Me not so horny

24 02 2010

You are looking at the new bane of my existence. Actually, what you are looking at is an inanimate object I took with a crappy cell phone camera only because I didn’t have a chainsaw with me.
This is the fire horn that blows every time the Broadalbin-Kenyetto Volunteer Fire Department is called out to an emergency call. It’s located 500 feet from my bedroom window.
Last night, and into early this morning, considering the amount of “weather” this area received, this horn went off several times. In the overnight hours.
All to let us know that our tried and true fire department was answering the call.
Look, I have the utmost respect for firefighters. In fact, I have the highest respect for firefighters.
But let’s look at times, because they have a-changed a lot over the past 20 years or so.
Firefighters are supposed to have cell phones and pagers. I’m guessing that most, if not all, of them have scanners. I don’t think a blaring horn hitting what I’m guessing is a “G” above the high “C” is necessary to get the people you need on the job.
To top it off, the fire department’s headquarters is in a location where you could barely hear the alarm from the firehouse. So why is this sucker going off every time a call comes in?
There are several homes located directly in this horn’s blast path. I know for a fact some of these homes have young children who need a good night’s sleep.
I also know these homes have working adults who need a good night’s sleep in order to take care of these children and get to their jobs.
I’ve got news for the people responsible for this antiquated monstrosity. When that horn blares at 3 a.m., those who are shaken out of a dead sleep aren’t standing up and saluting our fire department with respect.
Instead, we’re still laying in our beds giving you the one-finger salute instead.

Shut the sucker down. It’s out-of-date, and it’s unnecessary.





Why so unhappy?

23 02 2010

One of the things that I get a kick out of is listening to people who cannot, and will not, find anything positive about their lives.
Actually, it makes me want to pull my hair out.
I’ll admit, I’m a local news junkie, which is why I spend some Tuesday nights watching Amsterdam Common Council meetings on TV, watching other public access TV shows (when they’re actually on), and listening to local radio call-in talk shows.
Professionally, I tune in so I can get a better grip on what’s going on and what’s on people’s minds. Personally, I think the participants and hosts have one common theme:
Everything sucks. There’s nothing good about my life. There’s nothing good about the community I live in. And it’s all everyone else’s fault.
Really? If that’s the case, then I have a couple of questions for you people who think everything is so terrible.
Did you wake up this morning in a warm bed? Did you wake up wondering if you will eat today? Can you take a crap in a toilet that flushes?
Look, I get the concern about high taxes. I get it. It’s a problem, and one that has to be addressed.
I get the concerns about the migration of people from New York to other states. This isn’t a business-friendly or people-friendly state.
But it’s not all bad, although there are people out there who would like you to think it is. So I have to ask, why?
Easy. Here’s why I think so many people are so negative all the time:
1. They want things to go back to the way they were. Here’s a newsflash, they won’t. The mills and factories are not coming back to upstate New York. The people who were able to hold power during those times won’t hold that kind of power again because they’re either dead, too old, or so out of touch that they sound clueless when they publicly rant and rave about how things suck.
2. They fear change. They’re afraid of the fact that there are non-whites living in their community, or that the “good ol’ boys” aren’t running things, so their racist and sexist tendencies come out. Case in point: A former Montgomery County supervisor said the mayor of Amsterdam, who happens to be a woman, said she should “go back into the kitchen where she belongs.” Whenever the subject of public benefits and welfare pop up, all we hear about is “the Spanish,” except I didn’t realize Spain was the largest source of immigrants in this area. They probably mean Hispanics, but the fact that the naysayers can’t even get the nationality right shows their pure ignorance and stupidity.
What kills me the most is that there are media outlets that not only provide a forum that allows these types of sentiments to be spewed, they, in fact, encourage it.
3. They don’t want to get involved. A lot of these naysayers use various forums to bitch and moan about how things are so terrible, but ask them to get involved, and they won’t. In fact, most of them won’t even use their real names when they participate in online forums, and nearly every bitchy caller on local talk shows is allowed to keep their anonymity.
That’s because it’s easier to stand on the sidelines and gripe instead of getting in the game and making a contribution.

Is it any wonder that New York state is considered to be one of the most miserable states to live in?
Look, conditions in this state are not ideal. I understand that. People pay a lot of taxes and get little in return.
But it’s not that bad of a place to live and raise a family. Instead of constantly griping about how much things suck, how about offering solutions to make things better?

Or would asking you to think be too much for you to handle?





Cry me a freaking river

20 02 2010

Obviously, plenty could be said about golfer Tiger Woods’ live press release where he ‘fessed up about his extra-marital affairs, apologized to just about everyone on the planet, and basically told the world to stay out of his personal business.
I’m fine with that. All I want is to see him get back on the golf course and dominate like he used to.
What’s really gotten under my fingernails is that one of his alleged mistresses is continuing to be an attention whore by acting like she’s some sort of victim in all of this.
Boo-freaking-hoo.
I’m talking about Veronica Siwik-Daniels, a former porn star known as Joslyn James who hails from a little town five minutes from me called Mayfield, N.Y.
Shortly after Woods’ long-awaited mea culpa, Siwik-Daniels had her own press conference, saying she’s owed a personal apology from Tiger.

It’s absolutely pathetic, on so many levels.
For starters, Siwik-Daniels (who all of a sudden is using her real name after allowing her porn star name and porn star image to be used for months after the Woods’ scandal unfolds) is obviously trying to stay in the spotlight while you rarely hear from any of the golfer’s other former mistresses.
Second, we are not talking about someone who has a great track record. Her career in porn aside, we are talking about someone who claims she got pregnant twice by Woods but never told him and also owes thousands of dollars in back child support payments.
We’re also talking about someone who knowingly engaged in an affair with a married man and BRAGGED about it, including to members of her own family.
So do the math.
A stupid little girl from a hick town builds a career by having sex with strange men on camera for money; prostitutes do the same thing, only the camera will probably cost you extra. She hooks up with a worldwide celebrity worth millions, a celebrity she had to know was married unless she was spending too much time under a rock (or something else that rhymes with rock).
And instead of laying low like many of this worldwide celebrity’s mistresses, she continues to run her mouth and even holds her own media event that’s just as staged as her former lover’s event.
And she claims all she wants is a face to face apology? I even doubt people in Mayfield will believe that.
Look, there’s no denying that Tiger Woods’ behavior was reprehensible, but let’s face it, Woods was just as much a notch on these women’s bedposts as they were on his. If he wasn’t Tiger Woods, most, if not all, of these women probably wouldn’t have given him the time of day.
Woods is obviously scrambling to right the ship, but it’s a ship none of us has any right to be sailing on because it’s a private cruise. He screwed up big time, got caught, admitted he was wrong and that he let a lot of people down.
Now that he’s done that, all I want to see is him get back on the golf course and dominate. That’s why I, and millions of other people, have watched him over the years.
But as far as Siwik-Daniels, or Joslyn James, goes, in the words of fictional motivational speaker Matt Foley, he doesn’t owe you JACK SQUAT because you knew exactly what you were getting into.





Super Bowl: The Movie

31 01 2010

Today begins the week where all of us football fans (and non-fans) will be blitzed with all sorts of stories and angles about the Super Bowl, from stories about the superstars to features on the cousin of the gardner’s ex-wife who bumped into a former equipment manager for the Arizona Cardinals who once saw the Saints and Colts’ locker rooms.
Just for fun, if the Super Bowl were a movie, who would you cast to be in it?
Here’s a couple of my choices.

Colts QB Peyton Manning

Played by The Janitor from “Scrubs.”

Saints QB Drew Brees

Played by Luke Wilson

Colts WR Reggie Wayne

Played by WWE wrestler Kofi Kingston

Saints RB/KR Reggie Bush

Played by actor Omar Epps

Colts center Jeff Saturday

Played by Al Borland from “Home Improvement”

Saints head coach Sean Payton

Played by Ralphie from “A Christmas Story”

And finally, Colts head coach Jim Caldwell

Played by Nein Nunb, interim co-pilot of the Millenium Falcon

Feel free to add your choices.





Saints alive!

28 01 2010

No, this isn’t about the upcoming Super Bowl, although that’s probably a more interesting topic. Instead, it’s my main impression of President Barack Obama’s first-ever State of Union address. If you missed it, you can read the full text of the speech by clicking HERE.
There wasn’t really anything surprising from Obama’s speech, mainly a repeat of the same talking points we’ve heard several times.
What struck me as mildly disturbing, however, is how the president points to government, particularly the federal government, as being the solution to everyone’s problems. What struck me as majorly disturbing was Nancy Pelosi clapping like a seal everytime the president cleared his throat.
Basically, what I heard was this:
Need a job? The government can get one for you.
Can’t afford college? The government can pay for it.
Can’t afford health care? The government can provide it for you.
Trouble paying the mortgage? The government will pay it for you.
Whatever happened to personal responsibility? If Obama’s plans come to fruition, what will happen to personal ambition to succeed?
I don’t think THIS is what the founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the U.S. Constitution.
In fact, government, at any level, tends to screw things up when it gets involved anyway. But the president is looking for government to be the savior of the United States. Not a good thing.
* I’ve also heard a lot of people talking about how good of an orator President Obama is, and how he delievers a good speech. Can’t argue there. During the 2008 presidential campaign, I was at an event at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., and stood 15 feet away from Obama when he was a senator in a tough primary contest. He’s an excellent public speaker.
But being able to deliver a good speech doesn’t make one an effective leader.
Know who else were considered to be fantastic public speakers? Adolf Hitler. Benito Moussolini. Josef Stalin. Mao Tse-Tung. How’d they work out for the countries they led?
It’s important to listen to the words. It’s more important to watch what they do. I’m not saying Obama is looking to be a dictator or anything like that, but there are times when the words don’t match the actions.
* Getting away from bashing Obama completely, I will say I liked his emphasis on improving local community colleges. I know a lot of people look at their community colleges as glorified high schools, and if you’re one of those people, I’d encourage you to look again.
Many of these institutions have top-notch programs and are offering courses comparable to what you’d find in a four-year school.
Community college has also become an option for many students who can’t afford to head straight to a four-year school after high school. I think the president was on the money when he highlighted the need to strengthen these institutions.
* I noticed at least seven instances where Obama used the word “Washington” not in a geographic sense, but in the pejorative. He’s right when he says the American people are fed up with what’s happening in our nation’s capital. However, the president should realize he’s also a part of the establishment there.





The let’s hire the worst coach out there edition championship round picks

20 01 2010

Before I get into this week’s picks, as a lifelong Bills fan, I am absolutely stunned that Buffalo hired Chan Gailey to be its next head coach. This guy wasn’t even good enough to be an assistant in Kansas City. Yes, we are now looking to cast-offs from the Chiefs for leadership. Ugh.
No that’s not a picture of Chan. I’m just trying to convince myself there have been worse coaches.
Anyhoo, on to this week’s NFL conference championship picks.

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts: Don’t look now, but the Jets seem to be for real, having knocked off two division champions to get to this point. The team is playing at a high-level of confidence thanks to head coach Rex Ryan. The runners run, and the defense looks like it can stop anyone. QB Mark Sanchez looks more poised than a rookie should, although he’s got a little ways to go before he can be considered one of the premiere quarterbacks in the NFL. The Colts have a premiere quarterback in Peyton Manning, who won his fourth MVP award. But the Colts aren’t just Manning. Their defense is a little underrated, making mincemeat of Baltimore’s offense in the divisional round. Manning also has a talented batch of receivers to throw two, which makes up for the lack of running game. I think the Jets can win this game, but in the end, experience has to count for something, and Manning and Co. have been here before. I’ll have to go with the Colts in a close one, 23-20.


Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints: These have been the best two teams in the NFC, although both stumbled into the postseason. Still, the Vikes and Saints proved why they were the top two seeds last weekend, with New Orleans crushing the Arizona Cardinals and Minnesota punching the Dallas Cowboys in the mouth. This is an interesting matchup, with the Saints relying on their high-powered passing attack and big-play defense, while the Vikings pound you with their running attack on offense and a brutal defense. Minnesota also has a quarterback you may have heard of, some dude by the name of Brett Favre, who against Dallas reminded me of some guy named Brett who used to be a great QB for the Green Bay Packers. However, I’m going with the Saints in this one, because of the home-field advantage and that it seems like New Orleans has that “it” factor some teams have to get to the Super Bowl. New Orleans 30-Minnesota 24.

Last week: 1-3 Overall: 4-4





Giving the finger

18 01 2010

I am a big fan of the Nintendo Wii gaming system, particularly because of the interactive game play. However, it appears there are hazards to playing certain games, as evidenced by my sprained finger shown above.
I was playing a game this morning with my youngest daughter, and part of the game requires the player to move the game controller in an upward motion. Of course, I didn’t realize where I was standing, and I wound up smashing my hand into a low-hanging light fixture. Sheesh.
I don’t know what’s more embarassing: getting an injury playing the Wii, or the fact that I was specifically playing a figure skating game.