Friday, January 30, 2009


So while I have been wasting time blogging on another blog I have gathered important information for all to read. Since I appear to be the movie critic I figured I would make one more suggestion before this week ends.

Helvetica ( a font) is used almost everywhere. The Documentary is pretty interesting, and really gets the mind thinking of fonts in the 20th/21st century.

-Why does google have more themes for igoogle then gmail; shouldn't they be the same?
- Google is coming out with the G-Drive ( as mentioned earlier ), personal space for either free or a reducedcost always makes me happy.

On Stumble Upon (Here)
- It is like the Pandora for the Internet. You pick things you like, such as The Steelers, Democrats, Barack Obama, Metro and it gives you sites it thinks you may like. The only problem is I believe you need to download the toolbarwhich makes this time killer not great for work.

And of course, a post is never finished without a photo. This was created by me, using Helvetica of course

Good Morning

... and in case I don't see you, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Goodnight!  
(Just watch the first 10-15 seconds)

Okay, now on to some more important business... Anyone else a little tired of these ridiculous Pittsburgh posts?

1. Over at WaPo they published an opinion article from some nut-job former employee, Jeanne McManus, who basically says that Obama was wrong to comment on how Washingtonians can't deal with the weather.  You can read it for yourself, here, her main defense is not that we can handle weather well (because we can't), but that we can handle other things.  Are you kidding me?  I'm sorry, there are two things that every Washingtonian must recognize:
1. No one in the Metropolitan Washington Area knows how to handle weather of any kind - whether that be snow or rain - or anything else mother nature throws at us.
2. People from Maryland do not know how to drive, Virgina drivers are slightly better, and DC drivers are just a tad better than that.

2. Ummmm ... Another score for Washingtonians.  Yesterday a man was attacked at the corner of 14th and Parkwood in Columbia Heights - around 5pm.  He laid on the ground, unable to get up, for about 20 minutes before someone helped him.  People were passing him by, walking around him, walking over him -- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  Would it have killed you to take out your cell phone and call 911.  WaPo has the article here.  Bonjangles is 'disappointed' and I am pissed at the lack of common decency displayed.

3. Patchus is so obsessed with Google he apparently wants to name his daughter Google.  This is on the great rumor/news this week about GDrive.  We have heard about GDrive for probably a good 2 or 3 years, but in the past week we have seen code in Picasa and around other Google web products mentioning the GDrive.  While this could just be another rumor, and have another purpose- I would be so excited if Google launched a drive.  We need more space in our own personal cloud to store things - and Google does everything so well.

4. Mac & Cheese.  I made Mac and Cheese this past weekend, and today The Paper of Record had a great article about it, here.  You never really think about how many different ways there are to make it - but there are.  They ended up making Martha Stewart's 'Perfect' Mac & Cheese, but also mentioned Ina Garten's and Alton Brown's as good varieties.

5. Verizon FiOS.  America.  The Senate's version of the stimulus bill would likely make Verizon eligible for over $1 Billion in tax credits for bringing extremely high speed broadband (100 Mbps) to our great nation.  Verizon, I want you now.

6. A nice closer.  I borrowed this from Friend of the blog, Tim, over at The 42 Bus.  It's a little long, and normally I wouldn't watch it - but its kind of interesting:

Update: Obama Supports the Steelers and So Should You

More breaking news as Steelers-watch 2009 continues:

In another move aimed solely at winning over my unending support, President Obama has shocked the nation by declaring not only that he believes the Steelers will win the Superbowl this weekend (not shocking considering the competition), but that he is rooting for them. Read it for yourself:

THE PRESIDENT: I have to say, you know, I wish the Cardinals the best. Kurt Warner is a great story and he's closer to my age than anybody else on the field, but I am a long-time Steelers fan. Mr. Rooney, the owner, was just an extraordinary supporter during the course of the campaign. Franco Harris was campaigning for me in Pittsburgh. So --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Coach signed up with you, too.

THE PRESIDENT: Right, Coach Tomlin was a supporter. So I -- you know, I wish the best to the Cardinals. They've been long-suffering; it's a great Cinderella story. But other than the Bears, the Steelers are probably the team that's closest to my heart.

There are some other important elements to this discussion. The President is no fair-weather fan (though cynics may point out PA has many more electoral votes than AZ). In fact, before becoming a Bears fan, he was an ardent Steeler booster. It is also worth noting that Pennsylvania-native, Vice President Joe Biden is also rooting for the Steel Curtain to crush the opposition, too.

For those of you still skeptical that the Steelers are a better pick, even if you're not from the Steel City, consider this argument that the Steelers are the more righteous and progressive option.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Update: Obama and Bob Casey are Great Americans!!

According to NBC News, President Obama invited several members of Congress over to watch the Superbowl at the White House. John McCain and John Kyl were invited to watch their Arizona Cardinals (*ahem* be defeated), but both men declined. The Steelers were represented by the Pennsylvania Senators, Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Arlen Specter. Though Specter has said he probably won't come, Bob Casey plans to attend and has announced he will bring Pittsburgh-icons the Terrible Towel and Eat'n Park cookies! This literally made me ILOLAW (more here) and jump for joy. I've already discussed the Terrible Towel at length here, but Eat'n Park is proably new to most of you.

As Pittsburghers know, Eat'n Park's the "place for smiles" and is best known for its legendary smiley faced cookie, like the Steeler-themed one shown above (free for kids!). It's a Denny's-esque (though infinitely better) 24 hour diner chain that is local to the Pittsburgh area. Nearly every weekend night of my highschool years eneded up at EnP- after football games, concerts, parties, everything. Needless to say, Casey (though a Philadelphian) just won my vote for his re-election. Specter: the ball is in your court.

Go Steelers!

Here we go, Steelers...

Anyone who knows me is familiar with the following: I'm not generally much of a sports-enthusiast, I'm absolutely an irreconcilable Pittsburgh-enthusiast, and I can be bullheaded and rarely keep my opinions to myself. With that in mind, here is the Superbowl post that my friends have been dreading:

Pittsburgh is a town that is accustomed to being the punchline of many a joke ('shittsburgh', 'armpit of America', etc), regardless of the civic renaissance that has occurred over the past few decades. With that being said, there is an intense pride in the Steelers that rivals any team in the NFL. The Terrible Towel is a hallmark of the SteelersNation, and a unifying symbol that other teams have unsuccessfully attempted to recreate. Recently I've put my sports reluctance aside in favor of my natural hometown pride. Go Steelers!

If (when) the Steelers prevail, this will be their record-breaking 6th Superbowl victory. They are currently tied for 5 with the Cowboys and 49ers. The Arizona Cardinals have... never even been to the Superbowl (despite being the oldest continuously run American football club in existence).

As a proud Pittsburgher, I realize the absolute bias I present in assuming/looking forward to a stunning Steeler victory on Sunday. However, nearly every major prognosticator/commentater has gone on the record that this is essentially the Steelers' game to lose. The most compelling to my non-scientific mind? Legendary prognosticator Ernie Epps (who has accurately predicted the last 10 Super Bowl, World Series, and NBA champions, as well as the last five Presidents and the past fifteen Oscar-winning films) has predicted a Steeler victory.

Giving due deference, I also point you to our friend Cocktail's latest blog entry on the matter, in which he sizes up the Cardinals' great offense against the Steelers' legendary defense.

On a final note, there are some very entertaining things coming out of this whole lead-up to Sunday. Particularly, I point your attention to a great version of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" adapted for the occasion:

In any case, I'll have my Iron City Beer and Terrible Towel in hand and look forward to an excellent Superbowl. Happy Superbowl everyone!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A few quick things

Okay ... A few quick things.

1. Sort of in line with Corrupt's post this morning - WMATA needs to do something when there are delays across the region.  This morning, I did not have to arrive until 11, so I got on the bus around 10:30 knowing that they wouldn't be running with rush hour frequency - but figuring that they would still be crowded since a lot of people were delayed.  Well sure enough the bus was packed, so much so that we started skipping stops 2 after mine.  This is a normal operating proceedure (and perfectly fine), but when it is not rush hour and the next bus is probably 5-10 minutes behind - it becomes a problem for those people who have to wait.  Now I'm not saying that WMATA wasn't aware of these delays, but they should be able to do something - and I'm sure they would if they could.  But their hands are tied by Union contracts.  UGH.

You know how I feel about unions and the such, but I won't really go into that ... my gripe is more with an out-of-date employment structure for mass transit.  When transit companies were first made into public-private entities around the 1920's, the employment structure remained the same ... and as they shifted to completely public entities - still nothing changed.  Unfortunately, this is hurting us.  We all know that clearly you are going to need more bus/train drivers during the morning and evening rush hours - but unfortunately the hiring of true part-time employees to work during these shifts is basically unheard of ... thanks to unions.  I'm sorry unions, I realize you are looking out for everyones best interests - but you are screwing us.

2. Obama is right (again).  I really hope I don't make a habit of saying this -- it is getting kind of scary.  This morning Obama took time out of talking about the economic stimulus package to ask reporters "WTF is wrong with DC" (not exactly in those terms).  But he is right.  He was complaining about how his daughter's school - Sidwell Friends - has decided to close due to some snow and ice.  He said (per WaPo), "We're going to have to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town, I'm saying that when it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things."  And he is compeltely right.  The DC Metro area has no idea how to deal with weather of any kind.  I have said this all four years I have been here, and I am glad to see Obama noticed it too.

3.  This is the thing that really inspired me to write this post this very second.  Google took a huge step in favor of Net Nuetrality today, ironically in the same day that Comcast and AT&T took a step backwards by doing the RIAA's dirty work for them (here).  Google annouced this afternoon via their blog - here - the introduction of a project called the Measurement Lab.  Basically Google is also tired of ISPs trying to regulate what you can and cannot do with your connection (which you know Comcast loves to do), and wants people to know when they are being f---ed with.  To quote from Google's blog, "Researchers are already developing tools that allow users to, among other things, measure the speed of their connection, run diagnostics, and attempt to discern if their ISP is blocking or throttling particular applications."  And Google is giving them the ability to run these tools on Google servers around the globe.  Thank you Google :)

You can access the Measurement Lab by clicking here.

And here is just a great quote from Google:
At Google, we care deeply about sustaining the Internet as an open platform for consumer choice and innovation. No matter your views on net neutrality and ISP network management practices, everyone can agree that Internet users deserve to be well-informed about what they're getting when they sign up for broadband, and good data is the bedrock of sound policy. Transparency has always been crucial to the success of the Internet, and, by advancing network research in this area, M-Lab aims to help sustain a healthy, innovative Internet.
4. Oh one last thing ... The House voted down the DTV Delay Act.  While I previously posted that I was in favor of a delay, the Obama Administration failed to outline any real plan aside from delaying the date and throwing money at the problem.  The vote roll can be viewed here.


No Mail on Tuesdays

This post is cite H, though I did see it on Reader seconds after he e-mailed me.  Here are two links to articles in regards to this - NYT and AP.

The Post Office lost $2.8 Billion last year -- and is on track to lose more this year.  The Post Office estimates they can save between $1.9-3.5 Billion by eliminating delivery one day per week.

The Postmaster General appeared before Congress today to ask that the 6-day-a-week requirement be lifted.  He hinted that the lowest day by volume is Tuesday, and that would likely be the day that is cut.

I am hurt/outraged ... because I love getting mail.  At the same time it is important to note that USPS uses NONE of your tax dollars - they operate completely independently, although Congress controls everything they do.

While I'm sure this has a bit to do with the economy - it has a lot more to do with the fact that people just don't send as much mail - which is a sign of the times.  Unforunately I think this might be necessary.  :-/  So I would like to publically support the Postmaster General in the removal of the 6-day-a-week delivery requirement.

Sadness ... what are your thoughts?

Back to Basics

Okay Campers, I am officially back. Though it was an unscheduled and unfortunately long hiatus, I am now back for your reading pleasure. It's been hectic with work and inaugurations and whatnot, but I'll do my best to be more diligent about posting.

While this was not the post I originally intended to write this morning, I'm going to go ahead and rant about something near/dear to my heart and give you all a little background.

Some of you may or may not know that the original theme and inspiration for the name of this very blog was related to the fact that SHEAm, GWSkank, and I (like many of you) commute daily down Connecticut Avenue and have to deal with the complete lack of etiquette of most DC residents. Thus: Connetiquette.

Well today was a tour de force. Yes, I realize that it's wet and snowy out and the roads are precarious. I recognize that will inevitably lead to some delays on the bus route. That's fine. But even in times like these there are rules about how one should conduct oneself.

1. Queues- I realize that most Americans at most bus stops don't recognize the queue but rather stand in a glob and then play 'every man for himself' when the bus finally arrives. I can somewhat understand how a line would be unclear, especially if people are coming to the bus stop from different directions, but in general think something must be done to fix this. We stand in line for everything else, why not this? What happened to that great American ideal of first come, first serve? Makes sense, right? Well in any case, today I met a whole new kind of queue-related arrogance.

I was the second person at the stop this morning. One very nice elderly lady was there already and I lined up behind her, trying to lead by example for any other riders that may come along. Sure enough, one-by-one others trickled in and we formed a line. Victory! I was proud of myself and my fellow riders. I hardly expected a chilly/icy day like this to be the day I instilled a queue-culture on Metrobus, but hoorah!

But my celebration was premature. As the bus pulled up a guy in a black "The Wire" cap strolled along side the bus and walked right in front of the entire line of people waiting! Are you kidding?! How arrogant/insane/presumptuous/shocking. It wasn't like he somehow didn't see the 8 people waiting there. Worse yet, when people called out to him about his transgression, he ignored them. This was to be only the first offense The Wire would make today.

2. Seats- Though not all are clear-cut, there are definitely some rules when it comes to the seats, especially during rush hour. As before, I generally think first-come, first-serve is applicable here. The obvious exceptions are individuals with disabilities and senior citizens, they get to sit no matter what. Period. Who does NOT get priority? Women. Women with disabilities? Okay. Female senior citizens? Sure. Able-bodied women? Get in line. Fair is fair, ladies. Sorry.

Today, after scrambling onto the bus after The Wire, I took a seat on the bench-like row of seats. It was rush hour, the bus was crowded, and after only a few stops we had reached capacity (the ratio of people to busses today was out of control, I'm sure SHEAm will complain about that in his own post). Then this ugg-clad, prada-bearing harpy climbed aboard and decided she needed a seat. This audacious 20-something had the gall to basically demand my seat! "Um, do you think I could sit there?" I was thunderstruck. I looked over my shoulder to ensure she was speaking to me and then just stared at her. She eventually got the message and moved on.

Another seat rule- You cannot put a bag on the seat next to you to 'save it' or to prevent strangers from sitting next to you. It's mass transit, they point is for all the seats to be taken up and for you to sit next to strangers. Worst of all are the people who sit in the window seat of one of the 2-seaters on the bus/metro during rush hour and put their bag on the aisle seat. This is just begging for trouble. There is a special place in hell for people like this.

I need to go do some actual work now, but feel free to share your own Metro/Bus commute stories (funny ones, ones that ticked you off, etc)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I'm sorry we haven't posted in forever - GWSkank is falling apart.  I don't know where Corrupt is.  And I've just actually been doing work.

But I was sent this by my friend and fellow blogger (here), NT:

I really like the site right now - but can't wait to see what is on there in the future.  I took the liberty of uploading the image that is there currently, right here.

AMERICA!  This country is back, baby.