Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Not to be ungrateful, Time Warner, but....

You know, I don't like to complain, and I'm happy Time Warner Cable of NYC has added more High Def channels to their lineup - but some of the new channels: ehh.

I was certainly happy to see CNN HD among the additions (although the thought of Larry King in HD is a bit frightening) but Hallmark Movie Channel, The Food Network, HGTV?

Why not Sci Fi or BBC America so I can nerdily watch "Dr. Who" and "Torchwood" in HD?

How do they figure which ones to add?

Not to mention, I see HGTV seems to do a lot of that stretch-o-vision thing that TBS HD does to fill the 16:9 screen. Not really HD. Not cool.

Time Warner is promising 100 HD channels by the end of the year. We will see.

Because Verizon is wiring my building for FIOS, even as I type, and I believe they recently got approval to offer it in Manhattan.

I'm not too thrilled with their cell phone division lately, but I have to admit, that FIOS looks mighty tasty.

Fake outrage

The right-wingers and the holy rollers - usually the same group of righteous people - really love to get "outraged' don't they? Of course, it's fake bullshit outrage.

The controversy being ginned up over Barack Obama's former preacher is simply ridiculous. Of course, did anyone seriously think that the GOP sleaze machine would not be kicking into high gear against whoever the Democratic nominee eventually is? They have had plenty of practice at sliming the Clintons over the last decade or so, and Obama is a new target for them, but this is child's play compared to what we will see if he does indeed become the nominee. He better get ready because these creeps will try to strip the bark from him.

And, by the way - although Jerimiah Wright's comment about the government introducing AIDS into the black community is silly, what he said about 9/11 being blowback for our actions in the Middle East isn't exactly a news flash. Of course it was. Is that even in doubt by anyone?

And then, on a lighter but just as ridiculous note, there's Hannah Montana-gate. Can someone explain to me what the hell all the fuss is about over those Vanity Fair photos of Miley Cyrus?

Maybe I have seen too many naughty pictures in my day, but, seriously, why is everyone so exercised over them? She's draped in a sheet and - gasp - her shoulder is bare. Oh nooooooo. Fancast has backstage pictures of the photo shoot - quick, look!

Have any of these apparently outraged parents and Fox News commentators been to an American mall lately? Have they seen how 15-year-old girls dress just walking down the street? They show more skin on their My Space pages.

But it gives the media a good excuse to run the pictures over and over and over again. It lets the cable news blowhards titillate their slackjawed audience and express outrage - and show the pictures over and over and over again.

What a silly, puritanical country this is sometimes.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Historic day: First Voyager picture on Too Saucy

Even on a gray, drizzly day, Central Park is hard to beat.

Yes, this is the guy you want on the case

"Bush to address Americans' financial fears"

Because, you know, he's done such a good job with everything he's tackled so far.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hey Verizon - can you hear me now?

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc reported on Monday a higher quarterly profit on stronger-than-expected growth in wireless subscribers, showing resilience in the face of a U.S. economic slowdown.

"Wireless was the star," said Craig Moffett, analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Those bastards?

First, a bit of consumer advice. Stay away, repeat, STAY AWAY from the Verizon store on E. 86th Street.


Listen to this one, and get a cup of coffee - or something stronger if you can get away with it – it's a doozy.

As noted previously, I recently got a new phone. My contract was up, my New Every Two had kicked in, and it was time to get rid of the beloved Motorola Q, which had seen better days.

I had been looking at the LG Voyager, and went into the 86th Street store to get it. A salesman slithered (and I use the word deliberately) up to me, and I told him what I was wanting, but he immediately started pitching me a BlackBerry Pearl.

As I was listening to him, I actually thought, “Wow, an honest salesguy.” He pointed out the BB cost a lot less than the Voyager, he would make less of a commission, and he said it would be best for my needs.

And I know the BlackBerry is obviously famous for how well it handles emails, so I decided to go for it instead.

(Of course, I should have realized that this was the third Verizon salesman who had done a hard sell on the BB in the last several weeks I had been stopping into the store to play with various phones in preparation for the purchase. They must have been told to move them. Hmm, is the BlackBerry company faltering?)

I digress.

As he was processing the purchase and activating the phone, he's putting boxes into the shopping bag and my head is spinning - he's throwing out all the different price and data plans available and I had to choose one, I'm worried about making sure all my contacts get transferred over to the new phone – and worst of all – the damn receipt Verizon gives you is longer than the fucking Magna Carta. It's literally about three feet long, and has all the details of your pricing plan, the features on the phone, insurance, contract end date, etc. Oy.

So when I get home, I discover that Mr. Honest, in addition to selling me the phone, had also sold me a carrying case, headphones and charger – none of which I had asked for.

Then, when I open the BB box, inside is – of course – a carrying case, headphones and a charger.


$59.57 worth of items I didn't want or need.

So next day I bring them back to return them, and as I walk in there's the snake oil salesman right by the door. His face dropped when he saw me carrying that see-through Verizon bag and asks if something is wrong with the phone. I tell him the phone is working, but he had sold me this shit that I clearly didn't need or ask for.

Direct quote: “Oh, I thought you wanted a complete package.”

Complete package? As I pointed out to him, he had sold me a complete package – and then three unnecessary items on top of it.

No comeback for that.

So I go to customer service and tell the surly girl there what was up, and I wanted to return these items and get a refund on my credit card. She clearly could care less about the shady sales practice, but she takes the items and begins to process a refund. And of course this is a whole production in itself that takes some time. And as I'm standing there, I suddenly see on the four-foot long receipt a $20 “line initialization” fee I hadn't noticed before.

I ask her what that is and she shrugs and says it's a new fee they had just started charging, it had come from corporate and they couldn't do anything about it. Well, now I'm fuming – not happy with having to deal with the returned items, not to mention I have been with Verizon for years and had never seen this fee before. So I ask her nicely can she get rid of that too, but she goes into robot mode: “Nothing I can do about it”

So I ask, very nicely, if I can speak with the manager.

“I'm telling you, we can't remove it, our system can't even process a removal of that fee.”

“Ok, well, I'd like to have the manager tell me that.”

So she sighs and goes storming off to find him, comes back after a few minutes and says, and I quote, “The manager has agreed to see you, he'll be a few minutes.”

He's agreed to see me? How fucking magnanimous of him.

So after a few minutes, this officious little twerp comes over and I go through the kvetch about this fee, prefacing it by pointing out his salesman's shady practice of selling me unnecessary goods. He apologizes for that, but gives me the same answer that the girl had – out of their hands, a new fee, yadda yadda. Then he throws out this classic:

“All the other carriers are doing it. We're just staying competitive.”

Me: “Competitive? If you wanted to be competitive, you WOULDN'T charge it. Not charging it would be competitive. What you're doing is being as greedy as them. That's a more honest way of saying it than saying you're being competitive.”

Manager: Nothing I can do.”


So as I'm leaving, I throw out this bon mot: “And if all the other carriers jumped off the Empire State Building, would Verizon jump off the Empire State Building.” But he just stared blankly. I guess his mother had never said that to him if he was caught doing something wrong and justified it by saying his friends were doing it too.

Ok, now I've got steam coming out of my ears, so I call the Verizon customer service number. And, I have to say, these people are usually pretty helpful and competent and try to resolve your problem. It's always better dealing with them that the retail stores.

So I complain about this strange fee I had never seen before – and, for good measure, of course, tell him about the shady sales practice with the unnecessary items that had been sold to me. (Trust me, Verizon will rue the day that happened. I will be kvetching about that every time I have to deal with them.)

He apologizes profusely over that and says he will refund the 20 bucks, and while he can't take it off my credit card as he doesn't deal with them, he can instead give me a $20 credit on my phone bill. Perfect.

Now the kicker of this saga: after all this, I wasn't thrilled with the Blackberry. I lived with it for a few days but just didn't like the keyboard or the browser, so I decide to take advantage of their 30-day trial period, return the phone, and get the Voyager I had been eying all along.

I go back to the store (did I mention - BOYCOTT the 86th Street store!) and go to customer service, where I tell the girl, a nice one this time, what was up and that I wanted to exchange the BB for the Voyager. Fine, no problem. She brings out a beautiful new Voyager, starts the activation and the address book transfer, goes through the plans, I get the $15 a month V-Pak unlimited data plan. Another 5-foot long receipt. Ugh.

Just horrible, horrendous people.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Captcha this

I've been having to log on a bunch of different web sites recently, register with them, give them an email address and password, comment on them. It's time consuming - and one of the most annoying aspects is dealing with the captcha.

Those are those weird letters and numbers that many sites use where you have to type in manually what is in a box in the registration process to prove you're not a robot program that will deluge them with spam.

I understand why they do it, but, jeez, those things are ridiculously hard to read. The characters are blurry and wavy, they often have lines through them, half the time you can't tell if it's a "1" or an "l" or a "q" or a "g" and you end up having to try it about four times before it finally generates a captcha that you can actually read.

Can't they make them actual words instead of random characters, so at least you have a slight chance of figuring out what they are?

Is this what the Weimar Republic felt like?

The two biggest U.S. warehouse retail chains are limiting how much rice customers can buy because of what Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, called yesterday "recent supply and demand trends."

Sam's Club followed moves by Costco Wholesale, based in Seattle, which in some stores limited bulk rice purchases.
- Washington Post

Food rationing? Oy.

Seven years ago George W. Bush inherited from Bill Clinton the strongest economy this country had ever seen, stock market soaring, inflation and unemployment way down, and every segment of society - including minorities and the very poor who usually get left behind - finally starting to make gains in their income.

Since Boy George took over, we've lost an American city, we're mired in an endless unnecessary debacle of a war, gas is approaching four bucks a gallon - and they are rationing rice at Sam's Club.

Heckuva job, Bushie.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Voyager has landed

I just got back from the Verizon store where I traded in the Blackberry I got last week - I hated that phone - for a beautiful LG Voyager.

It cost more than the BB - but so much nicer.

Actually, I'm still not sure how much it cost. Your head starts spinning when these sales people get through explaining it, and the receipt you get from Verizon is longer than a baby's arm.

But as far as I can tell, with the rebate and the new every two credit and the corporate discount, it ended up costing me $166. The data plan is only 15 bucks a month though, which is much better than I was paying with my old beloved Motorola Q.

What is this old-fashioned vote counting thing?

What was more annoying Tuesday - the media covering the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, or Laura Bush prancing around my town hosting The Today Show in the morning and speaking at the 92nd Street Y in the evening - just after we had to deal with the Pope's traffic nonsense around here over the weekend?

Close call, but I have to go with the media.

Their clear hatred of Hillary Clinton is pretty astounding to witness. It wasn't enough that she won the most votes - you know that old-fashioned way we used to have in this country for deciding elections. No, she had to win decisively.

Oh, she only won by 10 points - well, she should drop out now.


Listen, come November, I will gladly pull the lever for Barack Obama if he is the candidate - as looks more and more likely. But until the nomination is finally decided by Democratic primary voters and not the Chris Matthews of the world, I wish they would all just shut the hell up and report the results and not try to drive the story line.

It's almost as much fun as the time when George W. Bush lost the presidency by 600,000 votes...but somehow Al Gore was the one who had to concede.

Those media folks - they really have their eyes on the ball, don't they?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And Tootie from "Facts of Life" is testifying before the Foreign Relations Commitee next week

"A major Hollywood union and actress Justine Bateman are urging Congress to ensure the Internet remains an alternative force for consumer choice in the face of dramatic media consolidation."
- TV Week

Well, as long as Mallory is on the case, I'm sure this bodes well.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Restoring honor and dignity to the White House one leggy model at a time

He's already thrown the U.S. economy into the crapper - I guess he might as well try to win some of it back.

Fancast: "Tonight's 2-hour Deal Or No Deal will feature President Bush."


Comparing (Civil) War stories

John McCain is conducting a "listening tour" as he attempts to give us 4 more years of the Bush debacle - never-ending war, a collapsing economy, gas prices skyrocketing, home values plummeting.

Oh yes, that's just what America wants.

The best part of this picture, is when a candidate appears at a senior citizen home, he's usually the youngest one in the room.

Not with this codger on the ticket though.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mother fucker

What the fuck? I tune in CBS at 8 to watch Big Brother, one of the few shows I actually watch on network TV these days, and Ch. 2 in New York (I don't think it was on the network) pre-empts it to show the Pope's departure from New York. With Dick Fucking Cheney and his fugly wife, no less, introducing him.

They must have been flooded with complaints, because when I called the main CBS line (212) 975-4321 to voice my, er, displeasure with this, no-one answered. It rang a few times, then it stopped, and then....nothing. Not even a tape.

Luckily, I had some secret CBS numbers to call. Not that my complaint will mean anything to them. But still, how dare they stop taking complaints from viewers. Incredibly frustrating, incredibly counter-productive.

You know, it's bad enough having to miss a favorite show for the Pope, but for the epitome of dark evil, Cheney, and his skank of a wife, Lynn, well, it's just way too much.

This news "event" could be seen on every goddamn cable news network, not to mention locally on NY1 - but some reason, WCBS felt they also had to show the same pool feed.

And the broadcast outlets wonder why they are losing viewers?

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I'm not sure what annoys me more about the Pope's visit: the whole worship of organized religion thing - or all my tax money that is being spent to protect this guy.

The amount of NYPD manpower and equipment around here the last few days is crazy. There are trucks that look like tanks, there are choppers flying overhead, there are uniforms and squad cars on every block for a half mile radius. It has to be running into the millions of dollars. I sure hope the church is kicking in some of that money they don't pay in real estate taxes to help defray the costs.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Russian judges give her a 9.8

Here, when our politicians fool around, they go for interns and call girls and, um, guys in airport bathrooms.

In Russia, they are big sports fans.

Vladamir Putin is apparently boinking Alina Kabaeva, a 24-year-old model/actress/former gymnast. I can't imagine what he sees in her when he has a perfectly fine Russian babushka waiting at home for him.

Oh, wait.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


What a traffic nightmare it's going to be around here on Friday. The Pope is in town and is going to be at a church six blocks from my house and they are already setting up the NYPD crowd barriers around that block.

Meanwhile, "Gossip Girl" is, as always, filming not too far from here.

Hmm, now which one of these people would I rather see?

Oh yeah, real tough call.

On the positive, Schaller & Weber, the German butcher that's been on Second Ave. for something like 100 years, ever since this area used to be called Germantown (I think it was dissolved by the city council when First Avenue invaded the French neighborhood in midtown in the 1930s) is welcoming the Pope to the 'hood with a special Popewurst - so that might be worth checking out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

And what about sushi?

IF there’s butter and white wine in your refrigerator and Fig Newtons in the cookie jar, you’re likely to vote for Hillary Clinton. Prefer olive oil, Bear Naked granola and a latte to go? You probably like Barack Obama, too.

And if you’re leaning toward John McCain, it’s all about kicking back with a bourbon and a stuffed crust pizza while you watch the Democrats fight it out next week in Pennsylvania.

If what we eat says a lot about who we are, it also says something about how we might vote.
- NY Times

Interesting article in The Times today called "What’s for Dinner? The Pollster Wants to Know" which proclaims that political scientists can often predict who you are likely to vote for by what kind of food and drink you like.

All very good in theory - but I like things from all the categories. I have butter and white wine in my fridge, which means I like Hillary. But I also prefer olive oil, which makes me an Obama man. But I also like bourbon (hello, Jack) which puts me in the McCain camp - and you know that ain't going to happen.

I guess either I'm confused politically or I'm a glutton.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I don't like it

I finally decided to be adult, broke down and got a Blackberry.

Ehhh, I am not particularly thrilled with it.

I don't like the keyboard, I don't like the Web browser.

I got so used to my beloved Motorola Q - as I've mentioned on Too Saucy previously, I love that phone - but it's two years old now and it was time for an upgrade.

I actually got a very good deal on the Blackberry Pearl, with my New Every Two rebate from Verizon, and the sale price, and a corporate deal still in effect from my last job (haha) I got the damn thing for a decent price - with a free second regular cell phone on top of it!

Not to mention, the new data plan with this costs less than I have been spending with the Q.

But I'm not especially liking it.

I know it takes some time to get used to a new phone. They give you 30 days to try it out, so I'm going to give it another week or so, and then, if no change, I'm going with the LG Voyager.

It actually will cost much more money to buy than the Blackberry, but, you know, it looks so good. And I think I will like the keyboard and Web action better.


McCain "Family Recipes" Lifted from the Food Network

This past Sunday, Lauren Handel, an eagle-eyed attorney from New York, was searching for a specific recipe from Giada DeLaurentis, a chef on the Food Network. Yet whenever she Googled the different ingredients in the recipe, the oddest thing happened: not only did the Food Network's site come up, as expected, but so did John McCain's campaign site.

On a section of McCain's site called "Cindy's Recipes," you can find seven recipes attributed to Cindy McCain, each with the heading "McCain Family Recipe." Ms. Handel quickly realized that some of the "McCain Family Recipes," were in fact, word-for-word copies of recipes on the Food Network site.

At least three of the "McCain Family Recipes" appear to be lifted directly from the Food Network, while at least one is a Rachael Ray recipe with minor changes.
- Huffington Post

They can't even tell the truth about their damn family recipes!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The magic elixir

Wow, I was in a testy mood Monday night and needed something relaxing - a nice Armenian brandy did the trick. You didn't know Armenia made brandy, did you? Me neither until recently. It's called Ararat, very tasty. (Their web site is a trip - the lead model looks like he's in the Russian mafia.)

Anyway, there were shenanigans going on around me, and, most chilling, the realization that I have been suckered by my friend Sarah into yet again watching one of the most insipid shows on the air, "The Bachelor."

This season it's really boring. No drama, no caring about any of the girls. There was a little mini-catfight Monday night, but nothing too exciting.

And I also realized yet again, I can't stand the guy who hosts the show, Chris Harrison. Ugh. What a smarmy little freak.

He does this really irritating thing when it gets to the end of the show and the bachelor has to send some of the gals packing in the "rose ceremony." Monday, six women, four roses, two go home. So the bachelor, a too-good-to-be-true English guy this season, starts giving the roses to the ones he wants to stay. Then, when there are two girls left and only one rose, Harrison comes out from wherever he has been skulking and says, "Ladies, this is the final rose" - and walks out again.

Jeezus, thanks for that news flash, Wolf Blitzer.

But the show has committed the ultimate sin this year - no great looking women in the herd. Usually there is at least a bit of fun eye candy in it, but not this time. Not one girl who would really draw a second look walking down the street in New York. Well, maybe Ashlee. But she's gone.

For shame, ABC, for shame.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Am I in Kansas?

Slave to trends that I am, I joined Facebook some time ago but never really paid any attention to it, or even used it, honestly, until a month or so ago when a former co-worker joined and started rounding up other former co-workers and i started looking at it more often.

Today I was looking at an application on it which tells you what the five top books in your local area are. (And I'm not even sure what that means, by the way - best selling, most read? It doesn't really explain.)

Anyway, listed for New York:

1. Harry Potter
2. Catcher in the Rye
3. The Great Gatsby
4. To Kill a Mockingbird
5. The Bible


Did I wake up in a middle school library circa 1964? (except for Harry, of course - and why is that number 1 in NY effen City?)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Did I ever mention how cute Tina Fey is?

You know, I've been sick with a nasty spring cold the last few days - feverish, coughing, stuffy nose, aching muscles - thank god for my new Sony Playstation 3 and my hi-def TV and my latest addiction, Fancast, to keep me occupied.

Even with the several hundred channels supplied by Time Warner - Crime Warner as some call it on the bulletin board I occasionally pop into where we bitch about their HD offerings - it's easy to get bored midday when there is absolutely nothing to be found on TV.

So Fancast is letting me watch the second season of "30 Rock." I can't believe I never originally watched this show as it's airing on NBC.

Full-length episodes are here and Tina Fey is really adorable in it, although she is married and has a kid, which, you know, drops her about 30 points. Luckily, her sense of humor and those nerdy but sexy glasses save her.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I have a man cold

Hey, it's the guy from "Shaun of the Dead." And that's how I feel today.

Monday, April 07, 2008


Three minutes of kitty joy - you can actually hear the little guy purr the entire time.

The family values party at work

This fascinating list details some of the crimes of a multitude of Republican officials.

It's by no means all of them, but already has about 275 in its hall of shame. They are broken down alphabetically by name, or, for bonus fun, you can click on the crime category at the side, featuring such favorites as fraud, embezzlement, lewd conduct...and five pages of pedophiles.

That's right, sixty of them - repeat sixty! - are pedophiles.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hubba hubba

In Touch got a hold of modeling pictures Angelina Jolie took when she was 16.


Can you imagine having that in your 11th grade homeroom?

There's also a couple of videos up.

She really hasn't changed much over the years and she's probably twice that age now. I guess those vials of blood she used to wear around her neck actually worked.

Who are these people?

81% in Poll Say Nation Is on the Wrong Track

Americans are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than at any time since the New York Times/CBS News poll began asking about the subject in the early 1990s, according to the latest poll.

In the poll, 81 percent of respondents said they believed “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track,” up from 69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2002.

Although the public mood has been darkening since the early days of the war in Iraq, it has taken a new turn for the worse in the last few months, as the economy has seemed to slip into recession. There is now nearly a national consensus that the country faces significant problems.
- NY Times

I don't think it's surprising that so many people are unhappy with the job George Bush has been doing - but who are the 19% who apparently feel ok about things?

That's about 60 million people.

I know some husky right-wing malcontents out there who love Boy George, but how on earth can there be so many of them?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

She's still cute

I just saw this funny clip on, it's very cute.

Lindsay Lohan and TMZ (my favorite celebrity newsmag) both poking fun at themselves, she admitting to her wackiness, and TMZ (which likes to torture celebs like her) their obsession over every little minute detail of their lives.

At least she apparently has a good sense of humor at the absurdity of her life.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Spring is officially here

I just got back from my first jaunt of the season to Central Park. What a great, crisp NY Spring day for it.

I love that park. If I ever move out of NYC that is what I might miss most. Well, that and dinner at York Grill. And the midnight to 4 am happy hour at a certain Upper East Side bar which I will not publicize. The last time I was there, the bouncer harassed my friend Sarah for her ID - even though we've been there about 10 times already. He was just being a dick.

I tried to tell her it was a compliment she was getting carded.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What is in the water down there?

Those Brazilian women drive me crazy - they are so hot it's not even funny. It's like a nation of Victoria Secret's models.

This is my latest infatuation, Adriana Lima.

Even in plain old jeans and a little belly shirt she's stunning.

How come I never see girls like this prancing around the Upper East Side?

Worse than the DMV

I just got back from Staple's as I had to get replacement ink for my printer. What a nightmare.

It's worse than the Motor Vehicles Dept. with one of those long, snaking lines, the cashiers don't want to be there so they are surly - and it's about 70 degrees and humid in the city today but they didn't have the AC up very high, so it was miserably uncomfortable.

I had stopped in at Best Buy right next door first to check their prices, and each box of ink I had to get (color and black) was about $3 more than Staple's prices. But they have them out there on the shelves, you just pick what you need and go to one of their 50 cashiers in the nice air conditioning. At Staple's they have the damn ink behind the cash register and you have to ask for it. It's so freakin' precious.

Let me tell you, it was a battle when I was standing in that line between my natural inclination to get a bargain and my natural impatience. I was tempted to say the hell with it and just go to Best Buy - but, hey, 6 bucks is 6 bucks.

Of course, if I had been sensible, I would have ordered the ink cartridges on-line a few weeks ago when I started getting the low ink notice, and they would have been here when it finally ran out. But, you know, who really plans like that.

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