Thursday, December 30, 2010

Stealth Insanity?

A couple weeks ago I mentioned the discovery that I was grinding my teeth.

Well I bought that $325 mouth-guard and have been wearing it at night.

Guess's not so bad.

But one thing I've noticed is that it sort of induces me to bite down a lot; it induces me to GRIND MY TEETH.

I've noticed that throughout the day, I keep biting down hard when I do things.

For example, with every jab and toss of the snow shovel yesterday, I would bite down hard. I tried to stop BUT COULD NOT.

It's not only driving me nuts like a long spell of the hiccups, it's got me genuinely worried now. I mean it when I say that I simply cannot stop biting down.

Those freakin' dentists will say that I was probably doing it all along and that I just now noticed. They'll insist that the mouth-guard did not CAUSE me to start chomping down.  Yeah, and birth control does not abet extra-marital relations!

Whatever. For the sake of argument, say they are right. Now how am I going to stop grinding my teeth away to nothing?

Everything I've Googled (and heard from the dentist) said that nocturnal grinding is caused by *psychological* reasons. It must be, right?

I started discussing this with my first wife and she exclaimed that I was indeed incredibly stressed out, even if completely unaware.

And I started thinking...

Yeah, living here for the past 7 months in a cluttered house with my freaking crazy MIL hasn't exactly been a *high chi* event.

Since we moved back to NY, Mrs. C-Nut is almost never home before 8:30pm despite taking the 6:22am or 6:48am train in. So we're both, in a sense, working 14 hour days; me with the kids and her with corporate financial BS.

We endured the hottest summer NY's had in 100 years WITHOUT meaningful air conditioning.

I spent the Fall driving all over Long Island, in typical horrible traffic(!), to *organized* activities for my kids. This was really my first experience as a scurrying parental cab driver - soccer and my son's CCD in the middle of the town's worst intersection, AT RUSH HOUR, have been my driving nemeses. It can take me 17 minutes just to PULL OUT OF THE CHURCH PARKING LOT.

While I did hit a bunch of range balls this year (13,000?), that was pretty much my only recreation. I only got to play 18 holes ONCE in NY since we moved back - even if it was Bethpage.

As I went down the *negatives* list, the argument in favor of stealth insanity really started gaining steam.

My wife added, "IT HAS NOT BEEN FUN, AT ALL, LIVING HERE" and "I've been smoking 5 cigarettes a week..."

What? When?

She's apparently sneaking out at work to smoke with co-workers. I made her quit that disgusting Moronic habit, COMPLETELY, 8 years ago!

And she asserted that she's had even *less vacation* than I have over the past year or so.

Mrs. C-Nut is definitely not in a good place mentally these days.

But I may not be either. Despite my claims to the contrary, I may be a victim of self-delusion on top of everything else.

I've had my share of ups and downs financially and with my broken back over the years...

However, through it all I've always been able to keep my head up, count my blessings, and focus on the future. Hopefully soon my wife's workload will ease; my MIL is moving to her new apartment as I type this, albeit one packed shoebox at a time; and hopefully we'll soon be more settled here on go-go Long Island.

In the meantime, the last thing I need is another health problem to worry about.

I told my wife that I HAVE TO GO TO FLORIDA, NOW. I just have to get in the car and go - figure it out on the road if need be. I could not secure a place in now, much to my first wife's chagrin, I'm considering the more snowbird-friendly Naples, again. Recall that she has an office in Miami so she could spend more time down there. Otherwise she might not see the kids much this month.

Oh yeah, the kids...

Well they haven't been to a park or spent any meaningful time outside in 2 months. In Florida they will be back to daily park trips, swimming, etc.

One of the MAJOR REASON we do in fact homeschool is so that we can snowbird in Florida - so I'll get there one way or another, even if I have to squat at family and friends' houses all over the State, next month.

My wife added,

"It's not just the past 7 months that have been hell....we spent the six months before that fighting with our (scumbag) landlord!"

Indeed. I had almost forgotten about that.

Not at all eager to rehash that nightmare, I'll just post a generic link to my eviction chronicles.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ordinary, Forgiven Clinton Quote

"African Americans watch the same news at night that ordinary Americans do."

Apparently he said that on BET color TV back in the 90s.

It is amazing, the passes people favored by Big Media get compared to the hell it gives it's bogeymen.

Without a doubt Bill Clinton could freely criticize the *headiness* of Philadelphia Eagle quarterbacks - unlike, for example, that Limbaugh guy.

Did y'all see that game last night - Michael Vick running around with only a fingertip grip on the ball?

Those poor Eagle fans; they'll be forever teased and invariably let-down in the playoffs by flashy yet *ordinary* quarterbacks.

Dissing School

Watch the first four or five minutes of lil' Tupac:

Even a street-wise mofo rapper knows that school is a joke!

The Optimistic Take

I've always been partial to the apocalyptic...

My bullion is buried up in NH; and I just bought 6 cans of Progresso Soup today.

See my OLD post - The End-of-the-World Trade.

Class Action Lawyers - Drooling Over Sperm

According to author Tim Ferriss, male sperm counts are roughly half of what they were 50-60 years ago.

That could be due to a variety of factors, of course: sedentary living, diet, vaccinations(!), etc.

But get this, Ferriss mentioned in his new book that when he removed his cell phone from his pocket....that his sperm count doubled or something!

Of course there are *studies* that say it's not true and you Morons (many of whom shouldn't be procreating in the first place) are certainly free to believe them.

There are no warnings on these cordless cellphones - not that I've seen anyway. And even if there were I don't think it'd constitute a legal prophylactic.

So I expect the John Edwards-types to one day be going after the deep pockets of Verizon, AT&T, Apple, Research in Motion, et al down the road.

See also - Aging - A Downhill Death Spiral.

Better Blogging Chronicles 11 - Envy

Boy, would I like to parrot this amazing parrot story!

Of course, things like this are tougher to do now since the make-money-online formula has been widely broadcast - tougher, but by no means impossible.

One would almost be a Moron not to try, no?

See also my index of - Better Blogging Chronicles.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pooped From Paganized Christmas Festivities

I just got home today from 4 days at my parents' place in arctic Massachusetts.

I was met by 2 feet of snow in my driveway that needed to be shoveled.

That was on top of the 12 inches I had to help remove from my parents' house; AND I also helped shovel out my BIL's cars in Connecticut this afternoon. He had thrown out his back.

1.5 weeks ago I picked up my brother at the airport and since then it's been non-stop eating, drinking, entertaining, shopping, wrapping, unwrapping, and driving all over the place.

To say that my *productivity* suffered is to put it mildly. And I'm freakin' exhausted.

I'm supposed to be on the road to Miami now except that I haven't been able to secure a place to my liking as of yet. Of course there are tons of places to rent down there - given the imploding economy and the *overdevelopment* - except that these condo owners mortgagers are too Moronic to consider reality-based bids.

For example:

I emailed some guy - actually a bunch - with my standard questions, "Do you have internet?" and "If you would consider $2,500 for the month of January, please let me know."

The knuckle-head CALLS me back:

CaptiousNut - Wait, I've contacted a lot of people. How much are you looking for?

KnuckleHead - It's $3,200 for January.

CaptiousNut - I'm sure in my email I told you my price point was $2,500.

KnuckleHead - Well, you're never going to find a 2 bedroom for $2,500....maybe a studio...

CaptiousNut - Okay. It's December 26th, right? And you're not rented, right?

KnuckleHead - Yeah.

CaptiousNut - How about considering that YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO RENT YOUR CONDO, for January, for $3,200?

What pissed me off as much as his demonstrable stupidly was the fact that HE CALLED ME. The whole point of my emailed bid was to avoid conversations like that.

Then I had another one right after him. It was some woman who wouldn't answer any of my questions "Internet?" and "What price?" over email. She's just like my MIL. They do this so they can *screen* people over the phone. Whatever. I took her call and eventually she got around to telling me how much she wanted for her 2 BR condo on Key Biscayne:

DumbRealEstateWoman - It's $4,000 for the month.

CaptiousNut - Well, I'm looking to spend only $2,500 a wife has me on a budget. (laughing)

DumbRealEstateWoman - It's *the season*. That's what it costs.

CaptiousNut - But the place is unrented still for January, right? It's December 26th...

DumbRealEstateWoman - I have two other people that are very interested. One is just about to take it.

CaptiousNut - So it sounds like you're all set then. You don't need me. (I'm trying to get off the phone)

DumbRealEstateWoman - Listen, I'm in the real estate business. It's THE SEASON. $4,000 is the going rate...

CaptiousNut - But you're not rented right? (still trying to hang up)

DumbRealEstateWoman - I'm a broker. I've been in real estate for 17 years.

CaptiousNut - So what? I've been in the real estate business for many years also. (slight embellishment!)

CaptiousNut - Look, keep my number and if you change your mind call me back. My price is $2,500. Thanks.

These fools would rather be unrented than step down in price!!!

The thing is, any deal they give a last-minute lowballer like myself would COST THEM NOTHING. It'd be a 100% private transaction. They could still hold out for their fantasy rates going forward.

For point of reference, 2 years ago I paid $2,200 for a typical 2 BR condo in Naples for the month of January - another last-minute, lowball situation.

Now Miami is more expensive than Naples, by a little, and I could very easily pay the *going rate* for a month down there.

But I always have my price points and I stick to them. Heck, an extra $1,000 is 5 days at Disney or a new computer for my Princess. Or new golf clubs for me!

A month in Miami is surely worth 4k but I can't pay it, not on December 28th, to one of these buffoons, on principle alone!

I'll talk more about this process as it unfolds.

Right now I'm going to try to get some rest.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Don't Ask....She'll Cry And You Might Be Abetting Murder

I've Marginalized a lot of people over the years on this blog.

But one sub-population that I've forgotten to indict consists of those - mostly women - who run up to my wife and ask her what I gave her for Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, our anniversary, or her birthday.

The fact that I usually bought her next-to-nothing is between me and her. So please don't throw gasoline on the fire. Thanks. It's not my fault she's impossible to buy for and has ZERO hobbies.

One of the differences between us is that when I say I don't want anything for (fill in the blank holiday) I ACTUALLY MEAN IT.

One of the numerous side benefits of reading the Bible and becoming more spiritual is that I can skimp on gifts even more now, deprecating the rank commercialization of Jesus' birthday.

I don't believe in indiscriminate season's greetings.

So Merry Christmas to SOME of y'all out there.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cheap Music?

Do any of y'all buy MP3s online?

If so, could someone tell me how much they cost and where the best place to buy them is?

Don't laugh, but I have no clue. A Google took me to which says they sell songs for 16 cents apiece. That sounds pretty good to me and would impel me to actually buy an MP3 player, docking station, and start amassing some music.

And it leaves me wondering why anyone would spent 99 cents a song on iTunes - if that's what it costs.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Living With The MlL Chronicles 7 - Grand Finale?

Well it's been a long and interesting 7 months living under the same roof (hers) as my MIL.

But this week she *closed* on her new condo and is slowly, though eagerly, starting the process of moving her stuff out.

Her plan all along was to vacate and leave the house for us but it temporarily changed when we moved in. Back then it seemed like she had changed her mind and was going to cohabitate here with us.

She spent most of this brutally hot summer out in the Hamptons but when she came back I think she reverted to her original plan of moving to this fancy shmancy retirement community.

I could elaborate, colorfully(!), a whole lot more but will just leave it at that - for the moment. Anyone who is thinking about living with their MIL or own mother....shoot me an email on the side and I'll helpfully intervene.

The house is very big here, almost too big for the four of us; it needs a lot of TLC/renovation but should be spectacular before long. I expect the entire next year to be filled with household projects. In fact I may even do a walk-through with my camera and post the floor plan to solicit ideas from y'all.

See also:

Living With The MIL Chronicles 1

Living With The MIL Chronicles 2 - Off The Hook Phone Ringing

Living With The MIL Chronicles 3 - Already Over?

Living With The MIL Chronicles 4 - Leading 'Old Coots' To Water

Living With The MIL Chronicles 5 - What is it?

Living With The MIL Chronicles 6 - Kitchen Scrapyard

A Funny - Before Family Holiday Torture, Brutal Traffic, And Credit Card Bills

Color TV - The Best Marketing Medium For Shiftless Morons

This one is a few years old, but I hadn't seen it before this morning:

The website - - has a better video that should autoplay when you click the link.

It looks like total BS, right?

Well it might be and it might not. It probably plays off the truth that these youngsters are capable of a whole lot more than their parents/society expects. So a little *work* will go a long way and turn heads in the process.

Be careful though, that website only lists a $14.95 price BUT I believe that is only the *trial price*. After a month they send you a bill for $100 or so.

Here's another one that I saw this morning on my low def color TV:


And that one is even more of a rip at $347. It's got a lovely re-directing domain -!!!

What I love about infomercials is though - how they so clearly manifest market demand.

People out there, the lumpen masses, really do just want: a 3 minute workout, get rich in real estate secrets, magic pills for weight loss, the snuggle blanket, male enhancement, and good report cards from well-behaving kids.

I'm not minimizing these popular desires in any way at all.

It's just that there are sundry other ways to go out and achieve these goals, but they all require one significant gesture of self-propulsion...

Yeah, you have to actually get off the couch!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Starfall Expansion?

I'm not sure when it happened, but, the popular free online phonics website, has branched out.

My kids are messing around with *math* on it now.

The new site is -

I think someone was recently asking me for a *math* Starfall. Well there it is!

Email it to your nieces, nephews, and grandkids, will ya?

See also - Web Homeschooling.

Santa Subterfuge

You can go here and have Santa send your spoiled kids a call or an email.

My parents used to threaten to call Santa on the phone. And they even convincingly went over to it and simulated(?) the communication after a defiance of their inhumane rules. Once, I vividly recall, it was either the 23rd or the 24th, my mother did this after some exasperating misbehavior and my brother and I were drowning in tears - pleading for her to end the phone call. That Christmas we got all *clothes*.

All week I've been telling my kids not to *pout* and whatnot because Santa was watching them. But my threats have been to *email* a bad report to Santa.

Prince - Santa's not on email!

Princess - Santa doesn't have email!

CaptiousDad - Yes he does. And he's on Facebook too!

All it took was one Google. Late last night my wife found that site above and had that fat luddite Santa Claus email this kids this morning.

Loving Cutthroat Low-Margin Retail

One just has to love

A minute ago I ordered a Sony digital picture frame for my first wife. Guess what, one-day shipping was FREE - a $24 value. Procrastinators rejoice!

And, of course, I ordered it through my son's affiliate links so I'll be sort of reaping a 6.50% discount as well.

They say Amazon's profit margins are a razor-thin 3.15%.

Look for them in the not-too-distant future to cut affiliate commission payouts AND to raise the bar above $25 for free shipping. The latter they have to do with oil pushing higher.  This won't be problematic at all on account of scant competition.

How can any brick-and-mortar retailer compete with cheaper and doorstep-delivered?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Coming To America, Through Hoops, Still

I heard something weird the other day which I haven't been able to confirm.

I heard that foreigners (Indians?) were acquiring the requisite *DNA* from American couples, getting artificially inseminated, and birthing babies that technically had full-blown American citizenship.

Then, as the parents of such, the foreigners are able to LEGALLY move to America.

It's like....Mexi-Orwellian or something, no?

And it reminds me, I have an appointment for a deposit at the *bank* this week. Not to boast, but my fee is up to $1,600 per....and I only accept CASH MONEY.

Foreign buyers these days are very impressed with my son's math aptitude. Go figure.

Book Summary - The 4-Hour Body

I simply can't put Tim Ferriss' latest book - The 4-Hour Body - down.

In three days I've already read and re-read(!) most of his 500+ pages on becoming *superhuman* in no time flat.

It's kept me up all night and woke me up early in the morning. I got yelled at by my first wife for reading at the dinner table (I didn't care and didn't put it away!). Mrs. C-Nut has actually banned me from talking about it to her! And I've touted the book to every stranger I've come into contact with these past few days. It's that good.

It covers:
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Rapid muscle gain
  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Hitting a hardball
  • Fixing *permanent* injuries (very relevant for me!)
  • And doing the nasty to perfection(!)

First off, the guy is a lunatic. He's spent his entire life tinkering with weird diets, drugs supplements, exercises, and a host of other practices (like frequent ice baths!) all in furtherance of sculpting the perfect body with the least amount of effort. So in that vein it truly is a follow-up to The 4-Hour Workweek.  All short guys lift weights, right?

I'm just going to offer a few details from the book that I found insightful.

As for dieting....he's a big believer that calories don't matter, that all white-flour products have to go (pizza, pasta, and tortillas!), and even that fruit is a hindrance to optimal body sculpting. Now that's pretty much all I eat. WTBleep!

He also believes that breakfast (sometimes a big one) must be consumed within 30 minutes of waking. Heck, most days I don't get a chance to eat ANYTHING until noon - 6.5 hours after I get up.

Ferriss actually takes three *ice baths* a week. He runs cold water and dumps 2 store-bought bags of ice into the tub....and soaks for 20 teeth-chattering minutes.

Why? Because there's some serious caloric burn or whatever (heat transfer?) from the temperature differential. I don't know. But his research has not only demonstrated that these ice baths burn fat, but they also somehow induce muscle growth. Even Ferriss who injects all sorts of junk into body, force-feeds himself eggs by the dozen, measures his stool, and kills himself with all sorts of brutal exercises....Ferriss describes the baths as *not fun at all*.

Guess what, wimps....I'm totally going to do it!

I'm also going to try his crazy diet. Yeah, I will trade New York(!) pizza, bagels, pasta bolognese, and all bread for black beans, sauerkraut, and spinach. Well, I'll try to try it anyway. The way he and others argue, one is crazy not to give it a go in the face of all the anecdotes out there saying that such a radical change (removing gluten) in diet not only changed their fat/muscle content, but also *cured* various ailments. Read one of his blog posts - How To Keep Feces Out Of Your Bloodstream - for more info. Yeah, it's going to be tough. Recall last year I tried to give up pizza for a month but lasted only a couple of days.  And New York pizza tastes a whole lot better...

One thing worth mentioning - Ferriss has a sacrilegious wrinkle in his diet. He allows one cheat day - Saturday - where you can eat whatever and as much as you want. And this ain't just marketing. He asserts that the cheat day is actually healthy and benefits the overall diet. Something like *everyone will lets make the cheating predictable for the body* kind of reasoning....I don't know. Of course he offers test cases of people on his diet oinking on Saturday but yet all of them lose the additional weight by Monday.

As for his strength and muscle building...

Ferriss insists quantity (volume) is no match for quality (method) - the recurring theme in both of his books.

He would have weaklings lifting only three days a week, at a high intensity, for short bursts.

His exercises are mostly basic: universal and/or free weights. But he gushes over the kettlebell swing and two particular ab exercises: the cat vomit (an intense yoga cat-cow) and something called the myotatic crunch. Essentially the guy tried everything, for years upon years, before allegedly getting his abs ripped on those two exercises (done in moderation to boot!).

Don't get me wrong - this book is not at all exclusively about the exercise habits and theories of one man. The 4-Hour Body is a font of wisdom from expert Olympian-trainer types. It's more accurately a compendium of unconventional yet highly successful professional training. I mean one of his running gurus has his clients ONLY run 40 yard sprints in preparation for marathons. One of the back specialists he touts ONLY has his patients do a supine groin progressive tower. And his swimming guy relies only on a few technical keys. Heck, Ferriss went from a 2-lap swimmer to a miler from ONLY watching the Total Immersion DVD (and reading the book). I just reserved them both at my over-funded library network. While I can swim more than *2 laps* my form leaves much to be desired. In fact just last year I started making a concerted effort to fix it. Swimming is too great of a no-impact aerobic exercise to not take advantage of, right?

Have to wrap this one up here. Trust me, there's a ton of insightful and practical information in this book.

Oh yeah, I bought a 45 lb kettlebell today ($90) and am trying to figure out the proper technique for swinging it (via YouTube, etc.) without popping out my precarious knees or wrenching my tender back.

(The chapter on *lovemaking* wasn't applicable to me as I've had HBO for 15 years; it was written on a level say....more appropriate for West Coast Tom.)

See also - A New Workout Strategy?

Monday, December 20, 2010

An App For Mugging?

They say that people are getting mugged for their cordless *smart*-phones in cities.

They are also likely to be targeted by thieves in a smartphone crime wave fuelled by the enormous appetite for the machines that serve as status symbols, essential worktools and mobile entertainment centres.

The Paris police chief sounded the alarm last week when he said smartphones were the hottest item for thieves on the city's metro and that robbers were increasingly turning to violence to get their hands on them.

In Britain, a 30-strong National Mobile Phone Crime Unit is battling what a police spokesman said is "a general increase in the proportion of thefts which involve smartphones."

Susana Ramirez, a 29-year-old author and newspaper columnist in the Spanish city Barcelona, told AFP that a blog she wrote about her fear of using her iPhone in public sparked a huge response from her readers.

"I look to the right and to the left before I get out my phone," she wrote in the blog. "As if, instead of a phone, I was about to take out a knife or a stash of drugs on the street."

In New York, public announcements warn subway commuters not to display phones or other electronic devices.

Wraith noted that Britain and many other countries had systems in place that render stolen phones useless by blocking them from national networks by using the handset's unique International Mobile Equipment Identity number.

But that has led to stolen phones being shipped abroad for sale in places like eastern Europe, Algeria, Morocco, or West Africa, where an iPhone can fetch several hundred dollars and up to 1,000 if it contains data that can be exploited for credit card or other fraud, he said.

This has just got to be one of those crimes I almost condone!

Read a book on the train. Or carry a notebook and WRITE something, anything(!), down - that's what I do.

Are YOU addicted?

Therapy For *Seasonal Affective Disorder* Sufferers

You don't know what Seasonal Affective Disorder is?

Everything's a disease nowadays!

To treat my symptoms....I'm going to Florida for at least a month.

This guy certainly belongs on Marginalizing Morons - if anyone does.

And the participants probably are somewhere on the Moron spectrum as well.