Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31, 2010

I had a colleague who worked in Manhattan and lived in Westchester County. Rather than taking public transportation he drove to work every single day. He payed the tolls and the not inexpensive Manhattan parking.

I asked him several times why he never purchased E-Z Pass. With that pass at least the tolls provide some discount plus one does not have to wait in the cash lanes where the lines are always long.

His response was that he didn't want Big Brother to know where he was traveling to. I told him I didn't think Big Brother was much interested in his travelings. His wife might but not Big Brother.

This is typical of the average American's paranoia about invasion of privacy.

Security cameras on the streets, E-Z Pass or any other detection device is accused to be protection of privacy.

Well, I have a huge protection of privacy culprit that nobody seem to complain about.

Google Earth.

I think Google Earth (GE) is a fantastic virtual globe, map and geographic information program. It covers practically the entire globe.

In some areas it is so accurate that one can spot the potholes front of somebody's house.

A friend of mine lives in Australia. I have never been there but I saw the house through GE and I also saw pictures taken from his street at 360˚. It was like if I were there. And this is available at almost everywhere on the Earth.

So how come nobody ever complains about invasion of privacy when GE shows everybody's property, the backyard, the pool, all roads leading to one's place and everything else people are interested about.

I have no answer why the paranoids don't complain. Maybe because Google wouldn't care if people do complain. They would still publish their sites.


Today is Memorial Day, May 31, 2010. To date I wrote 229 blogs. That's a lot of Blog. I never realized I had so much in me. I know it is not the ginkgo biloba because I was not taking it at the beginning. I guess I just have it.

The summer is starting and I am going to take time off to concentrate on some important things like going to the beach a lot.

So until I get a real hard kick in the behind from a Muse this is my last entry until the end of summer 2010.

I wish everybody a good and healthy Summer. And remember the grass is always greener on the other side.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30, 2010

Just to continue yesterday's discussion on the mysteries of languages I would like to make a few observations. These observations refer to the English language as we (Americans) speak it.

I think we create nouns from some verbs by adding the letters er at the end. At least that is the way most of them work.

Look at the word serve. By adding er to the end we just created server. Or cook becomes cooker.
Or somebody occupied with jewels will become a jeweler, and somebody occupied with mountains will become a mountaineer. So far so good.

But what the hell is bucca? I figured it must have meant something since there were buccaneers and they probably did some bucca.

Or somebody who was a plum became a plumber.

And it is obvious that somebody who was a carpent became a carpenter, and someone who dealt with butches turned out to be a butcher.

But I still don't know what bucca, plum and carpent meant.

However, I do know that someone who comes from Somalia will become a sommelier.

Other thing.

Why the names of foreign cities are translated to different languages? Why they can not remain the same as their original name?

I can not accept that Hispanic people call New York Nueva York. That is not our name. I'm sure they would be insulted if we would call San Juan (Puerto Rico) Saint John and Puerto Rico the Rich Port island.

Moscow in Russian is called Moskva, Wien (Austria) in English is called Vienna. Saint Petersburg in Russian is called Sankt-Peterburg. Warsaw in Polish is called Warszawa and Belgrade the capital of Serbia is called Beograd in Serb. Venezia is renamed to Venice. What is wrong with Venezia?

And there are many, many more such changes. Why these names had to be changed from their original version? But this does not apply to English alone. Many other languages change city names to their own versions but leave others intact.

Paris stayed Paris, London stayed London (at least for us here), Madrid remained Madrid. And probably just as many as were changed remained with their original names.

This is another one of those mysteries of life.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

May 29, 2010

Today is May 29. The beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. It is the unofficial start of Summer but right now we are having pretty crummy weather.

Anybody who spends money on arrangements for an away weekend for this particular time is taking just as much of a chance as we are all taking on the stock market.

It is interesting that the further away we are from this weekend the nicer the forecast is. Then as it closes in reality strikes. I think it is is totally irresponsible from weather forecasters to do what they are and were always doing. But they are the same as economists. Have no clue.

I realized why I am so bright and witty. About a month ago my ear doctor suggested that I start to take ginkgo biloba pills. According to the description on the bottle it promotes brain functions. There, the mystery is solved!

Now, I don't have to suffer through sleepless nights wondering where all my smarts come from. I'm so relieved.

Here is another interesting (to me) thing.

When I was growing up I my mother tongue was Hungarian. I learned and also heard other languages spoken in those years, but I never thought another language could be as natural as one's mother tongue.

When I left Hungary I did come across people who spoke Hungarian and other foreign language with equal ease and I was very surprised and amazed. Never thought it could happen to me.

Now, living here in the US for the major part of my life I can confidently say that speaking the two languages, English and Hungarian, with equal ease is not impossible.

Actually I am pretty proud of my accomplishment. And I did it without the help of ginkgo biloba. Naturally, a UN simultaneous translator is far above of my abilities as far as the language goes but I am content with what I achieved.

I remember that years ago when we were trying to learn the language very intensively somebody said that he thought he succeeded because he dreamed in English. I think I dream in both languages. It depends on the subject.

A friend once said that when she knew the word rainbow her knowledge of the English language was absolute.

P.S.: The weather turned out to be pretty good for the rest of the day. When I started to write this blog in the morning it was really crappy, but it changed slowly.

I just wanted to add this to get the records straight.

Friday, May 28, 2010

May 28, 2010

Living throughout the years I could not help but collect things. If I lived in a house I probably would have collected more useless things as I did living in an apartment.

When my Mother passed away in 1977 in Budapest I inherited the task of cleaning out the apartment. Getting rid if furniture, art and clothing was not as difficult as getting rid of personal mementos.

Even though the war interfered with our lives, still there were photographs and other personal memorabilia from my parents', grandparents' and my life.

My mother saved stuff from my childhood and from my school years. There were assignment books, school documents, letters and a million and one other items I had to sift through and decide what to throw out and what to save.

It was not an easy task. I would have liked to save everything but naturally it was impossible. Therefore, I saved a lot of photographs and a few odds and ends that are here with me. The rest of the memories are in my heart.

That is the problem we immigrants face. Our past is in our mind and heart. Everything that happened before coming to this country is just memories.

And for that I envy the ones born here. As big as this country is they still have their childhood friends, their families and their relatives.

I am not implying that we lived like transplanted orphans. We also have some friends and a few relatives but it is not the same.

Nothing can substitute for ones home.

I am not homesick by any means. I have no clue how my life would have turned out had I stayed in Hungary. Actually, I am pretty sure it would have not turned out as well as it did here in the US.

And I am also pretty sure that none of my friends could or would have succeeded as they did had they stayed there.

Now back to collecting things. As I said earlier I hate to throw out anything but sometimes I must.

But I do have an old 35mm camera that is totally non-automatic with a hand held light meter. And amazingly they both are in good working condition.

I also have a super8 movie projector that I am afraid to use because if anything happens to it it can not be fixed. I also have about one million feet of super8 film that I can not view for obvious reasons.

I have a few 35mm cameras, some for underwater photography, that I am not using since I have a digital camera and using that is easier than anything.

I also have a few old wind-up wrist watches (some of them still work) simply because I love to wind them up every day.

The way I see it there is nothing wrong with being old fashioned and sticking to old things as long as one also accepts the advantages of the modern age.

Let's be realistic, my car does have automatic transmission, I have GPS and climate control, too. And, don't forget the moon roof!

How much more modern one can get?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010

I never realized that there was a lack of American actors. It is good to know that in today's bad economy there is a field that suffers from acute manpower shortage.

That must be the only reasonable explanation behind the fact that many popular TV shows feature main American English speaking characters who off camera revert to their British or Australian dialect.

Why they have to teach a non-American speaking performer to learn to speak American instead hiring American actors?

Take for instance the thankfully canceled TV show called Flash Forward. Its main character is FBI agent Mark Benford aptly played by Joseph Fiennes. The dialect is as American as can be. But I heard Mr. Fiennes being interviewed and he does speak with heavy British pronunciation.

It was a mediocre show with a mediocre cast. Couldn't they find an American actor to play that role?

In Lost the role of Sayid a supposed former Iraqi soldier was played by Naveen Andrews a British actor who spoke more American than British. When interviewed after the final show he did speak nice British.

In the crime drama Law & Order the Manhattan Assistant District Attorney is played by Linus Roache an English actor. In the show he speaks real New York but off the show he speaks the king's English.

I should be the last to complain about giving immigrants an opportunity but this is just plain ridiculous. This country has more aspiring actors and actresses looking for work than the rest of the world combined. And some of them are even talented.

Why in the world they have to bring people in from the outside and let them use phony dialects?


In college when one aspires to become an economist he has to learn to forecast, to be able to see the financial future of a company, of a municipality, country or whatever field he chooses to work in.

Forecasts were usually made for a fiscal year or for longer periods depending upon the entity they were forecasted for. But that was the past.

The way the market is yo-yo-ing around and the way business news is conveyed to the public economists now have to forecast only for same day afternoon or the next day morning.

This is obvious since one morning the economy looks dreary and the same afternoon suddenly the sun is shining.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26, 2010

I can just see the end of the world around the corner.

First that Icelandic volcano will spew out so much ash in the air that it will completely block the sun. The end result will be colder weather and eventually changing the entire environment. Global warming will stop and a new ice age will begin.

OK, maybe for us skiers it might not be such a bad deal but there will be other bad things coming.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will not be stopped and it will spread around the globe. The end result will be that all sea life will die. Due to the oil coating in the oceans all marine transport will cease to exist.

There will be no food, no industry and what's even worse is that I won't be able to get spare parts for my car.

So what all this means, the end of the world is just around the corner.

Those Mayas were no dummies when they indicated that the world will end in 2012. They probably already knew about BP, the oil and the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. I'm sure they also knew the names already.

I wouldn't be surprised to see that when they drill down in that oil hole in the Gulf they would come out in the Icelandic volcano. Instead the China Syndrome this would be known as the Icelandic Syndrome.

It's a funny yet scary world we live in.

Yesterday they awarded the 2014 Super Bowl to New York. What good will it do when the world will end in 2012? On that note I would award the Olympics, the World Series and the World Cup to New York since there will be nobody around to see it.

I would even give New York the French Open.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25, 2010

Today it was announced that the 2014 Super Bowl will be held in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York sport enthusiasts are all excited at the prospects of having the Super Bowl in this area.

It seems this is the first time it is held up here in the Northeast and it is the first time it will be held in an open stadium in the North. I really don't care one way or another since I am not a fan.

But if I were one I wouldn't be too enthused about sitting in an open stadium for hours in early February when we usually get the coldest weathers. Oh yea, and all that for those huge inflated ticket prices.

To me it just doesn't make any sense. The organizers are only thinking themselves and the money they hope to make. To hell with the people who are going to freeze their buns to the seats.

And if there is a blizzard on that day it will make the game even more interesting to watch - from afar on TV in a well heated room.


Today the Market went through the floor for the better part of the day. OK, it recouped some of its losses by the time the day was over but it was still down.

One of the reasons, the brains are telling us, is the worsening relationship between North and South Korea. The world is afraid that a war might break out between those two countries and since we stick our nose into everybody's business, I'm sure the US would somehow get involved.

Now I really don't care about either Koreas. Why should I? Does Kim Jong-Il cares about me? No he doesn't. Being fair I don't care about him either.

The only reason I root for the South is because I want to make sure my car will have spare parts when needed. Also, I want to make sure that when the time arrives and I have to look for a new car I will be able to find a good Korean made car. Because no matter what I still don't trust the American automobile industry.

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24, 2010

We were watching last night, like most of America did, the final episode of Lost. We liked the series when it started and watched every episode right through its six seasons

Including reruns I'm sure we saw everything at least twice.

But like every series that runs for a while this one began to be a little too complicated and hard to understand.

Too many hidden meanings, too many hidden messages. It started to look like that proverbial ugly baby who has a face only a mother could love.

The producers were seemed to be ecstatic about the meanings but we had the impression they were making up the story line as the show was going ahead.

Just like many other shows that started out interestingly this one was was also over complicated with no solution in sight.

I can not figure out if this one was science fiction, fiction or fantasy.

Anyway, for me the ending was not what I expected. Maybe I am not as smart as the rest of the world but I expected something less melodramatic and a little more down to earth.

Live and learn. Don't get hooked on these continuing stories.


American Indians used to rule the wilds. They were here long before the white man ever stepped on this continent. But when the white men came and took over their roles were relegated to subservient minorities.

They were hunted, they were killed. The ones who survived were eventually restricted to live on reservations. It was not very good to be an American Indian.

Now, things are changing. Now Indians are given opportunities to create a better life for themselves.

The Federal Government, as a measure of restitution, gave certain rights to the Indians that include tax free status, promoting gambling and selling tax free cigarettes.

Now, they can scalp the white man legally in their gambling establishments.

Certain tribes are permitted to build casinos on their lands and operate it. It is very inter sting. Once a casino opens the crowd start coming and money is rolling in. Naturally only if they are on a good location.

Some years ago a small tribe in Connecticut was given permission to build a casino. It was inter sting to see how people were coming out of the woodwork claiming membership or some ties to the tribe.

The reason was that profits from the casino were to be divided amongst the tribe. Even I looked to see that maybe one of my great-great grandmothers might have been raped by a brave because then I could have claimed that I also belong. But no such luck.

That casino-hotel complex is raking in money like crazy. We went there a few years ago. It was crowded and not very inexpensive. It was interesting that while walking through the casino we didn't see a single Indian working there. The employees were all non-Indians.

I guess they are all so rich now that they don't want to work. And the money is just pouring in.

Another form of money making is the tax free sale of cigarettes. It is totally legal and they are doing it. Cigarettes are so expensive due to the various government taxes that any kind of tax break on them is welcomed.

New York State has several Indian tribes that are permitted to take part in this business and they are making money.

Years ago I worked with some Indians on a construction and they told me that they didn't pay income taxes. That was another government break they were given.

This doesn't mean that they all are well off and they all running their enterprises. No way.
Thousand and thousands are living in poverty, illiteracy, sickness and various kinds of drug addiction.

There are parts of this country where these former braves are relegated to live below the poverty level.

The ones that live better are the ones who live close to major metropolitan areas, like New York.

An interesting item. Years ago American Indians dominated the high rise steel erection business in the construction industry. Their total lack of fear of heights made them the perfect steel erectors. I don't know how is it today but I know that years ago that was their field.

They were union members, and they worked very well. The ones I knew were a family. Grandfather, father and son. All steel workers, working together, and not paying income taxes. They all lived together somewhere in Brooklyn but on the weekends they drove up north to somewhere close to the Canadian border where their reservation and family was.

I used to talk to them a lot and they were one of the nicest and hardest working people I ever met.

Didn't hold any grudges but still had their pride in their past.

Speaking of Indians. In 1626 on this day Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island from the Indians for the equivalent of $24.

Makes one think how big a casino they could have built in Manhattan if they didn't sell Manhattan then.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May 23, 2010

People are complaining that their commuter train fares are being increased while the railroad company is reducing service. This complaint is mainly heard from commuters coming to New York from New Jersey.

Those poor people are upset that now they might have to stand on their train rides. Life is so hard!

I used to take the subway to work to Manhattan and back in the afternoons. Very, very rarely I got lucky and found a seat. More often than not I stood all the way for a 45 to 55 minute ride, being pushed and shoved.

There was no point to complain because there was no solution. Well, there was, either drive to work or don't go to work or work somewhere else.

I am favoring the work somewhere else solution.

In my opinion, people who live outside of the state should not be allowed to work across state lines. People who come to work in New York from neighboring new Jersey and Connecticut want all the advantages they can get.

Not being a New York State and City resident has all kinds of tax benefits. And that is the main reason they like this way of life. They don't pay taxes but demand the services and loudly complain when not getting them.

Good country America!

Many of my former colleagues were New Jersey residents who took full advantage of the tax benefits. Twenty, thirty years working such a way added up to a nice chunk of money saved.

At one point after September 11 we were temporarily transferred to work in New Jersey since our offices were at the World Trade Center. These people were shocked. Now, they had to pay real taxes being Jersey residents and working in that state.

And, when years ago the City introduced a Commuter Tax for these people, they were incensed and felt insulted. They cried discrimination. I think that tax since ceased to exist.

So, should I feel sorry for the poor unappreciated commuter who is coming to New York from his or her suburban community with the nice houses and white picket fences?

No, I don't feel sorry for them. Stay the hell where they live or move here where their livelihood is. That is mt simple solution.

Don't misunderstand, I am not against commuters. I have no problem with New Yorkers working In New York. However, I am against out of staters coming in, taking work away from locals and then complaining for the lack of services.

On another thought, people are so pampered that any reduction of certain services create an uproar.

New York City has 656 miles of subway and more than 200 local bus routes. Most of these services operate 24 hours a day with frequency of service adjusted to particular time of the day.

In many places bus routes correspond with the subway routes.

In most of the cities in the world subway service stops late at night and then resumes early in the morning. That is because of economics, maintenance and just pure common sense. But in New York City God forbids to talk about such a thing.

They are spending a fortune running empty and unsafe trains through the nights so some night owls or late night workers can get home. Surface buses would do the same job a lot cheaper but it seems that the unions are again interfering with running the business.

And not for the better but for their own interests.

May 22, 2010

All day today we were vey busy and by the time we got home my creative juices dried up.

So there will be no great revelations for today.

Friday, May 21, 2010

May 21, 2010

Aside from the stock market fiasco, yesterday was a very beautiful day. The sky was clear, the sun was shining all day and it was really, almost summery warm.

So we packed our stuff and went to the beach. It's about time we start beach going because that is what summer is all about, and we really don't want to do anything else.

The beauty of going out during the week is that it is not crowded and therefore much more pleasant. It also contribute to the pleasantness that right now there are are no kids since schools are still open.

Officially the park or beach is already open but there are no lifeguards on the beach which is just as well since the water was still very cold. At least for us. There were a few brave souls who ventured in but I think we will wait a few more days.

Young children are funny. I am convinced they either have no nerves on their bodies or just don't realize what they feel. Because they can go into cold water and stay there like nothing is happening.

The fee rules are peculiar. The use of the beach is free. It is public property. What we are paying for is parking. Last year it was $8 per car, this year they increased it to $10 per car. It is the same in all New York State Parks.

Similar rules apply at skiing too. Skiing is free. The use of the mountain is free since most ski places leasing it from the State. What we are paying is the use of the ski lifts. If I wish to climb up the hill and ski down I'm welcome to it.

That is how I learned to ski. But how fast we forget and get used to the comforts of life.

Now, back to the beach.

It is interesting to look at the people out there. At first look people might come to the opinion that how come all those older couples have young children. Then one realizes that they are the grandparents taking the kids out while the parents are off to work.

A funny, or stupid apropos. When I came to this country and knew better I lived in Manhattan. I used to see a lot of black women with white children on the street and thought it interesting that all those women have white kids.

Until I realized that they were the nannies. That same 'phenomenon' still prevails but now I know better.

Whenever one sees a family on the beach with mother and father present it can be assumed that they are out of work. And lately this can be seen fairly frequently.


I do not like unions. I already expressed my views on that issue but I will repeat it again. I don't see what good they do.

If a large company can deal with its white collar employees on individual bases, on their merits why is there a need for unions or other kind of organizations to deal collectively with the work force.

In a collective environment one totally loses his identity. One will become a number, a statistic, a category.

Any employer if managed right should be able to deal with his employees without having to deal with high priced uppity union representatives who represent only themselves and nobody else.

What really irks me is that unions don't care about the public one iota. The public interest is about as far from their interest as Mars from Earth. If their actions cause inconvenience to the public it is just too bad. We just have to weather it.

But when they need help the first they turn for help is the public. They want our sympathy, they want our assistance, they want our political clout.

For my money, they can all just go to hell!

The economy is struggling for its survival

Nobody is irreplaceable. Reagan was right, fired all the striking air controllers and the country survived it.

My motto is if they don't like what they are doing they should have become brain surgeons! America is the land of opportunities, everybody had an equal chance.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20, 2010

Today was a pretty spectacular day on Wall Street. We all thought May 6 was bad! At least there was an explanation for that huge drop in value.

But there is no explanation for what happened today. Today the Market closed 376 points down. I think it was the lowest value for the day.

The panic about the global economic situation is spreading and it seems there is a general panic prevailing where there is money involved.

The Euro is dropping, the oil hit a very low price. There are riots in Greece and there are riots in Thailand.

But Goddammit, we live in America, the richest country in the world. Why should we be exposed to these events and suffering the consequences? That is not fair. We should be big enough and strong enough to be immune to these happenings.

These countries and the rest of the world should depend on us and not the other way around. We should be strong enough to withstand whatever happens around us and come out as winners at the end.

But unfortunately it does not look that way. The Chinese in Mao's time called America the paper tiger.

As time goes by it looks like, sadly, a very fitting description of us.

If we don't have any faith in ourselves, how can we expect the rest of the world to respect us and place their trust in us. It is very sad that our leaders don't realize and don't use the opportunities that there are for greatness.

Other countries that used to depend on us are now bypassing us and leave us in the dust.

We are bogged down in bureaucracy and finger pointing. Look at this BP fiasco in the Gulf.

By the time the oil flow is stopped it would ruin unimaginable amount of natural resources as well as people's livelihoods. And what will happen to the people responsible for it? Nothing!

This thing will bog down in a judicial nightmare of finger pointing.

In the old days in the Soviet Union and even today in China these people would be shot for their irresponsible behavior.

But unfortunately our government is not strong enough to act against these people. I think because the oil lobby is so strong that nobody dares to go against them. It seems the government doesn't want to upset them because then we will not get any oil.

That is probably the reason why gasoline prices at the pumps stay high although world prices are falling. Today, oil closed at $68.01 per barrel. This must be the lowest price in a long time.

But the prices at the gas stations are standing still. Had the price gone up, tomorrow morning we would be seeing an increase at the pumps. But it doesn't happen that easily the other way around.

And again, nobody is saying anything. Like people are afraid to raise their voices because they are afraid the boogey man will come for them.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19, 2010

Today is 139th day of the year. We are almost to the halfway point of MMX (2010 for the uncultured ones). Time is flying and I have no idea where it goes.

It is May 19 and the weather just doesn't want to improve. It is cooler than usual, yesterday it was raining hard and we are just not getting any summery weather at all.

I think the whole world is screwed up. It really looks like the beginning of the end. The volcanoe in Iceland, the earthquake in Haiti and Chile. For several days it was raining so hard in Hungary that most of all the rivers and creeks flooded out.

Yesterday there was an earthquake in Puerto Rico (not very strong) and there are constant rumblings in California.

This Earth of ours is alive and it wants to show us who is the boss. Maybe it wants to punish us for all the bad things humans did to it.

What else can we look forward to. And I didn't even mention the recent tornadoes in the middle of the country.

Maybe we should somehow have meeting with Earth and ask it not to punish us now but wait a couple of thousand years.

First, we not going to be around by then and we really do not care what is going to happen a couple of thousand years from now, second what is a few thousand years for an Earth that is about 4.5 billion years old?

Maybe our earth has more self respect and dignity than our elected politicians have. It probably realizes that about five billion years of existence and carrying all the responsibility is enough. It is time to step down and let a new civilization develop somewhere else in the Universe.

Our politicians don't think that clearly. They want to hang on to their power until another and bigger planet sucks them in and they disappear under its influence.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

Now that I am writing this blog I realized how many things in everyday life bother me or just plain annoy me. It is kind of unusual because I consider myself an easygoing person, happy or at least satisfied with everything around me.

Now, let's talk about fashion.

There is a school in New York City called the Fashion Institute of Technology. This school supposed to breed the next generation of designers. The good ones will come out and make a name for themselves and might become successful while the mediocre ones will be working for others behind the scenes and get no credit at all.

Come to think of it the mediocre ones will very likely have much longer employment possibilities than the ones up front. Because the higher one is the harder he might fall. And, fashion is a very 'today' thing.

But these are the pros. These are the people who decided to make this their lifetime profession. They know their business, they supposed to understand what that is all about.

Now I ask, why would I run out and by a suit with Donald Trump's name on it? What qualification Jessica Simpson has that her name appears on shoes, pocketbooks and God knows what else. Why Sean John is so qualified to sell fragrances and clothing? Is Liz Taylor a fragrance authority?

Are J Lo and Beyonce fashion authorities that the people have to follow their lead?

All this is governed by the mighty dollar.

Years ago when Who Wants To Be A Millionaire TV show started and was kind of popular Regis Philbin was its host. He was, and still is, charming and well dressed. Shortly after the show's beginning they introduced a men's cloth line under his name. Needless to say this one did not last very long.

Investors are convinced that as soon as they put a famous person's name over a product people will run and buy it.

Maybe it works, I don't know. What I do know is that until Donald Trump slaves over the drawing board designing clothing apparel I will not buy anything with his name on it.


Joseph Smith in 1823 saw the angel Moroni and that prompted him to establish the Mormon Church. In 1858 the Virgin Mary appeared to an orphan girl in Lourdes, France. In 1917 the Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima Portugal.

These were life changing instances. These people and many, many others in history were exposed to apparitions that changed their lives and influenced humanity.

What apparition did Arlen Specter, the Republican Senator from Pennsylvania saw that made him change after 44 years as a Republican to a Democrat. Did he have a vision? Did he have a midnight visitor in a flowing white robe and a halo above his head?

What did happen that made the good senator change his allegiance?

It has nothing to do with visions or morality. It has to do with survival. The guy saw that he lost his chance to continue in the Senate because he could not win the Republican Primary being held today. Obviously, he is not ready to graciously accepting defeat against an opposing candidate.

Hysterically clinging to his position he is now changing his allegiance from one party to another. Just like Joe Lieberman of Connecticut did.

He has been in office since 1981, and now he is 80 years old. If he gets elected he will be 86 years old at the end of his term. Twenty one years until now in the Senate is a very long time. It is time to go! Make room for a new generation with different views about our life.

I am not anti old by any means. But there is a time in everybody's life when he should realize it is time to step down.

Even a golfer will eventually realize when his balls don't go as far as they should!

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17, 2010

Our most watched TV shows are the Law & Order series, Criminal Minds, Cold Case, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, NCIS, Mercy, Miami Medical, Trauma, Castle and Desperate Housewives.

These are the most frequently watched series but whenever there are repeats we try to watch something else.

Now that the season is coming to an end all these shows are trying to close with a cliff hanger. The cliffhangers want to assure that the faithful will return next season and watch whatever was the outcome of the particular cliffhanger.

However, as I understand some of the above listed shows will not be returning next season. Their people will be added to the list of unemployed actors.

I really don't care. No great loss to the cultural landscape. Some of these shows are so boring and their story lines are so worn out that it is fine time to take them out of circulation.

Some shows with a continuing story line became so complicated that no ordinary person could figure out what was happening and following them became a real hassle.

I can not get it through my simple mind that how come the producers didn't realize their shows became so idiotic and convoluted.

The trouble is that sometimes good shows that might be a little too intelligent, do not survive while some idiotic show, like How I met Your Mother keeps on going.

TV shows are similar to fashion. Some years short skirts or minis are in vogue some years the long ones. Some years wide neckties are in style, some years the skinny ones.

With TV shows this was the era of doctor/medical shows, crime dramas and reality shows. There were years when there was large supply of science fiction shows. At this time sci-fi is not really in style.

But what goes around will come around. Old themes do not disappear just take a breather and a refresher course. They will be back, given the time.

With all the new comedy shows around most of them fail to entertain me. I just don't find them amusing. But on Sunday nights there is a long run of the Honeymooners on one New York station and I still find that show hilarious and entertaining.

It is unbelievable that today's generation of comics don't learn from their predecessors. Today one has to be vulgar if one wants to succeed.

Red Skelton was funny, Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny were funny. And none of them were vulgar and loud. OK, Jackie Gleason was loud but he was still funny.

And what about the variety shows. I miss those. Sunday night was not complete without the Ed Sullivan Show. It was a very entertaining one hour that was watched religiously by most of America.

Dean Martin, Flip Wilson, Laugh In, Dinah Shore, Steve Allen and even Ernie Kovacs were giving us unforgettable entertainment.

And all these were not on cable but on free commercial television.

As the slogan said: we came a long way baby!

Unfortunately, in the wrong direction.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

May 16, 2010

Just an afterthought to to my democracy versus dictatorship 'doctoral thesis'.

Hungary, where I came from changed from the Russian dominated rule to a democratic system after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 1989 they established a democratically elected government, re-wrote the constitution, introduced civil liberties and started their economic decline.

Today, they have a capitalistic, yet democratic system. Corruption in every level of life matches any South American or Third World country.

There is an upper class and a very large lower/poor class. There is no middle class. There is a 10.8% unemployment that will not get any better. There is crime and there is a poor excuse for police.

At one time foreign companies loved the place, now they are closing up shops one after another because of the political climate and the economical situation there.

There is a very strong anti Israel and antisemitic sentiment all over the country as well as other racial problems.

Neo-nazi movements are tolerated and at the recent parliamentary elections an openly neo-nazi party obtained the third largest number of votes.

Hungary changed its political system in 1989 but wanted to get to the same level of capitalism as the US is in a very short time. In the US it took two hundred years to get to where it is now.

Hungary wanted to do it in a month. The same situation prevails in most of the former Eastern Block countries.

First of all, all the 'brotherly love' that prevailed while the Soviets ruled went out the window. Now they all openly hate each other. Look at the former Yugoslavia. Look at the former Soviet Republics.

Some of these countries ran into the arms of NATO and the European Union to show how trustworthy they are. Even though the general population was against such moves the then current governments thought that by belonging they would be protected against Russia.

Now, they are all turning towards Russia again because Russia controls their oil and natural gas supplies and Russia still is a major commercial partner.

But even in Russia itself people are not that convinced that the old regime was not better than the current system.

The only party that is happy with the way things are is the United States. But the US always supported governments that were not altogether in the clean side of law as long as it was profitable for them and they could maintain a presence there.

But at the first sign of trouble they will turn their backs and walk away. In 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution I heard on Radio Free Europe the announcement from the Americans that keep fighting, hold on we are coming!

They never did, they never intended to.

So I ask again, which system is better?

I forgot to add to the positive side of democracy, everybody can have a passport and are free to travel. If they can afford it.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May 15, 2010

Is democracy really better than dictatorship?

Since I lived under both systems I can argue the benefits and the disadvantages of both. But since I am not a philosopher nor a politician I can only express my views on the subject. And boy, do I have some views.

The dictatorship I lived under was after World War II and lasted for me until 1956. I was young, under twenty years old and I didn't see all the horrors of it. Most of my knowledge comes from what I read and heard.

As a student I was not really exposed to all the negative things the regime created. And anyway, I didn't know any better and I felt that since I didn't know what I was missing, I wasn't missing anything.

For grown ups, for families and wage earners it was a lot worse. The lack of free decision was stifling everybody. We had no idea how good or bad we were off since foreign travel was almost non existent, foreign news was strictly controlled, exchange of ideas and experiences was not something frequently done.

So we had nothing to compare our situation to.

People had no money but nobody had money. There were no luxuries but nobody had luxuries. There was not much food around but nobody was swimming in surplus. We thought that was the way life was supposed to be.

There was no unemployment, there was very little crime (at least what we knew of).

We, students didn't have to think about life decisions because all decisions were made for us higher up.

The government said they represented us and we believed it and every four years they were reelected with overwhelming majority. Which was very easy in a one party system.

There was no such a thing as a recount or impeachment. These words were not in our vocabulary.

Their slogan was: if you are not with us, you are against us. And being against the regime was not a healthy thing to do.

There were benefits for new mothers, there were paid vacations, there was free medical care, there was free schooling and there were benefits paid after young children.

One thing everybody could count on was the paycheck since avoiding work was a crime.

It was a dictatorship by any means. Even though they called themselves the representatives of the working class it was still a strong arm regime. There was a constitution but nobody had any guts to quote it.

The members of the ruling elite lived high on the hog. But their lifestyles and decisions were never questioned. There were no tabloids who lived off scandals so nothing was known about the leaders.

The police was not unnecessarily brutal but they were still respected. Nobody dared to tell a policeman to leave because he didn't have any right to be in one's home.

That is the way I saw the world I lived in back then. It was not that terrible yet, it was not that good either.

Now, I live in a democratic world. Everything is a hundred and eighty degrees different. Here we have a constitution that is being strictly followed (when convenient). Here we make our own decisions and take the responsibility for them.

Here work is not guaranteed and people are exposed to the employers' whims and desires. Schooling is expensive as is health care.

Here there are homeless and there are billionaires and never the twain shall meet. Here there are foreclosures and buyouts and mergers.

The members of the ruling class live high on the hog and keep telling us how lucky we are that they are the ones who are representing our interests.

The members of the elected governments lie and cheat in order to advance their own agenda that has nothing to do with what the people want.

But here we all have passports and can travel freely wherever we want. And we all know how people live in other parts of the world. And that doesn't make us very satisfied.

Many years ago when the first influx of Russian emigrants arrived in New York they settled in Brooklyn in the Brighton Beach area. Few years later a reporter visited the neighborhood and asked them how was life in the new country.

They complained that after they arrived here and settled they were left alone, nobody cared about them any longer, nobody came forward with help.

They said they were not used to this kind of life because at home their lives were preplanned by others.

The reporter told them this was a free country and everybody was to do whatever he wanted. Their response was that this was too much freedom and that was not good.

We are living in a free society. In a society where institutions are free to steal people's money under false pretenses. In a society that permits elements like Madoff to exist and steal. In a society where banks are free to rule every aspects of our lives.

We are living in a free society where if one has no money that person is nobody and he can freely die of hunger on the street.

In the nineteenth century there was a Hungarian poet who wrote a poem comparing hungry, shivering wolves in a snow storm to full bellied dogs who were sleeping in the warm room at the feet of their masters waiting for their scraps of food.

The wolves comment to the comparison was that at least they were free!

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14, 2010

You are damned if you do, damned if you don't.

The short version of it is that we can not win!

A few weeks ago they came out how bad is the financial situation in Greece. The world fell into a total depression because of what might happen if they go into bankruptcy.

Really, what happens if a country goes into bankruptcy? Will they auction them off to the highest bidder? Will George Soros or Donald Trump or some unknown Russian billionaire will buy them?

If Trump buys Greece he would probably tear the whole thing down and build a humongous and prohibitively expensive development called the Greecy Trump.

If a Russian billionaire would buy Greece he would tear it down and build a huge house in the place of the Pantheon.

If George Soros would buy it he would convert the entire country to a bank where he could keep his money.

I can not see anything else that might happen if they declare bankruptcy.

OK, these things didn't happen, they averted financial disaster. The European Union and the IMF decided to help them out with a little pocket money. I think they decided to give Greece about 1 trillion dollars. That is a nice chunk of money.

When that news came out the financial markets breathed a sigh of relief and after several days of sinking they decided to rise again. Things started to look rosy again. Even in this country things were looking good.

At first it looked that even though the foreign outlook was not that bright but since the homefront was doing good the market reacted positively.

Yesterday everything went up very nicely.

But nothing good lasts forever.

If there is nothing to worry about somebody will find something.

So, today the market went through the floor, dropping 162 points, because they were worrying about Greece's capability to repay the interest on the loan three years from now.

Can we not be just happy about what is happening today and not worry about three years from now?

But unfortunately we are members of the universal economy. A bank falters in Greece and Citibank or Chase in New York gets hurt. These institutions are now all connected by an invisible umbilical cord.

Why can they not mind their own businesses? Why American banks have to suffer because of a foreign country's mistakes?

I tell you why, because of universal greed! And there is no greater greed than in the American banking system.

If the American banks would be happy to make money within our borders and would not try to expand their tentacles across the world we would not be in this hot soup.

Why would I need a Citibank branch in Downtown Ulan Bator? I don't.

So what is the solution to this universal mess we got ourselves into?

Make Greece part of North Korea and let Kim Jong-il fix their problems. That will tech them not to spend more than what they have.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 13, 2010

Yesterday they arrested an American as he arrived in Egypt because they found weapons in his luggage.

This person boarded the plane in New York and flew to Cairo. He went through the security check and I assume his luggage was also checked. Yet, the Egyptian authorities found weapons at him.

Now, what does that say about our security checks in the airport. I think Bozo the clown or the Keystone cops would be more efficient than those yahoos in uniform. Their only aim is to make us, the traveling public uncomfortable but they are not doing what they supposed to do.

They proudly walk around in their uniform acting like they are God's gift to airport security. But if one wants to sneak through anything contraband the person will succeed.

Their main occupation is to watch the clock and see when they can go on their next break.

What amazes me is that they do this every single day but still they act like this is the first time they are doing it. These people are totally disorganized and each day is a new adventure for them.

The fact that some of them speak very little English should not bother anybody in an English speaking country.

I think all those illegals who slip across the border in Arizona should head toward the nearest TSA recruiting station. They might have a great future ahead of them.


I honestly believe that everything that happens is being decided by public opinion polls.

I also honestly believe that I don't believe in public opinion polls.

If whatever happens is the result of public opinion than it seems that companies that provide these polls are the real shadow government.

The public opinion pollsters are asked to provide information on serious to mundane issues. They claim to obtain the information from a cross section of the proper sources. But anybody ever checked how the date is obtained?

They claim that they go, let's say, to Wallingford, Iowa, population 210 and ask the pertinent questions. According to their interpretations Wallingford, Iowa represents the country.

Excuse me, I don't know anybody in Wallingford, Iowa and I don't want to know anybody in Wallingford, Iowa.

How can a person in Wallingford, Iowa know what I think and how I feel about certain issues. Just an example, their air traffic is crop dusting while I live between two major international airports with serious jet noises.

So, the way I see it these companies can sell anything they want, even snow to the Eskimos.

With their made up results they can affect policy decisions governments make, or economical decisions financial institutions are making.

But I am at ease to know that the 210 people in Wallingford, Iowa are in strong control of my life.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12, 2010

About fifty six-fifty seven years ago I had to take part in a summer work camp. This was part of our curriculum, since I went to a school where I learned construction technology. Actually, every summer we had to go and work on various construction projects to learn the business from bottom up.

Here we were the smart ass students, the leaders of the future, starting to work on a construction. First of all we had absolutely no interest in actual work. That created some animosity between us and the rest of the workers who were there working for a living.

Naturally, they assigned us to the most demeaning tasks possible. But at the end of the day and at the end of our tour we did manage to have fun.

Anyway, here I am trying to do the work of a bricklayer with real tools. After the second or third day on the job I managed to hit my right thumb with a hammer so hard that I was out of commission for the rest of the period.

During my convalescence I went to visit my friends several times and tried to show how I felt sorry for them.

One day the foreman asked me exactly how I hit my thumb. When I explained he questioned how come I hit the right thumb and not the left. I told him I was left handed. His reply was no wonder I hit my finger.

The actual truth is that I am not left handed but I can use both hands with tools, but I write only with my right hand.

I used to have a classmate who was ambidextrous. He was able to write with both hands with equal ease.

At times we had to write on blackboard in class. More than once we ran out of space and had trouble finishing our work at the edge of the blackboard. He just smiled, changed the chalk from his right hand to the left and deftly finished his assignment.

He was really ambidextrous.

Actually the definition of ambidextrous is that the person is equally familiar using his right hand as well as his left hand.

The way I see it that person does not feel the difference between right and left. That is what a so called independent politician is today.

Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is a typical example of that. He has been a senator for several years in the colors of the Democratic party. However in 2006 he lost the Democratic primary and decided to enter the race as an Independent. As such he did win.

In 2008 he supported Senator McCain for his presidential bid even though McCain was a Republican.

This man is a perfect example of political ambidextrousness. Cannot tell right from left. I would say these people lack any real convictions. They so badly want to be in the place of authority that they are willing to sell their souls to the devil and give up beliefs, if ever had any.


A perfect example of the cart leading the horse.

Last year on October 21 I wrote that they were repaving the road front of our building. It was a major job that must have cost the City tens of thousands of dollars.

Now, seven months later they are breaking it up because they decided to lay some pipes under the roadway. They have been working here for about a week with a lot of equipment and a lot of noise.

It's good to know that ours is not a forgotten neighborhood. But enough is enough. Couldn't they plan to do this before the new pavement was installed?

I know the current economical situation needs more employment but this doesn't grab me that it has anything to do with the economy. This looks like just plain bad planning.

I can not understand that when the City interviews new hires they seem to ask so much knowledge, but the people currently working there are so unqualified it is unbelievable. They can not plan, they lack technical expertise, they are unqualified and there is also a language barrier.

I remember years ago I was assigned to a City project and the City agency sent out an inspector to oversee my work. The poor slob didn't speak English and communicating with him was impossible. But, he was the client and I had to be nice to him. It was a joke!

How these people get in to these positions?


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11, 2010

This is the 209th entry into my blog. That is a lot of writing. I am very impressed with myself. I never knew I had it in me to achieve such an accomplishment.

I am trying to do this every day but I know some days were skipped. So actually it is more than 209 days ago that I started this production.

I know I don't always make sense or that I may write silly things but hey, nobody is perfect! Anyway I pay the bills so it's my dime. Besides it makes me feel good doing this. At least I do something useful.


In New York City there is a widespread infestation of bed bugs. These are small, elusive, insects. They live strictly by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded animals.

Recently apartment buildings started to check apartments for the presence of these pesky little things. Once their presence is acknowledged the apartment has to be thoroughly cleaned out by professionals.

It is a major headache because clothing, bedding and mattresses have to be thoroughly un-bed bugged. So, this is a complicated procedure.

That was why we were glad to learn that our building would conduct a check by individual apartments to make sure that we are free of these bugs.

Our apartment is always spotlessly clean but that is no guarantee since they can move easily from neighboring apartments from upstairs and downstairs.

Anyway, last week they came to check. It was very intersting. There was this guy and his dog. The dog was the cutest little beagle we ever saw. He was the expert.

Very seriously and bored, he walked through the apartment, yawned and went out. We were informed that we were OK since the dog found no evidence of bed bugs.

When asked the guy told us that this dog has been trained since puppyhood and the way he shows the presence of these bugs is that he sits down wherever he smells them.

He was very serious and totally professional. When we oohd and aahd on how cute he was he didn't pay any attention to us just continued with his work.

I later remarked that the difference between this beagle and us was that he had a job.

This is what I call an equal opportunity employer.

Good country America. Even dogs get a fair chance, and this was an American dog!

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010

This is the day after Mother's Day. It is over. All the mothers can be put back in the drawers and start collecting dust. They can go back being the forgotten members of the family until duty calls again.

Mother's Day is one of the most commercial days of the year. Hallmark is salivating at the upcoming card sales, all the fruit stores display up-priced flowers for those last minute sales.

Restaurants and diners filled up with families honoring their mothers. The saddest sight is when there is a large family sitting around a table with the guest of honor, the poor mother, sitting at the head of the table.

She is all gussied up and smiling. The problem is that nobody is talking to her, nobody is paying any attention to her. They are too busy socializing amongst themselves. The poor lady would much rather be back in her home or at the nursing home than put on this display.

Then at the end they have the gall to ask her if she had a good time. Well, they all had to clear their conscience.


Today the stock market closed up 404.71 points. This was a reversal of a very dismal performance of the previous week. This updraft didn't correct the previous week's losses but it made things look a little bit better.

All weekend long economists were trying to justify what happened and why. It is amazing what good 20/20 hindsight they have. Now they suddenly see -again- that elusive end of the economic tunnel we are in.

I keep saying this is one of the best jobs to have, right after weather forecaster and relationship expert. Come to think of it pro golfer isn't too bad either.


Today, Jet Blue advertised that they are selling $10 fares for travels tomorrow and Wednesday within the US only. Tickets had to be bought today and used in the next two days.

Their reasoning was that it was their tenth anniversary. This was a great publicity stunt. The trouble was that it was impossible to get through and purchase anything. I tried just for the heck of it and no matter what I tried there was nothing available.

So, what's the point?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

May 9, 2010

The other day a friend of mine e-mailed me a segment from you tube that was broadcasted somewhere showing how stupid Americans were. It was really frightening.

As you can see if you access it, the questions are really basic but the knowledge these people possess is between nil and nil. And, I am sure they all believe that they are very knowledgeable about everything.

The website is at :

It is worth logging on, it's good entertainment but unfortunately it is not fiction.


President Obama today delivered his commencement address at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia.

I heard a short portion of it on the radio in which he said "as you enter the workforce...".

Here are my observations on the subject.

What workforce? We are at an almost 10% unemployment level. In reality, nobody is hiring. I know people who are well qualified in their fields and are unable to find jobs for a long time now.

In New York City anywhere one looks there are layoffs. A hospital closed, terminating over a thousand people. The transportation authority wants to terminate 475 token booth clerks. There are layoffs left and right.

But nobody is taking these seriously because the national statistics indicate unemployment is not rising and that means the politicians can congratulate themselves for a job well done.

To hell with the little people.

This is like being on a bus, let's say on the way home from work. One gets on the bus while the weather is nice. By the time the bus reaches your destination the weather has changed and when time comes to get off there is the biggest thunderstorm you ever saw.

Oh, and you have no umbrella.

Can't help it, have to get off. You step in a big mean puddle while the bus door closes and the bus pulls away leaving you stranded in the downpour.

It is the same with this year's graduating students. They are forced to enter a non existent workforce. They have to find jobs in an environment where there are no jobs. It is not easy.

So what do they do? They turn around and go back to school to continue their education by either changing majors or going for advanced degrees hoping that that would help. Or with degrees in hand they go and work for McDonald's.

I am really sorry for today's young people. They are young, bright eyed and bushy tailed but soon enough they will have the same tired and disgusted looks and opinions about life their parents are having.

It is not easy to face life's challenges where there are nothing to challenge.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

May 8, 2010

I wrote an e-mail to Senator Schumer yesterday asking that how come the prices of gasoline at the neighborhood pumps are not dropping even though the price of oil dropped to $75 a barrel and is at its lowest in months.

I know that the price of oil is calculated by some complicated formula but it seems every time somebody hiccuped in Saudi Arabia the price here went up the next day. In my neighborhood regular gas is standing still at $3.19 a gallon all the while the oil price was dropping.

I am not expecting an answer from the good senator but I figured in case he has nothing to do here is something he can occupy himself with.

I am sure that the oil companies are doing their utmost through their lobbyists to have all the lawmakers on their side and giving them the opportunity to get away with this kind of highway robbery.

Hey, this is America, the land of opportunity!


Why would anybody think that I will run out to a cosmetic store and buy an eyelash growing concoction just because Brooke Shields says it is good?

Well, hypothetically speaking. I am a man and I am very happy with the length of my eyelashes. But that is not the point.

The point is what are Ms. Brooks' credentials that would make her believable?

Kelly Ripa is a morning TV show personality. I am not really fond of her because I don't think she possesses any talent. Lately she advertises some appliances and also some supermarkets.

I don't think this woman would know how to use any of the appliances she advertises as well as would not know where the supermarkets are she is pushing.

So what qualifications she possesses that I should believe her and run to buy these appliances or patronize the supermarkets.

Who in his right mind will purchase any product advertised or recommended by an empty headed show business personality?

It is obvious that these people do not use any of the products they promote. As far as the beauty products go, their recommendations are totally without merit. These people get made up and prepared by high priced professionals.

Nobody in the world will look like them just by using their products. I know this is what the multi billion dollar advertising industry is built on, but they should realize that not everybody in this world is an idiot.

Anything said by any paid person on television about any product is a barefaced lie and a distortion of truth. Promoting any product and getting paid for it lacks honesty and credibility.

If a store manager (a real one) would advertise a particular supermarket I would be much more inclined to believe.

But Kelly Ripa? Please!

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

Today is May 7. It is a quiet day after yesterday's stock market screw up. But today is a major anniversary that is not widely noted and I am sure no American is aware of.

In 1945 on this day the War in Europe was over. The Germans signed their unconditional surrender and effectively ending the war there.

Since the Soviets came in from the east the war was gradually ending for the countries east of Germany but until the Allies met up in Berlin fighting was still going on.

I think this is a major anniversary but today nobody remembers and what is even worse, nobody cares.

In Moscow they celebrate this day every year with a military parade. The day is called Victory Day. But here, nothing.


Sunday is Mother's Day in the US.

The definition of Mother's Day is to honor mothers and motherhood.

It is great that everybody will honor their mothers on this coming Sunday. One damn day a year!

What about the other 364 days the year has? On those days people just ignore their mothers?

First of all, where would we be without our mothers? We are here on this earth because they gave birth to us. They suffered with us for nine months and then the real suffering begun.

They raised us, they cleaned up after us, they worried about us and they chastised us when needed. All what they did was for our benefits. At the time we complained, we cursed (quietly) and thought we have the worst mother in the world.

But time justified all their actions because everything they did was out of love and to make sure we have a better life.

There is something, maybe an extra gene, that makes mothers worry. They worry about us all the time. No matter how old we are. We could be mature grown ups but if we are lucky enough to have a mother around we remain her children forever.

My Mother smacked me in the mouth for something I said once, and I was forty years old.

It is understandable that mothers grow closer to their children. Fathers go off to work and leave the mothers home to raise their child. This creates an unbreakable bond that lasts for a lifetime.

The biggest heartache a person can have is that his or her parents were not appreciated while there was a chance, while they were alive.

Regrets can eat a hole in the pit of one's stomach for things not done. All our lives we take our parents for granted but when they are not around anymore it is too late to be sorry for what we missed.

Love is an emotion that is not always shown. Americans are not huggy, kissy people, Europeans are.

I'm not ashamed to kiss my cousins (men) when I see them. There is nothing wrong expressing love such a way. What is wrong though is not expressing love at all. To hold it back because it is not proper or it shows weakness is totally wrong and regretful.

It doesn't mean Europeans are more loving it only means they just show it more. But it is nice to kiss one's Mom and there is nothing wrong to kiss one's Dad either.

I can not begin to tell how sorry I am now that when I had my chances to be with my parents I didn't. I was at the age when it was not cool to be seen with one's parents. I rather went with my friends than being with my parents.

I remember once I went to a movie theater with a girl and I met my parents in the lobby. It was an accident because they were not the kind who would have followed me there.

I coolly introduced them and went our separate ways. I was probably a little embarrassed for meeting my parents because I believed at the time that cool people have no visible parents.

I also remember that I always forgot Mother's Day. But my Mother never chastised me for it. Quietly accepted that I was a bum. But still loved me!

I believe that it is all of our solemn duty to respect our mothers every day of every year while they are among us and even after as long as we are among the living, and not just on Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

May 6, 2010

Today the Market dropped almost 1000 points, all within about five minutes. People who were watching it were stunned. Nobody understood what was happening.

But after another five minutes it started to revive itself and closed (only) 348 points down. It was very scary to watch what was happening.

Prior to the drop CNN was having life broadcast from Athens, Greece showing the street riots. Naturally, my first inclination was that maybe that caused this unexpected drop.

Later all the analyst came forward and explained it as a supposed erroneous trade by one of the major health companies. All this drop caused by somebody punching the wrong button.

If that was really the cause it means we are having in a very fragile financial system.

But on another TV network their analyst explained that the Greece was the cause of the drop. She also said that due to the bad financial situation several European countries are this kind of phenomena is not unexpected.

I like the first explanation which said it was human error that caused it. But this is a perfect example of no matter how many experts look at this they each will come up with their own interpretations.

So, who do you trust?

Maybe everybody should go out and buy a bottle of ouzo, that might help Greece's economy.


I love the security system this country has. It gives me so much confidence and feeling of safety.

It seems that no matter how much money is being spent on various security measures they are always a few steps behind. We know they are behind because the government keeps adjusting it to fill some newly found gaps they did not think of earlier.

How can I feel safe on a plane when some ya hoo brings aboard explosives in his underwear and nobody thought of checking.

How can I feel safe walking on the street when some ya hoo parks his SUV filled with explosives in the busiest area in our city and no professionals are around to catch it. It needed a street vendor with his eyes open to notice it.

How can I feel safe boarding a plane when the airlines had to update their no-fly list only every 24 hours. That meant that a sharp eyed terrorist was able to board any plane before his name ever got listed.

Sometimes I wonder who is more inefficient. The bumbling terrorist who (thankfully) can not execute his assignment or our security that can not discover the bumbling terrorist before his screw up.

The system is broken and it needs to be fixed. 20/20 hindsight is not permissible when our security and lives are at stake. But unfortunately nobody is able to realize it.

All these high priced experts walk around with their chests puffed out like a peacock and saying I am a security expert, I am a security expert.

Well, prove it damn it and prevent terrible things before they happen. Make us feel safe!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5, 2010

Today is cinqo de Mayo. All it means that today is the fifth of May. Why is this a date of importance I don't know and I really don't care.

It is a holiday in Mexico but since this is not yet Mexico it is absolutely of no importance to me. Tomorrow is the seis de Mayo. Are we celebrating that. too?

I just thought I'll say something about this.


I am sick and tired of hearing how great our first responders are. Those include the police the firemen and the paramedics.

These people are being non stop butt kissed. Why? All they do is what their jobs are. This is what they chose to do with their lives and now everybody have to bow down for them? It is ridiculous.

Any sane person who wants to be a policemen is either a danger addict or likes to go around and show off his authority. Any person who wants to be a policemen has to face the reality that he might never live to retire. That is part of the job description.

Today, in today's world the dangers magnified and a World Trade Center type terrorist attack is not beyond the realm of reality. Everybody from the President down believes it agrees with this.

That means that anybody who joins law enforcement or the fire department has to be realistic enough to know that his life might be forfeited at any given time if conditions warrant it.

Last Saturday they diffused a bomb on Times Square in a car that was part of a terrorist action. It was done very professionally and without anybody getting hurt.

But this is their job. This is what they are getting paid, this is what they supposed to be good at. So why the world has to kiss up to them and praise them like a demi god. Only Jesus walked on water they didn't. There is no reason to worship them.

They chose this line of work. They were educated and trained and I'm sure it was not inexpensive. So now they earned their keep. And I hope that if anything like this happens again in the future they will handle that situation with the utmost professionalism they exhibited Saturday.

When an engineer designs a building that houses thousands of people and that building will not collapse the engineer will not get an award. Because this is his job, this is what he was trained for and is getting paid for.

So let the adulation stop and let them return to oblivion where they are probably much more comfortable then being in the forefront.

The Mayor is so busy kissing up to them and commending their actions that it really makes me sick.

We have young men in Iraq and Afghanistan in uniforms who do this kind of bravery every day and we never hear about those. They get their decorations and life goes on.

It should not be any different here either. They all say that we are at war. Well then let's act like it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010

Is status quo good or bad?

Just to explain, status quo means the current existing state.

The question of the day is do we want to disturb the status quo?

And if we do, why?

Let's look at our own backyard. We are living our lives the way we are used to. We have our families, some have their jobs, we have our environment. No matter how we look at it, it is more or less comfortable

Everything we do is geared to own standards and what we are used to. So, why should we change that?

I know it would be great to win the Mega or any serious amount of money on the lotto. But can we handle it?

Can anyone imagine winning let's say two hundred million dollars? That amount of money is not just a new car and a new house. That amount of money is much more than life changing.

Could we be living that high on the hog? To get a box in the Metropolitan Opera, to shop at the best boutiques, to eat at the best restaurants, to get a limo with a driver, a staff to look after us at home. And that is just the "basic" rich stuff.

Could we be able to handle all that?

The answer in many of these cases is NO. People can not handle this kind of life changing. We hear more and more how lotto winners go into bankruptcy because they are not able to act responsibly with their newfound money.

We are all dreaming hitting at big at least once in our lifetime. But are we able to face the consequences that come with it?

There is a TV show called Extreme Makeover-Home Edition. In this show each week they rebuild the home of someone in dire need. The new home is totally furnished and given to the owner free and clear of any financial obligations.

Some people can not even handle the free home. It was in the news that some already had their new home repossessed because they put it up as collateral for loans.

Now let's go back to the original question. Do we want to disturb the status quo?

We all want to improve our standard of living. But to do it by ourselves or by a drastic outside effect are two different things.

But it is not always financial changes we are looking for.

Some people change their lives by leaving their life partners. Then they realize that they made a mistake and want to backpedal where they were before.

Some, many, people change jobs then they realize that the grass is not that green on the other side.

Should we be happy or content with what we have and be vary what the changes might bring forth?

I think it is human nature to be curious. We want to discover new things even at our own expense.

We all, including me, say let me win on the lotto and I'll be different than the other losers. I will know how to handle the shock of becoming a millionaire. We'll see!

But I guess choosing to disregard the status quo explains why some famous people have affairs with about twelve women.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3, 2010

When a prehistoric man wanted a woman he smacked her unconscious on the head with a club then took her to his cave and they lived there ever after. Happiness was invented (not discovered!) hundreds of thousands of years later.

This unattractive, yet honest courting method didn't change much in time except words and deeds replaced the club, and condos replaced the caves.

One might think today that the club was the better method.

Anyway, today men meet women or women meet men in various places. And, I only talk about the way it is here in our culture and not in other parts of the world.

There are school loves, there are blind dates, there are mutual friends, there are work places, there are bars and there are accidental meetings that lead to relationships.

Besides these there are countless other ways one might meet his or her future mate and reality shows don't count.

But meeting the other party is only the first step. To keep the relationship going is the hardest part. That is where both halves have to work at it, show some interest and also show some commitment.

Some people meet up only for fun and for a short term involvement some meet with a serious and possibly lifelong commitment in mind. The term lifelong today has a different meaning than the word itself implies.

But no matter what no two people are alike. I can not see a 'manual' on how to establish or keep a relationship going.

That's what make people unique. We are different from one and other. What might interest one person will leave somebody else totally blank.

What turns on one might be a turn off to someone else.

Now what prompted all this sociological diatribe? Because believe me, it was not very easy for me to come out with these smart thoughts.

There is a so called profession by the name of relationship expert. These people claim they know what drives us humans and how to avoid life's emotional potholes and navigate the labyrinth of love. (Wow!)

They claim to have the answer to all the mysteries of dating and maintaining relationships.

These claims are just as empty as the weatherman's claims that they know what kind of weather we can expect.

Relationship experts offer advice on TV, radio in magazines and probably in private counselings. Naturally all these are for fees, so it seems this is another money making service with absolutely no responsibility.

It is money making for the provider and not for the providee.

As they always say: it's a good country America!

But I still think the club (not the golf club) was a better way! Love could come later.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May 2, 2010

The other day I wrote an e-mail to Marshalls. This is a clothing store that prides itself selling designer stuff far below retail or rather far below anybody else.

They sell men's and women's items as well as many other household things.

What prompted me to write were two things.

One, I had nothing else to do.

Two, they are constantly advertising how nice their stores are and how much good quality merchandise they have that are fashionable and very low priced.

We had the chance to see a couple of their stores within the sphere of our shopping territory.

I have to tell you, they are disasters. The stores look like thrift shops. Salvation Army Thrift Shop looks better than Marshalls'.

The quality of their merchandise is very low. Designer names are in the eyes of the beholder. Just because they put a label on a piece of clothing with the name Joe it does not make it a designer item.

The stores are messy, disorganized and basically unpleasant.

This prompted me to write my e-mail.

I received a response from their Costumer Service rep that they appreciated my comments and it was forwarded to the right party for action.

Now either they will reorganize their stores or they will send someone to beat me up.

Or, they just ignore it like everybody else ignores everything.


I just love when people stick their noses to where they have absolutely no business.

This Arizona thing is growing by leaps and bounds.

The way I see it this immigration law is not an anti Latino law. But let's be realistic, Mexico is the home of Latinos. People who sneak across the Arizona border are Latinos. These illegals are Latinos. Simple as that.

It does not mean that all Latinos are bad and illegals. It just means that the ones coming across the border down there are happen to be Latinos.

This prompted every politician to get on the bandwagon and declare the Arizona law discriminatory and that Arizona is a racist state.

The people in New York should mind their own business. I'll bet most of the demonstrators who took part yesterday have no idea where Arizona is.

They just demonstrated because it was a nice day and there was something to demonstrate about.

New York is about twenty five hundred miles away from Arizona. New York is a border state but it borders Canada and it does not have the same illegal problems as Arizona has.

How can the people here understand what is happening down there. But that will not stop anybody to demonstrate. They will voice their objections regardless if they know the facts and what is really happening down there.

People in New York will tell Arizonians how they should live their lives.

I am not saying that the Arizona law is right or wrong. I am not a lawyer nor a politician. All I am saying is that people should mind their own business and put their own houses in order before telling others how to live their lives.

Americans have the tendency to tell everybody in this world how to live. We are so convinced that our way of life is superior to everybody else that we can not comprehend a lifestyle different than ours.

If it is different than it must be bad. That is the motto.

And this applies back home, too. New Yorkers and North Easters can not understand that life might be different in other parts of the country.

That is the beauty of this country. It is so huge that lives and customs differ in other states and we just have to accept it.

Europe comprises fifty different countries (just like our fifty states). Each and every country has its own history, language and customs. Most of these countries are much older than the US, most of them were around when good old Christopher Columbus discovered America.

Yet, nobody is complaining about their lifestyles and nobody is trying to change their habits.

It would be very comfortable if the whole world would speak only English and the entire world would be called The United World of America.

Then what would we demonstrate about?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May 1, 2010

Today is May 1 and it was as summery all day long as possible. It was sunny and it was hot. In short it was gorgeous.

We were very busy all day long, got home late and I was exhausted. Maybe the heat contributed to it.

What I am working up to is an excuse why I am not writing anything today.

But, tomorrow is another day.