Thursday, April 8, 2010

Love that spam...

So I have this spam-catcher on my blog, as every blogger does, to keep out the riffraff so to speak. It stops all these dumb and fake comments from appearing on my blog. To give you an idea how much spam there is, my spam catcher has nabbed 2,400 bogus comments over the past six months!!!

I used to just delete all of it but then I began reading them because, well, they're kind of funny. At its heart, this kind of spam is intended to sound semi-legitimate so it can makes its way through to the comment board where, it is hoped, someone will then click on the attached email address that leads one to a board full of spam and scams.

Here's a few spam comments printed in their entirety. I think you'll see how bizarre they are. Enjoy:

-- I was just talking with my friend about this yesterday at lunch. Don’t know how in the world we landed on the topic actually, they brought it up. I do remember having a wonderful steak salad with sunflower seeds on it. I digress…

Me: I'm so happy for you about that salad.

-- You appear extremely informed inside your sphere.

Me: What sphere would that be?

-- Nice post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you for your information.

Me: You're welcome-ness!

-- Terrific blog, many fascinating points. I believe ten of days ago, I have seen a similar blog.

Me: And I believe of five days ago, I have seen a similar piece of spam!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Breaking away, Brooklyn style...

My daughter's boyfriend stayed with us overnight this weekend so he could awaken at 4:30 a.m. for a 6:30 a.m. bicycle race in Prospect Park. You read that right -- 4:30 A.M.!! I guess you could say he's a fairly passionate biker.

When I woke up at 7 a.m., i figured what the hey, I'll take the short walk to the park to snap some photos of him. Except that I had no idea what his bike uniform looked like, and had the slight problem of the racers zooming by me almost before I could focus.

I pushed on and my first attempts were beautiful (in a '60s LSD way) but pathetic. Here's one of those photos:

Obviously, I had to do something about the shutter speed but the bikes were zooming around the park so quickly that I was afraid I'd miss the whole race if I began fiddling with the settings. So I elected to chose a programmed setting, something I usually do not do. What's the point of having an SLR camera if you point and shoot? But I rationalized that I had never taken sports photographs before so I swallowed my pride and pushed on. Besides, did I mention it was 7 a.m. and I hadn't had any coffee?

The sports setting was much better and did the trick. Now if only I knew what the boyfriend was wearing. But I didn't so I snapped madly for 30 minutes and gave up. Surely I got a photo of him, right? Well it turns out I got exactly two photos out of 185 pictures taken!! Not a great batting average but he was happy. So here's a photo of Josh in the middle of the frame wearing all black with a white helmet.

Friday, April 2, 2010

What are those new buyers doing to Jennifer Connelly's former house?

Movie stars Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany used to live in the huge beautiful house/mansion at 17 Prospect Park West on Park Slope's Gold Coast but in 2008, the celebrities sold the 5,000 square foot, 9-bedroom house for $8.45 million and moved to Tribeca. Connelly allegedly told one online site that they moved because the entire family felt the house was haunted.

Maybe the new owners do too. Maybe they're trying to rid the house of ghosts. How else to explain why a house in such pristine condition -- I know because photos of the Connelly house appeared in magazines -- can be undergoing renovation for nearly a year now. The new owner is 17_Prospect_Park_West_midsizereportedly a Google bigshot. All I can say is that he must be very very particular because it's been non-stop renovation nearly since he bought it. What can they be doing to it that hadn't already been done?

I just don't understand that. The house was in fabulous shape. Maybe the new owners want something completely different inside but then why buy that type of house to begin with? Who asked me anyway? No one but I'd be happy to take a tour of the new owner's digs and get back to you all (hint, hint).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pet food for passover???

I never knew pets had to eat special food for Passover but these signs are real and from Petland Discounts in Brooklyn?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Manhattan's suicide statues...

Friday is the official opening of the latest outdoor, large-scale art project in NYC, something called "Event Horizon" by the artist Antony Gormley who has placed statues of 31 naked men on the precipices of buildings in and around Madison Square Park.

The idea of the project, Gormley says, is to get New Yorkers to look up at the men/statues, wonder what's going on and, in so doing, think of their environment in a completely different way. In effect, to pay attention to what's going on.

When I first heard of this project, I thought it was the last thing New Yorkers needed, given that those statues are an eerie reminder of the dozens of people who jumped to escape the horror of the World Trade Center towers. But now that I've thought about this for more than a moment, I think Gormley is onto something because New Yorkers make a very conscious effort to remove themselves from their environments every single day.

Maybe that's necessary. Certainly on the subways, which at times can be uncomfortably intense, it's better to seal yourself off with headphones and a good book. But what about when we're just walking around the city streets. Take a look now that the weather is getting warmer at how many people walk along chattering into their cell phones while completely ignoring their surroundings. I don't think that's healthy -- when do people give themselves a chance to think anymore, or to notice what's going on around them?

Gormley probably would have loved what happened on my subway ride today. A cute little girl loudly said "hi" the moment anyone came within ten feet of her. People began to smile, and say hello back, and chat with the mother. I felt better watching the interaction, and I'm sure others did too. That little girl changed the way we saw and felt about our environment just by saying "hi."

Sometimes we need to be shaken up and removed from the box we place ourselves in day in, day out.

Yeah, there's some crap for that...

Apps -- short for "applications" that you can put on your smart phone and use to pilot you through life -- are all the rage. I'm sorry but I think most of them are dumb.

In fact, whenever I hear that irritating phrase "there's an app for that," I can't help inserting the letters C and R at the beginning of the word.

Last week, I heard two women going on and on about their iPhone. One of them had lost hers and didn't know how she would live without her apps. Hey lady, I got news for ya -- the world existed before the iPhone.

I know it's kind of a cool phone because my wife and son have one (me and my daughter are more the blackberry type). But do I really need an app that's a leveler, or a mirror, or a flashlight or one that tells me where the nearest boutique coffee bar is?? I think not.

I asked my wife how many of the apps she downloaded had she really used. The answer is one -- Facebook.

Yeah, it would be kind of cool to hold an iPhone up to a radio and have your app instantly know the song playing but...when was the last time that happened? Who listens to radio anymore anyway? And when was the last time any radio station played a song that you cared about?

But I do have to hand it to Apple, the company that made apps part of our lexicon. A brilliant marketing ploy because it has convinced millions of us to buy esoteric software that most of us have absolutely no need for. All those apps designed to help us carry on with everyday life? I don't need 'em because, y'know, I have a brain for that.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Old (hot) dog, new tricks...

I would estimate that I've eaten at least a couple of hundred dirty water hot dogs in NYC, given that I've lived here all my life. I'm not proud of that and wonder what the health consequences were/are/will be. I did lose my hair at an early age -- can I blame that on ordering one too many hot dogs from those street vendors?

I love hot dogs but I know they're no good for you so what to do? Sunday, I may have found the answer -- the politically correct hot dog. On a long walk along Park Slope's 5th Avenue, I turned up Bergen Street and found, along a little strip of cutesy-pie stores, one called Bark. It sells hot dogs for the locavore.

Bark makes hot dogs hip and, more importantly, okay to eat. The tables are made from recycled wood, the paper products are all from recycled stock, and the meat and nearly every ingredient is made locally. The hot dogs come from a sausage factory in Rochester, the beans are heirloom, and the pickles and sauerkraut are made in-house.

The place was packed with those of us who eschew traditional brunch in favor of something more naughty -- hot dogs. And Bark made us all feel good about our choice. Finally, I can feel virtuous about one of the city's great food choices and not worry about my hair falling out...too late for that anyway.

P.S. I am just beginning to transfer my established blog to this format. If you'd like to read my past posts, please click here.