Sunday, May 17, 2009

Stain On My Notebook

Good morning!

Why then, if it is a good morning, would you ruin it with a cup of molten battery slurry?

I mean, must you start your day, every day, with coffee?

The fact is Coffee Achievers don't give a damn about people who don't drink coffee. They are completely oblivious to the fact that there are people on this planet who think that coffee smells like the boiling bilge of a million dirty ashtrays.

It's a Secondhand Beaning, and you've got some nerve.

The Coffee Maker. What would you sleep-walking wackos do without your automated coffee machines?

I'm a little embarrassed watching you use the coffee maker because you are the weakest link in the caffeine chain. Enormous effort is required to ferry fair trade coffee from the other side of the globe to your quivering, expectant maw. Look at you, stooped over and yawning, vaguely awake, steadying your hand to fill the coffee machine's reservoir. Pathetic.

So there you are, motionless, catatonic, singularly fixed on this wheezing, gasping apparatus as if it were the Oracle at Delphi. You clap your hand to your mouth in amazement as the water finds the coffee grounds and is, alchemically, converted into brown gold. Like Pavlov's barista you begin to salivate.

One thing is obvious: this gleaming, computer-designed, focus-group honed, single-purpose kitchen apparatus was not designed to be used by you. It was designed for a demographic ideal. Maybe someone like you, but not necessarily you. Someone who is wearing clean underwear.

And, why aren't you repulsed that the sound of your coffee maker toiling away is very much like the sound of a man with an enlarged prostate struggling to urinate? If you've never listened to a man with an enlarged prostate try to drain his bladder, I suggest you go brew some coffee.

Your beloved coffee machine, by the way, takes all the fun out of the ritual of coffee making. Surely the least fun part of Coffee is the actual drinking of it. Go buy a French Press, it'll make you look cool to the girls who stay over for breakfast. On second thought, you don't need a French press.

And, the final insult: the coffee bar. The indignity of standing in line for brown water! I can understand paying enormous sums of money for water that is free of sewage, pathogens, and the like, but paying for clean water that has had the sewage pumped back into it I will not abide.

Surely there's something else you can drink in the morning. Tea is very civilized. Milk is a healthy idea. Spring water will keep you rinsed out. How about juice of a million varieties? Not good enough for your finicky self? Okay, how about a fistful of Grapenuts to rattle your Medulla oblongata!

Waaaaaah! That's not going to wake my sleepy ass up in the morning!

You drink coffee for the boost, then? If a substantial jolt is the desired effect, chew tin foil. Or floss with a live wire.

Just kill your coffee machine.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

This Week in Pediatric Reverse Peristalsis

As I was holding my son over my head, singing to him, he vomited directly into my mouth and down my throat.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eyes On the Prize

File under: Campaign Ad Boners

I panicked today watching New York Governor David Paterson navigate a NYC subway turnstile alone. Where are his handlers? Is someone there to stop him from walking off the platform, AND ONTO THE TRACKS?!?!

Jump-cut to Gov. Paterson stepping out of his limo, unattended. (The editing is brisk.) Good Lord!I hope he didn't fall down right there on the sidewalk!

The New York Governor's Race has begun and the incumbent appears to be testing the persona of someone who is sighted.

Paterson is blind, right? He makes an issue of it by negating it. Did the SNL sketches cut so deeply? He didn't see them!

Gov. Paterson should not be pretending that he can see. This can only backfire hilariously.

Blindness is David Paterson's greatest strength. He has the natural advantage of our empathy, and therefore has little to gain from selling a tough-guy to an irate constituency. He should be making sure that the economic stimulus is being properly allocated, not feeling his way for the Metrocard reader.

He should wait for the campaign proper, and the debates, where he will surprise and impress us with his charm and intelligence.

So, why is Paterson rehabilitating his image? Because he is guilty of the high crime of speaking ill of a Kennedy in a blue state. (And raising taxes.) In fact, Paterson is so unpopular now that a majority of New Yorkers want Spitzer back.

We can't possibly be that blind.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

In Vivo, On TiVo

Let's face it, you don't care about Formula One racing.

Americans are repelled by Formula One racing because Grands Prix are raced on road courses, not ovals. Drivers are making both left and right-hand turns, and this clearly vexes us.

Maybe you prefer to watch NASCAR (Nicotine Addled Society of Cro-Magnons And Rednecks), which is like watching people drive the New Jersey Turnpike: A mob of sociopaths tailgating and passing at hideous speeds; one distraction away from multiple vehicular manslaughter.

And you don't care that many F1 innovations are now standard issue on many cars: adjustable suspensions, traction control, paddle shifters mated to dual-clutch, seven speed gearboxes.

For the 2009 season, Formula One's governing body, the FIA, encouraged car constructors to employ hybrid technology in their racecars. The resulting hardware is a regenerative braking technology called KERS: the Kinetic Energy Recovery System. Energy that would otherwise be lost as heat during braking is captured and stored for later use as boost. There are currently two competing technologies: one that uses batteries and another that uses a flywheel to store the captured energy.

The impetus behind KERS is obviously not hybrid efficiency. It is about Formula One's dullness of late. In recent seasons, F1 cars were very evenly matched, making overtaking - the raison d'etre of motorsport - an impossibility. This year, however, drivers who use the KERS system will have a temporary straight-line advantage over those who don't use KERS, or who have depleted their KERS stores. And not all racing teams have implemented a KERS system.

But, you don't care about this awe inspiring new technology. And you probably still won't, a few years from now, after I rocket past you on the Taconic Parkway in my thimble-sized Hyundai, thumb mashing the steering wheel-mounted KERS button, reciting Whitman at top volume: "I am large, I contain multitudes!"

In case you care, the Spanish Grand Prix, from Barcelona, is this weekend. Televised practice begins Friday, May 8 at 4 am EDT. Saturday practice and qualifying begins 5 am EDT. And, the race is scheduled for Sunday, May 10, 8 am EDT.

It's not easy to care about Formula One.