Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Today the pits, tomorow the wrinkles!"

Illustration Friday: Wrinkles


Remembering Rose

Sorry I haven't been on in a while - things have been a bit hectic over here.

Jen's grandmother passed on last week, at the age of 83. The cancer that started out as a small lump in her breast earlier this year spread throughout her body. She was loved and will be missed dearly.

It's rather hard on Joe as this is his first experience with death. I've tried to answer his questions as honestly as I can:

Q: Why do people die?
A: Because if they didn't, and people kept having babies, we would run out of space. Also, people would be so old their bodies wouldn't work right anymore. Who knows, by the time you're 80, they may have changed all that.

Q: What's it like after you die?
A: I don't know, I never died before.

Q: Why do they close your eyes when you die?
A: What would you care? All you would see is the inside of a box anyway. (This, of course, was NOT a good answer to tell a kid!)

Q: Is there a hell?
A: I don't think so. I don't think God created us to be alive for a little time just so he could torture us forever if we didn't do what certain people told us to.

Q: Why do souls go to heaven but not bodies?
A: It's probably like when you're dreaming. If you dream you're in school, you can talk to your friends and play, but your body is still in its bed.

Q: I wish Great Grandma was still here.
A: (thinking to myself: "Well, technically, she always has and always will occupy a time/space position, it's just that human brains perceive time as flowing in a single direction..." Spoken aloud:) "Yeah, me too."

Rest in peace, Rose. Wish you were still here.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mortie the Gefilte Fish Plays Mario on a Pig!

Mortie the Gefilte Fish knows that to be an internet sensation, all you have to do is play the Super Mario Bros. theme. So, in his desperate bid for fame and fortune, here he is, playing it... on a pig. Enjoy! Be sure to tell all your friends, and make Mortie the internet sensation he dreams of becoming!


When All the World's Failings are My Fault...

Illustration Friday: Fail

No matter how hard he tried, Bob just couldn't hold himself together.

As the title says, there are no faults in the world, it's just me:

According to Elton John, it's not that Hillary Clinton is divisive, (even within her own party,) power hungry, fake, and hasn't done one damn thing for New York since she carpetbagged her way into the senate, it's that I'm a "misogynist."

According to Barbara Walters, the reason that I don't watch Katie Couric on CBS news is not because I live in the 21st century and want to read my news instantly online rather than wait on commercial television, it's that I'm "not ready for a woman."

It wasn't that the last episode of The Sopranos was a cop-out and lazy writing masquerading as art, it's that I "just don't get it."

It's not that illegal immigration has caused our cities to be overpopulated, creates a slave class that competes with minimum wage-working citizens, or drains a system that tax-payers have contributed to, it's that I'm a "racist."

It's not that history suggests that an early withdrawal from Iraq will cause another slaughter as it did at the end of Desert Storm or the Vietnam war, it's that I'm a "warmonger."

Feel free to add your own


Monday, April 14, 2008

Hong-Kong Phooey - #1 Superguy

Joe got his yellow belt in Jeet Kune Do on Friday. Yea Joe!

I'm not too sure about the yellow & red yin-yang. In every red there is a bit of yellow, it every yellow there is a bit of red... just doesn't have the same philosophical punch as light and darkness, you know?

And for those who smiled when reading the title and want to re-live the 70s, click here!


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

High Anxiety

Sorry I've been away a while. I seem to be having some sort of inner ear difficulty. I feel like... remember when you were a kid, and you tried to play a 45 (kiddies, ask your parents) without a spacer? You tried to line it up perfectly on the turntable, but no matter what you did, it was always a little out of whack by the end of the song? That's the way I feel. No pain, no sickness, just a little bit out of whack. I may actually go to a doctor tomorrow. I hate going to the Doctor in NYC, because even when I have an appointment, I wind up waiting for hours in the sitting room. Once, I was taken to an examining room, (where they take your blood pressure and temperature before the doctor sees you,) where I passed out. I woke up a half-hour later, made my way to the nurse's station, and asked what had happened. They had simply forgotten about me. Needless to say, I never went back to that office.

Also, a Doctor's visit is never the end of it. If I go, the Doctor will want me to go to someone else the next day and take some tests, which I won't find the results out for until God knows when. Why can't I go see Doctor McCoy? All you had to do was lay down on his table, and some "womp-womp" thing would go by above you. He'd look at the flashing colors and know just what was wrong with you. Then he'd put a painless "hypo" against your arm and you'd feel all better. And if you were already dead, it gave him a chance to say, "He's dead, Jim!"

I'm having fun imagining all the things that could be wrong:
Brain Cancer
Total Solipsistic Universe Collapse
Psychic invasion by 5th dimensional begins
Alien gestating in my brain stem
Turning into a vampire (blood deficiency)
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo *(most likely the case, but why be normal?)

Maybe I just need more sleep. Or less sleep. Who knows.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Al Gore's $300 Million "We" Ad Campaign

Apparently, Al Gore has been given $300 million to spend on an environmental ad campaign. Why? I could see if the money was being spent to implement changes in our energy policy, research ethanol, erect a wind-farm or solar power plant... but it's not. It's going to be wasted on commercials that most likely won't make a difference, and the only ones who will make out will be the media. Maybe that's the idea.

I know this is old, but here is Penn & Teller's brilliant petition to ban water, which basically sums up my view of Al Gore's worshipers. Yes, there are real environmental issues. Yes, some idiots will sign anything you put in front of them. Enjoy.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Rant # 451.6 - Congestion Pricing

Tony's rule # 352a: Once you make money off of your problems, you have no reason to fix your problems.

rule # 352b: Once you can make money off of your problems, it becomes financially prudent to make those problems worse.

The NYC city council has passed Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan, and have sent it on to Albany. The supposed line is that it has something to do with the environment and raising money for public transportation. In reality, it has everything to do with revenue.

Proposed Pro: If the city charges residents $8 to drive into lower Manhattan (below 60th street) The federal government will pay $351 million into our public transportation system.

Real-life Con: Because Albany forced the MTA to take high-priced loans in the 90s, the MTA is more than $20 billions of dollars in debt- and by 2010 are expected to have a debt of $32 billion $351 million won't make a dent in that.

Proposed Pro: More drivers will take public transportation, which is good for the environment.

Real life Cons: #1 - THE MTA IS ALREADY OPERATING OVER CAPACITY. The massive "desired" influx of riders will only make the problem worse. Any proposed improvements would take years of construction to complete.

#2 - The outer Burroughs will become parking lots. For those who don't know, Manhattan is an Island. If this plan is implemented, more drivers from upstate New York and Long Island will drive into the surrounding Burroughs (increasing OUR traffic, thank you,) and park in neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens which are close to subway stations. It is near impossible to find parking in these neighborhoods as it is - as anyone who's ever visited me will tell you.

#3 See the rule at the top. As with every fine in New York City, it's nothing to do with deterrent, it's all about making money. One of the first things Bloomberg did when he came to office was double all the fines and order the police to enforce every unknown law on the book. (This led to the the famous case of a man being ticketed for sitting on a milk crate - a fine the mayor supported.) Truck drivers must park - often illegally - to make deliveries. The answer? Raise the fines to an average of $115 and reduce the number of allowed parking spaces. The cost of the fines are absorbed into "the cost of doing business." Many of the billboards in NYC are illegal (not approved or in the wrong zone.) Answer: fine them - not quite enough to make the billboards unprofitable, but enough that the city gets its cut. The fine becomes part of the billboard owner's cost of doing business.

To make a long story short, Bloomberg and the city council know damn well that some people have no choice but to drive for their commute. In fact, they're counting on them. This overhead will just be chalked up to "the cost of doing business." or "the cost of living/working in New York City." Funny, that's why I thought city taxes were for.

#4 - Truck drivers will pay $21. Why should I care? Because most of those trucks are making deliveries. The price of tolls will be passed down to the consumer

Proposed Pro: "It works like a dream in London! Really!"
Real life... ? If it works as well as the proponents claim, I see one significant difference: Manhattan is an Island, with only a handful of bridges and tunnels leading in and out. London's solution was to increase the amount of buses before working on their subway system. The problem with that is that a bus/subway ride from Queens to Manhattan costs $2 each way, while a bus ride from Queens to Manhattan costs $5. That's a 250% increase, so people are 250% more likely to cram into an already overcrowded subway than take a bus. Also, many of the commuters come from upstate NY (Metro North) and NJ (Port Authority,) so the increases in service would need to be much more widespread.

An open note to anyone in the U.K. - Does congestion pricing actually work or not? I'd like an insider's point of view, if you'd be kind enough to give it.