, I don't trust anything this man does anymore. I wonder how real those tears are? Phonies like him are able to turn on the waterworks at just the right moment.

Second, if the tears are genuine, I hope they are tears of shame since he's the one who sent those troops to their death in an unnecessary, unprovoked war. And maybe he was also remembering how he slithered out of real service during the Vietnam War that he was very eligible to fight in.

And another one gets added to the shit list

I have this perhaps irrational (although quite satisfying) habit of turning against someone and their work - even if I once enjoyed it - if I find out they are right-wing ideologues.

For example, I can't watch the “Airplane” movies now, even though I once thought they were quite funny, because one of the writer/producers, David Zucker, is a right-wing nut who made mocking commercials against Democrats and lavishly praised Bush and the GOP during the 2006 Congressional elections.

Probably the most famous example, of course, is Dennis Miller, a second-rate comedian whose stand-up routine, SNL stint, and talk show appearances I could tolerate for the quick verbal games he employed. Miller, however, became a particularly bizarre right-wing asshole after 9-11, and now I get totally nauseated if I see him.

And it's always been known that the head of Domino's Pizza and the chairman of Coor's Beer are both right-wing freaks, so I never buy either of their products. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I wouldn't want to anyway: the pizza tastes like cardboard and the beer like piss water, and NYC has a zillion great local pizza joints, and I love imported beer - but still, that's all just a happy coinky dink.

Well, now I find out that the CEO of eBay is a right-wing skunk too; Meg Whitman has given tons of money to conservative Republican candidates like George Allen and Mitt Romney. It's not that I have ever used her online auction service, or was even planning to at any point, but now she and her company have been added to my shit list and I will NEVER use eBay because of her obnoxious political leanings.

And you shouldn't either.

Thank you.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm going to hell

Nothing's ever good enough for me – but, hey, at least I recognize the problem.

I just got off the phone with a very nice customer service/tech person from Verizon Wireless. I had been having some trouble syncing my contacts to my PC, which I've started doing since my phone died a few months ago and I had to email everyone I knew, get their contact info once more, enter it into the phone again, blah blah. Very annoying for all involved.

Anyway, usually these reps try to get you off the line as soon as possible. I dont know if they get penalized for talking to a customer too long, or somehow get paid on a per call handled basis, but they never seem to spend very long helping you.

But this one today must have been bored or lonely. She was being so helpful, I actually got annoyed.

She wouldn't stop talking. She kept showing me new stuff I could do with the sync program, and walking me through various steps. It got so I was rolling my eyes every time she said, “Why don't we do this?”

I'm no doubt going to hell.

And speaking of my contacts, there's one on the list I have NO CLUE who it is. Just a first name and a cell number, neither of which I recognize. And I don't remember entering it in the list. I might have to do the old *67 and see if I can figure out who answers.

It was better than Penny Pints Night at Pat O'Brien's


"Some viewers, this one included, may have sensed a certain tension and anxiety in the president's facial expression, at least as he began speaking. He has never, of course, been a notable speechmaker -- and once more he said "noo-cue-lurr" instead of "nuclear" ..."
- Tom Shales, Washington Post

So if you tried the drinking game I suggested yesterday, you probably had a nice buzz going by the end of Bush's speech. Once again, W. helps us go down the road to ruin. Thank you George Bush.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Here's a good way to get buzzed


Every time Bush mispronounces the word "nuclear," take a shot of Jack.

Bush to Pentagon: Drop Dead


You know how Boy George always claims that he listens to the military as he masterminds the Iraq war? Oops - I guess that's now, as they say, inoperative.

His big speech tonight in which he will outline a "surge" of more troops in yet the latest "just one more try" desperation move in the clusterfuck that is his Iraq debacle isn't exactly being greeted with cheers by that military he claims to respect so much:

"Pentagon insiders say members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have long opposed the increase in troops and are only grudgingly going along with the plan because they have been promised that the military escalation will be matched by renewed political and economic efforts in Iraq. Gen. John P. Abizaid, the outgoing head of Central Command, said less than two months ago that adding U.S. troops was not the answer for Iraq."

But, hey, what do those fusty old generals know about warfare? During the Vietnam War, when John Kerry was dodging bullets, George W. Bush served proudly and with distinction in the Texas Air National Guard and...oh wait, that's right, he got transfered to an even cushier post in the Alabama National Guard where he... oh wait, my bad, he didn't actually complete his service there either. But, you know, he did manage to avoid killing anyone. Well, ok, except for that crack whore in Birmingham after an all-night drunk, but, come on, accidents happen.

Justice is blind...and apparently quite masochistic too


My friend Corky has been picked for jury duty.

I believe I speak for the tri-state area, maybe even the entire magnificent, inspiring history of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence itself, when I say: oy gevalt.

I asked her if the rest of the potential jury pool was somehow made up of either cops or "Growing Up Gotti" cast members, each side eliminated by the opposing lawyers, with her all that was remaining to be picked, but she claims that's not so.

She told details over drinks last night at Baker Street on 1st Ave. (where a scene from the deliciously cheesy movie “Cocktail” was filmed – they even have a pic on the wall of Tom Cruise standing behind the bar there and flipping a drink – this was before he became really wacky, of course) and it all seemed somewhat appropriate for the madness that is Corky actually holding someone's life in her hands (I just threw up in my mouth.)

You see, Corky's going to be sitting on a fairly well-covered NY murder case.

And, after a few drinks, she proudly proclaimed she's like Forrest Gump. (Actual quote.)

Now, I think she was trying to say that she inexplicably finds herself in the middle of big events - not that she's borderline simple-minded.

But with Corky who knows?

Anyway, with Corky on the jury, I'm sure the accused will no doubt have a fair trial.

You know - sort of like Saddam Hussein did.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Drool


I'm already coveting the new Apple iPhone...






“(Steve) Jobs demonstrated the iPhone's music capabilities by playing "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid," from the Beatles' "Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band," as the album's psychedelic album art graced a wide-screen monitor.

IPhone uses a patented touch-screen technology Apple is calling "multi-touch."

"We're going to use a pointing device that we're all born with," Jobs said. "It works like magic. ... It's far more accurate than any touch display ever shipped. It ignores unintended touches. It's super smart."

The phone automatically synchs your media — movies, music, photos — through Apple's iTunes Music Store. The device also synchs e-mail content, Web bookmarks and nearly any type of digital content stored on your computer.

"It's just like an iPod," Jobs said, "charge and synch."

The phones, which will operate exclusively on AT&T Inc.'s Cingular wireless network, will start shipping in June. A 4-gigabyte model will cost $499, while an 8-gigabyte iPhone will be $599, Jobs said.

IPhone is less than a half-inch thin — less than almost any phone on the market today. It comes with a 2-megapixel digital camera built into the back, as well as a slot for headphones and a SIM card.

In a demonstration Tuesday, Jobs slid his finger across the display to reveal a home screen and then scrolled through a list of songs.

To make a call, users can tap out the number on an onscreen keypad or scroll through their contacts and dial with a single touch.

Apple is also introducing what it calls "visual voicemail," so users can jump to the most important messages rather than have to listen to all of them in order.

The phone supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology and can detect location from Global Positioning System satellites. It also can send and display e-mail and text messages.”

Me likey.

Well that was annoying

Blogspot was down for several hours for scheduled maintenance today.

I hate when a free service doesn't let you use it. You can't actually threaten to stop payment.

Good news: Trump's combover looks just at weird on the West Coast as it does in NYC

Jeezus, even though I tell myself not to, I get sucked in every damn year - I ended up watching the season premiere of “The Apprentice” on Monday night. (It was actually the repurposing of the show on CNBC after the initial airing Sunday on NBC. Remember when they used to just call it a rerun?)

As usual, there was one designated scapegoat contestant who you were supposed to root against from the beginning. This time it was Martin, a stuffy lawyer, wearing the most god-awful jacket and shirt combination I've seen, by the way. He was quite pompous and apparently not a very good worker, at least in the task they were assigned. And he was the one who actually got fired too heh.

The show is set in L.A. this season, which I guess will give them more opportunities to get the gals in bikinis and skimpy clothes – in fact, next week's episode has the teams designing swim wear.

But, sadly, there were no girls on either of the teams that I really would have went out of my way to look at twice - unlike the adorable Little Stacey of a few seasons ago, who I actually saw in person just after she had lost on the show. And let me assure you, the Too Saucy reader, she was just as tiny and cute in person as she was on TV.

Well, ok, maybe Heidi - the winning project leader this week - has some potential. I'm going to keep my eye on her.

Thank you.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Just biding his time to skip out of Dodge

Details of George Bush's new "plan" for Iraq are being leaked to grease the wheel for his big primetime speech this week, and they show a man who is either a) delusional or b) a sociopath.

I choose the latter, because with reports saying he will call for a "surge" of more troops, it's pretty clear what's going on.

According to The Times: President Bush’s new Iraq policy will establish a series of goals that the Iraqi government will be expected to meet to try to ease sectarian tensions and stabilize the country politically and economically, senior administration officials said Sunday.

(snip)

As the policy is being debated in Washington, the new American operational commander in Iraq said Sunday that his plan was to send additional American troops, expected to be part of the policy change, into Baghdad’s toughest neighborhoods, and that under the new strategy it may take another “two or three years” to gain the upper hand in the war.

Despite all the (deserved) jokes about his intelligence, even Bush must know by now that Iraq is a debacle that never should have happened in the first place. But he can't admit it. So this new "plan" is designed to keep the war dragging on for a few more years until he finally can skip out of town in January 2009 and leave the whole bloody mess in the lap of his successor to clean up.

And till then, just imagine how many more hundreds of Americans will get killed and maimed for Bush's ego.

It's probably only Jersey anyway

For yet another example of how the cable "news" channels have become bottom-feeding, ratings-driven panicmeisters, just look at the reporting on that mysterious gas smell that apparently afflicted parts of midtown and lower Manhattan this morning. (Here on the fabulous Upper East Side, I smelled nothing).

I turned on the TV at about 1 pm to catch the headlines. At 1:04, the local 24-hour news channel, NY1, was already on to another story. But the three national channels, CNN, FOX and MSNBC, were still breathlessly reporting on this smell, including meaningless shots of random buildings and street scenes, maps showing the area, and reporters live in the "field."

So a station devoted exclusively to New York City news has already decided there's nothing there, but channels that supposedly serve a national audience are speculating about unlikely scenarios, with the T word thrown out for good measure, trying to scare the shit out of their audience.

Pathetic.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Derelict on duty


This is how wacky I am: I actually have the phone number for my local wine store - the wonderful Mr. Wright's - in my cell phone contacts list.

Let me hasten to add, it's only because I got tired of always having to look up the damn number when I wanted a case of wine delivered. Oy.

And there is an amusing little Shiraz heading to Chez JBK even as we talk. Let the weekend begin.

The American people are apparently terrorist-loving commies

Boy George is at just 30 percent approval in a CBS News poll, the approval of his handling of Iraq is even worse (23 percent), and the poll also shows the American people overwhelmingly approve of the new Democratic-led Congress.

But, but...I thought those of us who are against this Iraq war and dislike Bush are on the wacky far-left fringes? It's pretty crowded here on the fringe, if that's the case.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bada bing

"N.J. unidentified falling object may be meteorite"

"It came from above - and crashed down in New Jersey. A metallic, oblong object tore through the roof of a house in Freehold Township on Tuesday, mystifying the family living there and perplexing authorities, who could not immediately say where it came from."
- Daily News

The mysterious object was then immediately prompted to obtain poofy hair, press on some big fingernails, and start making requests to the All Bon Jovi weekend on Z-100.

Ayyy.

She can handcuff me any time

My bud Sarah came over Wednesday night for her first Omaha steak dinner of the new year (I'm such a good friend) and she finagled me into watching “The Sentinel” (I'm such a pushover). That's the one with Michael Douglas playing a Secret Service agent having an affair with the First Lady, an assassination plot against the President, and blah blah blah.

Can I just say the only thing more unbelievable than Kim Basinger as First Lady - although, come to think of it, I guess it's not that far-fetched, Kim's sort of hit a wall these days (girl years, they are so cruel and unforgiving) - is Eva Longoria as a Secret Service agent.




And, yes, she showed up to work as an agent in (what I was told) was an Armani suit with a very silky blouse underneath and showing some nice Eva Cleavage (TM). But come on, even though it was supposed to be only her first day on the job, she had to know Secret Service agents dress very conservatively and try to blend into the scenery, not look like the head of the accessories department at Bloomie's.

Mighty fine-looking agent though. Made you proud to be an American.

Oh well, at least we don't have to worry about a Secret Service agent being tempted by the current First Lady. (No, that's neither Photoshopped nor Jack Nicholson as The Joker.)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's lasted longer than the Megan Mullally Show

I just turned on the TV and there's yet another round of coverage of Jerry Ford's funeral. I think this is the 5th day. It started in California, moved to D.C., and is now in Michigan.

And please don't misunderstand - I liked Ford. He was one of the last of the good guy Republicans, a moderate, not a hater, not a religious freak, not a gay basher.

And, as we found out in some recent posthumously published interviews, the former president thought Bush's Iraq adventure was going to be a debacle. He was, of course, right.

But the camera just went to a shot of his widow, Betty, and she looks absolutely devastated - very frail, she's in a wheelchair, bundled up against the Michigan weather.

I don't know, maybe she actually appreciates all this, but I somehow get the feeling she would like to be able to grieve in peace and not have to go through all the pomp of so many public ceremonies.

I hope they let her alone now.

Is there anything Bush touches that isn't a disaster?

As usual, everything about this debacle of a war in Iraq is dirty – from the American president who lied us into it, to the sectarian violence our troops are now caught in the middle of. And Saddam's execution is turning out to be no exception.

In fact, like the war itself, what at first seemed reasonable to many people has been exposed for the horror it is.

The right cheered - Saddam is dead now, the dictator got tried in an Iraqi court, was found guilty, sentenced to death and executed.

But as more is revealed about the scene at the hanging - the taunting of the condemned man, the religious overtones of one sect abusing another – it's clear now that the way it was handled was a disaster which will doubtless lead to more sectarian violence in that rapidly disintegrating country.

As I asked in this prescient post from the weekend, just after that grainy cell phone video surfaced: why are we, even indirectly, involved in acts as barbarous as the fanatical thugs who kidnap and kill Westerners in the Middle East?

And, as usual, the right misses the point: "Well, Hussein did the same or worse to countless thousands of Iraqi prisoners over the years," they say.

And that's absolutely correct - but shouldn't we be much, much better than that? Why should our standard be, “Well, he did it too.”

Now the Bush-backed Iraqi government, which presided over this gruesome act, has proudly announced it has arrested a suspect in the surreptitious cam-phone taping, a guard who was among the 20 or so people in that dank little room.

But the problem is not that the scene was taped. The problem is what happened there. It was an obscene parody of a nation putting a condemned man to death. Again (and although they were dressed like them, face masks and all) these were not terrorist thugs – these were agents of the state carrying out an act of the state. And the U.S., thanks to George Bush, is backing that state and keeping that government in power.

I don't give much credence to this guard's arrest or the "investigation" the Maliki government is supposedly going to carry out about what happened there. Its agents were presiding over the execution. (There are also reports it was a government “official” and not a guard who taped the scene. Some poor schlub is going to be made a scapegoat for letting the world see what the great new Iraqi democracy does).

We invaded that country, have watched it turn into a bloody mess of a society with less electricity and clean water than before the war, countless thousands of innocent Iraqis have died, thousands are fleeing the country in fear of their lives, more people hate us, Iran has clearly been strengthened - and more than 3,000 U.S. troops have been killed so far.

And, reportedly, Bush wants to send more troops to that hellhole.

Why isn't anyone seriously talking about impeaching this fuck?

And you know, I've had my kitchen and bathroom renovated within the year

NEW YORK - The average price of a Manhattan apartment rose to more than $1.14 million in the fourth quarter of 2006, up 5 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, according to two new real estate reports.
-AP


I'm just saying.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cough

In Washington D.C., they are about to enact a smoking ban in bars, and, as usual, all the bar owners and smokers are up in arms, the owners saying it's going to kill their business, the smokers saying it infringes on their rights.

The same cry is heard just about every time a municipality comes to its senses and enacts one of these bans. When I was in Las Vegas last month, they had just passed a ban there too (exempting the damn casinos, of course) and all the alarmists were screeching.

When NYC passed its ban on smoking in bars in 2003, several years after the highly successful ban on smoking in restaurants, I heard all the clamor first hand, with some bars even trying to get their customers to sign petitions calling for a repeal of the ban.

And guess what? The sky didn't fall. Business didn't crumble in these establishments, and smokers were still able to get their fix by simply going outside when they needed to puff. (And these poor monkeys are so addicted they will do that, even when it's freezing cold or pouring rain.)

In fact, business likely increases in some of these places. Non-smokers, who would have been hesitant about going into a smokey bar, are more likely to go to one now. Meanwhile, smokers are still going to go out, they're not going to stay home, they adapt.

More importantly, the rest of us can enjoy ourselves and not go home reeking of smoke - and, of course, not having to breathe that crap.

I remember in the bad old days, pre-ban, after a night out, I would wake up the next day, and, if I hadn't taken a shower before going to bed, or sometimes even if I had, I could still smell it in my hair and on my clothes. Truly disgusting.

No mas

Although he claims he doesn't know what he wants to do next, Jeb Bush, who just ended eight years as governor of Florida, is said to be considering a run for president at some point in the future. This Times article says it won't be for the 2008 campaign, because of "Bush fatigue," but hints at possibilities down the road.

Here's some unsolicited advice for Jeb: don't even think about it.

Between the mediocrity of his father's tenure, and the absolute catastrophe that has been his brother's reign, Bush fatigue has the half-life of plutonium.

Can you even imagine another Bush in the White House at this point?

Ugh.

The thing that probably eats away at this guy is that he is clearly the smarter of the Bush brothers, and had been considered the political star of the sons. He was the one the old man expected to be president. But Boy George got the honors, and, in six years so far, has managed to poison the family name for a generation.

Maybe one day a grandchild of one of the drunken Bush twins will be able to run for president, but Jeb should forget about it and get into banking or lobbying or some other business where he can cash in on the family name.

Monday, January 01, 2007

What's wrong with this picture

Japanese TV has apologized for a New Year's Eve broadcast in which it appeared there were a bunch of topless women on stage.

"The dancers, who all appeared to be topless and wore skimpy bikini-style bottoms and feathered head-dresses, covered the stage during a performance by singer DJ OZMA, prompting about 250 viewers to phone in and complain."

They get a bevy of hot, topless Japanese girls, and we get the mealy-mouthed Carson Daly on our New Year's countdown-to-midnight broadcast. Oy.

I was at an apartment party so I didn't get to control the channel, but I was telling the hostess that a stroke-afflicted Dick Clark would still be better than that little annoyance.

President schmesident - the game better be on

I occasionally read an on-line bulletin board for and by people who have hi-def tv sets and Time Warner Cable of NYC. It's clearly not run by TW, as the abuse heaped on our local cable system makes clear, it's just one of those bulletin boards you stumble across all the time, geared to a particular interest or topic.

Now, I know a little about hi-def and the TV business, but these people are fanatical technophiles and really know their stuff.

And every once in a while, you stumble across a post that makes you chuckle and realize that everyone has their own interests and priorities in the world.

In the hi-def area, sports is a big draw, so, among the tech talk and the berating of Time Warner or the various networks and channels for their hi-def offerings, there is always chatter about the Giants or the Knicks or MSG or the Yankees, etc.

The Giants-Redskins game was to be shown on WNBC Saturday at 8 pm, but the network was in the middle of covering the funeral for former president Jerry Ford. Apparently, though, ch. 4 switched to the game as scheduled, leaving one relieved poster on the board to comment:

"wnbc made the switch at 8pm right on time.. (i was worried they'd stick with the funeral)"

We all live in our own little world sometimes.

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