Thursday, September 30, 2010

Justice-Free Markets - If We Can Call Them 'Markets'

Despite my steady diet of *selective ignorance* of all things deemed news....I accidentally came across that article in my web surfing and it infuriated me.

So why is JP Morgan actually halting their *foreclosures*?

Well, for a variety of scumbag reasons.

First, it gives them cover to CONTINUE to not realize the crippling losses on their mortgage books.

And THAT, allows management to CONTINUE paying itself bull market wages.

It's also an act of political obeisance to Big Government - after all, JP Morgan is so completely bankrupt that they only exist because of direct access to Washington and to the printing press. So they have to occasionally submit to bend over for that other posse of Big Gov apparatchiks - lawyers.

There's also this econo-illiterate theory prevalent among bankers and Washington incumbents that by simply stalling/halting foreclosures....that this will keep the housing market from EVER falling back to reality. They genuinely believe this but in fairness, these Morons hold dear a vast number of other myths and legends.

But what really made my blood boil in that article was the mention that GMAC - a 200% taxpayer-owned entity - had already, yet again, come up with this same BS excuse to let people like my old landlord hold on to properties that there were already a couple of years delinquent on.

In fact, he's still collecting rent on that rat-infested house that I used to live in. The bills haven't been paid in 2.5 years!!! His first bankruptcy filing was over 6 months ago and he still hasn't been dispossessed of the 4 homes he *owns* and is milking.

Everybody in this picture is making out like the bandits they are.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are suffering from all sorts of crafty new banking and credit card fees, zero interest on our savings, and higher taxes at every level of government.

It doesn't take much foresight to see that these pols WILL NEVER, EVER reverse course - towards the isle of economic prudence.

Nope. They've set us on the path to a full-blown currency implosion.

Today I heard, for the first time in the nearly 15 years I've been following the stock market, I heard some Top-40 DJ mention how great the stock market is doing. He said, "Run home and open those end-of-quarter statements and you'll be smiling..."

Can you say, "shoe shiner stock tips"?

Scalping Front Row Seats for a Slo-Mo Train Wreck

Wow. So the embattled, shrinking Boston Globe is going to try, yet again, to create a *paid* website.

I'm going to short this failed-model tinkering.

In fact I think they may go completely broke PAYING people what the market demands to read their tripe...


What exactly did you imagine a *pay site* from them might be?

You're joking, right?


Very early Friday morning I will be heading out for my annual jabroni golf trip.

This year our 7 year stint in Naples, Florida comes to an end; we're moving north to Tampa where our host has relocated to.

We're scheduled to play:

TPC Tampa


World Woods

...and one other round before returning on Monday, which may or may not be a repeat of one of these courses.

I love Naples but it was getting a bit stale. Tampa is younger, cheaper, and a little bit cooler temperature-wise.

FURTHERMORE, I believe the golf is a little better and, supposedly, they have the best *dance* joints in the country in Tampa.

Might have to field-test that last one - in deference to accuracy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Explains Why Ferriss Is Blogging So Much These Days

Yeah, he's releasing another book - The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman.

Note the ingenious, eye-catching subtitle - An Uncommon Guide To Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman.

So the book is for lazy fat people, ignorant lovers, and wannabe superheros, i.e. just about everyone!

Of course I'm going to buy it, even if I think some of the things he did to research this book were INSANE.

One of this latent-perv's taglines promises to reveal *how to give women 15 minute 0rgasms*.

C'mon, Tim.  For one thing, that's a promotion of rank inequality that I could never condone...

Well we'll see if The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman lives up to the hype soon enough.

So far the marketing, IMO, has been off the charts - from the subject/design of the book right down to how Ferriss ramped up his blog output into this release.

And, as big as his last title was, this one has potentially even wider appeal.  Almost every one on this Gaia-forsaken planet eats, exercises, and is trying to reshape their bod.

See also - Book Review - The 4-Hour Workweek.

The WHOLE Truth

I met some guy today - actually hired him to do some work in the backyard.

Shooting the breeze, he told me that he was a butcher at Whole Foods.

CaptiousNut - So, do you think that organic meat and whatnot is really healthier.

Dude - No way. But if you ask me in the store I'm required to say something else....It's just too lean.

Whether this guy was correct or not is beside the point. It was darn funny!

Winging It

How about this one - NYC Wingmen - is it real?

From their site:

NYC is the biggest wing men meet/pua up in NY. We have monthly meetings, where you get a chance to meet wingmen, get advice on meeting and dating women and meet someone who can become your wingman. We host outings, where you can go out and meet women with wingman/pua by your side.

We have skill ranking, that allows you to choose wingmen close to your skill level, and Day time / Night time pua options, in case you prefer to meet women in day time, night time, or both. Best part, NYC Wingmen is totally free. (pua)

NYC wingmen is hosted by mpua and dating coach from .Get your up to date advice on meeting and dating women, and then apply knowledge the very same day with wingman by your side. PUA.

I should volunteer - though I'm going to have to figure out how to artificially and substantially lower my *skill level* so as to not embarrass the client.

Of course it most certainly is NOT a free service.

I'm sure *wingmen* get income-tax free compensation in the form of free drinks, apps, and possibly even dinner paid for by the client.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Can't Be Real!

Turn your speakers on, click this link, and listen to the perky young lady's irresistible sales pitch.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Greg Mankiw - Still An Outstanding, Pinheaded Moron

Seeing some new *gadget* on Mankiw's blog, I had to check out his top-rated post - A Dastardly Clever Scheme.

It's rather short, so you won't have to hold your nose too long to read it.

In it Greg extols a ridiculously impractical idea crafted by his pinheaded colleagues. (And I guess, his brainless readers/students are also marveling at the ludicrous notion, or something, to get the post's *rank* up there.)

So here's the Moronic idea:

Universities in a place like NYC should buy up rent-controlled buildings. Since capped rent lowers the price of the buildings, these should be cheap to acquire. THEN the universities can turn around and offer up the cheap housing as what amounts to a perk to their professors. By doing this, they will be able to lower cash compensation to these professors and save $$$$.

Of course, this WOULD and COULD NEVER HAPPEN.

When someone buys a rent-controlled building in New York City, the tenants most certainly DO NOT LEAVE, they merely snicker.

They simply continue to stay there as long as they can AND their rights to do so are extremely well-protected. For example, my MIL had some Pakistani scumbag in one of her Brooklyn apartments paying $300 or so in monthly rent for a unit that would have fetched over $3,000 had it been de-controlled.

This woman had been there forever and she'll NEVER LEAVE, would you? In fact, she's still there after my MIL sold the building to new owners.

When I was around, she was illegally subletting one of her three bedrooms out for no doubt more than her entire controlled rent. Again, why would she EVER vacate that apartment?

Furthermore, she is, I believe, allowed to *bequeath* the unit upon her death if one of her many kids OR EVEN GRANDKIDS has been living with her for some nominal period of time. In that case, they get to stay and the landlord's own kids/heirs will be crying for having to deal with them for another 50 years!

There are tenants like this, acting rationally, and gaming the system all over NYC, oh exalted Harvard professor.

But this is 100% typical Mankiw - completely divorced from reality, and drunk on *theory*. "Yeah, we'll just buy a building, the tenants will leave, and we'll rent out the empty units to whomever we want..."

I'll bet this ivory tower provincial has never even met a rent-controlled tenant or a landlord suffering from this law - a disastrous and wholly ineffectual law that was no doubt the fruit of Mankiw's Harvard ancestors.

It's bad enough that an ignorant clown like this is (allegedly) teaching economics at our (allegedly) best college.

But even worse is the fact that this econo-aliterate was advising a President on economics matters!

I've written too much on this boob to list all the I'll just highlight a couple:

Greg Mankiw - Selective Statism

Economists - Useless BUT Harmful!

And my - tag link.

Interior Designer Brawl?

I vividly remember, as a freshman at my all-male *fairy* high school one morning when two twerps were brawling in our homeroom.

The teacher, who happened to also be the hockey coach, came in and interrupted the commotion. The combatants froze while one of them was headlocking the other and dead silence prevailed.

Without breaking stride on his way to his desk, Mr. Murphy remarked, "Well there's a fight where nobody will get hurt!"

Man, was it uproariously funny - in the much the same fashion as the clip above.

Sharkless Surfing

I'd never seen this thingamajig before:

I'll tell you what, some of those spills make the ocean, with its riptides, coral, sharks, and whatnot, seem like a safer place to learn, no?

Almost Looks Fake

Good music too - even if borrowed from that bad movie.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Socialization Stumble - Quack Quack

Only four months on Long Island now, my wife and I are still very much in the early stages of building a social life here.

Out of the toddler stage, most of our peers socialize through their children's *organized activities*: school, sports, dance, karate, scouts, etc.

But there are also several other outlets such as country clubs, yacht clubs, newcomer's clubs, mother's clubs, church and so on. In fact we went to a well-attended kickoff event of one such club last night (66 people) and met plenty of new faces.

However, I do have one small complaint which I'll preface with an excerpt from - South Shore Requiem:

Contrary to many opinion-heads, e.g. Forbes editor Rich Karlgaard, I maintain that one attribute of great-to-live-in regions is a dearth of colleges. Sure it may be impossible to find a $10 per hour responsible, EFL college student babysitter, but the plus side of being far from academia is not having to put up with all the never-done-anything, know-it-all cranks that dominate college-towns. Charlotte, where I lived for 11 months in 2004-5, was a similar case. I submit that the Queen City and the people there were so beautiful precisely because it wasn't ruined by colleges, a la Raleigh. (Hospitals bring a good share of cranks with them as well.)

Careers? Well, everyone in Cohasset/Hingham either works in finance or real estate. Seemingly, everyone was an analyst for a mutual fund company - or a consultant in the same field. I don't think I met a single doctor in 2.75 years; and I only met socially maybe 2-3 lawyers. Essentially, everyone nominally worked in the private sector. So I guess that's why the political BS, alluded to above, was kept to a bare minimum.
BUT, guess what...

I'VE ALREADY come across socially, in just the past couple of weeks, THREE DOCTORS living in my town.

What exactly is going on here? I thought I moved to a Wall Street town!

Of course, doctors are easy to keep at bay or mess with.

Last night I auto-gratified myself by grilling a couple of them, separately, over the pig flu quackccine. Hee hee.

My wife thinks, in general, that doctors are *boring*. But she's wrong.

I retorted, "What, are they any more boring than some of the empty-heads enslaved by large corporations?"

See also - Swine Flu Bogeyman - Up For Slaughter

Saturday, September 25, 2010

One Humorless Mother!

Just think how much cash he had to spend to buy all those cases!

It's hard to imagine such a funny kid has that woman's DNA.

Although, my own mother isn't exactly known for the size of her funny bone either.

My wit was mostly all *acquired*.

Here's a more normal, more balanced Mom:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bethpage Black

After four months here now in New York, today I finally played my first round of golf.

At 12:24pm, I teed off with a sort of new friend and two of his buddies.

Let me just say right off that this is the BEST course I've ever played in the 22 years since I started hacking the ball around.

We played the back tees - 7,000 yards - but it plays LONGER than that with all the elevation changes. For example, on the 16th hole I hit a damn good tee shot into some wind but also down a huge hill. Yet I still had 240 yards to the pin!

Aggravating the length and difficulty of the course is the fact that there are no carts. And not at all interested in spending $75 on a caddie I had to lug my own clubs. As a compromise, our foursome hired a mostly useless forecaddie for $80 split evenly. I won't do that again.

Make no mistake, this is a real workout. On the 15th hole my legs started cramping. While it was somewhat warm, despite drinking a lot of fluids no one in the foursome needed a pee break all day on account of what had to be dehydration. (Though one guy defecated before we teed off...)

I'm really pumping the ball off the tee, except my short game is a mess. I 3-putted four times and only got up and down, maybe, twice all day. I shot a 90 - the same score as a guy in the group, a member at two private clubs, who asserts that he's a 2 or 3 handicap. Like I said, it's not an easy track - even though I'd describe it as fairly *open*.

The highlight of my round was a 254 yard 5-wood I plopped on the par 5 7th green. Not only was I shocked at how far it went, but so was the group ahead still putting on the green. Oh, yeah, I 3-putted that one for par...

You know I played Torrey Pines in San Diego and thought it stunk. Nor was I impressed with Kapalua in Hawaii or a handful of other *highly ranked* courses that I've been fortunate enough to play. I went into Bethpage today excited to play but also presuming to be similarly underwhelmed.

But it was truly terrific. I'd highly recommend the experience to anyone who can drive there.

As a state resident I paid $70 to play today. I believe non-residents pay nearly double - $130 during the week, and $150 on the weekend.

See also - Loading Up On Inflation-Protected, Hard Assets.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Night Temptations

Mrs. C-Nut - Can you go upstairs and get me on of those moose temptations?

CaptiousNut - One of those what??

Okay. That's what I heard - moose temptation - and I almost died laughing.

Her new low-fat dessert sounded like, well,...a late-night, no-witnesses-around opportunity(?) at a singles bar. More specifically, in my experience, a *Thursday* night because on Fridays and Saturdays people were generally out with their friends and co-workers and on somewhat better behavior.

It almost goes without saying that there is definitely nothing *60 calorie* about those situations.

And yes, with over 2,000 posts now, I do in fact have a related post link even for this one.

See - When The Music Stopped...

People As Zoological Exhibits...

I'm reposting this here because I believe the link wasn't set properly. Enjoy!

I found that on - 10 Great Screenshots From The Maury Povitch Show.

Check it out. The other paternity test one on that link brought me to *laughter tears*.

Hope For Frankophobes

Watch these in sequence:

Some 35 year old Marine, a 4th District native, is running against Barney Frank this November. Expect the money to come pouring in from all over the nation should it look anything at all like an upset is afoot.

Some of my biggest Google traffic comes courtesy of my previous *barney* posts:

Barney Frank - An Invert's Grand Inversion

Raw Footage In Mouthage - Barney Frank

Barney Frank Redefines ZERO LIKELIHOOD

Facts On Fannie Mae = Homophobia

Barney Frank - Unapologetic Shakedown Artist

Dodging Barney Frank

Barney Frank-ly Is A Dissembling Socialist

Book Review - What Really Matters

Alright...I just procured, devoured, and savored another great homeschooling book - What Really Matters, by David Albert and Joyce Reed.

Recall Albert edited some of homeschooling patron saint John Gatto's work. And I've already blogged on a few of his other books - here, here, and here.

Joyce Reed is a new name to me. But hey, I'll eagerly lend my ears to ANYONE who's successfully homeschooled and expelled five kids!

The book is set up, skeletally, as a dialogue between these two *veteran* homeschoolers. Except it was more like a monologue with alternating voices. There wasn't any discernible disagreement in there either; just a whole lot of high fives and wet kisses going back and forth.

Nonetheless, the book was terrific and it instantly rises into my top five list of must-read homeschooling resources. More than a few times, in the course of reading it, I had to remind myself to inhale, and exhale.

Homeschooling is such a vast subject the narrow term itself ought to be done away with on account of insufficiency. No single book, as yet, has come anywhere close to doing it service; nor could a 200 page book on, say, *science* hope to scratch the surface of its titular subject. So allow me to sub-title or sub-categorize this one.

David and Joyce, from what I can tell, and compared to others in my personal sample set, are so-called *un-schoolers*. That means they believe, almost fanatically, in child-led exploration and learning.

In other words, they would probably (David anyway) frown upon the 2,000+ workbook pages I MADE my son do between the ages of 3.75 and 4.75. See - What'll We Do Next Year.

Unschoolers believe it paramount that kids learn at their own self-regulated pace. So if they don't read until they're 10 - then so be it and don't sweat it. Because it's far more important, in their eyes, to keep the learning process *pure*, i.e. devoid of coercion and incentives.

Okay. So why am I reading and lauding the pontifications of my critics?

Well, because I don't believe they are directing this book specifically to me, at all. Their message seeks a wider audience of government school parents, young homeschool parents, veteran homeschoolers, and potential homeschoolers. Few adults out there have the same situation I have: kids with superior genetics and probably the best teacher on this planet - a hero who can magically make long division with decimals fun, interesting, and relevant even for little squirts!

And with that goal in mind, the book has been well-sculpted as an inspirational masterpiece.

While many have chosen (and will continue to choose) to educate their own *outside the system* on account of a bad school experience, because of so-called special needs, for lifestyle reasons, religious calling, or, like me, because they believe an individualized education in the comfort of home is superior to every other method....David and Joyce take it up another notch or two. They truly believe that homeschoolers can improve global health. They're going to save the planet!

Normally, in this space, I'd mock the socks off anyone making such claims and I'd out them as dissembling power and money seekers.

The fact is, optimally raised homeschoolers won't slavishly pick up the newspaper or go to everyday to *receive* their intellectual and emotion orders. Essentially, everything churned out by Big Media boils down to *propaganda* from regnant institutions: political parties, unions, Big Business, the college/university cartel, Big Military, organized eco-pagans, et al. So it follows that only truly independent thinkers will be able to come up with outside-the-box solutions and prescriptions for larger societal problems.

It's a nice little cynical and self-aggrandizing theory, right?

Well consider Albert's oldest daughter:

Following our trip to south India to aid in some small way in tsunami relief efforts in December, 2004/January, 2005, my older daughter Aliyah decided she needed to return in the summer to feel she had completed her part of the job. She raised the necessary funds herself and took off for Asia. She spent a week in Cambodia with that nation’s only child psychiatrist, who is training the country’s entire child mental health workforce (the previous one having been physically eliminated by Pol Pot in the late 1970s). She met with an old graduate school friend of mine who gave up a promising academic career to (among other things) set up hospices in Phnom Penh for those dying of AIDS. She flew on to south India, undertaking for nine weeks to document the efforts of the land reform/house building organization working with the poorest of the poor, and with whom we had contributed our time and energy six months previously. Then she moved on to Bangkok, visiting with an organization that is training Buddhist monks to help individuals and communities heal from the trauma of the tsunami, which is still very fresh. And now, having returned home, she is working to set up an internship for herself in Italy with a group that does Third World development-related work.

Aliyah is seventeen.

Wow, right? It sounds like she's going after after Mother Teresa's records as a young Tiger Woods sighted Jack Nicklaus!

Now, would any of that (especially the imagination and travel) be possible if the young lady's time and priorities were co-opted by *schools*?

Of course not.

BTW, Albert's other daughter volunteers at animal shelters and organizes piano concerts in furtherance of Mid-East Peace and whatnot.

Look, John Gatto's work remains the tour de force, the beacon of homeschooling inspiration.

BUT, he really only, in exposing the sordid history of government schools, taught us the *why* of the homeschooling question.

Since he himself was childless didn't homeschool(?), we need others, trailblazers like Albert and Reed to teach us the next step, the *how to* aspect.

I guess the appeal of What Really Matters - for me anyway - is that it successfully bridges this important gap.'s Upstart Moron

As the headline reads, the founder (idea stealer?) of FaceBook has decided to burn a whole lot of money in Newark, NJ as George Costanza said to Steinbrenner, "...all for the glorification of your massive ego!"

Newark only spends $22,000 per pupil, near the highest in the OBVIOUSLY the system there simply needs a little more money.

There's not much else to say here. Just behold this jaw-dropping Moron and realize this isn't some harmless act of charity.

ABSOLUTELY NOT. It'll simply prolong the life and *standard operating procedures* of hideously unsuccessful institutions.

Thanks to Taylor for alerting me to this one.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Impressive Dancing

Jump ahead to the 2:10 mark...

That really gets me thinking.

I should learn how to dance like these dudes, get a time machine, and transport myself back to the 50s(?) where I'll no doubt be able to pick up tons of chicks...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Do You See The Problem?

It took me about 18.5 seconds...

Free Programming Lessons

I recently found a terrific website for my son to play around with.

It's -

Even after a few glances I wasn't initially sure what it was all about.

Here's the deal - it's a tiny program you have to download that allows kids to make their own interactive little animations.

For example, my son's first one was a cat that moved 10 steps, stopped, played a drum sound, and then walked back 10 steps.

Essentially Scratch introduces kids to the fundamentals (parameters, loops, etc.) of computer programming but does so with drag-and-drop commands and whatnot.

So far my son really loves it and, the good part is he's been using it all on his own. Today he was ecstatic to discover how to record his own voice (and his sister's) and incorporate that in his animations.

On the website, kids share their completed projects (ideas!) with one another. If you go to the site you can test-play one and see for yourself.

Much thanks to the geeks at MIT who built this!

(Though I'm sure *tax dollars* were collaborating authors in one way or another...)

Itch Time

Today my wife and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. (Actually we celebrated yesterday, sneaking out to the upscale Port Washington Diner sans children.)

Hmmmm....I just learned that expression - The Seven Year Itch - comes from a Marilyn Monroe film, the one that yielded the famous scene above .


*Ten years* is coming up fast.

Did y'all see Season 4 of Curb Your Enthusiasm?

Good Website For Kids

There's a terrific website out there called

On it you can create your very own virtual jigsaw puzzles. Just upload any image from your PC.

It's great for small children who are learning mouse dexterity. So introduce your kids to it....or send it to the parents of your grandchildren or nephews and nieces.

Tip - Those *online Dora puzzles* and the like are, for the most part, crap and on crap-riddled websites. So just do a Google image search for *dora* or *star wars* or whatever, save the pics to your hard drive, and then create your own superior puzzles with this site.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Recall a mini-tornado just swept through our area, knocking down tons of trees.

That's one from my backyard (pictured above) that snapped off and took out some power lines.

It was interesting, and totally practical, what they ended up doing.

The *tree-cutting* crew had bigger issues to deal with all over Queens and Nassau County.

So instead some equipment-less guys came, scaled up the poles and trees, and dislodged what they could.

THEN they simply threw a whole new wire across the top of the mess. I guess the tree-cutters will come later on.

They *re-energized* the neighborhood early Friday night - so our blackout wasn't that bad at all.

(Like a complete Moron, I ran out to buy $7.50 of ice to put in my otherwise nearly-empty fridge/freezer. I was worried about the $12 worth of Breyer's Ice Cream I just loaded up on! Hey, it was reduced from the normal $6.49 per half-gallon 1.75 quarts to $2.99...)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Traveling *Veiled*...

As I mentioned yesterday, after moving to NY four months ago I finally got around to switching my driver's license. (Really, just so I could play Bethpage, Eisenhower, and Montauk Downs golf courses at the cheaper resident rates!)

But here's my problem. They issued me that paper, temporary driver's license which, obviously doesn't have my picture on it and promised the real card would come in the mail in *a few weeks*.

However, in less than two weeks I have to fly to Tampa for my annual jabroni golf trip and I don't really have any picture ID to bring to the airport.

Of course I googled this and came up with *It's okay....just bring a copy of birth certificate and Social Security card* - but want to be extra sure that's sufficient before I head off to the airport.

Have any of y'all flown without picture ID recently?

When Bloggers Reproduce...

Alright, my daughter, the Princess, has finally started her own blog.

I believe it's really going to help get her *reading* over the hump. (Is it wrong that I am slightly frustrated that my 4.26 year old can't totally read yet?)

With her brother blogging - see The Youngest Blogger - since January....that leaves my wife as the only non-blogger left in the family!

Soccer Progress

When I was a kid, way back in the 80s, someone's father (or mother) volunteered to coach each youth soccer team.

But that's not exactly how it is for the soccer league my little ones just started playing.

Parents still do coach the non-competitive games on Sundays.

Except weekly practices have been *outsourced* to a private company. On Tuesdays, I drop my son off at the field for an hour with all the other kids (80?) in his league. They are split up into four random groups and rotate between about 6 private (i.e. paid) instructors (teenagers?). They're also very particular about calling it *training* rather than practice.

After some knee-jerk cynicism, I realized that this new way of doing youth soccer makes a whole lot of sense.

Because, in this day and age, which parents really have the time and flexibility to be at the soccer field to volunteer coach at say 4pm on a weekday?

Plus, I believe the kids get much better instruction from young people WHO'VE ACTUALLY PLAYED SOCCER than from the breed of coaches that I grew up with.

Of course having *professional* instructors costs a little more....but at $125 for the whole 9 game season, a shirt, socks, and practice training it's still very reasonably priced activity.

And kudos to whichever guy/gal dreamed up this business - which probably makes some nice coin, hiring cheap and eager 16 year olds, and going from town-to-town, up through all the age groups, all week long.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Screaming "Pandemic" in an Empty Theater

While waiting at line at the DMV a week or so ago, staring me in the face was a poster from the NY Dept. of Health or something admonishing me to *cover my mouth* when I sneeze. Gee, thanks.

And it had links to the site I screenshotted above.

But the address was actually!

Brace yourselves for another long winter of pig flu nonsense...

See also:

Pig Flu Hysteria - Uncurable

Swine Flu Bogeyman - Up For Slaughter


There was a mini-tornado that cut through my hood last night.

A tree or two fell on the power lines in our backyard, knocking out the electricity in 1/3 of the house.

We had mistakenly thought it was a blown fuse or something until the electrician who came this morning noticed the trees tangled up in the backyard wires.

It looks pretty bad, we got our call in late, AND there are bigger problems on major roads that Con Ed has to contend with first.

They came out about an hour ago and turned off the power completely. So I may be in the dark for who knows how long.

In the meantime I hit DMV to get my New York driver's license (so I can play Bethpage for resident rates!), I dropped my son off at his homeschooling science class, and I'm now killing time at the library.

My poor wife. Y'all should have heard her curse when they cut off the power the split-second she was sending a very important work email out from her PC.

And last night, she spent a brutal 3 full hours in a cab ride home (total distance only 17 miles).

It does seem like the power goes out a lot around here. They have all these huge old trees with the wires woven right through them. Every other thunderstorm ends up wreaking havoc. And I suspect that ice in the winter will also prove problematic.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Better Blogging Chronicles 8 - or

Okay. I've decided what my next step is.

Instead of adulterating this blog with commercial aspiration....I've decided to start a completely new blog/website, one devoted to education.  It just feels wrong to solicit the people who voluntarily endure my BS, my rants, and my thinly-veiled narcissism or the folk who are hopelessly addicted to MM....for money, either directly or indirectly (via ads).  It's almost like I should be paying y'all!

Furthermore, this is essentially a *personal blog* and as a modern day Renaissance keywords are spread too thinly.  Hence my site will forever be penalized by the mother of all web-traffic generators - *search*.

Step One - Choose a name for the new website.

That took me a much longer time than I would have ever thought. And even still I'm not too happy with what I came up with.

Simply picking out a name isn't that's finding one that you like, that's descriptive, not too long, easy to remember/type, AND hasn't been parked by one of those venture funds out there. See - Domaining Gold.

The name I've got at the moment is a *dashed* version of an existing site (in a different field). Since it was less than a $20 investment and my site is still in the germinal stage, I might very well end up re-naming it again before it's all said and done.

Step Two - Pick a format.

While I've been with for 5+ years and have seen it steadily improve over time, everyone else out there seems to recommend WordPress. So I figured it wouldn't hurt to branch out to another platform and judge for myself.

But DO NOT DO what I did. I went straight to, the free site much like Blogger. I'd seen warnings that (where you have to pay someone else to host the site) was more customizable, more tractable, but figured those were the rantings of very tech savvy geeks.

It turns out, that the free version (.com) won't even allow basic Amazon "iframe" coding. And I sense that it doesn't permit a lot of the standard affiliate ads either.

In other words, is pretty much worthless except for the purely recreational (and cheap) blogger.

I spent considerable time today trying to figure out how to move my blog (and the domain which I bought through over to Although I haven't actually migrated the site over yet.

Let me save y'all that time by advising you to NEVER GO NEAR the tantalizing free blog host.

Just pay the whopping $3.95 (?) or so per month upfront to *self-host*. (Of course, hosting wasn't always so cheap....)

So what and where is my new site?


Hah! That's just got to be one of the most underrated comedies of the C-Nut era.

Seriously, as I said above, my new site is going to be *educational*, and no doubt many will presume it to focus on homeschooling, which is partially correct, of course. But I have a twist to it that I believe to be somewhat unique that I'd like to keep *under wraps* - lest anyone *head me off at the pass*.

(And how about those two queer expressions I just wielded!)

Also, I'm not sure I want CaptiousNut connected to my new identity. BTW, my wife will technically be a *partner* in this new endeavor. She really, really wants out of the Wall Street grind. Here it is now, 11:14pm on a Thursday night and she's still not home - had to work late and then a mini-tornado in Queens around 6:30 shut down the commuter rail, the Long Island expressway, and a whole lot of other roads (and traffic lights).

Mrs. C-Nut is a work-horse who can definitely help me a ton. But she also brings a female face which is very important - because chicks are sheep. Go scan the homeschool blogs and you'll quickly see their herd-like mentality. If you or a product becomes female-approved....look out for the on-rushing swarm! I'm also yet to see a female with a Droid phone; they all just have to have those pink iPod thingys.

See my index of - Better Blogging Chronicles.

Only A Jerk...

Would laugh at this:

But it does give me an idea...

And, not for nuthin', that's about how my 4 year old daughter boards an escalator.

Almost Clean

Recently I came across a public toilet that automatically lined the seat with fresh paper.

Then, just yesterday I came across another such animal:

This one just wiped the seat clean by rotating it under a sanitized brush.

Cool, right?

Except that when I bent over a little to look at the brush I noticed a pile of *curlies* lodged and dangling from it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Goal = Motion Pictures!

Having moved to a new area, my wife and I are in the process of rebuilding our *couple* social life.

Get this, one new friend/acquaintance that I've met and hung out with a bit already is the right hand person, an associate producer, of a renowned movie director.

In the last film they did, he inserted his daughter for a small role.

So, do y'all think I'm aiming for him to, perhaps, find some cameo roles for my kiddies?

No way. Guess again.

I'm going to start angling to to see how he could get ME into a major motion picture!

Lord knows I've always needed a *wardrobe consultant* and whatnot.

My first choice, would be to do a bedroom scene....Second choice, some stunt work...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Calculator = Defunct

Y'all don't even have to find the calculator on your computer now to crunch some numbers.

Just google an expression and the answer will pop right up!

And how about those *instant* Google search results now?


Homeschooling - Teaching Relevant Geography and Genuine Socialization

The other day I ventured down to the south shore of Long Island, to take my kids to an uncommon - these days anyway - roller skating rink. And today I took them to a homeschooling event in the middle of the island, near Bethpage. Both trips required a little GPS.

But my wife, who grew up here, had absolutely no idea where either of those destinations were - not even ballpark ideas.

Why is that?

Because her entire life/world was hemmed in by ANTI-social government schools.

In fact, my wife didn't have a single friend or acquaintance in an adjacent town. Despite the millions of people nearby, her entire circle of friends came from the same 8,000 person town.

And you know childhood social life would have been confined to the city (Worcester) where I grew up as well if I hadn't gone to a private high school that drew from all over central Massachusetts, and beyond.

School don't just imprison kids via time confiscation and age segregation; these allegedly *socializing* institutions bind students to neighborhoods and towns, shutting them off from - forget the larger world - they're shut off from their freakin' neighbors down the street!

Today both my kids, in particular my 5.82 year old son, the Prince, played nicely at the homeschooling event (16 miles away) with the other kids. And who knows, it could be the start of a longtime friendship for him? Contrast that with both his mother and I, who at his age, had almost no social interaction outside of our school-built *gated-communities*.

Sure it takes effort to cultivate a friendship over distance. BUT almost everything worth doing in this life demands effort. (I think I'm going to trademark that line!)

For proof of that lemma I say consider your own childhood friends - the ones who just happened to grow up next to you and/or attend the same factory schools. How solid did those relationships prove over the years, say, when someone moved a little or even just when the *organized* activities were over?

See, I told you!

And from now on, I'd like you to refer to them more your *childhood cellmates*.

Call Social Services

funny fail gifs - Race Car Disaster

Poor kid....I think he got whacked in the face at the starting line as well!

Everyone's parents torture them. And, as I get older I'm realizing that the bulk of the *pain* comes when they are 'old coots'. What they do to us in their dotage blows away whatever we thought was mortal embarrassment when say, our 6th grade classmates found out we in fact had parents.

Heck just yesterday, after only meeting a random guy for all of 5 minutes, he was venting about how much of a b*tch his MIL was to him and his wife. I wonder how colorful the characterization, would have gotten if he had known me a little better - say for an hour? (Despite being a heart surgeon and living in a 4,000 square foot home in a tony NYC suburb....his MIL tells him, often, to his face, that he *doesn't provide for her daughter*!)

Note that God addressed this *law of nature* way back. He knew that without a Commandment to *honor thy 'old coot' parents* that, well, it might not happen.

Up 1 And Over 2

Without any, or very minimal, deliberate effort, my kids have taken some interest in chess.

The other night I had the pleasure of playing a game with my son on the kitchen table. I was absolutely amazed at how much he now understands. I would ask him questions throughout - *what am I threatening?* and *would happen if I take this piece?* - and he's been able to correctly and swiftly answer.

So, how'd he acquire that knowledge?

Well, he's seen me play his great-grandfather a couple of times and we did go over how each of the pieces is allowed to move once. See his post - Beginning Chess.

But also I've been letting him, and his sister, mess around with Chess Titans, the game that comes pre-loaded on Windows. He likes to *play against himself* and he, and his sister, celebrates wildly upon victory!

While I was playing with my son the other night, his sister, the 4.24 year old Princess was badgering me for a game as well. "When we're done, yes, you and I will play", I moaned at what might have already been 9pm.

And when her turn came, I opened e2 to e4 as I always do. She did open with a pawn somewhere as well.

But then on her second move, my little girl grabbed the knight, looked me in the eye, and explained to me that she could move it to *either here or here*, while she pointed out the two squares that it could possibly move to.

I was blown away. How the bleep did she know that?

Later I figured that she must have learned it all on her own, from the computer game, which after you click on a piece, highlights its possible moves.

If you have little ones, put them on Chess Titans. You might be surprised how much and how fast they pick up what may seem like a complex subject. I know I continually am.

And, BTW, I think it's time for my daughter to start her own blog. Her reading is a little behind her brother's pace (due to second child neglect?) but I think a little *composition* might help cure that.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Marginalizing A Gay Wizard Kid

Okay, that's not me unholstering my invert-phobia in the title there.

I believe the author herself referred to him as a *gay wizard* in a commencement speech she gave at Harvard.

Anyways, I just finished reading the book to my son - who loved it.


I thought the first 180 pages or so (of 312) went nowhere.

So while the author did well to eventually, vividly paint a *whole new magical world*....I still say the book deserves demerits for its soporific beginning. In fact I'd be surprised if more than a few publishers didn't toss it aside prematurely - much to their financial dismay.

But still, make no mistake, this is a CHILDREN's book - with its ridiculous magic, the worn-out *good and evil* dichotomy, and predictable plot.

I'll continue to look askance at childless adults who read and rave about it.

(BTW, there was a little Islamophobia in it!)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Incompetent Terrorists?

Nine years ago today my wife was 5 blocks from the towers when they fell. And, as I've mentioned before on this blog, I was on the phone with her and the line went dead while I watched the implosion live on TV. (Luckily, she called me back a minute later.)

At the time, I thought for sure there'd be another attack soon in NYC - even if Homeland Security was busy protecting laughable non-targets like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Regardless of its inaccuracy, I still stand by that prediction.

But since we're back in NY now, and my wife takes a train and a subway to get to her job downtown, on this I try not to think about how extraordinarily prescient I am.

I do believe it will eventually be a subway attack. Those trains at rush hour are jammed. A bomb (nerve gas) or something would wreak genuine *terror* among the lumpen NY masses. Every tanned person (and there are a lot) with a backpack or briefcase on a train would arouse deep suspicion and fear; a lot of women and interior decorators would minimally never ride the subway again - if not move away altogether. Perhaps even some of those well-marbled municipal workers would even start walking to work?

Alright, that last supposition was a jest.

More For The Knee-Slapper File