Monday, December 26, 2005

Mamas: Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys

I take my canister vacuum out to clean up the afterbirth that was Christmas in my house, and I find that the little castor is missing from the bottom. I'm pissed because I just got done replacing the plastic bottom that my housekeeper broke several months ago. Coincidentally, that part bore the model number, which you must have in order to order new parts. However, I did find the part number on the Power-Mate wand, and after calling the parts store at Sears, they were able to locate the new number, order the retaining pin, and then hung up. Next, I discovered that the rivet in the lower wand assembly (19) broke free, and that the wiring harness connector (10) that powers the beater brush had melted in the handle (7) (see diagram below). So I placed another order for these parts, which will arrive when I get back. In retrospect, at my billing rate, I would have been better off just buying a new vacuum, but rebuilding is more fun.

As my angst for my housekeeper builds, I let the serviceman in to clear the washing machine. Apparently, she decided to wash the rugs, whose rubbery padding deposited and then swelled into the pump impeller. Right before we have to go away on vacation. Just at the precise moment when I have fired her for the 12th time in my mind, Jawbitch comes down and drops this paper she found in little G's room. The best is that she got her brother to sign it several times. I wonder if it's a binding contract?:

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Anniversary

I'm going away on vacation. Silent Service is a year old. Hope you and yours have a great holiday! Sorry about the video, couldn't get it to upload, so I stole my neighbor's decorations. Do you like them?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Cell Numbers Going Public

JUST A REMINDER, on December 31st, cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies. You may start to receive sale calls. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS! If telemarketers call your cell phone, they can eat up your free minutes and end up costing you money in the long run.

To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.

It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will blocks your number for five (5) years.

Have a Happy Holiday,


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sure Happy It's Thursday, Numero Uno

Let's take a break from the transit strike, shall we? Instead, let's comment on a particular topic of my choosing, gleaned from a post I've read earlier this week. The only rule I will impose is that you must answer the question first, then after you may freely comment as much as you like. Violators willl be flamed and/or will have their comments altered or removed.

This week's question is:

What is the funniest title for a pornographic film, real or imaginary, that you have ever heard of?

Doesn't matter whether you've seen the film, or if it was any good -- only the title matters. Let me get us started.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Out On The Border

NYC Transit Workers Strike

"You can't break the law and use that as a negotiating tactic," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at an afternoon news conference. "This is unconscionable."

Judge Theodore Jones ruled Tuesday afternoon that the Transport Workers Union was in contempt of two court injunctions based on New York's "Taylor Law," that forbids transit workers from striking. He ordered that the union be fined $1 million a day beginning Tuesday. But that's not enough to satisfy G-man.

ATTENTION MTA: Follow Uncle Ronnie's lead. Go get a warrant for the arrest of union leadership now! Open up all access to the stations. There is no good reason for checking train tickets at the door, it just slow entry to the station. Use management to get at least a part of the subway system working. Stop implementing pure stupidity. Your actions are not really a contingency plan at all, but a plan for compounded misery.

G-man Slips By

Last night, instead of waiting in line for hours, G-man and his accomplice RL narrowly avoided the mayhem outside of Penn Station by slithering around its south side, at 32nd street, and entering behind the Garden, while the mixed hoard of dissappointed riders and Ranger fans froze at street level. G-man and RL boarded a nearly empty train -- proof that the so-called contingency plan is a farce. Hopefully, today will be better, but G-man fears it will be much worse.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

This Can't Be Love

This is the first time in twenty-five years that the Transit Worker's Union (TWU) leadership has called for a strike. A mahvelous idear, right? Terrorists couldn't do as good a job disrupting the city as the TWU has.

Arrest at least one of the union leaders and put them in jail for contempt for violating a court ordered injunction. As one rider said, "[i]t's hard to feel sorry for the workers when they make three old ladies walk home in the cold."

Apparently the whole beef is not the raises -- the raise percentages are a satisfactory 3-4 percent for the next three years. The problem is the pension benefit. Either the retirement age is extended from 55 (who gets to retire at 55?) to 62, or incoming workers must contribute 6% of their pay (instead of 2%) toward their own pension benefit (reverse age discrimination, another example of the baby-boomer generation screwing the rest of us youngsters).

Govenor Pataki is pissed. Mayor Bloomberg is pissed. The MTA is pissed. The TWU is pissed. Fuck all them, they don't count.


I get on the LIRR at the very beginning of the line into NYC. So I get a seat on the train, which is wonderful, until we get to Jamaica station. First there was congestion just getting available track space. Then we waited several more minutes for the doors to shut, chilling as the car's heaters were not functioning very well, it's 15 minutes late leaving, for no apparent reason. We make it through the tube into Pennsyltucky station a full half-hour late.

The Station is a nightmare. They set up so many barriers throughout the station leading through to the street level that I feel like a mouse running through a rat race maze. My sedate commute is turned into a harrowing game of survivor. There is only one exit to the street near Macy's. We're jammed in like sardines. I envisioned the Iraqi woman's plunger malfunctioned on the escalator. She failed to detonate, but what perfect conditions for her. Heaped atop a customary 1.5 hour commute, it really sux.

Those TWU guys can't even make an announcement on the PA system that is intelligible, another reason why they can't possibly make me feel sorry for them. I'm just thankful I get to go to Jawbitch's holiday party tonight. Merry Fucking Christmas.

GOVERNOR/MAYOR/MTA: Take a page from history. Do like Uncle Ronnie. Fire them all -- there's plenty of capable non-union folks willing to work for less.

Monday, December 19, 2005


It's all ma Bell until somebody gets blown away.

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic House leaders called Sunday for an independent panel to investigate the legality of a program President Bush authorized that allows warrantless wiretaps on U.S. citizens, according to a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

"On Saturday, Bush acknowledged he authorized the NSA to intercept international communications of people in the United States "with known links" to terror groups, and criticized the media for divulging the program.

""I'm not a lawyer, but the president has gone to great lengths to make certain that he is both living under his obligations to protect Americans from another attack but also to protect their civil liberties," Rice said on "Meet The Press." "

Now, why is this getting so much negative press? Do you think that you privacy is being violated if you are calling al-Qaeda and the government records your call? Oh, that's right, liberal senators don't want the President authorizing the special Po-po to listen in, it might not be al-Qaeda. Of course, we aren't hearing complaints from the folks whose calls are tapped, now are we?

SENATORS: Quit playing politics and remember, that jet that crashed in Pennsyltucky was meant for the capitol building. I'd be more afraid they're gonna burn that muther fucker down.

Meanwhile, look at their coverage regarding the potential transit strike:

"With no new agreement in place and a 12:01 a.m. ET Tuesday strike deadline set by the Transport Workers Union (TWU), another 33,000 transit workers could join the picket lines in less than 24 hours, knocking out all New York City transit lines."

"A full-fledged transit strike, if it happens early Tuesday, would come during the last week of the Christmas shopping season and would sock the New York region's economy heavily reliant on buses and subways. The union and the transit authority have been working to avoid that scenario."

Yeah, they'll get a lot of sympathy if they strike, which, by the way, CNN fails to mention that such a strike is ILLEGAL.

If you work for the government, you should not be afforded the ability to join a union -- it breeds corruption. Unions are necessary in industries where working people are taken advantage of. If government employees form a union, then the only people taken advantage of are the taxpayers. Government jobs should be low-paying, but secure, which most of them are, except for teachers and police officers in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

So, go ahead, break the law and strike. You and I know you'll get away with contempt. Hell, no judge will even throw you in jail.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Liberal CNN reported that the U.S. has been holding an enemy combatant in legal limbo. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, authorities picked up a Qatari computer science graduate student, Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, for credit card fraud. Turns out he was in contact with a key al-Qaida operative who financed the 9/11 hijackers with wire transferred money.

In addition to thousands of stolen credit card numbers, "Al-Marri's computer [] stored Arabic lectures by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, photographs of the September 11 attacks, and a cartoon of planes crashing into the World Trade Center, according to the government.

"It had a folder labeled "jihad arena" and another called "chem" containing industrial chemical distributor Web sites from which, according to the government, al-Marri got information about hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous gas used in chemical weapons.

"The Pentagon asserts al-Marri trained at a terror camp in Afghanistan before September 11, met bin Laden, and volunteered for a "martyr mission."

"After al-Marri was sent to the U.S. Navy brig in Charleston, South Carolina, the military refused to allow his attorneys to visit him for 16 months.

"When they finally did, they heard tales from their client of being deprived of shoes and socks, blankets, toilet paper, toothpaste and sunlight.

"Al-Marri complained that he was subjected to constant video surveillance, repeated interrogations and threats against his family overseas. But worst of all, he said, was the isolation."

Poor baby. He plans on killing countless Americans, and then he complains about being isolated and surveilled? Is he jealous that the guards playing poker outside of his 6' x 9' cell won't play with him?

Mr. Al-Marri, you got caught biatch, now you pay the price. What do you think they would do to you back in Qatar, where you're from?

While I concur that he should be given due process, I would argue that the government should have the ability to keep dangerous people like Al-Marri tucked away for a significantly long period of time until either he is no longer a threat, or enough evidence has been gathered from other sources to make a case against him. The standard of "innocent until proven guilty" should not be afforded to so-called "enemy combatants," because these non-citizens are seeking ways to use our own system of justice to destroy us.

Back the fuck off Mr. Berman, please!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Goodbye Tookie

How ridiculous is the death penalty? Before I went to law school, I fully supported the death penalty. But after I learned about the whole process, I became one of the few right-minded, right-wing, die-hard conservatives who completely oppose the death penalty.

Take the case of Tookie Williams. Please, leave aside the cast of clowns and Hollywood fruitcakes and nutjobs, and one or two decent people weighing in on the issue and just consider the facts. Williams was convicted for his 1979 slayings of four people in cold blood -- ordinary people like you and me, who he did not know before he killed them.

He was convicted of shooting a 29 year old store clerk who was laying face down on the floor as instructed. He shot him twice in the back with a shotgun.

He killed a little immigrant girl's family less than two weeks later, just to steal $100. He then blew half of her head away. You can't be much more gratuitous dealing out violence like that.

Those victims had no chance.

Now, several decades later, he adamantly professes his innocence. Yet he refuses to give up the names of his peeps in the Crips gang. He dies with his secret. Solid, what a guy. Give him a posthumous Nobel peace prize.

"The process of inserting the IVs to administer the lethal chemicals took about 20 minutes, with staff having particular difficulty getting a needle into Williams' left arm." Apparently, Williams had been spending too much time at the prison gym, bulking up for the last twenty-six years.

Fuck everybody leaving the death chamber last night. Fuck Tookie and fuck the guys giving him a closed-fist salute on their respective ways out.

So, I guess you may wonder why I oppose the death penalty? Because I believe that convicted killers like Tookie Williams are trash. They don't deserve to waste government resources trying to save their petty piece-of-shit lives in the extremely expensive legal appeals and clemency processes that follow their convictions. It is a far more conservative and inexpensive approach to just keep them in jail for life. Plus, it maximizes the punishment -- jail is no cakewalk, even for a Crips founder.

Killers: if I had my way, you would get to stay in jail for the rest of your life, with no possibility of parole and no parole hearings. Then you'll die and go to hell. That's the ultimate death penalty.



Friday, December 09, 2005

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Little G was looking forlornly out the back window at the rain as I headed out the door.

G-man: Tough break kid, you got gypped. Now get ready for school.

This weekend I will prepare my awesome Xmas house display video -- just gotta work on it and upload to Google videos. Should be ready by Monday. Sorry for the delay.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


My firm just announced new billing rates. Since I should be switching levels next year, my billing rate should be about $475/hour. If I bill the minimum required number of hours, that means the firm will book just shy of $1M in receivables from my work. Yet, they will pay me less than 20% of that amount. Granted, with taxes, benefits, and overhead, such as an office to practice in and staff to help me and to collect those receivables, the cost is probably double my salary, that still leaves a nice, big, phat (thx lbck) 60+% profit margin. And they are passing along part of the cost increases in the form of my health and dental benefits. I'd say, it's high time for an adjustment in this crazy ponzi scheme.

Jawbitch is hiring a new doctor for her practice. Of course, an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon doesn't come cheap. The starting salary she plans to offer runs in the neighborhood of $150-200K, fresh out of the training program.

Michelle: Tell me why a first year associate should make $125 and a first year doctor doesn't? I have a ex-brother law who's a peditrican, and my uncle is a district attorney I know how much both of them make, and I have to say I think my brother in law earns his money.

G-man: Not all first year doctors receive less than the lawyers. Then again, a doctor's training is much longer, and if you ask me, they have much more at stake (as in, a person's life, unlike lawyers, who usually are just protecting rich people's riches). So I guess the answer seems to be that, in this country, we value money more than lives.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Time For An Adjustment

Practicing law in a big firm is really just a ponzi scheme. All the big firms have more or less established a cartel, with a uniform pay scale tied to the graduation date of the associate. As costs go up every year, firms adjust the billing rates charged for the work of their attorneys. Big firms also incur increased costs for benefits, such as health care, and often pass those increased costs along to the attorneys and staff. Consequently, the profits per equity partner also increase. None of the big firms want to raise the pay scale, because they are greedy and don't want to share their largess.

Most associates start their career fresh out of school, and have no actual work experience, so this system would seem fair to them. Every year, their pay goes up by the amount set forth in the pay scale. They are struggling like salmon swimming upstream against the current, hoping that they don't get thrown out of the river or eaten by a bear. Since their attention is directed away from the scheme, they are not likely to complain. This is why Big Law succeeds in their greedy ways.

However, there are a few associates, like myself, who have worked in the real world outside of this ponzi scheme. People like me clearly see the inequity in the system. The only other folks who see it are the first year associates, who recognize that starting salaries have remained virtually unchanged since before 2000 when the pay scales were last adjusted. However, they are so low on the totem pole that, just getting a job is a reward, so they are reluctant to voice any opposition.

Sure, to you non-lawyers, it sounds like whining when first year associates get a starting salary of $125K. But such is the economic of a profession that is rather difficult to achieve entry, and not the purpose of my debate.

My firm is a follower firm. I must wait until Big Law decides to adjust the pay scales upward. However, my firm is a leader in the profits per partner category. I therefore appeal to all associates working in Big Law to seek out members of their respective partner-associate committees, and ask that the pay scale be adjusted, if not for any of the above reasons, but to keep pace with INFLATION rather than the JONESES (or is it the KENYONS or the FINNEGANS)?



Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sneezing On The Third Rail

G-man, thinking he's sitting virtually alone near train car door, leans over in seat to direct output towards floor: AAAAaaaaaachhoooooooooOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!


G-man: Sorry, just recovering from the bird flu.


Attention, Big Law, take note (more discussion on this topic tomorrow):

Monday, December 05, 2005

In My Time Of Dying

Sometimes I like to take a nap on my way into the city. I usually sit in the same seat on the 7:10 train, all the way in the back, so that when I get out, I can ascend the stairs straight onto 7th Avenue.

This morning, the train arrived early. Someone occupied my favorite seat, so I chose one of those two seater seats near the door. I tucked myself into the corner, put on my headphones and drifted off.

Next thing I know, at Massapequa, some schmuck jams himself next to me, waking me up. Then, just as I begin to drift off again, he busts out a slice of French Toast wrapped in tin foil and starts eating. A few minutes later, the carbs kick in, and this guy can't fucking sit still. He's fidgeting worse than my kids. When we reached Jamaica, I knew all the guys who work for the railroad were going to get up, so I pretended to get up, forcing him to get up. He bumped into them and fell on the floor. I walked to the next car and found an empty seat, snickering the whole way.