America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

29 February 2008

Only in India: Preemie lands on railroad tracks

It's news stories such as this which cement my resolve never to go to India (or Pakistan), ever. You couldn't pay me to go.. Train toilets empty right onto the tracks? Nicccccce... George Castanza had the right idea when he went to India and NEVER used a bathroom the entire time he was there. This poor baby could have met one of the wheels of the train. It's a miracle that she was found lying "uninjured" by the track. The thought of her body striking the ground after ejecting from the poop chute of the train makes my skin crawl, sends chills up my spine and takes my breath away. Think of your ass being on the tee at a driving range.. in the crosshairs of a golf club.. that's probably what it felt like for little Bhuri all over her body, to fall from that train.
Photo
New-born baby girl of Bhuri Kalbi, 33, lies inside a hospital in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad February 28, 2008. The baby girl survived an ignoble birth after slipping down the toilet bowl of a moving train onto the tracks when a pregnant woman unexpectedly gave birth while relieving herself on Tuesday.
REUTERS/Amit Dave

27 February 2008

Erdogan to Gates: "You're not the boss of me"

Mother Nesrin Ulucan, left, and sister Sevcan Ulucan, right, mourn over the flag wrapped coffin of Turkish Army Lt. Gurcan Ulucan during a funeral ceremony in the Aegean port city of Izmir, western Turkey, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008. Lt. Ulucan was killed during the clashes with Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. Turkey sought on Tuesday to allay growing concern about its ground incursion against Kurdish rebels in Iraq amid reports that Turkish commandos were operating as far south as Mount Qandil, the guerrilla headquarters near Iraq's border with Iran.(AP Photo/Emre Tazegul)
Seriously though, BILL..
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation would only end "once its goal has been reached."
It will take as long as necessary, and no one will dictate a timeline of this to Turkey.

Turkish commandos patrol a road near the Turkey-Iraq border in the mainly Kurdish southeastern province of Sirnak on February 25. Iraq has slammed Turkey's "unacceptable" cross-border offensive against Kurdish rebels, even as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan justified the incursion as a legitimate act of self-defence.(AFP/Mustafa Ozer)

25 February 2008

100,000 coming up

By chance I checked and saw the 99,992 on the Sitemeter. It appears we will be "flipping the odometer" here shortly. Many thanks to all my readers and Googlers.
Good times will continue to be had by all, I hope.

24 February 2008

When it rains it pours

January: Property taxes due.. over $1000
February: Pre-school dues.. again over $1000
Again in February: Boiler meltdown is a total loss.. $4650 to replace.
Still February: I slide into a curb on the ice the other day, lower control arm is bent, $550 to repair and re-align, plus a new $50 rim.
Ongoing: $500-600 bills every 3-4 weeks to fill the heating oil tank, $200-300 to fill the propane tank.
Future: I need a root canal ASAP, which is only covered 50% by insurance.. another $400-500 gone..
It's a small miracle I'm not bankrupt..
Fuck! What's next? Here's what I think of 2008 so far:

New Blog Idea!

I have this new idea for a new blog I want to create. Question is, should I do it anonymously? It's going to be a bit unwholesome, but it will frame the unwholesomeness of others, not of me. Maybe it's a mistake, I don't know.. The inspiration for this idea comes from my frequent visits to portable jobsite toilets. "Oh no! Not another 'Rate My Poo' site!" (Google that, I DARE you) What am I even talking about? I'm not really sure yet myself. I could just populate THIS blog with the materials I'm referring to.. Would that be better? Isn't the suspense just killing you? I didn't think so.

20 February 2008

Happy Birthday, fool

Let me be among the first to honor one of my closest friends with a little birthday dittie I'm about to pen.. (we'll change his name to protect him)
Hasan-san, here's the best birthday gift I've ever given and which you ever received:
 
On this 21st day.. of Feb-ru-ar-y..
there's a guy who was born.. and thought he was cool as me.
Half empty it seemed, his proverbial cup..
In all matters of life, he always fucked up..
Then one day he wised up, for once it was clear..
"You're such a lame poser", is all he would hear.
When you see this poor bastard, don't smile and don't gloat.
Tell him to keep his chin up.. that even dead wood will float!
 
Happy birthday. Hope this made you smile. This is on my blog, yes.
Love you even though you're sometimes an a-hole (takes one to know one, I know),
-Murat
 

17 February 2008

By the way everyone:

1. You can find me on Facebook!
2. I have three other blogs which you can visit:
Bisikletci Murat Rantings of a soon to be over-the-hill bike racer
M1 Racing Team The elite Masters Racing team which I created and which I manage
WeeBike.com I sell high-end children's bikes here
3. I have sponsors on all of my blogs. Proceeds from them fill an account which will fund my son's education. If you see an ad which interests you, please click it. Adding some nickels to my piggy bank will make you feel good and cost you nothing. Win-win situation. And it sure beats having one of those annoying "Tip Jars". Besides I have a $5,000 boiler to replace this week and no idea where the money for it will come from.
4. The Amerikan Turks Yahoo Group now has 187 members. It's a group that I started a couple of years ago. New members are still attracted to it, but no one is posting any messages lately. Maybe it's time to just end it? Don't make me pull the plug, please. Post something for Christ's sake.
5. Any pretty girls who are interested in my professional opinion of their deep tissue massaging skills, should reach out to me. I do not charge for this service.

16 February 2008

There goes my stimulus check!

.. and then some! This morning as I'm suiting up to go out for my three hour bike ride in the 20 degree cold, dear wife says she smells gas. No, not the kind that I pass discreetly and blame on my son.. the kind that comes from a leaky gas pipe. "Nonsense! I know what gas smells like a lot better than you do, and I smell nothing." So I go off on my merry way and freeze my tookas off riding 55 miles in a little over 3 hours. Little did I know.. Wife and family went out to the mall to pass some time and our neighbor calls Ebru to inform her that the outdoor siren that's hard wired to our smoke detector has been wailing and that there are three fire trucks, an ambulance and two cop cars at our house- and the entire street is closed off. This is explained to me as soon as I return from my ride.. and needless to say, it sounds like the consensus is that it's all my fault! Thankfully, nothing burned.. except for our oil fired boiler. What happened is the low water cut-off failed, meaning that when the water level in the furnace went down too low, it didn't engage the automatic fill valve. Eventually, the water ran out completely (we have steam heat) and the furnace continued to burn an empty cast iron tank.. until it cracked and superheated all the pipes, melting the solder and giving off fumes and smoke. The fire department figured this out quick and turned off the unit, which is now a total loss. Cost to install an equivalent boiler unit? $4500-5000. Oh joy. So whatever money Dubya sends me to stimulate the economy with, I will at least be buying an all-American built boiler with it.. Then again, I am researching and considering installing radiant heat. It's a 1/16" mesh that I can put down over my existing floor and then cover up with wall to wall carpet. Just as expensive, but a lot more efficient, much more even heat, and warm floors which sounds nice.. Check this out: Zmesh.com
I had to go out and buy three more portable heaters to put into the rooms downstairs.. Out of pity for me, the gods helped me find units that were 50% off. Cool. Fortunately we have a propane fueled cast iron fireplace in our master bedroom. Lucky for that I guess. Times like this I wish I had a wood burning fireplace.

15 February 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

Pictured above is the gift I received from dear wife yesterday. I had always wanted one of these chintsy calculator watches, ever since I was a kid. Dear wife makes a mental note of it and delivers. Easy price tag too, I love it! I have a Seiko 5 Automatic which I normally wear, but it runs about 15-20 minutes fast per month. I guess it's automatically wrong. Ironically I too, bought dear wife a Valentine's Day watch- a very classy looking digital watch with heart rate monitor. I thought it pretty fitting to give a heart rate monitor on Valentine's Day, of all days..  

13 February 2008

Kyrgyzstan Amputees: Who is to blame?

Murat has just one question: Who should be held accountable for this horror? Energy shortages caused this? What the FUCK? Exxon's 4th quarter profits were a record breaking $9.92 BILLION dollars. Royal Dutch Shell: $9 BILLION. BP: $6.5 BILLION.
You think these unfortunate footnotes of humanity care about whether we pay $3.00 or pay $2.79 for a gallon of gas for our fucking SUVs? How about a pair of gloves, wool socks and warm boots? G-d save us from ourselves.. I'll add more to this later...
Photo
A homeless woman whose limbs were amputated due to severe frostbite lies in a hospital in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, February 13, 2008. REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov
Photo
Homeless amputees whose limbs were amputated due to severe frostbite lie at a hospital in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, February 13, 2008. Extreme cold is no surprise to the 60 million people scattered across a region wedged between Russia, China and Iran, but this year's winter has exposed the poor state of crumbling Soviet-era utilities and pipelines and sparked energy shortages. REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov

09 February 2008

Amerikan Turk Post No 1000

It's dumb luck that I even realized it, but I happened to be in my Blogger dashboard and there it was, the number 999, meaning that I caught it in the nick of time. In about a month or so we'll have our 100,000th visitor here as well. It took about 30 months to get to this point- July will mark the completion of my third year of blogging.
Woo-hoo.. 1000 posts. Hurray for me.

08 February 2008

Sticker Shock and Awe

My barber passed away about a year ago.. He was 90+ years old, hunched over with shaking hands and a scrunched up face with an almost comically large chin. Loved the guy. When I discovered he was gone, I went into a zombie like trance in search of a person who could fill his shoes. It's hasn't been fruitful. I've been to about 4 different barber shops in the past year, sat down and patiently waited my turn, when suddenly something about the place- it's cleanliness, it's clientele, it's smell, it's chairs, someone's poor grammar.. something.. made me get up and walk out, un-clipped. I've had two haircuts in the past year: once by my former barber's son, who did a piss poor job, and again while in Turkey last July, where they always do excellent work. So it's been about 6 months.
Today I had enough of trying to manage and control  and fight with my curly lion's mane and I went to my wife's downtown salon. Got an appointment with her stylist. Expected to pay through the nose and be treated a little bit special. Even though those two expectations were met, it was still a disappointment. The guy struggled for over an hour to cut my hair with scissors (I would have been happy with a quality clipper job), left me looking kind of like a little kid and they ended up charging me FIFTY FIVE MO FO DOLLARS.. I wanted to get out of there so bad that I didn't argue. I paid my bill, left a $10 tip, and screwed. They had told my wife on the phone that it would be $29.. not sure why I paid double.. must have something to do with taking so long.. I guess I'm all caught up in terms of my annual "haircut budget". I can afford to go there once a year.. Not.. Never again. That was a dumb move. As I've always believed and now confirm: Men should go to barbers. No exceptions. If you let a woman or a "stylist" cut your hair, you either like eating your corn the long way or you still live with your mom. 

07 February 2008

Fuck You and your Headscarf..

Lest we forget, this is why we lost the World Cup:Women were burning their bras 30 years ago, now they want to avoid burning in hell, and they want to do it in the places where G-d's reach is constitutionally off-limits: in college campuses. My skin crawls with the thought of college girls in tight jeans wearing their irrelevant beliefs wrapped around their heads as a one square meter badge of honor.. Are we also going to permit "Satanists" to wear all black clothing adorned with pentagrams?? (Remember that uproar of about 10 years ago?) If I wanted to be able to roll out of bed and show up to class without bathing or washing my hair, I'd want to wear a head scarf too! Then again, it's kind of cool for men to appear as though they've just gotten laid, check the movie Killing Zoe. This is what you call "dumbing it down" for the masses. Oh well.. worse things can happen.. and will. They always do. Too bad ignorance and stupidity aren't painful..


Are you
Ready for
More problems for Turkey this
Year?

Yeah.. It's about that time..

PS: No one seems to notice the bigger picture, the long view, the extended timeline of this situation.
Does anyone take example from the failures and human rights issues of other Islamic states? At a time when we should be fingering Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and saying: "I never want Turkey to have those problems", we are thrust headlong into conformance with the Islamic status quo. All it takes is baby steps.. A few ripples will swell into waves, and later into a tsunami of all the wretchedness which our Father of Turks saved us from in the first place.
Myopea reigns supreme.
Hey while we're at it, let's remove women's right to vote and make their court testimony worth 1/4 of a man's. And there's no sense making me suffer with only one wife to do all my cooking and cleaning. Why not let a few of them share the work? Go big or go home. Why only one little move in reverse? Oh yeah, because we're more easily fooled into taking metered doses of sugar coated bullshit. Would you like the red pill or the white pill, Neo?

05 February 2008

New Pet Peave:

Listening to a person with a thick Rhode Island accent as they order sushi. Annoying to the nth degree.. as is anything spoken with said retarded accent.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

03 February 2008

Turks rally in Ankara to support headscarf ban

How long before going without a headscarf becomes a crime? How long before a new "morality police" emerges? How long before Turkish women are compelled to either cover up or suffer violent consequences?
People, seen through a Turkish national flag, attend a rally to support the ban on headscarves, at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the soldier-statesman who founded the secular Turkish republic, in Ankara February 2, 2008. Secular Turks rallied on Saturday against a plan by the government to allow women students to wear the Muslim headscarf in university, a move they say will usher in a stricter form of Islam in Turkey. REUTERS/Umit Bektas