Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Friday

The end of the week is here at last. Whoo hoo!! Even though the Apollo Theater is within walking distance of my apartment I did not get to see Barack Obama last night. I was working too late. Obama seems to be building support in Harlem now. I know this may seem like the obvious from the outside but it's not. While Harlem has a rich political history and is certainly an epicenter of Democratic politics (Charles Rangle is my representative), Hillary seemed to have most of the support around here (based on signs and other external signals). But Obama signs are now popping up on local businesses and he seems to be building support. He's comes to NYC at least once a month so he's been working hard at it.

The You Tube debate the other night was fantastic. Huckabee stood out again as a genuine compassionate human being while the other were trying to outdo each other being the meanest towards the poor, gay and any other easy target. That's why I like Huckabee out of all the Republicans. He is the only one who isn't relying on fanning hatred to excite the voters. If you look at the GOP since the 1960's, it is hate, and only hate that keeps them in power. Hatred of blacks, the poor, the Clintons, gays, taxes, .. anything they can find to raise the blood pressure of their base. And they will use the constitution, the flag and even the Bible to try to justify behavior which can only be described as selfishness.

Now that Huckabee is gaining ground, he is starting to feel the heat. The biggest attack is that while he is a social conservative - he's fine with taxes to help children and the poor. The outrage!! At least one "conservative" blogger seems to be saying that while Jesus was indeed compassionate toward the less fortunate, He would not want the government to do it!?! I guess Jesus would want the rich to continue to get richer, the poor continue to get poorer with compassion being doled out only by those fortunate few to be among the wealthiest. The true colors of these"movement conservatives" are becoming clearer and clearer. Sure they are sincere Christians, but their real God seems to be the Almighty dollar. Let's do the work of Jesus, they say, but leave my money alone. Sad.

Here's a quote I heard yesterday that I want to share. Have a great Friday everyone!!

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. John Kenneth Galbraith

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Just what the doctor ordered

Dr. J. Robert Cade died Tuesday at the age of 80. I don't remember ever hearing his name before but he was a medical hero of mine. Dr. Cade invented Gatorade. I have loved Gatorade ever since I can remember. The original color was bright orange and then space age green. I liked the orange, loved the green and now my favorite is the "lemonade" flavor. Gatorade is a must the day after drinking and I've drunk hundreds of gallons of the stuff. It brought me back to life many a morning after. I've always said there were only 3 good things to come out of Gainesville (Tom Petty being another) but I've made some good friends with connections to Hog Town so I've gladly relaxed that a bit. So, I salute you Dr. Robert J. Cade, for the original good thing to come out of Gainesville. RIP (I feel thirsty now)

Doomed Dolphins Drown

I finally got to the watch the Dolphins on TV last night but the result was another loss. I really can't fault the team too much as the game was played in terrible conditions and they only lost on a last second field goal. It really could have gone either way. The Dolphins, in addition to being one of the weakest and most injury riddled teams in the league, also seem to be the unluckiest. But luck happens in cycles. It may not be until next year, but I am hopeful that the Dolphins will have some good luck soon, start stitching together a series of victories and return to it's past glory. It didn't happen last night, but one day it will.

It also reminded me of the last Dolphin game I saw live. (around 1992?) It was against Pittsburgh and also in a driving rain. It was a bizarre day as all of South Florida was sunny but one storm cloud parked over Joe Robbie Stadium and it poured for about an hour. As I remember it, we were winning before the rain and had fallen hopelessly behind once it had stopped. That is just one of many "classic" losses in Dolphin history.

The American Renewal Act of 2009

This is a great idea! All responsible people must admit that the past 7 years of the Bush Administration have been disasterous to our nation. To be honest, the damage done is so great, I am not convinced that we can rebond. However, an important first step to trying to save the USA would be to repudiate everything about what I have been calling the era of "Red America".

Commentator and cartoonist Ted Rall has come up with a brilliant idea which could help save this sinking ship and leave a lesson for the future on how to prevent it from ever happening again:

Now is the time. Write (an actual letter, not email) to your favorite presidential candidate and declare that you are a single-issue voter. Swear that, if he or she agrees to sign the following Pledge, your vote is assured. If not, promise to stay home or vote for someone else.

"I, ______________, hereby solemnly pledge that my first act upon assuming the office of President shall be to sign an American Renewal Act of 2009, which shall declare all laws, regulations, executive orders, treaties and actions undertaken by the federal government during the illegitimate and unlawful administration of George W. Bush to be null, void and without effect."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

How to carve a turkey

Even though I won't be doing a turkey this Thanksgiving perhaps this can help those of you who do.

Monday, November 19, 2007

M V P !

Monday Mix

Woke up this morning to a wintery mix falling. It's not as nice as snow - but a lot better than rain.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Joe Mojo Slows

Starbucks reports unprecedented drop in customer visitsI find it interesting that traffic is down at Starbucks because it matches my shopping patterns. Starbucks used to be an everyday extravagance for me since '01. When I moved to New York going online at a Starbucks was a huge thrill. But the fact of the matter is that hanging out in a coffee shop is not on the radar right now and Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes better. So while I still go to Starbucks once or twice a week, it is no longer a part of my regular routine. Starbucks traffic has only dropped by 1% but it is the first decline after years of steep growth. They are still making lots of money and are willing to evolve so it will be interesting to see the moves they make over the next couple years to adapt to this news. Meanwhile here's a list of my favorite coffee place.

1. Dunkin Donuts
Always hot, always smooth. They put the cream and sugar in it exactly how you ask. Doughnuts are average but their coffee cake muffins are outstanding. Favorite drink: Medium coffee: one cream, one sugar.
2. Home
I drink coffee when I first wake up at home every day. I actually buy Dunkin Donuts coffee and brew it at home.
Favorite drink: Large coffee: one cream, one sugar.
3. Coffee Stand on Corner of Houston and Broadway
Even that description only narrows it down to about 12 but this one guy across the street from where I work has great coffee at a great prices 75c $1 and $1.25.
Favorite drink: Medium coffee: one cream, one sugar.
4. Starbucks
The brewed coffee, unfortunately has become hit or miss. I've had bad cups of coffee a Starbucks on numerous occasions. Their frozen coffee drinks, cappuccino, espresso etc (anything they make up fresh) are excellent. Favorite drink: chocolate frappacino with a shot of espresso.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Criminal All Right

Watching FOX News this political season it has become clear to me that their man is Rudy Guliani. His questions at the debates were softer, the commentators are more pandering and he is on the network constantly - especially on Sean Hannity's show. Still - it comes as somewhat of a surprise that the "fair and balanced" network tried to influence the election by asking one of their own to lie to Federal investigators! Having people lie to protect the right wing is standard operating procedure for the so-called "conservative movement". But this news about News Corp (parent to FOX News and other right wing media) should stop those remaining advocates of the right wing media in their tracks and make them wonder.

Tuesday's Random Thoughts

Let me share some thoughts that have been running around my head but never quite made it on the blog.

I'm thinking of having some people over for Thanksgiving but I know I don't want to cook all day. Basically, I want the unrealistic scenario of me sitting in my chair, watching my TV, eating my food, drinking my beer and if other people want to come by and hang out - fine! So I thought maybe I could order some food and let me, Sarah and the guests enjoy it without me having to be the chef. Well I looked up FreshDirect, a supermarket specializing in delivery, and behold - they do have full meals for the Holiday! Unfortunately their complete Thanksgiving dinner is .... $249.99! So I think I'll just make some baked ziti and if I have people over, they can bring their own food (and sit anywhere but in MY chair).

I'm getting the feeling that the political mood of the country is shifting so dramatically that Rudy Guliani and Hillary Clinton will NOT be the nominees of their party. I like Ron Paul, but some of his ideas are too way out there for me. He will do well in New Hampshire but I believe (my GOP favorite) Mike Huckabee will eventually be the Republican nominee. On the other side of the aisle I like Chris Dodd - but why does he end almost every sentence with the word "here"!?! Listen - you'll notice. It is really bizarre. I'd be surprise if a drinking game hasn't sprung up from this. I think (my 1st choice) Barack Obama will get the Democratic nomination. I am a little wary of these predictions because both my favorites NEVER win and I feel I might be wishing more than thinking. We'll see if it is Huckabee vs. Obama in the general election.

There is a very popular phrase "It is what it is" going around that I just hate. Sure, that phrase has been around forever but it seems to be the hip saying right now. Unfortunately, anytime it is said it is because something sucks and we are all expected to just live with it. I hate it when things sucks, I hate it when people shrug and say "oh well" and I hate it when people say "it is what it is" every time those circumstances occur.

I think that "texting" is one of the best things to come out of the mobile phone revolution. It quicker and more convenient that a telephone call. You can read them at your convenience and it is a great way of exchanging information or pleasantries without being bogged down talking to someone about unrelated stuff. You can read and type in public without disturbing other people and you can even text yourself directions or reminders and refer to the messages at the appropriate time. Texting is great and one of the pleasant surprises of this electronic age. If you text and want to text with me, let me know. Many phone plans have free texting so why not get in on the fun.

The weather here is getting very cool and I just love it. It's invigorating, refreshing and so much better than the sticky nastiness of New York summers. First snow flurries should be here at anytime and you can bet that I will report it here on MQAblog.

Enjoy the day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gail Collins has it exactly right.

About the Bernard Kerik / Rudolph Guliani relationship and what it should mean to people candidate shopping for '08.

The past seven years have given us some helpful hints on what we want to avoid in the next president. I’m starting to make a list.
Quality to avoid No. 1: Loyalty.
Whenever you read that a candidate “values loyalty above all else” — run for the hills. Loyalty is a terribly important consideration if you’re choosing a pet, but not a cabinet member.
How about if this time we try for a president who would recruit gifted people who can accomplish great things, as opposed to a room full of dopes who will never write tell-all memoirs?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Lesson learned from the George Wallace shooting

I remember the day in 1972 that George Wallace was shot. I was 10 at the time and was aware enough of politics to know that our family hated George Wallace. Living in sort of a small "country" town in south Florida - there was plenty of support for the Alabama Governor in his quest for the White House. But not in our household -my dad was from Connecticut and my mom from Germany - no southerners here. Wallace was pro-segregation and I think it's fair to say, anti black. He was a Democratic governor but later became an independent when the party declined to follow his lead. The people who left the Democratic party at the time to support Wallace still have not returned. They became Reagan Republicans and have been an essential factor in the dominance of so-called conservative movement over the past generation. The success of Reagan, Gingrich, and even George W. Bush can be traced directly to the presidential campaigns of George Wallace.

But I vividly recall watching TV that day when a Special Report interrupted the program to announce that George Wallace had just been shot! The first thing I did was cheer. Yayyyyyy!! - The bad man was shot!!! I'll never forget how surprised I was to see the sad look on my moms face. She told me that even though we strongly disagreed with Wallace's ideas, we should not cheer him being shot. I learned a big lesson that day which I really hadn't thought much about until I saw the news that his would be assassin, Arthur Bremer, was released from jail.

Wallace survived the shooting that day but was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He also later disavowed his racists views and became an advocate for minority rights. Sadly, his personal transformation was not matched by many of the "Reagan Republicans" he helped create. To this day politicians still race bait in an attempt to attract some Southern Voters. But the lesson I learned that day was incredibly important - you can hate ideas and dislike people who have them, but you should never take joy in the suffering of any human being.

Happy Friday (at the office)

I always go on about the show "The Office". It is probably because I've worked in a lot of offices in many different phases of my life and job descriptions and I can really relate to the characters and scenarios. In this TOP TEN compilation clip, Jim (the "normal" guy who likes to joke around) antagonizes Dwight (the overall annoying dweeb). I hope you get a laugh or two from it..

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Great minds ... *

Tuesday Roundup

I have been so busy that I haven't been keeping up with the blog or even my e mails. But all is well here in NYC. I got my tickets for Christmas in Miami and plan a nice Thanksgiving right here in the city. Until then I will be going 1,000 mile an hour. I guess that's the New York way.

It was strange seeing Joe Torre as a Dodger yesterday. I'm not sure whether to be happy for him or to hate him since he is on another team. I'll reserved judgement until the season starts. I am happy that Joe Giraldi is the Yankees new skipper. I think he will bring a young, fresh attitude to a team that desperately needs it.

I am really starting to think that Rudy Giuliani is worse than Bush and Cheney put together. If America elects this hateful, chronic liar than we might as well just roll up the flag and call it a day. He is as authoritarian as Cheney, as mean spirited as Bush and as dishonest as both of them put together. It amazes me that so many Republican voters seemed to be so fearful of terrorism that they are attracted to such a character. I know that liberals are often accused of being weak or wimpy, but look at the people so-called conservatives are attracted to. Seems to me that they are the ones looking for a Daddy figure to protect them at any cost.

The Dolphins made progress last week by not losing. To be fair, they did not play. It's unfortunate that New England beat Indy on Sunday. I almost never read the NY Post (it's a Rupert Murdoch rag) but they were giving them away the other day. I was checking out the sports page and they had an asterisk by New England in the football standings. The asterisk, they explained, was because they were "caught cheating". Bravo NY Post! If they go undefeated or win the Super Bowl it will certainly be tainted ala Barry Bonds.

Everybody seems to be picking on the new "Caveman" TV show. They say it is terrible and must be pulled. I disagree. I've watched every episode and think it is pretty good in fact. Go figure. I also like Kelsey Grammer's new show "Back To You". Two show which I have liked for a while are having stellar seasons - "The Office" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" are both funnier than ever! I wonder how the writers strike will effect all of this.

Stephen Corbet has dropped his Presidential bid. I think the man may be a comedy genius and I like his show a lot but thank goodness for this. The Presidential race is serious business and the last thing we need is some joker effecting the results. Can somebody say Ralph Nader???

Enjoy the rest of the week folks!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Friday, November 2, 2007