Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Morning

A few things ...

* I'm still hoping that Fenty will veto Mr. Bojangles' (Councilman Jim Graham) initiative to get 8 year olds drunk.  We will just have to wait and see.

* In other DCCircus news, yesterday was Councilman Carol Schwartz's last day, she spent a good portion of the day taming lions and parading around with penguins.  I can't really say that she will be sorely missed by this blogger, but hey - at least she is actually from the party which she claimed to identify with during the election (cough, Mike Brown, cough).

* And I mentioned this yesterday - but I am beyond excited for FiOS ... yes we have known that the Office of Cable Television approved this a while ago, but it still needed to be officially approved by the Circus - which they did yesterday.  They also spent their time approving about 10,000 resolutions naming buildings and streets for people ... ah the importance of being on a city council that has no real governing power and can be overridden by Congress.

* In a small note of housekeeping, due to Bojangles actions this week - the list of people in the Circus who are currently in my favor has dropped to an all time low of one.  Congrats Mary Cheh for being the only member who actually seems to care about the people.  Now if only we can get that Election Machine subpoena enforced...  Bojangles has landed himself in the same category as the Ringleader himself, Gray, and the only person bold enough to blatantly lie on his ballot application - Mike Brown.  Bojangles, Gray, and MBrown are so ridiculous they actually make Jack Evans look legit and not at all corrupt, which is impressive.

Okay ... enough about the Circus, now onto the real fun -- INAUGURATION!

* We all heard of WMATA's plan to increase service to unheard of levels, yet still charge off-peak fares and not charge for parking.  Well thankfully John Catoe and the team of intellectuals over at Metro decided they should try to lose a little less money than they were already pouring down the drain.  Metro wants to charge rush-hour fares on Inauguration Day and also charge for parking - both excellent ideas which I fully support.  People are going to take Metro either way, and considering the $1.65 doesn't really cover the service anyway - its a good idea to not lose as much money as humanly possible.  I'm also all about Metro charging for parking - they want to charge a modest $4.95 (ballpark), whereas I think they should be gouging people - like $10-20...really.  Metro is going to hire a parking contractor in order to ensure those without SmarTrips are able to use Metro's lots, which seems like a good idea - although you may remember the reason Metro switched to SmarTrip only lots was because their parking operator PennParking was skimming off the top.  (That whole thing was via WaPo)

* Cell phones ... looks like you shouldn't even bother, jk!  It seems as though its not just Metro, DDOT, restaurants, and bars that are going to be feeling the strain of an extra 3 million people in the city -- according to WTOP, here, cell phone users are screwed as well.  The CTIA (the spokesperson for all wireless providers) is suggesting that you text instead of call people - as texts put less of a strain on the network and are more likely to go through.  They also advise not trying to send picture messages - as everyone will be doing the same thing and its just not going to go through.  Of course cell phones of first responders and public safety authorities will have priority on all the carrier's networks - which is probably a good idea, and Sprint is increasing its iDEN network (the push-to-talk network) capacity by 90% in DC.  Other providers will likely also be increasing their network capacity.  Considering I can not connect to AT&T's network under ideal circumstances - I have no hopes of it actually working during Inauguration.  The good news is that so many VZW users will be in Metro, packed into trains and falling off platforms, that their network down there will collapse too - so on Inauguration Day, no one can use cell phones in Metro - haha.

* On another Metro note - they are advising that you don't bother.  Basically if you live in the city, Metro expects you to keep out.  Trains will be too crowded.  They say to take buses - haha - right, because those are always running on time.  I plan on sitting back with a bottle of Maker's Mark, a bowl of my newly discovered Pimento Cheese, and some Wheat Thins - the best way to enjoy Inauguration.

Okay that is the end of the Inauguration thing ... now onto more random updates.

* Writing about Pimento Cheese a second ago had me thinking again, wondering what it was.  Do you have any idea?  If you have heard of Pimento cheese, please comment - because I had not up until a week ago.  It is really good - and disgusting all at the same time.  A little research led me to discover it is a Southern thing (surprise, surprise), and it is basically just Cheese and Mayonnaise.  NPR has a write up here.

* Also ... noted this morning the French Competition Agency (whatever that is) has declared that the 5-year exclusivity agreement for the iPhone between Orange (aka French Telecom Mobile) and Apple - is illegal.  This is similar to Apple's agreements with mobile providers around the globe (it is with AT&T in the United States if you didn't get the memo).  Anyway, while I'm quite pleased about this - as I find these exclusivity agreements annoying (honestly, who would be on AT&T's network by personal preference) - but once again the French have proven that they don't understand the concept of capitalism.  Since the government has decided to intervene in capitalism, perhaps the French people should just stop voting too - the government can decide their leaders instead.

* All this talk about AT&T has me thinking about how much better Verizon Wireless is - oh I miss you Verizon.  And speaking of Verizon Wireless -- let's talk about Verizon Wireful again, FiOS is coming.  FiOS is coming.  FiOS is coming.  FiOS is coming.  I don't think I've been this excited about a cable provider in a Boldlong time.  But I have realized that everyone may not know what Verizon FiOS is ... well first off it stands for Fiber Optic Service, which basically means awesomeness.   I am going to write a post about FiOS - and the link will be right here, but it will also be right below this post.

* Also - big news for Zipcar fans out there!  Although Zipcar has yet to make a profit, even after merging with their only real competitor, FlexCar,  over a year ago - they are catching some attention.  So much attention that Hertz (yea the gigantic car rental corporation) is launching their own version.  It is called Connect, and is exactly the same thing as Zipcar (even down to the green in their logo), and is currently available in NYC and Park Ridge, NJ (soon to be in London and Paris as well).  While I welcome Hertz as a competitor I feel as though they will probably fail - whenever big companies like this try to be young and hip - they just don't get it, and end up floundering.  You can check out the article in the Paper of Record - here.  Also ... as a shameless plug - if you don't have Zipcar you should really get it.  It is the best thing ever, you can sign up -- and get $25 free driving by clicking here!

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