Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fscking MBTA

I'm sitting here on the 4:50 express from Porter. It's about 87 degrees outside, and probably in the mid-90's on the train. Not only is the AC not on, the heat seems to be on. It's as if someone in central control decided that no matter what the actual temperature was, it's fall, goddammit, and we're going to turn on the heat.

I ended up on the 7:07 this morning, which was fifteen minutes late, as usual. Time to sharpen the poison pen and throw another letter at the MBTA customer service team. That makes six or seven already in the past three months; I wonder if these guys are starting to curse my name yet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Time to sell short?

I'm still looking for secondary corroboration of this story, but apparently a group of corporations purchased short-sale options worth $4.5 billion that all expire on September 21st, 2007.


Yeah, it's a tinfoil-hat site. Looking for a more reliable source as we speak.

EDIT: Less tinfoil-ly link: http://www.financialnews-us.com/?page=ushome&contentid=2448565379

Friday, August 10, 2007


Okay, this is going to sound like a seriously weird thing to get excited about, but it's been that kind of morning.

In my every-so-humble opinion, the best pickles in the world are Cain's Zingers Baby Dills. They're baby dill pickles with whole cayenne peppers and gloves of garlic. Spicy, crunchy, bite-sized perfection, if you like both hot food and pickles.

I noticed one day that they're not on my grocery store shelves anymore. I started trying to track them down, and found that Cain's pickle line had been sold to Gedney Foods so that they could focus on the mayonnaise business. Gedney still sells the product, but not in New England; they only carry them in the Midwest. However, Gedney's customer service team was kind enough to point me here:


I have a case on the way. :-)

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Looks like the US GDP is at about 13.2 trillion for 2006. A 15% tax rate on consumer spending would deliver $1.9 trillion, which would have to be split between federal, state, and local government. Current federal budget is around $4.5 trillion; total of all state budgets in the nation is $1.3 trillion; muncipal budgets are probably in the $1-$2 trillion range, but I haven't found a source set.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Talk About Rude

I understand that people are in a rush. So am I. But there is no reason to be rude; so when I saw a guy come running in to the t-station, I paused and let him go down the escalator first thinking I was really not in *that* big a hurry.

So I get down to the ticket machines, and, having a monthly pass, I put it into the machine. The same guy I had let go by in his whirlwind down the escalator jumps past me and crashes though the gates. Great. The MBTA now has a 20 minute waiting period before I can use my UNLIMITED MONTHLY PASS!!

So I crash the gate too, and hold my pass up for the T-worker person to see who yells something at me as I head down the stairs to the platform ... because he made *such* a big deal about the guy who crashed the gate on my dime ....

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Film at 11!

Seeing as how I get to ride the Fitchburg line with my compatriot here, I sometimes get to experience these Commutants as well...

We were headed down the escalator at Porter to the Red line from the commuter rail where we saw a lady (also riding the escalator) watching a portable DVD player, completely oblivious to the rest of the world.

There were a few comments exchanged between Jack and I as to whether we should stand behind her and watch or not, but we chose to pass her and continue to our trains as we could hear the trains approaching.

I went to my platform and the lady soon followed, still intently watching her movie. Having boarded my train and taken a seat myself, the woman boards behind me, turns around and faces the door ... but not everyone is on yet. The rest of the people from the platform simply brush by her, pushing past and causing her to sway slightly. She ignores all of them and continues to watch her movie.

The trains that the MBTA uses, being the most modern, elegant and smooth pieces of machinery known to man, starts down the line with a rough lurch. The woman has both hands on the player and is not holding on to anything else ... the initial jounce of the train causes her to smack into the pole that you would normally hold onto.

This causes her to look up! You would have thought someone had hit her. She looks wildly around like someone had done this to her, having completely ignored all of the people who pushed pasted her earlier, and goes back to watching her movie.

We arrive at my stop, and the doors open. She is still standing in the doorway, even though the car is almost empty and plenty of seats are available. The remainder of the people in the car are now trying to get off; the first few push past her again ... she is still ignoring them .. but there is one guy who apparently has had enough of her indifference to the other passengers.

This guy walks up and line-backer style puts his shoulder into her back, prostrating her out the door onto the platform. A complete yard-sale of her thing, her pocket book, her DVD player ... topped-off with the disc rolling away.