American Idle

It's kinda like American Idol, but only if you sing my posts out loud.

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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

62% of people apparently back Ahmadinejad's world views

Although there are probably a good chunk on international voters on, it’s still disconcerting to think that the majority of people (at least those voting in this poll) think that Ahmadinejad…the man stating that Israel should be wiped off the map…could beat Bush in a debate on world issues.

Are the voters in this poll (presumably angry-lefters) *that* off the wall that they think a man who supports groups who aim to destroy the foundations of society can make a better case for his cause than George Bush can for spreading Democracy?

What exactly does this mean? Do the people who voted "yes" actually subscribe to Ahmadinejad's world views, or are they so jaundiced by their opinions on Bush that they'll stop at any chance to insult him whenever possible? It's gotten to the point where Bush could race into a burning orphanage, save 18 children on his own and the things that people would be talking about would be how "Bush let two other kids die" or how "Bush neglected safety advice of Secret Servicemen and jeopardized this country".


Friday, August 25, 2006

ESPN Fantasy Football sucks

7:20 PM, Friday night 8/25 and this is what I get trying to access ESPN's Fantasy Football front page.

Once again, ESPN has disappointed me on the Fantasy Football front. After years of charging people for Fantasy Football...but losing money to Yahoo's free services...they decided to offer a free version last year.

The website tanked week one of the football season and alienated a good portion of people who realized that ESPN just couldn't compete.

Now this, and the season is two weeks away. While I don't know for sure, there a good chance that this outage aborted several leagues that were scheduled to draft at this time. A website just simply cannot go down like this during prime traffic hours. You very rarely, if ever, see sections of Yahoo or other major websites just go unavailable.

I swore them off last year and the only reason I was trying to access them tonight was for cheat sheets.

You suck ESPN. Now I don't feel bad for terminating the online account that I've been paying for for nearly ten years.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Life rule #282,019

Never smile with shaving cream on your face. You'll be utterly depressed by the color of your teeth.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Now fat kids are Bush's fault too

Can someone please tell me why it's the government's responsibilty for kids to get enough exercise? This is something that I wouldn't even blame on the school system, let alone the government. Growing up, I always thought that P.E. in school was a joke to begin with and we would have been better served with another class anyway. A couple of health classes? Fine. Just don't grade someone on their ability to play kickball. I remember one time failing P.E. in grade school because I couldn't perform two gymnastics moves. Gymnastics!

I would hold my kid's school responsible for academics...not their ability to get him fit. As a parent, that's MY responsibility.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A shout out for the Matrix. That would be the razor, not the movie.

Update: Oops. The correct name of the razor is the Matrix3, not the "Matrix". I've corrected the post below. Also, I checked the exact price on the replacement blades at Acme the other day. It's $5.49 for four blades, or $1.37 each. And, since I can get at least six days use out of one blade, that comes out to about 23 cents a shave. Not bad!

Very rarely do I come across a generic product that I gush about, but the Equaline Matrix3 is one of them.

I'm a hairy dude and shaving my facial hair is usually better served with a metal file than with a common razor. That being said, I'm a difficult person to please when it comes to razors. To me, there's always been Gillette and a bunch of also-rans. For whatever reason, even Shick's highest end blades tore my face apart like any other razor. And of the few companies that actually tried to compete with the big two, no one ever came close. It always seemed like Gillette knew something about making blades that no one else did. And because of that, I always had to pay a premium price to get a decent shave. My blade of choice has been the Gillette Sensor and, although they make better razors, I'll be damned if I'm going to pay more than that for five frigging blades.

But not anymore.

About two months ago, I discovered the Equaline Matrix3. Acme had them on sale and it had been over two years since I tried a new razor in vain, so I figured what the hell? It was a triple blade razor that was actually cheaper than the Gillette Sensor so what did I have to lose (besides a little skin)?

The first shave seemed decent. Not blow me away decent, but good. Of course, I had a two-day growth on my face, so that may have factored in. But after that it was smooth sailing. The shaves were as good as the Sensor, if not better. But that's not the best part. My stubble can render a new Gillette Sensor blade inoperable after two shaves...sometimes three. Ever since I've been using the Matrix3, I've been able to squeeze out up to a *week* of shaves before changing the blade. A WEEK. So not only is the Matrix3 cheaper than the Sensor, the blades last about three times as long. And guess what? I ran out of Matrix3 blades the other week and had to resort back to my Sensor. It tore my face up, even with a brand new blade.

Two caveats though. The female equivalent of the Matrix3...the Mystique...didn't get good reviews from my wife. Second, the Equaline brand is made by Albertson's, so you'll only be able to find it in Albertson's related stores. Around me, it's Acme. Not sure what other stores...aside from Albertson's itself...are also affiliated with it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Yellowjackets: Nature's Assholes

As somewhat of a nature lover, me and the outdoors get along just fine. Of course, I'm more of a nature lover from afar. I hate camping trips unless I can be assured of TV and/or continuous air conditioning (or at least the temperature never hovering above 72 degrees). Even buggy days outdoors will drive me back inside.

Nevertheless, I've always been intrigued by wildlife and insects. I'm old enough now to know that these creatures are neither good nor bad, and are merely acting on intuition to survive. Let's face it, none of these critters really want to interact with us and prefer keeping a safe distance whenever possible.

Ditto for the things you find in your house that you really don't want there. Spiders can be a nuisance but they're more beneficial that a person would think and, dammit, how are they going to be able to catch anything to eat when you keep walking into their webs? As much as a pain in the ass that ants are (once, I found them swarming an overturned sippy cup of Matt's at midnight...ugh), you have to admire their industriousness. And if you've got mice well, hey, they're just looking for a warm place to shack up. Bottom line is that as aggravating as these these creatures can be, it's hard to get truly mad at them because pissing you off is not their intention...or at least not directly.

Except for those fucking yellowjackets.

Yellowjackets are nothing more than aggressive, flying cockroaches with stingers. Unlike most insects, they want your food, they want it now, and so help you if you get in their way. The hell with ants, yellowjackets are the biggest picnic nuisance ever. Good luck enjoying your food if they're nearby and have figured out your location. How many people know others who've been stung in their mouths by a yellowjacket that's gotten inside of their soda can? I'd love to know the numbers on how many "bee stings" unrelated to hive disturbances that can be chalked up to yellowjackets. Because let's face take out the "hive disturbance" factor and other stinging insects like honey bees, hornets and even the most physically intimidating wasps are pretty docile. And the hives/nests of the latter are usually pretty obvious so that you usually have ample time to steer clear of it. My guess is that at least 80% would be yellowjackets and even the other 20% by the others could be chalked up to misunderstandings that would have preferably been avoided by both parties (accidentally sitting on a wasp, stepping on a bee in bare feet, etc.)

And where do yellowjackets build their nests? Sometimes underground. Sometimes in stone walls. What dicks. Sure, being hidden protects you from predators but being hidden *too* well means larger creatures can't see you and can inadvertantly destroy your homes. How many times have you heard stories of someone attacked by a swarm of bees because the foot of his ladder fell into a yellow jacket nest? When I moved into my current house, the bastards had already set up shop inside a bush outside of my house. Fortunately, I had seen the telltale sign of them constantly darting in and out of the bush to clue me in, otherwise Debbie's dog or I would have been a victim.

Now I've got a small nest of them outside my garage wall. The little bastards found an opening in a small piece of foundation block that had crumbled away and set up shop. Fortunately, although I can't see the nest, it never appeared to have gotten that big (no more than one darting in/out in 15 second intervals) and it looks like my last attempt to foam spray them to death may have worked.

Regardless, they're still assholes.

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