Monday, December 27, 2010

DSNY at Their Worst

In New York, the sanitation department is in charge of snow removal. They put snowplows on all of the garbage trucks and they also have a few salt spreaders, front end loaders, and other big machines.  They don't seem to know how to operate the heaviest equipment though. I'm no expert; I've never been at the controls of anything larger than a U-Haul, but I think I could do a better job getting out of this jam.

These guys have a pretty strong union, so they probably won't get fired, though they should.



[via Joe.My.God.]

Snowbound in Maine

Not that I'm complaining; an extra day of vacation is something that makes me perfectly happy.  K and I were supposed to be on the 2:30 bus this afternoon, but we will take a bus on the morning instead.  I get an extra day off, and one less day to make rent in time. But, I worry about that next week.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

On the Repeal of DADT

Well, about fucking time.  DADT (Clinton's first major mistake) was an embarrassment and a disgrace.  We are well rid of this discriminatory policy, and its repeal is a reason to cheer.  But, a lot of work needs to be done, for we have a long way to go.  The repeal of DOMA (another major mistake from Clinton), full marriage equality, right to adopt, and protection from job place discrimination are still lacking.

A great step forward, but still, gays are second class citizens in the eyes of the law.  For shame.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Modern Technology

Back when I was a kid, my step-father was a building contractor. Our house was his office and our phone was his business phone. Therefore, we had strict rules regarding the use of the phone. So clients could get through, we kids were a allowed to use the phone for a maximum of fifteen minutes at a time. This was the days before call waiting. We also were expected to drop whatever we might be doing and run to answer any ring. This was also the days before answering machines. At least answering machines that regular folk could afford.

We had an outdoor ringer hanging under the eaves of the house, so we could hear the phone and run to answer if necessary. Once I was in the barn shoveling manure when the phone started to ring. I muttered a mild curse (those were the days before I would dare mutter an actual curse, even when alone, shoveling shit) and started running for the house. I kicked off my muck boots on the front steps (the phone must be answered, but one must not track cow shit on the kitchen floor) and ran inside. Of course, the caller hung up just as I answered.

I got a new phone today, which is why this old memory comes to mind. My old phone was experiencing some minor but annoying problems, so T-Mobile gave me an early upgrade. I chose the myTouch 4G (stupid fucking name), a step up over my old phone, a myTouch 3G (stupid fucking name). This amazing machine does email, games, and has access to the interwebs. All stuff that my old phone had, but this new toy has one cool feature that blows my mind.

I can use it as a wifi hotspot. I turn the program on, connect my laptop, and away I go. And it's fast, almost as fast as the cable internet I am getting from Time Warner, if not faster. I know that one can do speed tests for their internet connections, but I do not know how. But, I am currently streaming a movie from NetFlix, and the quality is just fine. I think I'll give it a week to see if there's any problems and then cancel my Time Warner service. I figure that the savings will pay for the phone in five months.

And to think, less than thirty years ago, I had to interrupt my shit shoveling because we did not have an answering machine, a device that has already become obsolete, and now I am writing this post on my phone as a Dudley Moore film streams on my laptop with an internet connection from the same phone.

How far we have come, and where will this technology bring us in the next thirty years?
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

In case you haven't noticed, I've been neglecting my blogging duties lately.  I offer three excuses.

  1. I work twelve hour days.  I'm tired.
  2. I got weed. While weed my be amotivational, that's not the problem.  After all, perhaps you've noticed that stoned people tend to pontificate, especially once they get going.  And what is a blog, but pontification writ large, or writ down. The problem is the internet. While stoned, I tend to become ADDish, and the internet is one giant playground for the ADDish types. If I attempt writing a post while stoned, I get no further than a paragraph or two, before I find that I just spent two hours roaming the back halls of Wikipedia. That's no way to get work done. Fear not, I'll run out of shit in a week or so.
  3. I got a new video game. I'm not a hard core gamer, but when I get a new game that I love, I tend to play obsessively. Fear not, I'll finish the game in a week or so.
But, excuses aside, perhaps some truth. I'm lazy. I could elaborate, but I'm lazy.

OK, enough blogging for the day.  I'm off to partake in a few hours of points 2 & 3, which go together beautifully.  Then sleep before another day of point 1.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World Income Disparity Visualized

I have never seen a better visualization of the massive discrepancies in income and health.  This problem is solvable.



UPDATE:  I posted this after seeing it at Pharyngula, and then I went back and read the comments.  The data presented came from gapminder.org, which is one fascinating site.  I strongly urge you to check it out.  A word of warning though, you can easily spend a few hours there.

They have a number of videos, including this one on the effects of democracy on wealth and health.  I found the results to be astounding.