Thursday, August 30, 2007

Turn it all around!

the previous post was really whiney and abrasive, so to balance everything out...

A Small List of Things I Like:

soft serve pistacio ice cream
when someone on television winks, and a "twinkle" sound is added
puppies that haven't "grown" into their feet yet
sleeping until you wake up naturally
scrambled eggs, home fries and toast
pantone 3265
the sound of lawnmowers
the aloofness of my cat
fake, plastic food
the sound of a tattoo machine just starting up
tacky holiday decorations

See? I'm not always full of piss and vinegar.

Home Depot, you are dead to me.

The following list is composed of things that were supposed to occur this week. The items marked with a "YES!" did, in fact. happen. The items marked "TOOLBAG!" did not happen.

My Father and I go to HOME (Incompetent assholes) DEPOT last week to place an order for deck building materials. YES!

Man at Home Depot gaurantees delivery for Thursday Morning. YES!

My Father drives to Suburbia from his own home, 100 miles away, the night before the delivery date. YES!

Building Supplies are delivered Thursday morning. TOOLBAG! TOOLBAG! TOOLBAG!

Ahem. Let me explain...

Wednesday when I got home from work, my Father was already there, sitting on my couch watching some zombie movie. There was a message on my answering machine from a guy from Home Depot. Let's call him "Idiot."

In the message, Idiot says that part of my order was out of stock and that he looked at my order and thought there wasn't much I could build without the out of stock item, so he went ahead and cancelled my Thursday delivery, and rescheduled it for Saturday, when the out of stock item would be back in stock. He then says to call him if there is a problem with this. He'll be there until 3pm.

Three? It's now 6 in the evening. I call anyway and the woman who answered says to call back in the morning at 6 AM and they should be able to load the in stock portion of my order and deliver it LIKE WE AGREED UPON and i PAID for.. No where in my delivery contract did it say "If an item is out of stock, an Idiot will assume you don't want ALL THE OTHER STUFF you ordered and will reschedule the entire order, leaving you with nothing to work with."

I call back in the morning and explain the situation to Idiot. Idiot says he tried to call four times and then left a message on the fifth call. Funny, because my phone logs all calls that come in and there was only ONE call from Home Depot. He gets flustered and mutters something about calling and he's lying to me.

The out of stock item is a bunch of wood for the top of the deck, so his assumption that we can't do any work until we have the out of stock item is false. More arguing goes on involving me asking several times why he was making judgement calls regarding what part of my order I need when and him tellimg me some crap about the trucks already leaving so nothing can be loaded on them today anyway. Uh, it's 6 in the morning.

I ask him why the out of stock item wasn't flagged as such in their inventory when we ordered the wood a few days ago. He said it was in stock AT THE TIME WE ORDERED IT, but when it came time to load the truck wednesday, that particular wood size had sold out. Huh? So ordering items from Home Depot for delivery is in no way a guarantee that the item will be available when it is time to be delivered. Because they don't put anything aside for anyone's order. They just hope the items won't sell out between the order date and the delivery date. I ask him all this and he says that yes, that is the way it works. That is a horrible way to process orders. How dumb.

I hang up and then my Father calls back. hehehee

I then walk into the other room to get some breakfast and I keep hearing my Father say, "That's not my fucking problem. Rent a truck. We have a contract," several times.

Then I hear the best thing, ever...
"I don't care if all you have in stock is one nail. We ordered it, so you put it on the truck and fucking deliver it."

So yeah, everything is getting delivered on Saturday, but we did get some money off our order and also free delivery, so that's something.

I really hope the delivery shows up on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Deck Deck, Goose.

Construction of my deck started last weekend...

There is now a piece of string in my yard that marks where the deck will be. It also keeps people from falling into the post holes that were dug. My neighbors have a little yippy annoying dog that runs into my yard all the time, and it would be quite a shame if one of them tripped and fell into one of the holes while running around my yard yelling at their dog at 3 in the morning, like they do ALMOST NIGHTLY. I feel bad for that dog. It's not her fault that her owners are such jerks.

Another great thing about this deck is that there will be a fence on one end to block the jerks from staring and snickering at me while I'm simply trying to grill a frankfurter in my own yard.

I can't wait.

Food Fighters!

I've been looking for these things for a while now. They were made in the late eighties. These don't seem to have had a very big production run.. it's proving to be very difficult to find any of them. I saw one on Ebay the other day. Just ONE. What the hell?

I think either Mattel only made about 73 of these things, or some weirdo in a basement somewhere is hoarding them. In this day and age of internet bidding sites and flea markets, I think it should be easier to find these toys.

Look at how funny this is...

I really like the fight scene on the package, although the tile looks like bathroom tile, as opposed to kitchen tile...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Look Familiar?

It's the Monkey Head Robot from Sharper Image!

I saw it at Coney Island this weekend. Right next to the chimp-bot was a mannequin that you could make dance around for either 25 or 50 cents, I can't remember. Either way, it's worth it.

More Coney Island...

Nice sign...

This made me laugh...

The Coney Island Rockabilly Festival

I recently bought a video camera, so I recorded a few of the bands this weekend.

They can be seen here...

Hot Dogs and Upright Bass

This weekend I went to the Coney Island Rockabilly Festival. Saw great music, went on the Wonder Wheel and waited far too long in a line for a certain famous hot dog.

I kept seeing this dog trotting around on the boardwalk...

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Old Staircase Guard

When I was younger, my Grandparents kept this life-sized, jewel-eyed snake on the bottom of their staircase to keep us kids from going up the stairs and possibly falling and cracking our noggins open. It was a big wooden staircase so i can understand why we were banned from climbing around there unless they were around. The snake worked.. we were all scared of this thing and swore it moved when we went near it.

This past year, both my Grandparents passed away, and their house was sold. I wondered what happened to the snake. It turns out my father had taken it out of the house during the big cleanout before it was put on the market. It now resides in my living room in Suburbia. And it's going to stay there too... this sort of thing is more important to me than anything of monetary value. The snake is full of memories, and you can't buy those.

Thursday, August 16, 2007



It's in caps because it is important.

Heartbreak Hotel of Horrors...

I'm subscribed to an Elvis news mailing list because I'm a dork, and today I got a message about this Elvis robot thingy...

Creepy, eh?

It sort of reminds me of this monkey head robot that I saw at a Sharper Image last year. Here's a video I found of some guy talking about the monkey head....

The cheese-ball part of me wants to like the Elvis-bot. The sane part of me thinks that if I saw that thing in person, I'd recoil in horror. I don't know. It seems like something some idiot would buy and then have out at parties.

Uh, that being said... I have a tiny Dean Martin robot that makes appearances at shin-digs around here. In my defense though... the Dean-bot is a very cartoony version of Mr. Martin and therefore not nearly as creepy as the Elvis thing. Also, the Dean-bot is an entire robot, not a bust sort of thing like the Elvis.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Truer Words Were Never Said

My friend Myk's birthday was on Saturday, and there was pie. Because pie is better than cake.

It was also my father's birthday, and every year my Father calls Myk and they wish each other a happy birthday. Generally my father will call him at like 5 in the morning and wake him up in the name of comedy, but this year he called at a reasonable hour.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Another reason why not EVERYONE needs a cell phone...

If I am sitting in my car at a stop sign, and you are driving while blathering away on your cell phone and you rear-end me WHILE I'M FULLY STOPPED, I should have the right to hop out of my car and punch you in the throat.

Just sayin'.

An observation

My friend Chet mentioned this the other day...
"Pretty much all of your projects end with "And then I just shellaced the hell out if it."

It's funny because it's true.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My lucky day

This actually happened the day before my identity theft adventure...

I'm building a deck in my backyard. Nothing fancy... just a ground-level platform deck where I can throw a shindig and my friends will have somewhere to sit without their chair-legs sinking into my weed-laden lawn.

Normally, I wouldn't bother with a building permit, but my neighbors to the left hate my very existence. I fear that they would rat me out and cause my little project to be dismantled by the city building inspector. I don't even know WHY they seem so disgusted and put out by me living next to them. I say hello whenever I see them and they refuse to acknowledge me. I don't get it.

I called the building department and was told I would need to show up and present my project to the board. Uh. Oh boy. I know nothing about construction. I had my father help me fill out the permit application, and draw up all the diagrams for the deck.
If they ask me anything, there is a good chance I won't be able to answer them.

So I show up at the board office with a little folder brimming with applications and scematic drawings. I'm nervous. If they deny my application, that's it. There isn't another place I can go for a building permit. There isn't some sort of competing city building department. They're it.

I walk into the room and the committee is sitting behind a giant oak table. I'm on the other side, with my folder of crap.
I start explaining the project and spreading out all these drawings.

Then I hear this: "You don't need a permit. You're building what's called a "patio." He said "patio" in the same way you would say "bread" to someone who just stupidly asked you what you should hold sandwich meat together with. I'm surprised the guy didn't use air-quotes.

As I was walking out, the guy who walked me to the exit of the application room said " No permit! This must be your lucky day!"

And it was. Until the next day when some jackass tried to swipe my identity.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Shove it.

The above picture sums up how I feel right now.
I've been dealing with this whole identity theft crap all day, and I'm still not finished squaring everything up. I've got to go to the bank tomorrow and iron some stuff out. This is crazy.

Everytime I think about this, I picture the Rockettes in a kick-line with top hats singing "Identity Theft" over and over again while kicking and waving their hats in the air. I don't know why.

Aaaannnnnd, to top off my great day... I get home and the sidewalk on my side of the street has been removed. All that is left is really deep, soft dirt the entire length of the street. Something to do with the water lines or something. I hope a new sidewalk gets put in soon. The woman that lives next to me is in a motorized wheelchair and now she can't leave her property because her wheels can't make it through the dirt... she gets stuck.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The moths in my wallet are all you will get.

Today, some guy called me and claimed to be from the bank that I took my mortgage out with. He asked me for some information that if he WAS from my mortgage company, he would already know. I didn't answer anything specifically. He did, however, know some things about accounts I hold. He said he was an assistant and that someone would call me back tomorrow with a possible lower rate or something. I hung up and then I called back and the number he called from had been disconnected.

How odd.

I called my mortgage company to see if any calls to my number were logged. None were.

Sooooooooooo, I freaked out and just spent the last 3 hours changing every online password I carry and froze every single ATM and credit card for both me personally and Bag Lunch, and am setting up new accounts. Now I have no access to any of my money, but no one else does either.

This whole thing is probably nothing, but I'm stressed out none the less.

Please leave your name and number...

I don't use a cell phone, and I'm doing just fine. I like not being teathered to an electronic leash. This article, from is great...

"Ten Reasons To Throw Away Your Cellphone
By Rob Beschizza July 31, 2007

It makes your life more complicated
A phone is just another thing that checks email, holds information and schedules events, and which has to be carefully kept in sync with all the other crud in your life that checks email, holds information and schedules events. The difference? This one likely has a 240 pixel-wide screen and a shabby interface spawned from the hellish loins of Windows CE.

It's horribly expensive
Total Cost of Ownership. Apply that idea to everything, not just cars and mortgages. The fact is that most cellphones will cost you thousands over the life of the contract. Short of paying-as-you-go with a Wal-Mart crapdybar, you're in it for a good $1,000, and about $2,000 or so with a smartphone.

It enslaves you to a one-sided contract
This is the magic that allows the previous item to happen, but is sufficiently vile to warrant an entry of its own. Everyone is at it, but the most iconic example of how times have changed is AT&T: Ma Bell has reglued itself together with almost Marxian inevitability, but now has the advantage of having countless customers under astonishingly abusive contract terms. Take that, deregulation.

It makes you perpetually available
If it's on, they can get you. If it's off, they wonder why they can't get you. It's a lose-lose situation for your Zen.

It is boring
The hype tsunami surrounding Apple's iPhone reveals that even something minimally inventive can completely wire public interest in what is otherwise a completely hidebound and risk-averse industry. Are we in the future yet?

It must constantly be recharged
Unless you want to hoik around a brick, the chances are you're recharging it daily. Screw fuel-cells: with WiFi, BlueTooth, WWAN and whatever else, we need AAA-size disposable fission reactors to keep these buggers awake.

It knows where you are
GPS is in every box, but you can't use it for much. The government loves to watch them without warrants or probable cause: if it's in your pocket, you are Robocop and The Man is Dick Jones.

It encourages stupid people to become a public menace
Forget about whether talking on cellphones while driving should be illegal: the fact remains that it is stupid. I know that you are perfectly capable of the mental gymnastics required for all this — you are a hypercephalic Gadget Lab reader — but it's best that you stop now, so as not to encourage lesser minds to attempt similar feats. Some are now being caught texting while driving. Just pull the car over, for heaven's sake!

Ubiquitous pleather accessory shops
Mallbound Cellphone crap shacks are an offense to nature. On the bright side, they support the whitewashed pegboard industry.

It turns you into a public annoyance
Hell is other people's ringtones."