My jokes about Sony and North Korea….and Cosby of course

hi,

I’ve put some of these on FB and Twitter where it reached about 5 people so I thought I’d put it on my blog so that it reaches another 2 persons. Jokes about North Korea, Sony, Cosby, Xmas, etc….each subject divided (just like America)

1.Just saw North Korean outside local theater. What to do? Approach him? Punch him? Buy him food cuz he looks hungry?

2. In order to satisfy North Korea govt, all movie popcorn will no longer be yellow. (okay, this one is kinda dumb)

3. probaby on morning radio shows all last week: “congratulations caller #10, you’ve won 2 tickets to see The Interview on Xmas Day!”

4. The jokes on you North Korea! Hobbit – Battle of Five Armies hit theaters without a hitch!! (hint: NK are orcs)

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5. I’m guessing Cosby won’t be on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee anytime soon…

6. I tried to binge watch season 3 of Cosby Show but I got drowsy & fell asleep. was that intentional, Cosby?

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7. “I finished my Christmas shopping” sounds better than “I just purchased 17 iTunes gift cards.”

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8. traumatized columbia and harvard law school students will someday take the low-bar exam.

9. how many harvard law students does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None – don’t ask them – they are too traumatized

10. Is it Trigger Warning or Tigger Warning? TTFN, snowflakes!

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11. the Pope says all dogs go to heaven. Saint Bernard dogs are like “duh!”

That’s it! Go back to your real websites. I know I will! Merry Christmas, nerds!

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That’s So ‘Ray’ven – Ray Rice, Ray Lewis, lessons learned

Several things to be learned from the Ray Rice gf/wife-beating crime:

1. You gonna beat your wife, do it on an escalator, that way you don’t have to drag her, let the escalator do the work. You probably tired from all that punching, let people-moving technology help you out. But stay to the right so others can get by, please.

2. You gonna comment about Ray Rice, make sure you (Ray Lewis) don’t have a record indicating that you hide evidence in a murder trial. Or, if you have to comment on the Ray Rice thing, don’t say:

“There’s some things you can cover up, and there’s some things you can’t,”

That sounds like something O.J. Simpson would say. Whatever happened to the Juice? Last I heard he was doing time in Nevada for trying to steal his gear (amazingly, his kids appeared to have not inherited his egomania and have stayed out of the limelight).

3. Ray Liotta – where is Ray Liotta and why isn’t he in more films? This guy is creepy-in-a-good-way, funny, dramatic – when Ray is in a movie, he steals it. I would personally mail all of Ray Liotta’s movies to the NFL in hopes they could get on this matter, but they probably wouldn’t watch the tape until much later. Poor Ray Liotta.

If you are named “Ray”, I suggest you go back to the proper “Raymond”. There are plenty of decent Raymonds. Too many thugs apparently are named Ray. Here, then, is the one and only appearance on my site of Famous Raymonds! Here’s some highlights to fit my pre-determined theory that Rays are bad, and Raymonds are good.

Raymond Carver – writer

Raymond Chandler – writer

Raymond Burr – actor (Ironside? ) – how lame it would be if he went by Ray “Ray Burr” Rayber – sounds like “raper”

Mr. Burr ain’t killed nobody ever. I wonder if he ever just wore a t-shirt. Dude was always in suits. He would have loved Men’s Warehouse.

Aaaaaaand that’s it! What a list! Did you get tired reading it? I know I did.  This stuff should be on Buzzfeed or Yahoo “News”. (I don’t recognize the other Raymond’s on the baby names list. I’m sure all those other Raymonds are exceptionally bright and polite people). By the way, yes I did google “famous Rays” and found plenty of good guys but that was after I had written all the above and so I’m gonna ignore other Rays for this post (but a shout out to Ray Romano, Ray Bradbury, Ray Parker Jr., et all for not being major league assholes – too bad you didn’t go by Raymond. It would have made this post more sensible).

Odd thoughts a little related to the above but not really:

Seriously, domestic violence is a problem. So is non-domestic violence. All violence is a problem. Unless you need it to stop someone from doing some evil. But don’t do so much violence upon the evil-doer so as to make you just as evil. Measured violence is the key. Someone steals your iPhone, you steal their’s. You know that old biblical saying: an iPhone for an iPhone? And on the 8th Day, He did Create a Phablet with an Operating system 8.0 and thus said unto the world: Do You Want to Download and Install? Click Here?”

 

Fast Food Workers on Strike – please pull forward!

Again, some fast food workers in some major cities are striking to bring attention to their low wages, demanding $15/hour.  Nevermind what might be in the mcnugget – we’ll solve that mystery later. Let’s tackle this wage thing because as we know fast food workers have it worst than anybody in the world past or present.   I’ve heard that as the strikers marched, they chanted and sang songs but nobody could understand them through the shitty headset and microphone. ha ha!

But, let’s laugh a little about fast food! Here are some jokes I sometimes tell. They do not translate to the page that well. Just read with sarcasm.

My local McDonald’s is pretty awesome. You can go through the drive-thru and get a large coke with the lid almost all the way on. You want the fries upside down in the bag – you don’t have to ask. They got you covered.

I love In-N-Out Burger. I go through the drive-thru about 2 times a week. I know in about 30 years, I’ll have to go to go through the Walgreens drive thru to get prescriptions. Basically, Walgreens is In-N-Out Burger for old people.

I went through In-N-Out Burger the other day, ordered  it “to go” but I ended up eating it in the car. I called them when I got home, because I know they are so organized. I said “this is customer #327, and it’s time to update your records cuz I said “to go” and I ate it in the car!”    

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If you look closely, you can see the chick who screwed up my order three years ago. I ordered a burger with no onions and got a chicken sandwich.

Finally, not that funny, more of a ‘stoner’ type thought (I’m not a stoner but I have stoner thoughts), apparently is my air-tight theory about In-N-Out Burger being the type of burger joint Hitler would run. In-N-Out Burger is a Nazi front:

1. In-N-Out Burger. Three burgers on the men (Third Reich); white uniforms? served in brown-shirt colored to-go boxes.

2. SS – secret sauce? (or special sauce)

3. Nazy Germany was basically in and out of France in a matter of years. What is on their menu – burgers (german) and….french fries (!) – it’s obvious In-N-Out Burger believes germans and french are compatriots.

4.  I consider the yellow arrow an artistic representation of a saluting arm, which intersects the “N” in In-N-Out – N=Nazi.

There it is. Couldn’t be any clearer! Not that funny but really, I am always suspicious of organization that operates so efficiently. I do love In-N-Out Burger – for the food (yes, it’s fast food but it’s tastier than the others) – and how they operate – they pay a decent starting wage. They seem to hire efficient, pleasant, hard workers.

Perhaps it’s a regional thing. Perhaps those workers in the big failed cities have so few opportunities not because of the fast food industry but for other reasons. I’ll leave that to the experts, but here’s a news flash – fast food strikes are not in the top 10 worries of most Americans.

More seriously (and if you’re reading this far, thank you). I worked fast food during high school in the late 1980s ($4.25/hour  – according to this calculator that is the equivalent of $9 so, news flash – minimum wage has always been, you know, low). It’s a good first job. It’s an easy job. Yes, it’s true, easy jobs can be stressful and not so fun, but overall, the skills required to work fast food are minimal. There was also a lot of goofing off (gee, really? a bunch of high school kids in charge at 11 pm? what could go wrong?)  Unless you have plans on being a manager and building management skills, it’s a place to learn basic human interaction and teamwork. A place to learn punctuality, cleanliness, customer service, and basic math skills. But since so many people are special and stars of their own special world, these skills are often hard to learn.  Fast food restaurants (and workers) are not a necessity like some public works employees/police/fire/hospital so I don’t see their edge in terms of getting a higher wage or forming a union (btw, if they unionize, any wage gains would probably go to the unions, so knock yourself out, strikers).  In fact, the fast food product is bad for you – like candy. Like cigarettes. Like the WB channel.  And, sorry, but it’s the type of work that a robot can and will do very soon.

 

 

 

The code is cracked: Ice Bucket Challenge, ISIS, Frozen, L.A. Kings, ICE, etc – read if you dare

once again, I have cracked the code. Follow me around the room: 1. The film Frozen comes out in 2014 – a story abut a ‘King’dom trapped in ice. 2. Terrorist group ISIS makes it’s move in middle east (ISIS sounds like “ICE US”!), and 3. meanwhile L.A. “Kings” when the Cup in ICE hockey. 4. Immigration big issue this year (who enforces this?: ICE, immigration and customs enforcement) 5. ICE bucket challenge goes viral. 6. What do you say when someone dumps ice water on you? “Jesus Christ that’s cold!!”. 7. How many letters are in ICE ?Three. As in Trinity (and who is part of that – Jesus (King, Kingdom). So, mind blown, yet? The mothership will be here soon, probably covered in ice. Get your purple Nikes and meet me outside. And bring some ice! 

icy cold stare…..

 

Royal Baby Name Revealed!

From babynamesforkings.com it has been revealed the new future King’s name is down to a list of 5:

5. Wi Tu Lo

4. Ralph

3. The Dude (or His Dudeness)

2. Dumbledore

1. Saul Goodman

Better than North!

Age progression image of future king at 8 months.

Book Flipping – the Robert Galbraith / J.K. Rowling book hits Ebay!

This week, I turned $83 into $620 all thanks to J.K. Rowling.

This past week the world learned that J.K. Rowling wrote a mystery novel under the name Robert Galbraith. Ron Weasley would have been proud by the not-so-tough-to-crack deception. Upon learning of this ruse, the Rowling Readership hit the online stores and drove it to the top of the seller’s list.  Very few hardcovers were to be found, of course, as the print run was reported low. On Ebay, I read one description that listed the North American first edition as being 10,000 (an expected figure for a debut author, but of course certainly low for Rowling).

The Cuckoo's Calling - book flipper's dream come true.
The Cuckoo’s Calling – book flipper’s dream come true.

Upon reading about the Rowling/Galbraith Identity news on Sunday morning, I saw an opportunity. It’s called Book Flipping! Or, more seriously, bookselling. It’s what book scouts and booksellers do – obtain those books at a low enough price to garner some income when sold back to another person or store. They are looking at short-term increases and possibly long term holds – my guess is short-term is preferred. I’m certainly not a professional bookscout or seller, but I have enough experience to know that this type of book – a novel under a pseudonym of a world famous writer – is instantly desired by almost every muggle who likes to read.

So, last Sunday morning, I got in the car and faster than you can say Corman Strike, I was at Barnes and Noble at 9 am, the time they opened.

Hi, how are you, Book Clerk, you poor soul who is not yet aware of the Rowling Book Storm that is soon to land on top of his head. The phones – put those on silent because they will be ringing all day!

I found my copy upstairs in Mystery.  Check the copyright page – first printing, first edition – great. Then, went downstairs to the cash register, where 2 copies were already set aside as I had used their online ‘pick up’ feature before leaving on the 20 minute drive to the store. So excited I was that I had 3 copies in hand, it didn’t occur to me to see if any more copies remained. My mind was already writing my Ebay Item Description (‘free shipping!’ ‘first edition, you bet!’).  Instead, I paid and left. I used to work in a bookstore in the early 90s, so I can sympathize with bookstore employees when a sudden “flash mob” like book event happens – people come in or they call and are puzzled when a book isn’t available. Whether it’s true or not, I imagine the rest of the day for the Barnes and Nobles employees was spent explaining that they were sold out of The Cuckoo’s Calling. I did tell the clerk after my purchase why these books were important (at least from a collector’s perspective), and I’m not sure it hit her just then, but I’m sure it did later.

Cut to Sunday evening. Time to auction these off. It’d been awhile since I listed anything on Ebay (the site has long ago stopped being fun and affordable to use  with the fees but I don’t rely on it for income – perhaps it’s easier for those professionals who use it).  I upload a couple of photos, fill in the item description and then decide the most important thing – price.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is instantly a unique collectible. Written by the mega-selling author of the Harry Potter books, it is a hardboiled detective adult story.  Is this book a collectible for mystery buyers or for Harry Potter fans? Or for literary fans who may believe that Rowling’s talent will only continue to grow thus cementing her standing as one of the most beloved storytellers of the 21st century.

Not knowing anyone in the book scouting business to get advice, I listed my first copy conservatively – $85 for bidding or $115  for Buy It Now.  Other similar first editions were starting at $50 but I hadn’t seen anything selling yet for over $150. I listed my item, and almost immediately it sold. I knew I was onto something.

The next night, I listed copy #2 (all three were first editions, first printing). I took new pictures because I don’t believe in reusing same photo on three different items, even if they are the same book. Again, book sold immediately at $145 – I had listed it a little higher as I was seeing some $200+ auctions for the same book. Prices were increasing but still some auctions were ending at 75. Others were still ongoing and climbing slowly.

The third night, after seeing three books going for more than $400, yet still seeing many more in the $200 range (why I have no idea), I decided to aim higher. $450 was my buy it now. I put a starting bid at $300 so it could have easily gone that route, taking 7 days for a number of bids and maybe it would have climbed past $500, maybe not. Did I want to spend 7 days checking my Ebay account every five minute? No. With the Buy It Now option, though, one person did step up and buy my copy. For $450.  I wasn’t shocked. Not after seeing other items prices, but I was puzzled, though, why others who were bidding on the same book in the price range of $500 wouldn’t jump over and start in on my Item.  Today the same searches on ebay “Cuckoo’s calling” brings up a large variety of prices, although it appears they are all steadily increasing.

For the non-collector, paying $450 for a book is a foreign concept. They may think  “hello, the second printing will be out soon and then this stupid book will be, like, everywhere!  And, yes, the same text that is in the first edition will be in the second edition and in the electronic versions as well. I get it. But the first edition is that first public outing to readers, the first vote of confidence by a publishing house (I’ll leave the debate about the wisdom of publishers for another day). Obviously for the well-know author, a first edition is to be followed by multiple printings based on sales that occur throughout bookshops, grocery stores, Costco, etc.  Nothing special, right?  But that first edition book by an unknown author is something different.  If it catches on, the small print run and high demand will drive up the price for those who want to collect that item that existed before anyone was aware of it (even if it is that they purchased this first edition years later).  It’s a marker of sorts, especially for a first-time author or for a bestselling author’s pseudonym.

Today, five days later, I still see a similar price range for The Cuckoo’s Calling (from $200-$600). My advice? I think anything under $300 is a good deal, of course. Past $600 is iffy,  in my opinion, but only because I’m not sure of the actual print run and what the longterm value will be. I would say for serious first edition collectors, it’s still probably a safe bet both for the mystery book collectors angle and the J.K. Rowling fan-base. Two groups vying for the book for different reasons. I would not be at all surprised if the North American first edition/first printing settles in close to $1,000 this month or next. I couldn’t guess where it might plateau.

I am happy with my venture. I sold three books. After fees, I cleared just over $600.

As of this evening, there are approximately 80 books actively listed.  Where are the rest – tucked away to be sold later or, gasp, on someone’s nightstand being read at this very movement, the value decreasing with each turn of the page, each crease of the spine. The horror!

I usually do not buy books by author’s that I don’t read. I don’t read J. K. Rowling (or Galbraith) but this was an opportunity to make some dough which could be put to some good uses (other books? maybe. Or, more likely, bills).  Had I misjudged the demand (unlikely) I would have been stuck with 3 books I had no interest in. If you buy first editions with the hopes they will increase in value, you better know your market, and if you don’t, then just buy what you like, so you won’t be so disappointed to have ‘that book’ on your shelf, no matter what Ebay thinks.

(btw, I realize this post is all about books as collectibles and doesn’t even discuss the quality of the book by J.K. Rowling. It’s a weird hobby/career, book collecting or dealing. One obtains some book at some ungodly amount and then sets it on his or her shelf, never to be touched again!  The “Robert Galbraith” book’s pages could have been blank and I, having not cracked any of the copies I scooped up, wouldn’t have had any idea. Obviously, the best part of books is what the author provides – the stories and characters, drawn to such a degree that we forget our own lives or we find answers or questions that enrich our lives. A book’s real value isn’t how many dollars we might declare it to be  but whether what is between the covers has provided us with a valuable experience. That is subjective, of course.)