February 2006 Archives

Here is an entry about the term, "the push." It all started at the Sage. I had ordered coconut custard pie and had asked Vicki to taste it. She obliged and took a forkful. As she ate it, she made a sour face and proceeded to "push" the plate back at me, showing her distaste for it. Ever since then, when we dislike something we give it "the push."
Author's note: this is not the face she made. I will attempt to get one of the face.

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I am having a problem, in that I think I am losing intelligence by the second. I am a pretty intelligent person by all the standard quantitative methods of analyzing such things, but the following two incidents have recently caused me concern.

Yesterday, I finally "got" the Altoids poster of the goat standing on the Altoids box that has been around for forever. See, the Altoids are curiously strong...like strong enough to hold a goat. Why this never occurred to me earlier, I don't know. Clearly I am getting stupid.

The even more disturbing example comes from a Snapple cap. It said that Q was the only letter that was not used in the name of a US state. So I started running through the least-frequently used letters in my head (guided by the points awarded for them in Scrabble). There was TeXas and AriZona, and the DaKotas, and then I got to J. What state has J in it, I wondered. I went so far as to look at a list of the state names. People, I live in New Jersey.

Wishes.jpg

Tomorrow, I leave for the Land of the Mouse. I was earlier thinking that it was a good thing that we had five adults to the three children, since that would help with the child-rassling necessary at a huge and exciting place like the big WDW. But after talking to my mom, I think we may have to put her in the "rassled" category as well. This is her first visit to Disney too, and she has all the rides she wants to go on circled in her guidebook.

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The Medport Diner is located in Medford, NJ. I'm not quite sure why the "port" had to replace the "ford," messing with the diner name conventions.

Medport Exterior

As you can see, the Medport looks like it has been around for a while, although I am not quite up on all of its history. I have only been there once. Even though Mike used to live in Medford, the Medport was never one of his favorites. I remember I had a grilled cheese sandwich (my standby), and I forget what Mike had. We didn't get any desserts. I remember it as being ok, and so I really don't know what Mike has against it.

Medport Closer

I think Rob is a better judge of the Medport, since I think he has probably been there more than Mike or I, so post in the comments, Rob, since we aren't doing it justice.

Medport Sign

Since I feel like I may not have enough information to judge the Medport on, I am going to give it 2-cups.png. Maybe I can get Mike to go back and do a re-evaluation soon...

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swamp soda.JPG

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here is a photo of a deflated soda cup mascot.
i feel bad the dude had to be out on such a cold day in february. the things people will do for money.

deflated soda can guy low res.jpg

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Buddy has been asking about the Raveonettes, based on their remake of "My Boyfriend's Back," so I thought I would post these other tracks I have by them:

The Raveonettes :: Love in a Trashcan

The Raveonettes :: Seductress of Bums

The Raveonettes :: Uncertain Times

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Today is Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my top ten songs chosen by my I-pod Silent Bob.
Without further ado, here is the list.

1. Ain’t Got Nothin’: Supreme Beings of Leisure
2. The Only Living Boy in New York: Everything But the Girl
3. Mirror People: Love and Rockets
4. Close to Me: the Cure
5. Girl U Want: Devo
6. Jetstream (Richard X Remix): New Order
7. How Soon Is Now?: the Smiths
8. Speed Dial No. 2: Zero 7
9. Seems So Long: Stevie Wonder
10. Devil Inside: INXS

Not a bad mix if i say so myself.

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take a look at this submission that won. i got a higher score and not to brag, but i think my design was better, too.
go figure.

http://www.threadless.com/submission/63771/4_Color_Swatch_Palette

also, here is another submission that won from that freaky ice cream man guy.

http://www.threadless.com/submission/49478/mission_listen

needless to say, i am cheesed off and motivated to kick some design butt.

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We started the Diner Project with the diners we visited most often. Now we are down to the bottom of the barrel - these next few we have only visited once or twice, and it has often been a while since we have last been to them. Next, we will have to start on the diners that we have only visited for the explicit purpose of putting them on this site.

The Cherry Hill Coach Diner is located (tah-dah!) in Cherry Hill, at that circle on Route 38 - does that circle have a name?

Coach Facade

I have only been to the Cherry Hill Coach Diner once before, and it was years ago. To give things a proper perspective, it was four-Rama-girlfriends ago. It was before they gave it such a diner-y facelift. It was kind of a dump when we went.

Coach Side View

We went late at night, and I forget what I ordered. It came with french fries, so it was probably grilled cheese, a standard favorite of mine. I remember I was disappointed, particularly in the french fries. Everyone else seemed to be okay with it.

Coach Sign

Apparently Rama and Mike (at least) have been there since then, and Mike says it was okay. So, I will give the Coach a compromise 2-cups.png to make up for the fact that I may not have had all the facts. Pop5'ers, feel free to comment - and maybe I will be able to update on the Coach in the future.

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Hey Pop5 crew. I was just wondering if you all wanted to change our domain name or not. I admit I have grown fond of the name, but I am afraid of alienating our other friends. I want them to know they are included and can post, should the mood strike them. Let me know what you guys and gal think.

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I have decided to post my Friday top 10 from my I-pod. (Silent Bob) This is something I picked up from a blog I read almost every day. You put your I-pod on shuffle, and then list the first ten songs that are played. Here's my list from this morning:

1: My Culture by 1 Giant Leap
2: Concrete Sky by Beth Orton
3: Mighty, Mighty by Charlie Hunter
4: Krisco Kisses by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (Love this song.)
5: I've Got A Lover (Back in Japan) by the Eurhythmics
6: Discoteca by the Pet Shop Boys
7: Funky Boss by the Beastie Boys (Very appropriate for today.)
8: DOA by the Foo Fighters
9: Don't Know Why by Norah Jones
10: Temperamental (Pull Timewarp Remix) by Everything But the Girl

Not a bad mix for a Friday morning. Especially "Funky Boss" by the Beastie Boys.

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I don't think I have shared this with all of pop5 yet, but at the end of the month I will be visiting what has been described to me over the phone as the "Happiest Place on Earth." That's right: Disney World.

mickeyhouse.jpg

I am a little apprehensive about this visit because (a) places that advertise themselves as the Happiest Place on Earth kind of scare me, and (b) I am going with my nephews and niece (and brother and sister-in-law, and my mother, and my sister-in-law's mother), and that is a lot of people, especially young, excited people, in a very small space. On the other hand, it will be a great occasion to take pictures, since it is the first time visiting for all of us. And I guess Disney World is the sort of place that everyone should visit at least once. So wish me luck in the Land of the Mouse.

Also, this morning, I saw a faux-Jesus fish for the Flying Spaghetti Monster on the car in front of me! It took me a minute to even realize what it was.

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hey everybody. just thought i would post the tax tables for the citizens of the US.

Schedule X — Single

$0-$7,300 10% of the amount over $0
$7,300-$29,700 $730 plus 15% of the amount over 7,300
$29,700- $71,950 $4,090.00 plus 25% of the amount over 29,700
$71,950-$150,150 $14,652.50 plus 28% of the amount over 71,950
$150,150-$326,450 $36,548.50 plus 33% of the amount over 150,150
$326,450-no limit $94,727.50 plus 35% of the amount over 326,450

Schedule Y-1 — Married Filing Jointly or Qualifying Widow(er)

$0-$14,600 10% of the amount over $0
$14,600-$59,400 $1,460.00 plus 15% of the amount over 14,600
$59,400-$119,950 $8,180 plus 25% of the amount over 59,400
$119,950-$182,800 $23,317.50 plus 28% of the amount over 119,950
$182,800-$326,450 $40,915.50 plus 33% of the amount over 182,800
$326,450-no limit $88,320.00 plus 35% of the amount over 326,450

Schedule Y-2 — Married Filing Separately

$0-$7,300 10% of the amount over $0
$7,300-$29,700 $730 plus 15% of the amount over 7,300
$29,700-$59,975 $4,090 plus 25% of the amount over 29,700
$59,975-$91,400 $11,658.75 plus 28% of the amount over 59,975
$91,400-$163,225 $20,457.75 plus 33% of the amount over 91,400
$163,225-no limit $44,160.00 plus 35% of the amount over 163,225

Schedule Z — Head of Household

$0-$10,450 10% of the amount over $0
$10,450-$39,800 $1,045 plus 15% of the amount over 10,450
$39,800-$102,800 $5,447.50 plus 25% of the amount over 39,800
$102,800-$166,450 $21,197.50 plus 28% of the amount over 102,800
$166,450-$326,450 $39,019.50 plus 33% of the amount over 166,450
$326,450-no limit $91,819.50 plus 35% of the amount over 326,450

notice that, with the exception of married and filing separately, after $326,000 the tax rate is the same for the wealthy as that of the upper middle class. i would be extremely angry if i made $327,000 a year and knew that ceos and politicians, who make millions a year, use the same tax rate as me. keep in mind they probably do not even pay 35% because they can do creative work with the books to pay less.

now you'll always hear somebody say that taxes are higher in places like europe. yes, this is true, for the wealthy. as your income goes up, so does the tax rate (as high as 50+%) for those with an income in the millions. the reason for this is it redistributes the wealth back into the system to benefit the society. the tax rate is pretty much the same for someone in europe making 35K a year as it is here. the difference is the european gets healthcare. (note that the healthcare here is only topnotch for those who can afford it, so do not start saying government subsidized medicine is bad. what do you call medicare and healthcare for life that retired politicians receive?)

i do not understand how people can defend our current system of taxation. do people think that they might someday make millions and thus worry about having to pay taxes on it (answer: yes)? the chances of that happening are slim for the average american. it brings to mind the founding of our country and how they whined about taxes back then. i do not mind paying taxes when i know it is going to benefit everyone as a whole. i do mind when people do not pull their own weight. a person with a $6 million a year income should pay 50% in taxes. it benefits society and shows that he is contributing. it is ridiculous that he should get tax breaks to protect his personal belongings (luxury cars, three houses, etc.).

a person who pays 25% on their 40k income is making more of a sacrifice than someone who pays 35% on $6 million. it comes down to an apartment or house for the 40k individual and two houses versus three for the $6 million individual.

i just wanted to post regarding our nation's current proposed budget. our deficit problems could be reduced if we started taxing the wealthy more. it will not happen, though, because they make the rules.

i know people might read this and get angry with me. to this i say, how can you defend our current system and say it makes sense? why defend the wealthy, unless you are one of them?

i do not like to be told i have to make sacrifices for my country when the ones telling me to do so are not setting an example. i pay my taxes because it helps society. i would take an increase in my taxes if it went towards a government-funded healthcare. however, why should i want to pay my taxes when the elite minority do not want to pay theirs? to pay 50% in tax for an annual income of $6 million is a lot, but you still have $3 million left! isn't that enough? the answer is no. now that is just greedy.

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Hey,
Here is my zombie food pyramid t-shirt design.
Please vote for it.
Thanks.
Vicki, notice I used capitalization.

My Threadless.com Submission

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There was universal disappointment in the Philadelphia Auto Show. The verdict was: not enough new interesting cars, not enough concept cars, not enough interesting revisions of old cars, and too many gas-guzzling SUVs. The car enthusiasts among us are small car enthusiasts, which meant we spent a lot of time looking at the Scions and the new Honda Fit, and we bypassed the Hummer area completely. Although, we did get a good laugh at a GM hybrid truck that got 18 miles to the gallon. GM probably got a lot of tax credits for that one.

But this entry is not really about the Philadelphia Auto Show. It is about my new camera.

old cars w.jpg

I got my Canon 20D on Friday, and I am in love with it. I also got two lenses, the 28mm-135mm 3.5-5.6 IS USM and the 100mm-300mm 4.5-5.6 USM. I took pictures for the first time at the Auto Show, which turned out not to be the best place to take pictures. Although the place seemed well-lit, the lighting was spotty, and I ended up having to do a lot of color correction. There are more pictures after the jump.

Also, Mike's parents are in San Diego and they saw the baby panda! I am so jealous.

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Yesterday, Mike, Buddy, Newlywed Steve and his new wife Morgan and I went to the Philadelphia Auto Show. We will post pictures soon, especially since I got my new camera! It's a Canon EOS 20d, and it rocks!

Anyway, afterwards we were going to meet Rob and Evan and Laura (these last two soon to be newlyweds as well) at a place called Monk's Brewery at Spruce and 16th Streets. We got there, and the place was very small and very crowded. They told us that they couldn't accommodate a party of our size, and they would have to seat us in two separate tables, at different times. And it would be an hour wait. They suggested we try their "sister restaurant," Nodding Head on Sansom, up a few blocks. So we called everyone and rearranged, and then walked up to that place.

[Here is where the hate part comes in.]

So the hostess asked us how many, etc., and then asked us for ID. Now, I (stupidly) had forgotten my ID, since I wasn't driving, and I didn't have my purse - I just put my money in my camera backpack. So the waitress said that since I didn't have my ID, no one at the table could drink. Then she went back and talked to the manager, and told us that they couldn't even seat us. All because I didn't have my ID. People, I am 31 years old (almost 32), and there is no way I look under 21. We had to rearrange everyone AGAIN, and luckily Evan and Laura hadn't parked yet, so we all went back to Jersey and ate at a very nice and non-crowded restaurant in Collingswood, where we had really good fried ravioli.

Pennsylvania has some draconian liquor laws, but even so, no one had heard of anything that bad before. So the moral of the story is: we hate the Nodding Head Restaurant, Collingswood is great, and Philly sucks (sorry, Rob).

Don't Eat Here!

DON'T EAT HERE!

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expresswaydiner.jpg

i went to visit my parents in ohio three weeks ago. while there, they took me to the expressway diner. while it has been open a little over a year, it is definitely old school in heart and style. the food, service, and decor were all excellent. the prices were, too. skip and barb (friends of the family), frequent the diner and highly recommend it. i had the banana walnut pancakes and can honestly say i enjoyed them a great deal. they were very tasty and not heavy like regular pancakes. i was able to eat them all and not feel stuffed. my parents and zac (my brother) enjoyed their entrees as well.

i want to thank skip and barb for the photo of the diner and taking me there. i am definitely going back again, when i visit my parents. hopefully, the weather will be nicer so i can take more photos for the site.
the expressway diner gets five coffee cups.

5cups.png

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Special guest Evan joins us for Podcasts 7 and 8!