Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hey, Great Coffee...Now Could You Clean That Restroom?

Always on the trail of a good story (and a great cup of coffee), Bill Friday reveals the unthinkable about the South Bay's coffee Mecca.

Peet's Coffee. The day I found Peet's is the day I became a One Coffee Man. Since February, rain or shine, regular or decaf, you could find me one, two, three days a week sitting in the cafe of Peet's at the corner of P.C.H. and Avenue G in beautiful Redondo Beach. I believe the glow that comes from the brief case of Marsellus Wallace is really a one pound bag of Peet's Anniversary Blend.

Until last week.

It was a busy week in Friday World - long hours pounding the keyboard for the man (not Ariel - the day job), even longer hours building the self-serving blogspot at night. Without Peet's, life would have been as unwatchable as a Godfather 3, Jaws 3D double-feature hosted by Robert Osborne and Rose McGowan on Turner Classic. So on a rare day off last Friday (It's Always Friday, right?), after breakfast at the landmark Original Pancake House (another review for another time), I dropped by my Best Little Joe House for a fresh cup Major Dickason's Blend to wash down the "Dutch Baby and sausage".

And use the facilities. Big mistake.

To say the restroom looked like two guys named Vincent and Jules had made good on a contract by taking out some snitch with a colostomy bag was probably an over-statement. But I thought it. And to say that by the following Tuesday - that's right, TODAY - nobody at Peet's had put in a call Mr. Wolf to get a mess that monumental cleaned up, was a Bonnie Situation that would have made Jimmie Dimmick give up his U.C. Santa Cruz tee-shirt.

And yet, TODAY...

There it was. As it was. Untouched by human hands, gloves, toilet brushes or whatever else Mr. Wolf tells you it takes to clean up that mess before Bonnie gets home. Of course the guy with the colostomy bag had been mysteriously removed, but the rest of the evidence was still firmly in place.

Well I said, "Got DAMN"!

So if this rant gets published will I lose my L.A. privileges with Peet's in Redondo Beach? Maybe. Maybe it's time for me to just walk away, become a wanderer, going from new coffee house to new coffee house in search of more than just that next great cup of Joe.

Or if they let me live, maybe I'll just pick me up a Royale with cheese and take the next cup to go.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Do You Believe In Miracles? Yes! - Friday Wins It All

Overcoming impossible odds, superior talent, and a roster of incomparable competition, Bill Friday takes the 2008 BrooWawa Deathmatch crown.

(Gets handshake from Quentin Tarantino... A lingering hug from Jessica Biel)

"I'd like to thank the Academy... Katrina and Rob, my Starbucks' managers... the California Department of Unemployment..."


"... if I forgot anyone... I... um... uhh..."

(Holds trophy aloft)

"Thank you!"

Wait... wait for it...

Right there. My dream moment. After three weeks of blood, sweat, toil and tears, the ultimate prize. Victory in the first-annual BrooWaha Brackets Deathmatch. Short of winning Jim Rome's annual Smack-Off, nothing can compare to the glory, the honor, the swag, that comes with winning the Broo in 2008.

As a student of history, I understand the significance of the underdog overcoming all odds to win the big one - Jimmy Chitwood's Hickory Huskers, Villanova over Georgetown, the Duchy of Grand Fenwick over the United States - all touching in their own special way. But nothing could have made this championship run any sweeter than defeating who I believe is the finest pure writer in all of BrooWaha, the legend, El G., who summed up his experience in this competition with these now-famous words:

"The only thing that could make this moment better is my impending, well-earned bowel movement."

And the only thing that could make this moment better for me, is to share it with my friends.
So, I would like to thank:
  • Glenn T, whose idea this Deathmatch was (wait, the idea for the Deathmatch was... mine. Sorry...). Oh, and our amazingly similar good taste in women, including the jaw-droppingly inspirational Connie Britton.

  • Joe Mael, who skillfully played both ends of friendship against the middle and bet the Bill Friday money line, raking in countless tens of dollars at the expense of his friendship with the G.

  • Ariel Vardi and Digidave Cohn, for allowing this competition to continue in spite of their better journalistic judgment. Guys, I tip Oscar Madison's cap to both of you.

  • El G, for not caving in the the horrible pressures of this competition, never compromising your beliefs for the quick brown-nose, and always, always knowing in your writers' heart that when you win that Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, you will justifiably, completely snub all Broo staff (or at best tell the watching world, "This is for all the Douche-bags...you know who you are!").

And finally,

  • Jen and Tonic, friend, competitor, muse, the only woman I know who could ever use the words, "Donkey Punch", "Dutch Oven" or "Shocker" in a sentence, and still sound like a lady.

Now we can all get back to the serious business of running a first-class Citizen Newspaper. And I can repair all the damage to my own website after turning it into a Clipper blog for the past three weeks. It's PURPLE AND GOLD from here on in baby!

And to all the competitors who made the last year of BrooWaha so special, Steven Lane, Ed Attanasio, V, D.E.C., Chris Jones, Morgana, D.L., and the rest of my 153 friends (you know who you are)...

See you next year.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Obama Kicked To The Gutter In Pennsylvania

Barack Obama is in serious trouble just weeks before the Pennsylvania Democratic Presidential Primary.

Barack Obama's amazing run at the White House appears to be in the gutter. Maybe next time he should just keep score.

Last week-end, in an attempt to fit in with the lunch pail, rank-and-file that are the Democratic voters of Pennsylvania, the front-running candidate from Illinois rolled a 37 in a seven-frame game of bowling in the town of Altoona.

Admittedly, to be Presidential you don't have to be an athlete. For example, despite an intense love of baseball, Richard Nixon, according to his former cabinet secretary and special assistant Alexander Butterfield, "was unathletic, so pitifully unathletic." Calvin Coolidge, in the words of historian Donald McCoy was known to be, "unathletic" and prone to "tantrums, the brunt of which his wife bore. Anything that was unexpected could lead him to prolonged moods of sulking and even to fits of yelling."

Okay, so Nixon threw like a girl, and the only exercise Coolidge ever got was from stomping his feet like Jennifer Beals under a big bucket of Pennsylvania steeltown water. None of this means Obama is destined to resign in disgrace or generate domestic policies that will lead America into another Great Depression. And as far as the tantrums, Michelle Obama looks like the type A personality in that family.

Even among the media, Obama isn't getting a pass for his performance in the back alley of down and dirty politics. Joe Scarborough, host of the MSNBC program Morning Joe called Obama's performance at the Pleasant Valley Rec Center, "dainty." He went on to say, "You get 150, your a man, or a good woman."

Enter Hillary Clinton. "I'll be ready to bowl on day one," the other candidate said at a press conference.

Sounds like she fits the Scarborough profile perfectly.

In Obama's favor, he is rolling with the punches he's received from rolling a 37 in his first line attempt at the game in thirty years.

"My economic plan is better than my bowling," Obama during the game. A few lanes over, a man shouted back, "It better be!"

Even the photo used for this article came from a blog within Barak Obama's own website.

And come on, everyone knows you can't bowl worth crap in rental shoes.

Of course, even in rental shoes, Bob Dole could have beaten Barack on this night... with his pen hand.

And If he wins the Presidency in November, he'll have until the end of March, 2009 to get ready
to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Google Mail Introduces New Feature: Time Is On My Side

After extensive beta testing, Google releases an all new "wonder technology". Now everyone can say, "Time... IS on my side".

In a world where tech break-throughs (see the BrooWaha article, You've Heard About Web 2.0, But What About E-mail 2.0 by Gary Wells) come faster with each passing day, Google announced today the release of an all new tool that the company says will finally let you "Be on time, every time". According to beta user testimonials, Gmail Custom Time will let all Gmail users to back date any e-mail sent through Gmail since the service began in 2004. This will allow any electronic mail the user has sent to be re-dated to any appropriate date the user requires, essentially eliminating lateness forever.

"The entire concept of 'late' no longer exists for me," exclaimed customer Miriam S., a delivery girl by trade. "That's pretty cool. Thanks Gmail!"

Utilizing what Google calls the "Grandfather Paradox", Custom Time allows Gmail customers to utilize "an ensemble of parallel universes" to make sure that no e-mail to arrive late again.

"I just got two tickets to Radiohead," paralegal and beta tester Robbie S. told a gathering of media, "by being the 'first' to respond to a co-worker's 'first-come, first-serve' email. Someone else had already won them, but I told everyone to check their inboxes again."

A nervous Robbie concluded, "Everyone sort of knows I used Custom Time on this one, but I'm denying it."

With interest in cutting-edge ways to advance purpose-driven business strategies, even in the highly scrutinized world of corporate relations, Custom Time is not without its ethical "gray area".

Todd J., an investment banker with a major international firm explained his dilemma like this.

"I used to be an honest person; but now I don't have to be. It's just so much easier this way. I've gained a lot of productivity by not having to think about doing the 'right' thing."

The ethical dilemma experienced by Todd J. is not confined merely to the business world. Apparently, it is a concern in the esoteric world of spirituality as well.

"This feature", reasoned Michael L., a professor of Epistemology at a Midwestern Jesuit university, "allows people to manipulate and mislead people with falsified time data." The scholar went on to say, "Time is a sacred truth that should never be tampered with."

As for the creator of this new technology, Google puts it in a way it feels its customers will best understand in a series of FAQ's.

How do I use it?

Just click "Set custom time" from the Compose view. Any email you send to the past appears in the proper chronological order in your recipient's inbox. You can opt for it to show up read or unread by selecting the appropriate option.

Is there a limit to how far back I can send email?

Yes. You'll only be able to send email back until April 1, 2004, the day we launched Gmail. If we were to let you send an email from Gmail before Gmail existed, well, that would be like hanging out with your parents before you were born -- crazy talk.

How does it work?

Gmail utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality.

How come I only get ten?

Our researchers have concluded that allowing each person more than ten pre-dated emails per year would cause people to lose faith in the accuracy of time, thus rendering the feature useless.

Their findings:

N = Total emails sent

P = Probability that user believes the time stamp

φ = The Golden Ratio

L = Average life expectancy

So there you have it. Another multi-billion dollar company takes advantage of a few loopholes in the space/time continuum (and various Federal regulations) and now offers a new service at no additional charge to its customers. Life is good, and as the month of April begins today, you can be sure that all is right with the world.

And The Butterfly Effect was just a movie.

For more information on Gmail Custom Time to Http://mail.google.com/mail/help/customtime/index.html.

For more information on the inherent gullibility of human beings, ask Dr. Traci.

Copyright © 2008 Bill Friday