Friday, May 30, 2008

Gas Prices!

In my opinion, gas prices are just way too high! I drove by this station the other day - No way I was going to stop here for gas. I feel like these owners are taking advantage of the situation. Their prices are at least 50 cents per gallon higher than the other stations in the area. Maybe they're selling "magic gas" that can give you 70 miles to the gallon. I doubt it! Believe it or not there were people pumping gas when I drove by. I haven't figured out why their gas is so much higher than their competitors. (Maybe their operating costs are high - Perhaps the owners are high!)






If you have any ideas-(The funnier the better) please leave a comment below!

Most of the gas stations in my local area are now over $4.00 per gallon for regular unleaded gas. I read today that prices in the United States are still about $1.00 per liter cheaper than most of the Western countries in the world so if the current globalization trend continues, I suppose you can guess that our prices will continue to climb. $5.00 per gallon is on the horizon! I know this isn't great news but here's a bone: Follow this link to find the lowest priced stations in your area. Click here to follow the Link

You can type in your zip code and it will list the prices in that area. You can also sort by gas category, i.e., premium, mid range, and regular.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

7 For All Mankind- $200 Right?

May 28Th - National Trouser Day!

I almost missed it! I think I slept through this lesson in history class because for the life of me I don't remember learning about it. But sure as you're reading this, In 1923 the US Attorney General determined that it was legal for women to wear trousers whenever they wanted. I know we can argue about the importance of this glorious revelation and debate the many other social changes that came far too late, but I won't go down that road right now. I'll instead solicit some understanding from you all......

How on earth did we get to a point where it is common place for retailers to charge $200 for women's jeans? And women can walk into the store and buy them without even wincing. Now I remember when designer jeans first became fashionable. You remember! Jordache, Sasson, Calvin Klein, Chic, Guess, and Gloria Vanderbilt to name a few. When these designers changed the basic look and feel of the blue jean the prices jumped significantly. I personally didn't believe the jeans were any better looking or feeling than say... Wrangler, Lee, or Levis but many people went for the name identity. And remember when the ripped jeans became fashionable? Now I could get with that fashion because that meant I could get a few more years out of my old jeans. I couldn't understand buying new jeans that were ripped but oh well. Fashion is Fashion!





7 For All Mankind


Wait a second.... Does the house come with those jeans? How about the model?


At their prices we should get the full Monty!




So step over Sasson, Lee, Jordache, Calvin Klein, whatever.... You're about to get hit with the new wave of designer jeans. Here comes the likes of True Religion, 7 For All Mankind, Joes Jeans, and more. All for close to 150-200 bucks a pop. I don't know if they're worth it or not yet but time will tell. For now, from where I sit those old jeans still look pretty good!


Joes Jeans

Listen to Fat Boy Slim- That Old Pair of Jeans!




Monday, May 26, 2008

A Brief Memorial Day Post!

Memorial Day is a holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who perished while in military service to their country. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to include casualties of any war or military action.

Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. Others will spend time with friends and family at BBQ's and parties. Some Americans view Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer so there is generally a kind and fresh spirit in the air.

While you are out today doing whatever your favorite things may be: Please take a minute to remember those who have served and are no longer with us!

A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. US Eastern time.

John Coltrane - My Favorite Things

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

CNBC Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge!

Let the Games Begin!


Since I'm confessing to other things I figure now is a good time to confess to one of my other vices. For the longest time, I was addicted to CNBC! You know -As in - I used to watch it religiously at every opportunity. After 3 interventions and successfully completing a 12-step program I was able to ween myself away from my daily fixes. I'm now down to about two or three times a week and shorter spurts. I used to wake up in the morning to Squawk Box and just power through the day. When I was sitting in my office I'd have it on for background noise. Okay, so yes I am exaggerating a bit but you get the point. Anyway, last year, about this time, CNBC announced that they would sponsor a Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge. The competition would allow individuals to trade a fictional portfolio of $1,000,000.00. They advertised and marketed the competition like crazy. So for grins, I signed up. It was a fun. I worked my way gradually up the ladder until I was in the top 3%. And that's when I pulled out all of the stops. In the last two weeks I knew I had to be very aggressive to win. After all, there was to be only one Grand Prize winner and that was going to be me. Needless to say, my aggressive moves didn't pay out and someone else took home the big check. Oh well, I told myself there was always next year.
Well next year is here and Monday I signed up again. The contest is a little different this year. They're allowing each contestant to trade 5 different portfolios. The plan is designed to allow $900,000.00 in stock and $100,000.00 in currency trading. They've had some issues getting the currency trading started. We'll see if they can work out all of the bugs. Nonetheless, I'm off to the races. My poorest performing portfolio is has me in position 508,016th. My best performing portfolio after 3 days has me in the top 14.4% and in game position 96,007th. So only about 96 thousand people to pass and approximately $400,000 in profits are required to catch up with the leader.
The good news is: After I win I plan to have a really big party and invite all of my Blog Friends! So wish me luck and send me your stock tips!
If you want to check it out or even play along..... Follow this link to CNBC -Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge!
Thanks in advance for your support and Good Luck if you decide to play along!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Prohibited Item In Your Carry-On Bag?

Every once in a while I find myself scurrying through the airport and inevitably, bustling through airport security screening. I generally try (but fail) to allow myself enough time at security because you can never anticipate how long the delay will be. So you can imagine that from time to time, usually when I'm late, the screeners find something interesting in my carry on bags that they want to take a look at.


I'm usually traveling with a variety of items in my carry on. At least a laptop, camera, cellphone, Ipod and electric razor. But guess what? The screeners are never interested in any of these electronic devices. I guess that's a good thing. Yet, in the years since 9/11 I've been forced to surrendered two screwdrivers, several cork screws, scissors, multiple tubes of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and a very fine Swiss Army knife. Mostly items that I foolishly forgot were in my bags. One time they wanted to confiscate my nail clippers. I asked "what about my nail clippers is illegal." and they said "The inch long pointed file." I didn't argue with them, I simply bent it back and broke it off and put the file-less clippers in my pocket and handed the screener my inch long weapon. I thought to myself - I suppose if a passenger could somehow manage to conceal this piece of metal in the pilot's coffee, maybe he/she could overpower the crew and take over the airplane while the pilot was choking to death. A long shot I know.....

Don't get me wrong, those guys/gals have a tough job to do and they are part of our very short line of defense. And rules are rules! And honestly, most of these rules have evolved from some sort of viable threat. But I still travel with those clippers today and every time I use them I think back on that episode. Even though the rules have changed again for domestic travel, I still haven't replaced those clippers. I've substituted a cardboard Emery board (compliments of some fine hotel) in place of the file.


So anyway, last month as I was headed out to some not so exotic destination, Mr TSA Screener stops me and says- "Is this your bag?" Yes it is Sir - is something wrong? I reply. "We need to run it again." He follows. After the second run he advises me that I have a very long piece of metal in my bag and he wanted to take a look at it. So he opens a side pocket on my bag and pulls out my set of keys. Behold, the very long piece of metal. I instantly prepare for battle thinking - Oh No! He's going to confiscate my keys! He smiles and tells me I should be careful because my key can be mistaken for a weapon. I quickly run through the list of quick and smart come-backs to this remark but decide to keep quiet. After all, I did want to make my flight. I collected my items and moved on.
Later on in the flight I contemplated the necessity of leaving something of significant value behind or losing it all together. What do you do for example if you show up at the airport with the family crested letter opener that's been with your family for two hundred years and Mr. TSA guy says sorry, you can't take this on. If you've allowed yourself enough time for this blunder you can run back and check the item. Or I guess you miss your flight and call your Mother and tell her what a bum you are for not planning ahead. Well, now there's another option. I've learned that at most major airports there is now a service that allows you to mail your item to yourself or arrange for it to be held at the airport until you can pick it up later. All for a fee of course. One of the services is run by CheckPoint Mailers the other company is MailSafe Express. There is usually a kiosk at/near the security checkpoint. Please keep this in mind if you're ever in need. Unfortunately, this service did not help actor Dennis Farina who was charged with a felony after trying to get through security with a loaded gun just last Sunday. When the weapon was discovered at a security checkpoint, the 64-year-old actor reportedly said he had forgotten the .22-caliber handgun was in his luggage. Dennis Farina's latest film, the Ashton Kutcher-Cameron Diaz comedy "What Happens in Vegas," just opened. Farina has starred in TV's "Law & Order" series and is also a former Chicago police officer. A bad way to premier a comedy movie. These types of mistakes are generally reserved for Rappers and Rockers!






Dennis Farina

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More to A Kiss! Than just A Kiss!

How do you like your kisses? Warm and Wet? Soft and Sensual? Wild and Whimsical?

Do I have your attention?

It's kind of cool having a blog with no specific focus because I can branch off into just about anything....

So - Is a kiss still a kiss?



We all remember the very classic scene from Casablanca.......

"Of all the Gin joints in all the towns in all the world. She walks into mine.
(piano starts to play)
What's that you're playing?

- Oh just a little something on my own -

Well stop it, you know what I want to hear..............

Play It!"

- fades into "As Time Goes By - A Kiss is Still A Kiss........"


video




I came across an article during my travels that talked about kissing and kisses and apparently, there's more to kissing than meets the lips... I mean eye!

According to an article by Gordon G. Gallup, Jr., PHD, (what a name huh?) Evolutionary psychologist, University of Albany, New York, kissing is actually part of an evolved courtship ritual. And "When two people kiss there is a rich and complicated exchange of information involving chemical, tactile, and postural cues," said Gallup. Researchers Susan M. Hughes, and Marissa A. Harrison assisted Gallup in his kissing study in which they published the results in Evolutionary Psychology.

Furthermore, in a study of 1041 people, they concluded that most women would never engage in sex without kissing while many men would. Women seem to kiss to assess a partner's level of commitment based on unconscious mechanisms and may be prompted to end a potential relationship after a single kiss whereas men are more likely to kiss as a means to a shorter term goal such as sexual intimacy or reconciling after a fight. Big surprise there huh fellas?

Scientific research aside, clearly there are many types of kisses. The hello/goodbye social kiss on the cheek, the goodnight mom/dad/sister/brother kiss, Eskimo kiss, butterfly kiss, the ceremonial kiss on the lips, and the many others. I'm sure your respective individual imaginations can conjure up some more. But what about the sensual passionate kiss? Are some people better kissers than others? If so, Is there a way to become a better kisser? Here's the cheat - If you want to be a good kisser the key is to start slowly. Carefully progressing and measuring how your partner responds. Kissing is a mutual experience and like dancing someone should take the lead. This doesn't mean that the leader can't change from time to time but two kissers battling for control with no Kissee is not a pretty sight. And a selfish, one-sided kisser leaves the other party feeling left out and unsatisfied. Some people just seem to be better kissers, perhaps because they are sensual and passionate, or perhaps they work on it and practice... practice... and practice. Of course we can't rule out the possibility that when people are physically, and chemically attracted to each other they sometimes enjoy the kissing experience more.

With that said, this picture is going around in an email. I picked it up from Strangepersons.com.


I wonder..... Do you think these ladies are good kissers? I think I'd rather have a cold beer than find out for myself!

How about you?

Friday, May 9, 2008

Courageous Or Dumb?

Is Erik the Stupidest Survivor Ever?



Okay, the cat's out of the bag now. I'm a closet survivor junkie! Yes, I watch it. (Please don't hate me for this.) And when I'm out of town, I TIVO it and watch it later. I haven't done a great job of keeping up with American Idol this season but I can say, I've watched every single episode of Survivor. I even watched an episode online after somehow goofing up the recording process.
So last night, there I sat watching the episode before the season finale in disbelief! I watched as Erik Reichenbach found himself in the proverbial "Cat Bird" seat. He was stranded on a tropical island with 4 women. He had just won a reward challenge and spent the night getting the spa treatment in the company of the lovely Amanda Kimmel. He followed up this paradisaical experience with an immunity challenge victory. For those that aren't familiar with the immunity challenge - This victory gave him immunity from being voted off the island and assured him a spot in the final four contestants.



That's where the plan went unthinkably wrong and Erik somehow lost his mind! Erik was given the opportunity to surrender his immunity and give it to another contestant, Natalie Bolton, thus protecting her and leaving himself vulnerable or keeping it and moving on to the final four. In the final four, he stood a pretty good chance of winning immunity again and at least making it to the final three. But, you guessed it, Erik opted to give his immunity necklace to Natalie and was subsequently voted off! This single act of gratitude cost him at least $15,000 (the difference between 4Th and 5Th place in past years) and eliminated his chances to take home One Million dollars!
Before we judge Erik too quickly, let's take a quick look at his biography!
Erik Reichenbach, a true SURVIVOR fan, was too young to be in the first 14 seasons of Survivor. Reichenbach religiously studied the game from the comfort of his home, until he was of age to audition. Determined to play the game, Erik practiced his survival skills last summer off a small island in Florida. Reichenbach was born and raised in Pinckney, Michigan. He is currently in his senior year of studying art at Eastern Michigan University, and is a member of the college's track team. Reichenbach works at an ice cream parlor called "Screams" in Hell, Michigan, where he also designs t-shirts, hauls canoes and entertains his customers. He previously worked in landscaping, construction and as a freelance graphic designer. His hobbies include drawing, writing comic books, rock-climbing and studying philosophy/religion. He describes himself as animated, earnest and familiar. He is very proud of his running accomplishments during his senior year of high school, where he set the school's 400 yard record (49.3 seconds), and being able to run in the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Carolina. Reichenbach is a member of the Eastern Michigan Cross Country and Track team, Pinckney Pirate Track and Field Alumni and a rock climbing club. Reichenbach believes he'll go far on SURVIVOR because he is a good listener, entertaining, optimistic, athletic, a creative thinker and can easily be a leader or a follower. Reichenbach is currently single and lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with his cats, Furrball and Kittyfizzle (K-Fizz for short). His birth date is November 27, 1985.

Short of living in "Hell, Michigan" (Is there really such a place?) His Bio reads like that of "The All-American Boy."
But Dude! What on Earth were you thinking?
Jeff Probst commented during the show that - "He has just learned a life lesson."
I say - What a life Metaphor!
While most men are fantasizing about being trapped on a tropical island with beautiful women and the chance at winning a million bucks a bonus - Erik makes a conscious decision which forces him to leave without the women and without the money and go back to "Serving Ice Cream in Hell."
I won't call Erik the "Stupidest Survivor Ever" yet. I'll wait until the finale on Sunday and see what he has to say for himself. I hope he was bewitched, hoodwinked, bedazzled, or perhaps it was voodoo. Maybe he'll come up with some other believable/understandable reason like Love! I like the kid and hope it's not true what they're all saying:
Erik Reichenbach is the Stupidest Survivor Ever!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Standing Down!

Well it appears that the ransom note and package sent to my house was all a farce. As it turns out, Speedcathollydale is safe and in good hands. So I've called my friend Jack Bauer and thanked him for his offer to help out and ordered the troops to stand down. I've also stored the collected ransom items for any future emergencies. I must say, we've got a list of nice things.

Here's what I've collected so far:

  1. Pentad - Three boxes of old notes and rejected articles from her book.
  2. Kim - Three calendars with risque color pictures.
  3. Jane Turley- One Tickling brush, feather duster and a bottom scrubber! Don't ask.
  4. Wendster - Half a bottle of sun screen and all of her gardening clothes.
  5. Robert - Half a bottle of Jack Daniels and an ashtray full of Camel butts.
  6. Bellydancegirl- One set of Zils and a very sexy scarf.
  7. Olgathetravelingbra - One box of training bras - Used.
  8. Heather- 3 pair of old running shoes.

My personal thanks to each of you for coming to the aid of our good friend Speedy in his "almost" time of need!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Help Speedcat! Send Ransom!

INtRePid, I aM BeIng Held CaPtiVe by By 3 Crazy Women.

TheY MigHT Be wOrkInG FoR HoRtoN! Don'T sEnD HeLp YeT!





I WanT to LeT ThEm TortURE Me soMe MoRe! So I caN



LearN ThEir tRUe IdEntitIes.


Regards,








I received this notice and photo via Fedex this morning accompanied by a decapitated rubber chicken and a golf ball with a Horton label on it. Frankly, I can't tell if it's legitimate or not. I currently have two research teams working on the message looking for clues. Do any of you think this is real? It doesn't really look 100% like Speedcat. But who knows what the stress of being held captive might have done to his appearance? If you are a friend or blog buddy of Speedcat please stand by. I may need to collect items for his ransom. Whatever you have lying around the house would be helpful. Just to let you all know...




I've sent the following message to Speedcat:



Speedy, I'm not sure if this is a true call for help or not. But I have a Delta team standing by for your rescue. Jack Bauer is also on my speed dial. Furthermore, I'm notifying your blog buddies and collecting items for your ransom just in case we need to cut a deal. Please let me know if everything is alright. Otherwise, I'll wait to hear more from your captors.








"Intrepid, Just wanted to let you know I'm here for you..... A friend of yours is a friend of mine. So if you need some help with "Speedy"s" rescue, I'm available. Just hit me up on my cell!



Peace Out! Homey!



Jack"








So that's it for now. Please stay tuned. I'll keep you all posted on the progress.