People suck.

So I called a number in the Pennysaver and ordered 4 cords of firewood. The guy delivers two, I pay him for all four, and then he disappears. He doesn't answer his cell phone (which I expect to be disconnected shortly), and his voice mailbox is too full to accept any new messages. All the phone numbers I have for him turn out to be cellphones, and they're all not being answered.

Turns out, he did the same thing to my neighbor. So I'm out almost 300 bucks, and my neighbor 150. At this point, I don't know how many people he's screwed, but I'll bet it's a lot.

I was talking to my neighbor, and here's his take on it:

"Well, I'm pretty sure he's living hand to mouth. He told me he just got divorced and has two kids. I feel bad for him, so...I'm just going to let it go."

You know what? Eff that.

I might have felt sorry for him too, except this guy stole from me. He betrayed, yet again, my general faith in humanity and reinforced my reasons for hating all people universally until I get to know them. The sad thing is, I even gave the guy twenty bucks extra because he dumped the wood close to where I was going to be stacking it.

I don't understand the way my neighbor's mind works. Does he feel guilty for having what he's worked for? Could that be it? Does he think someone else is to blame for this guy's two kids and failed marriage? Did someone force the guy at knifepoint to knock up his wife?

I called the cops, explained my stupidity and gullibility. They took the report, and said they'll try to contact him. Rattle his cage a little.

In a nice way, they told me that I basically didn't have a prayer of seeing my money or my other two cords of wood, since it was a cash deal.

If he did the same thing to 50 people, that's quite a little Christmas club he's got going there.

I can tell you this: I'd like to shove a cord of wood up his ass sideways. So,it was an expensive lesson learned. Trust no one. Get the license plate and a receipt for all transactions.

Meanwhile, my car is sitting at the shop with a $400.00 invoice tacked to it. That's a nice bonus.

So don't buy firewood in Saratoga, NY or Corinth, NY from a guy named Tony Bills at (518) 696-7044 or (518) 791-3922 because he will rip you off. Let the search engines pick that one up.


On a lighter note, tonight is Halloween. We live in the boonies, and for the last ten years we've had exactly zero trick-or-treaters. If the doorbell rings at my house on Halloween, we get the guns. If we're home, we generally carve a pumpkin, have a few glasses of wine and maybe watch a scary movie.

Sarah's post about Drackila reminded me of a Halloween poem I wrote when I was 8. I share this touching and memorable poem in honor of this sacred night:


I wish I knew fankenstine. Good frends we would be.
I would take off his head and see what I could see.
And if he locked me up I would walk threw the wall.
And then I would watch the snake in the hall crawl in to the bedroom and threw the wall.

The End.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Fankenstine, 2005.

Yeah. Against my wife's wishes, I spiked his hair, and gave him some "monster" tackle. Poor guy didn't have anything at all. I think whoever slapped him together left it off by mistake. Besides, he looked like he might be needing it tonight, what with the unconscious chick and all, so I helped a brotha out.


St. Barfs

One more vacation story, and I'll be returning you back to your regularly scheduled programming, I promise. Every night around 4 or 5 pm, a big catamaran that holds about 20 or 30 people would pull up to the dock for the booze cruise. For ten bucks, you got a ninety minute cruise down the coast of the island along with all the rum punch and shots you could drink. The shots were this concoction they called "donkey" which was so named because "if you drink too much, mon, you be makin' de ass of yourself." Turns out it was just Rum, sugar and lime juice all mixed up and then chilled. It was actually pretty good after the 3rd or 4th one. The rest of the time you were constantly provided with rum punch, which, after the donkey, tasted like watered down grapefruit juice. You didn’t feel it at all. Until you tried to stand up. Alex and Horatio (the crew) did a great job. We went on this booze cruise twice -- the first time we met quite a few interesting characters. The second time, we spent most of the cruise trying to avoid those same interesting characters. Two of these characters were promptly named "mexican girl" and "loud fat guy." Yeah, our nicknames weren't very original, but they were accurate. 

Mexican girl was a new bride of two months, and was on vacation to St. Maarten without her husband. No idea what that was about. She was ok at first, then got progressively more annoying as the trip went on. She was polling people as they got off the boat, asking if anyone was "having a party." Not sure what she meant by that, but either way we didn't invite her to dinner. I never did find out what fat guy's story was. I do know that he liked to have his picture taken with the ladies -- if he could corner them. And ladies, he was quite the catch, let me tell you. Just take a look: And oh, just to sweeten the pot -- no, he didn't spill a drink on himself. That's pure man-boob cleavage sweat right there. So anyway, back to St. Bart's. My wife is not a water person. She doesn't swim very well, and she gets motion sick at the drop of a hat, so she doesn't like boats all that much. So obviously she was a little hesitant about the whole booze cruise thing, since it inherently involved both water and boats in motion. Off-setting these two things, of course, was the rum. As alcohol is wont to do, it gave her a false sense of confidence. She did fine, and was pretty happy. Since she had successfully navigated not one but two booze cruises, we all signed up for a trip to St. Bart's later in the week. An hour long cruise each way. She figured it would be a piece of cake after a pair of 90-minute cruises, especially since the boat to St. Bart’s was a lot bigger. Turns out there's a slight difference between a booze cruise that stays within spitting distance of the shoreline and the open seas the day before a hurricane passes by. The night before the cruise, we were out extremely late, for reasons I won't get into here, but suffice to say we had about 8 hours sleep -- between the five of us. The next morning at 8:15 sharp, we showed up at the dock, extremely tired and extremely hung over. It was raining, miserable, and very windy. We looked out at the bay and it didn't look too bad. That was good, because we paid fifty-five bucks each for this trip, and didn't want to waste it. They called our names, and we got loaded onto a boat which looked a lot like a shuttlecraft from Star Trek, only it was bigger and smelled more like armpits and feet. Here's a picture of it: When we got settled in our seats, the captain, an Aussie, gave us the speech -- Passports, trip time, when to be back at the boat, etc. He then introduced the two dudes who were going to be serving us drinks and taking care of us on the way over. Then he casually mentioned that we'd be traveling into the wind, and that there "might be a little bouncy-bounce." I should have remembered those damned Foster's commercials. Or even the "THIS is a knife" scene from the Crocodile Dundee movie. That should have been our cue to bolt for the dock and kiss our buck-ten goodbye. But no. None of that occured to me until later. Like I said, I was way hungover, so I was barely registering what he was saying. Plus I was keeping one eye on my wife, to make sure the boat swaying next to the dock wasn't getting to her. When the guy serving drinks asked me what I wanted, I told him water. Instead of a plastic bottle, he gave me a plastic cup full of water and ice. Then we started moving. As soon as we hit the open sea, I knew we were in trouble. When we cleared the bay, we immediately rode up the side of a twelve-foot swell, and slammed down hard. My ass did the same, and any of you who know me personally know that I don't have a lot of padding back there. Those fiberglass seats were hard. When we hit the second swell, the water and ice in my glass literally jumped out of my cup and went flying across the cabin. 

I had a seat that allowed me to look directly out the windshield of this boat, and I noticed something I didn’t want to notice. The captain looked a little scared. But he was an Aussie, goddammit, and I saw in his face that he would kill us all before he turned that boat around and admitted defeat. I watched the next wave coming and braced myself as we rode up the side of it and then dove under the next one, the water crashing over the windshield. Everyone in the boat was making sounds like you hear people make on a rollercoaster. Screams, whoops of joy, people clapping their hands. They were having a blast. There's one thing you have to remember about rollercoasters – the ride lasts, on average, about 1-3 minutes. Needless to say, after 30 minutes of this brutal ass-pounding ride from hell, the whoops of joy were decidedly more subdued -- and starting to sound a lot more like moans of agony. I noticed that the guys that had been handing out drinks were now surreptitiously handing out buckets. The most amazing thing to me was that they were actually able to stand and walk around during this. If I had so much as stood up, I would have immediately rolled to the back of the boat and crashed into the transom like a human boulder. I looked over at my wife to see how she was doing. She was doing pretty good. Those booze cruises had been excellent training for this trip. For your enjoyment, I drew this picture of what she looked like:  
She stayed like this for the entire hour we were on this boat. I wanted to comfort her, to hold her hair back and tell her she would be fine, but two things prevented me from doing this. One, my buddy's girlfriend was already over there sitting next to her and pretty much doing exactly that, and two, I knew if I stopped looking out the front window - even for a second - I’d be joining her on a one way trip to Bucketville. She had her bucket’s-eye view, and there wasn’t much I could do except clamp onto her hand from across the table and try not to catch a whiff that would put me over the edge. The bucket boys also had this green camphor/menthol stuff that they would pour into a paper towel and give to people, telling them to smell it. They got to where we were sitting, and as the bucketboy was pouring this stuff onto the paper towel, we hit a gigantic wave and about half the bottle of green stuff dumped on my buddy Pete's lap. About a minute later, I noticed him fidgeting around pretty good. Turns out that camphor and menthol are the two major ingredients in Ben Gay, so enjoy that visual. He told me later that it felt like his nads were on fire. Out of the 20 or so people who were on the boat, about half of them got sick. Another ten minutes and I would have been there right with them. Talk about a wasted trip. We took about 2 hours sitting on the steps of a storefront to get our stomachs settled, and then walked around for about an hour before it started pouring. We ducked out of the storm and sat in an open-air French bistro for what seemed like 3 solid weeks, nursing a club sandwich and ice water, and talking to a professional soccer player and his wife, who were really great people. St. Bart’s is a pretty small island, and a lot of us didn't rent cars, so we kept running into people who we had come over with. They were all obsessing about having to get back on the hellboat in 3 hours. We seriously considered flying back. My wife’s other suggestion was to just stay on the island permanently and start our lives over. We did eventually take the boat back, and it wasn’t all that bad. We were going with the wind this time, and the captain did a lot of surfing. Without all the ass pounding, it seemed a lot less sickening. After staggering to our room and taking a 2 hour nap, we awoke feeling almost human, and went out to get some food. We didn’t drink quite as much at dinner that night. My wife did find some nice artwork in the bathroom of the restaurant though:  

Too bad she didn't see it until after we ate, or I would probably have ordered the steak and ribs combo. They looked good.


Boogie On, Day Three

On the third beach day, Wilma was coming, so the winds were high and the sea was pretty rough. The waves were getting big, and after getting knocked around a bit, we decided to rent some boogie boards. For those of you who don't know what boogie boards are, they are small styrofoam boards that you lie on, and use to ride the waves. They are sort of a small surfboard you don't stand up on.

I discovered that there's a reason you see mostly young kids riding the waves on boogie boards.

It's not because it's not still a blast, because it is -- and it's not because you look like an idiot, even though you probably do -- it's because if you time the wave incorrectly, it will pick you up like so much dirty laundry, fold your spine in a direction that by all rights it should not bend in, and then slam your old, brittle bones to the sea floor and hold you there until it has forcibly injected at least 20 lbs of sand and a gallon of saltwater into every orifice of your body.

Even if you manage to actually catch a wave, the lower half of your body is still hanging off the back of the board. This means that while most of you is riding high, heading toward the beach, your man junk is riding much lower, and the wave you are surfing on is actively trying to tear it free from your body and send it via riptide to Puerto Rico. And let me tell you, that shit hurts.

The other thing I learned while boogie boarding in the Caribbean is -- never wear a bathing suit with a liner. Why, you ask? Let me tell you. When we got back to the condo to shower and get ready to go to dinner, I took off my swim trunks in the bathroom and the liner of said trunks contained approximately 1 metric ton of white beach sand, and my nuts looked kinda like a sugar cinnamon donut.

Also courtesy of Mother Nature's high-pressure washing machine, I actually had 2 pieces of seaweed stuck in my ass.*

I can hear you all now. "No way!" you're saying to yourself. "How could you not notice THAT?"

The answer to that question, my friends, is a single word, and that word is:


*Yes, I know. I'm sharing too much.


Black Predator

I mentioned in my last post that you could also go parasailing at Orient Beach. Now before you read this, go into your kitchen and pour yourself 5 or 6 shots of rum and hammer them down. That will get you in the same state that we were in when we decided it would be a good idea to be towed behind a giant motorboat in high winds while dangling from a parachute.

Our friends had gone and said it was awesome, so my wife and I decided to give it a shot. We walked down to the parasailing shack and the young French guy with a cigarette dangling insouciantly out of the corner of his mouth gladly took our uncouth American dollars and gave us a little paper ticket. He waved us vaguely in the direction of the water, and said that someone would be arriving soon with a waverunner to bring us out to the boat. So down to the water we walked, awaiting our ride.

A few moments later we see the Jet Ski approaching, and on it is The Coolest Dude In The Known Universe.

Black as midnight, lithe as a panther, this guy has muscles I didn't even know existed, and exactly zero percent body fat. He is an Island God, and I could almost hear my wife's knees go weak. His hair is shoulder-length corn-rows with beads on the end, and he is wearing silver wrap-around shades. He is a reggae super-hero. A Black version of Predator. He is Lenny Kravitz Cool combined with Seal's natural grace. Dangerous looking.

He nods, and motions for us to jump on. No smile, no words. He just sits there on the idling Waverunner, exuding raw, unadulterated cool.

My wife somehow beats me to the Waverunner, even though she can't swim. I am still not sure how she managed it, but I seem to remember barely dodging a well-aimed elbow to the neck. I lamely jump on behind her and hold on to her waist, and I swear I can actually feel my testicles shrinking to little whiteboy raisins.

In retrospect, I blame the French. My theory is that they purposely hired this guy to make all of us pale white guys feel grossly inadequate. Then they sit at their booth, smoke their unfiltered Gaulois Blonde cigarettes, and laugh their smug little French laughs at our expense.

We ride out to the boat and jump onto the platform. The boat is manned by two more young frenchmen. They hook us up to the side by side harness, and explain what is going to happen. There is a pretty stiff breeze, and the parachute is out behind us. They signal for us to get ready, and explain that we will be lifted from our sitting position on the platform of the boat and immediately rise into the sky.

We prepare.

They launch us.

Instead of up, we slide straight back at roughly 1000 mph, and suddenly I get hit in the ass with a baseball bat. To explain what happened, I drew this helpful picture:

Both of us yelled, "OW! MY ASS!" at exactly the same time. As we were being whisked away from the boat, one of the Frenchman yells "Sooreee!" but I could tell what he was really thinking was "Hah! Every single time. Stupid, stupid Americans."

Once we stopped rubbing our asses, we started looking around. It was truly beautiful. You could see straight down into the water right to the bottom, and you could see three other islands when you looked out. I confess I spent a fair amount of time looking at the frayed knot in the nylon rope that was actually holding our harnesses and parachute to the boat, but I figured that if it snapped we'd just plummet to our deaths and drift out to sea. No big deal.

It was a short ride, but pretty fun, excluding the tumor-sized lump on my ass.

My back still hurts.

French bastards.


Meet Pierre Cousteau.

As I mentioned below, I’m back. It already seems like it never happened. One, because I had no power when I got home and then woke up to snow on the ground, and two, because I think vast quantities of alcohol affect your short term memory.

The best quote of the trip: “I’m sorry sir, we don’t serve alcohol before seven A.M.”

On the flight over, I sat directly in front of an old couple, or more precisely, in front of the male half of the old couple, who had an instantly assigned nickname of “Garlic Guy” because I am almost certain his breath actually boarded the plane a few steps ahead of him. As an added bonus, he was also a heavy mouth breather. The stink was almost visible, and it immediately set up camp in my sinus cavities like Cindy Sheehan on the Bush ranch. It, like Cindy, had a host of ardent supporters all clamoring for their piece of the attention pie. In descending order of disgust factor, they were Mr. Gingivitis, Reverend Stale Cigarettes and Reverend Old Coffee, or as I like to think of them, Michael Moore, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. At one point, I seriously considered chewing two pieces of spearmint gum and then shoving them deep into my nostrils. It was a long trip.

Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful trip over. We landed, picked up the car and drove to the condo. It was pretty nice. Two bedrooms, two baths, a full kitchen, living room and big balcony overlooking Simpson bay. We immediately changed into our bathing suits and hit the surf, even though it was already close to five thirty. The water was about 83 degrees, and clear topaz blue. Pure heaven after leaving 40-degree rainy weather.

I think the only way to do this trip (and this series of blog entries) justice is to break it up by activity and not by day.

Our big plan for day two was to go to Orient Beach, over on the French side of the island. It was beautiful. White sand beaches as far as you can see, and crystal blue water so clear it hurt to look at. This beach is also “clothing optional” which apparently means that people you would like to see naked never get that way, and the people that will haunt your dreams for the rest of your life walk around totally bare-ass naked. Here is a picture of the hottest looking semi-naked chick on the beach, and I am not even kidding:

I guess they call it the “off” season for a reason, These people had to be off their frigging nut to walk around looking like this, and I was off my feed for the rest of the day just from witnessing it. It was a thong, too. Take that.

Now, also on Orient beach, there are quite a few activities which one may partake of if one so chooses. We chose to partake of two of these, on different days. The first activity we chose to participate in was scuba diving, and this is the one I will talk about today. Parasailing comes later, and it’s a good thing, because my ass still hurts from that debacle, which I will not bore you with today. Perhaps tomorrow. Suffice it to say that had these activities been reversed, I would not have been able to dive the next day, since I could barely walk.

So my buddy Pete and I walk up to the little shack on the beach and inquire about a dive trip. There would be another friend of ours going as well, and neither of them are certified scuba divers. I am. I figured there was no way we were diving together, but I was wrong. I guess that along with clothing, certification is also optional. The nice French lady, who was fairly attractive in a bony, middle-aged, leather-skinned kind of way, explains that we will go out to a shallow reef. Once there, her husband (who smelled like B.O. and needed oral surgery) will give us instructions on proper dive techniques. It will be short, she assures us, but very thorough. She then leaves us.

A few seconds later, she pulls out four tanks from the back room. Each one probably weighs 50 lbs, and she probably weighs double that soaking wet. She grabs three weight belts, 3 BC vests and regulators and sets up all the equipment. She then hauls all this shit one by one out through the surf to the boat. Pierre helps her with this task by surfing the web in the back office, a soda balanced snugly between his mammoth man breasts. When she’s done, she wades back in to shore, and he gets up and then walks out to the boat, motioning for us to follow. After we board, it is then that we realize Pierre can barely speak English. But we are not worried. Pierre has hundreds or thousands or even dozens of dives under his belt. We ride for about ten minutes –- this dive was pretty shallow and close to shore – and he stops and anchors the boat.

The instruction begins.

Peirre holds up a regulator and says, “Stop breathing, no. Always breathe. Hold ze breath – is bad. Lungs, zey go poof! (makes exploding motion with hands) You die.”

My buddy, who has only been scuba diving a few times before, has this look on his face like he's thinking, "that can happen?" I briefly contemplate saying something about air expansion and the effects of atmospheric pressure on the air stored in your lungs, but Pierre is already moving on to something else. “Don’t hold your breath,” I say to nobody in particular.

Pierre continues. “Ziss - (holding up bc hose) zee air in, zee air out. Ziss (points to the inflate button, inhales deeply and mimes a BC filling with air.) Ziss (points to vent button and blows air out. Directly at me. I swoon involuntarily from the intense smell of rotting gums. I silently pray that he has never used my particular regulator.)

He then tells us what’s going to happen when we actually enter the water. The sum total of his instruction is:

“We go in, I look behind, I check for you. Answer OK (makes OK sign with hand) -- or no. (shakes head)”

At this point, I give a quick check to my own equipment. The BC is in rags but the main straps look ok, although a bit frayed. I give the inflator a shot, and it seems to work. The regulator is packed with sand. I knock it against my hand a few times to get most of it out. There is so much sand in this thing I am almost positive there has to be a sand crab or three camped out toward the back. There’s a slow leak hissing away on my primary, so I know the gasket is shot. OK, I think to myself. We’re only going down 30 feet. And I’m certified. I supposedly know what to do in the event of an equipment malfunction. By then, I was actively planning for one.

Pierre motions for me to put my regulator in my mouth and get in the water first, since he knows I have been diving before. I do one out of two because I’m washing this sucker out before I jam it in my mouth. I back away to give the others room to drop in, and I kill some time by washing my regulator. When it is relatively clean, or at least free of major chunks of debris, I put it in my mouth and try to breathe. Compared to my personal regulator, this thing feels like I’m trying to suck a lungful of air through a drinking straw while a sumo wrestler is sitting on my chest. I am fairly certain that regular maintenance and inspection routines are two more things that seem to be very optional in the Caribbean.

Finally, we’re all in the water, and he drops in. Kersplunk! Down he goes. I assume we’re supposed to follow him, so we do. He was oddly graceful, in a sea-cow sort of way – like the ocean was his true home, and land was just somewhere he went to mate and surf the web.

I wish I could tell you that things didn’t go smoothly, because it would make for a more interesting story, but for the most part they did. We had some minor buoyancy control issues with one member of our small party, but those were quickly resolved by our sage instructor, and we were on our way. I’m glad nobody died, because I can’t spare any friends. I don’t have that many. It was a good day.

When we got back to the shack on the beach, Pierre tied up the boat, and tossed all the equipment overboard and waded to shore. He sat on the picnic table while his wife grabbed all the stuff and hauled it in. I offered to help her, but she waved me away. She had muscles like knotted cable. I am betting that she’s been doing this a while.

“You like?” Pierre asked us with a big grin.

“We like!” we said. Not bad for $45 bucks.

We still have parasailing, booze cruises, waverunners and boat trips from hell to cover, so stay tuned! Kirk out.

I'm back.

Wow. What a trip. So much to talk about. So much to write. So much stuff that I don't know where to begin. I have to figure out how to arrange and digest this past week. Also I have to compile my notes, since much of the trip was experienced in various states of inebriation. I'll get back to you later tonight with the first of the adventures.

In the meantime, I wanted to share my inspirational quote of the day I received in my e-mail this morning.

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it."
--Oscar Wilde

So if I'm understanding that right, when the shit hits the fan, I'll be turning into Spiderman.



Coconut Grove, here I come.

To escape the cold, miserable rain, I'm taking a little vacation to a tropical island where I will enjoy, from the looks of the weather report for the coming week, the warm miserable rain. There will be drinking. Lots of drinking.

I'm pressing my luck with the tail-end of hurricane season, but one of the people we're going with has this habit of just missing disasters, so I think we'll be ok. She lost her apartment because she lived right across the street from the World Trade Center; She postponed a trip to Sri-Lanka and therefore just missed the Tsunami -- that sort of thing. At the very least, it should make for an interesting blog entry, assuming I make it back.

The other person we're going with said he would be meeting us at the airport with a case of rum, a rental car and assless leather pants. I'm not sure what to make of that. Although he did say that David Lee Roth rented the last pink caddy on the island, so maybe there's a story behind the assless pants that I don't want to know.

Come to think of it, pretty much any story involving assless pants is one that I don't want to know.

Have fun. Drink responsibly. Avoid the assless pants. And, if you can, David Lee Roth.

Goddammit, I wish he'd stop following me.


What's wrong with this?

So today my little Google Desktop tosses up the "What's Hot in the News" list, and it looks like this:

This has to be the worst mix of news and oh-my-god-I-can't-believe-this-is-news I've ever seen. Some of it is valid news and some of it just made me scratch my head and wonder what the hell is wrong with people.

At the beginning, it's not so bad, but as you go down the list it gets worse.
  • Podcasts, yeah they're all the rage, blah,blah,blah. First on the list? Doubtful. There are some other things going on in the world right now that I'm slightly more concerned about.

  • Miers? Yeah, that's news, I guess. Beaten into the ground news, but still.

  • Convicted hacker -- "Hmm," I think to myself. "That could be interesting." I clicked on the link and learned a few things. And yes, I consider that news because I hate all hackers and think they should be hung upside down by their testicles and have their ass beaten with the back side of an early 90's ISA RAM card. Yeah. The geeks will know.

  • Response time to Katrina and N.O...well I guess that's still news, and by news I mean the serious business of figuring out who to blame for what. That could, and probably will, take years. Me? Well, I blame lots of people for that mess, including idiots who live 12 feet below sea level.

  • Hello... What have we here? This is HUGE!! I'm talkin' story of the year. Dare I say Pullit-surprise? Yes, it's Dolphins singing the Effing Batman theme song. What could be more newsworthy than this? BATMAN for chrissake!! But wait -- turns out, I got my hopes up for nothing. According to the news story, it's an "extremely high-pitched, short version of the Batman theme song." Don't think back to the Batman movies, either. They're not orchestrating any Danny Elfman themes here. Think back to the campy old 60's TV show. The one that went "na na na na na na na na Bat-maaaaaan!" Yeah. That's the one. Turns out that a "short version" of this incredibly difficult tune consists of the "Bat-maaaaan!" part. So after years of painstaking training and hundreds of thousands of dollars and untold man-hours spent, the dolphins have learned to sing:

    Two notes.

    That's it. Just two. One short, one long. And get this: If you remember the song, you will also remember that they are both the same note. And according to the story, they are "extremely high," which means it's basically two regular dolphin whistles of differing length.

    I am pretty sure the whole project revolves around being "extremely high."

    Bat-maaaaan! Song over. Gimme a fish.

  • Faith, filling voids, yadda yadda. And speaking of filling voids,

  • Tom & Katie are expecting..... what are they expecting, you might ask? Why, they're expecting a baby. What they're not expecting, and will probably end up with, is a spoiled rich kid with a warped sense of entitlement and a coke habit he'll blame on his divorced parents. Whoo hoo! The world can hardly wait. I'm sure the church of Scientology can also hardly wait.

  • And yet more faith...So the whitehouse says "Um, yeah. God doesn't talk to George Bush." I'm amazed that they even need to deny that. George may talk to God, but I don't think the big guy is listening to anyone these days. I think he's got his hands full with all the smiting and what not. I haven't heard much from the old "Katrina is Allah's revenge" crowd since the earthquake. Sucks to get your ass handed to you by your own God, I guess.

  • Withdraw This Nominee - Couldn't tell you. Didn't click on it.

  • Wallace & Grommit wareho? A wareho? I thought it was about wererabbits? Guess maybe I won't wait for the DVD afterall.

  • As for the rest, well, I'm glad to see that 30,000 dead ranked above the new Xbox ga -- no wait. My mistake.

God, there is nothing on this earth I hate more than the 24-hour news cycle. Well, maybe being chased by a wareho, but that's it.


Death by chocolate.

Here's a question for the guys: Is it just me, or does this commercial make your balls shrivel up a little bit?

I swear to you, if I have to see this commercial (or one of its many sickening variations) one more time, I will fly to hollywood and kill these annoying bitches using nothing but foamy chocolate yogurt.

The one on the left annoys me the most with her inane and insipid references to chocolate goodness. I must admit however, she is marginally less annoying to me now than she was when she had the hair style of Leonardo DiCaprio in "What's eating Gilbert Grape."

So listen closely, annoying girl -- Just give it up and stop trying to convince us that you like guys. Just cave in to your lustful chocolate lesbian urges and be done with it. We can all tell that you are just one white russian away from simply leaping out of your chair and straddling your chocolate friend, so don't even try to convince us otherwise.

Yoplait ad executives should be killed for allowing these commercials to air. At the very least, they should be tortured by locking them in a room with nothing but a television that plays these commercials over and over, and no food except for a dozen cases of that foamy chocolate shit.

And this thing?

Vapor-plug? I don't even want to know what that's all about.


Countdown of depression

I have nothing funny to say today, so I'll talk about the end of summer, which I'm sure will just bum all of you out. I love Autumn, it's my favorite season. I just wish it was longer. Around here, if you blink you'll miss it.

PJ's Chicken n' Ribs is a landmark in Saratoga, and every year about this time, they close up shop and head to wherever people who run seasonal food joints head to for the winter.

Pretty soon, the countdown will appear on their sign. It usually starts out something like "Closed for the Season: See you in 22 weeks" which is really depressing when you're driving by during the first snow flurries of the year. Every week, they have someone change it, until it eventually works its way down to 1 or 2 weeks sometime in April.

I hate seeing that sign at the beginning of the winter, but toward the end it does give you some small ray of hope when you're driving home in a mid-march snowstorm. You see that sign and you can believe in your heart that Spring will actually arrive . This sign is how us locals keep track of the seasons. In Saratoga, by the way, these seasons are "Winter," "Concert" and "Track" and sometimes, as a town resident, you don't want to be here for any of them.

Winters are tough and long, and the less said about them the better. You'd better have a winter activity you like, because without one you will probably hang yourself. Concert season means that every weekend-night during the summer there is a traffic jam 5 miles long as people wait to get into concerts by the likes of Dave Matthews and Phish. (I don't care how good he is, and I don't care how drunk or stoned you are, how long and smelly your whiteboy dreads are, or how much you rule at hacky-sack, I want you the eff out of my way so I can just get to my house, thank you very much.) Track season means lots of bitchy rich folks from downstate come up to drop their cash and their attitudes on the local populace. I am willing to bet that more sent-back food gets spit on (and worse) in Saratoga in August than anywhere else in the world. It also means that the price of everything in town from gas to camera batteries goes through the roof.

When PJ's first started doing this sign thing way back when, they used to count down the individual days. I think this turned out to be a major pain in the ass, because they switched to counting down the weeks a few years ago. My best guess is that grandpa PJ got sick of hauling his ass out to the sign in the middle of a snowstorm just to make us townfolk happy.

They cook their chicken on a gigantic cinderblock and rebar grill out back, and when you drive up that way you can smell the chicken from about a mile down the road. In the summer, when they're really hopping and the wind is blowing west, you have to drive through a dense cloud of chicken-flavored smoke. If you are ever on your way to the thoroughbred track, keep this in mind. You'll want to roll your windows up as you go by or stray animals will be following you around all day.

I've only been there a few times, but I'm probably going to stop there this weekend just to officially say goodbye to summer. It has to be a lot better for the cooks this time of year than in the Spring. They got burned a few years ago when we had one of our 'extra-special' late season snow storms in the middle of May. It sucked to drive by and see nobody in the parking lot, and three poor bastards in goosedown parkas standing out back grilling chicken nobody was going to eat. (You almost wanted to stop in and order a pity chicken, just so the day wasn't a total waste for them.)

I've got no closer for this one. Eat Chicken, I guess, and if you like chicken n' ribs, now you know the best place to get it. Speaking of white meat, I'm off to St. Maarten for a bit in October. Maybe that will shake me out of this seasonal funk. Look for the glow in the Southeastern sky. That'll be the sun reflecting off my pasty skin.