Category: Gear

I accidentally entered a bike race

“Withnail & I.”  Classic film by any measure.  Yet almost entirely ignored Stateside.  Everybody’s loss, I suppose.  Because the “we’ve gone on holiday by mistake” line is only one of what seems like a billion killer lines from the movie.  Quotable films extend beyond Will Ferrell’s fare, you guys.

And that’s the scene that conjured up in my head this morning.  This morning that came far too quickly after a night celebrating a friend’s birthday the night before.  The night before wasn’t conducted with a great deal of consideration of what this Sunday morning was going to bring.  It was, after all, a friend’s milestone birthday and we were going to celebrate it properly.  A catered dinner, wine that gushed from many bottles, coolers filled to brim with PBR, and a firepit out back that welcomed everyone outside on a frosty late-summer night.  And of course, there were cigars.  Of course.

So I got to bed at around 1am only to have to wake up around 5:30am.  Why?  Because weeks earlier, I had signed up for the Tour de Greenwich 20-mile ride.  What the fuck.

So, groggy, tired, and carrying a mild hangover, I hitched a ride with some friends up to Greenwich for this ride.  I didn’t mind too much because it’s only a 20-mile ride, and it’ll be a casual morning ride.  I was forewarned of a “nasty climb” at one point of the ride, but I shrugged it off as no big deal.  I mean, it’s not Alpe d’Huez, it’s fucking Greenwich – what’s the big deal.

When we got to the event, I looked around and saw the obligatory collection of rabid cyclists.  You know the sort.  The sort who shave their legs, who wear fully synchronized bologna suits; they ride carbon bikes that cost more than my car, and they nerd over their wattage, VO2 max, and electrolyte intake.

If somebody needs to nerd over shit that like, better them than me.  ‘Cause I fail to follow any of those cycling rules that govern such discipline in the sport.  I ride on the road with baggy shorts, I use mountain bike shoes and pedals, I rarely shift gears, and my bike has a flask holder.

Ti gearie

So, when I rolled up to the registration table, I was given a number to pin on with the instruction, “You’re in the second heat.”

Wait, what?  What second heat?  What “heat”?!  Turns out, the Tour de Greenwich wasn’t a casual ride through Greenwich at all.  Not at all like the NYC 5 Boro ride, or any of the other individual borough tours.  This was a fucking race!

I had accidentally entered a bike race.

RollersI looked around and started to take stock of all the people around me.  Guys were on their bikes doing short sprints in the parking lot.  Other guys had shot off to do a recce of the start of the course.  Some guys had hauled out their rollers and trainers and were spinning in place next to their cars.  I was in a sea of spandex.

Holy shit.

Realizing there was little I could do about this, I decided to that I was going to ride this the way I had planned to ride it all along – cruising around the 20 miles or so around Greenwich to admire the mansions, the huge tracts of land, and take in the morning scenery.  Fuck the race, I wasn’t prepared for a race, I wasn’t going to even try to “race” this thing.  The last bike race I did, it was a mountain bike race, and I came in about 20 minutes after everyone else.  I’m not cut out for this racing bollocks.

Tour de Greenwich start

Around 7:45am, the second heat were called up to the start line. Thick silence all around me.  Everyone was taking this serious as shit.  I started to giggle at how out of place I was.  I took a swig of scotch from the flask on my bike.  After about 3 minutes, they sounded the start, and the rapid clack-clack-clack of everyone’s clipless pedals accompanied the forward motion.  The road went straight, then a 90-degree turn to the left, and it immediately started to climb uphill.  Oh, for fuck’s sake.

I would later learn that the entire course was effectively 10 miles uphill, then 10 miles downhill to the finish.  Since I wasn’t going to race, I slinked to the right and let everyone fly past me.  Then I cruised along the course around lovely Greenwich and took in the sights.  And worked off the hangover.  And it was magnificent.  These enormous mansions all around me.  Some mansions had adjacent cottages.  Some of those cottages had their own cottages.  There were horses, there were farms, there were houses that looked like Hogwarts.

And the whole time, I kept thinking, what’s the fucking rush, you guys?  If I had ridden faster (I couldn’t ‘cause I’m fat and slow, and was still coughing up my cigar from the night before), I’d have missed all these sights.

I took the time to slow down, wave, and say hi to all the course marshalls and cops.  No one appreciates the thankless job they do.  Instead of tucking in, I would use my brakes on the downhills because I wanted to check out the ‘hood.  The only time I put the hammer down was when I got to this so-called “nasty hill”.  And holy shit was it completely ridiculous.  I checked the map and it says that it’s a 10.6% gradient.  I don’t know what the fuck that means, but it was every bit like climbing a wall on your bike.  Straight up.  Thankfully it wasn’t a long climb, and I just pounded my legs to crank up that sumbitch.  When I got to the top, I felt like my heart and lungs were going to explode out of my chest while I simultaneously shit my pants (I didn’t).

After about an hour and quarter, I reached the finish line.  Naturally, my other friends had all finished much earlier and had posted massively respectable times.  They’d docked their bikes on top of the cars, and they were already breaking out the coffee, the donuts, and they had the music was cranking from their cars.  A genius amongst us had the foresight to bring beer.  Now, since this was 9am, the beer was flavored with maple bacon.  Breakfast beer, perfect!

Coffee, donuts, and beer

So, in the end, the ride finished exactly how I had treated the whole thing.  To earn an excuse to stuff my face with donuts, drink beer at sun-up, and treat the whole thing as a goof.  Because I fucking goofed up by not realizing that I’d signed up for a goddamn race.

The next time, I ought to do a better job reading the descriptions to these things.



Road Noob: Part 2


CONTINUED FROM Road Noob: Part 1


When I resolved to buy a road bike, you wanna talk about a smorgasbord of simultaneous emotions.  I was fucking bummed because I thought I was “resigning” or “downgrading” to a road bike (because, you know, mountain bikes are fuckin’ ‘ard).  I was thrilled because, holy shit, a shiny new bike!!  And I was dreading the inevitable “WTF, another bike?!” from the missus.  Ugh.

In the end, I bit the bullet and nailed a titanium road bike.  Oooh, titanium… so ‘90s.  Every fucker out there’s on a carbon fiber bike these days.  Titanium is so, so passé.  They’re the harem pants of road bikes.  But because I’d come from a mountain biking background, where everything is about durability – because let’s face it, you’re gonna fuck shit up when you’re trying to ride a bike across rocks and streams and logs and badgers – the idea that my fat and clumsy ass might inevitably shatter a carbon fiber frame scared the living shit out of me (reality check: carbon’ll hold up just fine).  Theory being that I can get titanium re-welded if I fuck it up.  If I fuck up a carbon fiber frame, all I’m getting an ass full of carbon fiber shrapnel.  Fuck that.

Nevermind that it’s impossible to choose from all the carbon fiber bikes out there.  There are thirty gajillion models to choose from, how the fuck do you make sense of it all.  Narrowing it down from only a handful of titanium options made the whole process more manageable.  [Let’s, for the time being, ignore the fact that there’s really nothing wrong with a carbon bike, I just wanted a titanium frame to be different.  OK?  OK.]

So I got the bike.  Off I go, right?  Fuck no.

There’s a lot of shit to work out when you make a wholesale change to what bike you’re riding.  Going from mountain bikes to road bikes is not like going from white toast to whole wheat.  It’s more like going from a rack of ribs to a salad.

As a result, I’ve had to relearn a shit ton of new things about cycling.  Things like:

HelmetHelmets.  Mountain bike helmets typically have a bill (visor).  I have no idea why but they do.  All the riding I’ve ever done has been under a canopy of woods, so I have no idea what that bill’s shielding me from.  And I’ve been using the same mountain bike helmet model for over a half-dozen years.  It’s the only helmet I use when riding my Frankenstein bike on the road.  Mainly because I’m already riding a completely unconventional fucked up monstrosity.  A mismatched mountain bike helmet? Perfect!  But roadies don’t wear billed helmets.  Oh no.  Roadie helmets have a billon vents and are made of carbon fiber (again!) and cost a trillion dollars.  Oh no, what to do!  Fuck it, I bought a road helmet.  I’m such a goddamn sucker.

On One MidgeHandlebars.  My Frankenstein bike has these cool flared dropbars (above).  They look a bit weird, but they’re massively comfortable.  This new road bike has conventional dropbars.  Ugh, another goddamn thing I’ve gotta (re)learn.

Saddle.  All my mountain bikes have exactly the same saddle.  That’s what my ass likes, so that’s what my ass gets.  All these road bikes seem to come with these thin wafer saddles.  Different saddles for different rides, I get it.  I guess they have little need for all that taint-saving structure on mountain bike saddles.  But which one to use?  This one’s thin, but is it thin enough?  That one’s narrow, but is it narrow enough?  WTF.

Road bike tiresTires.  So, so many tire choices.  With mountain bikes, I got quite good at understanding the tires.  There’s visual common sense that plays a big part.  Different tires have different tread patterns.  You can make a pretty well educated guess on how different tires will work on different terrains.  Makes tire selection not an entirely complicated affair.  Road bike tires?  There are four trillion models out there and they’re all slick.  How the fuck do you tell what’s a good tire and what’s a shit tire?  Getting up to speed on road tires has been a fucking tedious affair.  Also, I used to be able to score brilliant mountain bike tires for about $30 pop.  Why the fuck do road tires cost $80 a pop?  I blame the overall roadie populace for willingly overpaying for all sorts of shit.

Pedals.  Fuck road pedals.  Road pedals are big and clunky and they all use these massive cleats bolted to the sole of your cycling shoes.  And of course, these cleats aren’t compatible with mountain bike shoes.  Of course.

Shoes.  Fuck road shoes.  These things look like ass, with all the ratchets and straps.  And they all have these slick soles that’ll guarantee you’ll slip and bust your ass when you’re off the bike.  Speaking of off  the bike, those massive cleats on slick road shoes make you walk like a duck that’s just shit his pants.  I’m sticking with my mountain shoes and mountain pedals.

Shorts.  Roadies and their fucking bologna-skin outfits.  Mountain riders wear baggy shorts.  I’ve never worn anything but baggy shorts when I ride.  My ass is too fat to wear skintight lycra shorts without some modesty shorts to hide behind.  Fuck you, I’m riding with baggy shorts.

So much shit to think about.  So many rules…  Ahhh yes, “The Rules”

Velominati“The Rules” are a crowdsourced “sacred doctrine” devised by the brilliant cycling iconoclastic site, Velominati.  Velominati’s “The Rules” are fucking ace.  They’re hilarious.  But they’re also the quintessential road cycling commandments.  I love rules for things.  But while I love how fucking hardcore some of the rules are, there’s just no fucking way I’m adhering to all of them.

Because whether roadies want to admit or not, there’s a roadie mold, and it chaps my taint and I’m not doing it.  I’m not riding with a fucking heart rate monitor.  I’m not measuring my cadence.  I never want to know what a VO2 max reading means.  I sure as fuck am not shaving my legs.  I’m never wearing a bib.  I’m riding with sleeveless jerseys when it’s 100-degrees out.  I’m gonna keep wearing baggy shorts.  And I’ll keep riding with booze onboard.

I’m just gonna go out there and ride this stupid bike.



  • This morning, I saw a dad checking to see if his kid had a poopy diaper.  No biggie, just pulled the top band and peeked into the kid’s crack.  I’m so fucking grateful I never ever have to do that again with my kids.  The next time I have to do this with my kids, the roles are gonna be reversed.
  • It should be perfectly alright to make fun of a guy who wears pleated trousers.
  • If you shoot a video with your camera phone in vertical orientation, the phone should prompt you, “Are you sure you wanna shoot it this way, stupid?”
  • It is entirely too fucking soon to have pumpkin beer on the shelves.  It’s fucking August, for fuck’s sake.  First of all, pumpkin beer is for assholes, so let me get that out of the way.  Beer needs to taste like beer, not like a pie.  There are rules for this shit.  But if you must stock pumpkin-flavored beer, August is too soon.  Everyone bitches when Santa shoves his ass into our faces by Halloween – selling pumpkin beer before Labor Day is exactly the same fucking thing.  Fuck off with pumpkin beer.
  • You know what I really need?  A Michigan filter.  This time of year, every insufferable Michigan fan farts their fandom to make sure that everyone knows that they went to Michigan.  Fuck Michigan.   No one – NO ONE – is more annoying than a Michigan fan.  They go on about the motherfucking Big House.   Good one, Michigan – the prison metaphor fits you assholes perfectly.  Yet, you’re like boneheaded Raider fans who are too pussy to earn proper criminal records.  “Go Blue” is such a fucking stupid pointless chant.  Last time I checked, this little bitch team had two colors – blue and yellow (fuck off with your “maize” – that’s corn, motherfucker).  Why the fuck are you ignoring the yellow?   Dipshit NY Giants fans also holler “Go Blue”, so way to go, Michigan.  Way to set yourselves apart.  Fuck Michigan.

See this picture?  One’s my phone and the other’s my coffee mug.  Somehow I’m really into shit like that.  Shit that looks like some other shit.

That cassette tape phone cover has brought on countless conversations with complete strangers.  Perplexed strangers who squint at first with half confusion, half “what’s-this-asshole-doing-with-a-cassette-tape”.  Then they realize what it is, and then I’m dogged with shitloads of “Dude, where’d you get that?”  That’s not to say that I’m stupid enough to think that this phone cover wouldn’t fetch some attention when I got it.

Same thing with the coffee mug.  When I first saw it online, I knew I had to get one so I ordered it right away.  I ordered it while I was at a photo shoot in L.A.  So I took the opportunity to show it to my photographer.  Turns out, these designs had been around for a while, and he had already had one.  Stupid me, thinking I could actually show off photography paraphernalia to an accomplished photographer.  He would put the lens-shaped coffee mug in with his other real lens collection, then he’d pick up the mug and hurl it across the room to his unwitting and unprepared assistant, who’d invariably drop the mug, and shriek in horror thinking she’d just fumbled and destroyed a four-figure lens.  Photography hijinks, oh what hilarity.

I realized that I’d been after this certain aesthetic my whole life.  Taking something for which it was not intended and using it for another completely different purpose.  Why I’m so fascinated by this practice, I have no idea.  But I’ve been trying this forever.

I go into a hardware store, and I’ll do shit like wander into the plumbing section – not because I have any interest, capacity, or need to fix anything in my bathroom.  It’s because I’m looking to see if I can repurpose gadgets or parts for my mountain bikes or some other toy I have around the house.  I was once in a boating shop looking for some boat mending compound to patch up a hole in my paddleboard  (long story, don’t ask), and I spent an hour in that place after I found the compound because I kept coming up with ways to repurpose all the stuff in that store.

I once needed a new coffee table.  And since I couldn’t find a coffee table that I liked, I had an idea of using a sectioned trunk of a felled tree.  I was just going to drive around a drag one off the side of the road if I found one.  I wanted to put some polyurethane finish on it, affixing four caster wheels at the bottom, and call it a coffee table.  I’d leave the bark on and everything.  Like a big tree steak.  A slice of tree stump in the middle of the living room, as a coffee table.  How fucking cool is that shit (don’t answer that).  Well, the missus wanted no part of it.  Hard to imagine why she wouldn’t want some discarded tree in the middle of the living room.  Dream = dead.

But let’s get one thing straight here – I fucking loathe all that hacky shit that you find in SkyMall catalogs.  Shit like table lamps that have hidden cameras or lawn furniture that turn into sprinklers or what not.  That’s the sort of awfulness that makes the rest of the world hate us with the fury of a billion jihads.  That shit’s just not on.

No, I’m fascinated by repurposing.  If that is what I’m doing here, I’m not sure.   Maybe I need to feed some manner of creative chicanery.

So why do I keep looking for this shit?  Maybe I have some innate need to be deceptive.  “This is not what you think it is.”  These are not the droids you’re looking for.  Is that it?  I’m into trickery and chicanery?  If so, what the fuck does that say about my character?  Holy shit.

And where does it end?  The day I come home with a crepe maker that’s fashioned out of a Technics turntable is probably the day I’ve crossed the line with this bollocks.


I can’t believe that Jack White’s been around for about 15 years now.  But when you stop to consider all his different projects in, between, and after The White Stripes, you start to realize – how did he ever find the time to put so much music out in such little time?

In 15 years, we’ve been treated to ample servings of The White Stripes, two albums from The Raconteurs, another two from The Dead Weather.  And that’s not counting the many albums he’d produced for other artistes (like Wanda Jackson), all the collaborations with different artistes  (like Danger Mouse or Alicia Keys), and running his own record label, Third Man Records.  Now, we have his long-awaited debut solo album, “Blunderbuss”.

Jack White III sure is an industrious thirtysomething.

That said, Jack White’s offering has been pretty much the same the past decade-and-a-half.  No matter what band or collaboration he’s in, at the very core, he’s an obsessive white boy from Detroit who plays deep Mississippi blues.  White confessed that his entire sound has been developed on the basis of chasing the Son House sound.  Son House is Jack White’s great white whale.

But look at how he’s brilliantly packaged the Jack White brand so differently over the years.  We’ve always known about The White Stripes’ persistent red and white aesthetic, but I hadn’t didn’t realize how seriously he had engineered that persona until the New York Times Magazine article in which he divulged that The White Stripes walked away from their first label offer because the record company wanted to put their green logo on the spine of The White Stripes’ album.  That would never do for Jack White, he told the record company to get fucked, The White Stripes walked, and the rest is Grammy history.


When White set up his side project, The Raconteurs, he quickly established a different aesthetic: bronze.  In live shows, White would play bronze-colored Gretsch guitars wired through bronze-colored pedals.  The first album would feature a bronze-colored frame.  All of which was to remind you that you were suddenly listening to another Jack White band not called The White Stripes that demanded your attention.

(Source: Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN via

For his other side project, The Dead Weather, White would make yet another shift in his color palette.  Everything about The Dead Weather was black and white.  He would play a large Gretsch White Falcon, as would Jack Lawrence, the band’s bass player.  The band would frequently wear only black when playing live.

White’s record company, Third Man Records, bears a black-and-yellow theme.  The website, the employees in his Nashville record shop, all of it.  Jack White’s attention to the power of color isn’t limited to just his bands.

This week, we see the release of Jack White’s debut solo album, “Blunderbuss”.  And with that, of course we’re treated to another spectral branding of the artiste – Jack White has entered his Blue Period.

When you listen to “Blunderbuss”, it is unmistakably Jack White.  Sure, it doesn’t sound anything like The White Stripes (I feel “Blunderbuss” probably closest to a Raconteurs album), but the Jack White DNA is unmistakable.

Through all these iterations, Jack White hasn’t metamorphasized.  He’s stayed the same, he’s been faithful to his sound.  Unlike Madonna or Primal Scream through the years (can’t fucking believe I just compared Madonna with Primal Scream – just kill me now).  Jack White is Jack White is Jack White.  No matter what the aesthetic on the outside, he’s still Jack White doing the Jack Whitest things in the Jack Whitest ways.  Yet, his red-and-white guise is a different animal from his bronze guise, which in turn is different from his black-and-white guise, and so on.  I can’t wait to hear his Lone Ranger soundtrack.

Who else is as carefully thought out at Jack White these days?

Regardless of how “Blunderbuss” does (I’m sure it’ll sell just fine), surely that sort of attention to design has got to count for something in the Gobi desert that is the global music scene.

Jack White = fucking genius.



This evening’s silly conversation:

TW:  “Dude, when was the last time you used a QR code?”

Me:  “Actually, the last time I used one was this weekend.”

TW:  “Really?  What for?”

Me:  “Well, I bought a new coat and it boasted some fucking snazzy heat-reflection technology bullshit.  And it came with a tag with a QR code on it.  So I clicked the code and a video played on my phone showing how this heat-reflection technology worked.”

MS:  “And that was the clincher?  The video?”

Me:  “No, the clincher was that the coat cost $25.  Where the hell are you gonna find some space age coat for $25?”

TW:  “I dunno, I hate QR codes.”

Me:  “No, don’t hate QR codes.  QR codes are great.  QR codes are fucking awesome.  Hate the douchebags who misuse QR codes, don’t hate the codes.  I love clicking on a code, and then it takes me to some cool content that probably can’t be accessed some other way.  That’s the whole point of QR codes.  That’s when QR codes are cool as fuck.  Instead, 99 times out of 100, what happens when you get when click on a QR code?  You’re taken to some stupid homepage.  Like I need your fucking code to take me to your homepage, especially when you put the code right next to your URL – assholes.  And half the time, it’s not even a mobile site, and everything’s fucking microscopic on your screen.  Die, you mobilephobic site, die.  Or you’re taken to something that takes a day and a half to load.  Or you see a QR code in a subway car – what fucking genius thought that one up?!  It’s just such a gross misuse of QR codes.

“I tell you what – QR codes are the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade of the digital world.  You have something that’s all nice and cool and properly organized for you – you get to drink in the streets for an entire day, for fuck’s sake! – and you have an opportunity to do lots fun and cool shit with it, make it somewhat exclusive or special… But instead, you act like a complete imbecile and you misuse and abuse the fucking thing, and you treat it like a little bitch, and you end up puking all over your girlfriend’s sister and her best friend, and wind up in the ER, and eventually, the mayor’s gonna come around and say, ‘Fuck you, this is why you can’t have nice things, you shitheads.’  And this is why QR codes need to die.”


Everyone:  “What is wrong with you.”


iPad-reading pedestrians.  It’s one thing to have dipshits walking around reading the paper or some book – it’s perfectly OK to stick your foot out as you walk by to try and trip them, that’ll teach ‘em to walk and read.  It’s a whole ‘nother thing to have some pretentious wank walking around while reading his iPad.  Every time I see one of these assholes, I feel compelled to bat that precious iPad out his hands, just to see the horror on his face watching that stupid thing shatter all over the sidewalk.  This morning some girl reading her iPad walked right into my arm, and the iPad smacked her on the nose.  Soooo satisfying!

People who board subway trains before letting people off.  I’m a bit of a germaphobe when it comes to public places.  Which means I don’t fucking touch jack shit when I’m riding the subway.  I keep my hands stuffed into my pockets, or I keep my arms folded.  The latter has a brilliant benefit of mercilessly elbowing shitheads who barge into a subway car while I’m trying to leave it.  Fuck you, you’re going to wait for me get out first or you’re going to get a sharp elbow right into your goddamn sternum.  It’s too bad I’m short – I’d love to take an elbow to the face of some of these rude bargers.  Fuck ‘em.

Audi drivers.  The other day I was riding my bike and I hear a car revving hard from behind and blowing his horn repeatedly at me.  I get well fucked off with this shit – people blowing their horns at me for good fucking reason.  So I did what came instinctively – I flipped him off.  This fucking guy – in his Audi S4 – pulls up alongside me and starts scream, “HOW DARE YOU GIVE ME THE FINGER!!  MEET ME AT THE CORNER, I’M GONNA BEAT THE SHIT OUTTA YOU!!”  Really, asshole?  I have a theory about Audis.  It’s like all the shithead BMW drivers give up their leases 3-4 years ago, and they all went lemming-like to Audis.  Audi drivers are the new asshats of the road.  Need some proof?  Gladly.

I took this shot at the long-term parking at JFK.  There’s a large lamp post in the middle of this parking spot (way to go, JFK).  But fuck if that’s going to stop this Audi driver from parking his ridiculous 4×4 into this sliver of a parking space.   And he backed it in!




And just for fun, here’s a bonus picture of an R8 I grabbed off Jalopnik.  The example of fine German engineering is parked across two parking spots – one of compacts, and one for motorcycles.  Makes you want to key every Audi you see.






Fans of the Mets, the Jets, and Rush.  I’ve banged on enough about the Jets and the Mets, I think.   The interesting bunch here are the Rush fans.  This past holiday season I was at two parties on successive nights.  At the first party, I saw complete strangers (me included) strike off remarkable conversation and friendships by simply agreeing that a) Rush are insufferable, and b) Geddy Lee is the worst singer in the world.  It was a fascinating evening – it’s like you knew that you could settle into some conversation and camaraderie because you were all able to so easily agree on one thing.   At the second party, I spent about half an hour with a good friend trying to dissect between the ability to hate Rush and the need to appreciate Rush’s talent but simply not like their music.  They’re the same fucking thing.  That’s like saying you can’t possibly hate Hitler because shit, he was a charismatic speaker, you can’t deny that.  Yes, I believe I just compared Rush to Hitler.  What cracks me is how any Rush fan is pretty much a Rush apologist.  Their fans spend more time trying to validate why Rush don’t suck than I do trying to shit on Rush.

Droid phone users.  And speaking of apologists, the biggest, saddest group of apologists in the world are these Droid phone users.  Do you ever see iPhone users constantly bang on about how great the stupid iPhone is?  No, you don’t – because iPhone users just buy the fucking things and use them, and they just get on with it, and they seem quite satisfied (when they’re not whinging about AT&T, that is).  Droid users on the other hand seem to take any fraction of an opportunity to yammer on about how awesome their Droid phones are and how their Droid phones can do all this shit that iPhones can’t do.  Calm down, no one gives a shit about your stupid Droid phone.  You’re never going to convince an iPhone user that your stupid phone is better than the overpriced and incredibly fragile mobile device that Steve Jobs shat upon mankind.  You just aren’t.  So please shut the fuck up about your stupid phone now.  Nobody cares.

The Amish.  ‘Cause they’re never going to read this, amirite?

Middle-aged potheads.  Seriously, it’s just sad.  It’s one thing if you’re blowing the bone when you’re a kid.  But when you’re a graying, middle-aged wank?  Puh-fucking-leeze.  Blazing up when you’re past 50 just tells me that you lack imagination, still relying on weed to get baked.  Shit, I still drink but I sure fuck don’t exactly drink what I drank when was in high school or college.  Like fuck I’m gonna be doing shots of Jaeger or pounding Natty Lights.  Not by choice, at least.  So, if you’re middle-aged and you still insist on getting high, move on to heavier shit like heroin, or knock it the fuck off.  It’s just embarrassing (unless you’re Willie Nelson).

People who give lottery tickets as gifts.  Seriously, what is that.  It is so much worse than not giving someone a gift.  That’s like telling the person you gave the tickets to, “Hey, I give so little shit about your shitty gift that I’d rather not give you the cash equivalent of it, I’ll give that to the Bangladeshi man at the corner deli who sold me these lottery tickets, which will have a far greater than average chance that the coin you use to scratch them is worth exponentially more than what these colorful pieces of paper will ever be.  Fuck you very much, dickhead!”

Escalator standers.  “I hate people who don’t walk on escalators. An escalator is there to help you walk faster, not to avoid walking entirely, you fat useless hump.”  – Anthony Bourdain brings the pain.

In college, one of my fraternity brothers bestowed this nugget of wisdom with me – teams’ performances often match the appeal of their uniforms.  Well, he didn’t exactly say it that way.  He was more like, “Teams with shitty uniforms never fucking win.”  Then he probably puked out the window after downing a case of Natty Light in our booze-free dorm.

So, yet another unoriginal idea from me, then.  Still, I’ve always kept this concept in the back of my head as I follow different sports season in, season out, year in, year out.  And you know what – he was fucking right.

Since I work in a creative industry (hah!), I’m always drawn to aesthetics.  I think it’s mostly because I probably always wanted to be a creative person.  But since I don’t do well with rejection (“What the fuck do you mean you don’t like my idea of midgets swimming with eels as an idea to sell penis pills?!”), I never pursued it properly.  Doesn’t stop me from always judging things by their aesthetics.  You don’t have to be Steve fucking Jobs to constantly see that things can work and look better.  Case in point: bigger boobs win almost all the time.  You know I’m right.

Anyway, shitty uniforms.  My buddy Keith was fucking right – teams with shitty uniforms don’t win shit.  The sport world is absolutely littered with examples to support this.

Look at the Denver Broncos.   I’m not talking about Jesus H. Tebow.  This pre-dates him by over a decade.  This involves his boss upstairs.  Again, not talking about God, let it go already.  John Elway, bitches.  That shitty orange and royal blue with the snorting horse in the D cursed Elway for almost his entire career.  Thank fuck they went to the Cyber Bronco design just in time.  Design change = instant Super Bowls.  Two of ‘em, in fact.


[Side note:  While I’m so, so fucking tired of the zoo that is Tebow Time, I just need to say that if Tebow was as fucking pious as he keeps telling us, he wouldn’t have been a professional football player.  This fucker chooses the one profession outside of the clergy that absolutely requires that you work on the Sabbath.  What a dick.]

More evidence?  The Tampa Bay Bucs had the pussiest orange uniforms ever.  They were completely and utterly useless.  Until they went to the pewter helmets and red jerseys.  And they dropped the creamsicle color, the stupid swashbuckler and went with a proper pirate logo. Sure, they became much more cartoonish – they have a pirate ship with real working cannon right there in their stadium! – but that swashbuckler was such a douchebag logo.  And wasn’t (isn’t?) Jon Gruden a real-life cartoon anyway?  In any case, new uniforms = Super Bowl.

Speaking of naff-looking mascots, I present the fucking New England Patriots.  Look what happened when they dropped Paul Bunyan Revere (EDIT: idiot moment) in a three-point stance.  Flashy silver helmet, stylized logo that’s not vomit-inducing = dynasty.  Granted, it’s a dynasty of voodoo-wielding, peeping tom assholes.  But a dynasty is a dynasty anyway you get it.


A subtler, less successful example would be the Philadelphia Eagles.  The Eagles went from looking like green M&Ms to that slick-looking hunter green – it’s just a much cooler shade of green, isn’t it.  With that new green, they consistently marched into the playoffs (in 2011, it appears that the new uniform mojo has completely worn off).  Fuck Andy Reid, it was the uniforms.

On the other hand, teams that constantly change their colors and/or logos deserve to fuck right off.  The most egregious offenders?  The MLB and the NBA.  Bar none.  How many times have the Texas Rangers, the Arizona Diamondbacks, or the Houston Astros changed their team colors?  Or the Milwaukee Bucks or the New Jersey Nets (Brooklyn represent!)?  Fuck ‘em.  Pick your goddamn colors and stick with them.  Learn to create a fucking legacy instead of trying to be like the sports equivalent of InStyle magazine.

So by definition, if teams with cool uniforms do more winning, then the reverse has to be true – teams with shitty uniforms don’t win shit.  This elite class of failures is practically overrun with willing participant teams: the New York Mets and Jets (spiritually these two are the exact same team who happen to play with different-shaped balls), the aforementioned Milwaukee Bucks, the New York Islanders, the Miami Dolphins (their stupid cetacean is wearing a goddamn helmet… on a helmet), and the reigning king of retarded uniforms, the University of Maryland football team.  Listen, you half-shell fuckwits, if you’re gonna show up on the field looking like a truck full of Skittles slammed into your locker room before the game, you’re gonna get your asses kicked like the goddamn clowns you resemble.

Now I’m off to figure out what I can wear with my University of Texas sweatshirt which I made the mistake of buying when I visited Austin.  That burnt orange color is bullshit and matches with NOTHING.


Sorry about the title, I couldn’t be arsed to come up with a theme to cover the five things below:


The other week, we had lunch brought into the office – the shallow thrill of a “working lunch”! – and the countertop on which the lunch was laid out had a ton of these white cans huddled together. It took a while for me to realize that regular Coke and Diet Coke are now the same fucking color.  What packaging design whiz in Atlanta decided that this was a clever idea?  Also, was the entire legal department out on vacation that week?  Imagine the one diabetic kid who reaches for regular Coke thinking it’s a Diet Coke, then collapses into a diabetic coma?  All because of these fuckheads at Coke never once thought that making the regular and sugar-free versions of their most popular drink the same color was a poor idea.  Nevermind the diabetic kid, why the fuck are you guys making it so fucking hard for the rest of us to pick between diet and full fat?  Assholes.


And speaking of lunch, here is a picture of an Italian sub I picked up the other day.  Yes, that is exactly what you think it is – fake foreign newsprint used to wrap up my sandwich.  Holy shit, the print medium is so fucking dead that even real newspapers are being rejected for this highly disposable purpose.  The fact that the fake newsprint had a big “London” printed on it only served to aggravate me further – as if a fake British paper will infuse some sense of quirky “authenticity” to my hastily made sandwich.  It’s not even printed on regular paper; it’s like parchment paper.   As if to further mimic how newspapers go all translucent when the grease from the sandwich soaks into it.  Wow, just like a proper, greasy chip shop in Essex!  Kindly fuck off, sir.


When has the gaudy-tie-on-a-black-shirt-with-a-light-suit look ever worked for anyone?  EVER?!  Granted, the flagrant nose pick does complete the look, I will give you that.


This knife is the single-most loathsome thing in my kitchen.  It’ll also bring no surprise whatsoever that this is wifey’s favorite knife in our collection.  Of course.  She insists on trying using this stupid little knife with the perfectly flat edge to cut everything.  Meanwhile, THIS PIECE OF SHIT CUTS NOTHING!  Try as hard as you will, but that straight edge will fail to make a clean cut through jello.  Frankly, I have more success slicing tofu with a hammer.  Look at that stupid flat edge.  Fuck the idea that the tried and true design of having a knife edge that curves and tapers at the tip works perfectly well 99.99% of the time.  Like the big fuck-off knives that I like to use.  The sort that I’m constantly sharpening (dull kitchen knives are the assholes of the kitchen countertop).  But those just won’t do for the missus – no, she insists on keeping this useless metal stump around.  I’m quite sure it’s for the express purpose of annoying the piss out of me.

I’m quite sure that short of Uggs, these are the most retarded things you could possibly stuff your feet into.  My brother recently saw my sneakers, liked its stupid squiggly sole (like the red knife, that sole DOES NOTHING) and promptly ordered himself a pair.  Except he chose one that makes it look like he’s just trampled a dozen Smurfs to death.  Someone should take away my brother’s driving license.  Clearly he’s clinically blind.

River of Regret

You’ve done some stupid shit, I’ve done some stupid shit, we’ve all done some stupid shit.  And we all live to regret some of it.


Colored prescription lenses.  Fuck you, Bono.  Just look at his fucking stupid doucheface.  Because of this fuckhead, everyone in the early 2000s seemed to aspire to look like a colossal douchebag.  Half my friends were sporting a pair of prescription glasses with colored lenses.  “Don’t mind me while I deliberately make everything I look at blue!  I don’t even need Viagra to make everything look blue!”  And the brilliant thing is almost all of them tossed out their stupid glasses after about a week.  Because it’s fucking stupid to walk around with colored lenses.


MiniDisc player.  I bought one of these fucking things while living in the U.K.  I really thought it was a clever idea at the time.  Fucking paid top dollar (or quid in this case) for it, too.  “Look at me, Mr. Cutting Edge!  Fuck portable CD players!”  This was BIP (before iPods).  How the fuck did the MiniDisc player ever work for anyone?  They had the capacity of newborn’s bladder.  They had the battery life of about 2 minutes.  They were heavy as shit.  And I can’t even remember how I got my music onto the MiniDiscs.  But because I paid a shitload of money for it, I still have the fucking player today… and all the MiniDiscs I made. Clutter classic.  What a pointless piece of shit that was.  If you owned one of these pieces of shit, you’d be filled with regret, too, I’ll bet.  Even the Japanese, the only remaining MiniDisc market in the world, have given up.


Tramp stamp and you’re a dude.  Nice going, bro.  This was one of my highlights this past summer.  It brought me an immeasurable amount of joy seeing these 30-something/40-year old douchebags by the pool, sporting really shitty tramp stamps.   You know even though these shitheads can’t see their stupid tats every day, the fact that it’s sitting in the small of their back has got to be gnawing away at their tiny brains.  BWAHAHAHAHAH, fuckers.

But here I am, inkless and I’ve been mulling over it for the better part of a dozen years.  I never got any ink because I live in fear that I’d regret the design one day.  Yet, over the course of the dozen years or so, I’ve been unwavering in the design I’ve chosen in my head or where I’d want to put the ink.  So what the fuck was I worried about?  But it’s too late now.  I think getting ink for the first time in your mid-30s is a bullshit move.  If I didn’t have the balls to do it in my 20s, I have no fucking business getting ink in my 30s.  It’s screams of Harrison Ford’s retarded earring.  Too fucking late, move the fuck on.  My regret now is not getting ink when I had a chance.


Burberry coat.  This is another thing that fills me with regret.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  Years ago, I bought a Burberry coat.  Nothing over the top, just a grey coat with the tell-tale plaid lining.  A proper dignified article of clothing, right?   Sure, for about a week, before I realized that Burberry is out and out chav-wear!  I look at that chavtastic brown plaid and I wanna puke now.  But… because of what I spent on the stupid coat, I can’t bear to give it away.  And I wouldn’t wear any of this Burberry shit if my life depended on it.  I buy some really stupid things sometimes.