Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's (maybe) the End of the Woooorld As We Know It....

So today I am browsing around on the front page of the NYT web page.

And I see that yeah more fighting in Iraq, more news from the Treasury, over in the Book Review section I see that John Grisham is putting out his like 4,856th book...

Then I read the story in the middle - click on the image to see it bigger:


A giant particle blaster that could make a black hole that could eat up the Earth!??!?!

Now, I was so amazed that I immediately check to see the date because this seems like something they'd publish on April Fools Day.

(Which, FYI, is on Tuesday so watch out!). Today however is only March 29th.

Ok, but back to the particle blaster. I mean GIANT particle blaster.

The whole thing reeks of a Hollywood blockbuster really. It seems that some scientists spent $8 billion (half the price of the Big Dig!) to build this massive proton smasher to see if they can reconstruct the Big Bang.

The blaster being built by Swiss researchers in Hawaii. It seems that they haven't filed any safety reports, which seems to be the basis for the lawsuit.

Or something like that. The article is actually really well written, so you should read it.

Science gives me a massive headache, so I am extremely grateful that there are thousands of other people being scientists to invent stuff like medicine, and spaceships, and low-fat potato chips. Most of the article involved words like "quantum gravity", "elementary particles", and "quark-gluon plasma". So pretty much my eyes glazed over quickly.

I do believe the scientist who says that the chances of the giant particle blaster creating a black hole that will swallow the earth are about the same as it also creating an enormous dragon to eat us up.

However I also believe the scientist who says that it could make a black hole and just saying that the probability that it won't is not good enough.

Like one original researcher said: the "possibility that a black hole eats up the Earth is too serious a threat to leave it as a matter of argument among crackpots."

And according to the article, there were those who believed that the atom bomb would make the atmosphere catch on fire. Well that didn't happen, but that didn't make the atom bomb any safer to mankind.

I am just saying.

Ugh. All this science talk. I need a Bloody Mary and some aspirin.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A different kind of market altogether.

I love to look at real estate listing, it satisfies a curiousity itch I have that they currently don't make a cream for.

Anyway, yesterday I was looking at property in London. Holy CRAP is that market insane!

I found a home for sale for 45 million pounds sterling. Which is ohhh about $90,000,000 dollars. Which written out for those of you bad at math is NINETY MILLION DOLLARS.

I don't even think that it comes furnished. But it does have a pool.


However if that is a tich out of your range, perhaps THIS PLACE suits your budget better. Granted it is a fixer-upper, notice the boarded up windows and the need for "complete modernisation", but at only about $44,000,000 it's practically a bahgin!

I wonder if it comes with a cup of tea. Or maybe a butler.

Heh, this is clearly out of my range. And apparently out of the range of most Britons if THIS ARTICLE is to be believed.

Besides if I had $90,000,000 I would not spend it on a house. What dumb investment that would be. Sheesh!

I would definitely invest it in a new pair of shoes. And a new dual fuel stove/oven like this one.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Stuff like this makes me bonkers!

I know that in all journalism there are always two sides to every story, but it was hard to see both in an article in today's Noo Yawk Times.

This is the article: A Boy the Bullies Love to Beat Up, Repeatedly

I get it that kids are awful little sh*ts to each other - kids can mostly get away with saying and doing things to each other that adults get sued or go to jail over.

But what gets me totally riled up is the apparent laissez-faire attitude over the fact that this kid gets beaten up all the time. Seemingly he is mouthy to people and has a thing about shoving, but overlooking the beatings and the torment because of his behavior is unacceptable. It's cowardly to blame the victim.

And you know what? It is never, ever, ok to victimize someone. That's the simple truth.

A person who terrorizes another person can be a rapist, a murderer, a stalker, a terrorist, a molester, or a bully. I wonder how proud a parent of a bully is, knowing that their child falls into that category. Perhaps they cover their shame with bravado or self-justification, but their child will always have that monster lurking within them, no matter how they might later disguise it.

No one ever deserves to be bullied, no matter what. No single person is given the right to decide that someone else deserves to be punished - only a judge, a jury, or if you believe, God, can make that decision. That is how we have chosen to construct our society and you have the choice to like it, leave it, or change the rules for everyone if you want.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want everyone to suddenly hug and kiss and cuddle bunnies or something. Having major a**holes is a necessary evil in society, otherwise how would we know who to like? Just keep that sh*t to yourself, and tell your kids to do the same.

Ok, I am done with the venting. I will now step away slowly from the soapbox.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You know what sometimes keeps me up at night...

Sometimes I wonder how the Big Dig started. How any tunnel gets started really.

Not the paperwork and the planning and the politics and crap.

But like who was the FIRST person to make the very FIRST stab at the ground with their shovel and actually START the Big Dig.

Oh and not the photo-op stuff either.

Was it a Monday morning at 7am with some guy in a back hoe and another guy shouting at him "Hey Sully! A little more to the left! A little more...... more...... more...... YEAH! Right there! Dig right THERE!"

I am glad it's done, but these are the little details that sometimes I wonder about.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I don't know why I do it, but I know I can't help it....

Now that the Boston Herald allows commenting on articles, I can't help reading them, even though they pretty much almost always escalate in to a massive train wreck.

This also happens over on Universal Hub, which I also read daily. I am not sure if allows comments, but I don't think so.

Commenting is a weird thing to begin with. For the most part, you might as well just be yelling out your opinions at a death metal concert for all the people who are actually going to hear you.

Like on the Herald, if there is an article that sheds any negative light on cops or on firemen, you invariably get the commenter who says that all cops/firemen should be fired, clean house, all on drugs, blah blah blah.

Which then brings out the commenter who says that all cops/firemen are all hard-working, honest, god-fearing saints protecting POS's like the first commenter.

Ad nauseum.

Or like every single blog post about pedestrians & drivers that generates forty-eight billion comments about how all drivers should be killed and how all walkers should be run over.

So boring. And sometimes I wonder if commenting is sort of like talking to yourself. I certainly sometimes feel that blogging is like talking to myself. Exactly who really reads and contemplates and considers a rant posted as a comment?

Kind of like that theory about the bear crapping in the woods. Or wait, no, like that tree falling in the woods. Yeah something like that. Who really is around to hear that.

But I still can't stop reading them. It is my secret shame. Ahh the glorious, potty-mouthed, vituperative, squalor of it all.

I want to roll around in it.

Evacuation Day Rocks!

Seeing as how I now work for "we, the people" I get all sorts of holidays off.

And I am particularly excited to have Evacuation Day off. I don't know why it makes me so excited, but it totally does. Perhaps it's because I am a "herstory dorkus" as one person calls me. And because I guess I prefer "event" holidays like the Fourth of July, to "people" holidays like Columbus Day.

And so today when I called the bank to see if they were open (my Mom didn't believe me that they are), the nice customer service person told me I was the third caller that day asking.

So I told her about Evacuation Day - probably to her complete amusement. But at least now she knows!

I am going to celebrate this day, and be grateful that we celebrate Thanksgiving instead of Guy Fawkes Day, traded the Queen for the Fourth of July, and Dunkins instead of tea.

Oh yeah, and Happy St. Patricks Day!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Once I start reading Odds & Ends, forget it....

Who the f*ck would ever send a turnip to a law office?

And you know that the Bomb Squad really REALLY wanted to bring out the water cannon and blow that sh*t up, even after seeing nothing to indicate that it was a bomb on x-ray.

Because blowing stuff up is AWESOME! Just ask Michael Bay.


I know it is old news, but I STILL can't get over the fact that a woman in Kansas sat on a toilet for two years.

As a matter of fact I am a little obsessed by that. I mean my bathroom is the most boring room in my house and when I know I am going to be in there for a while, I will admit to bringing reading material in there with me.

Plus it's got to be funny which is how I got through The Frogs. I would have never read it otherwise - outside of high school anyway.

But I don't think I have ever gotten past the half-hour mark. Unless you count that time I had the most awful, horrendous, attack of food poisoning, and then sitting there was more for convenience.

Yep, TWO whole years. I am fascinated.


And finally this story that I just do not get.

A bunch of knitters in Ohio are knitting tree cozys.

It's a public art thing, and oh my gosh I think it looks SO pretty. But I bet there are people out there who could use a person cozy.

Like maybe homeless people.

And maybe the tree is like "what the f*ck Grandma is with this stupid sweater?! No one on the block wears stripes anymore. Puh-leeease!"

I am just saying...

Monday, March 10, 2008

More fun times at the RMV

So today, being my birthday and all, I went down to the RMV to renew my drivers license.

I figured I would just pop down, have my photo taken, pay my $40 and go have a little lunch and buy myself a birthday present.

Well I figured wrong.

Somehow between February 15th and today, two tickets from 2006, a excise bill from 2006, and a ticket from Watertown magically appeared on my record.

After waiting for over an hour the nice registry lady said "sorry, no can do". In fairness she gave me the numbers for all the departments and told me to come right back as soon as I cleared it all up.

Foolish me. I thought I could pay everything over the phone.

I started with the City of Boston parking clerk. After waiting on hold for 9 minutes I am told that sometimes even though I checked at city hall (I was there on 2/15) and was told I owed nothing, sometimes these things just "come up". Magically, from the archives.

Even though I didn't remember these two tickets, the locations seemed to fit and so I paid them . (Here is a tip: the pay-by-phone line is SO sensitive to sound that it took prompts from bystanders. Very annoying!)

Then I moved on to the excise tax. But guess what? You can't pay them over the phone. Only in person or online. How inconvenient is that? Very. Because let me tell you, the RMV is certainly NOT going to let me use their computer! I should have gone to the Apple Store and borrowed an I-Phone (see Dad, that is why I need an I-Phone!)

At this point I sort of lost the plot a little.

It is totally inconvenient to get to the RMV, wait an hour and then be told that you have to go to City Hall - both in Boston and in Watertown, and then go back and get your new license - if your head hasn't exploded by then.

When I finally got home I checked online to see what checks I had paid to Boston and to Watertown, and sure enough I already paid them, they were just never cleared from my record.

So now I have to order copies of the checks and mail them in. Allegedly Boston will refund the payment, but Watertown's whole system is down because of the recent weather (!) and they couldn't even tell me if I actually owed anything.

Which means that I could not have gotten my license today anyway - according to the Watertown clerk.

I still do owe the 2006 excise tax. Apparently I didn't pay it when I bought my car in '06 - even though I really think I did pay it around the same time I registered my car. But I must not have paid by check. Dang!

Thankfully Even Stephen took me out for lunch. And then the Evil Twin took my out to buy stuff.

I feel much better, but I still f*cking hate dealing with petty City b*llsh*t!

**** UPDATE ****

Fair play to the Watertown Parking Clerks office who were able to remove the tickets and clear my record over the phone. If you are nice to them, they are nice back.

I should buy a lottery ticket to celebrate. Then I can take you all out for a beer!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I am just saying....

Nothing peeves me more than poor spelling.

Which is why I am horrible at texting. None of this "4COL" or "STFU" for me thanks.

So when I see spelling mistakes on like this... :

it makes me a little bonkers.

I know that I muck up words & punctuation & grammar & the MBTA Trip Planner all the time, but this is a blog I call "Shamrag" for crying aloud!

I could write penis-vagina-elbow in my headline if I wanted, I am low brow. Or peenus-vajiyna-elbo for that matter.

When you are bringing the "nooze" to the masses, f*cking run spell check people!


And now it is fixed. I must be on their feed.
Or the junior editor just got his pee-pee slapped.
And if not, they will when Sr Editor sees that they haven't fixed the headline.

Just the title in the main box.
Tick tock tick tock, let's see how fast the feed refreshes.

How the other half lives.

Unless I win the lottery, make that Megamillions, chances are I won't ever be renting a $6000.00 one bedroom apartment at the Mandarin Oriental.

Although, if I did have the income enough to be able to rent a one bedroom for that price, I don't think I would.

I read this article on and quite frankly I think the emperor is, as they say, butt nekkid.

I at least thought that the article would better explain to a mere mortal like myself what makes a one bedroom worth $6000 a month.

The amenities appear to include take out from Sel de la Terre, room service from the hotel part of the complex, dog walking, and laundry. I am curious if these services are included in the rent, or if they are extra.

I don't really care that much that the countertops are "gleaming", or that the floor-to-ceiling windows are soundproofed
(because duh! That isn't an extra these days), or that there'll be a private mall entrance, because this all sounds similar to the design of the Natick Collection apartments.

Oh wait, it sounds like just about every apartment ad. Well, except for the mall entrance part. Unless you are looking at the Avalon at the Prudential apartments.

I would love to have $6000 a month to spend on shelter. I would pay off my mortgage in like two seconds. And then I would build an endless pool and that to me would be the height of indulgence.

Oh wait, I would also eat at Sel de la Terre a LOT more. Seriously, I love their food.
And give more to the Greater Boston Food Bank.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Homicide @ Dudley Square Today

Traffic is a big f*cking knot in and around and out of Dudley tonight. Seek alternate routes if you can.

Seemingly there was a fatal stabbing late this afternoon at the corner of Washington and Melnea Cass.

I wonder if it's related to yesterday's double stabbing at Roxbury Crossing.

Hopefully it's not just random. I walk in that direction to go to work and one time I did see a very angry man waving a big kitchen knife. I crossed the street and wound up walking the rest of the way home with a neighbor.

I sure hope it wasn't that crazy person.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

End of winterrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr blurgggggggg

The reason I haven't posted anything in like forever is because I feel like poo.

This is the part of winter I cannot stand.

My funny bone is completely out of order, I feel like drinking heavily, I am excited when the temps soar into the 40's, and my house is starting to stink like fust.

I am totally dragging the line right now. Thank god for the NASCAR fantasy group I belong to. It gives me something to look forward to every weekend.

Otherwise I really would probably start with the drinking & crap.

But fo'shizz, once the weather starts to get nice again, the funny bone will sort out and I sweah I will be back on form.