Thursday, September 29, 2005

Lies, Damn Lies, and bunch of numbers

So I read an article that said jobless claims 'plunged' since last week, the biggest one-week drop since 1992.

That sounds good.

The same article said the four-week moving average of jobless claims rose for the seventh straight week, to its highest level since October 2003.

That sounds bad.

The next paragraph said the number of people filing second-week claims rose 144,000, the largest one-week increase since 2001.

That also sounds bad.

If I were a political speechwriter for one side I could say "we had the biggest drop in jobless claims in over a decade!" and if I worked for the other side I could say "jobless claims are at the highest level since 2001!" and at no time would I be lying.

So the next time a political hack throws a bunch of numbers your way, keep in mind he's probably not giving you the big picture.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Whooaa-oh, on the radio

For those of you listening to the Lazlow show on KROCK Sunday you got to hear me banter with the crew and play a song live. Nothing like knowing there are 50 thousand watts blasting out my silliness to the tri-state area. It was a good time, props to producer Reed Tucker for the invite and for taking this smashing picture of me in front of their logo.

And even though it was Sunday night you could still detect the distinct smell of stripper in the air from mornings with Howard Stern. It's sort of a talcum powder/Grey Goose/I dropped out of college kind of smell.

MMmmm, strippers.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


"How come all of our comics are Yankees?" asked a student before last night's show.

Apparently all of their comedians this year have been from New York and other places north. It's probably because all the southern comics are out on the road getting paid a billion dollars for making fun of other southerners. Oh Larry the Cable Guy, someday I aspire to be as witty and insightful as you.

My one-day, guerilla strike into Aiken, South Carolina went well, and no brigades mustered against me so I guess the Civil War is actually over. Phew. I was a little worried, being from Illinois, the Land of Lincoln. But except for the "Y" word there were no problems.

Actually the people at the school were wonderful and the woman was kind of kidding when she said it. And, in all honesty, my biggest problem with being called a Yankee is that I'm a Cubs fan.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Maybe Dominos should look into this

I've ordered pizzas before but this is insane. Here's what happened: I ordered a bunch of pizzas from a deep dish place in Chicago for a b-day party I'm having this weekend.

How do people deliver pizzas from Chicago to Brooklyn, you ask?

Via FedEx, of course, packed in boxes with dry ice.

The coolest benefit of this, one I didn't foresee, is that my pizzas now have a tracking number. I can go on the web and see at what stage in the delivery chain my pizza currently finds itself. Right now it's on a truck awaiting shipment.

I only wish I could update the FedEx info after I get it, you know, like I could post that the pizza is now in the oven. The pizza's now on the table. Joey just took an extra slice of pizza even though there are some people that haven't had any yet.

I have friends that could use tracking numbers too, especially when they go out on the weekends. "James is currently asleep in the park" or "Tim is currently flirting with your girlfriend."

See? Big Brother ain't all bad, you just have to know when to go to him for help.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Shout out to Our People in Afghanistan

Parlimentary elections are going to take place in Afghanistan this weekend, and I just wanted to say hey to all of our people over there who are working hard to get that country stabilized.

Take care of yourselves don't party too hard on M.L. Thursdays!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Not bad.

O.K., so I was close to the yahoo maps time. I bet they didn't factor in Brooklyn Bridge traffic or parking in my neighborhood so I won't feel too badly about it.

On the other side, New Yorkers still drive like A-holes, showing an affinity for their car horns unseen anywhere else in the republic. They honk at everything. People in front of them, people next to them, people thinking about maybe getting in front of or next to them.

My favorite is the preëmptive honk, when you're at a red light and the guy behind you honks just before it turns green to remind you that the light may in fact turn green at some point.

I once had a guy behind me honk at me because I didn't turn into a crosswalk across which a man and woman were pushing a baby stroller. Apparantly the guy was in such a hurry I was expected to mow down a young family for him.

I didn't but I think I made the right decision.

Go Ahead, Time Me

I'm about to checkout of my hotel here in Olean, NY, going to drive to Brooklyn. I'll post when I get there, let's see how long it takes and how close I come to the Yahoo Maps estimate of 6 hours and 53 minutes.

So, give me a couple of minutes to pack up my laptop, load my car and checkout, and then start your watches.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Best Value Inn, Pensacola, Florida

They provided my lovely accomodations for my show at University of West Florida last night. Here in Pensacola they're cleaning up damage from the hurricane that came through...

last year.

There are a lot of buildings under repair from hurricane Ivan that came through in '04, and the damage wasn't nearly what we see in Louisiana and Alabama and Trent Lott's house after Katrina, which really drives home how much work there is to do over there.

As for the Best Value, they're back on their feet providing minimal accomodations in close proximity to the city's 78 hospitals (O.K. maybe it's only 9 or 10 but there seems to be one every block). The hotel is actually an apartment complex that's been converted to hotel use, and my room was a small one bedroom with furniture even crappier than the stuff I have in my apartment. Don't they realize the reason I'm on the road so much is because I'm trying to get away from my apartment? That I'm trying to convince myself that I live in a world of free cable, tiny shampoo bottles and where housekeeping crews clean up after me every day?

I don't need to be reminded that my current income level places me squarely in the particle board/rattan furniture set.

I guess I can't call myself a player if I keep booking hotels with the words "Value" or "Budget" in the name. I should also stay away from numbers too while I'm at it. Lessons learned

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Looks like I picked the wrong week for a road trip

Look like I picked the wrong week to be on the road.

To prove I'm in the heartland, here I am in front of a Steak -n- Shake in Indiana. It's a midwest thing, you wouldn't understand. Or maybe you would, it's just a fast food place, really.

I left Pennsylvania yesterday and gas was $2.67 per gallon, by the time I got to Indiana it was $3.20. It's times like this I'm glad I have the Honda Civic VX and even though it has about a billion miles on it it still gets over 40 miles to the gallon. I enjoy pulling up to gas stations next to yuppies in nice new SUVs. I'd love to be around to see them explain to their children that they can't go to college because their parents blew all of their money driving a tank around town.

We all make our choices. Yeah, my hatchback keeps me from impressing the ladies, but it's hard to pay for a date when your card got maxed out at Citgo, so I think my time may have finally come.

The trip's been great so far, the show at Penn State Berks (P-SUB!) was a lot of fun, and I had a great time in Indianapolis last night doing a guest set at Crackers and meeting some really great people. So the gas money's been worth it.

And let's all help the people in trouble after the hurricane., the Red Cross, and I'm sure many other relief organizations could use whatever we can put together.l