Saturday, September 15, 2007

OJ Is Still A Criminal AND an Idiot

After That Realization...Why Does Anyone Actually Care?

I'd like to ask if someone would please call Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson and tell them it's safe to come out again in public?

I think that most of the silly Hollywood bimbos, Alex Baldwin, Sean Penn, and James Brolin might also stick their heads out of their asses the ground if they desire.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Want To Be A Superhero

Just Call Me "Bitch Slap Man"

I just got of the telephone with Comcast. Their "retention" department.

My forehead has bulging veins and sweat running down it, and my blood pressure is probably somewhere near 200 over 150.

After I let the idiots in the "customer non-service department" charge me for an entire month of cable/Internet service that we didn't need because their records didn't reflect my demand that they cancel the service in my name over at the condo, I just learned that they were going to charge me for another month of service...

just for fun.

So I completed the THIRD CONVERSATION cancelling my service with them and made an Internet payment for another $16.37 for service from 9/8 until today, even as we pay an artificially elevated rate for the same service here in Pat's name because their inept customer service department screwed us when she signed up for new installation.

Either these people are completely and totally feckless and inept, else they're just plain liars and thieves on an institutional basis.

Maybe both descriptions are true.

I told Pat that if things don't settle down a little around here that she's going to end up visiting me in jail, and I'll be the one wearing an orange jumpsuit.

The charge?


You see, during this move, in spite of two weeks of advance planning and communication, only one thing worked out as planned--that being the transition on the county water system.

The power company, the cable/Internet company, two moving companies, Renter's Insurance, Flood Insurance, the local telephone company, and our ex-landlord all managed to cost me money one way or the other.

Over three hundred dollars worth of unused, un-needed, and unnecessary crap to date...and without fail, instead of a "so sorry," all we get is a "you're shit out of luck" attitude.

Pay us right now or else we're calling Equifax and Experian.

Taking a big breath...

Now that I've calmed down a little, I suggest that I would probably be more likely to act in a manner that would allow pleading to a reduced charge.

The charge of spontaneous "bitch slapping" people in the public defense would be a possibility.

Yeah, that's the ticket...I could grow arms like the Rubber Man or Professor Gadget so that I can fling my hands outwards something like twenty feet...then I'd just walk around doing my regular thing and when I see someone acting up or taking advantage of another innocent consumer I would take aim and sling my arm at a high velocity in their direction and...


Right up side the head it would land (my hand...that is...)

When the dust settled, they'd be lying on the ground quivering and drooling on themselves, possibly having soiled their pants in the process.

Then they'd wake up and go home with their tail between their legs, put on some clean underwear, and think twice the next time they're sitting at their desk at work being a moron and not doing their job, in the process costing me dozens of dollars which I have to pay as ransom if I don't want them to screw up my credit or have the Repo-Man knocking on my door.

Other than that, everything is just peachy around here.



Oh...Excuse Me...

Last night I did what was perhaps my best Low Country Boil EVER.

The most satisfying part was that we had three witnesses to prove that I'm not lying guests over to share the experience with us.

If you've never done a low country boil at home, you really need to do one (unless you're allergic to seafood, but then I think that you could substitute par boiled chicken pieces or beef tips or something and still enjoy the experience.)

It's simple, simple simple--and here's all you need to make a hearty spread for six people:

four pounds of medium headless shrimp
two pounds of andouille sausage, cut into 4" segments
king crab legs (optional--if you're cleaning out the chest freezer--I did)

six ears of fresh corn, cut in half
twelve medium red potatoes
one large red onion, quartered
four large lemons, quartered

two bags Zatarains® Crab & Shrimp Boil
two tablespoons salt.

Cocktail Sauce:

three cups catsup
six tablespoons horseradish (more or less depending on your taste)
three tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
two tablespoons lemon juice

Toss your largest boiler, two thirds full of water, onto the stove top. It needs to be at least 12 quarts in size. If you don't have one, you can either go to Wal Mart or use two boilers like I did--one 8 quart and one 6 quart.

Now add your salt and the two bags of Shrimp Boil seasoning (one in each pot if you're using two.) Bring everything to a boil while you cut up your sausage and corn; make your cocktail sauce; and open yourself a nice chilled bottle of white wine.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and contemplate your seafood for a few minutes if you have the time.

Once the water is boiling, toss in your corn, potatoes, and sausage, then let things simmer for about twenty minutes. If you're using two pots, put your corn and potatoes in one pot by themselves, and spread your sausage links between the two pots. Add a few wedges of lemon to each pot also.

Now pull out a potato and check to see if it is done.

Is it done?

No? Well, put it back in and cook for another ten minutes.

When everything is done to your satisfaction, toss your seafood into the pot (or the big pot) and simmer for another five to seven minutes, then turn off the heat, dip your corn, potatoes, sausage, and seafood out onto a large serving platter.

If you can't dip everything out, pour the balance of the water out through a strainer basket, then grab yourself a plate, some butter, lemon wedges, and cocktail sauce, and go EAT.

I've got to go ride my bike over to get a newspaper now.

why don't you head out to the store to get some shrimp and things for dinner tonight?


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Don't Screw With My Books

The US Postal Service Strikes Again...

This year I've spent a good deal of money with rebuilding my Engineering reference library--something that I lost back in 2001 when the old house burned down.

The fire probably took close to 500 books with it. Fifty to seventy-five of them technical references from my days at Georgia Tech and working in the consulting business.

My most recent purchases were Schaum's Outlines Calculus and a book on Drywall installation to support my construction adventures.

About thirty bucks worth.

Any way, on Monday I got an e-mail saying that my order had been delivered at 1:30 PM.



I ran around outside looking by the front door and in the open garage...


Then I looked in the mailbox, but I was pretty sure that Amazon didn't roll up 9x12 books in tubes so my order wouldn't fit in there.

I was right.

It didn't, but still , it being the US Postal Service and all, and being a patient, reasonable sort of a guy, I figured that I would give it another day.

So I did. Actually two days, and as of noon today I still didn't have my books.

On a hunch, while out running errands, we drove by the old condo and guess what?

MY BOX OF $30 BOOKS WAS SITTING OUTSIDE BY MY OLD FRONT DOOR...a place that they had not delivered a single scrap of mail to in the past six weeks.

A place where all of the front porch plants and chairs had disappeared.

The place that had all of the curtains open and that you could clearly see there was no people living in and no furniture sitting in.

Yeah, THAT place.

Now I'm really worried because I have a couple of thousand dollars worth of checks floating around in the US Postal Systems "never never land", and I don't know who to call and complain to.

%#@*&! Government Services...

Do I Somehow Seem Indifferent?

I'm Torn Somewhere Between "Pissed Off" And "Just Don't Care"...

Picture me, spinning around in a mental and physical funk, trying to avert my eyes from crap like Congressional responses to four star Generals making reports and Bimbos performing at the MTV Awards Ceremonies--a place featuring music I've probably never heard and so called artists I don't recognise.

I've got more musical talent in my nose hair than some of these people exhibit. Thus the loss I feel when I manage to get a nose hair hung in one of my harmonicas.

(OK, forget that mental picture delivered in a moment of candor and weakness...)

Then there is Hollywood and it's products...

Have I mentioned that I have not set foot in a movie theater since we moved down here to our little island in 2004?

I also haven't rented or purchased any films since then, yet somehow I don't feel any less human or culturally unsophisticated than the next slob that I pass on the road while riding my bike.

Let's just say that I have "issues" and right now I'm resisting spewing venom on a personal basis in a bunch of directions because I don't want any lawsuits for liable and slander--although what I have to say about a couple of individuals and companies is TRUE.

Meanwhile, the US Postal Service continues to prove that an address change is at best a happenstance event conducted at their convenience--usually resulting in a ten to thirteen day delay in the mail delivery process.

Any private company that continued to provide the inferior service that we're living with after almost six weeks would be out of business by now, but then again we all know that the US government continues to prop up the postal service even as e-mail and FedEX/UPS slices their legs out from underneath them.

If I were a younger man I would consider buying a few pony's and starting a package delivery service.

Wait...I think that someone's already been down that avenue...'s a shout out to my old College Roommate Rusty on his birthday...Rusty's 48 today..."What's Wrong With Your Leg...Rusty???"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Not Just Another Day At The Beach

Survival Of The (un)Fittest

Well, after a fairly uneventful day spent sleeping in late and finishing repainting and re-assembling my bicycle transport rack, I talked Pat and Missy the Turbo Pup into joining me at the beach on Sunday afternoon.

About 4 PM we loaded up a few things into the Suburban and I ratcheted both bicycles onto the rebuilt rack, and in about five minutes we were in the Old Coast Guard Station parking lot heading toward the sun and sand.

As the Turbo Pup and I bolted down the beach ahead of Pat who chose to walk instead of riding her bike, I noticed three young men and two women ahead of us that--from their pasty skin tone--were obviously...gasp...tourists entering the water and wading toward the sandbar which had been exposed during the 1:15 low tide.

The problem all of the visting dumbasses lovely fair skinned visitors tourists don't understand about wading out to the sandbar down here is that our tide runs about SIX OR SEVEN FEET normally, and with the new moon, yesterday's tide was probably closer to EIGHT FEET from high to low.

Just last week a 32 year old woman drowned on the exact same sand bar chasing her own children, and close to a dozen people have died since we've lived here because of their insane desire to wander a half mile offshore without understanding the dynamics of the ocean in this area.

Any way, I spent the next hour worrying about the safety of these five souls, and marking lines on the sand to measure the advance of the tide while they lounged around on the ever diminishing sand bar.

Finally, after about 75 minutes, and trying to ignore the drama unfolding in front of me, I called 911 and reported their situation to the operator. After telling her who I was, where I was, and what was happening, the silly bitch tried to connect me with the State Highway Patrol, so I hung up the Cell phone and waited again because by then the stranded party had noticed their situation and started moving around.

After another ten minutes, when it was clear that they were still not leaving the sand bar, I pointed them out to another beach patron whom agreed that I should call the authorities on their behalf.

I dialed 911 again, and this time the operator had the presence of mind to connect me with the Coast Guard, and the gentleman on the other end of the phone started staging a rescue operation as I reported on the movement of the group off of the bar into the deep channel that had developed between them and the shore as the tide rose.

Before the authorities could really get things moving, other bystanders had entered the surf and the party made it across the deep water and started wading to shore, so we called the official rescue effort off.

I ended up talking to the coast Guard twice more on the cell and the Glynn county sheriff's department called me to verify that the people had made it back to shore, and I and another bystander gave them a good lecture as they stumbled onto shore quite embarrassed by the stir they had caused with their offshore expedition.

Two of the three men had to literally carry the third man part of the way to shore, and one of the two girls was also quite shaken by the event. If any one of them had suscumbed to the current, the entire party most likely would have been lost. They were carried several hundred yards down the beach from where they first entered the surf.

Still, I think that they really didn't understand that their experience wasn't just bad luck or some happenstance occurrence, but was a brush with a real and ever present danger that the ocean presents each and every day out of the year.

I've had the pleasure of growing up going to the beach quite frequently, and I've taken survival swimming classes in college, had Navy swimming training, in addition to being a certified scuba diver and spent hundreds of hours water skiing and operating powerboats on lakes and offshore, and I WOULD NOT HAVE GONE WHERE THESE PEOPLE WENT AND FURTHER, in my present physical condition I might not have survived the return trip.

Regardless, I was happy that they made it back and that we didn't need helicopters, rescue swimmers, or the coroner, but the whole experience basically ruined my afternoon because I didn't go to the beach to work, I just wanted to hang out.

I guess the most frightening thing I learned was how long it takes to get someone excited enough to mobilize a rescue effort on our beach during the offseason. I also believe that just because the government elects to pave a parking lot beside the beach, that every moron in the United States need to come down here to our little island and screw up my Sunday afternoon playing baby sitter for them and their inbred kids little darlins.

And no, as some of my fellow islanders said today, the government shouldn't be expected to have to put up signs telling grown people to keep their stupid asses and the bodies of the aforementioned inbred kids little darlins off of the bloody sand bar at low tide.

Lions, Tigers, Meerkats, and the rest of the animal kingdom still understand the concept of "survival of the fittest", and I think that it's about time that all of the government school educated, lawyer hiring idiots out there got a clue that an ounce of prevention is worth a whole damn lot more than a pound of government mandated and taxpayer paid-for cure for practically everything that potentially ails them.

For future reference, I'm telling you people (not everyone, but you know who you are), I don't think that you should expect any supermen to come racing to your rescue every time you choose to do something INCREDIBLY STUPID, so don't put yourself in the kind of position I saw these people in today else someone's probably going to a funeral.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cigars Versus Cigarettes

I've Got Champagne Taste On A Beer Budget

Over the past ten years I've found myself inadvertently conducting a fairly interesting social experiment, and the results are predictably surprising (as opposed to surprisingly predictable.)

My laboratories are the bars and restaurants of the world, and the control substance is tobacco, something I've only starting smoking in limited quantities in this same time period.

Fortunately I don't have the nicotine addiction gene, so I never picked up the cigarette habit back when I was in college in the 1970's and smoking a 50 cent pack of Marlboro's was cool.

Thank God I never did, what with a pack of Cigs costing nearly FOUR DOLLARS now, and the government stepping in and passing laws telling private businessmen where they can and can't let their patrons consume their addictive drug of choice.

I do, however, enjoy a nice cigar on occasion, although my tobacco habit waxes and wanes with my financial fortunes and the availability of decent Dominican or Nicaraguan products. I have a little humidor that holds a single bundle or box of Cigars, possibly a few more of the smaller ring gauge, and I've found a decent Cigar dealer that is just around the corner from me and will sell me an occasional bundle of unbranded "seconds" for a good price

What kills me is that I, a non-smoker for most of my nearly fifty years, have sat in silence in smoke filled restaurants and night clubs while three quarters of the population puffed their lives away, and now that I elect to fire up a cigar every now and then, people will walk twenty yards across a crowded room to tell me my smoke stinks.

Back in the day, when almost everyone smoked, I'd come home from a "guys night out" shooting pool with the boys and my ex-wife would make me get undressed in the garage because my clothes smelled so badly of cigarette smoke, and now I've got people holding lit cigarettes in their hand bitching at me because I'm smoking a Cigar.

Seriously, I once had a lady walk into a club down in Ft. Lauderdale where I was smoking (she was holding a cigarette) and complain to me and her girlfriends about how cigar smoke made her sick. I had just cut the end off of a TWELVE DOLLAR Davidoff Robusto and fired it up, but out of difference to my vocal co-combustors I extinguished my cigar. Then not thirty seconds later the silly bitch and her entourage decided the place was too crowded and departed to "go somewhere else."

Just Damn...

The Cigar smokers in the crowd will probably agree that smoking a Cigar that has been previously lit is never quite the same as the taste obtained burning one in a single half hour uninterrupted session.

What is it about people that not only causes them to think that one form of carcinogenic vapor and particulate matter is socially more acceptable than another, but makes them come up to a complete stranger and demand that I take my tobacco elsewhere when they puff theirs in front of me and their friends and family 24/7?

After all, I smoke good cigars, not things sold beside convenience store cash registers that smell like vanilla or fruit or a dog turd wrapped in newspaper, and I generally verify that Cigars are acceptable with the management prior to lighting a match.

The King and Prince Hotel located down here on our little island has a humidor in their bar and sells overpriced mishandled Cigars if you really want one, but...

you can't actually SMOKE Cigars inside their establishment--even before Georgia changed the law to end tobacco smoking in restaurants.

A couple of restaurants I frequented in Atlanta had the same queer policy--selling you expensive tobacco that you can't use until you get into your car or arrive home.

Like my affinity for fine vintage Port Wine, I find it interesting to learn about Cigars and their history, and I will appreciate the day when Fidel Castro dies and we finally end the fifty year embargo on Cuba so I can get a real Cuban Cigar for less than $30. (Right now I have to settle for the product of Cuban seed grown somewhere else in the Carribbean.)

I've only smoked something represented as a true Cuban Cigar twice in my life. The first time was on a dive excursion out to Walkers Cay Bahamas back in 1997, and the second time was while enjoying a desert course at the Chicago Chophouse that same year.

Both times I paid $30 for the experience, and the Chophouse threw in a little glass of 1966 vintage Fonseca Porto for an extra thirty bucks.

Thirty dollars or two dollars fifty cents, I'll be damned if I'm putting out any more Cigars for anyone but possibly Pat and my Mother, so just take your allergies and your bad attitude elsewhere.

Me and my bad habits...what can I say?