Sunday, December 21, 2008

A comic reality TV show - 'The Palins'

At last. This, this was SO expected. It was no surprise, and it was still amazing to hear. And hilarious.

'Sherry Johnston, was arrested Thursday on drug charges by Alaska state police'

Right after the 'see it to believe it' turkey interview, - The Thanksgiving Classic, comes this X'mas special from the Palins. Episode 5: 'The In-Laws Get Busted'.

I think the moment we heard this in September, like many others, we had more such delightful expectations from this value added family.

And have they delivered. Let's see what the 2009 season holds for us, from them. Reports are there's a lot more in the script.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Land O'Lincoln: Blago's auction | Tribune bankruptcy

First off - wow! Unbelievable.

Rod Blagojevich joins so many other idiot pols, and of course continues the grand tradition of Illinois governors.

(CNN) - 'A day before Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was busted by federal investigators on corruption charges, he dared authorities to tape his phone calls if they thought he was guilty of anything.

Authorities had indeed bugged the governor's campaign office and tapped his home phone, catching him talking about alleged plans to sell the U.S. Senate seat left empty by President-elect Barack Obama.'

He was trying to auction off Barack Obama's senate seat?!!
His reasoning was:

'The Senate seat "is a f---ing valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."
And, if no one bid high enough, then he just might take the seat himself. "If ... they're not going to offer anything of value, then I might just take it."'

The US attorney said '....Lincoln would roll over in his grave' . He must have, several times already for Illinois.

Also wondering if these are distantly related - 'Blago tried to get some critics from the Chicago Tribune editorial board fired in exchange for state money to assist in the sale of Wrigley Field.'

That did not happen.

The Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy.

Blagojevich caught saying on wiretaps - "I want to make money,"
And then he had a great idea.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Let's go - Chandrayaan!

This morning Chandrayaan landed an impact probe on the moon. For those that don't know what it is - look this up.

' (CNN) -- A TV-sized probe adorned with a painted Indian flag is set to crash on the moon Friday as part of New Delhi's first unmanned lunar mission. The craft is carrying payloads from the United States, the European Union and Bulgaria, and India plans to share the data from the mission with other programs, including NASA.'

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

'My Friends, It's All Over'

Finally Over for Sen. John McCain.

I can't forget McCain vs. Bush (nasty!) during the 2000 campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. McCain gained fantastic momentum after winning the NH primary by a mile, and was a media favorite. The Bush camp ran an appalling slanderous attack soon afterward. And then W. won the nomination, and John McCain called him 'My friend George...'.

It should have been him in 2000.

John McCain was implored by John Kerry to run with him on the Dem ticket in 2004. Two decorated vets running together against the ex-Texas National Guard airman, and the double draft dodger - very attractive. McCain anyway was far from being the President's best friend.

He'd have been a heartbeat away from the Presidency in 2004.

This year he came back from the dead to be the Republican nominee - a win in NH again. He had the nomination in the bag early, while the Democrats battled right through to June. It was supposed to him vs. Hillary, and there was a good chance given how 'polarizing' she is.

So where did this Obama guy come from?

It so could have been him in 2008.

Unfortunate, never mind the historic election. I always thought he was a decent man. The evidence is there in his gracious concession speech, his great sense of humor and his handling of anti-Obama hotheads on the campaign trail.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh Darn! So close, so close.... rats.

The Sox didn't make it.

After leveling the series with that 4-2 win Saturday it looked like the inevitable. The Boston Red Sox would again get in the World Series and do another sweep.

Not this time.

In 2008, it almost happened that Pats, Celtics and Sox would hold championships at the same time. Even as that didn't happen, the near-misses reinforce the dominance of Boston teams in professional sports. An era that began with the Patriots winning the 2002 Superbowl.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stayin' Alive. It's that time of the year again - Sox rally!

Unbelievable (cliched, and true).

It's October and they've done it again, a comeback! Back from the dead in a playoff elimination game.

It's October, and (again) when they're written off, they're right back in.

Nevermind it's not over yet for the series - but to come back from 0-7 to win 8-7 is plain amazing. To do this after being whipped by the Rays in Game 3 and 4, and that too in an elimination game, is miraculous.

Look up this article, if it hasn't sunk in. =)
(Globe Photo/Barry Chin)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wait a minute - 'Joe the Plumber'?

I must have missed something here about this plumber. He's looking to buy a $250000 company? Must be one heck of a plumbing business in these times.

Good job he got mentioned 26 times during the debate - that's one amazing bi-partisan plug for his venture, on national TV no less! This is this Joe Sixpack's 15 minutes of fame for sure.

The Phillies, after losing 10000+ games, are actually in the World Series. Who'd have thought?

Now for the Sox - reports are that the grand ALCS comeback will not happen this time.

Monday, September 01, 2008

'Family Matters' - the making of a likely disaster.

(And I'm not talking about Gustav.)

Ok, I now think that John McCain's finished. Just when I said there was no fun in this election.

Why? Here's why - cos of his Veep pick's conservative 'family values', or worse - her preaching them. I guess this is what the 'abstinence theory' does. Nice.

And nicely worded:

Sarah and Todd Palin issued a statement saying they are "proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents."

"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support," the Palins said.

Anyone else agree?

Senior McCain campaign officials said McCain knew of the daughter's pregnancy when he selected Palin last week as his vice presidential running mate, deciding that it did not disqualify the 44-year-old governor in any way.


This was to win over the conservatives? With the mom(s) of the year.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Who's Sarah Palin?

John McCain just picked 44 year old Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska to be his running mate. This balances the youth and gender issue, I guess. McCain is 100 yrs old, and Palin is 15.

Here's what an Alaskan had to say.

Now should this have been Obama/Clinton vs. McCain/Palin? What an amazing race that could have been, only that Ms Palin aint no Hillary.

From Wikipedia - and important for the campaign:
'Details of Palin's personal life have contributed to her political image. She hunts, eats moose hamburger, ice fishes, rides snowmobiles, and owns a float plane. Palin holds a lifetime membership with the National Rifle Association. She admits that she used marijuana when it was legal in Alaska, but says that she did not like it.'
'Her husband, Todd, is a Native Yup'ik Eskimo'

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Decision 2008: Historic, yes - but fun?

Hillary would not stop talking yesterday. Enough already!
Just what is the point of a convention anyway? We know who has the most delegates, and the nomination.

I recall the Democratic convention of 2000 when Bill Clinton stole the show (again), nevermind what Al Gore did on stage with Tipper. Leno had Clinton's walk in set to the tune of Saturday Night Fever... hilarious.

For the Republicans, The Rock showed up and spoke - the high point of that convention. He asked what he was doing there, on national TV.

I followed that year's never ending election through SNL, Leno, and of course Conan. Have it all recorded. Excerpts, as I remember them:

Conan O'Brien: 'Gov Bush, how did your debate go?'
Gov Bush: 'Conan, we discussed the...the issues, like the middle east thing.'
Conan O'Brien: 'Now that's an important topic. What are your thoughts?'
Gov Bush: 'Here's what I think, Conan. The A-rabs, they already have A-rabia. So the Jews, they are the ones that should get Jewsalem.'
Conan O'Brien: 'Jerusalem?'
Gov Bush: 'Sure, J-jewsalem'.

Gov Bush: 'Hey, Conan did you know Southern Comfort tastes as good coming up as it does going down?'

Bush to Conan during the post election recount -
Gov Bush: 'Conan, I won all the red states. Those blue ones there on the map in the midwest - Huron, Superior, Erie ..... still waiting on those returns.'
Gov Bush: 'Conan, I'm not opposed to recounts. I'm opposed to recounting votes!'

None of all this this time around. Yet.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Talk about chutzpah...!

The Fugitive: Starring Bosnian Serb war criminal
<= Radovan Karadzic as Dragan Dabic , Spiritual Explorer =>

'Masquerading as an expert in human quantum energy, the fugitive was so confident in his disguise he even had his own website, and would give out business cards during alternative medicine lectures. His card gave his name as D D David, D D apparently standing for his pseudonym Dragan Dabic. Billed as Dabic, Spiritual Explorer, Mr Karadzic gave lectures comparing meditation and silent techniques practised by Orthodox monks.'

Here's some footage - this guy's sure got a lotta gall!
And here's his alt medicine web site.
No kidding.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boston: And now the Celtics.

132 - 91
Unbelievable. What a grand thrashing!

How good to be right here in Boston at this time

As someone (among millions) who anyway couldn't stand the Lakers for various reasons, this win was especially sweet.

Ray Allen was tonight's superstar, by me. KG and Paul Pierce played their parts. It was great to see the long suffering Pierce installed as the finals MVP.

Boston is on a roll.

First the Pats - three titles. The Sox twice. And now the Celtics.

And I was fortunate enough to be in the area each time, and witness all three franchises win.

More to come...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dealing with humanity - staying calm n'cool

Time to apply meditation, and inner peace? (All the liberally dished philo one reads about everywhere - columns, self-help books, tv shows).

I've a sense of humor | I'm not the only one that encounters these |
I'm trying to tell myself these aren't worth the aggravation:

- People that walk four across in front of me on a running track. Need to hiss to pass these jokers.
- Idiot kids that run across an apartment driveway not watching for cars
- Their idiot parents
- Articles by Somini Sengupta in the New York Times (or anywhere, actually).
- Geriatrics that talk loudly at the park at 630am. Not a care about it being a quiet hour.
- Anyone that, during a call, passes the phone to a III party that I don't know, or don't want to talk to - ever, or at that time. It's incredible the number of people that are insensitive to this.
- Overweight girls that hog the treadmill at a punishing 2 miles/hour. And on the phone. For what - so they can get a greasy sandwich right after?
- 'My problem is I'm very frank'/'I tell it like it is'. Come on, every one says that. Ever hear anyone say they are not frank?
- Amway zombies that try to recruit others in supermarkets. [Threaten to report them for soliciting business in another business]
- 'The weather here is so unpredictable. Changes in a trice.' Sure - when is it not in the Northeast, Midwest, Northwest?
- When asked 'How come you're quiet?' in a gathering. Can't one be?
- 'First/Largest/Tallest in Asia' meaningless records
- 'It's not the heat. It's the humidity'
- 'How come you have no accent?'
- Assuming someone's personality based on a zodiac sign. Girls - intolerable, Guys - gay.
- Figuring out anyone's zodiac sign. 'Oh, June 8. You're a ____'. Girls - intolerable, Guys - gay.
- Shaking hands with most people
- 'This city ___, is different'. What city isn't?
- Telesales calls and reporting these calls to the registry
- Knowing anyone's car license plate number. Creepy.
- 'This year in _____ (always the very year you happen to be anyplace), there aren't great fall colors/a white winter/warm summer. [Else, we always have amazing colors in the fall/a white xmas/warm summer.]
- Multiple doorbell rings within seconds of each other
- Resilience of NYC/Bombay/wherever
- Tales of anyone's grandchildren. The tellers never stop. Worse if there's another grandparent with a competing tale.
- Wedding pictures
- Asking for/knowing/remembering anyone's birthday other than that of a close relative/significant other
- Someone else's vacation pictures
- Calling a phone number and asking who's answering

Should these get to me? >> Y/N >> N>> Smile >> Calm down

*Will report on progress

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The School of Rock

Dewey Finn: 'Ok, here's the deal. I have a hangover. Who knows what that means?'
Frankie: 'Doesn't that mean you're drunk?'
Dewey Finn: 'No. It means I was drunk yesterday.'

Among many hilarious lines from The School of Rock (TSR), likely my favorite movie of all time. Now that I've watched it every other week for the past 4 months, it must be. So I decided to write about it - have meant to since Christmas. =)

I recall TSR when it came out in 2003, and parts of it on and off on TV. I even had the DVD in my collection for the past three years. However, it was a chance viewing of this DVD last fall - the whole movie all at once - that got me addicted.

Quotes from TSR are now part of how I communicate, and this relates to my manner of speaking - another addition.

(Song) 'No you're not hardcore! Unless you live hardcore! And the legend of the rent was way hardcore!'
'Sell my guitars? Would you tell Picasso to sell his guitars? '

I am a Jack Black fan like many, and he totally carries this movie being himself. I imagine this is what he's like in real life anyway. The School of Rock has you hooked from the time Dewey Finn shows up at Horace Green school as a fake substitute teacher. With a supporting cast of some amazing talented kids that make up a project called (at first) 'rock band' , Joan Cusack as the (outwardly) matronly principal, and some great classic rock music thrown in - this movie had it all right.

Right now to the closing credits that have an ad-libbed feel.

'The movie is over.
But we're still on screen
Everybody's rocking
And we came from Horace Green'

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I 'mis-speak'. You lie.

I find this the ultimate goof-up. What are advisers paid for? What was she thinking - she used this story four times!

Hillary Clinton:"I say a lot of things -- millions of words a day -- so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement."

From the report: Clinton used the description of a dangerous arrival to bolster her argument that she has the foreign policy experience needed to be commander in chief. She said when she arrived in Bosnia on March 25, 1996, "I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

But news video footage of her arrival at Tuzla shows Clinton, then the first lady, calmly walking from the rear ramp of a U.S. Air Force plane with her daughter, Chelsea, then 16, at her side. Both Clintons held their heads up and did not appear rushed.

More accurately, she should have said 'that was just a costly misstep' .

Meanwhile, cartoonists went to town - take a look at these.

And then Hillary Clinton said 'It proves I'm human'.

Not after these amazing exploits, she's not.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mr Clean's fall - bonanza for late night comedy

Or for any such show.

The moment I saw Eliot Spitzer's press conference Monday, my thoughts turned to late night comics. Windfall!

Why, even the print media seemed to get a head start, by featuring this Spitzer expression - the one with the upturned mouth - in every related article.

I recall Spitzer from his 1998 run for NY Attorney General - the ads he ran, and the ads from the nasty D'Amato vs. Schumer Senate race.

This week - if the strike was on, the writers would have shown up for the same or no pay. How could they let this event pass?

Btw, the strike itself sure feels like long ago, what?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

SNL Presidential debates -

Been watching these, and here are a couple to view - straight from NBC:

Hillary Clinton from last Saturday

The II 'debate'/ Obama - Clinton

Rudy Giuliani

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Starbucks did what?

I came across this today - something I'd written for the Tripod Insider soon after graduating from Syracuse. A note from a magical era in Billsville . In 1999, I was a rookie marketeer that was assigned to this newsletter.

Anyways, I digress - the reason I mentioned that was: 1999 for me was the year of Starbucks. The first year I could afford their wares on my own dime. Soon, I went ev'ry week past a store - honest - to the nearest Dunkin' Donuts.

That was the time Starbucks was opening a store a day, two stores a day. Barnes & Noble stores and Starbucks in them. They opened Starbucks stores within Starbucks stores.

And now I hear this - they're cutting staff - Starbucks is? What, they aren't selling that many overpriced double espresso soy lattes (I'm sure I heard this order)?

And look what they're doing today - Tuesday .They're shutting down all their 7100 U.S. stores for three hours of 'employee training'.

The coffee chain said the in-store training program which will begin at 5:30 p.m. local time, would foster enthusiasm in its 135,000 U.S. employees and improve the quality of drinks made by Starbucks baristas.

"We believe that this is a bold demonstration of our commitment to our core and a reaffirmation of our coffee leadership," said chief executive Howard Schultz in a statement.

It came to this and some publicity. Can the milling coffee throngs wait while their leadership hunkers down for three whole hours?

Dunkin' Donuts - "to ensure that no coffee lover is denied a delicious espresso-based beverage" - announced that it will offer small lattes, cappuccinos or espresso drinks for a promotional price of 99 cents on Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Way to go, Dunkin' Donuts . They didn't need to do this, actually. I (and many others) would stop by anyway.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Iron Maiden were back - Caught Somewhere in Time

Two Maiden shows within twelve months. Was it real? Was I really there - again?

Excellent weather. Great fans. An amazing mosh pit, even hanging by the periphery.

Our metal gods kicked off their 2008 tour in Bombay, and I was there this time - Aces High. At my III Maiden show, it all only got better.

They played plenty from their amazing '80s, and they were as always awesome. What else did the faithful need?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Recall 2001-02? The Pats are back. 18-0 and one more to go.

Never mind the current season. For this club, what a run it's been this decade.

I recall watching the New England Patriots win their first Superbowl in 2002. We were at this club on an icy cold February night in Marlborough, MA.

Plenty of drama that season: Bledsoe's early season accident, the second-string Brady replacing him, the infamous Snow Bowl (tuck/no tuck rule), Bledsoe stepping for Brady in the AFC game against the Steelers, Bledsoe or Brady for the Superbowl controversy, besides the thrilling championship game in the end.

The Rams were considered a shoe-in to win. Instead, at the end we witnessed an amazing field goal by Vinatieri, after that final drive by Brady. The Pats and coach Belichick had the title - the first of several.

From what seemed like a no-hoper season at the start - star QB badly injured with a team of unknowns - to a Superbowl win.

Game sidelights:
  • The Pats ran in as a team - there were no individual introductions.
  • The half-time show by U2 was awesome - people actually watched it, instead of stepping away from the screen.
  • 'Snow angels' by the Patriots on the Superdome's floor
Coming as it did, a few months after the 9/11 attacks - this brought in some good cheer, much like the World Series in Oct-November. Even as the Sox then weren't the Sox of today, it was good to see the Yankees lose.

For Sunday - it'll be great to see a 19-0 season. Funny how so many people can't stand the Pats now, so different than when they were the underdog team (even after two titles!).

Ah, the price of success.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Behold the Slave Gene -

It's alive and well. I recall this message board poster that went by the handle 'Slave Gene Detector', a few years ago. He'd have detected this reporter in a trice.

The New York Times ran this article when the Tata Nano was launched in India last Thursday. It was written by someone of Indian origin, from NYT's Delhi desk.

This was what she came up with. The best she could think of.

Indians Hit the Road Amid Elephants

'Let me see, now how do I get my American audience to read my article on a new car launch in India?'
'I know! I'll mention an elephant. I'll mention an elephant twice, no wait....three times. Even better.'

Referring to traffic - this statement showed up on page 1 and 2, just in case it was missed. If you could miss an elephant.

'At least this morning there was no elephant chewing bamboo in the fast lane.'

When I wrote the editorial staff at the Times, they removed it from the second page.

At a time when stereotypes of the country as a land of maharajas and snake charmers (and elephants) don't exist, we have writers like Ms Sengupta helping India out. Heck, how else would anyone would read her article? And it was supposed to be about an inexpensive small car.

For shame.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Low cost car = Low cost writing. The Tata Nano web site.

Never mind the high profile launch and a worldwide audience. Here's what we have on as of Sunday night PST:

'Check out Chairman's Desk and News to read latest interview with Ratan Tata on Tata Nano'
' Shall we inform you when Tata Nano is available at our dealership for Demo & Test Drive.'
'We shall inform you when the Tata Nano is launched on following contact details.'

And this gem on the Contact Us form page:
'Tatamotors People's Car Admin (what does this mean anyway?)

Please send us your query with correct email address. And we will get back to you. '

Several other examples.

So they've certainly kept costs low on the content writing, along with the manufacturing. It's all together. =)

And speaking of poor content, I was just sent this classic goof. Why bother with originality when you can copy?

'The Delhi Police site has been lifted from the Singapore civil defence force or SCDF site, word for word, including graphics and pictures.

And if you are exposed to radioactive radiation, cover your nose and mouth - wait to be decontaminated by SCDF personnel.

''With the increasing number of bombing incidents around the world. No country including Singapore can take safety for granted.''

And just in case there's a biological attack and you get anthrax, there's no need to panic.
The website says: In Singapore, the SCDF, Police, Ministry of Health and Singapore Post have taken precautionary measures to deal with this threat. '

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


No notes on 2007. It wasn't that spectacular by me. ;)

This is the first time since the internet was invented that I've spent an entire week away from it. A full seven days - my previous record was three. No email, no surfing, no news sites - no nothing. Didn't even know that a major assassination had happened. I'm amazed at myself.

Back online after days of traveling - it's all been a blur, lots of fun though. Now to look at the vacation pictures to see if it all really happened.

The Pats ended the season at 16-0. That in itself is a nice way to start the new year.