Sunday, April 18, 2010

new blog site

hi.  i'm trying a new blog site.  to read what you normally read, please click here:

then please let me know if you like the look of that site better.  i think it's more professional looking, although very little about me has ever been "professional." everything that i've ever written here has been transferred there, every post, picture, and comment.  again, let me know what you think.

Monday, April 12, 2010

the overshift

everyone knows i love baseball, especially baseball on the radio.  however, radio announcers can be just as dumb as the rest of us.  for example, my favorite right now is, of course, john sterling of the yankees.  however, even john says something dumb very often.

when a left-handed power hitter is at bat, many opposing teams will "shift" their infielders over to the right side because some lefties, such as ryan howard and jason giambi, hit predominantly to the right side.  see the picture below:

this leaves a big hole on the left side of the infield, but that's not what bothers me.  what annoys me is when announcers like john sterling call this an "overshift."  no, john, it's not an "over" shift.  it's a shift.  "overshift" suggests that you've shift too far.  if you shift the right amount, it's a shift, as in the picture above.  yeah, i know it's not really that important, but i have to do what i have to do.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

what not to do if your car breaks down

raise your hand if you've seen this before:

yeah, thought so.

anyway, i can't help but laugh when i see something hanging out of the window of a disabled car.  it's usually a small towel, or sometimes it's a plastic supermarket bag.  i think - stress think - the idea of the dangling item is to alert passing vehicles that there is a car attached to the item.  i guess the driver of said non-moving car/truck/other fears that other drivers might not notice the disabled vehicle, and then the non-noticing driver might...what?  crash into it?  i imagine it would go like this...

teddy is cruising along in his honda accord,  rolling down 295 south near carney's point on the way to cracker barrel.  suddenly, something catches his eye.  off to the right, a small white object seems to be floating.  teddy peers, trying to keep one eye on the road, one on the steering wheel, and the other is allowed to glance at the moving object.  "what that...huh?  i think something is moving over..."  teddy speeds closer.  without time to think, teddy reaches for the brake pedal and screams, "holy, snot!  there's two-tons of sophistocated machinery attached to that very small plastic bag or towel!"  yeah, like we're not going to notice the car without the bag.

if anyone actually does find themselves in this situation, please don't do the towel.  if it rains, the towel gets wet, and then the water flows through the towel and into the car.  you'll easily get a small puddle on the floor of the car.  the floor mats will get soaked, and maybe the floorboards will rust and rot out.  at least you'll get to play the flintstones and put your feet down and run in order to start the car.

Friday, March 26, 2010

let's be honest about healthcare reform

i get really bugged by people who cloud the truth and disguise their lies with something designed to appear as helpful.  a great example is the current republican stance in opposition to healthcare reform.  i'm not saying that obama's healthcare plan is great.  i'm not really smart enough to be sure in either direction, but the general public would be able to form better opinions if we didn't have so many half-truths to sift through.

here's what the GOP is saying:

1. we've got the greatest healthcare system in the world.

but the truth is that the united states is ranked 37th in the world, lying behind the following countries:

1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica
37 United States of America
(according to the world health organizaton,

2. we agree it needs to be fixed, but let's start over with a blank sheet of paper.

but the truth is that they want to start with a blank sheet of paper because it will frustrate the democrats, making them more likely to succumb to intentionally strenuous demands funneled from the insurance industry.

3. the american people do not want this bill.

but the truth is that there are some american people who are against this bill.  notice how they never say "the majority of the american people, or most american people."  if three are against it, it can be said that "the american people are against it."  regardless, it's still a stupid statement because polls show that 49% of americans say this bill is a "good thing."  only 40% said it's a "bad thing."  clearly, more "american people" are for it than against it.  see:

4. the american people do not want a government mandate on healthcare reform.

but the truth is that everything that comes out of washington is a government mandate.  every law, every tax, every piece of legislation is a government mandate.  seatbelts, FDA regulations about product labels, anything that protects the american people - it's all a government mandate.

 let's please be honest.  the GOP has collected a lot of campaign money from the insurance industry on the contingency that they do everything possible to stop this legislation.  it seems it just wasn't enough.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

how not to run a government agency

Let’s pretend there have been some changes in your local government. Your police department is now going to be completely controlled by nine average but popular citizens. From now on, NO officers are hired or fired without the approval of this new, governing body. No guns, bullets, cars, or bulletproof vests will be purchased without their okay. Even the pens and paper for the police reports need the permission of this new, controlling group. They even have the power to decide which officers will patrol which neighborhoods and in which police cars.  They can even change existing laws and write new ones for the officers to enforce.  They can fire and hire the chief of police and even tell him exactly how they want him to run every aspect of the police department.

But wait! There’s more! Before this Divine Nine decides how much money will be spent on anything and everything, the entire town must first vote on the amount of funding the police department will get. That special group of 9 might tell the town that they need $20 million for this year's budget, but they will only get it if the majority of citizens vote “yes.” If the majority votes “no,” then the 9 must make cuts. Fewer bullets? Fire a few officers? No new tires for the squad cars? Maybe, maybe not. It seems now that the safety of your town is now in the hands of the chosen 9, and everyone else in town also has a say.

Here’s an important question: what qualifications does the Divine 9 have? Are they former police officers or retired security personnel? Do they at least have a degree in criminal justice? No. There is NO requirement whatsoever.  Absolutely no experience or connection of any kind with law enforcement is necessary.

How does all this sound? Does it seem like an efficient way to run a government service? Believe it or not, this is what exists, but not with the police.

In New Jersey, this is exactly how our schools are run.



Monday, March 08, 2010

how to disrespect women

i'm ashamed to say i haven't yet seen the hurt locker.  however, that's not the important part.  what matters is that some claim that "history" has been made because of the first female to win an oscar for best director.  as i said in a previous post regarding race relations, this is exactly how to make things worse, not better.

when we go out of our way to highlight and draw attention to a woman winning such a presigious award, we have now created a separation, a different distinction.  if we make such a big deal, then the female is no longer considered equal to the male.  if you really want equality, then you have to treat both male and female equal.  if you want equality, then do NOT act as if it's a huge event that a woman won.  the comparison serves to draw INequality instead of equality.  if you want equality, then treat her EQUALLY.  when you go out of your way to say, "WOW!  a woman won best director!"  now she's no longer equal.

doesn't anyone get that? 

Friday, March 05, 2010

nothing personal, but don't buy a car from this man

the brad benson auto group

i love commercials as much as anyone.  in fact, sometimes the commercials are better than the shows they sponsor.  they're short, entertaining, and just in case they're not - they're only about 30 seconds long, so you don't have to wait long for the next one.

however, the commercials for brad benson's autogroup are just - just wrong.  i don't like that i have to hear so much sexual innuendo at 2:34 in the afternoon.  i don't like hearing comments about celibacy, tiger woods' mistresses and what they did, "doing it," details of politicians' affairs, and other sexually suggestive things.  i can't imagine what it's like to be driving with a 10-year old son, listening to WFAN, a new york sports station, listening to mike francessa talking about the yankees, and then you have to quickly change the station because brad benson is talking about somebody "doing" someone else.  how do you explain that to the boy?

on this website, you can hear all the things i don't like to hear at that time of day:

another commercial i don't like on the radio, also on WFAN in the afternoon, is for frank's hot sauce.  don't get me wrong, i love the stuff.  but i don't want to hear the word "sh*t" on the radio in the early afternoon.  they have a spot with an old lady who says, "i put that sh*t on everything."  no, not when kids are listening.  you don't need the word "sh*t" on the radio at that time of day.  the word is mostly bleeped, just the "i" is bleeped really, but you can easily tell what they are really saying.  i don't like it.