Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Into the Dirty Thirties

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Last Friday night after work (now like 12 days ago), I went to Off the Grid with Tracy & Nurse… and we met up with Nurse’s REALLY cute friend. To summarize, Off the Grid is basically a Friday night thing where a bunch of food trucks meet up in one little parking lot at Fort Mason… and apparently half the city walks there to stand in line, get some food & eat it while standing in line for the next food truck. Okay, so there was probably only a thousand people there or so… but it was busy… and it was awesome. There was all different kinds of food, from Malaysian to Argentinean to Korean to Thai to Vietnamese to Mexican to French (there was a crème brulee cart for dessert) and everything in between. It was pretty cool… and I may make it over there a few more times this summer… but once the sun went down, it got a little chilly. Good times though.

After that, we made our way back to the apartment, played some Rock Band, & then everybody wanted to watch a movie… so I said, “Well, I got Hereafter in the mail today… but I don’t know if y’all would like it.” “What’s it about?” “It’s Matt Damon as a psychic or something… so it could be cool… but it’s also directed by Clint Eastwood and… well, his movies are usually pretty heavy. I’m thinking something light & airy might be better.” “Oh let’s check it out.” “Okay.” So we start the movie… go through like a thousand previews… including the new Harry Potter (which started a conversation about how I must be illiterate because I’ve never read them or Twilight… or anything else) and the first scene of the movie… French couple on vacation in the South Pacific… TSUNAMI!!! Quickly followed by drug addiction, more tragic death, and so about 20 minutes in… we’re pretty quiet. “Ugh… you guys want me to change the movie up?” “No, it’s okay. We’re into it this far.” “Okay…” So we made it to the end… but for those who don’t know, it’s about a guy who has psychic ability (Damon), a French woman who nearly dies in a tsunami (Cecile de France) & a boy whose mother is addicted to drugs & twin brother was hit by a truck… and how their journeys & perspectives into the afterlife kind of intertwine. It’s actually a pretty good flick if you can deal with drama. By the way, Bryce Dallas Howard is in the movie briefly… and did you know that she’s Ron Howard’s daughter? Yeah! She’s the spawn of Opey! All I can say is… the mother must be GORGEOUS!!! Anyway, check it out if you want… but it’s like other Eastwood flicks like Changeling, Letters from Iwo Jima, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River & the like. Be prepared.

Last Saturday morning, Bubbles & I went to the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. It was my first time & she was meeting a coworker & her son for a trip out to Alcatraz at noon anyway, so she appreciated the ride and I appreciated the company however brief. We had lunch at a seafood restaurant right on the pier and had oysters, mimosas & ahi tuna. It was pretty good but nothing spectacular. After lunch, she went off & explored the market. There was all sorts of vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, all kinds of good eats… as well as vendors selling art, photography, knick knacks, and it was a pretty gorgeous day, so good all around. I ended up getting some blood oranges, strawberries, almonds, & some Indian spices and meals to try later in the week (once I get some coconut milk). I may also make it back to this Farmers Market… or there’s another one at Fort Mason a little closer to my apartment on Sunday mornings too.

That afternoon, the weather got a little gloomy… and then I received a text from two of Bubbles’ roommates, J-Mo & Boz, asking if I would be interested… in a Halo Party. Yes, as in the shoot-em-up LAN video game Halo… not some kind of party in the Castro involving everybody dressing up as angels. By the way, Bubbles did decide that she’s going to move into that place we checked out last weekend in Inner Sunset (as I figured she would) so she & Brutis will have a new apartment in about a month. Anyway, her roommates invited me over… and I figured that I’d give it a shot, even though I’ve never really played Halo other than once when I was crashing on their futon. I kind of let them know my novice status from the beginning with “Okay, which one is fire? This one’s grenade, right? That’s pretty much all I need.” Beer, Chinese food, lots of laughs, and occasionally some teaming up & shooting each other… for about six hours. Then it got to be a little after 1 AM & I just couldn’t feign interest anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun… but it was just six hours… of a video game I don’t particular care for. Will probably do it again if they have one in a few months, but yeah, my first LAN party. I even did okay for a first-timer… I think. Still think some people were using little secrets that I didn’t know about though… but whatever… I can take ‘em in real life.

That Sunday, I went to brunch with Bubbles… and we were originally going to go to Hard Knox… but ended up going to a quieter place called Layaly Mediterranean Grill across the street. It was actually a great pleasant surprise. It was more of a Moroccan theme, complete with hookah & menu items like hummus & kofte meat… which if you don’t know… because I didn’t… is a blend of beef & lamb… and also, delicious. The French fries had sumac seasoning on them, the wine was good, the waiter was a bit of a wise ass, the company was great, overall just a great experience. Afterwards I helped her pick up dog food (because I have a car & can lift a bag of dog food) and then watched “30 Rock” with the roommates the rest of the day.

Last week at work, not going to lie, wasn't my favorite week or work ever... that's all I'd really like to say about that... but I think it's just that I'm such a perfectionist... but I also have SOOOO much work to do... so I have to find certain ways to get all of the work done in a timely manner... and sometimes it clashes with what the company has done... or they've done it a different way... or maybe I just don't know of a better way. Basically it came to a meeting with the bosses, where I was doing some things wrong, but when I asked how to do them correctly, nobody had an answer for me other than more communication. Okay, so talk more... but talk doesn't get things done, so then what? So I found resources & tried to find exactly where the problems were... and came up with some ideas to streamline things... and so things are better. Not great or perfect by any means... but better.

Friday was the start of my birthday celebrations. After work, Bubbles & I decided to go to Grumpy's for... what was going to be dinner & a few drinks. Well, we were there for a few hours, then taxied over to Yoshi's Jazz Club for a free concert (it's who you know), then to Noe's for a few more drinks, then to some friend of a friend of a friend's apartment... and then home around 4:30 AM. So what was going to be a few drinks & dinner turned into over 9 hours at four locations... not too bad.

Saturday, I didn't wake up until after noon for the first time in a LOOOONG time, but during the day I double checked things to make sure that I was ready for my upcoming trip, then in the evening was my birthday dinner. Unfortunately, due to a multitude of reasons (including hung over from the night before), a bunch of people couldn't make it... so the dinner portion was just me & my roommate Nurse. Not bad company obviously... but at least we got to know each other a little bit... and the food at E Tutto Qua in North Beach was pretty good. I had the veal & chicken tortellini... and the service is truly Italian (or at least a good fake Italian). After dinner, we went over to Savoy Tivoli for drinks... and played pool & foozball... and eventually met up with Carmen, her friend, Bubbles & J-Mo, and a few of Nurse's friends came over... and basically... I looked like a PIMP for most of the evening... but it was in a pretty low key place. We also met a few people there while playing pool... and had a lot of laughs. Good times... and I was home by 1 AM, so fairly responsible even.

Easter Sunday, I did laundry and then... sigh... went to another Halo LAN party at Bubbles & J-Mo's place... well, we'll say J-Mo's because he stuck around while Bubbles went to the Mission for some dinner & drinks with friends. More good times with dudes, chicken wings, chips & dips, but yeah... luckily it was only a few hours of actual playing because I tend to get bored of that stuff quick... but the guys are entertaining as hell. Besides... I've gotta meet people while I'm out here. This is supposed to be my new home... and if I don't know anybody, I'd best change that.

Monday was fairly uneventful besides work... and I watched "The Fighter" starring Christian Bale & Mark Wahlberg. This movie is based on the real life boxers Dicky Ensall (Bale) & Micky Ward (Wahlberg). The elder brother Dicky was a fairly famous boxer in his day, but then became addicted to crack... and his little brother started to become a boxer in his own right. However, Dicky was Micky's trainer... and addicted to crack... so the story is about the drama with Micky trying to make something of himself in spite of his brother & mother (manager) and moving on... and how he wants to have a family... but he has to do what he has to do. It's actually a GREAT flick... and I recommend that you all see it. Go get it right now!!! Don't wait.

Tuesday was my first day in the thirties. Yes, my 30th birthday. And it started around 5 AM when my mom called to sing me happy birthday... and then 20 minutes later, my dad called to sing me happy birthday Marilyn Monroe style (I let it go to voicemail). Then I went to work... and because of the week before wasn't in the best mood... but hey, today was going to be different... and it was... BEHOLD!!!

A manager / bartender at Grumpy's set this up for me... because she's AMAZING!!! And I casually mentioned that I liked pandas once or twice. Yes, those are pandas on my door... throughout my office... and even cupcakes made with mini Oreos. She has really stepped up the game for when her birthday rolls around... and you'll never guess who's in charge of it. Well played ma'am... well played.

That evening, I met up with Carmen & her roommate for Peruvian food at Pasion... and we had ceviches & paella to our heart's content. It was great... good food, trendy, a little loud but mostly because of the small setting... but not too hard on the pocket book. Afterwards, we went to their place for some various ice creams (left over from Taco Tuesday a few weeks back) and chatted for an hour or so before I let them get off to bed.

Well, it's Wednesday... and in less than 48 hours, I will be airborne & on my way to the Big Easy to meet up with my mom & stepdad, my grandmama, the Wingmans & Filly for a fantastic vacation... and not a moment too soon in my opinion. I've really needed it. I guess it'll be ANOTHER few weeks before you hear from me again... but I should have many fantastic stories & pictures when I return... and I'll be sure to take notes as there will most definitely be alcohol involved... and the memory ain't what it used to be. Have a great April / early May everybody!!! Bon voyage!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

This weekend was actually pretty relaxed. I’m really trying to get back into jogging a bit… really trying… but it’s just so f**king boring… and my cardio isn’t what it used to be… and even then it was playing basketball, so there was like… a goal of some sort. With jogging, it’s just to get your heart racing or something I guess… but at least the scenery is nice when I’m not gasping for air 10-15 minutes in. The real surprising thing about it is… it’s not like my heart or lungs or something that hurt afterwards… but my shin muscles… and my inner thighs a little. Granted, there’re a lot of hills in the area that I jog… but yeah, maybe it’ll just take time.

Funny little story about jogging that you might like… I was jogging Saturday morning… and went up past Inspiration Point… and past a playground. Remember, one of the goals was to get a bit of a tan on the ivory torso… so I was shirtless (it was in my hand). Thinking that I would just breeze right through like the dozens of joggers before me (who apparently left their shirts on because it was below 60 & they’re pansies), I continued my jog as normal down the trail… which lead right through the playground. Now, I’m slowing down a bit… because kids AND parents don’t watch where they go… so I have to. Well, I’m going through there… and all of a sudden, a child screams out “NAKED!!! NAKED!!! NAKED MAN MOMMY!!!” I’m looking around to see if there’s seriously a streaker in a playground… and I realize that this kid is talking about me. “Really?” I look and the mom is just kind of laughing it off, but the damage was done… I felt like a bit of a pedo-freak… even though it was perfectly innocent… so I threw my shirt on for a minute until I was out of eyeshot of the park… and then off it came again… because I needed to get a little sun… and as mentioned before, the jogging wasn’t going to last too long. I did a few runs throughout the day… but after the third run, the legs started cramping up pretty good, so I watched some “Farscape” or something.

I also had lunch with Bubbles on Saturday in the Inner Sunset area. We had pho (since I’m her pho buddy) at Mmm Yummy Yummy or something like that… but it was pretty good. We also wandered around the area a bit… as I think she’s looking into moving there. It’s a nice area for her, full or bars & restaurants (which can also be dangerous for her wallet) and still close to Golden Gate Park so that she can take Brutis for walks. Deep down, I think she’s going to miss the Presidio if she decides to move… but who knows? She does like her bars… and with not having a car anymore, it’ll be easy for her to get around. Sunday was more jogging… and then in the afternoon, hanging out with the roommates. In fact, the planets aligned… and we actually had all four roommates in the same room at the same time. It was like a solar eclipse. The dawning of a new age even. And it also worked out because there was business to be discussed with regards to the new lease, etc. Afterwards though, we chatted a bit, made tentative plans for activities later in the week… like apparently there’s a congregation of food trucks at Fort Mason every Friday night… so we may check that out. Then Nurse & I watched some “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” because Filly’s been trying to get me to watch it for years… but Nurse was a fan too, so she was there to be like “Oh, just skip until the end of season one… and then these episodes… ooh this one is the introduction of Spike, so that’s pretty important…” and so we may be watching that for a bit when we’re in the house together. I’m okay with it… she doesn’t seem to mind my humorous comments… and like Filly, she says that I remind her of Xander too. Not sure if that’s a good thing yet… but hey, as long as I end up with Willow it’s all good… So here’s the’ news…

Gay Cavemen? - Kamila Remisova Vesinova and her team of researchers from the Czech Archeological Society believe they have unearthed the remains of an early homosexual man. Wait, wait… let them explain before you get all riled up. The remains date from around 2900-2500 B.C., on the outskirts of Prague. That claim stems from the fact the 5,000-year-old skeleton was buried in a manner reserved for women in the Corded Ware culture: its head was pointed east rather than west, and its remains were surrounded by domestic jugs rather than by hammers, flint knives and weapons that typically accompany male remains. "From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake," Vesinova said at a press conference. "Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual." Okay, so you see the reasoning behind the claim, right? Okay, now to continue. Katerina Semradova, another member of the team, admitted there have been other instances of men being buried with implements reserved for women and vice versa. Her colleagues previously unearthed a female warrior from the Mesolithic period who was buried in the fashion of a man. And she noted that latter-day male Siberian shamans or witch doctors were buried with ornate funeral accessories, like jewels, to reflect their elevated position in society. But those burials reflected the dead's position in society, not their sexuality. "This later discovery was neither [a warrior nor a witch doctor], leading us to believe the man was probably homosexual or transsexual." Okay… so here’s the real question: Was this prehistoric man a homosexual? Or perhaps just a jug maker? Or perhaps the waterboy? Maybe this gentleman was the engineer who designed a rudimentary system of aqueducts that allowed water from the river to be guided to the village… but because they couldn’t bury him with a canal… they put in the water jugs… as he gave them LIFE!!! I don’t know… just kind of a weird claim for a Czech team of researchers to throw out there… but hey, it grabs headlines a lot more than “Czech Scientist Find Caveman” now doesn’t it. You wouldn’t have even read this otherwise. Admit it!!! It’s okay… if I weren’t a nerd I probably wouldn’t have read it either.

Bill & Ted 3 – Speaking of gay cavemen, at the Toronto Film Festival last year, Keanu Reeves let slip that "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" scribes Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon were going to try and write a third film in that series - two decades after the first sequel "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey" hit cinemas. Now, out doing publicity for "Henry's Crime" yesterday, Reeves tells MTV News that things have progressed - "I believe the writers are six weeks away from a draft. No pressure, guys! I know a little bit. But I don't know — the fellas went off and cooked it up. I don't know what happened when they put the elements together" says Reeves. Reeves has even hinted at the storyline which will brings things back around to the 1989 original - "When we last got together, part of it was that Bill and Ted were supposed to have written the song that saved the world, and it hasn't happened. So they've now become kind of possessed by trying to do that. Then there's an element of time and they have to go back" he says. So yes… there very well may be a third Bill & Ted movie… and only about two decades too late… but hey, you never know. Somebody might watch it.

KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!! - Michael Shannon ("Revolutionary Road," "Boardwalk Empire") has been cast as the villainous General Zod in the upcoming "Superman" reboot according to a press release from Warner Bros. Pictures. Director Zack Snyder (“300”) says "Zod is not only one of Superman's most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don't. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role." Shannon is of course rebooting the role made famous by Sir Terence Stamp. He also joins a confirmed cast that includes Henry Cavill (“The Tudors”) as the new Clark Kent/Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent. Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder are producing. I’m kind of curious how this movie is going to turn out since “Superman Returns” kind of sucked all around… even with Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor… but we shall see. What’s this? More reboot, remake & sequel news?

Silent Hill 2 Update - Carrie-Anne Moss ("The Matrix," "Memento") and Malcolm McDowell ("Caligula," "A Clockwork Orange") have joined the cast of "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D" for Davis Films. Adelaide Clemens and Kit Harington star in the film which follows Heather Mason, a young girl on the eve of her 18th birthday who is plagued by terrifying nightmares and the disappearance of her father. When she discovers she's not who she thinks she is, the revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her in Silent Hill forever. Moss will play the leader of a cult that holds power over Silent Hill. McDowell’s character isn't specified but sounds almost split personality in nature (and he’s just creepy in general). The duo joins returning cast members Radha Mitchell, Sean Bean and Deborah Kara Unger. The Michael Bassett-directed production is currently shooting in Toronto. The first one was pretty good… although I do have a distinct memory of being in a theatre as the characters walk into an obviously burned out church… like a few support beams are left… and one of the characters says, “It looks like there was a fire here…” and I BUST OUT laughing because it was so obvious & ridiculous… and apparently I was the only one that got the joke in my own head. Anyway… this could be pretty good. We shall see.

Total Re-Recall - Potential casting for the two key female roles in the upcoming remake of "Total Recall" at Sony Pictures is underway reports Deadline. As previously reported, the plan is to stick closer to Philip K. Dick’s short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" than the previous film did. This means no Martian-set action (disappointing), but it is set on a slightly futuristic Earth. Kate Bosworth and Diane Kruger are said to be vying for the role of Lori, the wife of protagonist Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell). Meanwhile Eva Mendes and Paula Patton are reading for the part of Melina while Jessica Biel and Eva Green are also in consideration. That role is a woman who knows the truth about Quaid and helps him solve the conspiracy at the heart of the film. Sharon Stone and Rachel Ticotin played the roles respectively in the 1990 Paul Verhoeven-directed original. For Stone, the role effectively helped launch her career… and for Ticotin, she probably keeps that away from new people that she meets. The real question is… how are they going to work the Governator into the movie? Also... what do these women look like in sexually suggestive photographs? Well, I've got the answer to one of those questions...

Anyway, that’ll probably do it for today. Not a whole lot going on… but I’m just SOOOO busy at work… that it’s kind of draining me in the evenings… but I have been watching “30 Rock” and I’m kind of pissed that nobody told me just how hilarious that show is. Seriously, why are you guys keeping this all to yourself? Okay, so it’s one a few Emmys and all this other jazz… but so did Seinfeld, Frasier & Friends… and I don’t like that crap at all. Have a great day everybody!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rich, Rich as Nazis!!!

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

The past few days have been pretty chill. See, I’ve been kinda broke this past week because of being in charge of the rent check for the apartment… and apparently it takes Wells Fargo 3 days to do anything… including cash checks, transfer deposits & then they’ll charge you a few bucks for the pleasure of doing business with them. So yeah… just been home working out, cooking dinner & watching some TV for the most part. Not too bad… just kinda boring… and I know that I should be out there mixing it up & meeting people… but have to save up a bit for the cruise in three weeks too.

I have taken this time to try to get to know the roommates a little bit… but they’ve been kind of keeping to themselves a bit too. I cooked some pasta salad the other day (it was in the cupboard & I had the ingredients handy) but they apparently had stuff to do in their room (study?) but at least they were thankful. I did get to hang out with Nurse for a few hours watching the TV series “Friday Night Lights” which I had never seen, so she caught me up, we talked about other shows that we liked, apparently she grew up in Irvine, there was even a Stevie Wonder joke thrown in there (trust me, it was tasteful, because it was on a birthday card & I like to think that Stevie Morris has a sense of humor). So yeah, I like that I’m starting to get to know my roommates a bit… but we’re not quite to the going to bars & parties every weekend just yet like with Jackie D & Carmen. Gimme time though… I’m fairly charming… and a lot of fun.

Tuesday night, I watched “X-Files: Fight for the Future” for the first time. Yeah, I know, I watched the newer X-Files movie a few weeks back… but I hadn’t seen this one. The story is that Mulder & Scully find a bomb in a government building… and it blows up… and they’re blamed for it for some reason… so now they have to try to clear their names… and of course, there are aliens involved… blood thirsty aliens… and a virus that could easily wipe mankind off the face of the earth… and government cover ups… you know the drill. Obviously if you loved the TV series, you’ll love the movie… and I liked the series… so I liked the movie.

Wednesday night, I was in a comedy mood so I went with “This is Spinal Tap” starring Michael McKean and many others. It’s of course the fake Rockumentary about a British rock band… and basically just poking fun at the whole thing, but it’s hilarious… so if for some reason you haven’t seen it in the almost 30 years that it’s been available to you, then do yourself a favor & go check it out. You can even have it beamed directly to your home via Netflix. It’s that simple. You have no more excuses other than you don’t have 80 minutes to waste laughing. Anyway, here’s some news about people that aren’t currently broke…

Guys & Dolls & Cars – Remember when you were a kid… and you went to McDonald’s… and you’d get your happy meal… because there was a prize inside of either a Hot Wheels… or probably a Barbie since I think 80% of my readership is female (still not sure why)? Well, were you more excited when you got the Mustang with the beefed up engine… or the Volvo wagon? That’s right, they didn’t even HAVE a Volvo wagon. Why? Because those are lame… completely unsexy. Nobody has even gotten laid in a Volvo with more than a hundred dollars in their pocket. It’s proven. Google it. (Now somebody’s going to an ATM to prove me wrong… because that’s what I would do) Anyway, a new survey says that men prefer their cars beefy or fast, while women go for lower price tags and higher miles per gallon., which studied data from 8 million purchases in the United States last year, found BMW AG's Mini had the highest percentage of female buyers at 48%, while 93% of buyers for Fiat SpA's Ferrari were men. "The study shows that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles while male buyers were completely the opposite, purchasing vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose a high-priced, high-performance vehicle," TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak said in a statement. Following Mini with the women were Kia Motors Corp (47%) and Honda Motors Co Ltd (46%) branded vehicles, according to the study. Last year, General Motors Co's Saturn and Kia tied at 45.2%, followed by Mini at 45%. There were 15 brands with more than 40% female buyers, TrueCar said. Maserati (84%), Porsche (80%) and General Motors' GMC (74%) followed Ferrari for the highest percentage of male buyers, according to the study. The top-selling model for women, with a minimum of 1,000 retail sales, was Volkswagen AG's New Beetle at 61%, while for men it was the Porsche 911 at 88%, TrueCar said. So… news flash, guys make the important life decision of purchasing a car based primarily on looks & appearances… and women tend to think a little more about the fiscal value of the decision. This in no way correlates to other important life decisions made throughout one’s life… such as purchasing a house or choosing a college or… I don’t know… finding a mate. Not a huge surprise that most Beetles out there are bought by women though. I was more surprised that 39% of those bought were by men… but then again, I’m not going to get into the whole co-signing for someone with bad credit thing because that just destroys the whole study. Seriously, does anybody out there know one guy who drives a Beetle made since 1999? Think about it. Anyway, this is just the first news story today about money… so get ready…

Buy An Aircraft Carrier - The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) has put an aircraft carrier up for sale on an official used equipment website. The Royal Navy aircraft carrier Ark Royal was taken out of service earlier this year as part of government budget cuts. It was decommissioned in Portsmouth earlier this month, and is up for sale on, a website run by the MoD's Defense Equipment and Support (DE&S) arm. Individuals and organizations interested in purchasing the former flagship of the Royal Navy -- which was launched by the Queen in 1981 -- have to submit their proposals for the ship to the MoD for approval. "We need to be assured of the viability of the person or organization...including how they intend to store, maintain and dispose of the ship before the sale can be agreed," DE&S spokesman Tim Foreman told Reuters on Monday. Proposals for the aircraft carrier -- which travelled 621,551 nautical miles over the course of its career -- include mooring it in London for use as a helipad. Interested parties have until June 13 to submit their bids and the ship will be handed over to its new owner by the end of the year. The coalition government said it would axe the flagship in a defense review last year as part of its plans to cut a record budget deficit. "HMS Ark Royal has a proud history in the naval fleet and was due to leave service in three years time. Bringing forward her decommissioning ensures we will have an enhanced carrier strike capability in the future," the MoD said in a statement. "Until then, the UK continues to have access to a range of international bases which allow us to project our air power around the world." HMS Ark Royal played a crucial role in the NATO campaign during the conflict in Bosnia and was also involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It was the fifth British ship to carry the name Ark Royal. The first was built for Sir Walter Raleigh and became the flagship of the English fleet, seeing action during the Spanish Armada campaign of 1588. I’m curious what the asking price for the ship is… I’m guessing nine digits at least… maybe even ten. Can you imagine pulling up to the Yacht Club in an aircraft carrier? That’s big pimpin’ right thurr… pull up within range of your PA system, “Deck pop!!!” KAPLOW!!! Fire a round into the great blue yonder to announce your arrival. See? I was made to live lavishly. Some people have to learn & practice mannerisms like this… and mine are more instinctual. Oh… and aircraft carriers have a few of the giant guns right? I’m not just making my own aircraft carrier battleship hybrid, right? Eh, I’ll just have to check the website to see what it’s going for on eBay… er, eDisposals. You know who might also be interested in this boat…

McDuck Wins Again!!! – Since I was a boy watching “Ducktales”, I have always felt a kinship with one Scrooge McDuck. He came to America with a bad Scottish accent… and a dream… and since earning his first dime… his Lucky Dime, it has come true. Yes, it’s not all champagne & caviar… you have your bitter rivals trying to bring you down… sometimes your mischievous nephews break off more than they can chew… or get involved in a plot eerily similar to "Inception" involving dreams... or sometimes you travel through time and bring back caveducks… or get involved in a grand scheme with a klutzy superhero, but at the end of the day, he was finally able to take a relaxing dip in his Money Bin (because who doesn’t like to make it rain so much that you can swim in it). Seriously, the liquidity of his assets is truly remarkable. However, have you ever wondered… who’s the richest fictional character out there? Well, Scrooge McDuck, the "penny-pinching poultry" with a fortune in gold coins whose estimated worth is $44.1 billion, headed the list of Forbes' "Fictional 15" wealthiest imaginary characters. But despite his riches, McDuck still trails Microsoft founder Bill Gates' $53 billion. That’s right, even Scrooge McDuck… is almost $10 billion dollars away from the REAL LIFE Bill Gates. Sigh… imagine the adventures that he must get into… and on the real, the loneliness that he must feel thinking that everybody likes him just because of his money. Poor bastard. Anyway, vampire-themed franchises have become big business, so it's no surprise that Carlisle Cullen, the 370-year-old vampire from the "Twilight" books and films who has been accruing interest on a small savings account since 1670, came in second with $36.2 billion (but then again it all got taken up in a Ponzo scheme). A pair of over-achieving youngsters came in third. Artemis Fowl II, the prepubescent scion of an Irish crime family from Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl novels, was pegged at $13.5 billion, while the altruistically inclined comic book character Richie Rich totaled $9.7 billion. To qualify for the list the characters must be known in their fictional stories and by their audiences for being rich. "Net worth estimates are based on an analysis of the fictional character's source material, and where possible, valued against known real-world commodity and share price movements," Forbes said. While the list, which Forbes editors have compiled since 2005, is all in fun, the process and resultant numbers are serious business, said special projects executive editor Michael Noer. "We go to great lengths to calculate their net worth," Noer said in an interview. "It's similar to how we calculate real billionaires." Market forces, especially commodities, also provided some guidance. "McDuck was up over 30 percent, which is what gold has done this year, and his wealth is mostly in gold," Noer explained. Similarly Jed Clampett, the country bumpkin who found black gold in the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies" benefited from rising oil prices for a $9.5 billion net worth (placing 5th). Mr. Monopoly, the top-hatted, mustachioed character from the popular board game, placed ninth with $2.6 billion. The editors based his worth on the current value of Atlantic City real estate and a presumed percentage of property ownership. The full list, with character profiles and sources of their wealth, can be found below...

6. Tony Stark aka “Iron Man” – $9.4B – Imagine if he still made weapons…

7. Smaug – $8.6B – I need to read… but apparently he has a diamond belly & marauds for a living

8. Bruce Wayne aka “Batman” – $7.0B – And Alfred’s the best butler money can buy…

9. Monopoly Man - $2.6B – Atlantic City has taken a dive

10. Arthur Bach – $1.8B - Seriously can’t wait for this movie remake… and the inheritance will be spent on booze

11. Jo Bennett – $1.2B - I haven’t seen the Office in a while

12. C Montgomery Burns - $1.1B – Probably going to take a hit with the whole nuclear power scare… and they haven’t even looked into the incompetence of the employees

13. Chuck Bass - $1.1B – Who the f**k is Chuck Bass?

14. Gordon Gekko - $1.1B – I hear he’s banging Catherine Zeta-Jones… in real life

15. Jeffrey Lebowski - $1.0B – Yes, Mr. Lebowski… not the Dude… and I don’t wanna give away the ending… but wasn’t he broke so he stole a million bucks from his kids foundation? I’m just saying… the logic is flawed.

Bank Robbery Update – After hearing about fictitious characters that’re richer than you, how are you going to get that first million now? Well, today may be the day to do it… and after a bit of a hiatus, we have another update in the world of bank robbery. Remember when I had one of these every week or so for a while? Anyway, bank robberies in the United States take place most often in mid-morning, on Fridays and in southern and western states, according to government statistics released on Tuesday. Robbers stole slightly more than $43 million last year nationwide in 5,546 robberies of banks, credit unions and other financial institutions, statistics released by the FBI showed. The South led the way with 1,790 bank robberies, followed by the West with 1,691. California had the most robberies at 805, followed by Texas with 464. North Dakota, where there were two bank robberies, had the least. Overall, there were 5,628 reported bank crimes -- the 5,546 robberies along with 74 burglaries, eight larcenies and 13 extortions of financial institutions. That marked a decrease from 2009, when there were 6,065 such crimes reported, the FBI said. The FBI does not speculate on why such a decrease occurred, said spokeswoman Denise Ballew. Most robberies took place at bank counters and involved notes demanding money and threats of weapons, the statistics showed. Nearly all of the $43 million haul was cash, and about $8 million was later recovered, the FBI said. Okay, I’m going to break it down for you then… by the numbers. $43 million in 5,546 robberies… is about $8,000 per heist. Now keep in mind, that’s also what was reported stolen, which given the insurance the bank has, may or may not be inflated. Then you split that amongst however many individuals involved, including any inside man, getaway driver, cost of the guns, outfits, whatever… oh and about 20% of the time the money is recovered… and maybe even more times the criminals are recovered but not the money. Maybe that’s why there’s been a bit of a drop-off. Then again, even a small cut is better than nothing… but is it worth the risk?

So yeah… I think I’ll spend my Friday having a drink or doing something fun. I’ve also got to get a tan going on for the cruise… but hey, I’ve got a few weeks… and it’s not like I tan exceptionally well anyway. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WonderCon 2011

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Hot off the presses, here comes another edition. Getting really excited with my cruise coming up in three weeks. Oh… and that big birthday coming up too… but honestly, I had almost completely forgotten about it. I’d better make some plans for the weekend before to celebrate here in SF with the peeps. Heck, that’s just two weekends away. Maybe rent out a karaoke room or a gentleman’s club or a boat. You know… big pimpin’, spendin’ the cheese… you know how we do. Anyway, updates on that as they come available… other things going on need to be tended to first. Let’s see. What happened this week?

Thursday night, I didn’t really do much after work, ran some errands, made some calls, then sat down and watched “Love & Other Drugs” starring Jake Gyllenhall & the lovely Anne Hathaway. Based on the true story of a cocky Viagra salesman (easiest job ever?) and a cocky girl he meets with Parkinson’s Disease and of course, they’re lovely & hit it off… but then drama gets into it… you know how these romantic comedies work. It was actually a pretty good movie that I thoroughly enjoyed… but yeah, cheesy moments… and how could you get sick of seeing Anne Hathaway… or her body… seriously. I’d recommend it for a romantic comedy. Why not? I’ve seen much worse.

Friday night, I went to a party on Baker Beach, complete with little grill, beers & a celebration of Bubbles’ roommate moving to Chicago. It was fantastic. A little chilly… but the waves were big & crashing… the Golden Gate Bridge was glowing through the mist in the background… the people I was meeting all seemed pretty chill… and then the cops showed up… while the grill was going… and nobody had hot pads or tongs or anything useful like that. Still, for a few moments, it was pretty sweet. After that, we went to a bar in the Marina where there was Foozball & beer so we were good for a while. It was actually a pretty early evening, back home & in bed by 1:30 AM.

Saturday morning, I watched a documentary that seemed like it might be interesting called “The Bridge” about how the Golden Gate Bridge (as seen in previous night’s beach party) is basically the Suicide Capital of the World. The film basically mixed the beautiful scenery that is San Francsico, the Presidio & the area around the Golden Gate Bridge, coupled with some stories of those who committed suicide off the bridge in 2004, as told by the people who loved them. Obviously this show was a laugh a minute, right? But it was actually very poignant & brilliantly done in my opinion, which should carry more weight than it actually does… but that’s another story. One story that got to me in particular… was a kid who suffered from bipolar disorder… and survived the attempt. He told them that he was planning on it… and he was up there on the bridge… and he was just crying & frustrated with his life… and had been there for a while… and a tourist asked if he would take her family’s picture. Yeah. Someone’s balling their eyes out, “Excuse me, would you mind taking a picture for me?” At that point, he just thought that obviously nobody cares, so he went right over the rail… and he said the instant he left the rail, he immediately regretted it, set up as best he could for the landing… and then was just shattered floating on the top of the bay, calling for help, but he had no voice. The part that really got to me… was he was there bobbing like a buoy in the bay, broken & beaten, and then he felt something bump his leg. “Oh God, now it’s not going to be a quick death, a f**king shark is going to eat me.” Nope… it was a seal keeping him afloat. He called out for help on seemingly deaf ears… and a seal saved him. Yeah, I’m tearing up a bit just thinking about it. Don’t judge me. Anyway, basically the story is… don’t f**king do it. Man up. There’s a lot of people out there worse off than you.

I'm sure we've all known someone who has committed suicide. I've known more than a few. It's heart-wrenching, but infuriating at the same time. That's what I noticed when they interviewed loved ones afterwards. They were really sad & they had tried to help them in life... but it wasn't enough for them, so when they did it, they were really sad... but then just angry. Angry that they couldn't help. Angry that the person that committed suicide decided to do it in spite of their love & willingness to help them. Seriously, that's what kept me strong through the tough times as a teenager, was my mother & my family. If I had done something stupid like that, I don't even want to imagine the pain that I would've caused her, my father, my brother, my friends, casual acquaintances, girls who might've been crushing on me (it's possible, I'm a handsome man... and was a fairly handsome boy), all that stuff. Life's a gift. Live it up, b**ches!!!

Saturday afternoon was WonderCon with Bubbles, her roommate J-Mo & two of his friends (I got hooked up with five free tickets). As mentioned, this was my first comic book convention / nerd fest so it was pretty much what I expected… AWESOME!!! There was signings with the likes of Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk”), Jim Kelly (“Enter the Dragon”), Richard Kiel (“Happy Gilmore” is probably his most recognized now), Cindy Morgan (“Caddyshack”) and so on… plus amazing artists, writers, & creators of the comic book world. There were also plenty of places to purchase goodies like 80’s T-shirts, video games, artwork, graphic novels, etc and plenty of opportunities to have your picture taken with people in costume. Funny thing though, because I had the camera… apparently there’s no proof that I was there on my camera… but hey, here you go with some pictures…

On the drive home, I had a voicemail from my mom & it was my nephew Vinny saying something unintelligible… so I called them back. I was in very high spirits, just in the back seat driving back from WonderCon, and my mom answered the phone. “Vinny wanted to talk to Uncle $teve. Here you go, Vin.” “Hi! Unko $teve?” “Hey, what’s up buddy?” He chatted for a bit… and I tried to comprehend what he was saying… something about playing with grandma & grandpa… and pots… and Pokey-Hontas or something… and then it came, “Unko $teve, can you come over? I want to give you a hug before I go to bed.” Yeah… a grown ass man could’ve roundhouse kicked me in the face… and I wouldn’t have welled up like I started to right then. “Oh buddy, I wish I could give you a hug before bed… but I live real far away. I’m going to see you soon though, okay?” “Okay, love you Unko $teve.” “I love you too buddy. Give grandma a hug for me, okay?” “Okay bye.” The drive home from there was… well, still had a few laughs & good times… but as soon as I walked in the front door to my empty apartment (roommates out doing their own things apparently), I went right up to my room… and basically had a good cry. That’s right. I’m a man who can admit that he cried. What of it?

I don’t know, maybe it was just a perfect storm of emotions or something. Watching “The Bridge” earlier & kind of remembering my brief feelings about suicide as a young teenager (obviously a flux in hormones) as I’m sure most of us have had brief moments of stupidity… follow that up with such great fun at WonderCon, thinking about all the people back home that would enjoy it more than even I would… then the call from my nephew where out of the blue, he wants to hug his uncle who he hasn’t seen in months… and then it just kind of hit me that I moved out here to be happy… and I am pretty happy… but then I think about what exactly makes me happy… what activities, challenges, people, etc… like my family & friends nearly a thousand miles away… and traveling but not really having the money to at this current time… and how I haven’t really played basketball in years, which always brought me joy… and I haven’t had a relationship with a woman in YEARS… because as I’ve told you many times, the female form makes me happy… and eyes & smiles… and then my overactive mind starts to wonder about past decisions… and if it just seems like I always seem to make the wrong decision… and what the path might’ve been if did this differently… or that differently… if I went to school here… or studied this… or went with her… or stayed in Utah… or stayed in Tahoe… or went into a different career… and how every decision seemed to take me away from what makes me happy… and yet, I’m still pretty damn happy in spite of it. I don’t know, it was just one of those weak moments. Anyway, an hour or so later, Bubbles said she was going to start getting ready to go out on the town. I basically told her that I’d be happy to drive her somewhere (since she recently sold her car for twice what it’s worth to some sucker in Utah) but that I wasn’t feeling like partying, so I was just going to chill at home. Well, being a great friend that she is, she asked how she could help, I told her it’s all good & what happened with the call, she noticed I got pretty quiet after it, and basically she decided that she wanted me to come over for a Movie Night. She wasn’t really feeling like partying anyway… except with her best friend.

So I went over with a bottle of wine, she popped some corn, and we started watching… what’s basically going to be the next show that I’m addicted on… which is “The Tudors” starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyrs as Henry VIII and a pretty star studded C-list cast for the rest of the royalty set in the 1530’s. See, when I was in high school in European history class, this time was always one of my favorites… because it WAS basically just a giant soap opera with the fate of Europe hanging in the balance. There were douches with power, manipulative men, backstabbing, politics, treachery, betrayal, war, anguish, lust, all the steamy sh*t that you look for… and its historical. I almost got Showtime because I heard about this series… but now, it’s on Netflix… so there we go. Anyway, we got a few episodes in before turning in for the night when the wine kicked in. Luckily I only have to stumble about a hundred feet to get home from Bubbles’ place… but I wasn’t that bad at all, just convenient at 3 AM.

Sunday, I woke up surprisingly early (like 7:30) and ran a few errands and watched a few episodes of a show recommended to me by Bubbles’ roommate called “Farscape” an Australian sci-fi series about an astronaut who gets sucked into a wormhole & ends up… somewhere in space. He joins a rag-tag team of fugitives… and it goes from there. Not really deep enough into it yet to know whether I’ll finish it or not… but “Firefly” only lasted one season. Maybe this can be good too… and four seasons. Anyway, in the afternoon, Bubbles & I had brunch in the Mission at the Pork Store which was pretty good, then we went grocery shopping (because Bubbles is tired of getting hit on every time that she goes alone & she likes a second opinion) then we watched a few more episodes of “The Tudors” & emptied a few more bottles of champagne & wine… and ordered Ho’s for dinner. Nothin’ like Ho’s… for dinner.

Monday morning, Tracy comes down the stairs and asks me, “Hey $teve… ugh… have you been getting bitten by fleas?” I’m sure a quizzical look came over my face, “What?” “You know like bug bites or anything like that… because I’ve gotten flea bites seven times in the past two days.” “I ugh… no. No, not at all.” She then went into this nervous rant about how the only time a dog was in the apartment was when a neighbor dog came in for a second & then left (I was there) and she was wondering if it was just a Presidio thing… and then talked about how they lay 2000 eggs a day. So apparently my roommate has fleas… and she doesn’t know why… and she’s the super clean one. My guess would be a family pet at her parent’s house from the past weekend… but what do I know? Just an odd way to start the morning is all… thought I would share it with you. My roommate has fleas… or rather she did until she put a smelly bug bomb up in her room adjacent to mine that night. Awesome.

Well, today hasn’t been a heck of a lot to talk about, mostly craziness at work… but hey, the night is young, the weather’s great… and it’s a Tuesday… with no tacos yet, but I’ve got the ingredients for those & a margarita or two. I should be okay. Have a great evening everybody!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

First Quarter Report 2011

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen, I know, my entries are few & far between nowadays. I’ve had about a dozen here in the first quarter of 2011 when it’s normally about that every two weeks. Oh well, I try. It’s just been so busy & the internet is sketchy out in the Presidio, but mostly busy & usually fun stuff. Let’s see, over the weekend it continued raining… but broke periodically so that I could get a quick hike in. Saturday, I had dinner & drinks with Bubbles & her roommate who is moving away at the end of the week. We went to a “French” place called SA, which was actually pretty damn good, but very pricey & busy on a Saturday night as you might expect in the Marina. We had a great time though, talking about new adventures & trying new delicacies… and wine always helps. Afterwards, we went to Liverpool Lil’s by the Lombard Gate for a few more drinks & it was much quieter there. A pretty good English pub feel of a place… with rich mahogany and… many leather bound books. It’s kind of a big deal. Sunday, Bubbles wanted to go to brunch, so we went to a nice place in Pacific Heights… but for the life of me I can’t recall the name. It’s on Clement between 8th & 9th Avenue. I remember that though. Anyway, it was pretty good… and we may have convinced them to put pineapple mimosas on the menu after insisting that they make some & try it out. After brunch, we watched “The Black Dahlia” and “Bulletproof” with her roommate, while splitting 3 bottles of wine. It was Sunday & rainy. Don’t judge me. Monday, Bubbles’ brother… we’ll call him Baby Bub… came to town, so after work I met up with them at the Irish Bank, which apparently was stop #3 on their tour of San Francisco bars after a place in the Marina & North Beach… so then we went to The Mix in the Castro (my first visit there) for a few drinks, then another place in the Castro, then back to the Presidio to changed, met up with all of Bubbles’ roommates & went to Naked Fish for some sushi & sake… and then to The Tipsy Pig for a few drinks. It was a lot of fun & I get along with Baby Bub pretty well. He reminds me a LOT of my brother. He’s never really had a job, kinda drifts through life & leaches off other people, but a fun smart kid that’ll probably never grow up. Oh well, who wants to do that anyway? It’s overrated. Anyway, probably the highlight of the night was while Bubbles went to the bathroom, Baby Bub said that he really appreciated that she had a friend like me to watch over her & help her out (apparently he’s heard about the late night pickups & drunken stumbles) and he (like my brother) also talked about moving out here… but yeah, we’ll see how that goes… because first thing he needs is a job. So yeah, great night! Tuesday was yet another Taco Tuesday. This time it was held at Carmen’s new apartment with her friends… so we had a wonderful night of Mexican food, margaritas, Coronas & various ice creams. I was the life of the party, of course, but what else is new? Actually I think it was just that everybody knew me the least… but by the end of the night, they realized that I’m a fairly charming & hilarious man… and not bad on the eyes either. Next Tuesday, I won some tickets to a comedy show at Punchlines (like Jackie D a few weeks back) so a few of us may be meeting up for that. We shall see. All in all, just a fantastic evening. Wednesday was a pretty busy day at work, so afterwards I cooked me some dinner, took care of some things around the house, then sat down and watched “127 Hours” starring James Franco. For those who don’t know, this is about a hiker who goes on a fairly deserted trail in Utah, falls in a crevasse & gets his arm pinned by a boulder (true story) so after 5 days... and no visitors or rescue… he basically has to find a way to survive… which is cutting his arm off with a dull bottle opener on his Swiss army knife. Believe me, I’m not spoiling the ending… everybody knows this. However, the movie itself is pretty fantastic. It’s from director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionairre” & “28 Days Later”) and it’s basically a one-man performance by James Franco (though I did like the cameo of Treat Williams) and it delves into the whole looking back on your life, self-reflection, finding out what’s really important to you, doing what you have to do to survive & then finally… making it work. That’s all I’m really going to say other than I think you should check it out. I still like “Into The Wild” better for this kind of movie… but still, this one’s pretty good too. Here’s some news… Pizza with ALL the Toppings – Have you ever wondered why pizza is so good? Maybe there’s more to it than just the succulent goodness of meat, cheese & veggies on a portable medium. In Toronto last week, police shut down a downtown pizza restaurant after they found more than $1 million of marijuana and other drugs on site. Police say 57-year-old Salvatore Crimi likely ran the dealings at Pizza Gigi, which is near both Central Technical School and a University of Toronto campus (so conveniently located for all your late night party needs). Officers became suspicious when they saw people filing in and out of the restaurant without ever buying food (duh). Besides weed, police found Oxycontin, Oxycocet, ecstasy, and a small amount of crack cocaine, according to CBC. The funny part is… at least 58% of Americans would have been a-ok with Crimi's criminal activities, according to a survey from The Economist/You Gov. One-thousand people took the survey February 5-8, and nearly 60% of participants supported regulating and taxing the drug, according to Seattle Pi. The survey comes at a time when Washington is issuing a statewide initiative that would require the legislature to monitor and possibly sales on pot. To get on the November ballot, the survey needs more than 241,000 signatures; last year, the survey failed by 50,000 votes. If that ruling finally makes it to the ballot and passes, I’m sure a few more people will consider a move to the West coast. At the beginning of February, a 21-year-old Connecticut native Robert Michelson called 911 to ask a question about the law: Could he get arrested for growing marijuana? Of course, the officer assured him that he could go to prison for planting pot, no matter how small the amount, according to the News Tribune. Police officers visited Michelson's home not long after the phone call; they found drug paraphernalia and a tiny bit of marijuana in his home. Michelson was charged with possession but released on bail. What’s the point of these stories? Well, if you’re going to get high, at least be smart about it. If you’re going to run a bodega out of your pizza parlor, then make sure they at least buy their munchies there too. If you’re going to ask a cop about getting arrested, keep it hypothetical. “Hey, how much time would I be put away for with this amount of cocaine on me?” “Hmm, that’s a great question. Let’s go find out. Hands behind your head.” Lastly, it’s going to be there, so just tax it like they were cigarettes. Fine American tobacco will still sell well in other countries… as an alternative to the great marijuana they already produce. There’s a Time & Place for Everything – And it’s called college. You’ve all heard it. Hell, most of you probably lived by it. Binge drinking, recreational drugs, promiscuous sex, experimentation, all of the above simultaneously, but I don’t recall anything like this in my college experience. The president of an American university said on Thursday he was launching an investigation into an on-campus presentation of a live sex act performed for students at an after class event. President Morton Schapiro of Northwestern University, which is of Chicago in Evanston, said he was "troubled and disappointed" after hearing about the use of a sex toy on a naked woman by her fiancé in front of more than 100 students (giggidy). The demonstration was performed as part of an after-class event (extra credit party?) for a popular human sexuality course, at the prestigious private university, according to The Daily Northwestern. The February 21 incident took place in a session which students were not required to attend and they were advised in advance of the explicit nature of the activity (to increase attendance). "I feel it represented extremely poor judgment on the part of our faculty member," Schapiro said in a statement. "I simply do not believe this was appropriate, necessary, or in keeping with Northwestern University's academic mission." Schapiro said he has directed that the incident be fully investigated. "Many members of the Northwestern community are disturbed by what took place on our campus," Schapiro said. "So am I." Psychology Prof. J. Michael Bailey, who teaches the class, could not be reached for comment. In an email to his students, published in The Daily Northwestern, he wrote that he organizes optional after-class events which feature speakers addressing interesting aspects of sexuality. Bailey wrote that "some experiences are educational and interesting in non-traditional ways" and that student feedback has been "uniformly positive." He wrote that it was "too early to say" if he had any regrets. I’m thinking if there’s going to be an investigation that will ultimately result in losing your job, your retirement & your tenure, you may have a regret or two. Damn, where was this class when I was in college? Oh yeah, the coeds next door. “Hey $teve, are you going to that demonstration in Human Sexuality class tonight?” “I was thinking about it… but I don’t know if I’m prepared for it. I’ve never seen a girl to town with a vibrator before.” “Really?” “Yeah, I usually just bring my own toy to the party. We should probably study for this… where’s your vibrator?” Like Your Odds? – The next few stories are about technology… and how it may bring about the end of mankind, especially since there haven’t been any good snake stories in the news lately (remember THAT Apocalypse?). A new poll shows young drivers are more likely to use cell phones while driving, and that 30% of them have recently texted from behind the wheel, U.S. transportation officials said. The release of the poll came as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called distracted driving "a deadly epidemic." The poll comes from the magazine Consumer Reports, which is working with the U.S. Department of Transportation on creating awareness about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. Among the findings are that 63% of respondents under 30-years-old reported using a handheld phone while driving in the past 30 days, the Department of Transportation said. And 30% of the drivers texted from behind the wheel in the same time period according to the survey, which had a total of 1,026 respondents. Older drivers were less likely to talk on the phone behind the wheel, and only 9% of those over 30 years-old reported they had recently texted while driving. LaHood, appearing at the Yonkers, New York, headquarters of Consumer Reports, said teens are more likely to drive distracted because of peer pressure. “Come on man, everybody’s doing it. Just send a picture of your junk to your girlfriend while driving your dad’s car in a densely populated area. That’s gangsta!!! Here, let me turn up the music…” Yeah, that’s how it’s going I’m sure. Teenagers are dumb, but I don’t think they’re quite that dumb. Give ‘em a few years. I think it’s just that people don’t know how to communicate anymore. That’s the root of it. The important thing about this is… statistically speaking, if you crunch the number, we’re talking about 15-20% of drivers out there are texting… another 25-30% are talking on the phone while driving… another 30-40% are uninsured… but only 5% or so are drunk or snorting cocaine off a woman’s backside. So who is more likely to rear end your car or kill you with their car? A drunk driver? Nope… probably just an uninsured douche who wasn’t watching where they were going 35 MPH in downtown. Think about it… all I’m saying MADD can still be MADD but just change it up to Mother Against Dipsh*t Drivers. My point – Don’t drink and/or text & drive. Why? Because you don’t want that sh*t on your conscience if something happens, do you? Of course not. Remember me saving that guy last week? Don’t do it!!! Three Year Glitch – Everybody knows about the 7 Year Itch, right? No, not just the timeless comedy starring The Marilyn Monroe. The whole belief that after seven years… everybody starts having 2nd thoughts about their relationship, marriage, whatever. Well now, the "three-year glitch" has apparently replaced the "seven-year itch" as the tipping point where couples start to take each other for granted, according to a new survey. Weight gain, stinginess, toe-nail clippings on the bathroom floor and snoring are a few of the passion-killers that have led to a swifter decline in relationships in the fast-paced 21st century, said the study commissioned by Warner Brothers to promote the release of comedy film "Hall Pass" in UK cinemas. The survey of 2,000 British adults in steady relationships pinpointed the 36-month marker as the time when relationship stress levels peak and points to a new trend of "pink passes" and "solo" holidays away from partners and spouses that many Britons resort to in order to keep romance alive. Hmm… I like the sound of a pink pass. "Longer working hours combined with money worries are clearly taking their toll on modern relationships and we are seeing an increasing trend for solo holidays and weekends away from marriages and relationships in order to revive the romantic spark," said pollster Judi James who oversaw the survey. The poll compared feedback from those in short-term relationships (defined as less than three years) and people who were married or in longer-term partnerships. The findings showed that 67% of all of those surveyed said that small irritations which are seemingly harmless and often endearing during the first flushes of love often expand into major irritations around 36 months. More than half of the Brits surveyed (52%) who were in younger relationships said they enjoyed sexual relations at least three times a week, compared to just 16% of those in relationships older than three years. This suggests that as we get older together, romance gives way to day to day practicalities, supported by the fact that 55% of busy people in longer-term relationships admit that they now have to "schedule" their romantic time (Really? I’m NEVER too busy for some lovin’). The report also said that those in the first flush of love can look forward to an average of three compliments a week from their partners -- a figure which falls to an average of a single weekly compliment at the three-year high tide mark (really?). The prognosis gets worse the longer we stay in relationships, three in 10 of those surveyed that have been in a relationship for five years or more said that they never receive any compliments from their partners. The findings also showed that more than three quarters (76%) of all people surveyed responded that "individual space was important" within a relationship and pointed to a rise of individual activities. A third (34%) of those who have been seeing their partners for longer than three years have at least two evenings a month defined as a "pass" or a "ticket" where it is accepted that they can pursue their own interests and 58% of the same sample group enjoy regular holidays without their partners. The top 10 everyday passion-killers:

  1. Weight gain/lack of exercise - 13%

  2. Money & Spend thriftiness - 11%

  3. Anti-social working hours – 10%

  4. Hygiene issues (personal cleanliness) – 9%

  5. In-Laws/extended family - too much/too little – 9%

  6. Lack of romance (sex, treats etc) – 8%

  7. Alcohol - drinking too much – 7% (usually a pretty good starter though)

  8. Snoring & anti social bedtime habits – 6%

  9. Lapsed fashion-Same old underwear/clothes – 4%

  10. Bathroom habits - Stray nail cuttings etc – 4%

Anyway, that’ll do it for today. It’s been beautiful the past few days… but of course it’s supposed to rain Saturday, so we’ll see how it goes. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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