Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Age of Excessive Politeness, or, Cheers Break Out At Netflix HQ

The Philadelphia Inquirer  informs us that this fellow is not one to trifle with. It seems that 
James Ciallella of south Philly was at a showing of the recent Brad Pitt flick "Benjamin Button" and a fellow in the next row was talking. 

A heated discussion 
ensued and it ended with Ciallella reaching into his sweatpants and pulling out a Kel-Tec .380 pistol whereupon he shot the fellow for his impertinence. Police were calledto the UA Riverview Theater on Columbus Boulevard to clean up the mess.

We here have no doubt that Cialella will be spending a certain amount of time in a fine correctional institution operated by the state of Pennsylvania, but this is probably the best thing that has happened to Netflix in a long time.

The Kel-Tec people, purveyors of cheap pistols to the trade-although parenthetically the P3AT has a locked breech lifted from the Walther P38- are probably sorry that this happened to one of their endorsers, but hey-this is America, and not everyone can be like Plaxico Burress and tote around a Glock.

Apparently, Ciallella was not one of the millions of law enforcement people who rely on Kel Tec for easily concealable pistols.

Image credit Kel-Tec.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seasons' Greetings

This seems to mark the end of a year that's had some pretty big changes, some of them not pleasant and others unexpected. In change there is opportunity if you're among the few who can take advantage of it.

We here at the Dougloid Towers would like to extend our heartfelt greetings to our readers-and they are many-well, OK, a few, but they are devoted.

Time to think about what's going to get dumped into the wassail bowl, I think.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jake at Dinner

This is what a happy soldier looks like. All the accoutrements of a civilized existence somewhere named Hooligan.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Republican Twilight of the Gods

The current contretemps over finance, and what to do about it has us puzzled here at the Dougloid Towers. 

On the one hand, AIG walks away with 85 billion of our dollars that we're going to have to borrow from the Chinese, the deal's done on the weekend, and nobody raises an eyebrow, just write out a check please, thank you.

Citi-you know, those folks who sic their collection dogs on you when you get a week behind on your credit card-their deal gets done on a weekend when nobody's in town and the switchboard's closed. Everyone's friends here when the keys to the vault are handed to Citi.  

But when it's the interests of working people of this country and the survival of some of the biggest employers here the attitude of the Republican swing members in the senate is "F*** 'em. Let 'em starve." 

Saving Wall Street, it seems, is much more important than what happens on Woodward Avenue.

It reminds me of a Wagnerian opera on the Potomac. The Republican gods have only got a little more time left, and one more chance to piss on the ordinary people of this country seems to be more temptation than they can resist.

Let the industrial base of this country go, and the Motor City is more likely to look like Hamburg in 1945. 

That's before the grass grows in every street.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Hair Shirts and the Refrigerator Police

The Register informs us this morning that one way in these trying times to reduce your "income outgo" is to do things like turn off the lights when you leave the room, run the washer and dishwasher only when they're full, use the microwave oven when you can and cook multiple items at once if you are going to use the range. 

If I did all these things, that might have saved me five bucks last month, because my electric bill was $53. 

I have some better ideas.

Don't pay retail. Never. Ever. Not once.

Cut up your credit cards and stop putting stuff on the arm. There's no free lunch. Pay off your debts and get rid of them. 

Pay for whatever you buy in cash or by check. All those nifty debit cards do is encourage you to spend more and think less. Checks give you one last chance to say "Do I really need to do this?"

Use the library. You already paid for it.

Get rid of your leased Lexus and your Tahoe and drive something that's bought and paid for and won't cause you to look for the loan officer at the gas station the next time you fill up. An ex-Hertz Ford Taurus or Chevrolet Lumina will do nicely, they're reliable, comfortable and inexpensive. Plus the insurance is cheaper on throwaway cars.

Skip the movies, the Carnival cruises, Netflix, the runs to Chez Panisse and the Brasserie, the big screen teevee and all the chrome plated crap that you've put on the arm. Get rid of it. 

Get rid of it all.

Get a cheap cell phone with a plan that doesn't support videos, texting, instant messaging, the internet, or any of the other stuff that you've been told is important. Then you can dump your land line and come out ahead.

Buy on the secondary market. That means yard sales, auctions, private deals, and thrift stores.

Learn how to repair stuff. Many of the things you buy can be repaired if you have any common sense at all and if they weren't made in China. If they were, you might as well pitch them in the trash-maybe you'll put that guy in China out of work-you know, the one who puts those "QC Passed 32" stickers on all the broken stuff in the house.

Start a legitimate home business. Start using the tax code instead of letting it use you. Notice I said "legitimate".

Every dollar you do not spend is worth $1.28 when tax time comes around. That's right. If you spend that dollar, you've paid the government 28 cents for the privilege if you're like most of us. It stands to reason it's far better to still have it. You're being taxed on income-the less you spend, the less you need to earn, and the less you have to pony up at tax time.

Every dollar you do spend is a vote on what you want the world your kids inherit to look like.

Do all this and you can run the lights all night if you like and afford the occasional run to Chez Panisse. 

And you can use the oven any time you like.