Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rec for Color TV Addicts


We don't have a functioning color cable TV here in London...

But somehow I caught a glimpse of this show and we have been watching it online - as you can too.

Apparently it's "all the rage" here in the UK.

And I concur that it's been decent so far - at least in the handful of episodes I've seen.

Here it is - Line of Duty.

BTW, one needs a TV license to even own a television here. And it is cheaper for a black and white TV!!!! ($250 for color, but only about $80 for your antiquated B&W Zenith).



Amsterdam - The Sodom of Post-Christian Europe?



Last week we traveld to Amsterdam.

Read my post - Amsterdam Trip!

I did not take that pic above.

On one of our last days there, walking through Leidseplein Square I noticed some nasty dude walk up to what I assumed was a phone booth or something, he looked around, snuggled right up to it and what from I could tell....TOOK A PISS.

It didn't look like the pic above that I gleaned from the web - it looked much less like a urinal so I was shocked. My wife wanted to "throw up".

But what could be more disgusting than watching guys IN THE MIDDLE OF A CROWDED SQUARE, furiously shaking their last drops out!

No where to wash the hands either. (Actually most guys never do it anyway.)

I guess they figure these guys, Amsterdam stoner neanderthals, are going to just piss on the street anyway so they may as well attempt to pre-empt or manage it.

Most people get real close too. Think about how nasty that is, getting so close to all that splattered piss!

BTW, the streets in the morning were littered with trash. They actually have to HOSE them down each day - or at least after the weekends.

One thing we've learned here in Europe....is not to step in the morning puke that's all over the sidewalks!

My kids are young so every once in a while I had to *keep them moving* so they didn't see the *female insertion pleasure devices* in the store windows or the postcards that prominently featured pierced nether regions.

It wasn't that bad really but I do stand by my title.

One thing that I did find offensive - deliberately offensive at that - as a "let's talk about s*x" exhibit at the science museum.

It was sort of cordoned off, but the inside of it was fully visible to the hundreds of 7 and 8 year olds visiting.


Well done Holland!

It just isn't necessary. But they do it anyway, pervs to make a statement, to normalize their own deviations, and to corrupt kids.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

The Ghost of Neville Chamberlain


Here's the article.

So we were at church this week in London...

And they offered up a prayer for Ukraine - after the people overthrew the Russian-sympathizing president, PM or whatever he is/was.

And it was embellished by an additional prayer for the actions of the US and Russia.

My wife and I looked at each other and blurted out...."WHAT ABOUT THE BRITS!?!?!?!"

So it's just a *given* that they can't be expected to do anything, amongst their own people?

It's just a given that Ukraine is an American problem?

Apparently.

(I'm not saying whether or not America should get involved over there. Clearly we are involved in more places that we ought to be already. Part of me says "stay out", let the people fight and die for their freedom. That's how we got it. And that's probably the only way to ever achieve a sustainable peace.)

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Disney Needs the Money!

Did you know lawyers from Disney did this?

Click the link above.

Read the very feisty comments.

Ayn Rand is spinning in her grave!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Meet Nerdgasm!



He said it's only $15,000 worth of stuff. That's hard to believe.

(I came across this while searching for HD webcam reviews.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Write A Review!


A few years ago I wrote a blog post about my new lemonade stand policy - that henceforth I would stop at every lemonade stand I drove by....if for no reason other than to encourage young entrepreneurs. See - Encouraging Children.

(Although this past summer I once stopped, prepared to buy, at one and these "rich kids" were asking for $3 for a Dixie cup of powder-mix lemonade! I told them the price was too high and drove away - an economic lesson nonetheless.)

Last week I was standing outside a small Italian deli/eatery here in London trying to figure out whether or not to take a chance on eating there. Quite frankly, some of the food here in London really sucks. "Overpriced" is bad enough, but when it sucks too you really get indigestion.

Google Reviews were scant on this little Italian place.

I took my family in and was amazed at how good the meatballs and bolognese sauce were.

Of course it was pricey and the portions were small...

But I went home and wrote a glowing 5-star review for the place on Google.

And a couple months ago I did the same thing for my mechanic. I actually asked him what site he wanted the review on.

First of all, you should support these places that are good....because otherwise they will be gone. So a positive review, in the year 2014 AD, can really help.

Secondly, if you offer to write one, you may even wangle a free dessert or otherwise ingratiate yourself at the establishment.

Reviews are VERY IMPORTANT. You can have the best product/service in the world but if you suck at marketing you may be doomed.

A lot of people are good a making meatballs or whatever BUT they don't know $hit about how important reviews and marketing are.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hating On Planet Earth

Little bit of profanity in here, sorry.









I love how 40% of what gets thrown in eco-pagan recycling bins ends up in landfills anyway.

And I love how when people come to my house, try to dispose of an item, ask me where my "recycling is" and I have the privilege of declaring that "we don't recycle."

Before they can even digest that HERESY, I follow up with a declaration of how much I hate the environment.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Marginalizing Drudge?


It seems to me his little website has become over-sensationalized....just like the Big Media organs he was (methinks) to counter-balance.

I mean he spends far too much time promoting "storms" and the latest Division III college football player to come out of the closet...

Drudge seems to only care about clicks and eyeballs now.

But maybe his DrudgeReport was always this bad and I didn't notice - for some reason or other.

Regardless, I find myself giving him less clicks on account of shallow content.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Dumb Lazy, Rotten Kids....Googling


Ha!

The poor kid must be....Chinese.

If not, I'll bet he is short and has straight black hair nonetheless.

Recall that I did "make" my kids do those Kumon math books.

See - From Counting to Algebra - A Simply Recipe.

But John went through them quickly (1.5 years?) - at least through Grade 6. And Chrissy started out with them, but I had her do some different stuff too.

What I discovered, when I found the above search results, was that Kumon has apparently expanded beyond Grade 6. Hence the irate dumb kid.

And there's more Kumon whining - here - albeit from people that don't know squat about math.

Here's what I discovered my OWN TWO kids secretly Googling on their mother's iPad yesterday afternoon:

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Stressful Morning?


I just saw an ad for Clinique that proclaimed:

33% of people think the time from 7:30am-8:30am is the "most stressful time of the day".

Hmmmmm....

Yeah, there's nothing worse than getting to the first tee at 7:30 am and seeing you'll be playing behind a couple of broad foursomes!

I guess that's what they are talking about.

Usually they are broad broads....who certainly haven't take the time that morning to fix themselves up with Clinique and whatnot either.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Oxygen For Mouth-Breathing Morons


Remember this guy - Dean Karnazes? Remember I read his book? See - Running Insanity.

He's freakin' totally ripped, obviously. Guy would run 50, 60, 100 miles straight!

His feet would blister so bad....they'd just shoot super-glue in-between his toes! For real.

Anyways when I run I try to think of his abs/bod. I have always hated distance running, going all the way back to childhood. It was just brutally painful. So I tried a Tony Robbins mind-over-matter thing while I jogged - you know, positive thoughts. If I kept going my abs would approximate his...

It didn't work for more than a minute or so.

But yesterday I joined a health club here in London and jumped on the treadmill. I hadn't run at all since at least Christmas or so - and probably not since Thanksgiving before that.

Nonetheless I got on the treadmill and promptly ran my personal longest (best) - a little over 5 miles!

Don't laugh. I could beat any of your a$$es in a dead sprint, or once around the track. But I always pooped out at about 1/4 of a mile.

So how'd I do it?

No, there wasn't some amazingly hot broad running on the machine next to me that I was trying to impress or anything. On the contrary, such a scenario would probably make me trip, over something.

The way this 39.5 year old set a personal best distance, despite running on ZERO ACLs, despite my botched, ill-advised back surgery, and despite being theoretically pretty out of shape....is that I finally figured out how to breathe, diaphramatically, through my nose.

It turns out I have "flimsy nostrils" - which I discovered on this website with this test:

Starting from the tip of your nose, the first thing you must do is to find out if you have flimsy nostrils. If you have a very narrow nose, or if your nostril openings are very narrow and slit-like, then you may be prone to having flimsy nostrils. Try this experiment: Take both index fingers and press them just besides your nostrils on your cheek. While firmly pressing on your cheeks, lift the cheek skin upwards and sideways, pointing towards the outer corners of your eyes. Take a deep breath in. Can you breathe much better through your nose?

I swear that when I manually lifted up the skin around my face....my nostrils flared open and I felt a gush of oxygen, instantly, like I've never felt before. Apparently, it's like throughout my entire life someone has been pinching my nose shut and depriving me of vast amounts of oxygen.

I would encourage y'all to read up on the benefits of "nasal breathing". Its advocates spare no exaggeration when touting it. According to them....it can bring about world peace and whatnot.

And I can attest that the effects of all this fresh, nasal oxygen were not only physical but mental too. I became far more relaxed with my flaring nostrils, immediately.

Now I've been (half-heartedly) trying to change my breathing, make it more nasal, for some time now. A few of you might even remember. Of course it's hard to break some of these deeply ingrained habits. I think it was just over the summer when I figured out how breathe a little better while running. I was quite happy to start doing 3+ miles here and there.

But yesterday I not only ran over 5 miles, but I wasn't even the slightest bit winded. I could have kept going if I wasn't worried about how my knees would react to this sudden "rudeness". (Indeed they did bitch and moan at me today!)

It's just like in golf...many hackers know what they are doing wrong, BUT they have no idea how to correct it.

Telling myself to breathe more through my nose wasn't doing anything....not with my flimsly nostrils shutting down my airways. Again, I had to manually open them in order to feel exactly how much air they could take in.

And I do disagree with the nostril opening suggestions on that website. I think that if one breathes diaphragmatically and probably does some sort of facial exercises they can open up their nostrils organically.

Can you say "Smile Therapy"???

Marginalizing Mirages


Bad day again today, eh?

Has it got anyone's attention yet?

I'm not sure since I don't read the *noise* or watch the *noise* (CNBC)....and also since I'm displaced from the Wall Street town I (used to?) live in on Long Island.

Whatever the level of anxiety/discontent I'm sure people are unhappier today than they were back in October when the market was at this very same level. Yeah, that's how irrational humanoids are!

Of course there's a long way yet still to fall. This market could, COULD, go down faster than a Jersey girl on prom night.

When it gets ugly Big Government/incumbents will start "buying bonds/stocks" again with renewed vigor. At least they will SAY they are going to do so. And you will certainly get a nice tradeable/meteoric bounce - for a moment at least.

I knew, I JUST KNEW I should have sold my house into the local "bidding wars" last month...

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Husband Hacking



I thought it was interesting, well-done, and funny.

And I'll bet a few of my old college jabronis will think I like it only because....I allegedly had a thing for Jewish broads back when I was in Philly (UPenn) some 20 years ago.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Updates from Boston's Dour Big Brother, London!



Yeah that was my now 9.20 year old son there in the orange. It was his "big break" or initial break anyway.

I'm not too keen on the acting thing - Hollywood is a sewer after all - but I'm into anything that animates my son. He fancies himself pretty funny and might just dabble as a midget stand-up comedian.

You can read about my London adventure thus far:

Living In London - Week 1

Moving abruptly as we did does present some "clean slate" opportunities.

I'm going to try to get a lot of work done and finally get some substantive ($$$) infoproducts on the market. That is my chief priority not that I am temporarily liberated from teaching my math students (the ones that won't do Skype that is).

I also just joined a gym not 30 yards from my house. It will be about $130 per month which is basically what these things cost in cities. I will get my money's worth however, being so close. I'll be there first thing weekday mornings.

Normally I can exercise sufficiently without equipment (though I did ship a 45 lb kettlebell over) with yoga, running, etc. BUT living in a city, without a car, in a small (1,500 sq ft) apartment.....well, the walls start to close in on you. So a gym is at least a sanctuary from that. I hadn't been a member of a gym (not counting YMCA's) since I was a single apartment-dweller in Philly some 13 years ago.

So being away from NY pizza, walking everywhere (no car), and hitting a gym regularly should do my body well.

I'm also looking at joining a chess club here in London....and a Toastmasters club (public speaking).

And every day I think more and more about trying my hand a stand-up comedy.

The video shoot above was all done by wannabe, "up-and-coming" stand up comedians. And while I was jabbering with them all outside of the studio I was reminded yet again....how much FUNNIER I AM than them.

I recently read a book - I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era - which was pretty good, and inspiring.

All I really need is a one 5-minute set. You see, these comics just say the same material OVER and OVER again.

You just have to go up once...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dumpy Dow!


Down 300+ points yesterday, eh?

I submit that EVERYONE is "longer" the stock market than they could possibly imagine.

I mean we've had 5 years of unmitigated upticks...

Every business, every household, every bank, every municipality, every pension fund, etc. is going to get blindsided.

It never ceases to amaze me how the mere theoretical value of unrealized market gains can be so comforting to so many.

I guess the analogy would be some nerd cruising through "school" with straight A's foolishly believing that they will be set for life.

I recently had a cab driver tell me that the stock market healthy.

And it reminded me of that day some 14 years ago I was in a cab in Philly at 6am....and the driver was telling me to buy QCOM!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Moving To London


Yeah. That's going to be our new residence in the South Kensington area of London. We are boarding the plane in a few hours.

Why?

To get away from Obamacare of course!

Kidding...

We orchestrated an ex-pat deal for my wife. So she will work there for around 12 months - I wouldn't imagine it being any longer, but who really knows.

The main reason is so that our kids can see a bit of Europe, i.e. educational reasons. We plan on traveling across the "Continent" often because flights from Europe, to Europe, are relatively cheap.

Almost every single person has said, "I'm jealous....it will be a great experience....and I'll come visit you there."

First of all, they weren't invited!

Secondly, most of these trash-talkers have never even visited us in NYC - which also happens to be A, if not THE, most amazing city on this overheated, freezing, doomed planet. And in NY they (theoretically) have free board.

Whatever.

We only have 1,500 sq feet and 3 bedrooms in our "flat". How much do y'all think that costs on a monthly basis? (Warning - it will turn your stomach.)

To read more about the thought process behind this move - visit the links at the bottom of this post.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tim Ferriss - On Color TV!



I happened to see this ad on YouTube and, well, it reminded me that back in another lifetime I used to blog!

Apparently this is his second stab at TV. Here's the first, some 5 years ago - Trial By Fire.

I stopped reading blogs a while back. And then this past year or so I stopped blogging myself.

Why?

Just too busy I guess. There never seems to be enough time to get anything done between educating my brood, annoying house and yard work, teaching dumb/lazy kids math, and trying to, still, develop some infoproducts to sell.

Who knows when I'll write another blog post...

But in the meantime you might want to sign-up for Feedly. It replaced, sort of, Google Reader and is pretty cool.

This way you can subscribe and never have to check this blog again directly (and cursing at me for not updating). Thanks.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Destroying This Country!


These are sad times.

The whole country is collecting food stamps and pensions from freshly printed money.

And they think because the stock market is roaring....that all is well.

The media is of course a bunch of lying SOBs; the public is fat, lazy, and even more grossly ignorant about what's really going on.

The government has grown out of control - probably beyond the point where it could ever peacefully be reined in. At this point it's pure tyranny.

In an unfunny "laugher":

In the statement, the Fed says that the economy is growing moderately and that some indicators of labor market conditions have shown improvement. But it noted that rising mortgage rates and government spending cuts are restraining growth.

What effin' government spending cuts?

The Fed (and every other institution, public OR private) has become a naked advocate for Big Gov, er for itself! And the media of course propagates this without any scrutiny. Washington press releases are essentially "news" these days.

I can't help but feel like I'm watching a train wreck, in HD, in slow motion.

I do try to avert my eyes...

Heck, I'll probably get audited for writing these blog posts one day...

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Beach Muscles



What are beach muscles?

The look good on the beach but...

I used to teach my brother about having them too.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Branching Out



I'm playing in my first competitive chess tournament next month. It's a big tournament.

And yes, I'm playing in the lowest division (which is high, U1200) alongside my son.

I'm not afraid of having to play him - after all he beats me 50%-60% of the time now.

But I am petrified of embarrassing myself - losing all my games, losing to Asian girls less then 4 feet tall, etc.

In life it's hard to do new things - excuses not to branch out, not to take "risks" can be formidable opponents.

Yeah, this isn't really a RISK or a wild adventure....but I agonized a lot over the decision to sign up.

I know. Pathetic.

Wanna Get Depressed?



Then watch this movie - CLICK HERE.

It is very, very well done. though.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Peaking Too Soon!

Check this out, Carrie Underwood singing with that *government school* 5th grade choir from Staten Island (NY):



I don't care what any of y'all say....Carrie is freakin' HOT, off-the-chart HOT.

That little dude who got to sing with her didn't even get a hug???

He could have, and should have(!), moved in for a smooch. I myself would have and perhaps even planted it on her lips!

Still it's pretty cool to get to sing with her like that.

Though in all likelihood the poor kid has hit the apex of his life at the ripe old age of 11!

This happens a lot in life too.  Think Al Bundy, Biff Loman, and most of the high school jocks you grew up with.

Monday, August 05, 2013

The Short Bus...For Parents!


What do y'all think about summer camp - all-day camp, for 1 week, for the princely sum of $175?

Oh wait, that's just for the "busing". Camp in the NYC-area is essentially $100 a day, $500 a week PLUS the $175 for the bus if needed. So it pushes $700.

PER KID!

Have three kids and the summer "babysitting" is 2k per week, for 7 or 8 weeks.

We've done more camp this year than ever before.

First they both did a 2-day chess camp.

Then they did a week of VBS (Vacation Bible School). That was only 3 hours per day and was free. (We donated $200 nonetheless).

Then I sent my son to a week of chess (and soccer) camp run by a Russian grandmaster (only 23 kids). He liked it so much I sent him for a second week. (Plus our normal chess coach has been unavailable. He teaches all summer at the famed USDAN camp (costs $800 per week) on Long Island.

My daughter did a large, multi-sport camp for one of those weeks. It was at best, "okay".

This week she is doing art camp for $475 (9 am to 3 pm). It's not really a camp but rather a small class 2-5 kids at a local studio.

My son was SUPPOSED to be doing Cub Scout camp this week starting today. We were there at 7:25 am waiting for the bus with another family....only the bus never came!

So I got a raw deal out of that. I had not only my son all day today, but also the other family's boy instead of the day-off I was supposed to enjoy! Incidentally, this Scout camp is pretty good. It's all day at the Reservation, and only costs $350 for the week including the bus. My son absolutely loves it; he's outside all day long; so we pretty much have to send him.

The short bus?

For the most part that's what camp busing looks like. All summer long there are these little buses zipping all over the streets. In the morning and then again at the end of the day. The prestigious expensive camps will have their names on signs in the bus windows. Some even have all the kids' names written on the windows. Whatever.

I believe that most of these camps suck. The summer is ideally for free time and most of these poor kids have already been overscheduled and harried all year long.

These camps are glorified, expensive babysitting. They are staffed by 19 year kids for crying out loud.

But if both parents are working....camp is of course a necessary evil.

On the other hand, there are PLENTY of parents that are home all day long who do nothing (order out, have maids, etc.) and still ship their kids off to camp all summer long.

Camp was not such a big thing when I was a deprived child (think "Angela's Ashes"!) growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts. My siblings and I, when we got older, did maybe 1 or at the most 2 weeks of summer camp. And I don't remember it being so prevalent up in Boston when we lived there from 2005-2010. But then again my kids were much younger and I may have just not noticed it.

For sure though, camp is huge here in New York.

While waiting at a major intersection this morning for the Cub Scout bus...

I counted no less than 100 other short buses that went by!

On the 100th one and 40 minutes past the scheduled pick-up time, one I decided to cut my losses and take the kids home.




Sunday, August 04, 2013

Dumpster - Day 1


No demolition of the basement yet.

First we have to declutter the accumulated junk from my wife's family (50 year span!).

That pic doesn't do service to how much crap I pulled out already. Many of the larger things aren't in the dumpster yet because I need lifting assistance.

There were tons of old tools. Large wrenches, 50 chisels, 25 hammers, innumerable coffee cans full of rusty nails, etc. Two massive desks that had to be disassembled to fit out the narrow doorways. Steel shelves bound by stripped rusty screws that also had to be taken apart.

I was so filthy yesterday....by boogers were black!

We will fill this thing up in no time. Junk is still all over our attic, the garage, the shed, and the yard.

Still haven't decided what to do about the demolition. The contractor's $4,500 seems steep.

It looks like there are few neanderthals on Craigslist who claim they will, "beat any estimate."

I'm thinking more like $2,500 for a demo. I will call the cavemen either tonight or tomorrow after I finish emptying the basement.

Verizon wants $135 to move our internet connection upstairs. On the phone I told them to, "go eff themselves." Not really.

It's bull$hit. We pay them nearly $300 a month for cell phones, color TV, a house phone that doesn't work, and internet.

And when we had it installed originally - 3 years ago - they had the stones to charge me like $450 or something. I'm pretty sure I blogged it.

I was in shock. Cable installation was FREE every other place I lived. After all, they are going to get over $1,000 per year back from a new customer.

But I think this is one of those typical NYC-are jam-jobs. Verizon figures you live in NY....so they can charge you more. This crap really pisses me off.

Everytime I call a service or contractor for a price the first thing they want to know is, "What town do you live in?"

They pulled the same crap up in Cohasset, MA when we lived there. Some maid service wanted $1,000 to clean the entire house!

How much does FiOs installation cost where y'all live?

Friday, August 02, 2013

The Human Zoo





Here you are:

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."


Hah!

Much thanks to O'Jabroni for that one.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Do My Own Basement?



Our basement is in desperate need of being "re-done".

It's already finished....but there's mold and nastiness throughout.

But the problem here on Long Island is that these contractors sodomize you, in terms of price.

They are rude-a$$ mofos to boot!

I mean how much do you think it should cost to demo, reframe, rewire, put up sheetrock, hang a drop ceiling, and paint a basement?

I'm curious what some of you in flyover country would pay for this.

Personally, I don't think it should cost more than $10,000.

But you watch, they'll try to charge me 50k!

That's why I'm sort of thinking about trying to do it myself. Well I checked out some book on how to do it at the library anyway.

I can demo it, right?

I just bought a reciprocating saw for $60 on Amazon. A dumpster here costs $350-$500.

I'm a little nervous about cutting into a pipe or wire - but I think I can handle that.

One guy, a contractor who told me he could get me a dumpster for "only $800" (!) said that the problem with demo'ing your own place is "controlling the dust."

I'll bet I can figure that out.

I'm seriously thinking about trying to find someone who lives 100 miles away to do it. They can sleep here. I'll help.

Doing any of this work myself would, of course, amount to a complete waste of my time in the long run.

But I don't think I can stomach a bunch of criminals coming into my house and robbing me for a few months or however long they drag it out.