Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Things guys over 30 should never do!

From Esquire:

1. Coin his own nickname.

2. Use a wallet that is fastened with Velcro.

3. Rank his friends in order of best, second best, and so on.

4. Hacky sack. [I need enligtening on this termonology]

5. Name his penis his name plus junior. [ this one I totally agree with! Hmm..., let your wife or girl name it instead!LOL]

6. Hang art with tape.

7. Hang The Scream, unless he stole it from the Munch museum in Oslo.

8. Ask a policeman, "You ever shoot anybody with that thing?"

9. Ask a woman, "Hey, you got a license for that ass?" [this one is lame!]

10. Skip. [Enough said - oh boy!]

11. Take a camera to a nude beach.

12. Let his father do his taxes.

13. Tap on the glass.

14. Shout out a response to "Are you ready to rock?" [even at a concert?]

15. Use the word collated on his resume.

16. Hold a weekly house meeting with roommates.

17. Name pets after Middle Earth characters.

18. Jokingly flash gang signs while posing for wedding photos.

19. Give shout-outs.

20. Use numbers in place of words or locations, such as "the 411" for information, or "the 313" for Detroit.

21. Hug amusement-park characters.

22. Wear Disney-themed neckties.

23. Wake up to a "morning zoo."

24. Compare the trajectory of his life with those of the characters in Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant."

25. Request extra sprinkles.

26. Air drum.

27. Choose 69 as his jersey number.

28. Eat Oreo cookies in stages.

29. Volunteer to be a magician's assistant.

30. Sleep on a bare mattress.

31. End a conversation with "later skater."

32. Hold his lighter up at a concert.

33. Publicly greet friends by shouting, "What's up, you whore?"

34. Wear Converse All Stars with a tuxedo.

35. Propose via stadium Jumbotron.

36. Decide anything based on the ruminations of Howard Stern.

37. Call "shotgun" before getting in a car.

38. Dispute someone else's call of "shotgun."

39. Whine.

40. Mist up during Aerosmith's "Dream On."

41. Purchase fireworks.

42. Google the word vagina.

43. Ride a pony.

44. Sport an ironic mustache.

45. Hit 13 against a 6.

46. Organize a party bus.

47. Say "two points" every time he throws something in the trash.

48. Buy a novelty postcard in another country of topless women on a beach and write, "Wish you were here" on it.

49. Keg stands.

50. Purchase home-brewing paraphernalia.

51. The John Travolta point-to-the-ceiling-point-to-the-floor dance move; also that one from Pulp Fiction.

52. Put less than ten dollars' worth of gas in the tank.

53. Keep a minuscule amount of marijuana extremely well hidden.

54. Read The Fountainhead.

55. Watch the Pink Floyd laser light show at a planetarium.

56. Refer to his girlfriend's breasts as "the twins."

57. Own a vanity plate.

58. Whippits.

59. Say goodbye to anyone by tapping his chest and even so much as whispering, "Peace out."

Friday, April 21, 2006

Thought for the Day

After a certain hour, the likelihood of something good happening diminishes. Between midnight and 1 a.m., bad begins to make its move. At 2 a.m., bad takes the lead. After 2 a.m., it's bad, by 20 lengths.

Horrible Crash in Germany!

Attached is a gut-wrenching picture of a horrible highway accident in Germany (taken by a friend of mine).

The picture may be harder on some people than others so be careful in passing it around. If you look closely you can see what appears to be some survivors still in the wreckage. Although the picture is graphic, it makes you realize how quickly our loved ones can be taken from us.

My friend stayed on the scene to help and even though he performed mouth to mouth on several of them, none survived.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tom Cruise-Crazier by the Hour

Too much money and free time must just completely mess with your head. I never thought Cruise could act worth a damn but if he is now auditioning for a role as unmitigated asshat, he should get an Oscar. God help this kid!

Mission Impossible star Cruise vows to eat placenta after birth
By Patrick Mulchrone

TOM Cruise yesterday revealed his latest bizarre eat his new baby's placenta.

Cruise vowed he would tuck in straight after girlfriend Katie Holmes gives birth, saying he thought it would be "very nutritious".

The Mission Impossible star, 43, said: "I'm gonna eat the placenta. I thought that would be good. Very nutritious. I'm gonna eat the cord and the placenta right there." It is the latest in a series of increasingly strange outbursts from Cruise in the run-up to the birth.

He has claimed the baby, due any day, will be delivered in total silence.

The Top Gun star also insisted he "sensed" fiancŽe Katie was pregnant before she told him.

And he has blurted out details of the couple's sex life, saying: "It's spectacular."

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The actor, who recently also claimed he has the power to cure drug addicts, has even been carrying out his own medical scans on the foetus after buying himself an ultrasound machine.

Silent birth is one of the rules of the cult of Scientology, which Cruise is devoted to.

The cult - founded by the late sci-fi writer L Ron Hubbard - claims that 75 million years ago aliens came to earth and their spirits now infest our bodies.

Cruise told GQ magazine Hubbard had discovered making a noise had a "negative spiritual effect" on someone giving birth. He insisted that 27-year-old Katie would be allowed to scream, adding cryptically: "It is really about respecting the woman. It's not about her screaming.

"And scientifically it is proven. Now there are medical research papers that say when a woman's giving birth everyone should be quiet."

Cruise also revealed he and Katie have been preparing for the birth by holding classes at their Beverly Hills home.

He said: "We've been studying what a woman goes through. What happens to her body. It's just kind of becoming this fun game of learning."

Cruise said his sex life with Batman Begins star Katie had made him realise one-night stands were "horrible".

He added: "Great sex is a by-product for me of a great relationship, where you have communication. It's an extension of that. If you're not in good communication with your partner, it sucks."

Cruise, who has two adopted children with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, will not be the first star to make a meal out of his baby's placenta.

Rod Stewart and girlfriend Penny Lancaster took home their baby's placenta, sprinkled it with tee tree oil and buried it in the garden.

In 1998, Channel 4 chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall fried a placenta with shallots and garlic and served it up to 20 guests, including the baby's mum and dad.

TV watchdogs later criticised the show, branding it "disagreeable".

But placenta-eating is considered normal in some cultures. Various recipes include one for placenta lasagne. Some say eating it helps avoid post-natal depression.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter

Friday, April 14, 2006

Vote Here for the World's Ugliest Dogs

Here's one entry-Tater Tot!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Happy Easter

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

France Surrenders!! To Themselves

Running out of nation-states to surrender to, France does the only thing left-surrenduring to itself! A simple law intended to make it easier to hire and fire workers during their first two years was met by violent riots and howls of protest, so France does what it does best-capitulate! Here's a story from the Washington Post that shows the pathetic work ethic and the pathology of the cradle to grave welfare state. Take a look at this dude Nicolas Dhelft- a real go-getter.

Modern Mind-Set Pays In Out-of-Date Market

By Molly Moore
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, April 11, 2006; A14

PARIS -- As teenagers in a middle-class suburb of Paris, Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet and Nicolas Dhelft shared the same circle of friends, attended the same parties and watched the same movies.

Today, seven years out of business school, Kosciusko-Morizet, 28, is president of one of the fastest-growing online sales companies in France. At a time when youth unemployment here is more than 22 percent, the young French executive, who started his career at a bank in Richmond, has added 50 workers to his payroll in the past six months -- most of them English-speaking engineers and technicians.

In contrast, Dhelft, 29, has worked only eight months since graduating from a liberal arts college with the dream of becoming a research director. He has received government welfare or unemployment benefits for most of the past four years, something he feels "a little bit" guilty about but believes the government owes him.

The story of the two friends who came of age on opposite sides of the French economy illustrates a generation torn between a need to embrace the globalized world of the 21st century and the fear of relinquishing the government security blankets of the 20th. The struggle has erupted in the streets of French cities during more than a month of protests over a new job law that has come to symbolize the country's economic, social and political disarray.

Under growing domestic pressure, on Monday the government withdrew the law, which allowed companies to fire workers under the age of 26 anytime during their first two years on the job.

But both Kosciusko-Morizet, who supported the law, and Dhelft, who opposed it, agree that it is not French regulations but a national mind-set that needs to change.

"Companies like mine someday will be the future of France," said Kosciusko-Morizet, sitting in his plate-glass crow's nest of an office overlooking the mammoth warehouse where 115 employees of process online sales of items including CDs and vintage wines. "But I don't see France really ready right now. It's not the laws -- it's the mentality."

Dhelft, a slight man with close-cropped hair and a sparse beard, grew up not far from the opulent Versailles palace in the suburban Paris town of the same name. He is typical of the many French youth who follow their hearts through college with a curriculum that is decades behind the current job market.

When he graduated with a degree in sociology, he discovered he could not even get a job interview at one major research institute without a reference from inside the company. The small, nonprofit groups he preferred had no jobs to offer. He enrolled in graduate courses and since finishing in 2003 he has made an admittedly less-than-aggressive effort to find a job -- seven or eight interviews.

"I could be sending out 10 résumés a day," said Dhelft, sitting at a Paris cafe, nursing a coffee as well as a wrist he sprained playing handball. "But it's not in my mentality. I'm more laid-back, and I'm not convinced sending 10 résumés a day would get more offers."

When he turned 25, Dhelft became eligible for welfare because he had never held a job. He received 350 euros a month, about $425.

Last year a nonprofit association where he interned in college offered him a seven-month job filling in for an employee on maternity leave. Dhelft earned 1,300 euros ($1,585) a month, and after the job ended he qualified for unemployment benefits for seven months at 750 euros ($915) each month. When the association called him back last January to substitute one month for an ill employee, Dhelft received partial unemployment pay -- 250 euros ($300) -- for the month he was working.

When his employment payments run out at the end of April, he will qualify once again for welfare because he won't be working or collecting unemployment.

Dhelft, who lives with his parents and volunteers as a handball coach for children, said of the government payment, "I don't feel bad taking it." He paused to reconsider, and conceded that perhaps he felt "a little bit" of guilt, but added, "I would feel more guilty if my parents had to pay everything for me." His mother is a homemaker and his father is an engineer for Peugeot, the French automaker.

Having his parents and the government payments as a financial crutch is "a double-edged sword," Dhelft said. "You are protected, but you tend to be too protected to do something."

"I disagree with those who say French young people are lazy and don't want to work," Dhelft said. "They want to work, but they want to work the French way -- with a 35-hour week and a steady job. People want to be able to plan for the future and think ahead."

He's watched the successes of some of his friends a bit wistfully.

"Some, like Pierre, had a very straight path with no problems and are very successful," he said. But that route wouldn't work for him, Dhelft said. "I don't like business in general."

Even so, a friend has told him about an opening at a bank. Three years ago, Dhelft would not have considered it. "I'm ready to lower my expectations," he said. "I don't have dreams anymore. I have to put aside my pride and dreams and make a living.

"My goal is to work at least a few years."

When Kosciusko-Morizet was growing up in the western Paris suburb of Sevres, he dreamed of flying his own plane. He assumed it would be far too expensive and difficult.

But as chief executive officer of, he discovered "you don't have to be a millionaire to fly a plane," you just need $6,000 for the lessons. Today he flies.

Kosciusko-Morizet uses that discovery in his crusade to persuade French college graduates to shed their fear of missing out on a lifelong job and plunge into entrepreneurship.

"They just don't think about it as something they can do," said Kosciusko-Morizet, his face sandwiched between brilliant copper hair and a thick reddish beard. "They think you have to be born rich, you have to have connections. They think it's too hard.

"It's not too hard -- I was not rich. I didn't have that many connections. I think it's a great way of life and a great adventure."

But Kosciusko-Morizet had the educational jump-start that set him apart from hundreds of thousands of other French students. He graduated from Ecole Hautes Etudes de Commerce, the most elite business school in a country where professional achievement frequently is determined by the status of the diploma.

And he is not without connections. His father, a career government administrator, is now mayor of his home town, and his great-grandfather was ambassador to the United States in the 1970s.

After graduating, Kosciusko-Morizet worked for a year at Capital One Bank in Richmond, honing skills he then took home to France. Just as the Internet bubble was bursting, he and four friends -- despite warnings that their timing was abysmal -- started an online sales company in France.

In the first two years, the number of transactions the company handled doubled every 2 1/2 months, and the business has continued to expand. Kosciusko-Morizet said now handles 20,000 transactions a day -- small by eBay standards, but significant by French ones. He estimates that in the past six years, it has helped 10,000 people launch new or second careers in sales. In November, he moved the company into a open-air warehouse once used to make huge balloons.

But fighting the French mind-set and labor laws designed to protect workers, rather than enhance commerce and competition, has been frustrating. To fire an employee "is expensive and it takes time," he said. "You hire 115 people and fire one, and you're seen as a bad guy. You're firing a guy who has a right to work."

Although Kosciusko-Morizet supports the government's new law, he doesn't think it could help his company: "You don't need two years to know whether an employee is good."

And he is not without sympathy for those like his friend, Nicolas. "It's important to have safety nets and social protections," he said. "You don't want to stop helping people who have difficulties, but you don't want to hand them too much. If you do, they will have less motive to find a job."

Kosciusko-Morizet said he tries to convince new graduates that running a business doesn't mean they have to give up the lifestyle so cherished by the French. "I don't think work is the most important thing in my life," he said. "I believe in family. I love music. I sing. One of my dreams is to become a singer."

Monday, April 10, 2006

Excuses, Excuses....

I've let this thing go to seed for the last month or so. It's been a hectic time-new boss; co-worker out on maternity leave; teaching; a week of court; moved our offices Friday and today and spring time allergies. Made a quick trip to South Carolina this weekend and cleared the head and sinuses and now it's already almost mid-April. There hasn't been a whole lot of time for this blogging thing. Perhaps some photos this week will get me back on track. Hope to be back full-time soon.