Thursday, April 29, 2010

Out of Africa: My Jackpot Arrives Via E-Mail!

I don't mind admitting that I'm pleased to have achieved a certain international notoriety for being a man of integrity and honor.

I know this is true because I receive numerous e-mails from individuals in Africa telling me that they've heard of my reputation. Yes, it's flattering.

Coincidentally, I also have a number of previously-unknown relatives who have died in Africa, leaving me significant inheritances. I consider myself quite a diplomatic person, and would like some day to be named U.S. Ambassador to the country of Africa -- if Sarah Palin doesn't beat me to it.

Recently, I received this e-mail and decided that it was time that I acted to claim my fortune from the shores of the Dark Continent:

Dear Friend,

With due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose I make this contact with you as I believe that you can be of great assistance to me. My name is MR.DANIEL JOHNSON, from Ouagadougou Republic of BURKINA FASO, West Africa [Editor's Note: Seen on map above.] Presently I work in the Bank as telex manager.

An Early Model Telex Machine.

I have been searching for your contact since you left our country some years ago .I do not know whether this is your correct email address or not because I only used your name initials to search for your contact in the internet .In case you are not the person I am supposed to contact , please see this as a confidential message and do not reveal it to another person but if you are not the intended receiver, do let me know whether you can be of assistance regarding my proposal below because it is top secret.
I am about to retire from active Bank service to start a new life but I am sceptical to reveal this particular secret to a stranger . You must assure me that everything will be handled confidentially because we are not going to suffer again in life.
It has been 10 years now that most of the greedy African Politicians used our bank to Launder money overseas through the help of their Political advisers. Most of the funds which they transferred out of the shores of Africa was gold and oil money that was supposed to have been used to develop the continent. Their Political advisers always inflated the amounts before transfer to foreign accounts so I also used the opportunity to divert part of the funds hence I am aware that there is no official trace of how much was transferred as all the accounts used for such transfers were being closed after transfer.
I acted as the Bank Officer to most of the politicians and when I discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act, I also cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and no one cared to ask me because the money was too much for them to control. They laundered over $10Billion united states Dollars during the process .As I am sending this message to you, I was able to divert more than Hundred and Fifty Million Dollars ($150m) from the boom to an escrow account belonging to no one in the bank. The bank is anxious now to know who is the beneficiary to the funds because they have made a lot of profits with the funds.
It is more than Eight years now and most of the politicians are no longer using our bank to transfer funds overseas. The Hundred and Fifty Million Dollars ($150m) has been lying waste but I don't want to retire from the bank without transferring the funds to a foreign account to enable me share the proceeds with the receiver. The money will be shared 60% for me and 40% for you .

There is no one coming to ask you about the funds because I secured everything.I only want you to assist me by providing a bank account where the funds can be transferred. You are not to face any difficulties or legal implications as I am going to handle the transfer personally. If you are capable of receiving the funds, do let me know immediately to enable me give you a detailed information on what to do.

For me, I have not stolen the money from anyone because the other people that took the whole money did not face any problems. This is my chance also to grab my own but you must keep the details of the funds secret to avoid leakages as no one in the bank knows about the funds. If you are honest and capable of handling the transaction,

Please supply me the following:

Your current contact address and Telephone Numbers..

I shall intimate you on what to do when I get your confirmation and acceptance. If you are capable of being my trusted associate, do declare your consent to me.

Waiting for your urgent response.
Yours Faithfully, MR .DANIEL JOHNSON



Luckily for Mr. Johnson, this e-mail fell into my hands, even though it wasn't intended for me. I surmised this because he referenced the recipient's visit to Burkina Faso, and I have not yet been. But I intend to make it my first stop after being appointed ambassador.

Here is my "riply" to him (note: I tried to approximate Mr. Johnson's unique style of African English):
Form the Desk of LG

Dear Esteemed Mr. Daniel Johnson,

Thank you for corresponding forthwith to my intimate self. The honor greatest would be mine to transact this most important business with someone as exalted as a Bank Telex manager. I am the 8-Track Tape Department manager at my local Best Buy Store, roughly your American equivalent.
I am most happiest that all of the Greedy politicians have fled Africa so that you could steal the remainder of any monies that they neglected to plunder. You are an honest thief of the highest order, and, without a doubtless wonder, the most trustworthy Telex manager I have ever crossed e-mails with. Thank you for assuring me that we will not suffer in life. I have been waiting for this rightly.
At first me thought that your proposed 60% - 40% allocation was untoward, but now hence I am in agreement total. You are an honorable man for knowing that I am an honorable man. It is my honor to make your distant and honorable acquaintance. My contact information exists as such:

Telephone number: Murray Hill 8-4790

Bank Information: Citibank Account No. 93998203984-81


Home Address: 845 Maple Avenue, Muncie, Indiana

Times I'm Usually Out of My House: 1 pm - 5pm

Where I Hide the Front Door Key: Under the "Welcome" mat

Combination to the safe in my house (basement): 14-34-77

Social Security Number: 122-22-8888

I trust this establishes the deep bond between us that you have sought, and my honorableness can no longer be doubted. The peoples of Burkina Faso and the United States are closer friends thanks to our duo. You are a good man and rightful to allocate $150 million of African development money to us. The Bank owes you this for years of hard work slaving over a hot Telex machine.

Most Sincerely Honorably,


POSTSCRIPT: A little bad luck has befallen me lately. I went to make an ATM withdrawal yesterday, and Citibank informed me that my account balance had been reduced to zero. I'm sure it's just a computer error on their part. I tried to explain to the branch manager that I'd soon be receiving $150 million into my account, $56 million of which would be mine to keep, but he didn't seem to believe me. They showed me the door.

Next, when I returned home, I was shocked to find that someone had jacked up my house from its foundation and moved it away --- to where, I don't know. I guess you could say my house was stolen. The foundation and basement remained, but my safe was gone.

This must just be a temporary streak of bad luck, once my $56 million arrives I'll be set for life. I just sent a Telex to Mr. Johnson, I'm sure it'll all be straightened out soon....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New York’s Dannie Kicks Off The LG Report’s 50-State Interview Project

The LG Report is proud to kick-off its new feature, a series of interviews with residents of all 50 states (sorry District of Columbia, you’ll just have to take a flying suck.)

Interviewees will field a variety of hard-hitting questions, including some regarding the merits and drawbacks of living in their state. We’ll also pepper them with random and inane inquiries. Hopefully, something amusing will come of it.

Our first subject, representing New York, is Dannie (our spelling, not his.) He was chosen because of his unique worldview, entertaining wit and powerful intellect. He was also the only one, so far, who would go along with this crazy idea. We hope to find 49 other similarly-situated individuals.

Very brief overview: Dannie, a married father of two, lives in New York City. He was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, and is a fervent advocate of all things related to that city, especially its pro sports teams. Truth be told, Dannie would rather be representing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but since he lives in New York, The LG Report’s editorial board wouldn’t allow it. After all, The LG Report can’t just abandon its tradition of honesty and integrity which stretches all the way back to…December.

Dannie works for a major U.S. corporation, but we won’t say the company's name. He’s reportedly one of their top 100,000 employees, although The LG Report was not able to verify that by press time.


Without further delay, let’s get to the hard-hitting questions that you all crave:

LG Report (LGR): Dannie, you’ve been compared to J.D. Salinger, the famously reclusive author. Why agree to an interview now, after all these years of obscurity?

Dannie (Dannie): I’m working on an extreme makeover.

LGR: Interesting… As you know, your friend Geo has become somewhat of an internet icon, earning himself fans worldwide. How do you stack up to Geo?

Dannie: I could never stack up to Geo, as demonstrated by his performance in Greece.

[Editor's Note: Here we see Geo stacking up some sun beds.]

LGR: In one word or less, describe your worldview.

Dannie: 20/20.

LGR: Let’s get to some of the New York questions. Why do you choose to live in New York?

Dannie: I didn’t really, my wife won’t move out of the City. Remember “Green Acres”??...that’s us except we don’t live on Park Ave. (and no Arnold the Pig references, please).

LGR: Dannie, why do you think they call New York, “The Empire State?”

Dannie: I don’t know, let me dig up some empirical evidence and get back to you.

LGR: Billy Joel sings of a “New York State of Mind.” Can you describe such a state of mind for us?

Dannie: Even though I’ve lived in New York City for most of my last 24 years (shout out to Tim and Pat for helping me to escape for a few years), I really don’t consider myself a New Yorker (side note – drives my wife nuts whenever we go away and people ask where I’m from and I say, “Pittsburgh.”) So…..I really have to say I draw a blank when asked to describe what exactly a “New York State of Mind” is. Sorry.

LGR: We’re glad we picked you Dannie, a person displaced from elsewhere, now that’s a typical New Yorker! What a stroke of brilliance on our part, choosing a guy who doesn’t even really like New York….Anyway, what reasonably-priced restaurant would you recommend to someone who was visiting New York City for one night? And do you have any particular reason for choosing this place?

Dannie: Once I talked them out of going to the Olive Garden in Times Square, I’d have to say Olde Town Tavern on 18th Street. Good burger, great fries, diverse crowd, centrally located.

LGR: If you had to be a NYC landmark, which would it be and why?

Dannie: Carnegie Hall – built by an incredibly successful, yet humble, Pittsburgher who pulled himself up by his own boot straps - think we could all use a little bit if this ethic these days (sorry for that quasi-political statement.)

And while we’re on the topic, I digress…..please let me clarify once and for all the correct pronunciation of this landmark for all of my snooty friends (none of whom read this blog) who continue to insist on mispronouncing it. (From NYT -

[Editor’s Note, Again: Dannie included a rather long and boring excerpt from the New York Times establishing that the correct pronunciation is car-NAY-gie, which is not the way most New Yorkers pronounce it (CAR-ne-gie.) We’ve substituted this short and boring passage for his. Go to the link above if you really want Dannie’s version.]

LGR: Dannie, if the City of New York paid you one million dollars to come up with a new tourism slogan to replace “I love New York,” what would it be?

Dannie: “Take the money and run” – applies to both me for this ridiculous offer, as well as me and my fellow residents for what’s coming down the pike on the state’s fiscal nightmare.

LGR: OK Dannie, enough of the New York questions. You’ve lived in Pittsburgh, suburban Philadelphia, New York, London, Hong Kong, West Orange, NJ and South Orange, NJ. Are there any other citrus fruit towns you’d consider living in?

Dannie: I’ll do it the other way around next time and live in a city that had a fruit named in its honor….know what that city is?

LGR: No. All I can think of is the fruit that was named after Dolly Parton's mangoes.

Dannie:'s Tangiers, Morocco.

LGR: Now that you mention it, it's been a while since I've eaten a nice juicy tangiers.

Dannie (rolling his eyes, but thinking LG didn't notice, which he did): The fruit named after Tangiers is a tangerine.

LGR: Well, well…look at the big brain on Dannie.... So, what's your biggest regret in life to date?

Dannie: Can I wait to answer until after this interview is published?

LGR: If you had to rob someone’s grave and take the corpse to a ballroom dancing lesson with you, who would it be? (This is a fairly standard, and boring, "60 Minutes"-type question, we know...)

Dannie: This sounds eerily like my high school senior prom experience.

LGR: If gunmen forced you to perform in the talent portion of the Miss America pageant wearing a blond wig and red Jimmy Choo high heels (we've never thought about this question before, honest....), what talent would you showcase?

Dannie: Plate twirling.

LGR: Have you ever done something really, really embarrassing that you wouldn't, under any circumstances, want people to know about? If so, please tell us now.

Dannie: Yes.

LGR: If a celebrity were to play the role of you in the movie version of this interview with The LG Report (with George Clooney, obviously, playing LG), who would it be?

Dannie: Richard E. Grant.
[Yes, Another Editor's Note: Richard E. Grant is pictured on the right in a scene from the movie "Withnail and I," one of Dannie's favorites (see below). In the background is a framed photo of Dannie. The producers wanted him as an extra, but they couldn't afford his rate. ]

LGR: Dannie, the children are our future. React to that statement please.

Dannie: Who else would be?

LGR: If you were elected to the newly-created office of President of North America, what would be the first law you’d pass? Remember, we said "law," not "gas."

Dannie: If it’s empty fill it, if it’s full empty it, and scratch where it itches.

LGR: What is the best thing about Pittsburgh in nine-and-a-half words or less?

Dannie: Major city with a small town ‘tude.

LGR: Nice use of the half-word there Dannie. You're good. Would you cut off your right pinky at the second knuckle in exchange for having the Steelers win the 2011 Super Bowl? If you say "yes," we can do the deal right now.

Dannie: If I did that, I wouldn’t be able to wear additional Super Bowl rings since 6 fingers are already taken and we’re running out of digits….so…no.

LGR: Who were you in a previous life?

Dannie: Same person I am now, which is why I lead such a frustrated existence.

LGR: If you were me, what question would you ask you, and why? And by "yourself," I mean you, Dannie, even though I said if "you were me," which might lead you to believe that "yourself" is me. Forget this question.

Dannie: Um……

LGR: If you were going to the electric chair and had to choose your last meal from KFC, Wendy's or Subway, what specifically would you order? Would you be worried about the fat and salt content?

Dannie: I’d ask one of them to stop by Mariella’s on 3rd Avenue and 16th Street in NYC and pick up a large pie with extra cheese and give them a big fat tip for helping out a guy who’s a little down on his luck. Is there fat and salt in pizza?

LGR: You can take three DVDs to a desert island for a year. What do you carry them there in? [Readers: you thought we'd ask which DVDs they'd be...too obvious.]

Dannie: I’d say a DVD player….or else I may not be able to watch them. Re movies, they would be: "Withnail and I," a DVD of my family home movies (which took me &%*#@-ing forever to transfer from VCR to DVD so I want to be damn sure I watch them), and the 1985 NCAA Villanova-Georgetown game (I still get a little nervous at the end when I watch, but the score never changes.)

LGR: If Geo were an emotion, which would it be?

Dannie: Happy.

LGR: Can you succinctly describe the "Korean Chest Implosion" and its origins?

Dannie: Reflexive self-defensive maneuver – origins are Finger Lakes (1990.)

LGR: Please tell us one interesting fact about you or anything in the world that we didn't know. We're trying to salvage the interview here...

Dannie: I don’t know why I’m telling you (and the world, this, but…..) my great uncle was a very close “friend” of Liberace’s and delivered one of the eulogies at his funeral.

LGR: If you could trade places with anybody on earth for a day, who would it be and why?

Dannie: Tiger Woods six months ago. You figure it out…..

LGR: Finish this sentence for us, "I feel like opening fire with an Uzi and killing everyone in sight when...."

Dannie: …I am attending Osama Bin Laden’s Leadership meeting.

LGR: If you could be the best in the world at one thing, what would it be?

Dannie: Interviewee.

LGR: Let’s talk about the McDonald’s delivery service that you co-founded in college. It seemed like a brilliant idea, but it didn’t last long. What went wrong? Do you wish that you had founded Microsoft instead?

Dannie: We graduated. No re: Microsoft…rains too much in Seattle.

LGR: If you were forced to leave the United States for five years, with your family, which country would you live in during that time? [We know you'd go to Thailand if it were without your family.]

Dannie: New Jersey.

LGR: Interesting. Technically, New Jersey is part of this country, but OK....Is there anything you'd like to say -- perhaps give a "shout out" -- to anyone back home in Pittsburgh or anywhere else? You're in the spotlight here Dannie, make good use of it.

Dannie: Hey Big Ben, grow up!!!!!!!!!!!

LGR: If you were at a child’s birthday party and, coincidentally, the piñata resembled Geo, would you take a gratuitous – and exceedingly violent – swing at it, pretending to be merely showing the kids how it’s done?

Dannie: I’d take a peek under the blindfold and try for a cheap crotch shot. Do piñatas have crotches??

LGR: Are there any major unsolved crimes that you’d like to confess to?

Dannie: Unsolved? No.

LGR: Everyone in your family is better looking and smarter than you. Have you ever thought that maybe you're adopted? (This is my cheap and transparent ploy to get everyone in Dannie's family to click in...)

Dannie: No. Someone has to be the runt of the litter, why not me??

LGR: How many questions ago did you first regret agreeing to this interview?

Dannie: Your original email asking me to do this.

LGR: Christina Aguilera went to the same high school as you. She has catapulted to worldwide fame, and, now, you are in the spotlight with this interview. Is that just a coincidence?

Dannie: No. With 850 kids in a graduating class at NA [North Allegheny], someone’s bound to do something noteworthy.

LGR: The Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Justin Bieber, Obamacare, The Iceland volcano...We have no questions relating to any of these, we just want the buzzwords to attract Google hits. "Dannie" alone just doesn't do it. Sorry.

LGR: Thanks for appearing on the blog today Dannie. You'll receive a set of St. Mary's sheets and pillowcases and a case of Mallo bars [Editor's Note: not really, but that's what they always used to give out on "Beat the Clock" in the 1970s.] Any final parting words to the audience Dannie?

Dannie: Is this my last interview???

LGR: No, we didn't mean it that way Dannie. It's just that if the readership doesn't spike on the strength of this interview, you won't be invited back for another. Sorry, that's the cold cruel reality of the ratings game. If you don't bring in Geo-like numbers, you're gone. And if you do come back again, could you please keep your shoes on during the interview?

Actually, we’ll throw you one more question: Other than New York City, what’s the best place to live in New York State?

Dannie: That’s an easy one: “Montauk – The End”

[Yet Another Editor’s Note: For those of you who may be unaware, Montauk is at the eastern end of Long Island and uses the tourist slogan “Montauk – The End.” Therefore, Dannie just concluded his interview with a very witty remark. He’s certainly setting the bar high for the 49 interviewees to follow.  Below is a map showing where Montauk is located in relation to Pittsburgh.]

We appreciate your stopping by Dannie, you're a good sport and you represented the State of New York proudly (and, surreptitiously, Pennsylvania, although we’ll have an actual Pennsylvania resident here for that state’s interview.) This was our best interview since last month, when we spoke with the major international film star Richard E. Grant.

Thanks for reading folks, and be sure to click in for the next 49 in this series which has been made possible, in part, by a grant from the Carnegie Deli Foundation.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sometimes, You Should Believe the Hype...

...especially when it's coming from The LG Report.  We wouldn't lie to you, unlike other big and sophisticated media outlets. 

What are we talking about?  Good question.

We're just building up a little excitement for the upcoming debut of The LG Report 50-State Interview Series!!  Yes, it really does merits two exclamation points!!  Even that previous sentence did!  But that last one, and this one, didn't, they got only one! And this sentence gets none.

Shortly, we'll be unveiling the first in our series of interviews with residents of each of the 48 50 (forgot about Alaska and Hawaii) states.  We may even throw in a few foreign countries, like England, China, and Texas.

And, believe us, this is the real deal when it comes to entertainment; it's not an over-hyped and disappointing offering like Kate Gosselin, Paris Hilton or The Tea Party Movement.  This is truly amusing stuff from around the country -- which is especially interesting to the high-brow readers of The LG Report, since our recent survey shows that 93% of you have a full collection of state quarters.  Nice job.  Wyoming wasn't easy.

These interviews will combine whimsical, give-us-your-funniest-answer type questions, with serious inquires about things like the best and worst aspects of living in each state.  We may also ask where to get the a good slice of pizza, or a cheap-but-clean hotel room.  You never know what will emerge from The LG Report's team of seasoned journalists.

Our first interviewee, as previously noted, will be Dannie, representing New York.  His interview will be posted within the next few days, so stay tuned.

Also, in case you're wondering, and who wouldn't be?, this feature will not run in consecutive postings, it will be interspersed with the other random crap musings that regularly appear on The LG Report

So relax, grab yourself something to drink, and pull up a chair to enjoy 50 interviews from around the country, starting soon.   And we have just the beverage for you, on us, so enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

LG Cleans Out the Blackberry Camera

It's time for some Spring cleaning of the ole Blackberry camera. 

A variety of shots have been marinating for weeks on the memory card, just waiting to be let out into the light of day.  The combination of me having: a.) a Blackberry camera; and b.) a blog, has worked to greatly increase the number of people who hate me.  

You'll see why below.

Regular readers of The LG Report will recognize Sophie the Blog Dog.  She's seen here awaiting a treat, while LG readies the robotic arm to feed it to her.  Uncharacteristically, she is not bearing her teeth, nor is she standing on two legs and opening a can of Alpo Whoop Ass on me.  She may have thought that the Blackberry was a new type of treat, and was momentarily calm while figuring out how to devour it.   

But don't get the wrong idea, Sophie's a good dog.  And the good people at NASA will be sending us a more durable robotic arm that she won't be able to chew through next time...

This is my cousin Maria and her husband Adoni.  They live in Greece.  You probably don't know this, but in Greece a customary greeting of warmth and love is to hold up your hand and wave someone away, as if you don't want them to take your picture and would, actually, prefer that they fall into a hole and die. This photo captures a very heartwarming moment between cousins.

Here's cousin Maria in my car.  She mustn't have been in a particularly warm and loving mood that day since she wasn't waving me off with the traditional greeting.  Ok, so I made that whole thing up.  You got me.

Notice that bite taken out of the fender of the silver SUV in the background?  Sophie.  She also chewed the roof off my car.  But don't get me wrong, she's a good dog.

This is my buddy Jimmie and his wonderful daughter Abby (of Flat Abby fame, from this post in case you missed it. )  They stayed with me overnight in New York recently.  We were dining at Yama  when this photo was taken.  The next morning, after Abby woke, I ran my Dustbuster under the sheets of the bed she'd slept in, saying that I was using my "Fart Detector" to see if any had been let loose during the night. 

She laughed at that one. 

I thought it was all in good fun, until earlier today, when Jim told me that Abby, for 12 consecutive mornings now, has used the family's Dirt Devil as a "Fart Detector." 

Sometimes, just sometimes, I'm not the greatest influence on kids.

And, finally, below is the last leftover picture from my Blackberry's Spring cleaning.  My hamburger spontaneously experienced some type of weird mustard stigmata.  The Vatican, and Ronald McDonald, have been notified.   

Oh yes, I am that immature. 

DANNIE INTERVIEW UPDATE:  A number of you have been asking about the Interview with Dannie (hey, one is still "a number.")  His lawyers are reviewing the questions carefully.  We hope to have the post up within the next few days, so please be patient.  Apparently, Dannie has a full-time job that takes precedence over the non-paying duties assigned to him by The LG Report.  Can you imagine?   

We've also floated the idea of an LG Report interview with Geo.  Thus far, his people say the interest level is not great.  Actually, we've only gotten as far as his people's people.  Geo is big time now. 

If you'd like to encourage Geo to subject himself to an interview, please post appropriate comments.  His people's people tell us that Geo reads the comments section -- when he's not clubbing with Lindsey or Paris, that is.  

As always, thanks for checking in.  We'll see you soon with a new post, one that hopefully won't set off the fart detector. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

The "Other" LG

Imagine my surprise when I recently learned that the big LG sign in Times Square wasn't meant as a tribute to me. 

For years, I had thought that New York City was thanking me for living here for 17+ years by displaying my initials proudly.  There had to be a reward, I believed, for my putting up with the crowds, high prices, noise, extra taxes and all other drawbacks of life in Gotham.

But, apparently, I was wrong.  I guess the word "semiconductors" under the initials should've been a clue, but I never really focused on that.

The "Other LG," a South Korean company known as "LG Electronics," is a subsidiary of the "Lucky Group."  It began in 1958 as Goldstar, a manufacturer of radios, TVs, refrigerators and washing machines.  The company eventually merged with another South Korean firm, Lucky, and The Lucky Group was born.  The company's current slogan, "Life's Good," is what's known as a "backronym."  That's a phrase that's used to "back into" the initials of an already-existing entity.  In other words, "Life's Good" was devised after The Lucky Group had been established.  Personally, I'd call it a "retronym," but "backronym" seems to be the accepted term.  This is not to be confused with bacne.  You've had that somewhere along the way, I'm sure.

The Other LG has over 80,000 employees; this LG has none.  BUT...if you Google "LG Report," you'll get The LG Report first, and the Lucky Group's annual report somewhere down the line.  That really has to burn their butts, I'm sure.   

The Other LG -- the the world's 3rd largest manufacturers of cell phones -- has some cash to throw around.  The company sponsors a lot of ventures, including the Fulham soccer team in England, the Cricket World Cup, London's Fashion Week, a variety of sports teams and the LG Arena in Birmingham, England.  Only if I could find a way to insert "The" and "Report" into all those logos and signs. 

I'll make a public offer right here and now: I'll sell "The LG Report," to this other LG for a mere one million dollars.  Other LG: have your people call mine.  Using one of your LG cell phones, of course.

People have told me time and again: "There's too much Geo in The LG Report."  I feel your pain.  And I listen to the readers.

Very soon The LG Report will be publishing an interview with Dannie! 

Who is Dannie you ask?  Good question. 

Well, actually, his first name is Dan.  He very rarely goes by "Danny," and when he does, he spells it with a "y" at the end.  I spell it with an "ie" to amuse myself and, possibly, annoy him (he never lets on if it does.)   Anyway, The LG Report will soon be posting an in-depth interview with Dannie, a very interesting person who:

- Once stood guard while his friend defecated in the high school library.  That's a true story, but I don't know if he'll want to talk about that one -- especially since it just happened last week (Just kidding, it happened a long time ago, he's not allowed around high schools these days);

- Founded an innovative business while in college....but it flamed out quickly.  Was there a scandal involved?  Was Spitzer on his tail?  Will Dannie address the hard-hitting questions?

- Is from Pittsburgh! Perhaps Dannie will tell us what makes Primanti Brothers such a great sandwich shop.  And maybe he'll even shed light on some of the other mysteries of Pittsburgh;

- Created the Korean Chest Implosion (with no help from the Other, Korea-based, LG).  He may explain how it works and who is deserving of one.  Hopefully not you, but if he ever develops an e-mail-based Korean Chest out!

Dannie is a complex and unique character; his thoughful insights and winning personality will make many of you forget that you ever fell under Geo's cult-like spell.  Here's a picture of Dannie to whet your appetite:

Wait, sorry, that's not Dannie, it's Matt Damon.  If I showed you Dannie's photo, you might not come back.

No, that's not true, I'm just trying to keep you interested.  Dannie and Matt are virtual look-alikes, separated at birth and whatnot. 

Anyway, come back soon, the next post will be better than this one. Unless you're a Matt Damon fan, in which case, this is as good as it gets....

PS: My offer is still open Lucky Group, call soon before the price goes up...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hell Hath No Fury Like "Reply to All"

Making a snarky comment on e-mail is usually considered rude.  Hitting "reply to all" with your snarky comment is considered really rude.  I know that, honestly. 

But I do it anyway.

Giving me a chance to reply to all is like buying a new set of butcher knives for Jeffrey Dahmer or taking Elliott Spitzer to a strip club.  The temptation is great. 

Yesterday, I committed the offense with a good friend.  She recently returned from Istambul with a knock-off (please don't use the unsavory term "counterfeit") Hermes purse.  She encountered a problem with it, causing her to solicit advice on a solution from a number of her friends. 

I will now compound my original rudeness by making this e-mail exchange public in The LG Report.  I've removed correspondents' names (with some first-name-only exceptions) and have substituted "Mrs. X" and "her husband" in place of specific identities.  Sometimes I can be half-nice.  Don't get too used to it.

To: A Long List of People Whose Identities are Being Protected by The LG Report
Monday, April 12, 2010 12:26 pm
Subject: HERMES bag help

Friends –

While we were in Istanbul, my husband kindly bought me THEE most beautiful fake Hermes Birkin bag. I’m DEEPLY in love…both with the bag AND my husband too, of course. I pulled the bag out yesterday to admire it (can’t use it till my Nov birthday…ouch) and realized that the gold “lock” on the bag was gone. It’s nowhere to be found. I sobbed like a baby for a good while over it. I’m not kidding. Not having that lock won’t let the purse close properly.

So I turn to all of you – my MOST resourceful friends – for ideas.

Mine is the larger version of the one pictured here:

Here’s what I’ve already done/thought of:

1. Emailed 2 Chinese internet companies (incl the above) to see if they’d simply sell me a lock and keys. Still waiting to hear from them.

2. Emailed the manager of the hotel we stayed in where it MAY have fallen off

3. Buy the above purse and interchange the locks

4. Chinatown? I don’t have any idea if they have Hermes or the locks. Worth a look…

5. Try to find the place where we bought the bag (it was in the Grand Bazaar…not sure if I kept their business card or not)

6. Checked EBAY to see if anyone just sells the locks. There are other or “special” versions of locks, but no one has the plain gold one I need.

If you have any other ideas, I would welcome them. I’m crushed…you have no idea.

My husband reminded me that, hey, it’s just a purse. Yes, but….

[Signature Name Blocked By The LG Report]


To: A Long List of People Whose Identities Are Being Protected
From: LG
Date: Monday, April 13, 2010 3:13 pm
Subject: Re: HERMES bag help

Dear Mrs. X [Note: The LG Report just made up this clever pseudonym],

I'm deeply honored to be counted in the same category as the other luminaries and great minds to which you turn in a time of severe crisis like this great calamity which has befallen you.

I just polled all the other e-mail recipients and we all agree that you should simply send your husband back to Turkey for another Hermes bag. But tell him to be careful because last time he bought the bag without noticing that the knock-off bag said "Herpes," not "Hermes."

I feel strongly that one of your already-taken courses of action will be fruitful but if I come up with any others, I will let you know. Sending your husband back just seems to make the most sense. And remember, if your place goes on fire and you can only rescue your husband or your Hermes bag, the Hermes bag doesn't carry life insurance.

Your wise(ass) friend,
To: A Long List...
Date: April 14, 2010 2:23 pm
Subject: Re: HERMES bag help


First, I’ve PURPOSELY left my dear friend LG off this distribution list so as to not torture you – or your inbox -- today. Apologies for his excessive responses due to his lack of anything better to do with his days.

Secondly – GREAT NEWS on the Hermes purse lock front: Renee agreed to accompany me to Canal Street this morning and BOY…is she GOOD!!!! We were like cops sniffing out drugs in a crack house. She was soooooooooooo good playing the (insert princess whiny voice here) “oh I lost my lock” card that we scored not 1, but 2 different Hermes locks and keys! I tried to contain my glee, but it was tough. It’s pretty pathetic that a 45 year old woman could get so geeked over something so ridiculously trivial as this, but I AM SO EXCITED I MIGHT ACTUALLY CRY. You can judge me all you want from that statement, but I’m one happy chick right now. THANK YOU, RENEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I thank all of you for your comments, suggestions, and sympathy. Oh, except for you, Liz, whose first response – for those who missed it (all of you) -- consisted of this kind and thoughtful suggestion:

“Two words: Home Depot.”


Love To All….Mrs. X

From: Dan
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 14:27:21 -0400
To: A Long List....
Subject: Re: LOCKs found!!

LG, wanted to pass along this fantastic news!!!!

oops......did I do "reply to all"??
From: LG
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3:44 PM
To: A Long List...
Subject: Re: LOCKs found!!


Thanks, you, sir, are a true friend. Keep in mind that Mrs. X originally omitted YOU from this hallowed distribution list, then it was me. I don't know how she could so recklessly toy with our emotions and our deep-seated desire to be involved in the Missing Lock Issue. I'm almost in tears as I type.

Everyone else: I hope you aren't smugly reading this thinking "Mrs. X would never omit ME from a vital missing Hermes lock e-mail distribution list!"

Well newsflash time: You'd better THINK TWICE!

In fact, I'm surprised that Liz's "Home Depot" response didn't get her relegated to Hermes E-Mail Purgatory, a cold and unwelcoming place where both Dan and I have been confined at times. It ain't pretty folks, wondering with every fiber of your body whether Mrs. X will ever recover an appropriate lock.

So where does this leave me? Ecstatic, obviously, that Mrs. X has her lock once again. And no, I won't judge, I handed down that verdict long ago: Mrs. X is A-#1 in my book, even if she does love the Hermes purse more than she loves her husband, who wouldn't? I think most of us would love a Velcro Sears wallet more than we love her husband. But we love to not love her husband so much that it actually comes full circle again so we love him again. But I would like a Velcro Sears wallet if anyone has an extra.

I have to go back to nursing my wounds now, distraught and dejected that Mrs. X would cut me out of the conclusion of the Case of the Missing Hermes Lock. It's like turning off the TV on someone just at the end of a season of "24." Cruel.

It was my intent to e-mail everyone on this distribution list hourly for the next two days just to teach Mrs. X some type of lesson (I'm not sure exactly what that lesson would be) but instead I'll extort you into reading my blog @ If you check in at least once I will abort my hourly e-mail plan. Also, if you haven't seen it, there's a post back in January with Mrs. X's husband's high school photo in it.

Thanks, once again, Danny for bringing me back into this most enjoyable and important circle of e-mails. It was no fun being locked out.

From: LG
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 4:07 PM
To: A Long List...
Subject: Re: LOCKs found!!

Mrs. X,

One more question since I didn't detect an immediate 10 additional hits to my blog and therefore I feel entitled to torment, I mean correspond with, everyone on this distribution list.

How much cheaper were the knock-off Hermes bags on Canal Street than in Istambul? Did they throw in the bag free when you bought the lock?

I'm just curious and please pardon me if you already answered these questions on another e-mail from which I was also excluded.

Yours, etc.


From: LG
To: A Long List...
Sent: Wed, Apr 14, 2010 4:17 pm
Subject: Re: LOCKs found!!

One more thing (am I over-stepping my boundary now? "Damn Danny!" You're all saying ... ):

Hermes, ironically, was the mythological Greek messenger of the Gods (among other things) and, no doubt, he'd smile upon all of these messages about his purse. He was also the patron of orators and wit (it's true) and, in another twist, the patron of boundaries and crossing them (look it up if you don't believe moi), which makes all of this even more ironic/coincidental/sardonic/interesting/moronic/intolerable/joyful/etc.

[Note: The picture of the statue of Hermes shown above was not in the original e-mail, that's bonus material for readers of The LG Report. You may consider this to be the equivalent of the "Director's Cut" of a DVD.]

You're welcome.

PS Now I see why Mrs. X wanted to exclude me originally; she was right!


From: Barbara
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 16:38:50 -0400
To: A Long List...
Subject: RE: LOCKs found!!

Does anyone work? Tomorrow is tax day. Are your Tax Returns done?

And since you all have so much time I’m including the Jamie Oliver petition so you can help our country start serving some nutritional means for our future leaders of the world.


Thank you and have a Fantastic day!

From: LG
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 21:09:07 +0000
To: Barbara and a Long List...
Subject: Re: LOCKs found!!


Only suckers pay taxes. Doesn't everyone in America have a series of offshore trusts and Sub-Chapter C corporations to hide revenue and avoid taxes? As Geo [LG Report Blog icon] and Leonia Helmsley both once said: "Taxes are for the little people."

As for this Jamie Oliver thing, I'm very suspicious. He's a Brit, why didn't he start with his own country first? Are their teeth too mangled to eat nutritious foods? Surely he can't say that the U.K. has the whole nutrition thing worked out. Why isn't he helping Susan Boyle?! I think it's all just a big plot to get Americans, starting with kids, hooked on things like fish + chips and bangers + mash so that all those people in Liverpudlian factories churning this stuff out can remain employed. If that's not the case, at least I got to write one of my favorite words, "Liverpudlian."

If you ask me (and I know you would, eventually, after the 400th e-mail or so), Sir Jamie Oliver and his ilk would be better serving the world's people if he'd work on passing legislation requiring higher quality locks on knock-off purses. That would eliminate a lot of anxiety and hand-wringing and would drastically cut down on the number of e-mails sent.

I think I've said everything that has randomly popped into my head for now. I probably won't send another "reply to all" for another ten minutes at least. I have to call my accountant down in the Caymans and find out how big of a refund check my offshore entities have earned me.


Mrs. X's Friend LG (I didn't want anyone to forget who dragged me into this in the first place ... )


There you have it folks, the complete e-mail exchange on the Case of the Missing Hermes Lock which, coincidentally, made for a very easy blog posting for ole LG.  Hope you have a great day....  

SPECIAL NOTICE:  The LG Report has been stuck at 23 followers for a long time.  Whoever signs up to be the 24 follower will receive a limited edition (not kidding!) LG Report t-shirt.  However, we only have a medium left, hopefully that works for the winner.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wrong Wolfie, You Can Go Home Again

I know a number of you were skeptical about my post about purchasing things for under $10. "Immature," "juvenile," and "too silly," some of you sniffed.  

Please, get over yourself.  The abbreviated version of that posting on's iReport received over 750 hits.  One guy named Alan, who I don't know, said "Thank you for this useful information."   You're welcome Alan.  Plus, let's face it, immature, juvenile and silly are what you've come to expect from The LG Report.

Now, on to the next thing....

Thomas Wolfe, whose work some of you read in school (or prison), is famous for saying "You can't go home again."  People think he was smart because he was a famous author.  His picture is even on a stamp:

From what I understand, no photos of Thomas Wolfe (d. 1938) were available, so the Post Office went with Tom Hanks instead.  Anyway, I disproved Mr. Wolfe, in a manner of speaking, yesterday.  Please allow me to explain.  

I'm at my sister's house at the Jersey Shore (she hates being dragged into The LG Report but creative genius cannot be stifled) and, being the good brother than I am, I volunteered to help with some household chores (in exchange for her buying me dinner, of course, but, technically, I still volunteered...) 

Whenever I offer to help out, my sister treats me like a migrant farm worker just up from Mexico for a few days.  She's not shy about firing off the orders.  And everything must be done in her particular way, which would normally be fine, but I prefer to do things in my particular way.  Here's a picture of me working in her backyard.

On Sunday night, she herded me into the garage (feeling charitable, she didn't use the Taser on me this time) and showed me a bunch of things that she had assembled for donation to the thrift store.

"Now look, see how they form an 'L' around the small refrigerator and air conditioners...make sure you only take the things in the 'L' shape, remember, 'L' as in your first name." 

"Yes sir master, whatever you say!  Actually, screw off, I'll do it the way I want!" [Editor's note: I didn't actually say this, but I was thinking it.]

I doubt that such a condescending tone was even employed by Anne Sullivan upon first meeting Helen Keller. 

The next day I called her at work to tell her that I'd gotten rid of everything in the letter "B" pattern, as instructed, since she sometimes calls me "Baby Jesus." That was how I remembered the instructions, anyway.  "The the ACs and the fridge are down at the thrift shop," I said.  She didn't laugh; rather, she made threats.  I won't recount them here.

This thrift shop, by the way, is not, as far as I can tell, in business to benefit any charitable endeavors.  It appears to be merely a place that helps people out by accepting their old cast offs, thereby making them feel good about not throwing these items into the garbage.  And, I guess, it keeps people employed. 

The matron of the thrift shop gladly accepted the old computer, three unused shelves, five spotlights and other items, but she turned her nose up at roughly 50 brand-new, still-in-the-box softballs (my sisters used to manage and play for a softball team.)

"Those will just end up in the dumpster if you leave them here," she said with more than a bit of snotty 'tude.

"Well excuse me, I didn't realize that the Queen of England ran this thrift shop!"  [Editor's note: I didn't actually say that either, but I sure as shiite thought it....]

Not wanting to waste perfectly good softballs, I Googled the number of my old grade school, Wilson School, and offered them the softballs.  The secretary (you're still allowed to use that word in a school setting so get out of my face) checked with the principal and said "Sure, bring them over."

This is the exterior of the Wilson School.  Our most famous alum would be this guy:

Yes, honest, Jack Nicholson attended the school (many years before LG.)  I was the 8th grade class president.  I don't think he was.  Hopefully, Mr. Nicholson will make something of himself someday. 

Jack: If you're reading this, feel free to contact me, I'm always willing to help out a fellow Wilson School alum.  I'll be glad to give you some favorable pub on The LG Report.

When I went in to drop off the softballs, I told the principal that it was my first time back in the building since I graduated in 1976.  A gregarious fellow, he immediately offered to give me a tour of the school and all of its new additions and technological upgrades.  It was impressive.  Among other things, the school has a computer lab with 30 or so flat screen-equipped computers, and another room with a gigantic electronic "blackboard" that can pull up websites. 

We had chalk and pencils in my day.  Ole Jack Nicholson probably used a quill pen.  Wait, I shouldn't crack on my fellow alum like that, especially when he's in need of my help.  I'm here for you Jack.

The kids all seemed curious about this strange visitor who was getting a VIP tour from none other than the principal himself.  Unfortunately, I had left my fake snot at home.  This woulda been a great place to bust it out. 

I was disconcerted by the age of most of the teachers.  Yes, appreciably younger than me.  That wasn't the case the last time I had been in the building in 1976 (fair warning: if you waste your time trying to post a comment saying that you weren't even born in 1976, it will be rejected.)

Even more upsetting: when the principal told me that he was originally from Bayonne, I asked if he knew a friend of mine from college. "Oh, he died a while ago, drug and alcohol problems.  They found his body in someone's backyard."

Wow.  That was a kick in the head.  This guy was the picture of life and energy back in the day.  He could lift an average-sized adult off the ground with one hand.  He did it to me on more than one occasion.  Conversely, he was also the first person I ever saw use cocaine.

Just another reminder that life is short and you need to make the most of it.  I have to get back to work now, I'm supposed to be clearing out space in my sister's basement in the shape of a "W" today.  Don't tell her, but I'm going to make it a G...


Sunday, April 11, 2010

A World of Fun for $10 is conducting a contest of sorts.  It requires people to submit photos (or videos) and text describing what they can purchase this weekend with only $10.  For more info click here.

There aren't a lot of guidelines, nor are there any prizes, which is why, to me, it only qualifies as a contest "of sorts."  

Note: I just re-read the guidelines, CNN is actually handing out an "assignment," not conducting a contest.  We all probably thought that we were done with assignments when we finished school, but what the heck, this one is kinda fun.            

Speaking of which, I'm shooting for maximum fun during my $10 weekend.  Forget buying food staples and discounted toilet paper; I say let the good times roll with fake snot and rubber roaches!

Here's how I'd blow the ten spot:

I'd start the weekend by fueling up for fun.  Nothing fits the bill better than licking and gnawing your way through a hard ball of sugar -- Blow Pops!  But the best is yet to come.  After you work your way through the outer shell, you'll hit paydirt: A nice, fat hunk of sugary bubble gum!  Your blood type will immediately be transformed to "Sucrose."  The red Blow Pop is called the "Heather Mills" model for some reason.  

Blow Pops: the way to get a weekend rolling!

Cost: Four Blow Pops will set you back $1.00 at Dollar Tree.  They're about 40 cents apiece elsewhere, but we're going with the fun four-pack for maximum value. Everyone has a friend who can use a Blow Pop.  

Now let's move into non-food items.  Granted, I may be the only one on Earth to classify Blow Pops as "food items," but if ketchup can be a vegetable, why not? 

Pictured above is a classic: the Pull-Back Roach.  It's available at Five Below, a discount chain of over 100 stores in eight states, from West Virginia to New Hampshire.  If you've never been, each location carries an extensive inventory of fun items. 

When you pull back this roach (it has hidden wheels) on a dinner table and let it go, it scrambles along at a realistically fast pace.  Shrieks are sure to ensue...followed by deep laughter (mostly your own, but that's all we care about.)  Endless fun at family gatherings -- especially holiday meals.  Buy a bunch; you can re-sell them to friends at a nice profit, guaranteed!  And look at the face of that kid on the package, he's not kidding! 

Cost:  $2.00 at Five Below, and various prices elsewhere.  I don't have time to comparison shop for Pull-Back Roaches, sorry.  

This is a "shock pen."  It provides a stinging jolt when someone pushes the top to extend the point.  It's almost like sticking your finger in an electrical socket, but not quite as bad.  I've gotten close to 100 people with this gag (no exaggeration.)  My typical line: "I just finished reading a book on handwriting analysis, sign your name with this pen and I'll tell you all about yourself." 

When people get the jolt and scream, you won't be able to contain your laughter.  It's quite a juxtaposition: they're tears of anger, yours of joy.   

I've had reactions run the gamut from "You could've given me a heart attack!" to someone throwing the pen across the room and screaming like a small child caught in a bear trap. 

This is certainly among the best purchases you'll ever make.

Cost: As low as three dollars at some novelty stores, but as high as  nine dollars at others.  We'll say six dollars as an average.  Well worth every penny.

This is a deceptive little bugger.  It's available at many dollar stores nationwide, but is often overlooked by shoppers.  Blow into a hole on the side of this tube and you'll produce a sound that is astoundingly loud, like a true airhorn. 

I've used this baby at NCAA basketball games, Little League Baseball games, and other sporting events, with great success.  Every single time, fellow spectators have asked me where I purchased it.  This is another item which you could re-sell for well beyond actual cost. 

It's also great for inducing near-heart attacks by sneaking up behind people and blowing loudly.  Or, better yet, wait in a dark room for someone to come in searching for the lighswitch and let loose with a good one.   If the shock pen doesn't kill them, this might do the job!

Cost: One measly dollar at dollar stores everywhere.  Get yourself one immediately, it's awesome! 

PS: Also good for fending off would-be muggers.  And, in case you're wondering, the author has no financial stake in any of the fine products mentioned herein.

This is one of my all-time favorites, possibly the best two dollars I've ever spent.  This is a fake stream of snot, a thick rubber string that hooks into your nose at one end and, when allowed to dangle freely after a fake sneeze, will produce immediate looks of horror and screams of "Ewwwww" as people point at your nose and wipe at their own. 

I once made a five-year old throw up with this (honest; I'm not proud but it's true.)  Shortly thereafter, however, he was loving the fake snot and asking me to do it over and over.  My friend Jimmy's mother almost had a stroke at his engagement party when I unleashed a fake snot sneeze, and I don't think either she or her son has forgiven me to this day (but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, they say, and she's healthier than ever!)

Cost: Two dollars, weren't you paying attention above?!  This is a great product.  It's available at novelty shops and select dollar stores all over the country.  You'll wonder how you ever enjoyed a social situation without it. 

So that's it, for a mere $10 we have five great ingredients for a funtastic weekend.  Now get out there and enjoy it (but please don't use any of these items on me...)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Random Photo Album Excerpts

One of the nice things about writing an amateur blog (yes, this is an amateur blog, hard to believe...) is that you're not beholden to management, readers, the press, HR, the police, Nancy Grace or anyone else. 

You can just do as you please. 

Don't get me wrong, however -- I do feel an obligation to amuse and entertain you, dear discerning readers. 

With the goal of keeping The LG Report fresh, and not caring about starting sentences with prepositions, I decided to grab a random photo album from the bookcase and post some of its pictures with captions. 

We'll see how this idea goes over.  Probably like a Rosie O'Donnell sex tape.  

Please feel free to post a comment with your reactions.  Or comment on something else, anything.  I'm in the market to increase my comment count, it has been sadly lacking.  You can even post a "no comment" comment if you'd like.  As the street beggars will tell you, "Even a penny will help."  They don't really mean that, of course, and if you ever did dare to drop a mere penny into their cup they'd spit hepatitus on you, but it sounds good.

The photo album that I randomly pulled (as audited by Price Waterhouse) contained pictures of a 1987 trip to Greece with my friends Anthony and Mike.  Without further adieu, let's embark on The LG Report's first foray into the world of random photo album posting:

This is Mike, me and Anthony (in that order, coincidentally) posing in front of a police tank in the Athens airport, shortly after arriving.  If I recall correctly, there had been a hijacking somewhere in Europe or the Middle East not long before we arrived, and the Greek government rolled out the tanks to show would-be hijackers that they shouldn't mess with flights in or out of Greece.  How exactly you would stop a hijacking with a tank, I'm not sure (hide it in the overhead, maybe?)  Please note the two Greek policemen in the background, arguing over whose turn it is to get the next pack of cigarettes and soccer score update.

This is Mike in Athens at the Acropolis.  He's standing in front of the Parthenon posing in his Santa's hat.  I'm not sure if this was the first time he did this, but Mike has made it an annual tradition to send Christmas cards with pictures of him (and, later, his family) in unusual locations wearing a Santa's hat.  If you're not on his distribution're not missing much.  This was the best one in my opinion.  We made a tent out of the extra material in Mike's shirt.  I think that may have been a prison jumpsuit tucked into his shorts.  

Surely you're familiar with the guards at Buckingham Palace.  They're traditionally very rigid and straight-faced soldiers who can't be rankled or unsettled in any way.  Greece has an similar corp of guards called Evzones (or Σύνταγμα Ευζώνων for those of you who read Greek; I can copy it from Wikipedia very well.)  Here Anthony tries to intimidate the guard with his massive biceps and intimidating baby blue shorts.  Anthony received a bayonet to the rib cage shortly after this photo was taken.  Man did his rib meat make for a tasty souvlaki!  Fashionistas please note: the guard is wearing the first version of Ugghs ever created.   

This was my father's Dodge Caravan (the auto industry's first minivan by the way; so named because it was a cross between a car and a van.)  He had it shipped from the United States to his childhood home, Andros Island.  We joked that it was the largest car in the country because, with gas at roughly $10 a gallon, Greeks mostly drove (and still drive) small, fuel-efficient vehicles.  It was also the only car in Greece with Pennsylvania license plates.  This would not have been a good getaway car in Greece.

 This is a more traditional mode of transportation on Andros Island.  It gets 10 miles to the bale of hay.  If you get cut off, you call both the driver and the vehicle a jackass.

Anthony skips rocks along a secluded beach on Andros.  There happened to be a comely young lady from the Netherlands, Peggy, lying near us this day. Peggy had a Mickey Mouse beach towel.  Anthony used the towel as an excuse to start talking to this hottie about Disney and things American.  Soon, employing very broken and sketchy English, Peggy agreed to go to dinner with us that night.  When we arrived at her hotel to pick her up in my dad's impressive Dodge Caravan, Peggy came out halfway to the car and turned to yell something in Dutch at her hotel room.  The next thing we knew, her mother, Ella, was coming along for dinner.  Peggy then told us that her boyfriend, Dino, would be meeting us at the restaurant.  This story, absolutely true, is a textbook case of a failure to communicate.  Mike and I advised Anthony that in the future, when he asked out a girl, he should  insist that she leave her mother and boyfriend home.  That's a good tip for everyone. 

If you're old enough to remember 1987, you may recall that Calvin Klein was running ads in those days featuring models in weird poses looking away from the camera.  This attempt to mimic that genre was really and relevant in 1987.  Yes, I know, it's no longer 1987. 

Yes, look closely, there is indeed a fish at the end of that line. It was Mike's biggest catch while in Greece.  This occurred on my father's last boat, a modest one, as detailed in My Old Man and the Sea.  I don't know what that weird red splotch was on Mike's left thigh but he's still kicking so it wasn't anything serious.  And, no, a long-sleeved dress shirt and tropical bathing suit would not the traditional garb for a Greek fisherman.  Wouldn't you think he'd at least roll up the sleeves?  Mike's foot, as you can see, is nature's water ski.    

I honestly wish that I could say that this is a photo of something other than Mike protruding from a sewer pipe but, unfortunately, I can't.  Yes, this is the kind of photographers, and nutty people, we were.  And still are.  But hey, at least not fecal discharge is visible! (not counting Mike...)  

Here we're seen posing on our rental mopeds on the island of Santorini, one of the most beautiful places in the world (in my biased opinion.)  Mike would later skid out on his (or "lay the bike down" as we biker-types say) but he was unharmed.  Greeks may have invented a lot of things, but political correctness is not one of them.  On a 1990 trip with another group of friends, a moped shop owner on Mykonos admonished us to make sure that we locked up the cycles wherever we went because "...there are a lot of Italians on the island right now."

This is one of my favorite all-time pictures.  We were on a ferry between Santorini and Crete, just enjoying the sea breeze, warm weather and sunshine.  Also, some Greek bread and feta cheese.  The Greek Tourism Authority has my permission to use this photo in any upcoming tourism campaigns.  Of course, if they're actually reading this blog, then they're pretty hurting and might as well just throw in the towel.

Here's a view of Santorini's capital, generically called "Thira," from the small village of Oia, which is further up the cliff.  Just off the coast of Santorini and its beautiful black-ash volcanic beaches, is, according to legend, the Lost Continent of Atlantis.  If you'll look closely, you can see our hotel in this photo, it's the white building.

I have much better pictures of sunsets in Greece than this, but not in this particular photo album.  So, adhering to the strict-yet-arbitrary rules laid down by The LG Report earlier this evening, I will use this photo to close today's posting.  The uninhabited island in the center of the photo lies just off the coast of Santorini. 

So that's it, our first foray into a random photo album posting.  Leave a comment if you're so moved.  And, as always, thanks for reading The LG Report!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My (Current) Beefs with Corporate America

The subtitle of The LG Report is "Injecting a bit of humor into your day."  This post would be more accurately subtitled "Injecting a bit of vitriol and grievance into your day." 

Sorry, but sometimes we have to go off script.

Corporate America is really getting under my skin these days.  Here's why:

1. Bank of America: I have a BofA Visa card, which I only use when an establishment won't accept my American Express card (no, it's not a Black Card, although I've been tempted to spray paint it...)  The other day, totally out of the blue, I received a new Bank of America credit card to replace my existing BofA Visa card.  However, it was a BofA American Express card (a new invention, I believe.)  I already have, and don't want another, American Express card. 

Where does BofA get off unilaterally deciding that I need/want an American Express card?  When I called to voice my displeasure, the customer service rep told me that I was being "upgraded" to the new card.  This is not by any means, to me, an "upgrade."  An equivalent of this, in my view, would be having your cable company telling you that you're being upgraded from The Playboy Channel to The Lifetime Network.  An "upgrade" is in the eye of the beholder, but this was clearly a screw job.  I've requested that my Visa card be restored.  I would've stayed with Jennifer Anniston too.

2. Verizon Wireless: Last week I "upgraded" (note: "upgrade" is Corporate America's codeword for "administering a screwjob") my Blackberry's software to a newer version.  This was at Blackberry's insistence.  Immediately thereafter, my Blackberry's battery started dying halfway through the day, whereas previously it lasted more than 24 hours on one charge. 

I called Verizon Wireless's technical support line.  They told me to go to a Verizon Wireless store to "have the battery tested."  The technical rep on the phone told me that if it was defective, I'd be given a new battery free because it was under warranty.  He said the software "upgrade" had nothing to do with the battery's sudden inadequacy.

I went to a Verizon Wireless Store today and took my deli-counter-like number and waited approximately 15 minutes (it was a slow time) to see the "tech support" genius.  I gave him my story.  He replied "We have no way to test batteries.  We never have.  There is no such thing for Blackberry batteries." 

Me: "Well, your Verizon Wireless technical support on the phone told me to come here and have the battery checked.  Don't you think that's a bit F-ed up (I used the full word)?" 

Mr. Verizon Clueless said "Sir, please don't curse." 

This guy appeared as if he had done some hard jail time.  He had a tear-drop tattooed on his upper cheek (look that up on Google if you don't know what it means), and HE was telling ME not to curse? 

"Ok," I said, "Just give me a new battery, this one must be defective." 

I'm surprised he didn't make me pay for it with my Bank of America Visa card.

I have two more stories, one involving the first time in my 25+ years of using an ATM card during which the machine shorted me ($20), but I'll skip them for now. 

I will tell you, however, what happened to me at Shop Rite tonight.  Shop Rite is a grocery store chain based in New Jersey.

I waited for over 15 minutes while the women at the head of the line, who was two people in front of me, wrestled with the cashier over what she claimed to be a free turkey that she was entitled to based on a certain number of dollars spent.  This turkey was about a quarter of the size of a regular Thanksgiving turkey, hardly worth the trouble.  But this woman persisted, and a manager was called and bar codes in a three-ring binder were scanned and another manager was called and this whole circus took over 15 minutes to play out before the resolution was reached: the woman had, indeed, earned a free turkey. 

The customer immediately ahead of me in line was now at the front.  She, too, had a mini-turkey that she claimed should be free based on doallars spent or points earned or something like that.  By now, however, the cashier had this routine down, and it only took about 3 minutes to arrive at the conclusion that this turkey, too, was free.  Free-range turkey?  I don't know...but it was definitely free.

Finally, after 15+ minutes in line, I got to the front.  The cashier scanned all of my items (I SWEAR this is true) and added everything up.  As I' was forking over the dough -- in cash, not with my BofA American Express card -- she ripped off the register receipt and studied it carefully.  "Sir," she said, "You've earned a free turkey!"

 I took a pass and high-tailed it out of the store before she would've been forced to ask me not to curse.....