29 January 2010

An Open Letter to Jacques Torres, Chocolatier

Cher Monsieur Torres,

To begin, please let me express how much I love all of your products; your chocolate is my absolute favorite!

I am writing to recount to you a somewhat unsettling thing that transpired during my most recent visit to your store on Hudson Street, where I drop in about once a week. The day was Thursday, January 28, around 3:00 in the afternoon. As my friend and I were sitting in the store enjoying a couple hot chocolates and a cookie, we noticed that the famous actor Paul Rudd (whose appearances include “Anchorman,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and “Knocked Up”) had just entered with his young son and a few friends.

As you know, “celebrity” sightings are a fairly common—almost quotidian—occurrence in New York, particularly in such fashionable neighborhoods as Soho. And indeed, it is undoubtedly due to the sheer frequency of such encounters that the staff behind the counter registered no visible surprise, shock, or awe at whom they were serving; they simply treated him as an ordinary customer—no more, no less.

It was then, sir, that things took a turn for the absurd. No sooner had Mr. Rudd placed his order on behalf of his little boy (I believe it was cocoa) than the store manager popped up from behind the counter, as perky as a spring bouquet, exclaiming, “Hi! I just wanted to say hi!” She then announced to the increasingly confused-looking Mr. Rudd that his order was “on the house.” Despite his protests, the manager would have none of it, explaining, “Jacques always gives chocolate to children!” Mind you, Mr. Rudd wasn’t the only one who was confused by this odd behavior—one of his friends chimed in, only half-joking, “Hey, why don’t I get free chocolate, too?”

The manager, at this point painting the very portrait of a star-struck Times Square tourist, proceeded to make Mr. Rudd’s hot chocolate herself, as if the regular barrista were unfit to provide him with the VIP service he deserved as the veritable icon of the silver screen that he was.

In short, my friend and I found it rather unprofessional that your manager reacted to this encounter with celebrity in such an over-the-top manner, which also happened to implicitly devalue the rest of us “ordinary” customers who a) actually paid for our experience at the store, and b) had our drinks prepared by the (otherwise very capable) regular barrista. The number of B-, C-, and D-list celebrities in Soho is legion. For their sake and that of the rest of your customers, I hope that this sort of spectacle is not the norm each time one of them happens to drop into your store.

With very best regards, and compliments once more on your wonderful products—

23 June 2009

Disconcerting news story of the day


Boeing Dreamliner Again Delayed

Boeing again delayed the 787 Dreamliner's initial test flight, because of structural weakness where the wings join the plane's body.

As far as structural weaknesses go... that's definitely one of the bad ones.

03 June 2009

Get Back Pirate or I'll Blast Yar!

Ah, the Heritage Foundation, a think tank where conservatives can pursue scholarly solutions to the USA's most dire problems.

Solutions like fighting pirates with lasers.

November 25, 2008
Pentagon Should Battle Pirates and Terrorists with Laser Technology
by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.

Directed Energy Weapons, particularly those powered by lasers, have long been the stuff of science fiction. Due to recent innovations in commercial solid-state lasers and their adaptation to military uses, potential and immediate national security applications for these weapons are apparent.

The Pentagon, however, has been agonizingly slow in fielding operational prototypes. This must change. There are real-world missions for which laser weapons are needed right now. Additionally, fielding prototypes is essential for developing the appropriate tactics, techniques, and procedures for employing these new capabilities. Unless the military gets these new technologies in the field, it is doubtful the full potential of such weapons will ever be realized. Additionally, further delays make it unlikely that a constituency will develop within the military to strongly advocate for developing and fielding directed energy weapons.

I'm not going to say it would make the best movie ever ... I'm just saying whoever writes that script first is going to make HUNDREDS of dollars.

19 May 2009

Fox News' blooper reel grows

During a commercial break from the season finale of 24, Fox 5 News anchor Brian Bolter delivered this little gem; we're glad to know they're so modest, Brian.

13 May 2009

Your Misery is Not Good Company.

An open letter to the cranky middle-aged weirdo in the office.

Dear CMAW,

I'm sorry you hate your job, your wife, your kids and (from listening to you bitching day in and day out) pretty much everything except fantasy baseball.
We work in a tiny office space so my headphones will not drown out your random yelling outbursts at the aforementioned job, wife, kids etc...
Your misery is now my misery.

Oh wait - actually I'm not sorry.

I need you to please become medicated, quit or find something else that will make you not here.

Oh and if I were you I would also consider tightening the fuck up.

xo -

06 May 2009

Music "insider" revises history of rock and roll.

{Expanding on a tweet from this a.m.}

Last night, moron American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi weighed in on contestant Danny Gokey's rendition of Aerosmith's Dream On, citing that she would've preferred some "early Aerosmith", such as Cryin' or Crazy. Yeah, that early Aerosmith from the 90s, right?

Tighten, DioGuardi: Aerosmith formed in 1970 (the year you were born), and Dream On was released on the band's eponymous first album from 1973.

Secondary tighten goes to Gokey himself for shredding the final notes of the song, ruining the climax. To his credit, it was a noble attempt, but well beyond his range.

{and never you mind that the Tighten Up Report sometimes watches AI}

See the performance here (DioGuardi's comments unfortunately excluded):

Musclebound Hulkamaniac begs for requitement, humiliates self.

I don't care if it's fake, it still fails as a bad joke. To tighten!

01 May 2009

Loose elevator maintenance

When I saw this I imagined the super of the office building on the phone with the elevator company and their conversation going something like this...
Super: Hello, yes I need a number 10 button - ours is broken.
Elevator Supplies Depot: Sure ...oh, wait ... we only have 1's ans 0's ... no 10.
Super: No 10? Are you sure?
Elevator Supplies Depot: Yep.
Super: Ok ... I guess a 1 will do ... less confusing then 0 - you have a square button right?
Elevator Supplies Depot: ....