Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gilchrist & Soames

All I want to do is wash my hands and dry them.

Sounds so innocent and easy.

Oh, that's a man talking for you.

If it was up to straight American men, then this task would be so uncivil.

There would be a big ole aluminum sink. Aluminum so it doesn't matter if you scratch it. Aluminum so you can degrease your hands after fixing the Weedeater and not worry about it. Aluminum so you can scrub it with Bon Ami and steel wool and get the sucker clean.

An oversized faucet would curl over the sink with about two feet of room between the firehose nozzle and the strainer drain so you can get your hands and forearms in there. And occasionally your feet. A one-handle faucet you can control with your elbows with just the three settings: real hot, good 'n warm, well-diggers arse.

Just over the faucet would be a jug of liquid Lava soap. The spigot placed so that any soap drip would end up in the sink.

And, next to it would be a roll of paper towels. Preferably Bounty. White. No little paisleys printed in aqua. And no select-a-size.

That's it. All I'd ever need.

But again, that's for cretins.

Nope, we need two poofters from England to make a little round puck that smells like Eckerd's perfume counter on Christmas Eve wrapped in cellophane tighter than Dick's hatband. And likely to have the queen's stamp of approval on it. When's the last time she changed the flapper on a toilet? I mean, Prince Charles has never put toothpaste on his own toothbrush. What does royalty know about washing hands?

And speaking of such things, what do Englishmen know about bathrooms? Have you visited there recently?

They don't know the difference between come here and sic 'em when it comes to washing up. They have a hot and a cold faucet on the sink. In the fanciest places.

And what that whole continent needs is a decent shower. I think the reason their P.U. factor is so high is their showers are the size of a phone booth. And they don't have doors or curtains on them. And the hot water runs out in 30 seconds or less. Yep, a properly designed American shower that's 5 feet by 5 feet with twelve adjustable shower heads and a flat screen TV and a mini-fridge would do that place a world of good.

But I digress.

So Messrs. Gilchrist and Soames have not only taken over the sink, they've invaded our showers. In hotels. In the "finest" homes.

I was in a "fine" hotel recently where the two Poms had elevated showering to their high art.

One little problem. There were three tiny jugs of their mystical liquid stuff in there. And I don't wear my glasses to shower. And the type on the little jugs was so tiny (other than, of course, the words GILCHRIST & SOAMES) that it was impossible to tell the difference. Other than the three Easter egg hues of the liquids.

I assumed one was shampoo. I assumed one was conditioner. I assumed the third was something I never heard of.

So I avoided it all and did the best I could with warm water and a clean wash cloth.

Now as for the drying of hands, that too has become much too high-falutin'.

First of all, if a piece of terry cloth has fringe on it, I assume it's for decoration, not for utilization. Same for things monogrammed that are pressed, folded and stacked in a basket. Same for paper napkins designed by Versace.

Come to think of it, I think I've seen this bathroom of my dreams. Isn't that what surgeons have? Isn't that how the guys wash up at Aamco after fixing my tranny?

Stan Richards has built a very large, profitable and stable advertising agency. And I recall having powdered my nose there once. And that's how his mens room was designed. (Wonder how Stan's ladies room is designed? And why do some ladies rooms have couches?)

Anyway. My hands are all germy from using this keyboard.

I'm gonna go let the dog lick 'em and then hose 'em off outside and dry them on my jeans.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Secretary Gates and me

Secretary Gates had the stones to tell the UN today how worthless that organization is.

Gates warns of NATO becoming militarily irrelevant
By Daniel Strauss - 06/10/11 11:29 AM ET


I hope we will re-read this post from two years ago that is as relevant today as ever.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Leagues of Nations

There are two amazingly similar organizations headquartered in New York City.

They are both inefficient, ineffective, rendered powerless by their members and their structure, subsidized by governments, and over-subsidized by the United States.

And for some odd reason, when things get really screwed up both organizations call in former Sen. George Mitchell.

Of course, we are discussing the United Nations and Major League Baseball.

In order for an organization to be effective, it must have a clear mission supported by all of its members.

Well, lets start with Major League Baseball. MLB is the organization that is supposed to set the rules, promote the game, and keep the teams and players playing Major League Baseball in line. It has become an international organization now with teams in Canada, season openers in Tokyo, and a farm team called Cuba.

MLB is owned by the owners of the teams. The owners appoint the Commissioner. The owners make the rules. And for years, MLB has been an example of wild West capitalism which means the MLB is a joke.

Unlike the NFL, the team owners in MLB never agreed to play by the same rules either on the field or in the business of running their teams.

The NFL is a lot like Marin County. We believe in socialism, so long as we are all rich and this socialism stuff will make us richer and won’t interfere with our lifestyle. Like, we will send money to Habitat for Humanity, but don’t think of building one of your places in our neighborhood. Like, what do you mean a black owner?

Anyway, MLB doesn’t buy that NFL crap. Dog eat dog. The big dogs do what they damn well please. The small dogs beg for fairness and subsidies. So, the big dogs have made sure that the MLB commissioner will be a meaningless figurehead. No power.

And to make sure that’s the case, the owners have learned that the best kind of commissioner is one of their own small dogs. This is akin to Spike appointing Chester commissioner of the backyard. Like Spike isn’t going to lift his leg where and when he wants to without fear of punishment.

MLB can’t even make sure that their two leagues play the same game. One league has something called a designated hitter. The umpires have made up their own rules including different strike zones. Puhleaze.

The United Nations got its start as the League of Nations. The League of Nations was formed at the end of World War I. Its task was pure and simple. To make sure that war never broke out again.

A couple of little problems. The League of Nations had no power. No peacekeeping force. Germany, who started WWI, wasn’t allowed to join. And the United States refused to join. Oh, Woodrow, where are you when we need you.

So, after WWII, which seemed to indicate that the League of Nations wasn’t cutting it, the idea for the United Nations came about.

The original United Nations sort of made sense. It was formed by the Allied Powers (the good guys) to make sure the Axis Powers (the bad guys) would never be allowed to be bad again.

Rules for membership are clearly spelled out in the UN Charter:

"Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.

The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council."

Somewhere along the way, it turned into a bad joke. “All other peace-loving states” now includes Iran, Burma/Myanmar, Cuba, Sudan, Afghanistan and North Korea. Every nation on earth is now a member of the UN. The good, the bad, the inconsequential.

Every nation is supposed to contribute on a fair “tax” basis (what a novel idea) to the UN fund. Supposed being the key word.

The UN annual budget is around $20 billion. The United States pays 22% of that. China pays 2%. Yet China has just as much say as the United States on UN decisions and policy. What? If you don’t pay your fair share of your PTA dues you don’t get to be a member and you are held up for public scorn. Not so at the UN.

As for the Secretary General, well s/he is selected by the member states. And since the member states don’t agree on much of anything, they are surely not going to allow someone from a big dog state to be Secretary General. So, we have Secretary Generals from South Korea, Ghana, etc. They strike as much fear as the robins-egg-blue helmeted UN peacekeeping force.

Here are a couple of thoughts on how to improve the effectiveness of the UN.

1. Get rid of the permanent headquarters. Move the meetings around to where the problems are you are trying to solve. There isn’t all that much poverty and violence on the East side of Manhattan. Why not move your meetings around between Mogadishu, Peshawar, Rangoon, Kabul, and other such places that most of the UN ambassadors have never visited. We know. The restaurants and the shopping won’t be quite as good as New York. But you will learn to love the taste of terrier.

2. The only real thing of value at the UN is that 18 acres of prime New York real estate that was donated by John D. Rockefeller. That land is not part of the United States. It is international territory. So sign a 99-year deal with Steve Wynn and let him turn it into Macau. Complete with the global array of prostitution and drugs. Then, the UN collects a big annual fee from this activity to go out and try to stop the prostitution and the flow of drugs in the real world.

Sen. Mitchell, if you need some help, give me a call.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's headed the wrong way

Things are likely headed the wrong way when . . .

You are in the men's room taking care of some business in terminal C at DFW after sprinting from the parking lot on an August morning in your best suit getting ready for a long day trip to your largest customer when the toilet decides to autoflush and you see several gallons of water pour into your taped seat seams and your captoe shoes.

You reach for that pencil behind your ear and find a tampon.

You leave for work on an icy January morning and slip on the front porch and spill your coffee and sprain your ankle and you go back inside and reload and start over and this time slip on the ice in the driveway and fall on your tuckus under which is your lunch bag and now you are covered with not only hot coffee but chocolate pudding.

You are in the shower at 6:30 in the morning and your teenage son comes and tells you some strange person is at the door with a package for you and you assume it's some overnight delivery for the new campaign you've been working on and you tell him to just sign for it and then he brings you service of a lawsuit that's been filed against you cause you wrote a letter to the board of directors about that hoopenheimer who lied his way to president at your best client and fired you for no good reason other than you wouldn't do the inane, stupid work he wanted.

Your grown daughter says to you daddy I've got an idea for a new business but you're probably going to think it's evil.

You meet the police chief in the new small town you've moved to and he asks if your ex is so and so and you answer in the affirmative and he says he ought to arrest you on the spot for allowing her to move to his jurisdiction.

You arrive in Germany after an overnight flight and go to check in your hotel and they reject your debit card even though you just checked the balance and there's plenty of money in there but they say it won't go thru and it's 3 o'clock in the morning where your friendly small town bank is so you have to sit in the lobby and drink coffee for five hours till your friendly small town bank opens and then you finally get them to answer the phone and tell you that for your protection they limit daily debits to $400 and never allow international charges and that in order to help you they'll have to talk to the main branch but they are in a meeting and is there a number where they can call you back.

You are excited to see that your kids have said something nice about you on Facebook only to click on said nice things and find they have posted a video of you snoring on YouTube.

You go for your final review with your academic counselor before graduation from the University of Georgia expecting to graduate at the end of the quarter with honors only to hear Mr. Burks your grades stink and you still have to retake English 201 and you better pull things up if you want to graduate from this institution and you see your name with your own eyes on the paper he's holding and finally figure out there is another person with exactly the same name that's attended the exact same courses for the exact same degree who is from the same town and whose phone number is one number different from your own although you've never met this person.

You get a once in a lifetime chance to play Augusta National and you practice like crazy and buy new clothes and shoes and clubs and are so nervous you can't swallow and you play like crap until you jab a 6 iron into the precious fairway about a foot behind your ball on the 7th hole and give yourself a hernia.