Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Commack restaurant's pricing policy draws fire

The way Amy Kaplan sees it, a Commack sushi restaurant's pricing policy for children has reached a new low.

Kaplan, of Dix Hills, said Sushi Park on Jericho Turnpike wanted to charge her daughter, Nikki, 11, full price when the family went out for dinner on Jan. 18.

But it wasn't Nikki's age that made her ineligible for a half-price children's meal. It was her height.

Sushi Park measures children to determine the price of their meals. Children are told to stand next to a giraffe poster with a ruler when they enter.

Height-based pricing appears to be relatively rare on Long Island. Though the manager of a Huntington buffet said the policy is common in Manhattan, state consumer officials and a restaurant industry spokesman contacted by Newsday said they had never heard of the practice.

Children more than 4 1/2-feet tall pay full price at Sushi Park. Kids 3 1/2 feet to 4 1/2 feet pay half price. Children under 3 1/2 feet eat free. The weekday full price dinner is $19.95, according to the restaurant.

Nikki Kaplan stands 4-foot-8, her mother said.

"We didn't stay," Amy Kaplan said. "I became indignant and asked to see the manager. ... I asked, 'Do you really feel that if my daughter is tall that she's going to eat more?'"

The manager referred Kaplan to a woman he identified as the owner, who did not speak English, Kaplan said. Repeated attempts to reach Sushi Park's owner were unsuccessful.

Kaplan's complaint, first reported Saturday on newsday.com, drew the attention of the "Dr. Phil" show. Kaplan said she wasn't sure whether she would consent to being on the show.

One restaurant that uses height in pricing children's meals, East Buffet and Restaurant in Huntington, adopted the practice two years ago after charging half price for children between 3 and 10 years old, said manager Kevin Kong. Pricing by age "just makes things a little difficult for my employees to determine who should be charged as a child and who should be charged as an adult," Kong said.

He said some customers are less than candid about their children's ages: "Sometimes," Kong said, "the child is like 6 feet tall and they say he's 10 years old." He added, "I'm not saying they're lying."

Kong said the height policy is "flexible" if customers complain. "If they say it's a child, OK, it's a child," he said.

Many restaurant managers said they'd never heard of the practice and it would be bad for business.

Amy Kaplan said the state Division of Human Rights told her state law does not prohibit pricing based on height but she is asking state legislators to change the law.

Nikki "eats like a bird," Amy Kaplan said. "She doesn't even like sushi."

This kinda crap frosts my nads. A business has the right to refuse service to kids if they want to. Obviously, the word of honor required by customers when an age requirement was used didn't satisfy the management. A bigger kid is gonna eat more.

What if I want to retire early? So what if I'm too young - that shouldn't hinder me from realizing the lifestyle I could become accustomed to with some sweet Social Security bucks rolling in. Makes as much sense.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ear Worm

This one has been in my head for a couple days.

Black Oak Arkansas actually had some pretty decent music other than this irritating little ditty.

News Alert

As a service to my readers, here is an important news alert:

You'll thank me, yes you will.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Just a FYI


Friday, January 25, 2008

Wanna Get Married?

Hey, guys - do ya want to get married for the sole purpose of having sex? This site has the answer! From their FAQ page:

If you're anything like us, you're controlling. With Conjugal Harmony, we take out the guess work. You don't have to hire a private detective to know where your spouse is, who they're hanging out with, or ever wonder if you're being cheated on. By marrying a convict inside the prison system you can rest easy knowing that the state is looking out for you, and that you will be free of the nagging, shopping trips and extra-marital oversight so stifling to your relationship.

One of the babes:

Name: Brass1s

Age: 28

State: California

Driving under the influence, reckless endangerment, parafanalia possession, and drug possession a couple times. Manslaughter a couple times too and one they said was murder.

Favorite hobbies in prison: Hot dog night is pretty much all I have to look forward to anymore. I also made a special waist band device for the purpose of intimacy that uses a hot dog and it works pretty good. I have t hide it though cuz they don't let that.

Why I deserve another chance: I don't but maybe you could gimme a reason to.

I'm tellin' ya, I can't get signed up fast enough!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Get Offa My Lawn

We have a new political party! The "Get Offa My Lawn" party! This is only a trial logo - Dustbury and McGehee are working on it. Bloggers will be able to display the logo on our sidebars by posting to this thread. I'm gonna join!

Happy Birthday

Today is John Browning's birthday - or perhaps it was two days ago. No matter. He was perhaps the most prolific and ingenious weapons designer the world has seen.

Most of the other famous designers gained their notoriety from a single design. Eugene Stoner is revered for the AR15/M16 family of rifles. Mikhail Kalashnikov is famous for his AK47. The only other designer responsible for multiple successes would be Dieudonne Saive, who is credited with finishing the GP35 (Browning High Power) after Browning's death, plus the FN Model 1949 and the FN FAL - the "right arm of the free world." Not a small achievement.

However excellent the designs these men were responsible, they cannot hold a candle to Browning's catalog. He used radically different principles in different designs, and made them "simple." For instance, let's look at the Browning breakdown .22 rifle that JMB is holding in the picture above. I own one of these, and am familiar with tearing one down. The firing mechanism is operated by blowback from the ignition of the .22 round. As a firing block is moved rearward, the spent round is extracted and ejected, plus the sprung firing pin is locked back, ready to strike the next round. This round is picked up from the bottom and placed in the chamber as the spring loaded block moves forward. Rounds are loaded in the side of the buttstock and are directed to below the firing block. Simple and elegant.

Compare this to the Browning Auto 5 shotgun, which I also possess. The barrel and bolt move rearward at the start of the blowback from recoil, and friction rings set the proper force to restrict the whole operation. It was the first successful semi-auto shotgun, and is still revered as an effective hunting and sporting gun to this day. I've found that the humpbacked receiver helps me get on target - I've got a big head, and proper cheek welds often find the line of sight on other shotguns to be above where it should be in a perfect world. The extra height of the Auto 5 makes quite a difference for me.

Another iconic design is the 1894 Winchester. I've got a 30-30 carbine with a large loop, a John Wayne preference. The bolt is held in place by a retractable lock, and the bolt and lock are actuated by a toggle mechanism actuated by the lever. This is a great improvement on the first successful lever action rifle - the Winchester 1866. The bolt in this rifle was held in place by leverage from the toggle action alone. The improved '94 allowed for far stronger calibers.

Now let's look at probably his most famous design - the M1911, aka the Colt 45. This semi auto pistol is probably what most people think of when someone mentions auto pistols. Browning's design included a "slide," which contained the barrel, firing pin, extractor, ejector and sights. JMB had other slide designs before the 1911, but they weren't as commercially successful. Keep in mind that other semi-auto designs used complicated and therefore expensive and less reliable toggle linkaqe such as the Borchardt C93 and it's "successor" the P08 Luger, which I have a copy of as well - y'all probably figured out I've got a 1911 or two laying around.

The 1911 reloads under recoil - the barrel and slide come back together for a short time, then the barrel tips downward and stops, while the slide continues rearward, extracting the spent round, cocking the hammer, and stripping a fresh round from the magazine and locking it into place with matching locking rings machined into the barrel and slide - it all "sets in" as the barrel it tipped back in line with the slide. Nearly all consequent pistol designs use some variant of this one.

These examples are hardly the only successes Browning had - most of the crew fed machine guns of WWI and WWII were his - the Ma Duece (M2) is still being issued.

Most of our industrial heroes generally provided our society with incremental improvements - Henry Ford is credited for introducing assembly line methods to automotive production. He neither invented the automobile nor the assembly line, but his genius was the first marriage of the two. As I've mentioned, other famous weapons designers were responsible for one weapon - which are generally improvements on previous work. John Moses Browning was a brilliant engineer, period.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

NUDAR: GPS For Boobies

When we're driving cross country, navigating the backroads of America with our trusty GPS unit, we always think, "boy, I wish this thing had fewer gas stations and more titty bars." Hurrah for NUDAR, the site that hopes to catalogue every single nude, topless, pastie, bikini bar, nude beach and nudist resort in the continental US. You can contribute by sending in the location of nude places so people can download the "Points of Interest" to their GPS devices for use on the road. I'll show you point of interest, baby. [Nudar (NSFW) via Fleshbot]

I guess I'd better get a GPS system now that there is a good reason to use one!

Ripped off completely from Gizmodo.

Work Clothes

Mmmmkayy - this little commercial is an import without being restricted by the decency standards of our own television industry. So consider yourself warned about the content - plus it happens to be hilarious.

H/T Blowing Smoke through Ace of Spades

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Turner Classic Movies

Sometimes, the programmers at TCM hit one out of the park. Tonite is one of those times. First up was Casablanca. The epidimy of "classic" movies. Bogie, Ingrid Bergman and a great script in an exotic location. Popular when released, it has stood the test of time.

Next up is From Here to Eternity. Oh, man - Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in one of the most famous love scenes ever. Frank Sinatra didn't sing. Montgomery Clift as a boxer, and Donna Reed as a hooker. Talk about casting against type! Ernest Borgnine as a bully - well, he sure played that sort of character well!

If I stay awake Notorious is next. A Hitchcock classic with Carey Grant and Ingrid Bergman. I haven't seen this one in years - I might just have to stay up!

It's been a while since I updated my health situation. If it weren't for the loss of use of my left hand, I'd bet I'd be going back to work in a couple weeks. I get around ok, but tire easily yet. More exercise will take care of that.

I'm seeing one of my best friends - The Young Doctor. He is a chiropractor, and he thinks he can help me regain some use in my left arm. I see a nerve specialist, but not until next month. So, it's been major goofing off for me. More than a bit boring fer sure, but these things do take time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Make Mine Freedom

H/T Jed and Kevin.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Can't Blame the Guy

Cops: Dad Sodomized Teen Stepson to Avenge Rape of Daughter

FORT WORTH, Texas — A father sodomized his 18-year-old stepson to avenge the teenager's alleged rape of the man's 8-year-old daughter, police said.

The father, 32, turned himself into to authorities on Friday and was released from jail Saturday after posting a $17,500 bond. He faces a charge of aggravated sexual assault.

The stepson was arrested Jan. 2 and charged with suspicion of aggravated sexual assault. Police say the father caught him assaulting his daughter, and a subsequent examination at a hospital revealed the girl had been sodomized.

Sgt. Cheryl Johnson, supervisor of the Fort Worth sex crimes unit, said in a story posted Saturday on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Web site that people need to "allow the criminal justice system to work for them."

"This is a very unique case, but we have a criminal justice system in place, and no one can take the law into their own hands," Johnson said.

The Star-Telegram didn't identify the father or the stepson to protect the identity of the girl. Fort Worth police didn't immediately return phone and e-mail messages from The Associated Press.

When the stepson was arrested, the man warned his wife not to get the teenager out of jail. She posted bond for the teen's release. When he called home Jan. 3 after getting released, the father took the call and picked him up, police said.

Instead of taking the teenager home, the Arlington man drove to an abandoned house in Fort Worth, beat his stepson with a baseball bat and sodomized him with a metal tool, police said.

After the man left, the stepson found a pay phone and called police, who searched the abandoned home.

"We did find evidence at the scene to corroborate our victim's story," Johnson said.

In this (or just about any case)instance, being a vigilante probably wasn't such a great idea. But, I can just imagine the "conversation" going something like this: "Yeah, how do you think THIS feels? How do ya like it when it's done to YOU?"

From Fox News

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Troopers Warn Slow Drivers About Left Lane Violations

It's about freaking time! Left lane hogs - members of the AntiDestination League have probably done as much to raise my blood pressure as about any other transgressors out there.

read more | digg story

Hrmm - when I found this story there didn't seem to be any way to embed the video, so I thought I'd try Digg just to see what would happen. No embedded video - ya have to click on the "read more" link to get to the video. Oh well, were I feeling geeky, I'm sure there would be a way to save the video and upload it, but I just don't feel like messing with it.

Chairman Bill

Video: Bill Gates Last Day CES Clip

Bill's last full day at Microsoft - and his quest to find something to fill his time.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Just Damn

One of the benefits of this int3rweb thingy is that ya do meet some extraordinary people. Maybe, if we're lucky, we even get to meet our internet compadres. I've never met Chris Byrne from The Anarchangel, but he has become a trusted friend over the years. I've known him for about four years. Any time I've needed advice or just a friend - he's always been there for me. Some of you know how much of a 'puter geek I am - Chris is who I go to for help. He has given me stalwart support during my little ordeal as well.

Well, he and his wife Melody - who I'd love to meet as well (she's a sweetheart and a great match for Chris) are having legal troubles involving the children she brought in from her previous relationship. Mel, as she likes to be called, writes about it here.

It is times like this I wish I had been born with a silver spoon - I'd dearly love to help them financially. However, I cannot and Chris has informed me he'd refuse financial help from me at this time (did I say he is a good friend with principles?). However, I can pray for them, and ask all you to do the same. Go read Mel's post, and leave a comment in support, if nothing else.

Dammit, I wish there was more I could do.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Driver found unbuckled in crash, but beer 12-pack safely belted in

Investigators were trying Monday to determine if a suspected drunken driver involved in a solo crash into a tree Sunday night failed to buckle his own seat belt even though the 12-pack he was carrying on the passenger seat was safely belted in.

Witnesses told Citrus Heights police that they saw the man driving north on Van Maren Lane in excess of 60 mph before he lost control of his car and slammed into a tree near Garden Gate Drive.

The driver suffered serious head and body injuries and he was rushed to a local hospital.

He was found still in the driver's seat, unrestrained, next to the 12-pack of beer secured by a seatbelt, according to a police summary.

A police traffic investigator is reviewing the incident.

Heh. The brand of beer was not mentioned. I'd hope he was sacrificing all for something better than Old Frothinslosh.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Stop! Men, Stop What You Are Doing!

Remember, act locally!

H/T Breda

Friday, January 04, 2008

Forever Tasteless

Amy Fisher is back in the news:

Amy Fisher, the former 'Long Island Lolita,' promotes sex tape

NEW YORK - Former "Long Island Lolita" Amy Fisher is joining her husband in trying to market a sex tape, saying "I always wanted to be No. 1 at something, but I didn't think it would be something like this."

Fisher said her husband, Louis Bellera, sold the sex tape to Red Light District video of Los Angeles in August when he and Fisher were divorcing. They have since reconciled and Fisher said she took a six-figure payout rather than fight to have the video pulled from the Internet.

As an 18-year-old teenager in 1992, Fisher was sent to prison for seven years for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco, the wife of her former lover, Joey Buttafuoco. Buttafuoco, twice her age, served time for statutory rape for having sex with a 16-year-old.

Fisher, 33, has written two books and also worked as a columnist for the Long Island Press.

More recently, she has appeared as a celebrity guest at various clubs. "They pay me to bring in people," she said Thursday.

She admits explaining what she does and why she is famous will be hard to do when her six-year-old son and three-year-old daughter get older.

I have an idea what she can tell her kids - she has no moral standards and will do anything for a quick buck and keep her name in the press. Maybe it's just me, but wasn't her fifteen minutes over and done with years ago?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Bill Whittle

Bill Whittle of Eject Eject Eject posts infrequently these days. However, when he does, his essays are a tour de force that are certainly a pleasure to read. He has Part I and Part II of FORTY SECOND BOYD AND THE BIG PICTURE. He offers a different perspective of the war in Iraq. Go. Read and become educated.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

This Day In History

1/1/1996 was the first day without the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. Bill Waterson, the creator and genius behind the pair's exploits, decided to hang it up. No more Spaceman Spiff, Tracer Bullet, Suzie Derkins or Moe - the hormonally overdone child. The world has been a lesser place without this lightweight cartoon comedy.

As for updates on me - I drove to town yesterday, visited a friend for a while, and went to the grocery store and post office. I was gone for about four hours, and had no problems. The last time I was at the grocery store, I needed the cart to lean on. I was having problems with dizziness. Yesterday I felt good. Today, I'm tired, but I expected that. Tomorrows agenda includes dropping by work to fill out some paperwork and a trip to WallyWorld for some more supplies. Pretty exciting stuff......