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Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Blog, Personal, Restaurant Reviews | 47 comments

Bottom of the Barrel: The Ten Worst Wines in My Cellar of Shame




Have you ever tried a wine that tasted so unbelievably bad you couldn’t drink it?

I have.  Plenty of times.

And since I’m the “most interesting man in the world” who specializes in wines priced at under $15, my frugal predilections have subjected my highly-seasoned palate to some occasional instances of horror.  I’m talking about wines that are such an abomination they trigger a gag reflex.  I’m talking about vintages laced with such a pungent taste and aroma that your eyes water.  No, those aren’t tears of joy, my friends.  Stay thirsty.

Just in time for the holiday season, here’s my bottom ten picks which should be avoided at all cost.  In other words, even if they are free, you shouldn’t drink them.

Here are the worst ten wines currently on the market, each with a permanent induction into my cellar of shame.  Let the countdown begin!

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Posted by on Dec 15, 2014 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 1 comment

Could You Last a Week Without a Smart Phone?



Last week, I called a “time out.”

Fed up with a growing dependency on communication devices — and shackled pretty much to iEverything (which means my iPhone, iPad, iPod, and the Internet) — I finally said, “enough!” 

Consumed by the shallowness of what masquerades as dialogue in the high-tech age, I made a rather audacious decision to jump off of life’s spinning hamster wheel.  I needed a break.  Not a vacation.  I didn’t go anywhere — unless bolting “offline” qualifies as the heavenly seclusion of a deserted island.  What I actually mean is splintering away from an unproductive, time-wasting daily compulsion that’s become an incarcerating bundle of puppet strings, albeit with the power of steel cables.

That meant doing what for many people would be utterly unthinkable.  That meant ditching my smartphone.  That meant essentially avoiding just about anything and everything associated with what’s called “social media,” which in reality is about the most unsocial means of expression ever devised by humankind.

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Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in Blog, Personal, Rants and Raves | 4 comments

The Proper Way to Engage Me in Conversation




I’m busy.

I don’t have time for small talk.

When you approach me, get straight to the fucking point and wrap it up within a reasonable amount of time.  Is that too much to ask?  Otherwise, my mind will wander elsewhere and you might as well be talking to a wall.

This goes for every form of communication — telephone conversations, e-mails, texts, and most certainly our face-to-face exchanges.  I can chose to ignore your phone chatter and texts if they start to bore me.  But direct conversation carries with it a unique obligation to be pertinent and precise.  So, do as I say!

What follows is a handy checklist on the ways and means to properly engage me in meaningful conversation.  By following these simple rules and guidelines you will significantly improve your chances that I will both listen to what you have to say, and perhaps even care.  There’s no guarantee of this, of course.  You better shine like the hope diamond.  And you’ve got about ten seconds to do it, otherwise my busy mind leaves the station.  So, come to me loaded with your best comments and questions and be prepared to fire them at me when I’m ready.

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Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Blog, Essays, Featured, Personal | 3 comments

We Are Not Who We Seem




Someone approached me a few days ago.  His comment took me by surprise.

“You’re not at all what you seem to be,” he stated.  “You’re not at all what I expected.”

Huh?  I wasn’t sure how to take those comments exactly.  I’m not what I seem to be?  I’m not what he expected?  How’s that?

The man went on to explain he’d read my writings.  He’d watched some videos, where I often rant about various topics that piss me off.  He even mentioned that he’d seen me on the “Poker Night in America” television show, where I occasionally go off the deep end towards the end of the program.

Yet, in person, I was none of those outlandish things he expected.  Perhaps he was expecting some kind of crazed lunatic.  I guess I turned out to be a little boring to him.  I was certainly disappointing.

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Posted by on Nov 15, 2014 in Blog, Personal, Travel | 0 comments

Wild Ending to Pittsburgh Penguins-New York Rangers Game




Final score:  NY Rangers-3, Pittsburgh Penguins-2

But wait.

That wasn’t the final score.

In one of the wildest NHL games you’ll ever see, the closing moments of tonight’s New York Rangers–Pittsburgh Penguins game played in Downtown Pittsburgh ended as a shocker.  It was so insane, almost half of the 18,000 fans in attendance completely missed it.  Here’s what happened.

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