Sunday, February 19, 2006

Thank You eBay!!

I am an avid "eBay-er." It's great, you can find anything you want, and you can sell almost anything you want. And people buy stuff competitively. I'm almost positive of this statement. Case in point, I returned a battery to the local Cingular store and received store credit of $40 for it. See, Cingular has this stupid return policy that past 30 days even with a receipt you cannot return any goods purchased there. [SIDEBAR COMMENT: Cell phones supposedly turn over so fast, whatever you bought 30 days ago could potentially be obsolete is what they claim. The counter person told me that their computer systems clear all sales information every 30 days. That's what they say anyway. But if you ask me, that's a load of C - R - A- P!!! Let's think about this, Cingular has a nationwide network that requires vast amounts of computing technology and they cannot track purchases past 30 days??!!! What's wrong with this picture??? ] So anyway, since I received a one day store credit, (yes 1 day store credit, because they cannot give you a store credit receipt, again their systems cannot do it) I decided to get accessories I could sell on eBay. So the first item that I put up for auction on eBay that Cingular sold me for $34.99 closed today at $56. The other item looks like it'll close for at least $20. You can do the math. Mind you, I even put in the description of the items that "Cingular sells this item online for $34.99 and the other for $19.99" So even though everyone knew they could buy the things directly from Cingular, for less money, they decided to go way above the price to win the auction!! Hummm.... Competitive buying rules!!! Who says that the capitalism is dead???

Monday, February 13, 2006

That Guy is Toast!

I was watching Grey's Anatomy last night with the wife. So the episode was about an idiotic patient with a homemade WWII grenade lodged in his chest and Merideth, the main character:

was left with her hand right next to the grenade in the guy's chest so he wouldn't bleed out. So as the episode goes, they decide to have her pull the grenade out and hand it off to the bomb squad guy.

So the guy who was the bomb squad guy, Kyle Chandler, who you also know as the main character in that CBS show Early Edition, carries out the explosive to the hallway.

So I'm thinking he's the new squeeze for the main character of Grey's Anatomy Merideth unless they kill him off in that episode. So I was thinking, if they do that camera angle where he's at the end of the hallway, and she's just watching him from a distance he's a dead man.

Here's how it went:

  • Merideth pulls out the grendade
  • Bomb squad takes the grenade, "Good job, you did good today."
  • Bomb squad guy walks out into the hallway with the grenade
  • Merideth walks out to see him go off into the hallway
  • Camera pans out....


Now that my friends is great TV!!!!

Monday, February 06, 2006

GEEZE!!! Did he really hit it that far??

So what do I do for fun you may ask? I'm an avid golfer. I play it, live it, read it and breathe it. I originally started playing with my Dad as something to do to spend some time with him and to get to know him better. Now that he's gone, whenever I play I feel closer to him in a way. And I was hooked as soon as I hit my first good ball and had the photo finish stance. I've played off and on for 6 years, but in the past 3 years I've gotten pretty serious about it and dedicate a lot of time, and a lot of money (Sorry Mrs. JP!!), to the game. I decided to really learn the game well, so two years ago, I took lessons from a Golf Magazine Top 100 instructor and spent countless hours on the range, on the course, and in the mirror practicing. I ripped apart my swing several times and I think now I may actually have something decent.

It's sort of an obsession. My wife remarks that I don't have much of a wardrobe and it consists of just one brand of clothing. OK, for the most part she's right. But you stick to your brand as any golfer worth his salt will tell you. Although, maybe I should take a hint from coworkers who ask me if my tour sponsor gives me all shirts I wear to the office:

Yep, I'm a Callaway golfer. My philosophy is that if you have the best equipment, you cannot make any excuses about your score. It's all just you at that point. Every club I use is Callaway. I have X-14 irons, Forged wedges, Big Bertha 4 and 7 wood, a Callaway Tour Blue TT2 putter, and the newest club in my arsenal is a 9.5 degree ERC Fusion driver with a stiff Aldila shaft. And is it ever sweet!!!! It makes a thud when it hits the ball, but the ball just flies off of the face.

The good news is, I'm getting better. I was a 34 handicap at the start of last year and at the end of the season I dropped to 25. I was shooting in the low 40's per 9 holes off the blue tees, so this year my goal is to stay in the 80's and get the handicap below 20. It shouldn't be too hard, because there's a few high scores that will fall off my handicap so it should shoot down pretty quick. I think I finally have found my swing, but I'll hold judgment on that until mid season. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

On another note, I was watching the FBR Open yesterday and saw something I have never seen before. This guy who's no bigger than me, hit a ball 354 yards dead straight. Now this may not seem all that impressive to people who do not golf, but those of us who do just sit there with our jaws wide open in awe, like this:

It's unreal. It's not natural. It's one of the coolest things you've ever seen though!

The guy's name is J.B. Holmes. He's brand new on the PGA tour. He's only 23. His second shot on a par 4 or par 5 is usually with a sand wedge. He drove a par 4 yesterday that was 302 yards with a 3 wood. I wouldn't have believed it if I weren't watching it.

And a guy like him gives golfers like me hope. Because his swing isn't the most pretty swing you've ever seen, not like Tiger's or Fred Couples or Stuart Appleby, and he takes the club just 1/2 to 3/4 back. But when he rotates through the ball, you've never seen a ball fly so far and so straight. Look out Tiger, there's a new guy in town and his name is J.B.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What's in a name?

JP. That's me. Or at least what I joke about. I am a 3rd generation Japanese American. JP stands for "Japanese Pollack." So what's that about you may ask? Let me share. It has been my experience that people have a really hard time saying my last name for some reason. For example, let's say my last name were Kawasaki, it's not, but you'll get the idea. Anyhow, when people try to pronounce my name, it comes out like Kawanski, Kawaski, or Kawamski. It's especially fun when you're at a restaurant and they call your name. After a while you just smile and nod and accept all the iterations of your name. So you see, a good Japanese name becomes a proper Polish name in no time!!! My wife always joked that I am the "Japanese Pollack," so JP is a good pen name I think.

I'm actually surprised that people cannot do better with my name. It's really not that hard you know. Here's the secret to Japanese pronunciation, take everything in two or three letters. So if you were trying to pronounce Kawasaki, break it by every two letters, Ka-wa-sa-ki, then say each syllable individually and there you have it, instant Japanese. And if you had a name like Nishita, you would break it to Ni-shi-ta. Pretty much all Japanese syllables end in a vowel or are a vowel. Get the idea?