Monday, October 29, 2012



I do hope all your Blaiserbloguddlians are hunkered down somewhere safe with enough ice in the bathtub to keep the ice cream firm but not so hard that you need to run the scoop under hot water, 'cause in short order, hot water's gonna be really hard for anyone who doesn't have access to fire.

It's perhaps a little late for such advice (although that doesn't seem to stop our various emergency-planning executives), but it won't stop me from presenting my Top Ten List of Storm Prep Fun Facts, Tips, Reminders, and Things I Learned:


Chris Christie is an A-Hole.

"Get the hell off the &#%$ing beach!"

If Chris Christie tells me to evacuate, and I don't, I'm an A-Hole.


Forget gold, and invest in D-Cell Batteries, which have become the rarest metals on the Eastern Seaboard. My bookie knows a guy who can get me tickets to the Stones in London next month, plus airfare, for 16 D-Cells.


Order of Evacuation/Consumption from my refrigerator when the power goes out:

        a) Saturday's Pancake Batter (note: if gas-powered stove goes out, pancakes to be fried on griddle heated by burning back issues of The New Yorker in the kitchen sink.

       b) Whipped Cream, to get the most out of today's coffee, although I am just realizing that when I lose power, my coffee-maker-that-grinds-its-own-damn-beans will not be able to grind any beans. Which is what I have in the house. Coffee Beans. Hello mortar and pestle. (Update: currently out-of-town girlfriend sez: Fool! I told you four times there's ground coffee in the freezer!)

       c) Whole Organic Chicken. If above-mentioned gas-powered oven not functioning, chicken to be grilled over kitchen sink (after pancakes) with heat from burning back issues of Poetry. (much thicker than The New Yorker, and therefor slower burning.

       d) My girlfriend's mini-Cokes. Sorry honey, I know you just saved my sorry ass on coffee, but if there's one thing I cannot abide in a storm, it's drinking warm Coke.

       e) Things Related to the Making of Cocktails

       f) Cheeses

       g) The White Wine Too Nice to Be Cooking Wine

       h) Friday's Leftover Salmon   

       i) The Cooking Wine    

       j) That really yummy Trader Joe's not-quite-cooked bread, to be toasted over the kitchen sink, with a fire fueled by three of my four unopened issues of Gray's Sporting Journal (note to self: remove polybag first, lest plastic fumes bond to baguettes)

       j-prime) Butter. (And why the hell didn't I get bacon?)

       k) Frozen Ground Turkey, which will thaw and get grilled in the kitchen sink over a fire fueled by my Master's Thesis

       l) The Leg and Thigh leftover from Virgil, the Spring Gobbler I shot in May, to be simmered in the stock pot over a fire in the kitchen sink fueled by burning two of my least favorite Chinese Philosophy texts from a class I took in the spring of 1989.

      m) Vegetables. Wait ! no, Sandwich Meats.

      n) Vegetables


     I have the fortune to currently reside in one of the buildings of what can only be called--in Essex County-New-Jersey-terms--an estate (a story for another post). If there's a tree on the property, or those of my neighbors, that's under 65 feet, I haven't seen it yet. The upshot is that if these mothers start getting knocked down, it's basically going to be like when some of the Ents got their asses kicked in The Two Towers.


"They're talking about surges we haven't seen before!" -- Governor Cuomo at 10:45 a.m. Eastern Time. 

"Hey! There's a reeely big storm coming!"

It's possible that Gov. Cuomo is also, from time to time, an A-Hole


If you're also in Sandy's path, and you also have more than two texts from a Chinese Philosophy course you took any time prior to 1992, you, too, will still be able to reliably toast bread.


"Barrier Island," has always sounded to me like a good place not to live. Alternatively, if you're down with making a deal with the climate devil in order to live on the beach, some of your numbers are coming up.


There are, however, NO numbers coming up in the casinos of Atlantic City, which appears to be largely under water, rendering Black Jack dealers, street cleaners and street walkers temporarily redundant. If only the storm washed away solely the unwholesome parts of New Jersey. 

"You know something may go down tonight, but it ain’t gonna be jobs, sweetheart."

WNYC's storm coverage has pre-empted the BBC, which usually comes on at 9 a.m., and consequently, I had a moment of clarity: I don't miss those self-satisfied-yet-detached Limey snoots!


A millibar exists as an indirect expression of a minibar. The lower the barometer, the higher the drinking in hotels. That are not in Atlantic City.


If you live in Connecticut, you lose power first.


Talking Voice on WNYC is giving advice on what kind of generator to buy. What Dude neglected to mention is that at this writing, if anyone wants to get their hands on a generator, they'd better be ready to pay with D-Cell batteries.


As a vital service to the community, Blaiserblog is now accepting bets for the over-under on how many hours elapse after we lose power before South Orange yuppies start throwing garbage cans through the windows of Eden Gourmet!!

Thanks for reading, and please remember that even though a Biblically-tempermental tempest is threatening to sweep away the Tri-State as we know it, there are worse things than Chris Christie's refrigerated-food access suffering complete restriction for 4-to-7 days. 

(also, stay tuned for whenever the power gets turned back on, when Blaiserblog will publish a love-letter to World Champion San Francisco Giants' Second Baseman, Marco Scutaro!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Giant Leap for Man...

None of my Facebook loved ones, friends, family, acquaintances or enemies (whom someone once said should be kept close to one) are having birthdays that Facebook knows about today.

Has time stopped, then? How is this 24-hour period different from all others?

Can we ascribe this anomaly to an outside mitigating event?

For instance, is this connected to a crazy Austrian named Felix (whom many thought was Australian) climbing into a spacesuit, floating up 24-plus miles, and falling back to earth? Courtesy of an energy drink?

He broke the sound barrier on the way down. Does anyone know if his sounds have caught up to him?  What's Austrian for "AAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!"? What if he said it in Australian?

During the first part of the descent, he went into an uncontrolled spin somewhere around the 650 mph mark. If he hadn't corrected it, he would have spun faster and faster, until his blood started leaving his body through his eyeballs. Our camera technology is good enough now that we--and anyone with an Internet connection--could watch this spinning Austrian all the way down. We actually saw a grainy image of his body spinning,

and then recovering, with a smooth deployment of his parachute. (i.e. no blood-though-the-eyeballs)

Reminded me of the opening sequence of the Six Million Dollar Man.

 Colonel Steve (not Austrian, or Australian, but Austinian) also hitched a ride to the stratosphere and fell back to earth, in this crazy-ass thing:

It's an M2-F2 real test craft, towed upstairs by a B-52 and designed to feel out how a "lifting body," like a rocket ship might also re-enter/fall to earth. Pretty freakin' fast, as they found out.

And one time--in real life--uncontrollably. "She's breaking up, she's breaking up!" really did happen, on  May 10, 1967, the M2-F2's 16th flight.

Test pilots, both fictional and historical, are tough M2-F2s themselves. The gentleman in the above shot, Lt. Bruce Peterson, who went off course after correcting a nasty "Dutch Roll" and hit the desert floor at 250 mph (about a half-second before his gear had a chance to lock) didn't exactly walk away from it:

But after several surgeries, he went back to work for NASA, albeit flying less dangerous missions. He lost his right eye not from the crash itself, but due to a hospital-borne infection.

But let's "face" it, eyepatches, like test pilots, are the stuff of ultimate badassery in both fact and fiction. Just ask anyone who's ever crossed Snake Plissken,  Rooster Cogburn or Moshe Dyan. Indeed, and to his apparent chagrin, Bruce Peterson's story was the inspiration for "The Six Million Dollar Man." Colonel Austin lost his right eye, right arm and both legs, but, as anyone of a certain age, like any 43-year-old Austral-Asian extreme skydiver knows, "...we can rebuild him!"

I've written in these pages before about my fascination with Steve Austin, astronauts and space exploration. I had the Steve doll and the ship that converted into a bionic operating bed, so that I could again and again re-enact saving someone from horrendous injuries.

Fortunately for Felix, no one had to pump Red Bull into his veins in an attempt to bring him back from the abyss. He landed safely -- on his feet even -- after hitting some 800 mph on the way down. Oddly, he had no sensation of falling that fast, nor of any sonic boom when he passed the sound barrier. Turns out he was too busy keeping his blood inside his eyeballs.

That's all for a rambling post today--all in all, just another day in the life.

Thanks for reading, and please remember that just because it's not any of my friends' known birthdays today, it doesn't mean it's not a great time to call your Mom or your Dad or your dog, or to turn to your co-worker, or the guy starching your shirts or sorting your recyclables and tell them, "Hey -- I'm really glad your blood's all still behind your eyeballs!"