Category Archives: Freakin’ Idiots!

Trader Joe’s Epic Fail

I failed as one of the office geeks today when I didn’t remember to bring a pie in to share with my office mates. (You may criticize me at will, you can’t say anything more horrible than I haven’t thought myself today.)

But wait, there’s a Trader Joe’s literally next door to our office building. I can solve this.

Except… there are no pies. I scour the whole store and I’m completely striking out.

Okay, I’m stupid enough to forget about Pi-day to begin with, I’m probably stupid enough to be standing next to the table full of pies and not recognize them. I’ll ask the manager at the customer service desk!

The manager was surly. “We don’t have pies.” Wait, I don’t think you heard me correctly. This is a huge grocery store. I’m looking for “pie,” you know, like apple or cherry or peach or pumpkin. Here, let me hold my hands in a circle-like shape and demonstrate…

“We don’t have any pies! It’s not pie season!

“Pie season?” Did she just say “it’s not pie season?” WTF is “pie season?” I’ve heard of “deer season,” “duck season,” “rabbit season,” “duck season,” “rabbit season,” “rabbit season,” “DUCK SEASON, SHOOT!!!”, but I’ve never heard of “pie season.”

In retrospect, I might have been about the 50th person (including at least one other person from my office) who had been there asking the exact same question. I don’t know if her surliness was because she didn’t like being bothered or if she had suddenly realized how many hundreds of dollars in sales she had lost through this marketing faux pas. It didn’t matter. There was no pie at Trader Joe’s.

Seriously. “Pie.” “Season.”


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Is It A Los Angeles Thing Or A California Thing?

I know that Austin likes to “Keep It Weird,” Portland has that guy in a kilt & Darth Vader helmet who rides a unicycle while playing a set of bagpipes that shoots flame out the top, and New York… Well, New York has Times Square. But I’ll stick to my contention that no one can out weird California in a pinch. Although I think this particular example might be more of a Los Angeles specific weird.

Rolling billboards. Pick up trucks with large advertising A-frames in the bed. Not advertising for the company that owns the truck. Nothing subtle. Nothing tasteful. Garish, in your face, you’re-stuck-on-the-freeway-next-to-me-and-you-have-to-look-at-this-shit-until-we-get-to-your-exit grade advertising.

(That’s not the thing that’s weird by the way. You probably see those in every big city by now. I’m just setting the stage.)

I’m behind this thing and it’s pushing a new type of cosmetic surgery. I’m dumbstruck. Flabbergasted. Gobsmacked. Even by the standards of this place it’s astonishing to me.

There’s a place you can go and have a zillion tiny little black dots tattooed all over your head. Or, at least, all over the bald spots.

This is designed for guys who are going bald and want to address that condition not with a comb over or a rug (or with an ounce of maturity and gracious acceptance of the capricious nature of the universe) but by shaving their heads. Yeah, that will hide it and make me look like a macho studmuffin to boot!


When you shave your head you get that little dark stubbly look. It’s like five o’clock shadow all over your skull. Unless part of your skull is actually bald. That’s “bald” as in “NO HAIR GROWS HERE!” That’s “bald” as in “the Benevolent Order of Follicles Local 699” is on strike in this location. The five o’clock shadow is those shaved off hairs starting to grow back in.

So if you suffer from male pattern baldness and shave your head, you’ll get stubbly five o’clock shadow look where you would normally grow hair plus “smooth as a baby’s butt” where you’re actually denial-will-do-you-no-good bald.

Until now.

These guys will go in and tattoo in every one of those little hair follicles for you. Let them use you skull as a giant pin cushion for a while (who know that PinHead

would end up being fashion forward?) Then, assuming you actually do shave your head, you’ll look like you can grow a Fabio-like mane at will, but you’re making a macho choice to have your head looking like that all over.

With all due respect to the fine surgeons and tattoo artistes doing this life saving work, may I suggest that anyone thinking about this procedure could go and spend the money on therapy, hard liquor, and/or Lottery tickets and come out way ahead of the game compared to having this procedure inflicted on yourself?


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Filed under Freakin' Idiots!, Health, Los Angeles

A Few More Thoughts On Jaywalking

Having had the adrenaline rush of almost killing some moron who thinks they can win a battle of momentum with a car, I’ve had a couple more thoughts.

  1. Adrenaline – ask for it by name!
  2. If you come to LA from another area where jaywalking is considered “normal,” either forget about that while you’re here or fill out your organ donor card. I know in New York City everyone was jaywalking everywhere, and Boston is worse. I don’t even want to think about what I saw throughout Shanghai! But here in LA the car is king and the drivers are morons. It seems that a certain central concept of jaywalking is the assumption that people have the ultimate right of way and of course the drivers will stop for you, even while they’re cussing you out. That’s an assumption that will put you in the ICU in Los Angeles.
  3. I wonder how jaywalking will increase as more and more cars on the road are equipped with automatic, semi-autonomous braking systems? The drivers may not stop for a jaywalker in LA, but the cars might.
  4. What percentage of cars on the road will have to have automatic braking systems before you’ll step off the curb in the middle of the street, oblivious to traffic, confident that something will stop the cars, either the car itself or a driver? 90%? 99%? 99.9999999%

That last point is the one I wonder about the most. The Law of Unintended Consequences!

If we make cars safer by putting in automated braking system, are we also breeding pedestrians to not look at traffic or care if it’s “safe” to cross the street?

Or is such a population of oblivious pedestrians self-limiting in size as Darwinian rules creep in?

Jeff Goldblum’s character in “Jurassic Park” said, “Life will always find a way” — so will death.

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If You Need To Give Your Heart Away For Valentine’s Day

What do you call someone dressed in black who’s jaywalking after dark across seven lanes of busy traffic in Los Angeles?

An organ donor.

If you need to give your heart away for Valentine’s Day, there are better ways to do it.

I don’t even remember seeing her until I was already standing on the brakes. There was a guy in the lane to my right, just a half car-length ahead of me, that might have seen her and started braking hard – maybe I picked up on that and reacted reflexively before I knew it.

One way or the other, both I and the guy on my right stopped, as did the person coming up from behind who swerved off to the left rather than rear ending me and killing Hissy. We all survived this time. Not by much, but I guess “close” only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and thermonuclear weapons.

Los Angeles is becoming the pedestrian death capital of the country. If you’re a pedestrian, try to at least make an effort to avoid being the next victim organ donor. Even if you don’t give a rat’s ass about your own health and safety, think of how much damage you’ll do to Hissy’s front bumper and hood as you’re pulped.

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So You Want To Drive In LA?

Driving in Los Angeles can at times be… “challenging.” Yeah, that’s it, let’s say it’s “challenging.”

But with experience you learn to recognize certain little signs and behavioral clues that can give you an early warning that “something’s up.”

For example:

Seeing one brain-dead moron with a fancy car and an attitude that screams “Traffic rules are for peons like you!” is not unusual. They might be doing something like doing an illegal U-turn on a curve with a restricted view across a double-double yellow lined median and three lanes of heavy oncoming traffic and a huge “NO U-TURNS!” sign.

Not unusual.

But when you see a half-dozen brain-dead morons lined up to do the exact same thing? And some of them aren’t even USC lawyers in BMWs and Jaguars that cost more than you make in a year? (Of course, most of them are – but some aren’t!)

Something. Is. Up.

Map from Google – scribbling from Paul.

One – I was on Ventura Boulevard, headed west. As you can see, this is right where it crosses under the 101 Freeway. We sailed past Topanga Canyon Boulevard without a problem.

Two – The brain-dead morons┬ádoing illegal U-turns on a curve with a restricted view across a double-double yellow lined median and three lanes of heavy oncoming traffic and a huge “NO U-TURNS!” sign were right where you go into the curve and under the freeway. The guy in front of me slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting one of them, I managed to stop without hitting him. With the first moron “blocking,” the next two guys just decided to go! go! go! and follow, figuring (correctly) that we wouldn’t just slam into them out of spite. (It was touch and go.) They cut across traffic and get onto that onramp onto the eastbound 101.

Why didn’t they just take the normal onramp that’s like 50 yards behind them? Why are there so many of them? Why did that helicopter just tear over our heads heading westbound over the freeway at about 500 feet?

Something. Is. Up.

Three – When we get going again I see that there are probably six or seven more cars lined up behind them, all waiting to make the same illegal U-turn back onto the onramp. Is the onramp lane closed? No, it’s full. It’s full all the way back beyond Sale, over a half mile, with other people trying to cut into that lane.

You NEVER see this many people backed up at this onramp, even at the height of rush hour. And it’s not rush hour.

In this day and age, there is a second thought that pops up at this point. All of these folks are doing their very best to go east, almost recklessly. You’re going west. What are they trying to get away from that I’m driving straight toward?

But I don’t see any lights or emergency vehicles up ahead (yet) and I’ve always wanted to see a Kaiju eat Woodland Hills, so I press on.

There’s more near gridlock at Shoup & Ventura, a hundred yards west, as even more cars are trying to turn north on Shoup, enough so that Shoup is clogged and they’re partially blocking the intersection. But I get past that just as a second helicopter tears by overhead, and I have a view up to my left at the freeway and I see that it looks like one of those helicopters might be landing on the freeway.

Something. Is. Up.

Four – The pieces fall into place. Big accident on the 101? Probably eastbound between Woodlake and Topanga? Freeway closed? But those who know the area have gotten off on Ventura Boulevard which is running roughly parallel to the freeway. Now that they’re past the accident, they need to get back onto the freeway. But that onramp isn’t designed to deal with that sort of load, so it’s backed up and gridlocked. This in turn causes the brain-dead morons to bypass the line and do the illegal U-turn thing.

What are they trying to get away from? Losing fifteen or twenty minutes and being late from dinner. That’s why they’re risking their lives, my lives, other people’s lives.




The moral to the story: In Los Angeles, even if you only have a ten-minute, six-mile commute to work on the surface streets, check the traffic before you get in the car. Something might be up that will turn it into a thirty-five minute trip with a possibility of death and/or dismemberment!

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Music Of The Night – July 4th Edition

Between one thing and another we’re not at a fireworks display tonight, which is unusual for us. Be that as it may, it’s not like we don’t hear them.

Here’s the audio off of a video I tried taking with my iPhone a while ago. The moon didn’t show up for beans in the video, but the sound tells a tale.

Note that there aren’t any public displays of fireworks within at least ten miles of us – everything you hear is being shot off by locals. Of course they’re all blatantly illegal, and yes, the state is dry as a bone with brush fires everywhere. These are from Sunday, June 25th, a fire that was just a couple miles from the 78 homes we’re building in Santa Clarita:

Enjoy the pyrotechnics, everyone! Happy Fourth of July to the US of A!

As long as that big orange glow doesn’t start up in the dry brush near our (your) house tonight, we’ll be celebrating the 5th of July as well.


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No Context For You – June 1st

I was going to post the second part of the New York pictures from the 9-11 museum – but with the state of the world and today’s actions by the brain-dead piece of overripe shit we have for SCROTUS (ask me how I really feel!) it might be playing with fire.

Instead, have a picture that looks like it was taken from the inside of a toilet seat – but wasn’t.

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