Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For Sale: Nissan XTerra for manly men

And it totally comes with a pair of MC Hammer pants! I'm just going to repost the whole craigslist post because it's fucking hilarious and these things disappear.

"OK, let me start off by saying this Xterra is only available for purchase by the manliest of men (or women). My friend, if it was possible for a vehicle to sprout chest hair and a five o'clock shadow, this Nissan would look like Tom Selleck. It is just that manly.

It was never intended to drive to the mall so you can pick up that adorable shirt at Abercrombie & Fitch that you had your eye on. It wasn't meant to transport you to yoga class or Linens & Things. No, that's what your Prius is for. If that's the kind of car you're looking for, then just do us all a favor and stop reading right now. I mean it. Just stop.

This car was engineered by 3rd degree ninja super-warriors in the highest mountains of Japan to serve the needs of the man that cheats death on a daily basis. They didn't even consider superfluous nancy boy amenities like navigation systems (real men don't get lost), heated leather seats (a real man doesn't let anything warm his butt), or On Star (real men don't even know what the hell On Star is).

No, this brute comes with the things us testosterone-fueled super action junkies need. It has a 265 HP engine to outrun the cops. It's got special blood/gore resistant upholstery. It even has a first-aid kit in the back. You know what the first aid kit has in it? A pint of whiskey, a stitch-your-own-wound kit and a hunk of leather to bite down on when you're operating on yourself. The Xterra also has an automatic transmission so if you're being chased by Libyan terrorists, you'll still be able to shoot your machine gun out the window and drive at the same time. It's saved my bacon more than once.

It has room for you and the four hotties you picked up on the way to the gym to blast your pecs and hammer your glutes. There's a tow hitch to pull your 50 caliber anti-Taliban, self cooling machine gun. I also just put in a new windshield to replace the one that got shot out by The Man.

My price on this bad boy is an incredibly low $12,900, but I'll entertain reasonable offers. And by reasonable, I mean don't walk up and tell me you'll give me $5,000 for it. That's liable to earn you a Burmese-roundhouse-sphincter-kick with a follow up three fingered eye-jab. Would it hurt? Hell yeah. Let's just say you won't be the prettiest guy at the Coldplay concert anymore.

There's only 69,000 miles on this four-wheeled hellcat from Planet Kickass. Trust me, it will outlive you and the offspring that will carry your name. It will live on as a monument to your machismo.

Now, go look in the mirror and tell me what you see. If it's a rugged, no holds barred, super brute he-man macho Chuck Norris stunt double, then contact me. I might be out hang-gliding or BASE jumping or just chilling with my ladies, but I'll get back to you. And when I do, we'll talk about a price over a nice glass of Schmidt while we listen to Johnny Cash.

To sweeten the deal a little, I'm throwing in this pair of MC Hammer pants for the man with rippling quads that can't fit into regular pants. Yeah, you heard me. FREE MC Hammer pants.

Rock on."

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'll take you back, Ikea, though you do me bad

With my tail between my legs, I ventured back to Ikea on Saturday, this time trying out the new free ferry service from the South Street Seaport. My expectations were low after my last visit in which I attempted to buy a cabinet and was told at the pick up window that I could only go home with all the extra crap I bought on the way out and not the cabinet.

I have to say, the free ferry idea is sheer brilliance. It leaves every 20 minutes, takes 10 minutes, makes no other stops and did I mention it's free? It's always kind of nice to get out on the water and taking a ferry to a big box store kind of gets you out of New York altogether: the whole experience makes you feel like you live in Juneau or Seattle or something. If I lived in the financial district, I'd probably go to Ikea for lunch (not really, the food looks really grey and gross).

I managed to navigate the Ikea rat's maze in record time, watching for shortcut signs, using a laser-like focus with the sales people and leaving Cherie to continue shopping 2/3 of the way down the path so I could get in line to check out.

At this point, I can see doing the whole kitchen project with Ikea cabinets and floors. Congratulations, bad lover, you're back.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ikea nightmare

What is wrong with Ikea? Why have they still not been able to roll out an online ordering system for the stuff people actually want? Why do you never know what they will have in stock, even when you have checked their inventory online? Why is their customer service (at least in the new Brooklyn store) so downright awful?

I am slowly remodeling my kitchen. As a baby step, I decided to build a slide out garbage cabinet/counter top using a basic Ikea cabinet, door and sliding drawer assembly. I couldn't find sliding drawer hardware on Ikea's site (although I later noticed they carry it at the store) so I ordered this from Home Depot. All I had to do was put in my credit card number and address and click 'Buy'. Done. With Ikea's site, eCommerce is apparently on the bleeding edge of technology and not available for most items yet.

So I checked the availability of the cabinet and door at the Brooklyn store and with reasonable assurance that they would have what I wanted, I caught a ride with my buddy Chris down to the Red Hook store.

This is where my nightmare began.

After completing part of the retail maze that is an Ikea store, I arrived at the kitchen station. With printouts of the products I wanted in my hand, I approached the sales people. They were immersed in their computer screens doing something that looked important, so I waited. And waited. After about 10 minutes I politely asked one of the salespeople if there was someone who could help me. She kind of pointed at the other salesperson and he shook his head and told her to take care of me. She then asked how she could help me. They both literally just ignored me for 10 minutes. I could have stood there an hour. Unbelievable.

I show her the printout of the cabinet and say "I want this". You'd think she would be able to scan it or type in a number and instantly call it up. Instead, she looked at me and said, "What is this?" I read the webpage to her and she began searching her database, seemingly bewildered by the whole process.

Finally we got the cabinet into my order. Now it was time to choose a door finish. You can choose anything you want, but most of them are not in stock and require 2 weeks (I am told that 2 Ikea weeks is more like 4-6 weeks in normal time) to be delivered. You know, if I wanted something delivered I would have rather just done it online. So I pick one they have in stock. They print the order and I'm on my way to the register.

A half mile of Ikea maze later I actually find the checkout lanes and wait and wait in line. I pay for the stuff and am directed to pick my stuff up in an area where there is a huge sign that says "Returns" and a bunch of people waiting around, looking confused and frustrated. I manage to find the unmarked pick up counter and hand the guy my invoice. He tells me that when my number comes up, I should come back to the desk. I wait and wait.

My number finally appears on the screen, but the order isn't ready. More waiting. Finally, the guy explains that even though I paid for the cabinet and it actually is in the store, for some reason they can't access it until a half hour after the store closes, so if I don't mind waiting another hour and a half the guy can meet me in the parking lot with my cabinet. What is this a drug deal?

I explain that a friend drove me here and we can't just sit around and wait, so I would please like it delivered to me at no charge. That's a non-starter. Okay, I say, let me just come back on Saturday and pick it up. No deal. I will need to wait in the returns line to get a refund, come back on Saturday, wind through the maze, order it all over again (assuming it's still in stock), wait in line to pay for it, wait in line to pick it up, wait, wait, wait.

Sensing I have been defeated, I saunter over to the returns line. I now understand why pick up and returns are treated as one in the same at Ikea. Jesus.

What could have been accomplished at with 3 mouse clicks has so far taken about 3 hours out of my life and will probably require 3 more. I am now reconsidering whether I want to deal with Ikea at all for the larger kitchen project.

Fuck you, Ikea. What is Swedish for "you suck"?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

STFU [Name] the [Occupation]

Oh look! Joe the Plumber has a book deal! Although there is definitely a market for crybaby sour-grapes Republicans, I doubt that Joe the Plumber (who along with Sarah Palin, represented most of what went wrong with the McCain campaign) is poised to tap it.

But the fameball cycle has started, and old Joe seems drunk on his own sense of self-importance, even issuing a vague threat to our President Elect:
We wish our new president blessings of wisdom and good judgment, and we pray he hearkens to our voice if ever we feel our American Dream is being threatened. It will be a loud voice, so good luck trying to ignore it.

For a good chuckle, check out the new (retro-web designed) Joe the Plumber website. Once.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Call the waaaaaambulance

So there's this right wing dipshit named John Ziegler who's very upset that Barack Obama won the presidency, so he's determined to explain to the American people how dumb the 53% of them who voted Democrat this year are.

To this end, he commissioned the notoriously unreliable Zogby polling outfit to conduct a survey, of sorts, of self-described Obama voters and test their awareness of a bunch of Fox News-generated B.S. about Obama. You see, if you aren't aware that Barack Obama "started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground", you aren't just skeptical of the right-wing echo chamber, you're ill-informed!

Or if you thought the candidate who said she could see Russia from her house was Sarah Palin, you're wrong! It was actually Tina Fey. You see, Palin said that "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska". It's such a shame that Obama supporters were so ignorant of the important issues in this campaign.

Anyway, recently, our hero Nate Silver called foul on this nonsense and characterized the whole exercise as a "push poll", or a poll intended to sway the opinion of the person being polled.

Well, big, bad right-wing John Ziegler wasn't going to stand for this so he gave this wonderfully infantile, expletive-laden interview to Nate (via

An Interview with John Ziegler on the Zogby "Push Poll"

Jury Jail

Well, I just completed jury duty and I have to say that despite its horrible reputation, it's a breeze. The only hiccup was discovering a stray percocet in my backpack in line for the security gate (I made a stealthy run by the trashcan).

They start by showing you a lovely Diane Sawyer-narrated video and give you a little booklet that indicates you are always to be treated with respect. Then they tell you about the free WiFi and where you can plug your laptop it, how you go about taking 15 minute breaks (seemingly whenever you want), and where you can buy coffee and snacks. Why do I never get called when I am working a salaried, full-time job. I would have jumped at the opportunity to sit on a long trial when I was working at Weight Watchers.

They dismissed us at 1pm on Monday and 11:45am on Tuesday. That's it. No more jury duty for six years. Can you request to serve?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Raw food diet for cats and dogs

I have been reading about cat nutrition lately and it seems like it's critical that everyone feed their cat (and dog) wet food. Cats get most of their water from the food they eat and it's unnatural for them to drink lots of water to compensate for a dry food diet. They usually end up somewhat dehydrated if they only eat dry food. Our house cats evolved from desert dwelling wild cats who rarely had water and obtained moisture from killing other animals and eating almost all of the carcass.

With that in mind, I started investigating raw food for pets. It makes perfect sense really: animals do not cook their food and their stomachs are evolved to tolerate a wide range of bacteria that humans cannot. Raw chicken? No problem.

But you shouldn't just feed your cat cheap meat from the butcher though. Cats also need nutrients that come from the entire carcass which are added to cat food mostly as amino acid supplements.

I bought a bag of frozen raw lamb patties, including organ meat, ground up bones, supplements, and a small percentage of fruits and vegetables (that in the wild they when they consume the contents of a prey's stomach) yesterday and defrosted some of them for Dusty. He ate one today and liked it (although this is a cat that will literally eat plastic, so he's easy to please).

I'm hoping that a 50% raw food diet for Dusty will keep him healthy, and, ahem, improve his behavior.


Am I alone in sort of freaking out about the amount of oversharing that is going on in people's blogs? Did I ask if you slept with a married man last night who has a huge cock? Do I need to know that you fucked your gay friend and it was kind of odd, but good and ultimately bittersweet?

Do you pick your nose and eat it? Don't really want to know.

Friday, November 14, 2008


As long as we're on the morning junkie theme today, I thought I'd mention the legendary, tragic Milano's Bar on E. Houston. On my way to work each day, just before I encounter the methadone/'scrip crowd on Broadway and Houston, I pass by Milano's and peer in the window. I am always fascinated by the workman-like rigor these morning alkies have. Do they, like, set their alarm for 7:30 so they have time to do a couple of errands before their drinking day begins?

Every morning there is at least one person sitting right in the window nursing what is usually hard liquor. I have to admit I have been tempted once or twice to stop in for a JD & soda to take the edge off my workaday world, but thus far, happily, I have resisted this impulse.


Every morning I walk by the building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Houston and without fail there is a gathering of middle-aged, smoking, drug addled people milling around in front. There has to be a methadone clinic in a nearby building.

I applaud these people's efforts to kick their habit, but the truth is, they still really look and act like junkies. I cannot imagine any of these people holding a job or having a normal life.

A 2005 HBO documentary Methadonia exposed the recent phenomenon of methadone patients mixing it with prescription drugs like Xanax or Klonopin to get a heroin-like high, and I can't help but think that there are 'scrip dealers among the morning throng. The thing is, since they are "in program", it's all normalized.

It reminds me of the old East Village when half the neighborhood used to line up when a certain building had heroin.

Maybe these people are a little better off not doing heroin. In the last few years I have substituted my raging cigarette addiction with addiction to various nicotine replacements and occasionally revert back to cigarettes. I know I am better off chewing nicotine gum or using a dissolvable tobacco like Ariva, but I cannot for one minute imagine living my life without nicotine.

Thank God I never tried heroin.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cracking the Sarah Palin code

Here's another Palin doosy from Daniel Larison's helpful post about cracking the Palin code:

Sitting here in these chairs that I’m going to be proposing but in working with these governors who again on the front lines are forced to and it’s our privileged obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while, we don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets and we’re dealing with multibillion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations.

Bidens to meet with Cheneys today

Wow, how would you like to meet with that one over there scowling at the left? Particularly if your name were Joe Biden. Talk about awkward!

If I were Biden I would politely refuse any offer of food or drink.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Camille Paglia still hearts Sarah Palin

Oh, please (via Salon):

"I like Sarah Palin, and I've heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is -- and quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn't speak the King's English -- big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist."

Yeah, jazz! That's it! Here is Palin apparently riffing like Coltrane on the economy:

"That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the healthcare reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh -- it's got to be all about job creation too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So healthcare reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade, we've got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive, um, scary thing, but 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that."

Ms. Palin, you insult our intelligence, and Ms. Paglia, you insult be-bop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Embracing my liberalism...

Now that we liberals have been vindicated by the election results, I find myself feeling no shame in becoming a caricature of the Chardonnay swilling, Volvo driving, pot smoking, abortion loving big fat liberal.

Today, I ordered a Chai Latte with skim milk.

And it tastes great!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gawker is no longer mad at me...

Just as mysteriously as my commenting privilege was revoked, it appears to be restored!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oxford compiles the top ten most irritating phrases in the English language

via The Telegraph:

The top ten most irritating phrases:

1 - At the end of the day

2 - Fairly unique

3 - I personally

4 - At this moment in time

5 - With all due respect

6 - Absolutely

7 - It's a nightmare

8 - Shouldn't of

9 - 24/7

10 - It's not rocket science

iDJ2 - What I know

Hey, now that this election is over and the barracudas are safely back up north, we can get back to debating frivolous bullshit!

Actually, I want to lay out what I know about my new Numark iDJ2 digital DJ station in the event that others are searching the internet for knowledge of this device and coming up with nothing, the way I did. Since Numark is being very secretive about coming features and they have apparently *shut down* their discussion boards, it's time to take matters into our own hands.


  1. Supported File Formats
    The iDJ2 only fully supports MP3, non-DRM AAC, and WAV files. That's it. You can play copy-protected AAC files (but not Apple Lossless) in iPod direct mode, but switching back and forth to this is not recommended in mid-party. Don't believe the (mostly British) websites that say it supports FLAC and Ogg Vorbis. It does not. I believe it will in a future firmware release, though, which would be awesome.
  2. Unstable Numark Keyboard
    My cool little Numark keyboard which comes with the excellent flight case is working sporadically. I have to repeatedly unplug it and plug it back in to make it work. Numark told me to try another USB keyboard, so we'll see. I may have to exchange mine.
  3. Drive Disconnections
    I've had some weird disconnections from the USB thumb drives I am using. Numark didn't have an answer for this. By connecting a 4 port USB hub (which you will eventually need anyway) and connecting my thumb drive to that, it seems that I have improved the fit between the connections. We will see if this completely solves the problem.
  4. USB CD Drives
    Hidden in the 1.09 release notes, there's section about how USB CD/DVD drives are now supported. This is amazing, because you can take an old drive and basically turn it into a CDJ1000. You get complete pitch, scratch and search control, like you do any other drive. Just don't try to play two tracks off the same CD at once. It won't work.
  5. File Quality/Provenance
    It is critical that you get the highest quality digital files that the device supports and know the provenance of the files. It may be a WAV file, but if it came from a compilation CD where the producers ripped from a record on their own semi-crappy turntable, it won't matter what format the file is in. It will suck either way. I have found from the live gig I did that the best sounding track of the night was JayDee's "Plastic Dreams" downloaded legitimately from as a WAV file. It had a clarity in the mid-range and bass that other files lacked. That said, 320K MP3's really aren't bad. Hopefully, the next release will support FLAC and/or Apple Lossless, so we don't have to settle for lossy compression at all.
  6. Prepare for the future
    In ripping digital files from my records, I am planning on using 88.2/24-bit wav files for archiving. This way I can render down to 44.1/16-bit with minimal digital artifacts and either use those files to DJ or further compress to 320K MP3 or some flavor of AAC. I'm not sure there's a difference.
More to come...

The iDJ2 claims that there is no standard for tagging within WAV files (this is debatable), so it does not support tags for WAV files at all. My understanding is that the emerging format is ID3v2 tags within the RIFF portion of the file. Instead the device just presents the filename as in the Title field.

This is somewhat confusing because the standard for music file naming is [Artist] - [Title]. Searching filenames with the title would work fine though.

Numark iDJ2

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bryan Keller's fantasy art

I have long talked of organizing a Bryan Keller convention with all of us Bryan Kellers (or Brian Kellers, I suppose) coming together for a boozy weekend at some hotel near an airport. Everyone thinks it's a ridiculous idea, but wouldn't it be freaky to get together a bunch of people with the same name? You could order pre-printed nametags in advance!

Anyway, I was doing a 123 People search for Bryan Kellers and guess what I came up with? Fantasy artist Bryan Keller! I like his style:He has loads of weird paintings online, including this poignant and tasteful tribute to the victims of 9/11:

Manhattan went 85% for Obama

Yes we did (via

Republican meltdown postmortem: Palin didn't know that Africa is a continent

Wow! I wonder if she knows that Led Zepplin is a band...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's been real, Republicans, whatever

London reacts to Obama winning the same way I did

Time to measure the drapes

By the way Missouri and North Carolina...

Hai! Totes hope you figure out who you voted for. Don't really give a shit either way!

Still in (joyful) tears...


In Tears....

Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 Final Election Projection

Today's Polls and Final Election Projection: Obama 349, McCain 189

More wisdom from Nate Silver

Nate Silver over at has ten reasons to ignore exit polls tonight. Basically, they tend to be inaccurate and overstate support for Democrats.

Ten Reasons Why You Should Ignore Exit Polls

Definitive, concise election watching advice from Nate Silver

Nate Silver is the smartest person in the world right now. He has run his election polling aggregate site for months now and has developed some seriously pointy-headed algorithms for averaging dozens of polls to produce overall numbers for the presidential contest as well as congressional races.

I don't understand half the stuff on his site, but here's his easily digestible take on how it goes down tonight (via
It appears almost certain that Obama will capture all of the states won by John Kerry in 2008. Pennsylvania, while certainly having tightened somewhat over the course of the past two weeks, appears to be holding at a margin of about +8 for Obama, with very few remaining undecideds. Obama also appears almost certain to capture Iowa and New Mexico, which were won by Al Gore in 2000. Collectively, these states total 264 electoral votes, leaving Obama just 5 votes shy of a tie and 6 of a win.

Obama has any number of states to collect those 5 or 6 votes. In inverse order of difficulty, these include Colorado, Virginia, Nevada, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri and Indiana. Obama is the signficant favorite in several of these states; winning any one of them may be fairly difficult for John McCain, but winning all of them at once, as John McCain probably must do, is nearly impossible.
There you have it folks. Get your tequila ready. It's gonna be a hell of a night...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why Gawker, why?

Well, I have had no reply to my two polite emails asking the gatekeepers at Gawker why I can no longer comment. It is either a mistake, or I may have been silently reprimanded for this comment:

Regarding Bravo Chief Determined To Be Cooler Than You

Nic Fit
9:38 AM on Fri Oct 31 2008

I totally thought that was Steven Cojocaru at first


Okay, it seems like a relatively mild (although looksist and totally unnecessary) comment to me. The thing is, Bravo is a major advertiser on Gawker and I could see Nick Denton looking at my bitchy, juvenile comment and thinking, give it a rest for a while, buddy.

Fair enough. They didn't ban me though, and they didn't even remove the comment, so it's hard to say.

Maybe they just realized that I was an unrepentant Gawker comment addict and grew tired of enabling my habit/having to see my comments on every single fucking post.

That said, if anyone has a line into the powers that be at Gawker, could you please beg for my reinstatement?