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All Pinzur, All The Time

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

America Votes... or Naps

I met my wife a few months after the 2002 elections, so this is the first cycle she's seen from inside the reporter/candidate/consultant bubble. Today is Primary Election Day, which is a big deal in Miami this year - in addition to the Democrats and Republicans nominating Senate candidates (the only really major partisan primary in South Florida today) there are lots of nonpartisan local races: Miami-Dade mayor, especially, but also county commission and county school board seats.

Since I cover education, and since the school board is a big deal here, I'll be in the newsroom until the wee hours... which led Lady Pinz to ask what the heck we do all day on Election Day.

You're looking at it.

A handful of reporters are out at polling places, make sure Floridians have figured out the complex science of casting a vote, but most of us are sitting around the newsroom, trying to kill two hours and 18 minutes until the polls close.

By 6:30, things will be busier. About half of us will out with candidates at their post-election parties, and the other half (including yours truly) will be hitting "refresh" on the Elections Department's web site as we wait for votes to be counted. Because I'm covering three different school board races today - any of which could go to a runoff if no candidate gets at least a majority of the votes - I can't even write a bare-bones skeleton of a story until I have some idea who's leading. Most likely, I won't be able to start writing until at least 7 or 8 tonight.

Still, there's something awesomely amazing about seeing a newsroom full of good reporters pull together for those critical few hours, everyone working at peak efficiency to put out the morning paper with results, context and analysis.

Until then, we wait.

I've had coversations today about the following important, headline-making topics:

- Whether one reporter's boyfriend's nickname (FiFi) is appropriate for a man, even if he is French.
- Whether the Bewitched producers thought anyone would notice when they switched Darrens, and the fact that Roseanne's old sitcom made reference to that when they switched Beckys.
- Whether a picture of a giant turtle on a beach belongs on the front page of an early edition.
- Whether "dweeb" is a word. I stole a great piece of trivia from an old West Wing episode, to wit: the only three words in the English language that begin with "dw" are dwarf, dwindle and dwell. But FiFi's girlfriend argued that dweeb is a word, as well.
- Whether Hurricane Frances will mess up our plans to move into our new condo this weekend. This might be the most pointless conversation of all, because (despite all the "tracks" and "predictions" from forecasters) hurricane paths are almost impossible to predict with any reliability this many days in advance.

So I really have very little to do for the next few hours, and then will have to work frantically. My deadline is 11 p.m., which is fine if all the voting machines work well and the margins in each of my three races are fairly large, but could be tight if votes are still being counted in close races by about 9 or 10.

In 2002, there was a problem with a handful of machines from one neighborhood - a handful whose votes were enough to swing one of my school board races. At 2 a.m. - which is about the latest we can make changes and still have them printed in a decent number of papers - we finally had to leave without knowing the winner.

And don't even get me started on 2000. I was the political reporter at the paper in Jacksonville, Florida, then... and the memory is a cold, dark, scary place in the back of my brain.

In the meantime, our pimp motif again emerges, with the Washington Post picking up on the news (posted here on our blog earlier this month) that you can now buy pimp and ho halloween costumes for your kids.


So the Pinzur Blog has been going for quite some time now, at least a few months, and hard work and nothing but the Gods honest truth, and plenty of pimpin' action seem to be the norm around here. To keep our readers happy, I have decided to reply to some of the seemingly endless e-mails regarding myself, Big Pinz and, the yet unheard from, Lady Pinz.

So after sifting through 10's of emails (ok, more like 5's of emails), these were the best I got:

E-mail #1: How do you two always come up with the most witty of all blogs that I have ever read on the internet?
Moira - Lansing, MI
Little Pinz: Well, I think we both owe it the invention of Cable TV. Because of it, neither of us have the attention necessary to focus on our jobs all day long and instead choose to search for and read mindless, ridiculous comments and stories. Some dont even seem believable (See my recent post concerning the decapitation of a friend while driving home from a bar drunk.) At least for Big Pinz, it is much more up his alley for his employment responsibilities. Where it has absolutely nothing to do with mine. My employers, whoever they may be, love me.

E-mail #2: You guys seem funny and hot!
Casandra - Little Rock, AK
Little Pinz: Well, Casandra, that was in no way a question. But I think I know what you mean. We both may seem funny and hot, when in all reality, Big and Little Pinz are both as dull as printer paper, but we definitely are hot....ter than any guy at the Republican National Convention...albeit, that is not saying much.

E-mail #3: Do you guys know the Pimp and his ultraviolet lifestyle?
Little Pinz: I dont. Big Pinz might. Although I am sure if I met him on the street I would either run away in fear of being pimped out myself, or talk with him to better understand the pimping lifestyle and see if that could be a possible future career choice for Little Pinz.

E-mail #4: Little Pinz, why is it that most of your posts are incoherent and it gives me a headache simply trying to understand what your point is on almost every post?
Steve - Martinsburg, WV.
Little Pinz: I will kill you Steve! Actually it is mostly because Big Pinz is a professional writer, where I am a professional waste of space, better known as a financial analyst. I work with numbers all day Steve, not drinking moonshine in the basement of my parents house. Hell, I am surprised you can even read coming from the land of the Hatfield and McCoys. How about enrolling in a Community College and learning something other than your sister's bra size.

E-mail #5: Is Lady Pinz as hot as Big Pinz says she is?
John - Miami, FL
Little Pinz: You better watch it, John. You are treading on thin ice. That is my sister you are talking about. But, yeah, she is good looking. Big Pinz got lucky that someone like her would be willing to put up with someone like him.

Ok....that is all for the Email bag for now. Keep sending the emails and I will eventually get to them. I appreciate everyone reading it. All 2,000 of you. Although I could see Big Pinz trying to artificially increase that counter somehow.

It has been awhile, and I know my legion of fans have missed me

I have been busy with this whole "work" thing, especially now that I have three people who report to me. And since we have had new people working for us, naturally the one thing who do is go out drinking with them. Which we have. One of the past two Thursday nights, I was out until 4:45 AM only to go to work the following morning at 8 (I was awesome that day), followed by a 3 AM day the following week. Therefore, all my free time has been spent getting clean from my sinful ways.

But now, for the newest post. This greatly defines the south. Nothing like a good ole drive home from the bar after knocking back a few dozen beers with an old friend. And what could be better you ask? Why, decapitating his head, not realizing it for another few miles. Still getting home and going to bed in blood soaked clothing and leaving your poor decapitated friend behind in the front seat of your, you guessed it, truck. You dont believe me? Silly rabbit. Just check out this link then. Drunken man drives home with decapitated friend. I love the south for their crazy ways.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Home Buying

In celebration of Lady Pinz and I closing on our new condo (we'll post pictures next week, after we paint), I humbly present this webpage from a California Realtor.

Look very closely at the third picture from the top.

Thanks to The Rabbi for yet another amusing distraction from doing journalism. His comment on the picture: "Location, location, location."


The original is evidently gone, but here's the photo in question:

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Tihs is ralely naet...

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt!

Monday, August 23, 2004

Pimp My Dork-Ride

This week's inductee to the There But For The Grace Of God Go I Club is this guy, who converted his '95 Civic into a Star Wars A-Wing Fighter.

The caption of one of these pictures says: "How often have you said to yourself, 'I could cut myself a great parking space if I only had a lightsaber?'"

Another says: This is the stock steering wheel, cut down to a flight yoke. The thumb buttons will control the strobes in the cannons, and the grenade-looking thing controls the stereo and MP3 player. Since I'd disabled the airbags (at Honda's reccomendation) I added detail to the wheel. With ithe bags disabled, I won't get impaled with the dressing in the event of a collision.

Godspeed, guy who calls himself Obi Shawn. Godspeed.

Friday, August 20, 2004

The Wrath of Charley

As my colleagues from the Miami Herald slowly return home from covering the devastation of Hurricane Charley on the Gulf Coast, with them come the unprintably great stories and images.

Courtesy of a fellow reporter I'll just call The Rabbi, I present this picture, which he assures me has not been doctored in any way. It expresses the way a lot of folks in that area feel this week.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Starting 'em young...

In keeping the the pimpin' theme this blog has sadly developed, I present this link, for which I have no additional comment.

Child Pimp and Ho Costumes

Friday, August 13, 2004

America West: Sucks or Blows?

Explain something to me:

America West canceled my 9 p.m. flight to Vegas early this morning, citing weather concerns from Hurricane Charley (which is going to beat the crap out of West Florida, but not have much impact here). Because they're blaming the weather, they won't refund my ticket, but they also can't rebook me on anything until at least late Saturday night - by which time there'd be little point in flying Vegas.

On United, on the same day, from the same airport (Fort Lauderdale), my wife has a 4 p.m. flight to Chicago. It leaves right on time.

So my vacation gets canceled, leading one of my friends to cancel his vacation (he doesn't know anyone else in the group of guys going to Vegas).

Therefore, America West, I salute you with a great upraised middle finger.

Now THAT is a surrender

In honor of my flight to Vegas being only 12 hours away, I present this example of a bad surrenduer. Unlike blackjack - where I'll surrender like a Frenchman if the situation warrants - this is uncool.

In a lawsuit filed against the South Florida Business Journal in May, a former reporter alleges the publication, part of a national 41-newspaper chpain, has drastically inflated circulation numbers to increase advertising revenues. ...
The case reveals an out-of-control newspaper bent on driving up revenues, ethics be damned. Van Drake paints a picture of hellish practices that range from the malignant (arbitrary limits on story lengths and a new emphasis on "advertorials") to the absurd (a hokey motivational speaker hired to encourage reporters to "surrender'' to management and a subscription-selling competition based on the TV show Survivor).

For the full story, surf here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Ahhh...the feel good story of the year...or one that may make you vomit

Patrick Deuel who at his worst weighed 1,072 pounds has recently lost 321 pounds and is hoping to lose another 450 pounds more, is on a 1,200 calorie per day diet.
Deuel partially blames his immense obesity to genetics. I believe a big amount of his obesity stems from the twinkie in his left hand, a cake in his right, a quater pounder from McDonalds on his belly and to wash it down, he drank a glass of gravy.

Link to full story.

If this doesn't make you want to, if not go to the gym, live at a gym, not much would.

Monday, August 09, 2004

My turn for beatdowns

Let me get one thing out in the open, I hate stupid people. Not the kind of hate like Watermelon gum or rainy days during the summer time. No, no. I mean like, baseball bat across the dome piece (dome piece = your head).

Ah, so you are saying, where does this anger come from? This is where it comes from.

1) I am all sweaty with obvious gym clothes on, with my radio strapped on to my arm.
Stupid Person: Were you at the gym?
Me: Nope, I just go to the supermarket, get real sweaty and then come home.
Stupid Person: All I asked was a simple question.
Me: And all I gave you was a smart-ass answer for asking such a dumb friggin question.


2) I am in the elevator of my building with my golf clubs and a golf shirt.
Stupid Person: Going golfing?
Me: Nope, I am going swimming. I use these as floaties so I dont drown.
Stupid Person: How well do they float? (I swear they said this)
Me: Well, they float about as much as you would expect steel and metal clubs to float.
Stupid Person: Do you think you could start a business with this for kids?
Me: Only if I want to be arrested for killing innocent children.


3) I was in a clothing store looking for help. I found some one that worked there and I figured they could help me.
Me: Excuse me, could you please help me?
Stupid Saleswoman #1: Sure, what do you need help with?
Me: I need some help find clothes in the men's section.
SS #1: Oh, the men's section, I cant help you there. Would you like me to get someone who can?
Me: No, I would just like to stand around there for a while until the store closes and I can simply rob the place.
SS #1: Ok, I will send someone over to help you.

SS #2: Hello Sir, I was told you needed some help. Do you need help?
Me: Well, you already know the answer to that, you said it in your first sentence, someone told you I needed help, and I swear my opinion of the situation still has not changed.
SS #2: Ok, what do you need?
Me: I would like to try on this jacket in an XL, but you dont have anymore out here. Do you have anymore in the back?
SS #2: Hmm...(checks the jackets I was talking about). Hmmm...I dont see any here.
Me: I know, I just told you there wasnt any here. Hence the reason I had you come over here to help me. I could easily get paid $6.60 per hour to tell me that the jacket that I already know is not here in my size, is not here.
SS #2: Would you like me to check the back?
Me: Actually, first I would like you to get me a baseball bat, so that I can beat the crap out of you, and then check the back. But, instead for timesake, could you just check the back?
SS #2: Sure. I will be right back.
5 minutes elapse
SS #2: I am sorry sir, we dont have any more mediums, all I saw in the back were a XXL and one XL.
Me: Hmm..well, the XL sounds ok.
SS #2: You sure?
Me: Well, considering that is what I asked for in the first place, and your dumb-ass interpreted XL as Medium, I would like the XL jacket.
SS #2: Ok, I will be right back.
10 minutes elapse
SS #2 walks out of the back and walks past me
Me: Um, excuse me, did you bring the jacket?
SS #2: Oh, I totally forgot to.
Me: Well, what were you doing back there?
SS #2: I got a text message from a friend that I had to respond to about what we were doing when I was done working.
Me: To be honest, I dont give a flying fuck what you do after this, can you go get me my jacket now?
SS #2: Sure, which jacket was it and what size?
Me: You are the dumbest person I have ever met. The fact that you are not drooling on yourself is quite shocking.
Then I left the store. This was on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Not only a beatdown, but I want the neighborhood kids to come out and let them deal with their manic depression on this person. Nothing makes a person feel better than beating the crap out of someone, especially a complete and total jackass.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

How the other half sleeps...

I had to post a link to my friend LiAps' story about flying from New York to London in a first-class suite. I want to try this and, like LiAps, I want to do so on someone else's dime.

Four More Years!

Actually, many, many more... for James & Kimberly, who celebrate their fourth anniversary today.

Leave anniversary greetings in the comments section.

UPDATE: According to sources close to the Furdell marriage, their anniversary is actually tomorrow, Aug. 5. Yeah, I screwed up - I was looking at tomorrow's schedule on my Palm. Doh!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Garciaparra, A Cub?

Ah the Major League Baseball's Official Trade Deadline came and past at 4 PM EST on Saturday. (Waiver trades can still be made, but the players must clear waivers in order for that to occur, or be traded to the team that claims the player on waivers.)

There were a few minor trades, but only three real big trades at or near the deadline. The biggest trade of them all was a four-team deal that involved the Minnesota Twins, Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. Not surprisingly in modern era baseball, the trades involved some of the wealthiest teams taking proven players from small market ball clubs in exchange for prospects. The Twins and the Expos were almost forced in to making a move in order to get some value back for their players. The biggest names traded were easily, Boston SS, Anthony Nomar Garciaparra(Nomar is his father's name, Ramon, spelled backwards, for all you Jeopardy! and Sports Trivia nuts), Montreal SS, Orlando Cabrera, and Twins 1B, Doug Mientkiewicz.

For the Cubs, they get a player and a position player that they have not had success with since the retirement of Ernie Banks. And those of you who still love Sha-won Dunston, he never lived up to his expectations of being a very good hitter, but he was one of the original "Shaft" players in the league, with his cool mustache, plethora of gold chains, and the infamous Shawn-O-Meter (see this link and the original founder of the Shawn-o-meter, great stuff), that only rivaled Vince Coleman.

Not only does this give the Cubs an extra bat, as well as, not having one real weak slot in their lineup, but it hopefully injects a little life by the management into this team. The team has been winning pretty consistently, except against the hated Cardinals, but have been doing it in an almost catatonic state. Hopefully this move proves to the players that management wants to win and wants to win now. Players are coming off the injured list, most notably Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, at the right time, their arms being much fresher for the final month and a half, as well as the imminent arrival of Greg Maddux's 300th career win. Hope has been renewed and rekindled on the north side of Chicago. People's pre-season expectations, having wallowed in the earlier months of the season due to injuries and inconsistency, are rising again. There is that slight buzz beginning to roll around Chicago, not loud enough nor soft enough to get over-excited or continue the pessimistic way that is all to familiar with this team, but a sense that their time, our time, is now. Their leader, Dusty Baker, has a history of doing better in the latter stages of the season (from resting his players and getting his bench involved throughout the season, to almost falling in line with the Phil Jackson theory of having talented players on his team.)

Now, I am not one of those ridiculously optimistic that says that the Cubs will easily win the World Series nor am I one of those pessimistic Cubs fans that says that the Cubs are wasting their time, but what I am saying now is that they have a starting lineup that can rival almost any teams in baseball, and has a starting rotation as good as or better than anyone elses, and a bullpen that is getting real consistent and strong at the best possible time of the year. The big test for the Cubs will be coming up real soon, starting this Friday and that lasts nine games. They face the San Francisco Giants (currently one game behind the Cubs for third place for the Wild Card) in San Francisco, then come home and face current Wild Card-leader, San Diego Fathers (Padres), then against the newly revamped (and slightly dismantled) first-place Los Angeles Dodgers. If they come through this nine game set with an above .500 record, especially against the Giants and the Fathers, they could be in a real solid position to help themselves achieve their post-season expectations....and then who knows, maybe we will get to see the Cubs' version of Ben Affleck and the Red Sox, John Cusack, a little more often.

Go Cubs!