Monday, May 16, 2011

Tiger Woods: Running Without Juice

Let's put this issue to rest once and for all: The reason Tiger can't play any more is that he's no longer taking the juice, a/k/a PEDs, performance enhancing drugs.

Remember back to Wednesday, June 18, 2008 when el tigre announced that he was having season ending knee surgery? If you need to refresh your memory as to the reported details try this online article: Tiger Tamed: Surgery Will End His Season

Poor Tiger!

But, what wasn't reported at the time was the remarkable coincidence that PGA drug testing was going to begin thirteen days later on July 1, 2008. Related articles: PGA Tour drug testing should begin in July 2008 and Drug testing a necessary decision by PGA Tour.

Not to say that Tiger's ailments were mythical, they probably were not. But, it could very well be a testament to the efficacy of PEDs that he was still able to win despite these ailments. In any case, I propose that the reason he decided to drop out of competition at that particular time had more to do with the upcoming commencement of testing than it did with his ailing knee.

And his failure to regain his previous dominating form would seem to support that. So, let's end the debate about whether or not he will ever regain his former greatness or whether or not he will break Jack Nicklaus's record. The answer is simple: without the juice, he will not.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Who's the Dummy? Sun Toyota Can Tell You -- It's Me!

It's been a bad week. Hell, it's been a bad year. In addition to the speeding ticket I recently wrote about, there's this thing I've got going with the Hudson Water Works. Like a dummy - yeah, I admit it - I recently reported to the girl who takes your money at the window that our last couple bills were unusually low. She said she'd send someone out to check the meter. Well, this month we get a water bill for $58, more than double any other bill we've received in the eleven years we've been living here. When I went down to the office to pay it, I just happened to let slip that this bill was double what we usually paid. Another girl informed me that they had installed a new meter, and that this bill represented an estimate based on our previous months usage. That made, and still makes, absolutely no sense, on multiple grounds. First, how can you determine the previous months usage if the meter wasn't working properly? And, secondly, if you have a new meter, why do you need an estimate. But, there's no winning with these people, so I decided to wait for the next bill and hope they don't break the bank. Meanwhile, I'm trying to forget that it was I who reported that my bills were too low.

Regarding the speeding ticket, it's true that the particular instance of speeding that led to the citation was caused by a representative of the vast Silver Mange, a disease that effects all Florida roadways but, upon reflection, I can trace the cause of the ticket back to Sun Toyota of New Port Richey, the people who sold me the p.o.s. 2009 Corolla I'm currently driving. These people are the scum of the earth. Of course, by these people, I'm referring primarily to the salesman who sold me the shit wagon, though a few others did collude in the swindle.

I know, you have to be on your toes whenever you're dealing with a used car salesman. But, it's so easy to be deceived, especially when the deceivers have carefully honed their craft through years of flagrant deceptions. For some of the signs that the salesman you're dealing with is a swindler, check out this article: The Used-Car Salesman's Training Manual: 25 Tricks They Use to Charge You More

Though many of these apply to my experience, I guess number 4, Making Friends, is the ploy that did me in. I forget what, but the salesman finally convinced me we were brothers with a lot in common. Of course, it wasn't our bad knees that bolstered our kinship. With him limping around and me insisting that I needed a cruise control to relieve the pain that invariably struck when I was driving, with the two of us thinking as one in regards to this topic, you'd have a hard time believing that we drove out of Sun Toyota in a car that didn't have cruise.

This is how my good buddy pulled this one off. After taking several test rides in different cars up and down Hwy 19, my wife spotted this black Corolla. He went over and glanced inside and, instead of shaking his head "no," and saying “no cruise,” he called into play a different strategy. When we took it for a ride, he made sure we avoided 19 and took us, instead, into a development where we couldn't go over 25 mph. One wouldn't normally think of "cruise control" at that speed. At least, I didn't.

There were other things, too. Like an extra set of keys. If you pay 12 grand for a car, you have a right to expect an extra set of keys. Well, he hemmed and hawed on the issue, letting me know he was working on it, but he never came through. Eventually, I had to have one made. It cost $100. BTW, that was the last time I returned to the dealership. They've contacted me numerous times telling me it's time to get serviced. All I can think is they have to be kidding.

And when I asked if there were any unresolved recall issues with the car, he went somewhere and checked and then came back saying there were none. Not long after I purchased the car, I started getting bombarded with recall notices. A little research showed that the actual date of the recall was January 27, 2010, several months before the purchase. Why not make the corrections  before you sold me the heap of crap?

Anyway, for the first ten and a half years here in Florida I avoided speeding by arriving at a safe speed and then applying the cruise control. I used it wherever I went. As soon as I realized I had been duped into buying a car without cruise, I knew I'd have to watch my speed. It's all too easy, if you're not vigilant, to exceed the speed limit. Tell me about it.

While I’m flinging blame around, I mustn't forget Hyundai of New Port Richey. My old car, the car I was trading in, was a 2003 Hyundai Elantra. All in all, though it didn't take bumps that well, it was a good car. It got great mileage, 34 mpg on long trips, it was fully loaded with a fantastic sound system, and it had cruise. So, we went to the Hyundai dealer first. We walked around the lot for about ten minutes without attracting one salesman. There were a couple standing around smoking cigarettes and chatting, but we didn't seem to set off their sucker alarms. So, we left. I mean, I’m not going to beg somebody to take my money. Someone who works there later informed me that it isn't their practice to automatically descend on potential customers with the sales rap. Why not? I replied. Any moron should know we were there to buy a car. Why else would I come to a car lot? Free hotdogs? Anyway, a little initiative on their part, and I would not have had to suffer at the hands of those crooks at Sun Toyota.

Speaking of the ticket, I went to the post office, got a money order, and mailed it out to the Clerk of Court the same day I received it. When I called the Clerk's office to inquire about taking the online course so I don't get any points, I was told to go online and fill out the form and send it in. I informed the girl I talked to that I was familiar with the form, but I didn't make note of the citation number which was required information. She advised me to call back in a week. But, when I called back in a week, another girl informed me that by sending in my payment I had settled the matter and, now, could not take the online course. I tried to explain what I had been told previously, but she didn't want to hear it. Finally, she handed me off to a superior who was more inclined to help me and, hopefully, straightened the matter out.


And, Osama thought he was having a bad week.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Criminal Intent: Goren and Eames Return To Say Good-Bye

Season 10 of USA network's Law and Order: Criminal Intent began with a bang, or, actually, with a couple bangs as, once again, murder was on the menu.

First to meet the reaper was call girl Sara Bell who met her bad end shortly after an appearance at a party at fashion designer Nyle Brite's pad winds up wrapped up in a rug in her apartment with two bullet holes in her. Witnesses noted that the site of Ms Bell so upset the drugged up party animal Brite (Jay Mohr) that he ended the party on the spot and ordered everyone out of his house. This morsel instantly placed him on Goren and Eames's list of suspects but a little due diligence soon revealed that the reason Brite was upset was the fact that Sara Bell was his daughter. He admitted to clocking her up aside the head but swore he didn't kill her. Brite was removed from suspicion when he, too, was found dead.

I have to admit, the resurrection of CI caught me by surprise. A big fan of the Goren and Eames version, I thought the series had breathed its last. Then, I caught a promo and a front page preview on the Sunday paper's TV insert and my pulse started to race. But, alas, I soon learned that this is being billed as "The Final Season," and I couldn't help wondering "Why bring it back only to kill it again."

TV execs seldom make sense to me.