And Furthermore …

I'd like to draw your attention to the ongoing discussion in this post about the pestilent cavalcade of pumpkin pickers from NY who invade NJ this time of year. Really, Stankleberry - you must take this on.

An educational and insightful remark by frequent commenter and personal enviro-advisor The Proprietor led me to make a proposal that is not only a solution for the  traffic aggravation caused by this seasonal situation, but I do believe that  it could earn me a "NJ Citizen of the Year" Award. If such an award doesn't exist, I'd settle for "Best Tomato in New Jersey" but I still want the medal that goes with it.

See what you think:

Original Comment by The Proprietor:  "It's
called "agro-tourism" and has replaced driving a school bus as the way
for a farmer to make ends meet. Without it the Garden State wouldn't
have the remaining farms it has.

Add to that the overtime the cops make trying to herd these city folk and you have a real boost to the local economy.

Having said that, sitting behind an SUV with NY plates when I want
to get somewhere on the weekend makes me want to go buy war surplus
bazookas on the Internet. And use them."

Suzette says:  "Well, here's an idea then. Let's cover all those tank farms in Elizabeth with dried corn stalks and run the hayrides through them. It would beautify the view from the turnpike and shorten the trip from the Outerbridge Crossing and the Goethals for the NYers.

All those pumpkins don't grow on the Monmouth County farms anyway – they are brought in and laid down on top of the dirt the week before. Take them to the cargo lots at Newark Liberty and lay them down there. Think of the mazes you could build using unclaimed freight instead of dead corn plants.

Also, the Turnpike toll takers could dress up as Batman and gorillas wearing bib overalls for extra festivity.

What's Corzine's address? I'm going to write to him to suggest this. I'll probably get some kind of Citizen's Medal for this idea."

An Open Letter to the Barilla Pasta People

Dear Barilla Pasta People,

Please pass this message on to the elbow macaroni department.

Who the hell asked you to put little grooves into the elbow macaroni? That would be fine if you were limiting yourself to the European pasta eating market – maybe they want to hold onto more sauce, but this is New Jersey and we want the traditional American Smooth version of elbows. And furthermore, the ends of the little pieces are not aligned. They’re like twisted or something. What is the reason for that? Is it too much trouble for you to lay them out evenly to dry? Or does that step in the process come right around your afternoon naptime?

Oh, I see that you have an American pasta production plant now. In Iowa! I can’t imagine that they are in favor of irregular elbow end alignment, so what’s the deal? It’s that Obama character, right? Going around saying we should be more like Europe – it encouraged you and caused you to jump the gun. News bulletin – he’s not anointed yet so until that happens * ptui ptui * we still have control of  how the elbow macaroni looks. This is America and these elbows don’t twist. Neither do they have grooves.

So stop the funny business and give us good old American elbow macaroni – smooth and even and never changing. American style!

Yours truly, Suzette



Illustrated New Jersey

Bad. There's a high-risk crossroads near my house. No fatalities that I can recall, but frequent crashes. Years ago, a flashing light was installed, yellow flashes for the up/down hill direction and red flashes for flats. A few weeks ago, someone decided to change everything to a 4-way stop. And they knew it was going to be trouble because they put 2 stop signs from each direction, and another one about 50 feet ahead of the intersection for a total of 12 signs, 3 facing each direction.

Tiny donkey

The problem is that no one seems to understand who goes first. You never know what is going to happen – most often,  all cars headed east/west go, then all cars headed north/south go. Sometimes nobody goes and everybody just sits for a while. and, its right at the place where they built the paddocks, so the longer people sit there, the more likely it is that the tiny donkey will catch their eye and that makes them even less attentive.

Good. This is New Jersey. Photo taken on 9/23/08 about 8:30pm from the boardwalk on Long Branch near Pier Village. Envy us.

NJ-Moonrise at Long Branch

Pending. This section is temporarily good, but is going to go bad soon. It's pouring rain this weekend and I say hurray! because its holding back the pestilent cavalcade of pumpkin pickers from invading Monmouth County. On this map, I indicate in red where I work and where I live. I chose to drive home on a county highway rather than take the big yellow Garden State Parkway (cost 70c) and you can see that there are 11 green dots along that road representing the Hayride/Pumpkin picking cartel here. Of course, during PP season, it's impossible to navigate so one is forced to go on the Parkway to maintain sanity.Now that I think about it, NJ governor Reckless Jon is probably marketing the Monmouth county pumpkin picking opportunities to the Staten Islanders and Brooklynites in an underhanded way to increase the toll revenue. Dastardly!


Here's my proposal for the year: instead of trying to fight the masses of New York humanity who are anxiously waiting to pile up 8 to a car and spend a Sunday idling on Rt 34, I say now bring 'em on. Give everybody a free pass to the corn mazes, and once they're inside, fling their car keys over the top of the corn row. Whoever can find their keys again gets to go back on the road.

That should do it.

Michelle Obama’s Sense of Style Takes A Day Off

Little known fact: I used to sew my own clothing. I mention this because I can completely understand how you can be disappointed by a finished garment made from fabric that looked so promising on the bolt. Or how you sometimes cannot just leave it alone alone and add embellishments that seem like a good idea at the time.

But, Michelle – really?  That dress never would have made it outside the door of an 8th grade Home Ec class.  I have some questions for you.

  1. WTF?
  2. Did you go blind?
  3. Did the luggage with your real clothes in it get lost?

My goodness.

And here I thought that her bland classic wardrobe selections wouldn't give us anything to talk about. I mentioned before that she doesn't make many fashion mistakes but when she does make one, it's a real doozy. Take, for instance, that bow. Again I ask wtf?

 The only thing I can possibly imagine is that she is continuing to send subliminal references to The Dick Van Dyke Show. Not content with her impersonation of Laura Petrie alone, she's throwing in a reference to Sally Rogers by replicating that hair bow. You might think that's a stretch but I'm telling you if a short Jewish man shows up at the next public appearance playing "Yuk A Puk " on the cello, then you'll know I'm right.

h/t Bob from the Rix Mix for resparking my interest in interpreting photos of political figures


What They’re Not Telling You About Yesterday’s White House Meeting On the Bailout

I am rapidly wearying of the intense and manipulative news coverage and interpretation of events on the national scene. One right after the other, news reports contradict the one that came immediately before it, both firm in their conflicting interpretations.

Well, could be worse, I suppose – at least both sides are represented – the thing that gets me is when the media decides to bury important details that the public has a right to know. Take for instance, the photos that accompanied stories about yesterday's White House meeting. What is the first thing that jumps out at you in this photo?


That's right – the china. And did you see one word printed anywhere about the type of china it is, or any mention of it whatsoever? Even Pravda in the most bleak part of the Cold War would have told you. This kind of stunt to conceal information is exactly why the American public has lost faith in the media. It's up the bloggers now to get the stories out.

And I will not disappoint you. Because I have an abiding interest in this subject, I knew right where to look. I have determined that the china so prominently featured at this historic meeting is Lowell by Lenox. It's not exactly Lowell – I'm sure it's a special edition with a different name but the color tone of the dinnerware, the pattern of the banding and the shape of the body is the same.

Let this serve as warning to the MSM. Determined and inquisitive bloggers care deeply about getting the whole story. Make no mistake about it – we'll find out what is is that you are trying to ignore and then who is going to look bad?

Gonna Make You Holler For Only One Dollar

Although I generally enjoy robust health, I am all sneezey right now, a condition that only developed in the last few hours. I only hope to heaven above that I have not developed an allergy to the dollar store, because that is where I spent a good deal of time today. It's Halloween decorating season at work:

Plastic Bunny In Disguise

Bunny 1  Bunny 2 

There are only two of us that sit in this section of the building on a regular basis and we both think it's hysterically funny to dress the plastic Easter bunny for every holiday and event. Everyone else doesn't get it but we don't care. You know this is teh funny. Enlarge images for extra amusement. Nostrils!

Dollar Store Find of the Day


 As long as they think we're so awful, we do not feel at all disposed to share the fruit of our Halloween-themed plastic martini shakers with them. I actually whooped in the store when I saw these. Twice.