Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kirstie Alley is BIG Again!

Kirstie Alley lost all that weight and now she's back in a BIG way (and I'm not talking about her career) In fact, the photo above shows her squirting people with a water pistol filled with maple syrup and butter. (Please don't ask me to elaborate). Alley worked so hard to lose the poundage and now she's back to breaking scales! I can totally empathize with her. I have gone through the yo-yoing myself many times, and it's so frustrating. Alley might want to consider weight loss supplements. They can help her more than Jenny Craig ever could. A good supply of the proper weight loss supplements will allow Kirstie to take the weight off and keep it off. I am now down to 245 (from 310), so I know from experience--she's gonna do it because she's gotta do it. We're all pulling for you, Kirstie! Good luck!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Four Female Clowns in SF's Circus Finelli

Next weekend I have been invited to review an all-female clown troupe called Circus Finelli. After reading all the wonderful reviews, I can’t wait. Circus Finelli is a 40-minute comedy stage show filled with laughs, acrobatics, juggling, dance and live music. The theme is a “circus gone awry” in which each performer courageously faces disaster in her own way, transforming small problems into big catastrophes.

You heard me correctly just now when I referred to these clowns as “her”. That’s right-all of the clowns in Circus Finelli are women. Described as “four crazy, unruly, unpredictable, yet multi-talented clowns”; there is Molly-the samba-dancing doctor’ Verka-the sexy, lazy juggler (my kind of clown); Luz-the havoc-wreaking accordianista; and Z-a woman so strong she had part of her brain removed to make room for more muscle.

Each member of the company is at least bi-lingual. Circus Finelli can be performed in English, Spanish, French, Czech, Italian and Russian, but the emphasis is on physical comedy. The troupe has preformed throughout the Czech Republic and has since been featured in many shows throughout the Bay Area.

Circus Finelli will be performing next weekend (Fri. 2/27 through Sunday 3/1; all shows 8 pm) at Stage Werx, 533 Sutter Street, San Francisco. (415) 730-3433.

For more information about these four very funny and talented women, visit the Circus Finelli Web site at:

"There's a cartoon quality to the sound effects and instruments that
texture the string of acts, but it's all dependent on live timing-
nothing like you've ever seen on TV or in the movies. There's lots of
comical juggling and acrobatics, thrown in with the real thing; humor
and excitement are inextricable."

--Ken Bullock, The Berkeley Daily Planet


-San Francisco Chronicle

"Highly Inventive Comic Acts… full of absurd dialogue and physical comedy"

-Joel Schecter, Spectacle Magazine

"The Greatest Compliment Should be paid to the performers' ability to
react flexibly"

-Mikulas Bryan, Setkani Festival Review, Czech Republic

Circus Finelli "a no holds barred, off-beat, but perfectly timed
performance troupe. They're the highest level of physical comedians,
with perfectly coordinated comedic timing and whimsical, yet
impressive acrobatics just being the tipping point of their
performance… Filled with music, slap-stick, acrobatics and the
seamless chemistry of the four immaculately trained performers, Circus
Finelli has a rare synergy."

-Rashid Zakat, Philadelphia reviewer for

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Because Motorcycle Accidents Happen...

If you have been in an accident on a motorcycle and you believe that it wasn't your fault, you're going to need an attorney. That's where the motorcycle accident lawyers Los Angeles come into the picture. Motorcycle accidents are a part of life. People driving cars don't normally keep an eye out for motorcycles and the end result can be tragic. You don't have to be Evel Knievel to get into a motorcycle wreck--it can literally happen to just about anyone. Get a good lawyer. Get the medical care you need and are entitled to. Sure, you're sore now...and probably a little stressed out. Relax. Don't worry. Getting a good attorney will make all the difference in the world.

Thanks Woz!

One of the founders of the personal computer has to be Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak. I have met Steve on several occasions and he is a very engaging person, not to mention intelligent and extremely easy to talk to. (Although I don't know how smart he really is for dating comic Kathy Griffin--you can bet she is truly annoying!) When we look at the amazing laptop computers on the market today, we surely must thank Wozniak. If it wasn't for The Woz, we wouldn't have these great new laptops--particularly the Sony Vaio, a laptop that is both stylish and cutting edge. With a great look featuring a contemporary style unmatched in the laptop market today, the Sony Vaio utilizes XBrite FullHD LCD technology with razor-sharp resolution.
And we can thank The Woz for all of it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's the Pits!

Shelly reading about her favorite pit, Jasmine Blue

I recently received a disturbing note from Donna Reynolds at BAD RAP about another dog fighting bust (this one in North Carolina) where the shelter, wants to destroy the victims. For those of you who don’t know, BAD RAP is a great organization that has saved and socialized many pit bulls in this country, as well as helped to educate people about bully breeds. The Michael Vick case was very public, and the outcome was driven by that publicity. Those dogs were saved, but unfortunately, less high profile cases rarely end the same way. The Humane Society of the United States consistently pushes for the dogs to be destroyed, despite the wonderful outcome for the Vick dogs (all of the dogs that were rescued passed stringent temperament tests and many have been placed in loving homes).
Here is part of Donna’s open letter on the BAD RAP blog (visit to read the rest), and the addresses you can write to in order to stop the genocide of 127 innocent dogs, including litters of puppies:

“Here we go again. A scumbag breeder/dog fighter in Wilkes County, North Carolina is busted, convicted and, predictably, his dogs shoulder the blame. Bad, evil dogs to be born into this operation. Authorities – ignoring Best Friend's offer to organize evaluations and a rescue – are getting ready to blue juice, bag and fill their local landfill with 127 bodies, including several litters of puppies. Because surely the rescues of the Vick dogs, the Patrick dogs, the Missouri dogs and even the Oklahoma dogs were a fluke.
So now what? If Goodwin [HSUS] and others have their way, Best Friends' offer will be ignored and the dogs will be killed and land filled. Below: one of the many puppies born since the bust. To ask for a different outcome, write, write, write...”

Wilkes County Board of Commissioners
110 North Street
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Phone: 336-651-7346
Fax: 336) 651-7568

Wilkes County Attorney Tony Triplett
Vannoy, Colvard, Triplett & Vannoy
922 C Street
P.O. Box 1388
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
Phone: 336-667-7201
Fax: 336-838-7250

District Attorney Tom Horner
500 Courthouse Drive Suite 2022
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Phone: 336-667-6361 or 667-2994
Fax: 336 667-7999

Saturday, February 14, 2009

No Matter the Size of the Dawg...Or the Bark!

If you're a dog lover like me, you know just how important it is to be able to get the right pet supplies. Without the proper supplies, you are going to run into a big bunch of trouble down the road with your cat, dog, parrot, ferret, chimp, lizard, rodent, gorilla, mutant ant, tartantula, coral snake, guinea pig, hamster, baby allgator, iguana, sea snake, hamster, mouse, giraffe and/or sea lion. Whether you have the largest dog in the world or the smallest mutt in the universe, you're going to need a source for good pet supplies that is both convenient and reasonably priced.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rest in Peace, San Francisco Examiner

Newspapers are going under at a tremendous rate all over the country. The economy, the Internet and the fact that they haven’t been forward-thinking in adapting to changing times are the main reasons why. Cities that once had 2-4 daily papers are cutting down to 1 or 2.
I’m predicting the demise of the San Francisco Examiner. It may take 6 months; it could take a year—but the Examiner has a terminal disease and is simply waiting to die.
It’s easy to see what’s going on, even from the cheap seats. I don’t pretend to have any inside information, but I have two eyes.
On Sunday, we got 3 copies of the Examiner delivered to our door. We don’t live in an apartment complex with multiple units, and we normally only get one copy, so getting 3 seemed odd. Then, as I was walking my dogs, I noticed that every single house in our neighborhood got 3 papers dumped on their doorstep.
Now, the Examiner might blame it on a rogue delivery person. So, just out of curiosity, I kept walking, out of Pacific Heights and down to Cow Hollow and then onto the Marina. Every single dwelling got the same 3 newspapers.
Suddenly I realized what the Examiner was up to.
They’re falsely inflating their circulation—it’s so obvious. Advertising is based on how many papers are distributed, and they have to hit certain numbers in order to charge certain rates.
Today is now Tuesday and many of those same newspapers are still there from Sunday, sitting in gutters and on sidewalks, many of them rain-soaked and falling apart within their plastic bags. What a waste! How can the Examiner claim to be green when they’re doing something like this?
Also, the size of the paper has been slowly shrinking. Today’s Examiner is only 28 pages long. That’s not a newspaper—that’s a brochure!
It was bound to happen. The Examiner changed their format recently and, in my opinion, sealed there fate by doing so. They turned themselves into what I’m calling “The Chronicle Lite” – no in-depth news to speak of, but lots of celebrity gossip and photos.
Yes, the Examiner is going to die soon. There won’t be a funeral or a wake; you just won’t find it on your doorstep on Thursday or Sunday mornings. And it’s too bad—because it used to be a great paper and it could have been saved, if the people who ran it had changed with the times and taken some proactive moves to keep it profitable.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Who Invented the Stereo Cabinet?

If you know your tech history, you're aware of the fact that a man named Alan Blumlein invented stereo in 1931, when he got a patent on what he called "binaural sound." Blumlein has never received complete credit for this amazing invention. The other day someone asked me a very interesting question-who invented the stereo cabinet? I did some research and the answer is complex. Many have claimed credit--people like James Hanley, Jay O'Neil, Ricard Liss, Dr. Ronny Berquist and others--but no one knows for sure. It's a mystery wrapped up in an enigma and tied up with a big 'ol question mark. One day, maybe historians will be able to track down the truth about who really invented the stereo cabinet. Stay tuned--I am not done doing my research on this topic. If any readers know anything or have inside information, let me know.

Everyone's Tokin' About Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps made a mistake by letting himself be photographed taking a hit of pot from a bong. Just look at the photo. He’s using it all wrong. For one, he doesn’t have the proper amount of water in there. Consequently, the smoke he inhaled was probably very harsh. A little crushed ice would have also been a smart move. In addition, it appears as though he’s not using the carburetor properly.
Poor Michael Phelps. Who knew his best event was the 420 Freestyle?
Sure, I jest. I can’t help it. But, I think this incident illustrates two things: 1.) Michael Phelps used really poor judgment and 2.) Marijuana should have been legalized a long time ago.
I have been saying it for 20 years now and my opinion has never changed. Pot is a weed that grows naturally in the soil. It is so much less harmful than the number one killer among teens and adults, which is cigarettes, followed closely by alcohol. You never hear about people dying in pot-related accidents. You never see folks vomiting in the gutter after smoking one too many joints. I’ve never heard anyone say, “Wow, I am so hungover. I smoked too much weed last night.”
I know you’ve all heard the arguments, so I won’t go into them here. I’m not defending Phelps so much as I’m saying that the fact that marijuana is still illegal after all these years is ridiculous—a mixture of fear, arrogance and ignorance. Economically, nothing makes more sense than to make it legal. You want an economic stimulus in this country? Legalize pot!
This appeared on the Huffington Post recently, written by John V. Santore:
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps was recently photographed using a marijuana bong at the home of a friend. The photographic evidence made a denial impossible, which led to release of the following statement today:
"I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."
Not too long ago, Chris Matthews reviewed transitioning public attitudes towards marijuana by reviewing the statements of past presidential candidates about their own drug use, from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama:
And during the last campaign, Stephen Colbert made light of the supposed "hope bong" then-candidate Obama was making available to the public:
All of this would be little more than an interesting and amusing cultural trend were it not for realities such as this:
A study released [in April, 2008] reported that between 1998 and 2007 [in New York City], the police arrested 374,900 people whose most serious crime was the lowest-level misdemeanor marijuana offense.
That is more than eight times the number of arrests on those same charges between 1988 and 1997, when 45,300 people were picked up for having a small amount of pot...
...Nearly everyone involved in this wave of marijuana arrests is male: 90 percent were men, although national studies show that men and women use pot in roughly equal rates. And 83 percent of those charged in these cases were black or Latino, according to the study. Blacks accounted for 52 percent of the arrests, twice their share of the city's population. Whites, who are about 35 percent of the population, were only 15 percent of those charged -- even though federal surveys show that whites are more likely than blacks or Latinos to use pot.
Among the pretty large population of white people who have used pot and not been arrested for it is Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Asked during the 2001 campaign by New York magazine if he had ever smoked it, Mr. Bloomberg replied: "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it." After he was elected and his remarks were used in advertisements by marijuana legalization advocates, Mr. Bloomberg said his administration would vigorously enforce the laws.
While marijuana laws have changed over time, and while past administrations have attempted to show that the situation isn't as dire as it appears to be, drug policy in the United States is immensely hypocritical and destructive. Today, public figures justify past drug use as "youthful indiscretions" and the matter is dropped. But huge numbers of ordinary Americans are introduced to the jail system because of minor drug offenses, and as the records show, the overwhelmingly disproportionate nature of drug arrests creates a justified perception of injustice and both economic and racial bias.
Will Michael Phelps have to go to court for his actions? No. (Nor should he have to.) Will any law enforcement jurisdiction in America conduct a systematic raid of a college dorm at a prominent university with the goal of arresting everyone in possession of marijuana? Of course not. If such an action was taken on a broad scale, the arrests would likely be in the thousands. At the same time, will poor Americans, overwhelmingly minority in ethnicity, continue to be arrested by local police for the possession of small amounts of pot? Absolutely.
Before he was president, Obama indicated that he was well aware that marijuana laws needed to be reformed and that the mythology of the "war on drugs" was nothing more than a fairy tale:
But this is only part of the problem. A 2006 ACLU report documented the difference in sentencing between the possession of crack and of cocaine:
The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, passed during the media frenzy following the death of University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, established mandatory minimum sentences for possession of specific amounts of cocaine. However, it also established a 100-to-1 disparity between distribution of powder and crack cocaine. For example, distributing just five grams of crack carries a minimum five-year federal prison sentence, while distributing 500 grams of powder cocaine carries the same sentence. The discrepancy remains despite repeated recommendations by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to Congress to reconsider the penalties.
Because of its relative low cost, crack cocaine is more accessible to poor people, many of whom are African Americans. Conversely, powder cocaine is much more expensive and tends to be used by more affluent white Americans.
The report includes recent data that indicates that African Americans make up 15 percent of the country's drug users, yet they make up 37 percent of those arrested for drug violations, 59 percent of those convicted, and 74 percent of those sentenced to prison for a drug offense. More than 80 percent of the defendants sentenced for crack offenses are African American, despite the fact that more than 66 percent of crack users are white or Hispanic.
In the past, Obama has spoken out against the continuation of policies like this one. From a 2007 interview:
Asked if he would eliminate discriminatory laws that punish crack cocaine possession so heavily that it would take 100 times more in powder cocaine for the same sentence, Obama started off by saying the law was a mistake. He talked about his record in the Illinois Senate.
"I want to point out that I fought provisions like this and in many cases voted against provisions like this, knowing the way they could be exploited politically," Obama told the Trotter Group of African-American newspaper columnists last week after addressing the National Association of Black Journalists. "I thought it was the right thing to do. Even though the politics of it was tough back in the '90s, as a state legislator I took some tough votes to make sure we didn't see the perpetration of these kinds of unjust laws."...
...He said that if he were to become president, he would support a commission to issue a report "that allows me to say that based on the expert evidence, this is not working and it's unfair and unjust. Then I would move legislation forward."
In that same interview, Obama linked drug problems to larger issues of economic and opportunity disparities in America:
Obama asked if he could make a "broader" point. "Even if we fix this, if it was a 1-to-1 ratio, it's still a problem that folks are selling crack. It's still a problem that our young men are in a situation where they believe the only recourse for them is the drug trade. So there is a balancing act that has to be done in terms of, do we want to spend all our political capital on a very difficult issue that doesn't get at some of the underlying issues; whether we want to spend more of that political capital getting early childhood education in place, getting after-school programs in place, getting summer school programs in place."
Addressing the economic and social situations which encourage people to use and sell drugs is critical. But it is also important to take advantage of changing public attitudes in order to do away with hypocritical drug policies that undermine public faith in an impartial justice system and disproportionately harm segments of society which are already teetering on the brink of collapse. Public apologies like those issued today by Phelps ring hollow because he will not be persecuted for his actions by either a court of law or the court of public opinion. The fact the he feels he must apologize is simply an effort to pay homage to past American mores that no longer impact private behavior. But those mores still impact drug policies, policies that continue to hurt citizens to this very day. Some steps to mitigate the worst impacts of these broken laws, like those governing sentencing for crack/cocaine offenses have been taken in recent years. Let's hope that President Obama, who saw the impact of bad drug laws first-hand in Chicago, will continue these reforms.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Does Jessica Need Diet Pills

I was interviewing Jessica Simpson on the phone the other day.

"Hey, Jessica, what do you say about the rumors that you're getting fat?"

"Well, I..." Suddenly it sounded like a knock at her door.

"Hold on. It's Pizza Hut."

"Okay, I'm back. What was the question?"

"People are saying you've put on weight."

I heard the door knock again.

"Hold on. It's Round Table."

"Okay, whew, I'm back. Well, I..."

There was that door again.

"Just one minute. I think it's Straw Hat."

I heard a sound like someone stuffing their face with an entire large pizza. There was grunting and a long burp.

"Jessica, is that you?"

"Uh, no," she replied. "It's Tony...Tony Romo...he's hungry."

Time for diet pills, Jessica, I thought to myself.