Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Let's all hope that next year is much better than this one.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Last minute gift idea

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Equipped for Success

Circumcised men may be much less likely to contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through sex with infected women, a new study says.

The results show that circumcised men in the study were 63 percent less likely than uncircumcised men to be infected.

Thanks Mom!

Thanks Dad!

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Surf's Up!

I have blogged about the issue of global warming in the past, but some recent articles ... and today's 60-degree December day in NYC ... inspired me to revisit the issue.

In the Journal Science, Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has recently announced that the world's oceans may rise a lot more abruptly than we had earlier feared.

His study, based on air temperatures and past sea level changes rather than computer models, suggested seas could rise by 50-140 cms by 2100, well above the 9-88 cms projected by the scientific panel that advises the United Nations.

A rise of one meter might swamp low-lying Pacific islands such as Tuvalu, flood large areas of Bangladesh or Florida and threaten cities from New York to Buenos Aires. This series of pictures does a good job of illustrating the problem here at home.

Almost all climate scientists believe that the world is warming because of the emissions of greenhouse gases from human use of fossil fuels in factories, power plants and cars. Because of this, they see the only solution involving a massive reduction in the use of these fossil fuels. This drastic change should also be coupled with a move towards several environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power.

I think I might have a good plan to bring about some major changes in this country. My plan is based on a simple reposition of real estate. Essentially, only two things need to be done.

1) The White House gets relocated from its current location, in Washington DC, and gets moved to Grassy Key in Southern Florida.

2) The blueprint design of this new White House is to be based on the bungalow pictured below.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Way off course

For quite a while now, I have not felt completely well physically . Fittingly, it would seem that it took me giving up just about every vice I had (drinking ... smoking) for my health to diminish. Perhaps I shouldn't have listened to the doctors who told me to follow the staright and narrow path.

Although I have better days than others, I often feel like a sailing ship that is half capsized. I am not underwater by any means, but I am severely listing to one side or another. It often keeps me from doing the things I love, and from being my true self in many ways.

As a result, I often feel bitter and angry that I cannot always operate in the capacity that I would like to. This frustration often leads to other things, including reckless behavior. Behavior that is reckless to myself, and it would seem, sometimes reckless to the people around me.

The other night I was forced to realize that I have been reckless with the trust of someone who means a great deal to me. I had ignorantly assumed that my own recklessness would not affect the people around me … and I was wrong. This person has never been anything but good to me, and I returned this favor with cavalier actions.

I value … or valued … trust a great deal, and this desertion of my own values was not a good sign. I have never felt like a hypocrite quite the way I did just recently.

To be hurt really sucks. I, like most of you, know this from experience. We often build elaborate walls around ourselves to protect us from outside harm. However, I think we often overlook our ability to carelessly harm others in the process.

I have certainly become guilty of this, and for this I am truly sorry.

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Off Topic

I seem to be way off the normal track of politics these days for several reasons. One big reason for this is that we are thankfully now watching a transition take place in Congress. I will patiently wait to see how the new Democrats will handle themselves before I comment on their progress … or lack of it.

The situation in Iraq is certainly still very bad, and it makes very sad when I see the soldiers who are killed there (Like my Uncle) day after day. I have made so many comments about this pointless war in the past, that further discussion seems redundant.

I think this photo from a beach memorial in Santa Barbara does a good job of illustrating the great loss we have already incurred.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Make a run for the bathroom

Over the past few days, I know you all have been closely following the recent Taco Bell - E. coli panic.

As many of you may know, E. coli is a food borne bacteria that causes some 73,000 infections and 60 deaths in the United States each year.

Now that almost sixty people have become sick, this is the nation's most serious outbreak of E. coli toxins since mid-September. At that time, the scare involved the same strain of the bacteria, but it was linked to packages of contaminated spinach grown in California. It killed three people and infected more than 200 in 26 states.

Taco Bell has removed green onions from all 5,800 of its restaurants across the country Wednesday after tests indicated they could be to blame for an outbreak in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Now … I really do like Taco Bell. After all, what would life be without the occasional Nachos Bel Grande®, Crunchwrap® or Chalupa Supreme®.

On the other hand, what do we really expect from an establishment that has as it’s mascot … a taco wearing a diaper?

Let’s all be really honest with ourselves for a moment. Americans rarely look for the healthy option when it comes to food. We often look for the cheapest thing we can buy that will fill our distended American bellies.

Case in point … The Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes.

Call it a hunch, but I am going to guess that this in not a traditional Mexican dish.

We need to take a close look at this combo. First, we take deep fried potato tater tots. Then we drown those in melted processed cheese … and as if that wasn’t bad enough … we top it with a scoop of sour cream.

Frankly, I am surprised that E. coli bacteria are able to survive in the American digestive system.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shameful is a synonym for cheap

Faced with public demonstrations of discontent by many of its employees, Wal-Mart Stores has developed a wide-ranging new program intended to show that it appreciates its 1.3 million workers in the United States and to encourage them to air their grievances.

As part of the effort, Wal-Mart managers at 4,000 stores will extend an additional 10 percent discount on a single item during the holidays to all its employees, beyond the normal 10 percent employee discount.

As a result, the lucky cashiers and stocking clerks of Wal-Mart will now be able to purchase a special holiday candle (Like the one pictured below) for $6.78 instead of the exorbitant price of $7.62.

Who needs comprehensive health insurance when you can bask in the warm glow of a festive candle?

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

King Herod had the right idea

Today I spent some time trying to pick up some of the dozens of gifts I have to buy this holiday season. I have not felt well these past few days, so I am in a choice mood right now. This might explain my behavior later in the post.

I would have thought that Christmas shopping on December 2nd would give me chance to beat the massive crowds ... but NOOOooooooo!

As I made my way to the uptown location of Brooks Brothers, I found out that Fifth Avenue was absolute madness! I mean it was wall-to-wall tourists. If there is one thing that native New Yorkers hate more than anything ... it's oblivious tourists.

They spend all their time looking up at the tall buildings ... taking pictures ... and eating street food. No matter how hard you try to avoid them ... THE WALK RIGHT INTO YOU!

ARGH #%@$#!

Amidst this sea of tourists was this one woman pushing her ... not one ... not two ... but three kids in a triple wide stroller (Pictured Below). I saw her coming half a block away, and I knew instantly she was a mega bitch. She was not using this stroller as a transportation device for her kids, but as a blocking sled to make her way through the crowds. I saw her clip two people ... one badly ... and she was hurtling right towards me.

Despite the masses, she was looking straight down at her rug rats, so I made a move to my right to get out of her way. Without warning, she suddenly turned straight into me and slammed the stroller right into shins. Without a pause, she looked straight at me and snarled, "Why don't you look where you are going?"

Most of you who know me, know that I a fairly nice and patient person. But at this very moment, the gloves were coming off. I quickly responded, "Lady, if you don't watch where the fuck YOU are going, someone like myself is going to shove that stroller right up your ass ... piece by piece."

She was stunned. She quickly turned and sped away.

I must admit ... this made my day. I turned ... dropped a dollar into the Salvation Army pot on the corner and whistled the rest of my way to Brooks Brothers.

This is my home and I love NY!

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