Monday, December 29, 2008

How to Tell You're Getting OId............... er

There are many tell-tale signs that you are getting older. But one way is so universal, you may not have even noticed it.

It also involves the Universal language. What? No, not sex, and your inability to "do it" as you get older. Huh? Oh, NO, not me.........

It's music. Music can be placed in different categories. Rock, R&B, Hip Hop, Rap, Classical, Country........... But it has nothing to do with which type you listen to. No, that's not it. And some of today's music can be called a "phase," compared to some classic songs. I mean, there are some songs that can be played years later and it's still great. Some songs are just for today. But that's not it either.

Think about it, when you were young, the more bass your favorite music had, the better it was, and the louder you wanted that bass to be played. And the younger you are, the larger the Woofers have become. Yes, these speaker components that produce the bass sound have gotten bigger and bigger each year. Well, they may have stopped growing, but now you add more. I remember when 2 6 X 9 woofers were the big thing. Oh my, did I just date myself?

Today's music, played with these speakers with extra large multiple woofers, and Amplifiers to go with them, produce ear-drum shattering sound. You've heard it coming from cars, and/or parties, and everything seems to be shaking, as if there 's an earthquake. If you are young, you like this. If you are old, well...........

So I've come up with a chart to determine if you have become old:

Party with loud bass producing music:

Young = You are there, or want to be there.

Not so Young = You were not invited, but you don't care.

Old = It's keeping you awake, but eventually, you fall asleep.

Really Old = You call the Police on them. The earlier you call, the older you are.

Extremely Old = You can't hear them at all, or remember what is going on.



New Year's Eve parties are coming up. Where do you fit?

Friday, December 26, 2008

The 12 Days of Excess

On the 12 days of excess,
Eating desserts gave to me............

12 extra pounds,
11 more because I lied,
10 extra inches,
9 month pregnant looking,
8 years to lose it,
7 places to liposuction,
6 extra folds,
5 flabby rings,
4 tummies to tuck,
3 extra chins,
2 B-cup moobs,
And I've fallen and I can't get up.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

Merry Christmas to my 2 readers. Hi Mom!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Watchin' Porn

We have been training Probationary Firefighters, "Boots," every year for as long as I can remember. Normally, there would only be one "Boot" per shift, and you'd get a one year break after one year of training these Rookies. But because of attrition, we have had 2 per shift, every year, for some time now. It has become a chore, teaching the same thing over and over, sometimes getting someone that "gets it," sometimes getting someone who you wonder, "How the hell did he get through the Drill Tower?"

Because of the amount of new trainees we have, I have been exposed to a lot of different people from different backgrounds. One of our latest was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He came here doing exhibitions on Roller Blades, eventually got married and somehow found a career in the Fire Service. Just as GWB has been fodder for Comedians, Mr Puerto Rico has given us much to remember.

Every Probationary Firefighter spends 4 months at 3 different Fire Stations during his 1 year Probationary period. At the end of each assignment, on your last shift, it is customary for all "Boots" to give a speech and Thank everyone. Mr PR Thanked everyone individually, even someone who he had never worked with before by saying, "I want to Thank FF 'Smith' for coming to work today....."

I didn't mention this before, but Mr PR has an accent. I said he was born in Puerto Rico, and though some do speak English there, he told us he learned English while here in the USA. So when it came to Thanking me, he said, "I want to thank Ninja for teaching me Watchin' Porn." A puzzled look came across everyone in the room. I was dumbfounded, and thought, "WTF!" Then came the questions, this one from the Captains, "Wait a minute, what did you just say?" I could see it now, fired for teaching the Rookie how to watch Porn at the Fire Station. There goes my stellar (HA!) career.

Captain: "Did you say "Watchin' Porn? Ninja taught you to watch Porn?"

Mr PR: "No, I said, Watchin' Porn."

Captain: "What do you mean?"

Mr PR" "You know, Watchin' Porn."

After hearing him say this one more time, we said, "OH! What's important."

Yes, that's it. I helped teach him what's important. Priorities. You have a hundred things to do, do what's important first, the rest can wait. That's what we deal with. Life or Death. The little things don't matter, it's what will kill you that does, or what will keep you alive. Same thing.

Whew! My career is saved. Time to watch Porn.............

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Responsible Censorship

There are many things that can be found on the Internet. Everything on it can be classified as "Information." But sometimes, some information should be kept to oneself, and not published. Some would consider this "Censorship." I would call it, "Responsible Journalism." In this case, because it is more in line with "Safety," I feel everyone should have the following information, so that they will not be killed, maimed or injured in any other way.

How to make a Pipe Bomb.

First, handle ALL material cautiously. Although the pipe itself is not dangerous, unless you drop it on your foot while barefoot, other ingredients may be volatile. Using the recipe I have listed at the end of this, place all items on a clean table.

Do NOT pre-mix the chemicals prior to assembling the pipe. This will allow the individual material that is "safe" by itself, to become explosive. Let me take a picture to show you what it would look like pre-mixed. Wait, I need to use Flash. *BOOM*

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving. It is a common practice to give "Thanks" on this day. Though many people are materialistic here in the USA, we usually give Thanks to things that are not materialistic. Unless you're being facetious, you usually don't give Thanks for having an iPhone.

People are Thankful for many things. Sometimes it depends on Current Events. Today in 2008, people may be Thankful that they have not been laid off, and still have a job. Others may be Thankful to still have their homes, and are not in foreclosure.

Most of the time, we are Thankful for Family, Friends, and being able to stuff ourselves with Turkey and all of the trimmings. And for Pie. Save me a slice of Pumpkin pie. Please?

You may get different responses if you live in another part of the world. Someone in a Third World Country, may be Thankful just for having a cup of rice to eat today.

In that sense, we are very spoiled. A Comedian once said, "When it comes to food, we are so spoiled in America, that some of us get allergic to it. You never hear someone starving in Somalia, say that they are Lactose Intolerant." And we have choices. In the same vein, you'd never hear a starving person say, "I'll pass on the Turkey, I'm a Vegetarian."

We are also spoiled just for having the Freedoms that we do. How many times has it been reported that someone from the USA has been arrested in another Country and jailed, for something that we do everyday? Get drunk in the Middle East? Jail! Oh boy, I have a lot of friends who should be Thankful they do not live in the Middle East, just for that reason.

It's great that we can be Thankful for what we have in our own lives. But why be Thankful for only one day? We spend more time complaining about something or someone. No matter what it is, there will always be something to complain about. Why not start being Thankful every day? Then you start appreciating things, rather than taking things for granted. Maybe then we will start being the solution to problems, and not be part of the problem.

Friday, November 21, 2008

BZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTT!!!!

That's the sound you hear when you touch two wires together. The ones you're not supposed to touch together. The ones that you were supposed to go and shut the power off for. Sometimes you get a blinding light, and depending on the voltage and amps, anything from a slight tingling sensation, to a kick in the chest. YOW!

Yes, I know from experience. I've even had the tip of my screwdriver "melt" once. I probably should be dead by now, or at least have all of the hairs on my head sticking straight up. Wait-a-minute....... Have you seen me lately?

Anyway, ever since the Professor made Gilligan pedal the bamboo bicycle with wires connected to coconut shells filled with some kind of liquid, we have had Electricity. But it comes from other sources now. Most of it is generated from Coal-burning plants. Some from Hydro-electric generators built into Dams. Some from Windmills on wind farms. And some from Nuculer Power. Some places like Hawaii, have generators that run on Diesel fuel. Some small generators run on Gasoline, Diesel fuel, Natural Gas or Propane.

Anyway, Electricity, no matter how it is generated, is brought into the Los Angeles area from somewhere outside. Most of it is "transported" on lines that are stringed on Power poles that ruin the look of our Mountains and then our Neighborhoods, though some are placed underground in newer developments for a cleaner look.

But at any point along those lines, your Electricity can be interrupted. From the Pole, you don't have any. From the Grid, your neighborhood doesn't have any. From the Source, no one has any.

Electricity is a luxury, and you can live without it for the most part, unless you have a machine that keeps you alive. Mr. Obvious here. But other than lighting, how else does it affect you?

Here are things that you may not realize will NOT work without Electricity, some are obvious, some are not.

Obvious. Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave, Clock, Computer, TV, VCR, DVD, Radio.

Not so obvious. Cordless Phones, Traffic Signals, ATMs, Gas Pumps, Cash Registers, Elevators, Radio and TV Broadcasts. I think Cell Phone Cell sites have some kind of battery back-up power.

Some of these things may work if it is backed-up by a generator. But think about it. What would you do if these things did not work? Eventually, the food in your refrigerator will go bad. Buy more? How? You have no cash, and the ATM doesn't work. You say you have cash or will use your Debit/Credit card at the store? The registers don't work, and the Debit/Credit machine doesn't work either! You are SOL! And now you're stuck because you ran out of gas in your car.

I was vacationing in Maui, Hawaii, when an Earthquake hit off the coast of the Big Island. It triggered the safety systems of the Electrical grid on all of the Islands, though Kauai and Oahu was not as affected as Maui and the Big Island.

I was driving in my car to get breakfast, when the radio went dead. The radio worked, but there was nothing being transmitted to the radio. I had NO idea that there was an Earthquake, though I did see small rocks had fallen onto the roadway. I ran over one of those rocks on my way to Lahaina, and my tire went flat. I drove a few miles with the flat tire, and got to a gas station. I parked next to the air filling machine. It didn't work, so I changed the flat to the spare. BTW, that Shell Station owes me 50 cents. By then, I was getting radio transmissions from Oahu, and figured out what was going on.

Now I was really hungry. The place I was headed to was closed. Most restaurants would close, because in Hawaii, the stoves are Electric, there is no Natural gas there. So I drove to a Super Market. All the lights were out and none of the cash registers worked, so you couldn't buy anything. BUT, this store had a generator, and it was just 30 minutes before they had all of the systems up and running. Great! Now I could buy and have a sandwich and soda for breakfast. MMMMMMM

Luckily for me, it was my last day on Maui, time to go home. I took my car back to the rental agency, and they said they would bill me later. Fine. I get to the Airport, and nothing is working. No Air Traffic Control. It was hours before planes were allowed to land or take off. The Computer Registration/Booking system was also down. No one could get a boarding pass, to a flight that was not going to take off anyway.

Needless to say, those last few hours on Maui was heck. At least the power was restored to all of the Islands before I left. And I was patient. I knew there would be problems, even though I didn't foresee everything. But you should have seen other people. Yelling, screaming, demanding. What did they expect? For a Pilot to fly a plane without Air Traffic Control?

Maybe if the Professor was around, he could have rigged a bicycle to generate some Electricity to run the Island. You know, there's enough coconuts to do that in Hawaii.

Ninety-eight Percent

I learned from a "Star Trek" episode, where an Alien race turned most of the crew into hexagonal cubes to hijack the Enterprise, that we are made up of about 98% water. No. Although I may have been around to watch the original airing, I saw it on multiple repeats during syndication. But geez, that's not the point here!

Water is something we all take for granted, especially here in the Los Angeles area. Technically, we live in a dessert. But our forefathers made sure that we were able to live long and prosper by purchasing land North of us, so that water could be brought to us via the Aqueduct. This is the only time that our Politicians thought ahead concerning our future and infrastructure. Can you imagine what our Freeway and Mass-transit system would be like if they also had used the same foresight?

However they did not use the same foresight when it came to saving water. Some parts of Los Angeles used to flood, almost as bad as when Katrina hit New Orleans, and many lives and homes were lost. So the sewer system was designed to remove water, not to save it. Rain water gets diverted and goes straight to the ocean. We are always in a drought situation because we do not have enough catch basins, reservoirs and/or lakes where rain runoff could collect.

Anyway, you need water to survive, there's no doubt about that. You can go without food for several days, but without water, that time is lessened.

Threats to our water supply have been increasing for some time.

Just our constantly growing Communities are causing shortages and redirecting of resources. The farms want water, industries want water, the North, South, East and West want water, and there's NOT enough to go around. Really, there isn't. We are on an 8-year drought, and it's only now that our Politicians are telling us to conserve water. They should have done it years ago, but were hoping that it would rain. Look at lakes such as Big Bear and Arrowhead lakes. They are at their lowest level, and getting lower every year.

We contaminate our water system everyday with chemicals, by either putting it directly into the water, via the sewer system, or allowing it to seep in through the ground. And not just in Los Angeles, but throughout the World. Our Oceans have contaminants, and the Sea supplies a lot of our food.

Besides drinking and cooking, there are other uses for water. These uses are wasteful, when water is NOT readily available. In emergency situations, bathing and washing hands could be done with baby wipes. Toilet flushing as well. If the water supply is damaged, then the sewer system probably is too. Time to dig a hole in the ground. Can you think of other things?

Water is very important, it means 98% to you. Without it, you will not survive. Period.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

F'en Magic

Flip a switch, turn a knob, open a faucet. That's all you need to do to turn on the electricity, gas or water. How spoiled we all are to have within reach, all of our Utilities at our fingertips.

But Gas, Water and Electricity are all imported into Southern California from other parts of the State and Country. What will you do when one, two or all of them doesn't work? The lights don't go on? No water from the tap? Can't cook or heat the house? No, I'm not talking about not paying the bills. What if there's another reason? Like a natural or Man-made disaster.

The recent fires in LA County threatened electrical lines leading into Los Angeles. What if they were damaged? How do you think we get our electricity? It comes from generators from far away, and come to us from those large transmission lines you see in the Mountain passes. It isn't generated from the DWP building in Downtown. If the lines go down or are damaged, you may be out of electricity until it is repaired.

Natural Gas, like water, is pumped to us through gas lines. Mostly from out of State. What if there is an interruption? A break in the line from the main or anywhere along the line up to your home?

And what about Water? Because of past flooding, Los Angeles designed their sewer system to eliminate water from the streets and flow into the ocean. Almost none of it is saved in reservoirs, catch basins, and/or lakes. And currently there's an 8 year drought. Yes, it's all water down the drain. So, we get it from Northern California and the Colorado River, and then it's pumped to us through the water mains all throughout the City. Water has other limitations. Because it is pumped through pipes to all of the houses in a community, there is only so much that can be delivered. Anything that causes the system to lose pressure will mean little or no water for you. A break in the system? A pump shuts down? No Electricity to make the pump work?

Think about these things. How will you make do without one, two, or all of these Utilities? From a few hours to several days. Prepare for this, and you will not suffer as much if something like an Earthquake happens.

More on each later....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stubborn or Hard Headed?

I wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle. Why? Because it's the law? No, I value my life, and believe I am much safer with it on, then off. But when I ride my bicycle, I don't wear a helmet. Why? Because I'm traveling at a slower speed, and well, I don't have to, according to the law.

I have been on many accidents involving bicycles, and though some bicyclists have been badly injured, I have not been aware of any who have died. They may have, but I am not aware of it.

One bicyclist wearing a helmet, took her eyes off where she was headed, and rear-ended a parked car. She flew off her bike, and went through the back window of the car. Picture a car with two legs sticking out of it's rear window, and you can figure out how much she was injured. Did you imagine a bloody mess? Well, she only had a few cuts and scratches. This is a good example of how a helmet protects you. Of course we took her to the hospital so she could be checked for internal injuries, but I believe she was okay.

I have also been on two skateboarders who fell and hit their heads. Neither were wearing a helmet. One was going too fast down a hill and hit his head on the street. The other got hit by a car when she crossed a busy intersection, and her head hit the car's windshield.

Both died. The first a few days after, the last on the way to the hospital. Both were over 20 and under 30 years old. Do I think they would have survived if they wore helmets? Yes, especially the first one.

Do I think you and I should wear a helmet whenever we do anything where it's possible to hit your head on a hard surface? (Like cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, skating, skiing, snowboarding, etc.) Yes, we should.

Don't be stubborn, because no one is really hard headed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Addenum to Hope for the Best

In all of my "Political" blogs, I believe I have a recurring theme. I don't believe what any Politician tells me, even Obama, I wait to see what's actually done. I've heard it all in my time, and I fell for some lines before. Now I want results. That's what you should all ask for. If you're one who believes in Obama 100% and he doesn't produce, you should not vote for him again. you should think, "NEXT!"

I understand all of the feelings brought up by Obama's election to President that has been expressed. In this Country, electing a person of "color" has been long overdue. It's the first time a Caucasian male has not won. This really does "open the door" or break any perceived and/or real barriers to minorities. Even for women.

But who really "makes" these barriers? Is it really only the Caucasion males of America? For the last 4 years, we have had a African-American woman as Secretary of State, a very important position. To be honest, I really don't know how Condelleeza Rice rates as one, compared to others who held the same position. But the fact that she is in the position, and not recognized, well the silence speaks volumes. If the silence is because she is a Republican, and she has been appointed by Bush, then that is really sad.

But this Country is ailing. And it doesn't matter what your race, gender or creed is. We will all suffer, no matter who we are. We need help, we need to get back on our feet. If we as a people were as naive as we were in the early 1900's, I believe we would be in a Depression, for we would have panicked and made a run on all Banks and cashed out on all stocks by now.

I'm hoping that Obama will put together a team that is NOT of payback to friends, lobbyists, or to people in his own Party. I hope he finds the best person for all Cabinet positons, no matter what Party they belong to, and goes from there. Payback is over, we had enough of that.

And talk is over. It's time to acutally do something. And you too, don't sit back and wait for it. HELP make it happen. Stop wanting FROM your Country. Do something FOR your Country.

(See, I'm all talk.....)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hope for the Best.

As of this writing, Senator Obama will be the next President of the United States of America.

I must say, that even though I don't believe Senator McCain would have been a better choice than Obama, I do believe McCain would have done a better job than President Bush, had McCain been elected 8 years ago.

What really concerns me about this election, is NOT that Obama has won, but the Election itself and the attitude of Obama supporters,

First, the Election. Why hasn't anyone from EITHER Party done anything to do away with Electoral Votes? It's been 8 years since the 2000 Election, what's the hold-up? YOU did not vote for the President, Electoral Votes have. I DO believe that Obama has also won the Popular Vote, so the point is moot for this Election, but when is it going to end? Don't you want YOUR vote to count? I do. I don't want another Florida debacle ever again.

Second, the Politics. McCain's record shows that he believes in Bi-Partisanship, IMO. And IMO, that is a great quality. Did McCain vote 90% of the time for President Bushes polices? Yes, and unfortunately, that's Politics. That was the only way McCain could get the Republican nomination. Here is a man who went against the Republican majority, and he even supported Immigrants rights. Then he went against his values and said, "I get it now," to his Party, meaning he knew he had to "play the game" to get nominated. This is why he lost some votes. Had he stuck to his "Maverick" ways, it would have been closer, IMO, but then he may not have even gotten the Republican nomination. Sure, it's the Republican Party's fault for not knowing what the public wants. They are just as clueless as Democrats were after President Clinton was in office 8 years.

BTW, neither Party works for you, they work for themselves. We need a valid third Party.

Third, the McCain bashing. You hate Bush, you hate Bush, not every Republican in the world. So you don't want to vote for him, that's no way to treat a Veteran who was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. Most Liberals were Vietnam Veteran bashers when the soldiers returned from Vietnam, calling them "Baby Killers" and other things. More recently, Popular opinion swayed, and Liberals were deemed wrong to do what they did. Now it's "I support the Soldiers, but not the War." Were Liberals gnashing their teeth at this way of thinking? And now "letting it all out" in frustration, for holding it in too long? Maybe being a Veteran and a tortured prisoner is not enough reason to get your vote for the Presidency. But it should at the very least, get your respect. Not dis-respect.

Fourth, falling for the rhetoric. It is said that the Election was a dead heat until the Economy went sour. Then people blamed President Bush for all the troubles. This created an Anti-Bush and Anti-Republican attitude that ultimately caused McCain to drop in the polls, and out of the race. But when reality sets in, you will see that the Democrats had just as much to do with our souring Economy as the Republicans did. Could this have been the "October Surprise" that people were looking for? But instead of it coming from the expected Republican corner, it actually came from the Democratic side? Only History will tell. And the Economy? IMO, most of "Wall Street" will right itself, and when it recovers, it is because of the things that are being done right now, while President Bush is still in office. It may be the only good thing he did, IF it works.

Many have said that the Economy has done very well when a Democrat was President. I actually said this to a friend last June. But it is only half true, and I told him the other half that most people overlook. The Economy has done well when the President is a Democrat, AND the Congress is controlled by Republicans. It has not done well when a single Party was in charge of both. That is what's happening now. We will have a Democrat for President and a Congress that is controlled by Democrats. For our sake, I hope History doesn't repeat itself.

Fifth, the Obama worshiping. As far as Obama goes, I'm saving my applaud for the future, if and when he does something that deserves it. His record as a Senator is not enough for me, it's almost nothing. That doesn't mean I am not a supporter, or I didn't vote for him. I just don't have the fantasy of him being our savior, as a lot of his supporters do. A reporter interviewed one of his supporters, and the person was so enthused, he said, "Now we'll get our mortages paid for, and free health care......" WHAT? I don't blame Obama, I don't think he ever promised to give us free health care or pay for our mortgages. I blame people for having stars in their eyes, when they should have magnifying glasses to look through, when they choose a President.

I once talked to a friend of mine who worked for a Politician. We talked about the diversity in the LAFD. He mentioned that there could be more, and that the LAFD could use more integration. I told him that if he was in trouble and had to call 911, did he really care who was coming to save him? A male? A female? A heterosexual? A homosexual? A minority? No, you want someone qualified and capable of saving you, otherwise you die.

I heard Obama being describe in many good ways. But I really hope he is not JUST someone of Color, who's Young, of "our" Generation, or anything you make him out to be. I hope he is qualified and capable, and not just because of an image he portrays. Here's to change, and praying it's for the better.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Birthday Week of Sushi

One of my favorite places to vacation in is Hawaii. The different Islands offer different things. This time I spent a week on Maui. And since it was my birthday week, I decided to spend most of my dinners at Sushi restaurants. Fish is very fresh in Hawaii, and it is very hard to find "bad" fish. I think that is why you'd never find an Urasawa in Hawaii. The competition gets the same fish. The differences are how they prepare the rice, and how creative they get.

Here is my recommendations for Sushi on Maui.

On the high end side:

Sansei Restaurant in Kapalua. Follow these instructions and you will not regret it. Call and ask when Chef Masa is working. Sit in front of him and ask for Omakase. Masa's special creations are unforgettable. If you dine between 5:30 PM, when they open, almost everything you order is 25% off until 6 PM. Without drinks, this will only cost about $35 to 40 per person with a 25% discount. Otherwise it could be $45 and up.

Koiso Restaurant in Kihei. This is a very small place consisting of just a Sushi bar and one 2 person table. Great quality and great tasting Sushi for about $50 per person. The bargain here is the Sashimi plate. It consists of maybe 5 kinds of different fish for $25, but you get the "scraps" of fish that are left over from making the pretty Sushi. Prices are a little higher than Sansei.

Medium price:

Kobe Restaurant in Lahaina. Kobe has 3 different "sides." One is the Teppan-yaki or "Benihana" side. Another is the regular restaurant side. And in between is Oku's Sushi Bar. Here the sushi is a tad bit larger, a little larger rice ball, and larger cut of fish. Even the simple Tuna roll had a thick cut of Maguro down the center. Tastes great, and fairly reasonable in price. Slightly lower than Sansei.

Ichiban the Restaurant in Kahului. A family owned Japanese restaurant in Kahului. The most reasonably priced Sushi that also tastes great in Maui. I usually order a combination plate with a Soft-shell crab roll. Other individual pieces are great, except for the raw shrimp, which was just okay.

Places to avoid.

Unisan in Wailuku. Better for the Korean food that they also serve, the Tempura is something to avoid. Also doubles as a Night Club, so it gets a little loud.

Sansei Restaurant in Kihei. Sushi here is hit-and-miss. Listen to me and miss it. I had the worst Soft-shell crab roll here, and the last time I ate here, the rice was not made correctly, it was a little on the mushy side.

Genki Sushi (Kahului and Lahaina) and Kozo Sushi (Wailuku) are both "Fast Food" chain Sushi restaurants found in Hawaii. Genki has the revolving counter. It's just okay at these places, though I haven't eaten here more than once. Prices are the cheapest here.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Old Legends Never Die.

There was a time when I worked for my best friend's (Ernesto) mother's boyfriend. He was a Plumber, and his name was NOT Joe. His name was Roy, and he was a Chippewa "Indian," or Native American, and always had great stories to tell us.

Some were just everyday life stories. For example, he told us about the time he got so drunk that he drove his car on the sidewalk. When the Police stopped him, he said "It's okay, I'm FBI." The Police said, "You're FBI?" He answered, "Yes, Full Blooded Indian." He was then arrested for drunk driving.

His two business partners at the time wanted to go to Las Vegas. My friend and I had never been to Las Vegas, though we did drive through it on the way to Utah once, and were invited to go. We drove two cars to Las Vegas, one with Roy and his two business partners, in the "Adult" car, and the other with me and my two friends, in the under 21 car.

We had a good time in Las Vegas, even though we got kicked out of the Casino for being under 21. We didn't know you had to be over 21 to gamble, we thought that being over 18 was good enough. My other friend Ramon had a "baby-face" and was approached by a Security guard while playing a slot machine. Ernest and I both had mustaches and looked over 21. After being told to leave the Casino, Ramon walked up to both of us at another Slot machine, and told us that he had been kicked out. Almost immediately, the same Security guard came over and checked our IDs. We all got the boot.

After our trip ended, we were driving back to Los Angeles, and Roy decided to take a detour. I had no idea where we were going, but we ended up going through Death Valley. Somewhere along the road, there was a turn-off to a dirt road that led up into the mountains. It was beginning to get dark, and all I could see was their car in front of me. There are no street lights or any other extra ambient lighting.

As we drove up this dirt road, we wondered where Roy was taking us. Was it a short cut? An old friend who lived in a cabin? We were confused, and as it got darker and darker, we were a little scared.

Finally we came to a plateau, and stopped. It was PITCH BLACK. There was no one and nothing around but us, but we were whispering as if we didn't want to wake the dead.

This is how our conversation went:
"Where are we?" "I don't know..........." "Why are we here?" "I don't know............" "Why are we whispering?" ?????

Roy got out of his car, and we joined him out in the pitch blackness. He said, "We're too late." Late for what????? He told us this story of an old Indian legend.

"A large group of Indians were here having a celebration. When food was running low, they sent Scouts to get more. When the Scouts returned with more food, the rest of the Indians were gone. Disappeared. Not a single trace of them being here, or where they went.

So, legend has it that if you return here at Dusk, and do a special Indian chant, you will be able to see and hear them celebrating in the distance. But we're too late for that."

In our opinion, we were kinda glad that we were late.............

Monday, October 27, 2008

Made in America

There are a lot of products sold in the USA, that are made in other Countries. Mostly due to the cheap labor that these other Countries provide. One good example is something made in China.

There are "Standard" items that are made that have no bearing on a person and their individual differences. CDs and DVDs are an example of this. It doesn't matter if a person is Tall or Short, Thick or Thin, have 2 or 3 arms, the design of a CD/DVD is not important.

However, when it comes to clothes, that is a different story. Clothes have to come in all different types of cuts and sizes to fit any individual. One size does not fit all. Well, maybe with the exception of a Mu-mu....

So, even though items may be "made" in China, they are not designed for the Asian body. They are provided with designs from "American" designers, cut for the "American" body.

Anyway, as an Asian man, I usually have trouble finding the right size shirts. Most of the time I'm an "Extra Large," sometimes I'm a "Large." Most of the time I need the shirt to be "Long." If I look hard enough, I will find what I need.

But then, there are other things. Some things that are just made one way. Some things that may or may not make a difference to you, but they might to me.

I went swimming at the beach, and as usual, I put on my Speedos. No, not the tight-fitting shows-every-little....... um, er, .............I mean, BIG-bump bikini trunks, I'm talking about the swimming goggles.

Whether you're in a heavily chlorinated pool, or salty sea water, Goggles are great to have while swimming. Seeing clearly is a big advantage and causes less anxiety when you swim. Out in the ocean, you don't have to worry about a shark sneaking up on you while swimming with your eyes closed, or blurry from being irritated.

So what's this got to do with the price of tea in China? Well, have you seen those goggles? All of the models have round lenses. I'm a slanty-eyed Asian. The round lens fit around my eyes and keep my eyes open in a very un-natural way. In fact, I think the whites of my eyes show.

I have no idea if I can get slanty-eyed goggles made for Asians anywhere in the USA. I wonder if they sell them at the local "Hello Kitty" shop................

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Is there a cure?

I've been going to the same Doctor for my debilitating illness. Unfortunately, I've been getting worse. It's so bad now, that I'm starting to hurt, and may not recover soon. Oh, don't worry about me, I'm not dying. I'm just really sick.

But, I have to do something. And the way I see it, I have two choices. Both choices involve changing Doctors. I can pick one that's older and had more experience than my original Doctor when he started seeing me, or I can try someone brand new.

The first Doctor I'm thinking of going to, has been a Doctor for a while, and like most Human beings, is not perfect. He's saved some, and lost some. And though he could find a cure for my illness, he works for the same Medical group as my former Doctor. He might get the same recommendations on how to treat me as my original Doctor. Who knows if he will try different medications, or has the "permission"to do so. He may give me medications that keeps me going, but doesn't cure me. There is a chance that he may treat my illness differently, because he's smarter than my original Doctor. But, I don't trust the Medical group that he works for anymore.

The other Doctor is fresh out of school. He has some new ideas he wants to try, and has told me that he will treat my illness in a different way. But he's never treated anyone, much less someone with the same disease that I have. He promised to cure me, but at the same time, with untested medicine. How do I know I won't have bad side-effects, or get sicker?

The original Doctor was also new and fresh out of school. He basically had on-the-job training with me. He didn't do very well.

So, do I choose the Doctor who is smarter than the original Doctor, but works for the same medical group?

Or, do I try another new Doctor to give him on-the-job training, and hope that he can cure me?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Speaking of Toes...

Do you remember those old AT&T commercials, "Reach out, reach out and touch someone....."

It reminded you that there's always someone out there you haven't talked to in a while. Most of the time it showed family members talking to one another.

We have become an isolated society, where we can now distance ourselves from friends and family because of work or education, or just because. In the old days, travel was difficult. It took time, and a lot of effort. Now, you can hop on a plane and be halfway around the world in a few hours. Imagine trying to get 50 miles in a covered wagon.

Anyway, separated by letter writing, then by telephone, now we have come up with many new Electronic ways of keeping in touch. There's E-mail and Networking sites like Facebook.

Several years ago, a friend of mine from Elementary school, who left after the 5th grade, and I hadn't seen in 30 years, found me via E-mail. He had first moved about 20 miles away, then eventually moved to South America. I have met him 3 times in the last 5 years, when he traveled back to the US to visit friends and family, and in between business trips. Friends are friends no matter how long you are apart.

Then there's this unique way of saying "Hello."



Now how many of you out there have a leg for a friend? Yeah, that's right, I'm Special!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Evolution?

Have you ever stubbed your toe(s)? Doesn't it hurt so much, you end up hopping and limping around for a while? Of course you have. Have you ever heard of Athletes who couldn't perform because something was wrong with their toe(s)? Depending on the severity of a toe injury, it can be difficult to push off and make certain moves that an Athlete needs to do, to...... um, athlete?

I once went on a Motorcycle Police Officer who crashed, and who's only complaint was breaking his big toe. It was injured bad enough that the blood circulation in his toe was compromised. Because there is some thought that losing the big toe makes walking and standing awkward, we rushed him to the hospital.

What's this got to do with Evolution? My thought is, if Evolution was a valid theory, wouldn't our toes be stronger? Sure, I may be biased, since I believe in Creationism, but really, we wouldn't be here today if we Evolved from lesser than our current form.

Think back, and imagine with me .......... there you are, "Krok." Krok hungry. Krok go hunt for food. Krok go into jungle. WHOA! It's T-Rex! RUN! He's catching up! OW! OH SH*T! Krok stubbed toes on rock! Krok on ground writhing in pain. (I'm not too sure if early man could writhe or not, but hey, it's MY story.) That's it, *CHOMP CHOMP*, eaten in two quick bites. Krok is history, and so is the rest of Human kind.

The Human Race had no chance of surviving without stronger toes. Yet, here we are, with weak toes.

Too deep?

Monday, September 29, 2008

No Matter Where You Stand, You're In The Same Boat.

Most people of today can see the "Bad" side of the Republican Party. And most people who are staunch Democrats or Liberals, will gladly tell you all about it.

But, as I said before, there is NO difference between the two Parties. You may think that I'm a Republican for posting this, but I am really of Independent thought. I am neither Republican nor Democrat. BOTH Parties reek of corruption and greed.

So, at this time, because most Democrats are acting like they are the "People's" party, here is an eye-opening news report by ABC News. And I don't think you can accuse ABC News of being a Conservative News Agency like FOX seems to be.

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=5671524

Friday, September 26, 2008

Security!

Security guards have the unenviable job of mostly being underpaid and over-worked. They have to be everywhere nowadays to help keep people in line. But at some places, some Security guards seems to have an attitude that differs from others at similar places.

Take the differences between the Dodgers and Angels "Field" Security guards. There are different "levels" of Security personnel. The ones I am referring to, are the ones that are posted on the Field, between the stands and the Players, in between Innings. The Angels' Security guards are smiling, and even sing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the Seventh Inning stretch. The Dodger Security guards looks like they want to Tase you multiple times.

Consider this. You're in a Department store shopping, and browsing around looking at things you might want to purchase. Then suddenly you realize that the Security guard has been stalking you. And you start to believe that he thinks you're up to no good and you are there to steal things. Not rob the store at gunpoint, but to use your five-finger discount. What do you do? You leave and vow never to shop in that store ever again. Though this has never happened to me, I have known some people who have complained of having these thoughts, that they were being followed around a store for that reason.

I take you for a trip in my Way-back machine, to when I was about 13 years old. Whoa, now that's WAY back. I was walking home from Junior High School (that's Middle School for you young people), with 2 of my friends, when we happened to see something inside a gutter. We see what look like tickets, Dodger tickets. After closer inspection, my friend goes inside, and he grabs every ticket he could find. We go to his house and examine them. They turn out to be a set of 4 tickets to every Dodger game. WE HIT THE JACKPOT! Or so we thought.

Being a little naive, read STOOPID, we go to the first game with our other friend, and his Mother takes us. The seats were on the first level, really close to First Base. I remember my friend's Mother saying, "Wow, these are great seats, where did you get them?" It wasn't long after that, that Dodger Stadium Security was escorting us up to their office. While interviewing us, they brow-beat my friend's Mother, treating her like "Ma Barker," and telling her that we would all go to jail. She was in tears. My friends and I were scared, but we were actually calm about it. After all, we found the tickets, what could happen?

Well, turns out the tickets were stolen from a business in El Monte, a City about 20 miles East of where we lived. So, we had to be taken by El Monte Police to be interviewed. The El Monte Police Officers were good to us, for they knew we had nothing to do with any crime. After interviewing us separately, and finding that we all told the same story, they let us go.

After being treated like Criminals by Dodger Stadium Security, I didn't go to another Dodger game for a very long time. It had been years until I watched another game at the Stadium, and then it was only once a year for many years.

This year, a friend of mine went to a Dodger game, and her date got into a fight with someone who pushed him and caused about $60 worth of food and drink to fall and spill all over them. $60 seems like a lot of food, but it was just a couple of beers, hot dogs and peanuts. That's another story in itself. I don't condone the fighting, but this is what happened with Security. First, if you've ever seen Dodger Security in action, you know that they do NOT announce their presence by yelling, "SECURITY!" They just come in, kick ass, and escort you out the door.

My friend was watching her date fighting when all of a sudden, someone grabbed her from behind. She shook herself loose, and it happened to be Dodger Security. They took her and her date in, and charged her with assaulting a Security guard. Due to some bad timing, she had to spend a weekend in jail, and had to go through a trial to clear herself.

Last night, September 25th, I went to the final Home game at Dodger Stadium. By the afternoon before the game, the Dodgers had clinched the National League West Title, due to a loss by the Arizona Diamondbacks. People at the game were festive, and happy that the Dodgers were going to the playoffs for the first time in 4 years.

One of the reasons for the Dodgers winning, was the acquisition of Manny Ramirez from the Boston Red Soxs. I was sitting 4 rows back from the Field on the first level. Manny was about 50 feet away. As usual, between Innings, while warming up by playing catch, he would throw the the ball into the stands for the fans.

I saw him nodding at some women sitting one section away from me in the First row, and pointing to them. I told my friend that I bet he was going to throw them the ball the next time he had a chance. He did, and it just happened to be the same Inning that Manny was replaced. The Dodgers were replacing their Starters with Reserves, and announcing their departure to applauding fans. So, after throwing the ball to these people, he ran off the field.

I wonder if he witnessed what happened next. If he did, I don't think he would have liked what he saw.

One of the women tried to catch the ball in her glove, but it was a little bit in front and the ball fell out out of her glove. Because she was leaning forward, she fell over the railing and onto the field. The ball must have rolled away, towards where I was sitting and she must have gone after it. The Field Security MAN, started to run full speed towards us. I couldn't see what happened because the woman was SHORTER than the "wall" separating the seats from the field. But I saw the Security MAN do a Hockey style "check," and shoved her into the wall. Then there was a struggle, and another Security guard came over to help out.

Another friend, who was sitting in another area with a full view of what happened, told me that after she was "checked" into the wall, the Security guard grabbed her, and body slammed her to the ground. Then the other guard handcuffed her, and they both escorted her away. Most of us sitting there could not see what happened to the woman, and some of us didn't even know that it was a woman to begin with. But we knew whoever it was, got it good. It wasn't until they were all in plain sight walking through the Outfield gates, that we saw two tall men and a short chubby woman being led away. I was appalled.

The Security guard was heckled the rest of the night by people all around me.

If this was the LAPD, the Public would be calling for this guy's head on a platter. But you never hear about this stuff do you? I believe there is much more abuse of power and inappropriate use of force by Dodger Stadium Security guards then reported, though I can't prove it.

Nevertheless, what happened to that woman was disgusting. And I think it may be the last time I go to a Dodger game. No matter how well they are doing.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't hate the Dodgers team. But when you hire Nazis to do your dirty work, someone has to be accountable for it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

SIGH

I once wrote that I would write a book about my time as a Firefighter Paramedic with the City of Los Angeles. Much has changed since I joined back in the early '90's. Most of it has to do with "Politics."

I won't go into much right now, but I feel compelled to "vent" today.

It is a practice amongst people interested in becoming a Firefighter, to visit a Fire Station and talk to us about the job. What is required, what happens, what are the daily duties, what to expect, and a tour of the Fire Station, including the Apparatus and equipment. A vast majority are people who have gone through the appllication process and are about to be hired by the Fire Dept. In most cases, the City Personnel Dept makes the decision on who to hire, not the Fire Dept.

I have seen many people come and go, some come dressed in suits, some a little less dressy. Some are confident, some look intimidated.

Today, a man 5 foot 9 inches tall, about 250 lbs, with a 40 inch waist, wearing a T-shirt, Cargo shorts and flip-flops, with "shaggy" hair and a five-o-clock shadow, came in to ask us about what to expect as a Firefighter. He said he is getting ready for his Oral interview, which is the second step in a 4-5 step process.

I have been on over 15 years and have seen the quality of new recruits go down so much, I want to retire now.

So that's why I say, SIGH..................

Friday, August 29, 2008

Politics

I hate Politics. I don't care what party you believe in, I feel none really have your best interests on their minds.

I once heard a Political Satirist say that there are two groups of rich people, and each group benefits from each other within their group, but benefits minimally from the other group. One group gets richer when Republicans are in charge, the other when Democrats are in charge. That's the only difference between Democrats and Republicans.

If I ever had the ear of the Nation, I would say, "You know what's wrong with this Country? Democrats and Republicans." I'd probably get shot the next day.

Now that we are in an Election year, we will hear all kinds of rhetoric, things we "want to hear," so that whoever is running, gets elected. Not that everything a Politician says is a lie, but it would take a lot to convince me of it's truth.

Yes, I am that pessimistic about Politics and Politicians. The only people that really know what's going on, are the ones there, behind the scenes. I can visualize them telling their candidates, say this and say that, it will get you elected.

Working for the City of Los Angeles, I felt that our last Mayor, Kenneth Hahn, was very good for our City. But people thought he had no charisma, and he was defeated by the current Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, because he charmed the voters. Charisma and charm doesn't get the job done. And though I do see that Mayor Villaraigosa is a better at "sound bites" and "photo ops" than Mayor Hahn, I still don't see that he is actually doing a better job.

What's very odd to me, is when you hear the "rumors" from people who serve Politicians. They say George W. Bush is nice, courteous, and friendly. His ranch in Texas is very "Green." Al Gore treated people like they were his servants, and didn't go "Green" until after he made the "Inconvenient Truth" and after his "faults" being pointed out to him that he wasn't "green." You'd think a person like Bush would have done a better job.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Al Gore would have done a better job than George Bush. NO, YOU DON'T KNOW! You can't rewrite history, it's done. Monday morning Quarterbacking does not change anything, and you can NOT guarantee what you THINK would have been different, really would have happened.

Unfortunately, we as a Country, have not gone beyond High School, when we all voted for the most popular person for High School Class President. And the same is still happening. Did the High School Class President ever do anything for you, or make your High School experience better? No.

One year there were two movies about fictional Presidential candidates. One was politics as usual, but then had an epiphany and changed his vision to do what's good for the Country. The other movie portrayed someone who was a weasel, and did what he could to "look" good and say what the people wanted to hear to get elected. In most of the Talk shows where the actor in the latter movie was promoting this movie, he was asked semi-seriously, if he would run for President. People applauded, I was appalled.....

All I can say is, don't vote for someone just because they are Male or Female. Black, White, Yellow, or Brown. Gay or Straight. Young or Old. And don't idolize any of them. Vote for who you think will do what's "right," not what their Party wants them to do. And then watch them, and hold them to what they say they will do. That is the key. I'm not saying I wouldn't vote for Obama, but I see too much faith being put on him. That disturbs me more. Make a choice with as much clear vision as you can have, and look beyond the image ANYONE is portraying. Don't tell me things will change, wait until it really happens, then rejoice.

The Country has been ailing for the longest time, and it's NOT just the fault of Republicans. It's the fault of everyone, including me and you. The best are not running for office. The best are not being nominated. And the best are not being voted for.

If you think I'm off base, if you think that ANY Politician will help you, consider this. Is there any Politician, that worries about their own Health Insurance coverage? Their own Retirement pension? Whether they would have a home, or something to eat today? Would any Politician balk at giving themselves more pay and increased Health and Retirement benefits? No.

What's the answer to all of this? One answer is easy, implementing it is almost impossible. Take out "Big Money" from Politics. You can only serve one master. That master has been greed. That needs to change.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What Is That?



I'm jealous that my friend has a contest going on, so I will copy......... I mean, um, er, come up with my own contest.

What kind of animal is this? Can you name it? I'll give you some hints. I found it at the Dodger game. It seems to have many relatives, for I saw a few more of these creatures, here and there. It's difficult to see it's face, and even if it has arms and/or legs. All anyone knows is that they started showing up in the month of August. There is no prizes if you get it right. Why? Because I'm cheap.......

HMMMMMM No one has participated in my contest. I guess I'll have to conduct a survey on why.

My contest was a dud because:

A. I offered no prize for the winner.
B. I'm not a hawt chick, so who cares?
C. You're stoopid.
D. I'm stoopid.

Remember, Please Vote, if you don't, the terrorist have won.

*SIGH* I guess no one reads my blogs.... The correct answer to the mystery animal is: Manny Ramirez hair. The correct answer to my survey is: B & D. *sniff*


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Nisei Week

I used to LOVE Nisei Week. Back in the day, (that's what old people say), it was a place to people watch. Okay, so the people I watched were girls, I admit it. We always went to the "Carnival." There were no rides, it featured booths run by Church groups, Youth groups, Clubs, Fraternities, Sororities, and some businesses. There were "home-cooked" food booths, games of chance booths, and booths that sold things like t-shirts and other merchandise.

Usually, the "grown-ups" went during the day, and the young adults, or kids, went at night. We were there to impress, or tried to impress, and check out all of the opposite sexes that were also checking us out? Heck, for all I know they didn't even notice us.

One of the highlights of the night would be the cruising. We all brought our cars, fixed up or not, and drove around the block that the carnival was held on. People had Imports and American Muscle cars. I once told a friend that my era created the "Ricers" that permeate the car shows now. But the most we ever did was put rims and tires on, lower them a bit and add Koni shocks. Very few tuned the engines on their Imports. How could we? There wasn't many aftermarket parts for them.

Only the Muscle cars were "fixed up," and they were usually "ugly." You see, the Imports were new, and we tried to make them look better with the money we spent. The Muscle cars were older, and the money went into engine parts, not the paint job or body work. My friend had a 67 Ford Mustang that he ran on the strip every so often, and another had a 65 Ford Falcon with a V8 in it. I had a 1980 Datsun 200SX. What's a Datsun? Well, back in the day................... never mind. It had a two-toned paint scheme, black on top and bottom, with silver sides and trunk. The rims were chrome with a gold colored middle. Hot! Not? Anyway, I did "race" my car a couple of times against a friend's friend who had a big mouth and went to a rival High School. I beat him twice, and almost a third, but he "canceled" the last race, because he thought he saw some Police cars. We left right away. He still owes me $40.

Another highlight was the Nisei Week parade. The parade featured Japanese dancers, marching bands, dignitaries, Beauty pageant contestants, etc. I was in a Japanese marching band and played for about 8 years, and never missed a parade.

Now, somehow, Nisei week has turned into 2 weeks, and the Carnival is no more. The parking lot it was held on, has been built over, and not much space is left anywhere else to hold it. Because of Health regulations, no Church or Youth group have booths anymore. They have been replaced by "Professional" food booths and merchants. It seems like you see the same booths over and over at any festival or carnival in the Los Angeles area. And cruising has been replaced by a Car show. It's just not the same. In my opinion, Nisei Week has lost some of it's "Community" feel.

Well, there's still the parade, and I'm still in it, almost every year. I ride on the Fire Dept's antique Fire Engine. I do it to show some Civic pride, and to let people know that there are Asian Firefighters, and maybe I can inspire someone to become one. Last I heard, Asians make up only 2 percent of our Fire Dept, so we could use some more.

Another good thing is now, I get to meet all of the Beauty pageant contestants. I have for the last 12 years. Unfortunately, I keep getting older, and they stay the same age, 20-25.

I always seem to be a dollar short and a day late.

There may be a Community Center built on a currently empty lot. It may be designed to hold a Carnival. Though it really isn't that bad right now, maybe Nisei Week will return to it's "Glory days" if that happens. Let's hope.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

For Rochelle

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Dear Dog loving, Cat loving, Dodger loving, Kauai loving, POG drinking, Lima bean manju eating, Cupcake eating, Strawberry and Peach Donuts from Donut Man eating, in fact all desserts eating, Vegetarian who cheats sometimes with Gummy bears, writes "teh" instead of "the" and uses "z's" for "s's", Florist, who looks HAWT in a bikini playing catch with Puka at the Beach,
ROCHELLE.................
HAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYY
BIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRTTTTTHHHHHHH DAAAAAAAAAAAY
TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUU.

Present? What present?

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Truth Always Comes Out

Continuing on my stories from calls that I've gone on, here are two where the "patients" were not so truthful about what happened to them.

Story #1
We were called to two brothers who were driving in their car. They told us that they were pulled over by the Police, and one of them swallowed some drugs that he had because he didn't want to be caught with them.

After asking what it was and how much was swallowed, we "advised" them that the small amount of marijuana swallowed, would probably do no more damage than if they smoked it. There is no "antidote" for what he swallowed, and it would have to go through his system the natural way. They were satisfied with the advice and refused any more assistance.

A half-hour later, we were called to the same brothers at a different address. The brother who swallowed the drugs was uncontrollable, and just flailing around inside his car. Because of protocols, we called the Police to restrain him for us, and we took him to the hospital. Though a little puzzled by his reaction to a little marijuana, we didn't think much of it.

Later on, the hospital had found cocaine in his system. His heart went nuts for a while, and they had to de-fibrillate him a few times to get him out of dangerous heart rhythms.

When his family showed up, the staff told them he had cocaine in his system and they would have to wait and see, because the effects are uncontrollable, and sometimes deadly. The family replied, "Oh, no, he doesn't use drugs." The nurse said, "Um, well, you see, we did a blood test, and found cocaine in his blood." Again, they replied, "Oh no, it's not possible, he doesn't use drugs." Denial is not just a long river in Egypt...........

Story #2
We found a guy laying face up on the sidewalk, dirty, as if he slept in the grass all night. We aroused him and got him to talk to us. He was obviously beaten-up by someone. Black eyes, face swollen with bumps on his head, bruises, scratches, but very little blood. There was even a thinly carved word on his chest. We couldn't quite make out what it said, "LA--A."

He had no deformities, though he did have some possibly broken bones, and he could have had internal bleeding. Since my X-ray vision wasn't working that day, we didn't take any chances and took him to the Trauma center. The Police were also there.

While we were treating him and then taking him to the hospital, both the Officer and I questioned him. He gave us vague answers. "What happened? How did you get these scratches?" "I crawled under a fence." "Why did you do that?" "To get to where I was going." "Who beat you up? Who wrote on your chest?" "I don't know." "What was the last thing you did, where were you?" "I was with my girlfriend." "What's your girlfriend's name?" "Laura."

Wha-what?!?!?!? AHA! "LA--A" was Laura!

I don't know the full circumstances of what happened, but I know one thing....... Beware of Lauras in or around Echo Park!

(Just a note, there was no apostrophe after the first letter "L." You'll be safe with L'aura........... I think?)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Darwin At Work

Okay, my last post was due to what happened last night. I couldn't start anything without mentioning that particular call first. This one is pure "You've got to be kidding me!"

There are two types of medical calls. BLS (Basic LIfe Support) and ALS (Advanced Life Support). ALS is a Paramedic, BLS is Firefighters only.

The Fire Engine and a BLS Ambulance responded to an injured person. This person was on his 10 speed bicycle, trying to get away from the Police. He made a left turn onto another street, his bicycle hit the curb, and he fell off his bicycle. The Police caught him and handcuffed him. They recovered a weapon from his body, and call for us to tend to his injuries.

The Fire Engine crew arrives first and the patient is sitting on the curb, handcuffed. He has a few road rashes on his arms and small cuts on his bald head. They start asking him questions, "Where do you hurt, etc" and he starts berating everyone, and says "Get the "F" away from me." I guess he was frustrated at being caught, and feared the repercussions he faced.

Then he did something that only Darwin could explain. He tipped himself over and purposely slammed his head onto the sidewalk. He knocked himself out. Yes, really, he did. We were summoned because it went from a BLS call to an ALS call in one quick stupid move.

We packaged him for transport, still unconscious, and took him to the hospital. As long as we were with him, and when we left the hospital, he was still unconscious. He beat himself up pretty good.

I don't like to make light of someone who is badly injured, I don't even know the extent of damage he did to himself. I certainly hope that he did not do any permanent damage, or dies. But this one goes in the book under "What was he thinking?" He wasn't.

Language Barrier

I go on so many different types of calls, from the very ridiculous to the very serious-est. (Oh, by the way, in my Blogs, I will also make up words.) Some of these calls will be mentioned here, without names to adhere to all Privacy policies, because I deem them to be note worthy. I will start with a story that some of my friends here have already heard. I was NOT a part of this particular call.

Back in the day, when there were few Paramedic Ambulances, and probably even less Firefighters that spoke a foreign language, a Fire Engine was sent on an "OBS - Obstetrics" call. The nature of a call is determined by what the caller says on the phone to the 911 dispatcher. If you call and say you are short of breath, we will respond to a "DR - Difficult Respiration" call.

The Engine gets on scene and finds an obviously pregnant woman laying on a couch, and panting. The woman only speaks Spanish. No one on the Fire Engine speaks Spanish, and they are unable to find someone to translate.

The Firefighter has to find out if this is an imminent delivery. The ONLY way to do this, is to see if the baby's head is showing at the "birth canal."

The Firefighter tries his best to explain that he has to look, "down there." He tries to remove the woman's underwear, and she fights him. This goes on and repeats it self a few times. Finally the Firefighter decides it has been long enough, and if the baby is coming, he has to know so that he can deliver the baby.

He musters up all of his strength, and pulls off the woman's underwear. Whew! The baby is NOT coming. What a relief!

The Paramedics show up, and one of them speaks Spanish. After asking the woman what happened and why she called, the Paramedic listens to the woman's story. He then turns to the Firefighter and asks, "What did you do to her?" The Firefighter explains what he did. The Paramedics says, "She didn't call for herself, she called because someone beat up her husband. He's outside in the backyard."

Life, you just can't make some things up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Lesson in Japanese

When I was a kid, I had to endure going to Japanese School every Saturday. I don't know if they still have these language schools, but I have run into people who also had to go, before 2000.

There were different levels of teaching, the School I went to was more for baby-sitting than learning. A friend of mine went to a School that was much more strict and he learned a lot more Japanese than I did. Though I went all the way to "7th" grade, I don't think I had more knowledge than a 7 year old in Japan.

There are 3 types of writing in Japanese. Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji.

Hiragana is the Japanese alphabet. They are letters based on the vowels A, I, U, E, and O. All letters with the same vowels rhyme, and are pronounced the same each time it is used. Here is a link to the letters.

http://www.saiga-jp.com/img/character/japanese_language/hiragana_katakana_list.gif

Katakana is the alphabet, but used for words that are not Japanese. For example, beer is not a Japanese word, and the Japanese did not give beer a Japanese name, so they kept the original name and use Katakana to spell and pronounce it. So beer written in Katakana is "Beeru." The only problem with this, is that the Japanese uses the letters literally, when sometimes it would work out better if it was done phonetically.

Beer uses the Japanese character "Be" then elongates it for the extra "e" and adds a replacement "ru" for "r." Which is pronounced "Bee-rue" All "R's" have that L/R pronunciation. Thus is done because with the exception of the letter "N," all Japanese letters end in a vowel. Therefore the use of "Ru" at the end of Beer. If they wrote it our phonetically, it could have been "Bee-ya" which is much closer to Beer than Beeru. Make sense? No? You should see how they "spell" McDonald's.

Kanji is the characters used for words, instead of writing it out in letters. You can do both, but it takes less space with Kanji. I can only describe it as Chinese writing. They are very similar and I would guess, based on the same things.

Now the biggest problem for everyone is how to pronounce these letters. The easiest way I can tell you is, is to pronounce it as you would a Spanish word. The vowels are all pronounced the same way.

A = ah
I = ee
U = oo
E = eh
O = oh

Now, this is just a simple way of explaining it, and don't even try to correct me or get more specific. Most people will have enough trouble using this guide.

So, why do I bring it up? The Olympics. When it was held in Nagoya, Japan, and broadcast by CBS, I could not watch it. Nagano, is pronounced, Nah-Gah-Noh. CBS pronounced it like a Surfer dude, "Nawg-Ah-Noe." The mis-pronunciation really bothered me. Why? Because prior to the start of that year's Olympics, CBS's National Sports Director was told that they were pronouncing it incorrectly. What was their answer? Not, "Our apologies, we will pronounce it correctly." It was, "Oh, that way is too boring." Then the National Sports Director pronounced it "Nah-Gah-Noh" in a robotic-like voice and said, "AMERICANS don't speak that way."

F' him. I actually e-mailed all TV Stations in Los Angeles, and advised them of the correct pronunciation. Only Hal Fishman of KTLA 5, made an On-air correction. It was rumored that Tricia Toyota, who worked for CBS at the time, was insulted because she was forced to pronounce it the "wrong" way.

So tell me, why does this happen? I once saw a correction of how Tienanmen Square in China was pronounced on TV. And you are looked down on and thought of as un-schooled if you pronounce French words like "hors d'oeuvres" incorrectly. Hell, I had to look it up to see how it was spelled! At least Karaoke is spelled the way you pronounce it, and you STILL get it wrong.

Why do you think this is? My opinion? Dis-respect. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor to start the United States' involvement in World War II. Japan was beaten, and the added hatred because of the attack meant they didn't deserve the respect of pronouncing it's words correctly.

I can't think of any other reason why Japanese words are butchered every day. Karaoke = Carry okie. Hiroshima = Heroh shim a. Sake = Sa-kie. Listen to news outlets. They are always trying their best to pronounce foreign names correctly. But not when it comes to Japanese words.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Should I be Proud?

After reading another Blog, I took this quiz.....

19

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating




I can take 19 5 year olds in a fight............. Should I be proud? Or ashamed that the number is too low? You know, it wouldn't be easy fighting a multitude of 5 year olds. It would be almost like a Zombie attack. They'd just keep coming and coming. You don't think so? Ask a Kindergarten teacher, they would know. Or the Ice Cream man. *shudder* My heart goes out to those people.

Oh, and if you want to know, I'd also make a slightly better human shield than you would.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Internet Friends

As I wrote before, I made a lot of friends while on the website, Yelp.com. A few of the friends I made were strictly Internet friends. Why? Because I never got to meet them in real life, that's why. Duh!

So today, I was invited to an Engagement party held by a couple that I met on Yelp. Amy first and then Linden, after she got him to join. They are a nice couple and a darn good looking one too. Amy has pretty eyes, and a great smile. Linden....... well, if I was gay.......... I guess I can say that he is very handsome. Damn that Oprah! Why do I listen to her? Get in touch with my feminine side my ass....... Good thing I'm not gay. Did I just say I watch Oprah?

Anyway, I still feel it odd to meet people on Yelp, especially since I left over 2 months ago. I didn't run into anyone who had disagreements with me, though who really knows? Maybe some were just being polite. HMMMMM Judy DID try to run me down in her car. Damn! I thought she'd be the last one to do such a thing. And L'aura DID wave some kind of weird hand gestures at me. It didn't involve one finger, so maybe it was nothing.

Well, just a few more Yelp people I'd like to finally meet. Maybe one day. I wonder if I'll ever meet Rochelle? Melonbar? Daryl? We'll see.

Friday, August 8, 2008

08/08/08

What's so special about today? According to some, the number 8 is a lucky number for Asians, or more specifically, the Chinese. The number 8 is also similar to the symbol representing infinity.

Many people are doing various things today to increase their chances of longevity and/or luck. Some people are getting married. My friend Catherine is getting married today. May it indeed be a lucky day for her.

Some people are probably hoping their child is born today. I wonder at what lengths people will go through, to ensure a birth today? Induce labor by medicinal means? Duct tape the Vagina until today?

Anyway, I don't believe in all this, but I wasn't going to take any chances. At approximately 8:08 AM, I bought a Mega Lotto ticket for today's jackpot. I wonder if I won. I haven't checked yet, because I am at work. I never check the winning numbers at work, because I think it would be bad Karma to not finish my shift. I know if I win a big jackpot, I would go home right away. But, doing so would mean that the unit that I work on would be shut down, meaning no Paramedic Ambulance until the next day when the next shift comes on duty.

I think that Asian people are mistaken about today's date having any significance. If you are going by the Chinese Calendar, the Year is not 2008, it is 4645. It could also be 4605 or 4606 depending on who's interpretation you go by.

Well, now it is 08/09/08. Nothing special happened to me today, though I still haven't checked my Lotto numbers. It was just another day in my life. I had a terrible night's sleep, had to wake up early to go to work, was half asleep most of the day, missed an on-time lunch and dinner because of 911 calls, and now I am up late because I'm not sleepy.

My life is a vicious cycle that repeats itself over and over again. Too bad it isn't like "Groundhog Day." Then I could re-live the day over and over until I get it right, and make improvements like learning to play the Piano. I used to play the French Horn, so I can play similar instruments like the Trumpet, if I start practicing. But instead of the Piano, I'd probably try to learn how to play the Saxophone or Guitar. Maybe the Drums. At least I'd be banging something.

What? Oh, you dirty....... I meant for stress relief. WHAT?!?

(Update: I did not win the Jackpot.)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Please Don't Kill Me

I have a dangerous job. We do what we do based on risk factors. What do we gain? Is it worth it? Am I afraid? Of what? A big fire? Terrorist attacks? A big earthquake? A psycho killer? Zombie attacks? No. I'm more afraid of you, driving in your car.

WHAT?!?!? Yes, you heard me. You. driving. in. your. car. All of us who drive Emergency, or lights and sirens, know that we have to watch out for you. Why? Because vehicles are made differently now. There's sound deadening, extra loud stereo systems, air conditioners and fans blowing. You usually can't hear us coming until we're right behind you. And you're still looking for where we are.

The worst drivers are the ones that don't know what to do. The law is, vehicles on BOTH sides of the street, and cross traffic, "Pull to the right and stop." Not, pull to the left. Not, pull to the right and roll. Not, drive faster and hope the Emergency vehicle turns onto another street. Not, I don't really have to stop until I get to the intersection. NOT, Gee the Emergency vehicle isn't going that fast, I'm in a hurry, I'll just drive past it. Not, if I hurry up and get into the left turn lane, I'll be safe. If you're in the left turn lane, you're supposed to, get this, "Pull to the right and stop." But that's not practical, because you'll end up in the middle of the intersection and make things worse for both of us. You've already have gotten in the way by being in the left turn lane, now stay there and we'll try to go around you. Because you're more important.

Practically, you don't have to pull to the right all the way to the curb all the time. The safest place for an Emergency vehicle to drive is right down the center of the street. That way, it is on the driver's side of all vehicles, and can be seen by drivers going in both directions. So, if there is more than one lane going the same way, just clear the number one lane.

And you've heard it before, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. If you are in the way, and an Emergency vehicle has to go around you, then you just caused it to NOT go the shortest distance. This doesn't matter so much for one car, but have you ever seen an Emergency vehicle do a slalom around multiple cars? I have. Other things that slow us down, are pedestrians who cross streets right in front of us. You only have an excuse if you are deaf, and even deaf people don't cross, because they are more aware of their surroundings and will notice the flashing lights.

The others who slow us down are people who cross in front of us, and then "pull to the right and stop." This happens mostly when we pull out of the Station. When an Emergency vehicle is pulling out of a building or driveway, you should just stop, if safe to do so. Crossing in front of an Emergency vehicle, and then pulling over is keeping us from getting anywhere.

And the absolutely WORST drivers, are the ones on Cell phones. No arguments! I have seen many clueless drivers still on the phone while getting in my way. They are in their own world and are a hazard to all.

Incidentally, do you know that the only legal requirement for an Emergency vehicle to go emergency, is "One steady red burning light." Yes, not the multiple flashing lights all around, and not even a siren, just, "One steady red burning light."

Now, why is this dangerous? Why am I asking you not to kill me? Well there's two reasons.

One. Driving emergency is dangerous if there is an accident. Pay attention. An Ambulance weighs over 8000 pounds. A Fire Engine weighs over 30,000 pounds. You are more likely to die if you get into an accident with one of these. But Fire Dept members have been seriously hurt in accidents, and some have even died.

Two. When you are behind an Emergency vehicle that is driving the same direction that you are headed, and it stops at it's destination, what do you do? You drive around them, don't you. Why? Because you are going where you need to go and nothing else matters. So, "What's wrong with that" you ask? Well someone called 911. That means they have an emergency. Maybe it's life or death, maybe not. But we were called, and we drove there. Now we have to GET OUT of the vehicle to help whoever called. But you are driving past our doors at 35mph, and we can't get out. Has anyone ever gotten out of an Emergency vehicle and got hit by a car and killed? YES! And I know someone who almost got hit by a bus! Missed him by one inch. The Ambulance door did not survive.

When you read this, you might think, "Wow, I never thought of that." Many of us have tunnel vision, and are short-sighted. Try to look at "The Big Picture" and then you might start to see things in a different light.

Public Service Announcement - Earthquakes

So, now you know that I'm a Firefighter/Paramedic for the Los Angeles City Fire Dept. Many of my posts will probably have to do with something that happens to me while I'm on-duty. But not everything. I'm saving most of it for my book. Yes, one day I will right a book. Really, I think I shirley right guud enuf.

Today's topic is Earthquakes. What to do? How to prepare? No, look it up on the Internet yourself. There are many guides on what you should do, how to prepare, etc.

This is about ONE thing.

On July 29, 2008, a moderate earthquake hit Los Angeles at about 11:40 AM. There was very little damage, and no one died. Or did they? For about ONE hour after the Earthquake, the LAFD had very little emergency calls coming into their 911 system. Why? Because there was no damage? Because it wasn't that bad? NO! Because everyone and their mother was on the phone trying to call someone to see if they were okay, and/or talk about what just happened.

ALL PHONE CIRCUITS WERE TOO BUSY FOR ANYONE TO BE ABLE TO CALL 911!!!

People with emergencies, whether or not related to the earthquake, could not get through. Emergencies happen every day and every minute regardless of any other factors, such as an earthquake. You could have kept someone, in dire need, from getting help because they couldn't get through to 911. Did someone die because of this? I don't know. All I know is, after the first hour, the 911 phones rang off the hook.

Remember, stay off the phones for at least one hour after an earthquake, even longer if you really don't need to call anyone. Save it for the people who really need to make a call.

You never know who is trying to call for help. Maybe someone you know.

Who I'd Like to Date

More about ME! Anyway, I'm single. I've been this way for a while, it's a disease I tell you! It's hard to explain why, but a lot has to do with things I just don't have control over. Let's see, first, I am naturally shy. Yes I am! *blush* I had to overcome this, and I did by over-compensating and being a Joker. No, not the Batman kind. Although........ never mind. You know, the typical "Class Clown." But not THE Class Clown. I just played a minor role, Class clown #3.

My best friend, the one who could kick your ass, was also the best story teller. He would have us in stitches all the time. He rubbed off on me, and I rubbed off on him. We complimented each other. I'd like to think that he could have gone the other way and joined a gang, but didn't because of me. And his Aunt, who would have whipped his ass if he did.

After High School, I worked in a Gas Station and made $5.00 per hour. I met a few women who came in regularly for gas, and some may have been attracted to me, but I was clueless. I look back and recall this one girl who asked me, "Why are you so nice to me?" She had a slow leak in her tire, and I would always fill it up for her. Rico Suave in me answered, "Um, I'm nice to everyone." D'OH! Anyway, I'm not that vain. I still think on the scale of 1-10, I'm a solid 6, okay!, 5 1/2. It probably was just an innocent question and not a come-on. Then again, I was just a poor boy, nobody loved me. He's just a poor boy from a poor family! *STOP IT!* Damn Queen.... I was "poor." Where could I take a girl, with a real job, on a date since I was only making $5.00 an hour?

My biggest "chance" to find someone, was when I worked for Bank of America. I met a hell of a lot of people there, and many of them were women. I did come out of my shell by then, but I guess I over compensated again and was a little too forward sometimes. It's okay though. The last girl I pursued from B of A would have been a disaster for me. I started talking to her and found out she was interested in a job that my friend was looking to fill. It was as a Civil Engineering apprentice. She got the job, and I started seeing more of her, because I often had lunch with my friend. Eventually I had a few lunches with her. There was one problem. She lived with her boyfriend. She almost left him for me, but fate saved me. Nothing ever happened. Eventually she married the guy, and the guy caught her cheating on him with one of her co-workers. Whew! I dodged that heartache.

Anyway, I went back to school while working for B of A, because my main interest was becoming a Firefighter. So, I enrolled in Community College and took Fire Science classes. I also took some General Ed classes, and did so well, I got on the Dean's list. Imagine that, a High School drop-out on the Dean's list. Sacrilege.

By now I was too busy to do anything else with my time, even dating. I focused on getting a job as a Firefighter. I did well enough on the last testing process for the City of Los Angeles, but LA announced a hiring freeze on the day I had my Oral interview, and I had to wait two extra years to get hired. If it wasn't for the Riots, I probably would have had to wait a little longer, or had to re-test for the job.

I finally got the job, and it was time consuming. Being a Rookie was 24/7/365. On-duty or off, I was training or studying. After Probation, there was still much to learn. Then, when there was a "lull" I decided to volunteer for Paramedic school. That took another long year of training, and then I was assigned to a very busy Station in the Pico-Union District of Los Angeles. We were always one of the top 3 busiest Paramedic ambulances in the City. I always came home beat. I mean come home and sleep till noon beat. Yeah, there were times when I wasn't, but it was few and far between.

I could go into more of that, but you see my point, too busy to date. Now, I have personal issues that keep me tethered to home. I can go out, but only on a limited basis. Unfortunately, most of the women I meet today, are too young for me. At work, even when I was on Yelp, all under 30. And my ideal range is over 35. I guess I could be one of those "Dirty-old-men" with a girl 20 years his junior, but I just can't do it. If I did, she would have to have a ton in common with me, and that's not likely. Hey, don't get me wrong, I do get tempted sometimes, but not enough to act.

I'm still called clueless, and having "eyes wide shut," so maybe I'm missing something. Maybe. But like most things that have happened to me in life, including becoming a Firefighter, fate did it's job. I almost got hired as a Firefighter 12 years before I did. I wasn't ready back then, and passed on it. It was the best thing to happen to me. I didn't know it at the time, but fate was making sure I was physically and mentally ready to become a Firefighter. Fate also kept me from dating that one girl I mentioned above. So, I still wait, but this time, I'm getting less physically able, and more mental. Um, what do you expect from an old man like me? Still I know whoever I'm waiting for, is out there and is gonna be everything I NEVER looked for in a woman. (Please don't be a man!) Isn't that the way it always is?

But wait a minute, that's not the title of this post. So, who would I like to Date? Wouldn't YOU like to know.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Yelper for Life?

I just realized that my life is now defined by my experiences on Yelp. All of my friends are people I've met on Yelp. My tenants are friends I met on Yelp. 99% of my friends on Facebook are people I met on Yelp. Undoubtedly, my girlfriend will also be from Yelp. If I swing the other way, my boyfriend will be from Yelp. If I get married, my future ex-wife will be from Yelp. I'm even meeting someone from Yelp for lunch today! Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp, Yelp! IT'S A CULT!

That's why I left. If you aren't one of the "followers" you will be shunned. Be assimilated or removed like a cancerous cyst. For more than a year, I was a follower. But I was never a very good follower. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a very good leader either. I'd rather do my own thing.

That's the downfall of Yelp. It's a great idea, but it has poor execution and policies. Think about it. You are a business. You want to be successful. To do that, you need to grow. The more people you have, the more you grow. Yet one of Yelp's policies is to kick people off, or allow them to leave. Now, I can understand if a person is an Internet Troll (See Wiki for a definition) but they allow trolls to stay and harass people, and allow their "real" users to leave! What kind of policy is that? I bet MySpace doesn't kick people off. Well, unless you're a pedophile or something, but then, that would make you a troll.

So, now I'm on my own again. I'm trying to cut the umbilical cord of Yelp. But it's hard. Some people I can contact only through Yelp. I do have "regular" friends. But most of them are busy with married life, children, work, etc. And my schedule is different from the norm, so I don't get to see them much. Most of my contacts with people now, are at work, and here on the Internet. Nah, I'm not lonely or starving for attention. I'm just telling it like it is, as I see it.

Isn't that what blogging is about?

Monday, August 4, 2008

For Corazon

So now you kinda know about Yelp. I wrote reviews, and some people liked them. Some people actually read them. One of these suckers............. um, er............ friends, was Corazon. After I left Yelp and deleted all of my reviews, she told me that this was one of her favorites. So, I will post it just for her. Hey, don't read it, it 's for her..................

Truly: A Vegan Restaurant

So, there I was, 8 hours of sleep in three days. Not good. Something’s wrong, I.............. I have a need to vent. What's wrong with me? Why am I spilling my guts like a, a ............... a Girlie man? Like Robert De Niro in "Analyze This," without the bawling. I need help. Intervention, something! So I get in touch with a friend so we can talk and have lunch. Yes, that's it. Like all Macho Manly men, we need to talk it out, and communicate. And where else better to do this, than at a Vegan restaurant. Yup, here I am spilling my guts, eating Vegan. What have I done to deserve this?

I had the Pad Thai, which I have had at my favorite Thai place the week before, and this Vegan version was very good. In fact, add chicken, and there would have been no difference from the Non-Vegan one I had. My friend also had the Pad Thai, and I believe they made the two together, then separated it into two servings. How did I know this? My plate had 2-3 pieces of tofu, while hers had about 100. No, it didn't matter. After JayChan said tofu turned men lady-like, I refuse to touch the stuff. So, anyway it was very good, filling and the prices were very reasonable.

So now it's all over, I'm back to normal. I've caught up on my rest, and I'm starting to feel like a Man again. I go home and watch TV. Queer Eye is on, and I find out I'm doing everything wrong! I need to paint my rooms in vivid colors, get new furniture, get clothing that complements my features, learn how to cook exotic dishes, and resupply my bathroom with specific toiletries suited to my skin. I'm back to square one. Will someone come over and hold me for a while?

My Internet Claim to Fame

I never got into MySpace, or anything prior to that. AOL, AIM, and Chat Rooms were all foreign to me. All I ever used the Internet for was to E-Mail friends, Shop for things, Traveling, and to find information on something.

Then one fateful day in May of 2006, I was researching places to eat in San Francisco. I was going up for a weekend and heard about a place that served Waffles any way you wanted them. One of my friend's ex-girlfriend, who lived there, took him to this place. It was near SF Chinatown. I never found the restaurant, but I found Yelp.com.

If you don't know, Yelp.com is where "Real People" write "Real Reviews" of any businesses. Most of them are for restaurants. This is where sites like Chowhound and Eater make their mistakes. They are always putting Yelp down because they just don't get it. They complain that the reviewers are terrible writers, or that the reviews are not thorough enough.

Basically Yelp is a site where word-of-mouth reigns. You know how you found that small hole in the wall that serves the best whatever-it-is that they serve? A friend told you about the place. Or that great mechanic that fixes your junker? A friend told you about them. You didn't find it in a Zagat survey, or on Chowhound. A friend told you. That's what Yelp is about. People going to their favorite places, and writing about them.

Well, though I wasn't the first one to register in Los Angeles on Yelp.com, I was popular enough to be voted King of their Prom. Yelp also sponsors themed events, like the Prom, where certain users deemed "Elite" are invited to attend. Although I think the voting was rigged, because there were a lot of hanging chads that were overlooked.

Anyway, here's my story, you want to hear it? Here it goes........

Come and listen to a story 'bout a man crowned King
A poor writer who could barely spell anything
Then one day he was looking for some food,
And up from a search came some Googling good
Yelp that is, Real People, Real Reviews.

Well first thing you know I'm going to the Prom
Jenny said, "Hey, take me, not your Mom!"
She said Hollywood is where we ought to be
So we got up on my Harley, and we rode up to the Key
Club that is, Yelping Stars, drinking fools

Well then it was the time for me to say goodbye
I had it up to here, and got spit right in my eye
I wasn't invited back and got kicked right out the door
So I registered on Facebook and I asked for a little more
Friends that is, Real Friends.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Ahhh, 2 years on a dating site, and I have nothing to show for it. Ain't life grand?