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Old 06-21-2012, 12:07 AM   #1
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Default Another Rant from Joe Perez

As do others, I greatly enjoy Joe's rants. They are scattered wildly throughout random threads and I thought I would start a thread of our favorite rants from Joe. Please add your favorite below. I was going to ask that it be posts of rants only but I know that can't possibly happen. So, I task all that post that they must find and add another rant to the list.

Today's rant:

And now, an open letter to the woman who was in front of me in the checkout line at Target this evening:


As I rolled up to the bike rack, there was another e-bike already there. A tattered old road bike (I believe "vintage" is the politically-correct term) which had been converted with a Magic Pie hub. Not the best of setups, but certainly workable. And a reasonably clean wiring job to boot. Mine would easily win in any race, but this one had a certain charm about it.

"What an interesting bike." And then a shudder. You'll recall that the last time I encountered another e-bike at a retail establishment, my battery blew up 15 minutes later.


I went inside, gathered up the three items which I'd come in for, and proceeded to the express checkout line. Only one customer in front of me, and with only a couple of items.

"Could you tell me the price on this?" she asked of one. "Oh, no. I think I'll leave that," she said, apparently shocked that Target would have the temerity to charge a whole seven dollars for a pair of shoes. "Oh no, that was on sale for 99 cents," when a can of soup rang up for $1.19.

"Funny," I thought to myself. "The homeless and indigent certainly seem to be dressing well these days."

Eventually all six of her items had been painstakingly passed over the checkout, heralding the start of Coupon Time. How one hundred and forty-seven coupons can possibly be used for six items escapes me, but one by one the nickels and quarters were deducted from the tally, until it was finally time to pay.

In exact change.

In coin.

Drawn from an old, plastic jar that looked once to have contained peanut butter.

"Somewhere there must be a wishing well that has been swept clean."


After I'd finally checked out and was walking out the door, I saw the rider of the aforementioned road bike speed off in front of me. An attractive young blonde woman, thin and tall with short-cropped hair and tight-fitting jeans. A chance encounter which was lost for the sake of two minutes, or about the amount of time required to extract $8.37 from a jar entirely in pennies, nickels and dimes.


Fuсk you, woman in the checkout stand in front of me.




I took a new path home- long, hilly, and back-woodsey. Or at least, as back-woodsey as it's possible to get in a suburban development full of $1m homes spaced six and a half inches apart. Learned a couple of lessons:

Slick tires suck on loose, dry sand.
In some neighborhoods, the trails which run behind the property have wooden logs placed across the path at regular intervals, presumably by aѕsholes who wish to discourage cyclists from using them, yet lack the common decency to erect a sign at the entrance to the trail which reads "Attention Cyclists: the homeowners association in this neighborhood is comprised of aѕsholes who have laid wooden logs across this path to prevent you from comfortably riding on it. Please go away and take your healthy and environmentally-friendly mode of transport with you."





11.5 miles and 4.45 Ah consumed, for 19.9 watt-hours per mile (Yes! I got it under 20!) Theoretical range at this consumption should be 29.7 miles, and that includes some *serious* hills. My legs feel like rubber ****** right now.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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The next is a link because it isn't complete without the pictars.

https://www.miataturbo.net/showpost....7&postcount=16
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:15 AM   #3
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Of late, I've been trying to lose a little weight. That picture which I recently posted of myself standing over the engine in my build thread was kind of a wake-up call. It was, I think, the six months I spent in Manhattan last year that did it. Even though I was on my feet all day, we ate like gods every evening and drank an ocean of good beer.

At any rate, things need to change a bit. Nothing over-the-top like crash diet plans, vegetarianism or workout regimes- I'm far too lazy and undisciplined to sustain that sort of lifestyle change for any length of time; I know I wouldn't last. So instead, I decided just to make little incremental changes- things like reducing portion sizes a tad, mixing my rum with diet Coke (actually diet Pepsi- diet Coke turned out to suck), and bringing simple meals to the office for lunch rather than running across the street to one of the fast food joints every day.

Now, one thing which I do happen to enjoy quite a lot is a good sandwich in the evening. Sliced turkey or pork, loads of diced onion and crushed garlic, and two slices of Havarti on coarse-grained bread, grilled on a sandwich press until blackened. Utter heaven. Seriously, giving up this habit would be a major quality-of-life issue for me. I recently quit smoking (going on 3 months now) and I don't think I could bear to part with another vice just at the moment.



I will diverge here for a moment to air a grievance concerning sandwich presses in this country. The recent popularity of Panini-style sandwiches in the US over the past few years has planted in the minds of most Americans the notion that the grilled Panini is prepared upon a ribbed press, which imparts unto the sandwich a peculiar and distinctive striped pattern, and also a uniquely rough texture which I cannot quite put into words.

This is bullshit.

An authentic western-European style sandwich press uses flat plates. It also has a simple but very effective articulated hinge which allows the press to accommodate sandwiches of any thickness while permitting the grilling plates to remain parallel, which prevents the sandwich from being flattened unevenly.

These crappy units that I see everywhere from discount stores to trendy upscale restaurants would make my dear Abuela turn in her grave if she ever saw them. (Fortunately, Wal-Mart had not yet made it to to Hato Rey, PR at the time of her death.) They might be good enough for a washed-out former heavyweight boxer to drain all of the moisture out of his hamburgers with, but if you want to experience a proper grilled sandwich, you need the right tool for the job. Several years ago, while on an assignment in Teaneck, NJ, I finally found a unit which I judged to be of comparable quality to those which I remembered seeing in the various Perez family kitchens as a child. It is made by Breville (ironically, an Australian company) and cost $90. It is worth every penny. Sadly, I have found it quite impossible to procure proper Cuban bread in southern California, however that is a subject best left to a separate rant.



Now, to return to the matter at hand. This evening after work, I was at the supermarket, and one of the items which I needed was cheese. I typically buy the Primo Taglio brand, which despite being the Vons' house brand, is actually rather richer and creamier than Boar's Head or any of the other common name-brands. It is, quite frankly, the best Havarti I have ever found outside of a proper artisan creamery or NY delicatessen. And as it happened, the deli counter at Vons was completely out. The woman behind the counter rather apologetically suggested that they had some O-Organic brand prepackaged Havarti over in the general dairy section. Well, what the hell. I trundled over to that aisle and pulled a pack off the shelf. Apropos of nothing, I flipped the package over and happened to note on the nutritional label that this cheese contained 120 calories per slice, and the slices were considerably thinner and narrower than the ones I typically get at the deli counter. (I like my Havarti really thick. 3mm per slice or so.)

This gave me a moment of pause. That's probably 300-400 calories surplus in an evening the way I make a sandwich. Surely there must be a better way.

So I started browsing around the other prepackaged cheeses and cheese-like products. And I happened to land on Kraft Singles brand American-style artificially flavored nonfat pasteurized prepared cheese product. (I'm copying this straight off the label.)

Ok, I know. This is probably a mistake. But I looked at the back and, hell, 25 calories per slice?! Ok, so the slices aren't quite as large and thick as I'm accustomed to, but hey, that's actually my whole plan to begin with. So I picked up a pack and tossed it in the basket.



Let me be clear: I went into this with reduced expectations. I knew that this probably represented a step down in quality, but small sacrifices are the name of the game here.



I was not prepared for what happened. This product is completely and totally unfit for retail consumer sale.

First off, it liquefies when you heat it. I don't mean that it goes all gooey like Velveeta, it actually turns into a nearly water-like consistency! In other words, I opened the sandwich press to retrieve my bounty and found a nicely blackened sandwich standing in the middle of an ORANGE PUDDLE.

(deep breath)

Ok, I can do this. It's for a good cause. I retrieve the sandwich from the press and flip it onto a plate, being careful not to slosh too much artificially flavored pasteurized prepared cheese product around in the process. I let it cool for a few minutes while sipping my Rum and Diet Pepsi (admittedly, I'm doing OK with that one) and finally pick up the sandwich and take a bite.


Now, I consider myself a reasonably well-educated and intelligent person. I'm no Henry David Thoreau, but I did go to college, got reasonably good marks, I read quite a lot, and I've been known to compose the occasional scholarly paper in the course of my employment.

And yet I find myself utterly unable to describe the horribleness of this gustatory sensation. I simply lack the proper vocabulary for the task. Honestly, there is not a single experience familiar to me with which I can compare the flavor of this product. I doubt rather seriously, in fact, whether there exists within the English language an adjective of sufficient fervency to convey the opprobrium which I harbor towards this product. Perhaps if I were fluent in Arabic I would be able to put into words the sheer magnitude of the contempt which I feel right now (the Arabic people, as a broad generalization, seem to possess a particularly refined aptitude for hating things), though of course only Kotomile would understand.

I imagine that if one were to collect the sweat from ten thousand Bedouin gypsys' ********* into a large basin, add a few drops of the pus from a gangrenous wound, allow a camel to bathe in the resultant broth and then, after it was done, jump in yourself and fart copiously into it at great length, and only then add some yellow food coloring and artificial cheese flavor, that one might then begin to approach the horribleness of this food-like product.

Honestly, I just cannot imagine how the various layers of management, QA, marketing and product qualification which I imagine to exist at such a corporate entity as Kraft Foods would have permitted such a blight to find its way into production. I would stake that if they have ever had but a single repeat customer for this particular item... well, I don't even know how to finish that sentence.

I scoured the packaging, looking for the smallest print which might indicate "satisfaction guaranteed" or some such nonsense. Hell, I didn't even bother writing to Minute Maid to inform them that, speaking from the perspective of someone who grew up in an environment where there were always orange trees in the back yard, their orange juice is nothing at all like "eating a fresh, ripe orange." But this blight on the culinary landscape simply cannot be afforded to remain unchecked.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:17 AM   #4
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Oh how I love Joe's rants. What a great man.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:05 AM   #5
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:37 AM   #6
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Probably my favorite:
https://www.miataturbo.net/showpost....3&postcount=31
It's not exactly a rant, but it had me laughing pretty hard when he posted it.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:27 PM   #7
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this thread delivers.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianferrell View Post
this thread delivers.
Needs more posts. Per post #1 you must now find and add another rant.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:55 AM   #9
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do rants from other forums work? Like those that made me come from the old side to here years ago from m.net?
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pen2_the_penguin View Post
do rants from other forums work? Like those that made me come from the old side to here years ago from m.net?
I hope so. This thread needs more content!
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidude View Post
I hope so. This thread needs more content!

start trolling Joe.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:17 AM   #12
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I'm sure this is as stupid question, but does he even know there is this thread about him?
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:21 AM   #13
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Well, to add content, I found this short piece posted to m.net just a few months ago:

Quote:
Haha. You're on the wrong forum then. Here at miata.net, whine & cheese is the order of the day. There's another Miata-centric forum which specifically advocates turbocharging and otherwise making Miatas faster than Catman & his cadre of backwards-thinking purists would approve of.

Touching on something that whynottamiata mentioned earlier, it had honestly not occurred to me until this thread that there probably are in fact people who would find it ironic that "Forced Induction is the "cheap and easy" way to make a fast Miata."

I mean, I've sort of occasionally watched the IRTB & nitrous crowd prattle on about... whatever it is they think they're achieving, but never really paid any credence to the idea that a normal person wouldn't accept as intuitively obvious the fact that a turbocharged engine is, by definition, cheaper, easier, more reliable, faster, and more civilized to drive than any comparable naturally-aspirated solution. To me, it's as axiomatic as stating that "fire is hot, water is wet, grass is green, and Chevy Vegas are ugly."

But having re-read this thread, I sort of realize that this is, in fact, precisely the situation. Kind of a wake-up call to me about the world in which we live.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidude View Post
I'm sure this is as stupid question, but does he even know there is this thread about him?
Yes, he notices when his name shows up in thread titles.

He has been watching this thread with amusement, but felt it would violate the Prime Directive to post in the thread, thus disturbing the course of its natural evolution.

Last edited by Joe Perez; 06-25-2012 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Added Star Trek geekery.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:33 PM   #15
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Joe, are you saying we're not warp capable?
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidude View Post
Well, to add content, I found this short piece posted to m.net just a few months ago:
crap, you posted it before I could... time to go for another hunt
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:58 AM   #17
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A more recent submission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pen2_the_penguin View Post
Getting a hold of someone down at the Reno NV greyhound station is like calling the inbound shipment department of a home hobby and craft store.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Is this a common expression in northern Nevada?

As in "Like shooting fish in a barrel" or "like a one-legged man at an ***-kicking contest"?

"Like calling the inbound shipment department of a home hobby and craft store."

I've not heard that one before, though admittedly I have only been to Reno once, when we built the new studios for Americom radio. My recollection is that it was cold and there were prostitutes. I don't think I had a chance to really check out the hobby and craft scene. (Unless "hobby and craft store" is a euphemism for prostitute, and "inbound shipping department" is a euphemism for pimp, in which case I can totally understand where you're coming from.)
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Ok, I've had to do some research here to find the correct vocabulary to express my opprobrium.

"Ethical vegetarians" **** me off. These are the folks who refrain from eating animals or using animal products because it is morally wrong to so so. To quote ethicalvegetarian.com: "Although ethical vegetarians enjoy the benefits of the healthy diet and lifestyle of vegetarianism, they are not vegetarians because of health reasons: they are vegetarians because they want to minimize cruelty and death in the world. Good health is just a pleasant side-effect."

So, when an ethical vegetarian explains to me why it's wrong to have leather upholstery in my car, or even to drink most commercially-produced wines (because the fining agents used to clarify the wine are derived from animal products), and then they go and eat a slice of bread, that's just utter hypocrisy. If it is morally wrong to kill animals, then the production of bread is tantamount to genocide on a scale unparalleled in all of human history- more yeast are incinerated in a single hour at the baker's oven than the total number of people of all races put to death in all the concentration camps of WWII combined.

In fact, ethical vegetarians are inherently anti-Christian. The production of bread is discussed 361 times in the king James bible. It is practically a metaphor for the entire religion, inasmuch as Christ compares himself to bread, and promotes its ritualistic consumption to his disciples shortly before his execution.

So by their worldview, ethical vegetarians must denounce Christianity (as well as Judaism) as supporting the greatest and most widespread racial holocaust the world has ever known.

Given the present sociopolitical climate in the US, Christianity is very much in vogue right now, and weirdm scary people who denounce it are fit to be ostracised.

Is that really what you want? Do you want to murder baby Jesus? Because every time you refuse to kill and eat an animal, that's exactly what you are doing.

Down with ethical vegetarians.



I dated a girl who was a vegetarian for a while in college. I cared quite a great deal about what she put in her mouth.
thread kinda got away from posting rants
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:36 AM   #19
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Not a rant...but made me get in trouble at work I was laughing so damn hard:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Almighty
There are way too many variables with a .22 bullet. Maybe it'll hit an artery and you'll bleed out slowly and painfully, maybe it'll just rattle around a bit and destroy enough tissue to leave you alive but a drooling vegetable, maybe you'll survive apparently unharmed but live the rest of your life thinking that a sawzall is a general purpose auto-body tool...
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:26 PM   #20
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So what ever happened with the frozen dinner trays?
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