Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Dark Side

Dare I say that Charlize Theron should stick with the dark hair?

Maybe it's the whole sci-fi secret agent thing and not just the hair, but I think it is a change for the better.

Monday, November 28, 2005

That's A Nice Package You've Got

As if there isn't enough marketing brilliance in the name and pitch alone, check out the different names for the different quantity packages in the "Suggested Retail price" section. Fantastic. One 'Weekender' please.

Dress to Impress With New HUGE Brand Condoms
The Condom with the Slightly Larger Package
SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- HUGE Brand, Inc. today announced availability of its signature product, HUGE Brand Condoms. Designed for every man, HUGE Brand condoms are no larger than most standard condoms but bear the HUGE name and are placed in slightly larger packaging.

Engineered to be safe and fun, HUGE condoms are a great alternative to traditional "corporate" condoms and are packaged with a clever ego boost built into every purchase. What man doesn't want to be HUGE?

"HUGE condoms are designed to provide great protection, and are packaged to give a witty, clever edge to the product," said Dexter Gabbard, founder of HUGE Brand, Inc. "We believe in bringing fun to safe sex. Initial sales figures tell us that many men and women appreciate our enabling them to buy HUGE condoms."

HUGE Brand condoms are manufactured by combining the finest latex raw material with advanced manufacturing technology. The result is a high quality, durable condom that is soft to the touch. Each HUGE condom must meet rigorous quality standards and are individually tested. For example, each HUGE Brand condom must pass an electronic pinhole test, as well as an electrolytic water leakage tests to ensure that each condom will bring the utmost in reliability and quality.

This marks the initial introduction of HUGE Brand condoms into the market with plans to launch nationally, with additional products, in 2006.

Product Specifications

HUGE Brand condoms are lubricated latex condoms and feature the classic shape, smooth parallel-sides, a reservoir tip and are non-spermicidal (N-9 FREE). When used properly, they provide the utmost in protection from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Quality Standard

FDA Approved. 100% electronically tested. Conforms with WHO 1998 or EN600 or ISO 4074 or ASTM.

Suggested Retail price:
$2.49 for the Nightcap (3 pack), $7.99 for the Weekender (12 pack) and $14.99 for the Extended Stay (36 pack).

About HUGE Brand, Inc

HUGE Brand, Inc. was founded in 2004 to become the alternative to traditional corporate condoms by bringing fun to safe sex. HUGE Brand condoms are currently available through select stores in Florida and via the Web at

Puzzling Photo

My parents were in town this past Tuesday through Saturday for Thanksgiving plus bonus days on each end. That all went well, including the Alton Brown inspired turkey (if you'd like to borrow my brinein' bucket just let me know).

On Saturday, before my parents left, we did some wondering and wound up at Grand Central. While we gawked at the ceiling and the other tourists someone came and asked if I would take a photo of their little group. I agreed. Now, I'd like to add, the arrival of digital cameras has really taken the fun out of this ritual. Now there is no surprise as to whether a random stranger took a good photo for you or not. Now you just know immediately. The fear, the wonderment and the fun, all gone. Damn you, technology!! Damn you all to hell. Anyway, after I took the photo, I headed back home and left my parents to fend for themselves until they got on their train. My mother (who talks to anyone and everyone) calls me later on that evening to let me know that she ran into the woman in the group I photographed in one of the GTC stores and (of course) had struck up a bit of a conversation. As it turns out, one of the guys in the photograph was this guy.

That's right! I am a photographer of celebrities and don't you forget it.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

'Tis The Season

The holiday season starts off with violence as an innocent nutcracker statue is sliced in half, extremities brutally removed, and left for dead:

A tourist looks in horror at the pained face of a nutcracker after a brutal attack outside of the UBS building on 6th Avenue, New York, NY. No suspects have been named as of press time.

Monday, November 21, 2005

100 Years Too Long

Wow, Bono. You must be the most humble man on the planet ...

In an interview on "60 Minutes" the U2 frontman predicted that his music will still be around in 100 years, explaining that his songs occupy "an emotional terrain that didn't exist before our group did."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

How Now Horned Cow?

See the cow in this photo?

Assemblyman Bob Reilly poses with his Kerry bull at the Shaker Farm in Colonie.
(Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

Well, back when I was living upstate, a couple of my co-workers and I would often drive past this cow (and a couple of his cow buddies) and often the discussion would evolve into wondering (A) What the hell were they doing in that field since there wasn't really an owner-type residence in sight and (B) Would it be possible to ride one of them. We also used to affectionately refer to these cows as yaks. We knew they weren't yaks, but we also knew that these weren't you're average cows, plus yak is fun to say.

So, question (A) has been resolved thanks to the attached article. Question (B) on the other hand is not discussed in the article, but I once did try to solve that mystery without the assistance of the media.

After a night of boozing -- a lot of boozing -- someone brought up the stupid yaks. We decided that the time was perfect for riding one of those fuckers. Miraculously, there was a non-drinker that night, so a few of us piled into a car in search of cowboy dreams.

We get to the yak field and I start to realize that this is a stupid idea. The yaks are way bigger up close then they appear when driving by them at 40 MPH. Also, the horns are long. And pointy. I can only imagine a trip to either the hospital, the local holding cell or both.

Nevertheless, I decide that we've motivated to do this deed, so there is no backing out. The field is surrounded by an electric fence. I touch the fence quickly to see if it is on. A quick tap. Nothing. Another quick tap. Nothing again. I hit it a third time and ZAP! It's on. That shit hurts. My arm was numb and tingly feeling for the rest of the night. So, from that little lesson I decided that the only way to get to the cows was over the fence with no contact. I do a drunken head first dive over the fence, hit the ground and somersault up to my feet.

Now I hate to have an anti-climatic ending here, but upon entering the cow side of the fence the riding idea died right out. The cow was about two strides away from me. Now I'm no animal psychologist, but I was getting a pretty strong vibe from looking into those big cow eyes that if I got any closer Either that or I'm just a good old fashioned chicken shit.

After a brief staredown with the cow I flung my ass back over the fence, rode home and continued partying with my electric fence-numbed arm. So, as it turns out, our question (B) wasn't solved as we would have liked.

Anyway, I'm glad someone wrote this article so I now know a little bit more about the cows/yaks, plus it triggered some relaxing memories about how retarded I used to be (and sometimes still am as evidenced by my antics last Friday night -- man was I drunk).

From the November 16, 2005 Times Union

Tending to his small herd, lawmaker aids efforts to preserve Irish-native Kerry cows

By PAUL GRONDAHL, Staff writer
First published: Wednesday, November 16, 2005

COLONIE, N.Y. -- Assemblyman Bob Reilly has taken on plenty of battles in his political career. But nothing prepared Reilly for his quixotic quest to help preserve a beleaguered heritage breed of cow.

The lawmaker's passion is Kerry cattle, one of the oldest domesticated breeds. It probably descended from the Celtic Shorthorn and was brought to Ireland around 2,000 B.C.

"I see the Kerry cow as a metaphor for the small family farm in America," Reilly says.

"I've made it my mission to try to keep Kerry cattle from going out of business and the way of the small family farm," he adds as he watches his 4-year-old bull, named Kerry, graze in the wan November sunshine in a pasture at the Shaker Heritage Society farm. The plot is sandwiched between Albany International Airport, the Ann Lee Nursing Home and the old Heritage Park baseball stadium.

On his way into work at his Assembly office, Reilly drives from his suburban home a few miles away in Colonie to drop off hay and replenish the water.

Kerry, a smallish, jet-black bull, shares the pasture with a large, white and black-spotted Holstein ox named Peter, who's owned by another farmer.

"By fall, there's not much grass left in the pasture and these two big fellas get mighty hungry," Reilly says.

The assemblyman was preparing to have the pair of cattle transported this week for the winter to a dairy farm in Schoharie County that has indoor barn facilities.

"What Bob's doing here is very important," says Starlyn D'Angelo, executive director of the Shaker Heritage Society.

"We rely on Bob to take care of the cows because we don't have the staff to do it," she says. "The animals add to the historical ambience and enhance our interpretation of the Shaker site. Visitors always stop to watch them grazing in the field. They're beautiful and the kids love them."

Reilly, a Democrat who represents Colonie in the 109th Assembly District, is a former president of the Shaker Heritage Society. The former Albany County legislator retired from the state Department of Education where he ran the public broadcasting office, before winning an Assembly seat last year.

Shakers actively farmed on the Colonie site from the late-18th century until 1924. The decline in their agrarian fortunes mirrored the demise of the Kerry cow.

Reilly took a shine to the plucky little bovine during annual trips to Ireland for golf and sightseeing. Those vacations carried him through Killarney, County Kerry, and the headquarters of the Kerry Cattle Society.

There he met the society's secretary, G.R. Hilliard, the world's foremost expert on the breed and a one-woman global booster for Ireland's native dairy breed.

"She's become my guru," Reilly says.

She convinced Reilly that becoming a Kerry cattle breeder in the heart of suburbia was doable, and not the domain of Saint Jude -- patron saint of lost causes.

Reilly, 65, the son of a steamfitter whose roots are in County Waterford, grew up with five siblings on Partridge Street in Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood.

He's drawn to the underdog.

The Kerry cow was imported to the U.S. in 1818 and grew in popularity through the 1920s. It later fell out of favor to higher-producing Holstein dairy cows.

A Kerry cow produces about 7,000 pounds of milk a year, compared to about 20,000 pounds for a Holstein. From a purely economic standpoint, the Kerry didn't stand a chance.

Only about 200 Kerry cattle remained worldwide in 1983. With the efforts of the Kerry Cattle Society, about 500 registered Kerry cattle exist worldwide today -- about 50 of which are in the U.S.

Five of the Kerry cattle belong to Reilly, who keeps his other four on a 1,000-head Holstein dairy farm owned by relatives in Steuben County.

The accidental cattle rancher got involved with the Kerry heritage breed six years ago. It wasn't easy.

Reilly bought his first Kerry in Alberta, Canada, and shipped it 3,000 miles. It took nearly a year to import Kerry semen from Ireland.

His first foray into breeding resulted in three Kerry cows: one died, one doesn't calf and one is now pregnant. The other two were bulls.

"I've stopped counting how much this has cost me," Reilly says. "What's important is preserving genetic diversity. I prefer the small, family farms of Ireland to American agribusiness."

Reilly believes preserving heritage cattle breeds like the Kerry also amount to an insurance policy against hoof-and-mouth and other diseases that spread rapidly through huge, highly automated dairy and beef operations.

Reilly looks the part of a gentleman farmer one recent afternoon, with his Brittany spaniel, Bud, at his side. He stops to feed grain to his cow and to slip a rope halter around Kerry's horned head.

This takes some doing -- the 180-pound legislator dances as Kerry, the balky bull, feints and dodges.

Eventually, Reilly lassos the recalcitrant bovine for a photo.

"I think he's a beautiful animal," Reilly says. "You have to love heritage breeds to go to all this trouble."

Paul Grondahl can be reached at 454-5623 or by e-mail at

Man, that was a long post ...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Eye Don't Like That

I'd let the "scampering rats and stray cats and dogs" slide, but after this, I'm going to have to stop having my medical procedures done in India ...

Ants Eat Away Woman's Eye in Hospital
Tue Nov 15,10:26 AM ET

KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - A woman receiving treatment for diabetes at a state-run hospital in eastern India lost one of her eyes after ants nibbled away at it, officials said on Tuesday.

The patient recovering from a post-surgery infection shrieked for help as the ants attacked her on Sunday night, but nurses told her it was normal to feel pain from the infection.

On Monday, the patient's family saw a gaping hole with swarming ants in it when they lifted the bandage on her left eye.

Authorities of the Sambhunath Hospital in Kolkata said they were probing the incident.

"It's not uncommon for ants to attack diabetic patients. We have set up a committee to investigate the unfortunate incident," hospital superintendent A. Adhikary said.

Scampering rats and stray cats and dogs sharing bed space with patients are not uncommon sights at India's overcrowded state-run hospitals that are used by millions of poor and middle-class people.
= = = = = = = = = = =
Kent Brockman: It's difficult to tell from this vantage point whether they will consume the captive Earthmen or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I'd like to remind them as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

Monday, November 7, 2005

Peace For Some, Hoods For All

I was e-mailed the following photo from my buddy Tas who is off in Iraq doing his thing. Tas says, "Just want to start getting the word out about what we really do here."

The kids in the photo are Shiites after receiving clothing donated by Americans (not only do we get Saddam off their backs, but we hook them up with some clothes too).

That kid on the left loves the new hood he received. Rumor has it the rest of the jacket is somewhere in that bag. The kid on the right probably isn't going to get shit because his hood-wearing older brother isn't going to share, but he remains in good spirits. "Thumbs up bitches!"

But seriously, take it from Tas who is actually sitting right there in the middle of it all and not just watching CNN like the rest of us slobs, the U.S. is doing some good over in Iraq and cleaning shit up slowly but surely. So keep up your support and maybe the donated hoods and jeans will convince the suicide bombers to cut the shit and we can get our troops home soon (or at least concentrate on hunting Bin Laden a bit).

Thanks Tas. Keep that head of yours on a swivel and tell all the guys with you that we appreciate their efforts.

Saturday, November 5, 2005

Everyone Likes Proposals

God knows there are already enough political bloggers out there and God knows in most cases I could give zero shits about politicians and political ways, but seeing that election day is coming up, I would like to give this brief political rant/suggestion for my voting New York Staters and even more so, New York Cityers. Here it is: Vote 'Yes' on the Transportation Bond Act.

I'm sure someone will manage to piss away the money received, but it is worth a shot, no? Roads need to be fixed (which I really don't care much about), and this will assist in that, but more importantly, this might give us a chance at better subway, bus and commuter rail options. That means cleaner air, less irritating commutes, more AirTrain and even better shit for you jerks on Long Island.

The cons? Well, some say the state is already too far in debt and we shouldn't be adding more. I say, "Who gives a shit!?" The state is always in debt. Hell, so is the nation. This will help us long-term, so just run that debt up!

Here are some details (if you think these are too one-sided, I'm sure you can find more pros and cons with a little research):
The MTA:
Transportation Alternatives:
A WNYC news brief:

Happy voting.

Not Really Accomplishing Much

"Oooh, I hate that President Bush and all of his stupid American money and stupid ideas. I know ... I'll kick in a bank window in my own country. Then I'll smash and burn other shit too. That should teach Bush a serious lesson!"

A protester kicks in a window of a bank during a march against the presence of U.S. President George W. Bush in the Fourth Summit of the Americas in the Atlantic resort city of Mar del Plata, Argentina on Friday Nov. 4, 2005. (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri)

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

He's Still Fun

I just scrolled back a couple of days. Man, that Keggy makes me laugh.