. . . . . . . The Daily Blarf

Saturday, February 28, 2004

similar to what i saw (no one was hurt in this one either.)

and this is why i HATE I-690 in syracuse:

in addition to having my own b.s. accident over a year ago on this god-forsaken, overcrowded, cramped, racetrack-of-a-highway, i came across another accident in progress wednesday. a car headed in the opposite direction (west) hit the concrete highway divider several times and flipped onto it's roof, sending shrapnel over the divider into my eastbound lane. this wreck was clearly the biggest opportunity i've ever had to put my EMT training to use, so i darted thru three lanes of rush-hour traffic (stupid move) and jumped the divider, fully expecting to see blood and gore and not having a clue what the hell to do about it. luckily, as i approached the car, a petite woman crawled out of her wadded-up buick, luckily and amazingly without a scratch. the roof was flattened and there was broken glass, car parts, hubcaps, and shit everywhere. if she'd been any bigger, she would have been hurt. meanwhile, traffic was still flying by, inches away from the scene. not that there was any way to avoid that, since there's no median, no shoulder, and nothing but inches between each car.

ok, maybe i'm just not used to this type of road, since i'm a hillbilly who was raised in the sticks. but seriously, if the speed limit was just a little lower, these things might not happen.

this was the same situation for me when i rear-ended a stopped car in the passing lane back in september of 2002. only did the stopped car have nowhere to go, but neither did i, and neither did the traffic behind us. it was during a huge-ass rainstorm and heavy traffic, and i was nearly rear-ended myself about half a dozen times. i was contemplating whether or not i should 1. stay in my truck and wait to get hit, or 2. jump off the barrier to die in the ghetto below. (did i mention this is an elevated highway in downtown syracuse?) and did i mention the occupants of the other vehicle fled the scene before the syracuse police arrived, and the police didn't do anything at ALL?

if it had been a state trooper on the scene, i bet things woulda been different. but that's neither here nor there.

at any rate, all this talk makes me really want to get into the academy. wish me luck.


R.I.P., sharkie.

my little bala shark didn't make it. he's been ill, and passed away a few days back. too much booze and smokes, i tried to tell him. but he drank like a fish, and things caught up with him. he spent his last hours swimming erratically around the tank until he finally took that eternal rest--in his favorite place--the hollow log. to make things worse, i left him behind to go party at the frat house with several scantily-clad coeds. ah, but he would have wanted it that way. from one bachelor to another, sharkie, you were the MAN. at least i still have his other sharkmates--sharkdaddy, sharkie #2, and sharkie #3. and of course, all the other fishies.

all drains lead to the ocean, buddy! *sniff*

*not sharkie. photo is a representative the breed. imagine a leaner, meaner, scruffier fish (read: "bad ass")


thanks to all 2.3 daily readers who put up with my endless bitching on the blarf. all i do is complain; thanks for sticking with me. and leave some comments!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

"Oh, Davey! there really aren't any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!"

i guess the world isn't as simple as i thought it was.

as we signed the paperwork for my first sale, i looked across the desk at my customer. he was clearly the hard-working sort, worn down by years of diligent commitment to his job and family and obviously not too sure about the mechanical details of an automobile or the process of buying one. he was parting ways with a lotta money. part of me wanted to be on the other side of the desk giving pointers. on my side, the experienced salesman helping me had made sure we crossed the i's and dotted the t's, and ensured that we didn't miss a chance to make a profit. not to say that we took advantage of the customer, by any means. he got a good deal and so did we. but knowing the details of how a sale comes together, well... it's like a tour of a slaughterhouse--you don't want to see how it's done, but the end result sure is tasty. am i cut out for this line of work? i don't know.

a salesman's pitch is riddled with ambiguity, inflated truths, overgeneralizations, and ignorance of the competition. and i don't mean just in my profession. just watch any advertisement on tv and you'll see. for instance, Quaker Oats: drop your chloresterol by 6 points by eating this stuff for breakfast for 30 days. hmmm. a whopping 6 points. gee, maybe it's cuz you're eating this crap rather than eggs boiled in butter and bacon grease. maybe if i eat styrofoam for 30 days, i'll drop 12 points. Crest Whitestrips: guaranteed to take off up to 14 years worth of stain buildup. guaranteed! wow! but that statement doesn't mean anything. "up to 14 years" means 0 to 14 years. so this product is guaranteed to do something, or possibly nothing. why can't they just be honest and say, "you know, this will probably whiten your teeth, but hey, even your teeth may be beyond hope." i would appreciate that on the label. i would buy it merely for the honesty. or how about the company i used to work for--eltaday onicsay. the billboard on the highway implies that washing your car with their undercarriage wash is the best way to flush out salt and prevent rust. actually, no. in the winter, you're better off leaving the frozen salty crust on your vehicle. as long as it's dry or frozen, the water and salt can't eat your metal. but when you go thru the roasty toasty car wash with all that hot water, you're putting that salt into solution. (the same happens in your heated garage when the stuff melts and leaves the solution behind.) sure, if you dunked each car in a vat of distilled water, you could get all that salt out of there, but face it, people! you can't escape rust. this is new york, and not even eltaday onicsay can save you. but yet, people go there by the thousands thinking they are gonna save their cars from rust.

and it's not just in advertising. it's in the news. it's in print. it's on our tv shows. it's in our government. it's in this blog. i hate it. maybe we should all just shut the hell up and make our own decisions. SHUT UP, EVERYONE!

enough of the bitchfest. that's all this blog is, anyway. time for pepperjack cheese, kool-aid, and Whose Line Is It Anyway.

thanks again to mark for the blarfproofing.

Monday, February 23, 2004

i made my first sale today--on a big-ass, 15-passenger highway cruising beast. yay for me. i've had my doubts about my abilities and desire to do this job, but now, with one sale under my belt, and another pending, well...maybe this gig will work. i'll have to give it more time before i form an opinion.

after crashing here for 3 weeks, mark has headed to boston. it's been an eventful three weeks. with his help, i got a new computer. i got all of my old files transferred onto it from the old one (which was a major concern and stumbling block for me.) all of my bootlegged songs and the new (read: legal) downloads are all conveniently located in iTunes. i had some company in my quiet little pad for once. i had a wingman at the bars. i was a wingman at the bars. my kitchen has been consistently clean. and i have been shown that tostitos salsa is not necessarily the best salsa out there. it's been an experience.

my only complaint--while i was at work, mark changed the background on the new computer from Triumph to Queer Eye wallpaper--bastard. i like Queer Eye, but i sure as hell don't need it on my desktop.

somethin' you didn't know:

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous weapon was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking the yew" (or "pluck yew"). Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, "See, we can still pluck yew! PLUCK YEW!" Since "pluck yew" is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative F, and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter. It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as "giving the bird." And yew thought yew knew everything.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

the blarf is swollen with pleasure today. even more so than always.

Daytona, 2001: My first UFO sighting. too bad the girls got in the way and ruined the pic. there goes my claim to fame.


i almost lost her. she was face down, in a puddle of water. she's an old girl, but why now? why? luckily, it was just a close call. with a little mouth to mouth and a dry tissue, she was good as new.

and as you know, seeing your cell phone face down in a puddle of water is like seeing a small child face down in a pool. well, perhaps not that shocking, but close. it slaps you with a feeling of fear and isolation. i need a new phone, but not right now. not like this.


mark and i used up our luck last week, apparently. our night on the town last night degraded to a trip to wegmans for toilet paper, pickles, and iTunes pepsi. the local bar sucked, being full of 30-something men and women. it's scary to see what i'll be doing 4 years from now if i don't get hooked up sooner rather than later. eek. ladies, please speak up. and send a pic, too.

mark has me hooked on iTunes. the pepsi caps were the gateway for me. if you look carefully while tilting the bottle, you can find the song-winning caps before purchase. I was 3 for 4 before using the trick, and now... i beat the system. muah ha ha. check out mark's page for the full instructions (check his comments.)

tune in later for more writer's block.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

the wait is finally over. the racing season is upon us once again. and with the new job, i'll always have sundays off to watch the races.

i know you've been waiting too, cuz NASCAR racing has become the second most popular sport in america.

more popular than hockey. more popular than basketball. and way more popular than the ever-boring game of baseball. only the NFL has a larger following. it's estimated that 200,000 people will in the stands today for the daytona 500, and 29 million will be watching at home. 75 million americans are NASCAR fans. the "NASCAR dad" crowd is being viewed as a critical swing vote in the presidential election, as recognized by our grand, glorious, and bumbling president who was in attendance for today's race. but the question remains, why haven't sports writers picked up on this? why is the sports section always full of crap? the NASCAR news, if any, is almost always buried in the back along with the classifieds. the only paper that does racing any justice at all is USA Today. thank you, USA Today.

anyway, for those of you who still aren't watching it, for those of you who aren't reading about it, for those of you who aren't writing about it, well... sooner or later, you'll be buying it. with dale earnhardt jr.'s win in the 500 today, drakkar never smelled better. the same goes for the other products endorsed by dale and the 40+ drivers out on the track.

you can't escape it. NASCAR's got you.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

"welcome to Krispie Kreme, and can you please turn your car off so i can hear you."

the old girl is getting tired. the current crisis with my '88 jeep comanche involves the exhaust system. the cherry bomb "muffler" doesn't do much muffling after the tailpipe fell off. but then again, that's not what cherry bombs are for. i've been meaning to put the pipe back on; i just haven't gotten to it. but for gawd's sake, when the noise interferes with donut purchases, it's time to get motivated.

i was gonna do it myself, but i needed either a torch or a compressor (for my cut-off wheel) to cut off the old pipe clamps. to use the compressor, i'd have to lay in the mud & snow at the garage on the farm. umm, no. to use the torches, i'd have to squeeze the truck into the depot and cross my fingers & hope the torches still had gas. after considering both crappy options, i took the easy route and went to cole muffler.

the guy at cole told me my exhaust system was total shit and needed to be replaced, as he shoved a huge estimate and a grubby bic pen into my face. he fully expected me to bend over and take it "in the tailpipe," however, i told him i don't need a new tailpipe; the old one just needs to be put back on. "it's rusted off, it won't work," he said. bullshit, i thought. he wasn't interested in trying, either. then he went out back and brought out a new pipe, which was nothing like the original. "if i want the pipe or not, this isn't the right one," i said. he replied with an exasperated "well it's the one it calls for," and a shrug of the shoulders. at that point i decided not to buy anything but a muffler from this guy, since he clearly doesn't know shit about customer service. telling me twice that it's the right part when it's clearly not, is not the way to get me to buy it. turns out they had the right one out back, but he was so stubborn, he couldn't be bothered to doublecheck himself. he can Suck It Easy. so i let him sell me a $10 muffler for $52.50, plus labor, and away i went. and it was oh-so quiet! tell me to shut my truck off now, donut-people!

back home at the depot (our garage, an ex-railroad depot) i was pleasantly surprised to find the torches indeed had gas and were in operating condition. this was good, since i ended up needing them for another reason other than for the clamp-torching that cole did for me. i had to cob job the damn connector to get the pipe on, but dammit, that old pipe is fine and works great.

who needs a new car? not me! hey, i just got a new muffler!

Motivation feels much different from what I imagined. I was expecting a light, energetic feeling. But it is more like being pinned under a burning couch. ~quote stolen from alex~

for a good time, click here. (just do it, you'll love it.) brought to by the minds that brought you the quizno's rodents. <--click that, too!

thanks to mark for the proofreading, as usual.

Monday, February 09, 2004

and then there was light.

typically i second-guess all of my decisions--turning over every possible option a dozen times before coming to a conclusion--but to leave ELTADAY ONICSAY has been one of the easiest decisions i have made in a long time.

today was my last day.

it was great. i came in at 6:30 for opening, and we were busy right off the bat. everyone was really cool, and aside from the asshole GM harrrassing us on the phone, everything went smoothly. i made several 11th hour repairs & fixes (it was in sympathy for the company, since i will taking 90% of the collective mechanical ability with me when i go.) the other managers were busy yelling at each other all day. ha ha. not me. i'm beyond that. the weather was nice. and the employees all had something nice to say. and as a coup de grace, my ex and i had planned for her to come in to have her car be the last car i ever detail at DS. hey, SOMEbody had to have the last car i clean, why not have it belong to someone i care about? it was fitting, in a weird sort of way. we were still dating when i took this job, and now as friends, i'm leaving it behind. she, too, is taking a new job, in maryland... we're both headed in new directions. it was some sort of closure, in a twisted kinda way.
as i was cleaning the ex-mobile, several of the guys & girls came over to say their goodbyes & stuff, including the HoT 17 year old chick who came in on her day off to bring me cupcakes, as she promised. (i had let her go early on saturday, so she promised me cake. yee ha!) after i punched out for the last time, it took me almost an hour to make my rounds, shaking hands and saying goodbye to all those working. it was then that it really struck me; i have a LOT of friends here. friends that give a damn about me and the fact that i'm leaving. and all of the sudden, i felt the overwhelming urge to actually hang out with these people now, without the manager vs. employee pretense that's existed for nearly two years. and now that i've cleaned out and rearranged my apartment, i feel like throwing a goddamn party. an applebee's night with a huge crew of (former) coworkers is planned for tomorrow, and maybe we'll have an after hours thing here.
when i had talked to everyone i know, i headed out to my truck to leave, but the conciliatory bastard in me made me stop. i couldn't walk away without at least saying something nice to the asshole who helped bring me down. the inability to burn bridges is a tuff thing to overcome. so i turned back, wished him well, shook his hand, and called it even. and i got an open invitation to hang out at a strip club sometime. great. see, burning bridges never gets your ass anywhere.

i've been blarfing up a storm lately. a whirlwind of blarf. and thanks to mark for the layout changes. the scrambler-blue-hues rock.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

my last night as the closing manager went well. more farewells. goofiness on the radios. fun and games. and the shop is spotless. this was on purpose, so i can gauge how crappy the place gets after i'm gone. (one of my specialties is cleanliness.) one more day--i open on monday.
i managed to miss the bud shootout at daytona tonight. shit. didn't even THINK of it. the racing off-season went so fast, i didn't even notice. all the more reason for change. maybe with the new job, things will slow down enough so i can enjoy life for a change.
tonight, i did have fun for a change. dreading spending another night doing nothing, mark and i... decided to go bowling! we ended up at bowl mor lanes in east syracuse. i was pretty rusty, since the last time i went bowling was in... 2001?? what have i been doing for the last 3 years? more proof that i haven't done anything but work for too long.
in that same vein, i've decided against going to florida for my down time between jobs. i don't have the money, a place to stay, or an itinerary. and going to texas...well, that woulda been a great trip...but let's not go there. literally or figuratively. long story.
anyway...back to bowling. unfortunately we didn't end up in a lane next to hot chicks, but rather, we were surrounded by a bunch of dudes. dudes who could bowl better than us. hell, the 14 year old girl next to us was bowling better than me at one point. as per usual, i peaked early and sucked soon after. beer and sore thumbs tend to do that to your score. i was crappy as usual, although i did manage to nail a strike while talking on the cell phone. not too shabby. mark was a bit more consistent, but he didn't try switch-hitting in game 3 or switching balls in game 5, like i did. in all, we managed to fit in 6 games during the extreme bowling/disco/rock 'n bowl unlimited game period.

final scores:
Suck It Easy (me): 121, 98, 93, 110, 95, 101. Sharkie (aka mark): 87, 84, 120, 96, 90, 102.
AVERAGE: Suck It Easy: 103. Sharkie: 96.5.

I may have sucked, but it was good enough to win. it was all in the ball. ironically, the ball i switched to had "shark" engraved on it, which was bad karma for mark, having already choosen his nom de bowl. if we were still in high school, that ball would be on my living room floor right now, but being the upstanding citizen that i am, and being that i am trying to get into the police academy, i don't need to be swiping pearly blue bowling balls that have "shark" engraved on them. or any balls, for that matter. the bowling alley woulda deserved it though, since while cleaning our table, the putz from the shoe counter picked up our beer cups and DUMPED THEM BACK IN THE PITCHER. and then TOOK THE CUPS AWAY AND LEFT THE PITCHER. now picture this situation in your mind and try to comprehend what the hell was going thru this guy's head when he did this. got it? neither do we. what the hell are we supposed to do, finish the pitcher by drinking out of opposite sides?? we did that for a sip or two before realizing that was just as stupid as having our cups taken away, so we abandoned the beer in disgust.

the competition was even closer on the way home--we tried to sing along with as much of "you may be right" by billy joel as we could without screwing up the lyrics. it ended in a draw, since we both frigged it up evenly. i had an unfair advantage, though--i've had billy joel's hits CD's playing in my truck for days now. (dirty rotten bastard cheater i am, i woulda gotten beat bad if it wasn't for that.) with mark being slightly inebriated, i finally convinced him to watch "Super Troopers" when we got back to my apartment. he won't admit it, but he thought it was funny. i took his "worst movie ever" comment as as compliment. it was a personal victory just getting him to watch it.
and then it was 4 am and i went to bed the end zzzzzzz.

and a note from sunday evening: today, mark and i got me a new emachines T2792, with flat panel monitor. pretty swank. my credit card is in agonizing pain. but at least i can now right-click on something without the computer crashing. thanks, compaq SBW250. it's been a good four years. actually, it hasn't, but we can pretend. now you're on backup. and now i'm more in debt than ever. gonna have to sell hard at the new job to make up for it.
the old job called me today--"are you gonna show up for work tomorrow? the supervisor wanted me to call and ask." yes, of course i am going to show up for work on my last day, you JACKASSES. unlike the other immature screwups that work there, i have the integrity, maturity, and respect to show up on my last day like i said i would in my two weeks notice. this is all the more reason to get the hell out of here. i can't stand this assumed-immaturity BS. i need a real job with real coworkers. does that exist?

Thursday, February 05, 2004

and these creepy little bastards are supposed to make me want to eat a quizno's sub? with their ingrown teeth and deformed little rodent bodies that belong in a jar of formaldehyde? yuck. is this the kind of animal they use for the processed meat? but i must admit, the song is catchy, and the TV ad is, well, addictive. creepy bastards, nonetheless.

my days at ELTADAY ONICSAY are dwindling, and good days they have been. we just got the 2003 upgrade sales totals--i'm 8th out of over 100 upgraders for the central NY region. not too shabby! i never really considered myself much of a salesman prior to that. and upon hearing that i'm leaving, everyone's had something kind to say, said goodbye, or inquired as to when i'm all done so they can see me one more time before i'm gone. and that rocks. "i'm going to miss him." "you're the manager who likes your job the most, and you do it the best." "you're really leaving? you're the manager who's easiest to work with." "it's been fun working with you." "so who's gonna fix everything when you're gone?" "are you gonna miss me?" (the hot 17 year old girl asked me that.) and my personal favorite, "it's gonna suck when you're gone." hugs, handshakes, high fives. i'm almost sad to go! then again, nah...lemmie get the hell out of here. i've gotten the cold shoulder from the location supervisor, and my supervisor and the other senior manager are in their own little manager world. i'm just the extra guy who does the basics. i've (thankfully) been relieved of any difficult and/or thought-related tasks. and i've been removed from the management loop. good. and it's great to see my replacement (the one who spilled the beans on my trooper plans which lead to my demise) flounder in his mediocrity and poor decisionmaking. and the best of all, the fervor surrouding my departure has influenced others--in all, five of our best guys are considering leaving or have been looking at other jobs. it's great. nothing like leaving a huge aftershock in my wake. i can't wait to stop in in the coming weeks to see what the place is like without me. it's good to know i'll be missed.

and then there's the new job. the more i learn about it, the more imposing and scary it is. i hope i can make it work. i've got a lot riding on it, especially since i've told everyone who's asked what it is i'm doing next. i look forward to it with trepidation and excitement. and as for my earlier comment on not being much of a salesman, well, i'm better than i thought, so i might be okay. more on the new job later...

Sunday, February 01, 2004

LIVE from (upstate) New York, it's SATURDAY NIGHT!

and what a wonderful night it is, folks. i am slightly inebriated. i say "slightly" cuz if i was "totally" i wouldn't have driven home, and i'd still be at the bar, which would suck because my new clothes would stink like stogies.

i was enjoying my millionth-consecutive evening alone in my apartment when it hit me that it was saturday. i've lost all weekly reference points, since my job (soon to be EX job) includes working weekends and nights. i don't go out much as it is, especially since my work friends are either 1. underage, or 2. assholes, and i don't really know anyone outside of work, so my nights revolve around the computer, tv, and watching the fish try desperately to escape their glass prison. but tonight was different. something lit a fire under my ass. or maybe it was just a small flame, but whatever it was, i decided to go out.

i went to my favorite bar, JP Mulligan's, in Fayetteville. i guess i can't really call it my favorite, since i don't like going to bars, but if i had a favorite bar, this would be the one. it's pretty swank and seems to attract people my age for the most part, and of course, the obligatory old people who think they are still 22. there was a band there tonight, and there was this 50 year old chick (read: "old woman") dancing with the damn band, like she was still a sorority slut who was trying to hook up with the lead singer. lady, go home. i'm not being sexist, cuz there were old men who didn't belong there either, but there's nothing that makes my eyes roll faster than some single, drunk chick who's old as my mom trying to act like hot shit. my god, if i'm still in bars trying to pick up chicks at that age, i hope i get run over by a freaking bread truck to end my misery.

but anyway, the band was okay, and the scene was too. i wasn't seeing the singles that i'd seen last time i was here with mark, but it was a good time nonetheless. and it was time for me to go when the smokers started, one by one, sneaking the cigarettes, including the damn bartender who had a big, stink-ass cigar. the no-smoking law is great until people realize that nothing's gonna happen if they light up. so i left my half-beer at a booth and hit the road.

having popped my IHOP cherry a couple weeks ago, i decided to stop in again for an impromptu meal on the way back to my shack. hard to believe, i know, that the first time i've been to IHOP was only a few weeks ago (except for maybe a time or two as a kid on road trips down south.) i drive by this place every day but haven't ever had the balls to eat there, cuz i'm a Denny's man, dammit. as i walked in, i was hoping i wouldn't be the only one there. my worries were alleviated when i first walked by some dude camped out with a laptop, and then a table covered with some sort of dorkus cards (like a cross between dungeons and dragons and pokemon) and two dorks trading them back and forth. i have to give them props because it takes all kinds of balls to do something like that anywhere than in your parents’ den, even if it is at IHOP at 2:30 in the morning. good luck, guys. whatever floats your boat. hey, at least they aren't coming to IHOP alone like me. i was seated next to these two college girls, one of which was a cornell girl (judging from the hat) who i instantly decided not to try to start a conversation with cuz she was not hot. and then i felt like shit for thinking that. who the hell am i to judge someone by looks alone? why, i'm the slightly inebriated, solitary guy at IHOP, that’s who. who better to judge people than me? i walk with a swagger, not a stagger, and i'm a two beer queer with no fear. and i can't make up my mind if i want breakfast or dinner. is 2:30 too early to get breakfast without feeling insecure?? can i have eggs and bacon before, say, 4:00am, and not feel weird about it? no. i went with the bacon cheeseburger. so much for living on the edge. and what are you supposed to do while waiting for food alone? taking a piss only takes a minute. i have no one to call on the cell fone. hmm... cell fone games. i never play them, which is clearly evident by my weak score (135) on Space Impact. i blame it on the black and white phone display. my phone is the only one left in existence lacking a color screen and/or a camera. mine phone is the equivalent of an '88 Plymouth Reliant in 2004. kinduva metaphor of my own life. as;lkjfasfd;ljsfd.
i'm tired. i can't wrap up this post with a snazzy conclusion that pulls it all together. i don't think there is a way to pull this crap together. 50 year old chicks. trading cards. eggs and bacon. there are no parallels. i give up. good night.