Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Go For the Gold & Come Up Cold!

The phone rang and something told me not to pick it up.
But, I always do. And it's usually bad.

"Hello, Thundermaker?"

(A few years back, just for kicks and giggles, I told the people at work that my Najavo name is "Thundermaker." I told them I wanted to be referred to by everyone in the office from thereon as "Thundermaker." They didn't object for a second or even bother to ask any questions. Within 24 hours, there was a company-wide memo and everyone was calling me "Thundermaker.")

"This is Bunny Hope in Accounting."

"Hi, Bunny."

"Hi, Th-th-undermaker," she was having trouble saying the name without laughing. "I am calling about a certain piece of office furniture that you ordered for your cubicle."


"Well, it's a $40,000 piece of furniture (see photo) with gilded doors. Don't you think that's a little expensive for a writer's office?" Her voice was borderline snarky.

"Hey, it's imaged perceived, mission achieved. You know what I am saying?"

'Uh, not really," Bunny said, obviously not feeling me.

"If you want to play with the big boys, ya gotta pay the freight."


"Don't do the crime if you can't do the time?" I was starting to sound desperate.

"Listen, Thunderboy, if you want to order office furniture that is more suitable for someone at your level within this company, something nice and reasonably priced, take a look at In the meantime, your gold cabinets are going back. Maybe Larry Ellison might like them."

"But, Bunny..."


(I hate accountants)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Friend with Bad Skin. It's the Zits!

Bill gave me that bewildered look -- the one he displayed whenever he was cluelessly lost in his own pygmy-sized brain.

"Why don't chicks dig me?" he asked.

"No one calls them 'chicks' anymore, Bill for one thing,"
I'm always trying to help people, it's my nature.

"Well, why don't women like me?"

Bill was always slow on the take.

"I got one word for you, Bill. Well, actually it's a series of words strung together. It's Your face looks like the moon, Bill. Which I guess is better than Uranus, but not by much. They have treatments for acne that can really help you battle that road rash, Bill."

"Uh, thanks, dood...I."

"Dood is a dead word as well, Bill. But, don't worry, getting rid of that cheese grater face will make you feel better about yourself."

"Will I get babes?"

"No one says 'babe' anymore, either Bill. In fact, women hate it. But, to answer your question -- probably not. Even if you get perfect skin, you'll still be annoyning as hell. And that breath. And the fact that you live with your mom, have horrendous body odor and work as a security guard at a Burger King--that stuff will work against you Bill, I have to be honest."

"Oh," Bill said.

I had a feeling this tough love session was over.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Halloween: The Right Costume Can Make It or Break It!

If Lassie were only around to see this bunch...
If you're looking for a fun Halloween costume for this year, there are a wide range of new, fun and/or extremely scary ones out there on he market. Whether you're a ghoul or a boy, a ghost or a goblin, a vampire, a wolfman or a mummy--you'll find something at They have the newest, hottest, hippest, most frightening costumes. And one of the best things about it is that they're reasonably priced. Halloween is rapidly approaching, so why not check them out today?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Douche Bag of the Decade

I haven’t selected a Douche Bag of the Month this year, although there have been many very deserving candidates. But, this one has been bugging me for so long that I finally had to write about it. You may remember the tiger incident at the San Francisco Zoo last Christmas. Really, who can forget it? It was a huge story nationally and it isn’t going away.
There is no doubt in my mind that the incident was caused when three juvenile delinquents (or maybe just two and a tag along) taunted the tiger and caused the whole affair. Evidence in the civil case will prove this, I am certain. Whatever happened (and I obviously have my own opinions) when it was all over one young man and one tiger were dead.
As the story has evolved, we’ve had the unpleasant experience of finding out more and more about the Dhaliwal brothers, the two survivors of the tragedy. We now know one thing for certain—they’re basically punks; wannabe gangsters and future inmates of our penal system.
Well, karma has reared its justified head in these idiots’ direction and payback as they say, is a bitch. And now Paul Dhaliwal, the more offensive of the two, is off to San Quentin. I hope his cellmate is a big, muscular, tiger-loving PETA member. The world has a funny way of making things right, doesn’t it?
This appeared in the Mercury News late last week:
Last Christmas, Amritpal "Paul" Dhaliwal, his brother and longtime friend Carlos ran, bloodied and terrified, as a 250-pound Siberian tiger at the San Francisco Zoo attacked them after escaping from its cement enclosure.
But this year, it's likely 20-year-old Dhaliwal will spend the holiday locked away.
Dhaliwal was sentenced to spend more than a year in state prison this week in connection with a series of run-ins with the law, unrelated to the Christmas Day tiger mauling that wounded him and his brother and left his younger friend, Carlos Sousa Jr., dead.
The ruling marked a strange chapter in the bizarre case that riveted people worldwide with the attack's brutal violence. In the fallout of the Christmas tragedy - which left both Sousa and the tiger, Tatiana, dead - accusations flew at the zoo, the tiger and at the young men themselves.
In the months that followed, more and more, Dhaliwal - who still has the scars from where the tiger clawed at his head - went from victim to pariah, blamed for provoking the attack and sometimes refusing to cooperate with the police investigation.
However, to date, no charges have been filed against either Dhaliwal brother in relation to the mauling.
Today, Paul Dhaliwal's rap sheet includes everything from evading arrest to probation violations for fleeing from sheriff's deputies while pushing speeds more than 130 mph on the highway. In a few weeks, he's headed to San Quentin prison.
He and his older brother Kulbir, who is due in court next week to face his own set of charges, were hoping to win a sizable sum of money after they filed a negligence and defamation suit against the city of San Francisco and the zoo in March.
But hours after the filing, Paul Dhaliwal was arrested in a Target store in San Leandro on suspicion of shoplifting Nintendo Wii video game controllers, leading a judge to decide that Dhaliwal had violated probation on a previous charge.
"It's clear that Paul Dhaliwal doesn't seem to understand that he has to live within the requirements of civilized society," said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Stuart Scott.
According to Scott, Dhaliwal pleaded guilty Wednesday in Santa Clara County to charges he battered an officer during a run-in with police near his San Jose home in September 2007. He struck one of the officers with his forearm after he and Kulbir tried to flee.
The week before, Paul Dhaliwal was in another Santa Clara County courtroom, where a judge sentenced him to 16 months for a probation violation.
Kulbir Dhaliwal will be in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Monday to face misdemeanor charges of public drunkenness and resisting arrest connected to the same run-in with police that his brother pleaded guilty to this week.
Calls to their attorneys Friday were not returned.
The sentencing will likely hurt their civil claim that the zoo's hired spin doctors defamed the Dhaliwals' reputation by claiming they had provoked the tiger.
"The last thing you want to do in the middle of a high-profile lawsuit is get in this kind of trouble," said Steve Clark, a San Jose legal analyst and former prosecutor. "You are contaminating a potential jury pool by putting yourself constantly in the media for the wrong reasons."
But, Michael Cardoza, attorney for the Sousa family, added the zoo should still provide the same level of safety, regardless of what might show up on their rap sheets.
"One would think that anybody going to the zoo should be equally protected from the animals, no matter what their background," Cardoza said. "What do we say? Felons shouldn't go?"
But for at least one person, the Dhaliwals' problems don't really matter anymore: Sousa's mother, Marilza Sousa, last spoke to the pair before her son's funeral.
These days, Sousa has been too busy thinking about her son's upcoming birthday in September, when he would have turned 18.
Already, she's dreading the holidays.
"For us, it's not Christmas anymore."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Have YOU Heard of 800-GOOG-411?

I always seem to find out about cool stuff well after everyone else. I am a low-tech, day-late, dollar-short kind of guy. For the longest time, I thought TiVO was a salad dressing. I was also under the impression that an iPod was a newly discovered antioxidant plant material.
Needless to say, I eventually found out what all these things are--like a year later. That's why I wasn't surprised to discover that I am one of the last people in my circle of friends to find out about what's called 800-GOOG-411.
What is it? Well, 800-GOOG-411 is a free phone information system, just like good old Pac Bell's 411, but better. I love Google! They're coming up with great new things all the time, and the best thing is--they're usually free. What an amazing company Google is.
Basically, 800-GOOG-411 allows you to find phone numbers and addresses. But, the best thing about it is that you can also search for types of businesses.
So, if you want to locate a strip club in Antioch, all you have to do is say the city name and then say "strip clubs." Then it gives you the top 8 in the category (some place named "Good Time Girls" is number one, for those who are interested.)
You can find places by city name, zip code, or even cross streets. So, it's ideal if you're traveling out of town and don't know the area.
But, the best thing is--it's free. Every time you call the standard 411, the phone comapny charges you anywhere between fifty cents to more than a dollar, so you can save a ton of money with 800-GOOG-411 if you call 411 a lot, like I do.
Plus, half the time 411 operators give you the wrong number, which means you have to go back and bitch at them until they give you a credit, which can take months to appear on your bill.
Hats off to Google for once again making our lives a little easier...and less expensive. Now if we can just persuade Chevron to start giving away free gas!
For more information about this great service, check out Google's blog.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Nautica Watches

When John Rimaldi asked me what time it was yesterday, I looked proudly at my Nautica watch and said, "It's 6:01, man."
"Are you sure?" he asked me.


"'Cause it feels like 6:05, 6:06, maybe."

"Then why did you ask?"

"I thought you'd know."

Now I was mad.

"You see this watch, John? This is one of those Nautica watches. Do you know what that means?"

"Uh, whaa?" John was on his heels now and I knew I had his attention.

I was yelling now.

"If you ask a guy with a Nautica on his wrist what time it is, don't question it, buddy! A Nautica never falters and always gives the correct, precise time. Not one millisecond off ever...EVER...capice?"

Before I could think about it, I had John by the collar and he was shaking.

"Yeah, I get the point," John said. "And I'll be getting a Nautica--tomorrow!"

Monday, August 11, 2008

Do you think Brad Pitt ever had a zit?

Brad Pitt is probably the biggest heart throb out there in the celebrity world today (ahead of even George Clooney, Johnny Depp and Beetlejuice) and every time I see him I always wonder--did this guy ever have a single zit in his life? Some people get all the breaks. Some guys get all the luck. I bet Brad Pitt wakes up hung over looking better than 99.9% of the men out there on the planet today. I doubt it ever happened, but if Brad had a zit, he should probably know about, so that he could purchase some pimple cream online. Even the best-looking guys on the planet need a little help now and again!

Waterbar Has Seafood to Dive For!

With spectacular interiors, an incredible view of the bay and some of the finest seafood I’ve ever eaten, the Waterbar is a new gem in San Francisco that represents all of the culinary greatness, creativity and passion this city’s food scene has to offer. Highly successful restaurateur Pat Kuleto has designed a place that has it all. Kuleto has now opened eight restaurants in the Bay Area that all do incredible business and garner top reviews. It seems as though everything the man touches turns into gold and Waterbar is surely no exception.

The restaurant seats 275 diners in two dining rooms, a private dining area upstairs and an outside patio that can accommodate 50 patrons. Two 1,500 gallon aquariums containing assorted aquatic life are the focal point of Waterbar, especially when the moray eels come out of their underwater lairs. The swimming fish are fun to watch, but the real stars of this show are the fish coming out of the kitchen, many of them having been roasted in a wood-burning oven.

The foundation of Chef Parke Ulrich’s menu is built on seafood that is sustainable and local, with an emphasis on fish that has been harvested in an environmentally responsible manner. Ulrich, who was the executive chef at Farallon for more than a decade, is a veteran expert around seafood and it shows in every dish we had the pleasure of sampling the other night when we visited Waterbar.

To get the meal rolling, we had several delicious salads and appetizers, including Emma’s Favorite Salad (named after Ulrich’s daughter) featuring fuji apple, endive and aged gouda grilled cheese; a Dungeness Crab Gratin, with roasted bone marrow and truffle glacage; a Sweet Fennel Salad with green olives, orange and Pecorino Romano; and a Sea Scallop Ceviche, with sweet potato, smoked salt and paprika oil. The salads were so much better than the standard Caesar and garden salads you find at many restaurants. I am so tired of those types of salads. And the ceviche was so fresh I thought the scallops might still be alive.

For our entrees, two of our party of four had what the Waterbar calls The Rock Cod “Colbert”, which the menu describes as “our version of fish and chips.” It’s basically an entire fish that’s been deep-fried, slathered with a wonderful remoulade sauce and served on a bed of citrus coleslaw. Accompanied by some of the best French fries I’ve ever encountered, I would have to say that this dish is one of the more memorable fish offerings I’ve ever had anywhere. They keep the head and the tail on the fish, but fillet the body, so you won’t have to worry about a bunch of bones while eating this gastronomical wonder. I wouldn’t want to get my cholesterol levels tested after eating “The Colbert”, but while I was eating it I didn’t care. It is crispy without being greasy and full of interesting flavors and textures.

Our friends ordered the Grilled Wreckfish with potato gnocchi, English peas, bacon and red wine; and the One Pound Petrale Sole. Both dishes were expertly prepared and artfully presented. Other interesting items on Waterbar’s menu include things for non-seafood lovers, such as a New York Steak, served with asparagus, sun choke hash and caramelized onions, and a Heritage Pork Chop, with butter beans, fennel, aged sherry and an olive relish. They also have a wide assortment of oysters, crab, and shrimp dishes.

The desserts we sampled at Waterbar, many of which were conceived by Executive Pastry Chef Emily Luchetti, were sensational. We had the Ice Cream Sandwiches with a milk chocolate sauce; a Warm Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Cake with coffee ice cream; a Strawberry Cream Parfait with mascarpone and meringue; and a Champagne Sorbet. Waterbar also offers a wide range of specially selected cheeses from all over the world.

The bar/lounge at Waterbar features a wide selection of beers, wine and cocktails, including a mean daiquiri and some specialty cocktails created by the restaurants top mixologists. They also have a 23-page wine list, crafted by Steve Izzo that features current vintages and old classics.

399 Embarcadero (near Folsom)
San Francisco
(415) 284-9922

To see more of my restaurant reviews, visit

Friday, August 08, 2008

Acne: There IS a Solution!

When I was a teenager (way back in the '70s) if you had bad acne, you pretty much had to live with it. Well, things sure have changed. With the new technologies, people with acne have more solutions available than ever. There is a great Web site called that can really help you find the best acne remedy for you. Don't get depressed or give up hope if you suffer from bad acne. Check out this site and clear up problem acne today. Like they say--zits are the s--ts! It CAN be healed and it should be healed!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Screen Your Employees!

In today's recruiting and hiring world, you never know who you're going to get when you take an employee on board. That's why a good employment screening service is so valuable. You see the guy in this photo? Sure, he has a great resume. His references had nothing but incredible things to say about him. His track record is unmatched and unquestioned. But, after he's been working for your company for a few months, you find out the truth-he's an Internet porn addict, bed wetting miscreant with a major crack problem. If you'd only screened him better, you wouldn't have the problems you have now. So, save yourself a lot of heartache-get a good employment screening system today!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Nomar Hurt Again?

While Dodger fans are obviously psyched about getting Manny Ramirez, the fact remains that this team is still not ready to make a run at postseason play. There are still way too many questions marks, one of which has to do with the physical condition of Nomar Garciaparra.
For the past few seasons, Nomar has been unable to stay off of the disabled list. This seems to happen to many players in his age group. Once the injury bug hits, it becomes an ongoing thing. Nomar has had a long list of ailments and every time it seems as though he’ll be able to play on a regular basis, something comes up.

Questions about Nomar’s health abound-is it poor conditioning? Has he simply lost his ability to perform as he did in the past? Or is it just bad luck? Only time will tell.
Regardless, Garciaparra is back on the disabled list once again-for the third time this season. It’s got to be frustrating for a competitive, top-tier player like Nomar. And the fans can’t be happy. The man has to feel guilty as well—pulling down a big salary to sit on the bench or languish at home. In the meantime, the Dodgers are three games out of first place and could be fading fast, Manny Ramirez or not.
If you’re a Dodger supporter like me, this is a time of hope. But, I fear it’s a false hope. The team will not be able to catch the Diamondbacks if they continue to lose players to injury and underachieve.
This appeared on today:
The Dodgers made room for Manny Ramirez on the active roster Friday by placing infielder Nomar Garciaparra on the 15-day disabled list because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
Garciaparra, who had been starting at shortstop, was injured Sunday making a tag while covering third base against the Washington Nationals. Garciaparra was placed on the DL retroactive to Monday, and will be eligible to come off Aug. 12 when the Dodgers play Philadelphia in the second game of a four-game series.
This is Garciaparra's third trip to the disabled list this season. He missed the first 14 games while recovering from a fractured bone in his right hand, and was sidelined for 62 games from April 26 to July 3 with a strained left calf. He is hitting .279 with five homers and 19 RBI in 27 games.
"He's been working at it and he's getting better, but he's still a long way from being that shortstop that can go to his left and to his right," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "Basically, we talked to him about this yesterday and he was resistant to it based on the fact that he was getting better and he felt that he could help the ballclub.
"Even though he may be able to play in 12 days instead of 15, I think we can take this luxury now that we have Manny and we've got a little more bench strength. He's just taking one for the team, basically."
Ramirez, acquired from the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, made his debut for the Dodgers on Friday night against Arizona, playing left field and batting cleanup.