Friday, July 28, 2006

The Golden Man

Yet another classic episode of Lost in Space is The Golden Man. There he is, Mr. Keema. He fools Maureen and Judy into thinking he's a "good" alien because he is so handsome and gives them gifts. He tricks Smith into giving him all the Jupiter 2's weapons. The best scene is when Judy is trapped in the "minefield" which is just a bunch of beach balls. Keema rescues her and wins their confidence. At the end, he turns into a hideous monster right when he's patting Smith on the back. "Where's Mr. Keema?" Smith says. "I"M KEEMA!!". Of course his plan to destroy them all is foiled by the little alien, with the frog face, who conveniently turns into a prince. Whew, what a moral. Penny was looking good in these episodes. I bet Mark Goddard (Major West) got to bang her.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Lame Acts, Bad Food...and Hotties by the Thousands

In a few weeks, the event that typically signals the end of the Summer of Lose will be here....Musikfest, or as we affectionately refer to it as, Slutfest. It's an event of historic importance that we look forward to all year, but at the same time, we are saddened that another summer of Lose is rapidly coming to a close.

Now let me describe Musikfest. It's a 2 week "music and arts" festival in Bethlehem. Sounds sort of like Woodstock, eh? In reality, it's a bunch of lame, has-been acts, combined with a bunch of bad, over-priced food. I think in the last 10 years of attending we actually paid to see one act...Alice Cooper. So what is it that draws us there, year after year?? Why do we look forward to this event like no other?? The music? The food? The culture?? The Indians who are there every year peddling their CD's? No. It's because this event draws young, beautiful hotties to it by the thousands. You will witness such a concentration of C and D cup, gorgeous high school and college hotties, all wearing next to nothing, parading around like it was a Playboy photo shoot...."look at me!! look at me!! i'm so sexy!!" Hey, they're there to parade around and show how hot they are, and i'm there to watch. "Eeeww, look at those creepy old guys staring at us!!" is probably what they're saying to their friends. Uh, that's creepy "middle aged" guy, honey. Old guys are over 60.

Now, the general routine is to grab some dogs at Potts (see my Dogged Out blog entry for details) before entering the main drag of action, which happens to be on Main St. The Potts doggies are far superior to anything you can get at the fest. Once there, we purchase a few cigars, and settle in for the festivities. This typically involves finding a bench right on Main street and watching the action while we have a long smoke. You can kill a few hours with ease. Somewhere in there, we will pop for a refreshing lemonade to quench our thirst, which has built up from the cigar smoke. Then it's back to the bench. If we're really adventurous, we'll pop for a funnel cake or a gyro. Last year we found an off-site pizza place to kill some time at in-between cigars. I'm thinking this year, I might even bring the camcorder to preserve the event for posterity, sort of a chronicle of the summer of Lose.

Now, what kills me, is that it seems that very few of these girls parading around are less than a C cup. Huge breasts seem to be the norm, not the exception. Twenty years ago, that was the reverse. What is happening here? Is it the growth hormone in the food?? Is every teenager demanding and getting implants?? Hey, I know bra technology has come a long way, but in most cases, you can clearly tell it's not the bra......there's little left to the imagination. Especially when they all wear those midriff baring, preggo or strappy tops that are 2 sizes too small.
So if anyone has a scientific explanation for the undeniable prevalence of huge thingies, let me know.

Aaah, Musikfest. We've been losing there for decades. And decades from now, we'll still be losing there. Such is the life of Lose.

Snortin Cover Tunes, Drinking Oranges

On a tip from Dick Destiny, I picked up the new Pat Travers Power Trio 2, CD.
Most people might remember Pat Travers from his lone early 80's hit "Snortin Whiskey, Drinking Cocaine" tune where he hit his peak and did the arena circuit. So what does an aging ex-guitar hero offer today, you might ask? Absolutely killer versions of classic rock tunes, that's what.

Just look at the cover. This thing ROCKS. Travers is playing thru 4 Marshalls running into 4 Orange cabinets so you know he means business. Now, the Power Trio 1 record was pretty good, but I think the song selection here is even better, and the production is so loud that just about every version of these tunes sounds better than the original!! Mike Varney did a good job making this record LOUD and in your face. The songs include stuff from Cream, Zep, Grand Funk, Humble Pie, Deep Purple, Montrose, Queen....hell, there's even a cover of "Green Eyed Lady", the one-hit wonder from Sugarloaf. You'd know it as soon as you hear it (if you're over 40, that is). The only thing missing is "Ride Captain Ride" by Blues Image!! The only dud among the cuts is Bad Co's "Ready for Love" which I could have done without. He should have thrown in a Sir Lord Baltimore tune instead.

The versions of "Stone Cold Fever" and "How Many More Times" were particularly impressive in that they just plain SMOKE. Travers is on fire. The Marshall/Orange rig he's plugged into is obviously maxed out and it sounds fantastic.

Highly Recommended.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Another favorite episode of Lost in Space is the one with Creech. There he is. He's about to go straight thru Devil's Quadrant to escape prison, where there is a fortune in Deutronium waiting outside. Of course he convinces Smith to go along with him, and share the fortune, not to the liking of Major West. Creech has some classic lines. "You think it's hot now? Wait till summer!". OR "Welp, back to work time!!" They don't make shows this good anymore!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Marshall and Hiwatt Heaven

My blog topics would not be complete without a rant about guitars and amps. Hey, it's what I love dearest. So i'll start out with the amps. Guitar amps, that is. Sure, we all know that tube amps are best, but i've heard some damn good solid state ones, too. That little Gallien Krueger one comes to mind. But for the real daddys, you need the 50 and 100 watt tube heads. For hard rock and roll that invariably leads to Marshall.
The Marshall I was using with Dick Destiny and the Highway Kings I still have...its the JCM800 50 watt, right after they switched back to EL34 tubes (ca. 1986). The amp is absolutely killer. It's got one sound, but it's THE sound. Plug and turn up to 10, that's it. It was a perfect match for Dick's Hiwatt head....which had a different sound, but still killer. Together it was like a nuclear holocaust. I think the live sound the Highway Kings had at that time was like a Panzer division at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. It was crushing. All these weenie "alt" bands we would open for had these little combo amps, and we went onstage with like 4 full stacks. If you go to the Dick Destiny homepage ( some of that wattage is captured to tape. Volume is King. I still have that Marshall, and still love it. Kerry King of Slayer is a vocal fan of the JCM800 as well. Now, besides Marshall and Hiwatt there is Orange, which also gives you the British "crunch" sound, and Laney, which Tony Iommi plays all those Sabbath licks thru.

In a different camp are the American high-gain monsters like Boogie, Soldano, Peavey 5150, etc.
A lot of metal players swear by the Boogie Triple Rectifier. These amps have tons of distortion generated at the pre-amp stage....the so-called "cascading gain". The notes sustain for days.
I've played thru all of them, and they are very enticing, but I always go back to Marshall. Sometimes too much distortion just muddies it up. If you listen very closely to any AC/DC record you will notice that the guitar sound is not really gung-ho distorted. It's the sound of a Marshall plexi cranked up to 10, with pure power tube distortion.

Of course then there's the "clean" amps like the Fender Twin, a classic. All the guitar sounds on the Sex Pistols "Never Mind the Bollocks" are supposedly Steve Jones using a Les Paul into a Twin Reverb......obviously with a pedal in front (if anyone knows which one, let me know!!). But there's no denying the guitar sound on that album is killer. In fact the best thing about Fender's is they are very adaptable to any pedal you throw in front of it. I happened to come across a used Bassman head, and snapped it up. If I put a RAT distortion pedal in front of it, look just screams.

A consequence of all this decibel abuse is, of course, hearing loss. And i'm sure I have it.
Fortunately i'm not subject to 130 decibels on a nightly basis like in the heyday. But I could have used the volume to disintegrate my kidney stones, instead of going in for that damn lithotripsy.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Legacy of DS Audio

Another integral component (no pun intended) of the life of Lose is high end audio. Our fascination with this started in high school. There were several stereo shops in the Reading area, but only one of them sold the GOOD stuff......and that was DS Audio. They had the good stuff, alright....Audio Research, Klipsch, Advent, Crown, Luxman, Tandberg, Dahlquist. The other store, WES Audio, was mid-fi at best....Yamaha, NAD, Bang and Olufsen level. To us, that stuff was junk. No wonder the owner, H David Smith, hated us.......we'd make it a point to hang out there every Friday night and generally be a nuisance....but never bought anything!!! We were so fanatical that even one time, we had a snowday, and walked 5 miles thru the unplowed streets to get there. There was a salesman there, Jim Breslauer, or "Bres", that was a deadhead, and we'd listen to the Grateful Dead's "Skull and Roses" album over the various systems. It took us well over a year to save up enough cash to even purchase the entry level systems, mine was the Onkyo A5 integrated amp/Advent Loudspeaker/Connoisseur turntable set up. I think that was $650......about what I pay a month these days just for gas. Back then it was a freakin fortune. Eventually DS opened up a store in Lancaster, and Bres was switched to there, so we would make the trip to Lancaster to hang out and cause trouble. For high school graduation I got a Nakamichi cassette deck, for $600, what was then a huge amount of money. It was supposed to be state of the art. That was used to make tapes for the car system. Eventually I replaced the Connoisseur with a Denon turntable. Then CD players started to come out, around 1985, and I got the Denon DCD-1000. Hell, I even had a job for a while selling stereo equipment, at Listening Booth. It was stuff like Kenwood, EPI speakers, Pioneer, I think we had Dokorder open reel decks. I got fired from that job for not selling enough. How could I sell junk??

The trip in the snow to DS was legendary in the annals of Lose. Not only was it a nearly impossible trek in the cold deep snow, but we met one of our first loves at the Friendly's across the street. Her name was Fern and she attended to our cold wet bodies to serve us up some ice cream. What the hell were we doing eating ice cream in the dead of winter? I remember seeing the Dipwell behind the counter where they wash out the scoopers. It remained a source of amusement for many years. I loved Fern, but alas, she didn't love me. Loser again.

There was one guy that started working there after Bres left. His name was Dick. He didn't know anything and we would go in there and drill him with questions and then set him straight when he got it wrong. One time we got him so pissed, he turned red and yelled "I'm getting hot under the collar" and almost threw us out. H David had to come over and settle him down and decompress the vein in his head.

On one trek to the Lancaster DS we had some week-old hamburger to get rid of. Don't remember why we brought it in the car with us, but we had to get rid of it. It stank and was all slimy and green. An unexpecting chick was walking down the street and we thought it'd be funny to whip it at her as we drove by. We hit her right in the head. I guess she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Too bad for her.

We stayed loyal to DS even when they moved over to Penn Street in West Reading. Although by then, we were already tired of dealing with the shrewd and rude owner himself. Hi-end audio was on the way out at that point and was being supplanted by "home theater". Of course, all that home theater stuff is junk, but cleverly marketed. Even the cheap entry level stuff was good enough for most people, and when Circuit City started selling the stuff cheap, that marked the end. H. David disappeared and probably ended up selling used cars. Bres probably overdosed on weed listening to Pig Pen and the boys.

Even today it's tough to find a high end store that hasn't gone under. There's Overture in Wilmington... Stereo Barn in Reading carries McIntosh....I can't even think of any others. It's easier to get the stuff on eBay. I get stuff mail order from Audio Advisor and Music Direct, too. You can score mint used Audio Research and McIntosh gear. Tweeter used to be decent, but now is pretty much degraded to Best Buy level crap. Of course those places are good for TV's and stuff, but not audio. Those "home theater" receivers that you can lift with one finger are a laugh.

As for now, well, it's taken me 30 years to finally own an Audio Research preamp, the SP16, and I had to get it on ebay for $1000. That's paired with a Rogue Stereo 90 tube power amp, a Philips CD player, and a Rega Planar turntable all going into Klipsch Forte II speakers. I don't use the table much, even though vinyl is still supposed to be the best. It's just too much hassle.
The Klipsch speakers we've been a fan of ever since we heard the Klipsch Heresy's at DS Audio. No doubt about it, for hard rock, they are the speaker of choice. Of course, Klipsch did some poor business moves and tarnished their image by marketing a line of junk stuff at Best Buy. They came to their senses, somewhat at least, by recently re-introducing their classics like the Klipschorn, LaScala, and Cornwall. The Rogue I got used off some dude at the Philly guitar show, to replace an Adcom power amp, a good amp but still "mid-fi", since it's solid state. The Rogue has four KT88's that give you those sweet, sweet highs and smooth mids. I had it modded right at the factory in Brodheadsville, where I met the owner. Nice dude. Of the original 1977 system I still have the Advents and Onkyo. Still got the original Denon CD player, too. And yeah, it still sounds good, 30 years later. After replacing the rotted Advent woofers, that is.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Cigar of Choice

Here's my cigar of choice for this summer of Lose. I've converted over to the Ashton Maduro's. In fact last summer it was the cigar of choice, too. I see no reason to switch.
Man they're good. Real mild and smooth. I was smoking the Macanudo Maduro's before, but I think these are better. The weather's just been so crappy, it's been tough to sit on the porch and smoke a stogie and watch the neighborhood cooz, like some old pervert (which I am).
I have a little humidor, and no matter how much you keep it humid, the cigars still go stale after a few weeks. I've had to throw out too many $10 cigars including a few Romeo Y Julieta's. Which is why i've switched to only buying fresh ones the day I plan to smoke them. Either that, or install a walk-in humidor in my house. As such, it's just another tiny slice of happiness, like a good hot dog, in this otherwise shitty life.

Divorce 101

OK, so like 50% of the guys out there, i've been thru a divorce. The first 50% will know what i'm talking about; i'm writing this for the other 50% who have yet to experience this happy event. Maybe you never will....if so, congrats, you beat the odds. Sure, you're happy that you're finally rid of the shrew you were stuck with. In many cases you married some hottie nympho, whom you mistakenly thought would STAY a hot nympho forever. Now that she's a fat bitch, you're living in hell. I guarantee that some of these guys here that are supposed "A Typers" and work 80 hour weeks, is directly because they simply don't want to go home to THAT.

Now, I don't have to tell you that divorce totally screws the all know that. But the extent of the unfairness was even more than I imagined it would be. Just bend over, and get reamed in the ass....there's nothing you can do in the courts to prevent it. Even a cheating wife will still take you for everything you've got, and there's nothing you can do about it, because most states are now "no-fault" divorce, meaning it doesn't matter if you were the perfect husband and she was a cheating slut, she'll still get your dough. She'll also get a huge hunk (60%) of your 401K and any other savings, and also 60% of your house. See, the marriage contract is not " I love you, and want to spend the rest of my life with you". It's "I love you now, but if I decide I don't love you later on, I can leave, and take your money with me".

If you have kids, it's even worse. If you're wife was a stay at home mom, and you were the breadwinner, it's the worst possible scenario. Be prepared to fork over half your paycheck.
Child support is also completely unfair to the guy, too. And here's why. Unless the mom is some drunken boob, it is most likely the mother will get "primary" custody. So-called "joint" custody is a joke, and there's no benefit to the father. Now, that means the child support payments go right to the mother. The father winds up paying child support TWICE....because when you see your kid, you are not getting re-imbursed from the are paying OUT OF POCKET. My ex is using child support money right now to spend 3 weeks in Italy with her new stud. They don't even have to prove to the court, to ANYONE, that the money I give is going towards my child. No proof. They can be using it to buy booze and it wouldn't matter. I know for a fact that a very small percentage of my money is going toward my child...the rest is going towards her bills and of course those extravagant vacations.

In addition to almost a mortgage payment in child support (that's for ONE kid), the father is also expected to pay most of the daycare, and also tuition. I am paying the full amount for my daughter to attend Catholic school. That's on top of child support. Then I have to pay for all insurance, and whatever is not paid by insurance, I get the bills for, and have to pay those.

So there you have it. Guys, I know when you have some hot chick, you are deluded by the sex. You think you'd better get married, so you can have that hot piece of ass your whole life. Just don't do it. The chick will always push for marriage because they know it's a win-win....if it doesn't work, they win anyway. Marriage is a joke and was invented solely to "protect" the woman. It used to be that you needed "grounds" for a divorce, but today women realize what a cash cow it is, so at the slightest bit of trouble in the marriage, they head right for the lawyer. Why should they stay with you, when they can leave, fuck some other guy with a bigger dick, and still have your money??

Remember, any chick who is a 5 or better, can land another guy within a week....and they know it. Don't kid yourself.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sure Plays a Mean Pinball

Pinball has always been an integral component of the life of Lose. It's depressing to see pinball essentially disappear from every arcade and bowling alley, to be replaced by those stupid video games. Yeah, call me an old fogey, but pinball still rules.
I can remember the early days of Lose, marathon pinball sessions every Friday and Sat nite at the mall. There was nothing more beautiful than to walk into that arcade and see rows and rows of pintables neatly aligned with flashing lights and enticing sounds. It was a good way to sharpen your skills while all the other winners were scoring hot chicks. And we got good, too. A lot of games we could beat Countdown, Vector, Xenon. If I had the room, i'd get one for the house. But theres' too many Marshall stacks cluttering it up to be able to fit a pintable.
Lately the only pintable we could find is Attack From Mars. After several rounds, we were able to reek it. The old skill is still there. You never lose it, you just have to sharpen up.
Fortunately Dip 2 managed to score Countdown and Silverball pintables to preserve the legacy.

Here's a great site that catalogs every pinball machine made from the early 30's to the present. We came onto the scene at the start of the microprocessor controlled machines. Often referred to as the solid state era. You know, the first ones to use fluorescent digits and voice chips. We got to hear Gorgar utter his whole vocabulary of seven words. How impressive. We also got to witness the first two level machines, which Vector probably was our favorite. At this time another innovation came out with the wide playing fields. This allowed a bunch more targets and stuff to try to hit. Big Game and Paragon were the hits with these. If there ever was a golden era of pinball, that was it.

There was actually quite a bit of ceremony around the Friday night at the arcade. It usually involved driving around the mall parking lot trying to impress young females of how loud our car audio systems were. Much like today, except that we played cool music, not that rap crap. For some reason it didn't seem to have any affect on our score ratio (we still lost), but we kept trying damnit. The chicks didn't like the Judas Priest we were playing, they liked Poison. They knew we were losers. Eventually we would get hassled by the mall security and thrown off the premises, where we would start it all over again the following week. We sure were persistent. After 2 hours of pinball, the mall would close and we would re-group for a wench hunt. But that's for a different blog.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Corporate Games and A-Typers Rant

Let's face it folks, work sucks. At least work in a corporate environment. I'm supposed to work in a field (pharmaceuticals) where everyone is intelligent. Real Type A go-getters. Hey, i've got a PhD too, but I don't consider myself intelligent. Smart, but not intelligent. No one else in this company is intelligent, either, and i'll tell you why. Real intelligent people find a way to make money by NOT WORKING! Real intelligent people make money, and spend their days ON A YACHT!! Intelligent people are not slaves to the man, they are slaves only unto themselves!! They work WHEN they want, not when others tell them to. You get the idea. The man who concocted and sells the plastic cube with garbage from the streets of New York, and sells it as a souvenier....GENIUS!! That man is smarter than all the PhD's in this company combined.
Now you can say, well, maybe these people actually enjoy their work and want to do it. My retort is if any idiot enjoys sitting at some dumbass meeting discussing the most trivial of minutia in great detail, more than lying on a beach in Rio, he is psychologically ill and needs professional help.

Now on to the corporate games. Again, you might think i'm delusional here, and this stuff is all a figment of my imagination. I have corroborating evidence from friends in other corporate environments (engineering, business) that this stuff is real and happens in those fields, too. So it's not only in science (where there seems to be a large percentage of A-typers), but for that reason I would assume it to be most prevalent in science and engineering jobs. Now, the whole basis of the corporate games is that, invariably, your boss is an A-Typer, which is the reason he is your boss. Usually nice guys with other interests who are "family" men don't rise to the top of the corporate ladder, because only a certain personality is capable of it. You know, the typical workaholic, has no other life, basically just an asshole kind of person. The kind of guy who would rather go to a poster session than a strip club. I've seen exceptions but very few. The games are devised to try to impress the A-Typer, because the A-Typer does these things routinely. So it's sort of a fine line between game and A-Type behavior. Without further adieu, here are the games!!!

The First Official Corporate Game List

1. The "first in, last out" game. This game was even satired on Seinfeld....where George leaves his car in the lot, and Wilhelm thinks he's working 80 hour weeks. That proves it is universal. YOu always want to be the first one in, and the last one out. If you have to choose one or the other, it's always more impressive to stay late than to be in early. You could get to work at 4AM, but if you 're seen leaving at 3PM, you're still slacking off.

2. The "work thru lunch" game. This one is rampant here, and from what i've been told, is rampant everywhere. Even though there is a cafeteria with seating, it's better to get your food and eat right at your desk, doing work. Better yet is to skip eating all together, and work right thru. "I don't have time for lunch, i'm too busy" is a good line to use. Or "I missed lunch? Oh, I was so busy I forgot about it".

3. The "gotta get back" game. When you are actually FORCED to attend an outside lunch at a restaraunt, usually for a "working" lunch. The game is to be the first one, immediately after wolfing down the food, to get up and say "I gotta get back to work". This makes it look like the lunch is an inconvenience for you, and is taking away valuable work time. Of course if it is a "social" lunch, say for someone's birthday, you refuse to go, saying you are "too busy".

4. The "won't want to come back" game. This is a variation on #3. This is where you are invited to go out to lunch. You don't want to be seen as antisocial, but want to play the game, so you say, "oh, I would go, but it's so nice out, I won't want to come back". That way you can resort to game #2 without seeming like an A typer. Of course it only works if it's sunny out.

5. The "email at midnight" game. This one is a common one. You send out emails at all hours of the night, 2AM, 3AM, etc. Makes it look like you are working straight thru the night.

6. The "snow" game. Aaah, one of my favorites. The game is to be the last one at work when the place is clearing out because there is a snowstorm outside. It doesn't matter how treacherous the roads are, or how high the snow is piling. You gotta be the last one standing to show your dedication. Same thing applies to hurricane or flooding situations.

7. The "day after snow" game. Again, a variation on game #6. This is the day after a large snowstorm, and things are still being plowed out. Some major roads may still be closed or unplowed. The game is to be the first one in at work....preferably before 7AM. Which means you were up all night shoveling out. It's a mighty display of dedication.

8. The "laptop" game. This is a no-brainer. You bring your laptop everywhere. If you leave at 11PM, and plan on coming in at 6AM, you still bring your laptop home. If you are going on vacation, funeral, wedding, it doesn't matter, you bring your laptop, to make it look like you are constantly working, checking emails, etc. If you are in the hospital, have someone bring your laptop to you so you can "catch up" in between surgeries.

9. The "company picnic" game. This obviously only applies to employers that are generous enough to sponsor a picnic. You always refuse to go, saying you are "too busy" at work to attend.

10. The "vacation" game. The game here is to forfeit your paid vacation, and work instead. I must say I don't see too much of that one here, but friends have told me it happens at their company.

11. The "Friday" game. The game here is to stay as late as possible on a Friday, when everyone else is leaving early because they have lives. A twist is to stay extra late on a Friday before a three day weekend, like Memorial day. YOu say " I just gotta finish up a few things before the weekend".

12. The "weekend" game. Again, a no-brainer, and a variation of game #10 and #11. YOu simply work all weekend, or at least show up for a few hours. Or just send out some emails over the weekend, a variation on game #5.

13. The "Xmas" game. This is one of the best. You come into work on Xmas day, or stay real late on Xmas eve. Show everyone how work is more important to you than family. That's a real ace in the hole, there. The problem is, there might not be anyone around to actually SEE you, so it might be better just to send emails on Xmas day, as in game #5.

14. The "come in sick" game. Here, you come into work even though you are sick, coughing up a lung, or vomiting, or whatever. You are just too important to stay home, so you make everyone else sick along with you. This move attempts to show, again, just how dedicated you are, but may make enemies as well. If the boss tells you to go home, of course you bring your laptop with you, so you can vomit on it.

15. The "happy hour" game. In this one, all your co-workers are going out after work to happy hour. You, of course, refuse, saying you are too busy and need to stay late. It goes without saying to always say this so the boss can hear you. Even if the boss goes, refuse to go.

16. The "business trip" game. When on a business trip, you must make use of every available free time that you have to do work. That means when waiting to board the plane you must immediately start typing a report. Once on the plane, you must not read a magazine. You must immediately open the laptop and continue typing. You must always be told by the stewardess to close your laptop before taking off, and look annoyed that someone would interrupt your "work". An extension of this is once your on the business trip, you can never go out and sightsee the area. You must go immediately back to the hotel, and you guessed it, starting typing on that laptop. You must constantly check your email. God forbid you would miss responding to an email. Same goes for if co-workers invite you to go out to must refuse, saying you'd rather get back to the hotel and get a head start on tomorrow's agenda. During "breaks" in poster sessions, you must have your laptop handy to check emails, too.

17. The "boast" game. Here you casually slip into conversation to others how hard you work, and how many hours you put in. You use that as an excuse for any mistakes or fuck-ups you've made. For instance if you are talking to an A-typer about comp time, the A-typer would respond, "Well, if I got comp time, I could take off the rest of the year." Or if the A-typer makes a mistake and is called out, they will reply with, "Well, if you worked 80 hours a week, you would be tired and make mistakes too."

Dogged Out

Part of the lifestyle of Lose is the perpetual quest for the best cheesesteak or hot dog. Hey, we know it will kill us, but it's just one moment of a good cigar, you can't resist.
The Philly area is cheesesteak mecca, so there's plenty of places to check out. We've already done several Pats/ Geno's side by side comparisons and inevitably Pat's wins out. Genos does get points for their "speak English or no service" sign, however. Jim's on South St. is also a favorite, but they're a little skimpy on the meat. You can fix that by picking up a slice of pizza at Lorenzo's a block down the street. Dalassandro's is also a favorite but it's sort of out of the way.
While the classic cheesesteak is a "wiz wit", meaning cheeze whiz and fried onions, the "wiz" is very deadly, and in most cases will give you a bonzai in about 20 minutes. So I usually get provolone. But for the authentic experience you gotta get a wiz wit.

As for dogs, there are several favorites. The Dog House in Reading i've been a patron of for 30 years, and the dogs (and burgers) are hard to beat. You just say "two and two, please". That's two burgers and two dogs. Yocco's in Allentown is good too, and you can supplement your 3 dogs with an order of pierogies. Then there's Potts in Bethlehem, which we usually hit at Musikfest (or as we call it, Slutfest). Jimmy John's in West Chester people were raving about, but they have the "skinned" dogs which i'm not a fan of. Hell, we even took a day off and went right to the top dog, so to speak, drove right up to the original Nathan's in Coney Island. While my buddies gave high marks, I wasn't too impressed, the rolls were not steamed and the chili sauce had beans, which is a no-no in my book. Of course the objective at Nathans was to eat as many dogs as you can, and then try to keep from puking as you ride the Cyclone over and over.
After one ride I was already close to barfing, but then i've always had a weak stomach.

I can't even begin to catalog all the places, but check out, a great site which ranks pretty much all of them in the tri-state area.

Sweet, sweet Lana

Kristen Kreuk, who plays Lana on Smallville, is the most beautiful woman in show biz. Now, what we can't figure out, is why she has such a low profile. I mean, why isn't she in all the celebrity rags like Paris Hilton, Lohan, Jessica Simpson, Hillary Duff, etc etc???? She's better looking than all of them!! I mean, just look at her....she's gorgeous!!!!
But yet, you pick up People or Us or whatever, and she's NOWHERE to be found!!! What's the deal? What celebrity stud is banging her?? When will she pose for Maxim or Playboy?? When will she come out with a movie where she plays a stripper, or hooker, or pregnant teen?? These are questions we want to know!!!
Kristen, I love you with all my heart and soul. I'm sure you would just love to be with a middle aged loser. Choose me, and we will travel the dusty road to matrimony, in double harness.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Here's Lemnoc from one of my favorite Lost in Space episodes!!! Good, are learning!!

Return of the Stent Man

Well it figures that my urinary tract is still fucked up. After a year of six lithotripsies and having a stent in there, now there's something wrong with my bladder. It all goes back 7 years ago when I had that kidney stone attack at Ed's pool party. I was writhing on the floor of his family room in agony while the kids were laughing at me. That one must of passed, cause a few years went by till my next attack. I was home alone for that one, and had to call 911 since the pain wouldn't let up for 6 hours and I was puking blood. To make a long story short, they found my right kidney to have 3 stones basically the size of marbles and I had to undergo "lithotripsy", or sonication, to break them up. The doc's tell you they will disintegrate into 'sand", but in reality they disintegrate into "gravel" that you have to pee out. It ain't pleasant. So that your ureter doesn't get clogged up, they put a stent from your kidney to your bladder to keep things open.

I eventually pissed out all the hunks of stone, and they yanked the stent out after a year. That was fun, too. Now they found something in my bladder, and it ain't a stone. If only the side effect of all this was to enlarge my Willy, but sadly that didn't happen, in fact I think it shrunk. Loser again!! Not like I use it anyway.....
So I now await the results of the CAT scan. Oh, and drinking that barium stuff gives you the trots.....they dont' tell you that.

Happiness is a new TV...

It's a good thing I picked up an LCD TV.....I needed something to keep me happy for another week, just in case I need more major surgery. Plus, summer's almost over already and i'm getting kind of depressed. I narrowed the choice down to a 32 in. Sharp Aquos, Samsung, or Sony. The Sony was too expensive. The Samsung had impressive specs and picture, but I didn't like the styling, the speakers on the side. I liked the higher priced Samsung but didn't want to pop for the extra $200. So I went with the Sharp. Even on regular cable, the picture is killer. Blows away my old Toshiba behemoth hands down. Watched a movie with Teri Hatcher naked in it last nite, called "Cool Surface". She is without a doubt one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. And she shows it all off in that movie. I love her. They are real, and spectacular, you ain't kiddin!!!

Slayer Still Reigns

One of the few gigs worth attending this summer was the Unholy Alliance tour, with Slayer, Lamb of God, Mastodon, and Children of Bodom. Ozzfest? You gotta be kidding. It's all nu-metal this year. The gig just proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Slayer are the greatest heavy band to ever exist. Hands down, nothing can top those guys. And they're in their 40's , too!! As usual the place went ballistic when they began the drum intro to "Reign in Blood". Hahneman looked like his usual drunken self. Lamb of God sucked because the singer had an Anselmo complex, he was just trying too hard to be Phil Anselmo. Mastodon proved that they are the best new band to come along in quite some time....awesome. I recommend everyone to pick up Leviathan. I can't remember his name, but Mastodon's drummer is just a Keith Moon-style madman but plays with complete precision. Of course Dave Lombardo needs no comment....the man is a drum god.

Other than that the summer appears dry, gig wise. A week later we hit Robin Trower at the TLA, of course doing a Jim's Steaks and Lorenzo run pre-gig. Trower's a legend, but compared to the Slayer gig it was like being at a James Taylor show. He's gotten slower and bluesier in his old age. Check out the Robin Trower Strat that Fender custom shop is putting out.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Welcome to the World of Lose

This will be a blog of lose. Many of you have never read such a thing, you will think the events I describe will be impossible, or are fiction, or a figment of my chemically altered imagination. I assure you they will all be real. The blog will be about the daily life of lose of a paunchy, ill-healthed, divorced, middle aged man. A man who has lost at the game of life. Superficially I appear to be a success.....PhD in biochemistry, house, 2 cars. But the cloud of lose has been over me for the last 45 years. We'll attempt to go way back, and see where it all went wrong.
It will also describe other things that sort of keep you from putting a gun to your TV, Slayer concerts, cigars, cheesesteaks, pinball, hot dogs, guitars, porn, high end audio, etc. The things that give you a reason to get up in the morning. It certainly ain't work. In science, most everyone is an "A Typer" know, eats, sleeps, and shits their job. Me, I just want to get the hell home, away from the insanity, the madness, the cut-throat world of corporate games. Woody Allen said it best..."There are small oases, moments of respite, moments where we are all distracted from the abysmal nightmare that human existence is". This blog will be about those distractions. "Some of you might not yet know what i'm talking about.....don't worry, you will" Lester Burnham, American Beauty