20 December 2007
Oh, Stephen L. Johnson.
Today, EPA Administrator Johnson denied 17 states the right to set their own (stricter) fuel efficiency and emissions standards, saying the less stringent fuel economy federal standard recently (reluctantly) signed by Bush makes their efforts moot.
The giant sucking sound you might hear from the EPA's Crystal City campus today is either:
1) The U.S. auto industry's collective fellatio of Stephen's Johnson.
2) Well, fuck it, let's hand everything over to Japan. (This also sounds like a sucking vacuum, as in evaporating jobs/competitive long-term strategy in view of rising $ per bbl/etc. )
Steve-O, who do you work for?
Didn't Bush get appointed for an environmental platform of letting states decide when and how to regulate their own unique environmental problems?
Tighten up EPA. We were a joke/obstacle in Bali, the least we can do is regulate carbon locally. In the end, the U.S. auto lobby is digging its own grave. As goes California, so goes the rest of the nation. Unless the rest of the country is run by douche bags. Sigh.
19 December 2007
1. I was not initially credited for free Night and Weekend minutes.
2. I was dissatisfied with the Nokia phone and initiated an exchange for a Samsung candy bar phone (I’m not, believe it or not, super picky. The Nokia phone was pretty chincy).
3. While I sent the phone back by the the last week of September, letstalk.com dragged their ass, and stopped offering the Samsung phone on October 1st. I waited without a phone and without communication from letstalk.com.
4. Called and told to pick another phone. Ensured rebate would still apply.
5. Called T-Mobile to make sure I would not be charged another activation fee. I was.
6. Got phone, did not have the correct telephone number, actually letstalk.com did not initiate an exchange but rather activated a second account. Was told by letstalk.com there was nothing they could do about this.
7. Exasperated. Refused to get off phone with letstalk customer service representative. And then click,
“You mean to say we activated a second telephone line rather than initiating an exchange.”
“::chuckle:: yes, that is what I’ve been saying for the past 20 minutes.”
“Oh, ok, I’m sorry, no problem, we’ll take care of it.”
“You were going to hang up on me 2 minutes ago.”
“Ya, sorry about that.”
8. Started rebate today. Found out purchase had to happen prior to October 1st. Started the exchange before then (Please refer back to gripe #4), but the letstalk.com delay fucked me over.
9. Called customer service, told that nothing could be done.
10. Wrote my disgruntled letter.
11. Posted this to the TUR.
It was kind of comical. I really had no recourse at the end of my last customer service call. And then the epiphany- I can write a letter! Haha! A letter! Heads will roll! So I'm like, "Sarah (letstalk.com rep) does letstalk have an address so that I can write a LETTER?"
"Um, wait a sec.....can I put you on hold?"
Who knows, maybe letstalk.com reads this blog just as much as the Roanoke Public Library.
18 December 2007
Here is a shot from the Today show this morning where this woman was outlining guidelines for snagging a husband. Will, Pepper and I found it pretty amazing. There's not too much to add. Ladies take note, because clearly this fashion plate knows a ton about looking great.
16 December 2007
14 December 2007
13 December 2007
12 December 2007
Lead keys/theramin/heart thief:
Drew Carey needs to tighten it up! He's the host of one of the greatest gameshows of all time, The Price is Right, but he seems about as interested in being on stage as Oliver North testifying before congress.
His job consists of dispensing cheap dining room suites and entry model domestic automobiles (with California emmissions) to Joe and Joan Sixpacks who know the price of Garlique tablets and can land Plinko chips in a tray. Jesus, how could you not just get drunk everyday before work and hi-five old ladies and make fun of fratjerks?
Bob Barker was a tough act to follow, but Jesus man, get it together.
An Englishman in Osaka gives an interesting, satirical view of the new immigration procedures. He states that in addition to photographs and fingerprints, folks entering the country will also be interviewed about their reasoning for coming to Japan.
The really surprising part of all this is that there has been no obvious terrorist activity committed by foreigners in Japan to date. Weird. Has Japan gotten a little too tight for its breeches?
11 December 2007
Sometimes, I dream. It's a long, $30B road to tightness, but the jackhammers are pounding.
[check out the tunnel boring machine. it's incredible]
10 December 2007
08 December 2007
06 December 2007
Ouch dude. Seriously. Ouch.
I haven't felt this betrayed since my other hero turned out to be a faker.
Dear Men of Downtown Washington,
How about you move.
Do you see that grate in the sidewalk? Yeah. The one encrusted with yesterday’s mintry mix?
I’m wearing heels, and you’re more than likely wearing thick-soled AmJacks (shoutout to reader rdhd), so when I’m walking toward you on the sidewalk, how about you take two seconds to consider that it might be the gentlemanly thing to do to move onto the grate.
I know that you’re the same clueless asshat who can’t be bothered to say excuse me when you and your conference-freebie man-bag thwack me in the side as you step in front of me entering a Metro turnstile, but how about you at least pretend to be a gentleman?
Love hugs & kisses,
One day after an inch of snow brought Metro to it's knees ... I get this alert after boarding this morning:
(ID 40098) Disruption at Farragut North towards Glenmont. (Trains are sharing the same track due to a sick customer aboard a train at Farragut North station. Expect delays in both in both directions.). Unsubscribe: wmata.com/opt_out.cfm
Why close down ONE CAR when you could close down the ENTIRE Red line?
Did this person have a flesh eating virus? In that case - would I get more notice?
40 minutes later:
(ID 40098) Disruption at Farragut North was cleared. Thank you for riding Metro.. Unsubscribe: wmata.com/opt_out.cfm
No Metro, Thank you for giving me one more reason to take a cab.
You are in need of a tightening.
05 December 2007
Here we go again, only this time they did a much *better* job with the intelligent report.
Bush, don't even go there.
04 December 2007
03 December 2007
Explain to me how a service fee is different from a processing fee. Then explain to me why it costs me another $2.50 to print out your ticket from my printer, using my ink.
Then explain to me why you haven't been broken up by the FCC as a obvious cartel between venues, bands, and you.
Please, collegehumor.com/vimeo/webzine affiliates, explain why no other ticket provider can provide this service at a more reasonable price? WTF?!
Cafe Fresh, located at 1242 Amsterdam Avenue at 121st Street, has got to tighten up.
The place opened up about a year ago, and Becca and I have been there on numerous occasions because it's the coffee shop closest to my apartment. But I can't stand the ridiculous service at this place any longer.
The problem starts when you walk in the door an directly into the back of somebody waiting in line (see diagram). See, rather than take the unique horseshoe shape of their space and make it an advantage, the owner decided to make the single most restricting spot in the whole cafe the central circulation point.
Result: a total clusterfuck.
If you're in line, somebody just ran into your back, is trying to get from the seating area to the bathroom, or just spilled coffee all over you because we've exceeded the recommended maximum allowable elbows for a 50 square foot space.
What's especially irritating is that I'd be willing to deal with the clusterfuck if the service could put a cup of coffee in my hand in fewer than 17 minutes--which it can't. There is a single cashier/barista/quasi-manager, and he could totally borrow some of the arms connected to those extra elbows on the side of the counter.
It's a shame, because the food is pretty good...that is, if you can get there before they run out of bagels at 10am on a weekend. Don't do that.
30 November 2007
Dear Reggie Brown, VP, Florida Tomato Growers Exchange,
Tighten up, you narrow minded asshole. The backstory: In 2005, a variety of coalitions united to improve labor rights for thousands of Floridian and Californian migrant workers that for years had labored under multiple exploitative conditions, including working 10 hour days without bathroom breaks, receiving less than the minimum wage, rampant sexual abuse, etc.
To save its image with the American consumer, Taco Bell and McDonalds caved to consumer pressure to address working conditions over which they had control and agreed to pay one penny extra per pound of tomatoes. This represented a pittance in the overall cost structure of the companies. In terms of a cost of living adjustment for the small percentage of migrant workers who received the wage adjustment (and the amount they are able to reinvest in their local economies, Reggie), this amounted to a laughable raise, but it was something. Now these hard won demands are at risk because, of all things, the corporate "powerhouse" Burger King's refusal to pay the extra penny per pound.
Brown, who effectively represents a component of Big Agro, and emboldened by the King's idiotic stand, equates anyone who opposes Burger King's position as un-American because of the nationality of many workers. Dammit Reggie, is there any charge that has held less water in recent history as something being un-American? If screwing immigrants that provide the labor for the employers you represent is American, then count this Eagle Scout out the next time you say the pledge of corporate allegiance. Do the massive agro subsidies that make Latin American farm products wholly price uncompetitive, forcing mass immigration to los EEUU, constitute an "American values" set of policies? Just how little are we willing to pay for shit food that arrives in paper wrappers from the backs of exploited labor?
Florida grows over 80% of the tomatoes we eat between Thanksgiving and New Years. TUR readers, perhaps a perfect way to say thanks to the workers that will ultimately get screwed by corporate greed and anti-immigrant policy is to resist the urge to have it your way. I know few of us patronize fast food joints anymore, but any little reduction helps. PS> if you think isolationist immigration policies are good for the American economy, you're not Bill Gates.
Also, you can send Reggie an email at email@example.com
Dear Wino boozing it up on my lawn: Tighten up and dispose of this thing properly. However, it is trash night, so I put this where it belongs: the recycling bin. Perhaps the Fates guided your Schlitz bottle to my stoop after all. Either way, consider yourself on notice, Edward-40-Hands.
29 November 2007
The packaging for M&M minis fun size is hard to open. At the top you can see that there's a white dotted line, with "Tear Here" written on it. Well, you can't "tear here". What you can do is mangle the damn packaging, gnaw on it some, in hopes that the tasty little candies come out. If I have such a hard time, think about kids opening these things! Rainbow candy sprays everywhere! Won't someone think of the children!
If you're going to put perforation on packaging for delicious treats, Mars, you better tighten up and perforate it because I'm hungry and I want to eat the sweet sweet insides.
28 November 2007
...and it fits in the palm of your hand. Apparently bloggers really can get things for free, and in the absence of tightness cards, a stamp will have to do.
27 November 2007
On irritating thing about stacks is that any stack's icon is always changing: whatever the first item in the folder is, that's the icon. For example, if you download a lot of .PDFs, your downloads stack will always be changing. If any of your stacks are just folders, they all look exactly the same: like a blank folder (they won't change even if you try).
A Japanese blog called "optima optica" created a workaround whereby you basically insert a transparent bin or drawer into a given stack--making it the first item and resulting in a unique identifier that only partially obscures the old [changing] icon behind. It's irritating that you have to keep this extra icon file in the stack at all times in order to make it work (i.e. by naming it "000", but that's Apple's fault), but this at least allows a visually appealing alternative. Check out a sample before + after:
Of course, you could just rename a default icon as "000" and leave it in the stack, but once the hierarchy problem is solved, it's kind of cool to have a changing icon behind.
Go to download here.
Fuller English explanation here.
Yours in tightness,
19 November 2007
They added that it would be highly unlikely that effective concentrations of CBD could be reached by smoking cannabis.BBC NEWS | Health | Cannabis compound 'halts cancer'
[The Democrats and some Republicans are] more concerned about rights for terrorists than the terrorists' wrongs. I mean, these granting of rights to criminals and terrorists, even when they're necessary, come with a price, a price at the other end of it. Even for the ones that are necessary, like, let's say, the Miranda ruling, it's one you agree with--there's a price for that. Maybe it's one worth paying.AS:
The exclusionary rule, there's a big price for that: Criminals go free. They walk out of court. If you say, you know, no aggressive questioning, then we're not going to find out about situations. If you say no wiretapping, well, there'll be conversations going on, planning to bomb New York, or Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and you're not going to find out... . People will say that aggressive questioning doesn't work. I, you know, I ... Honest answer to that is, it doesn't work all the time. Sometimes it does.
'Aggressive questioning'? And you thought 'enhanced interrogation' was Orwellian. 'Rights for terrorists'? How about rights for terror suspects? I'm sorry but those of us who support the Constitution, the rule of law, the Geneva Conventions, and the separation of powers are not in love with the evil that terrorists do. And it's deeply offensive to say we have more concern with terrorists' rights than with their wrongs. We have concerns about human rights and civil liberties - things that Islamists want to destroy.(Reynolds: You support Giuliani, right?
Notice, moreover, that Giuliani seems to harbor no notion that any terror suspect in the US is innocent until proven guilty, and assumes a complete, reflexive conflation between 'criminals' and those charged with a crime, as if no government official could ever confuse the two, or ever make a mistake and decide to cover it up.
Notice also his assertion that some Democrats want no wiretapping, period. What they and rule-of-law Republicans favor is wiretapping with warrants, and minimal oversight, to prevent abuse. Again: what's staggering to me is that Giuliani never seems to contemplate that such abuse is even possible. Nothing could be more alien to a truly conservative mindset.
It seems to me that a vote for Giuliani is a vote for a police state that uses torture. I put it that bluntly because I don't see how granting one man the right to seize and torture anyone anywhere is anything else.
I'm interested in hearing your take.)
17 November 2007
Welcome to 23andMe, a web-based service that helps you read and understand your DNA. After providing a saliva sample using an at-home kit, you can use our interactive tools to shed new light on your distant ancestors, your close family and most of all, yourself.23andMe - Welcome to You.
I, for one, welcome our new knowledge overlords.
16 November 2007
Tuesday, however, the two hangar-sized rooms hosting the conference went suddenly dark. Fans whirred quietly down; nerdy snickers echoed across the floor. The power to millions of dollars of fancy silicon had gone out.
It would have been one thing if this had been the Ninja Convention or the Adult Entertainment Expo. A little darkness could have livened up both of those. But without power, what are a bunch of computer geeks going to do, talk to each other?
(Snarky article from the Register here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/13/worlds_biggest_reboot/)
14 November 2007
This same logic applies to health insurance as a whole. The current private, market-centered system has actually been remarkably successful at it's primary goal- profit taking (check out WellPoint, the nation's largest private health insurer) but astoundingly inept at achieving broad public health goals. Every year there are more uninsured, higher premiums and less overall coverage. Why would you expect these two goals to be inexplicably linked?
I know, I know, I sound like a dirty pinko commie. But wait, I love capitalism. I can buy a mother f-ing DVD player for $25. 25 dollars!!! That is freaking ridiculous. Which begs the question, why does the market work gangbusters for DVD players and not for providing health insurance? What I believe- health is not a commodity (or good, or service for that matter), it can not be accurately priced, it is not like making a choice between a Honda Civic or a Toyota Camry.
What got me started- a few weeks ago now I noticed an AMA advertisement in the New York Times, voicefortheuninsured.org. I got really excited. I thought they had changed their ways. But then I read their actual policy. Their position- no more employer based health insurance (the way the MAJORITY of American get coverage), no individual mandate, tax credits for individuals to purchase coverage. The logic: sick people are not insulated ENOUGH from their costly illnesses. If only they were more responsible for paying their $200,000 in chemotherapy they would understand it is a much more cost effective option to save that cash, buy a sports car and then drive it off a cliff.
The tighten up, in this case, must fall fast and hard on the idiot AP reporter that got this story wrong. One would think that checking one's sources when something as ridiculous as Paris Hilton trying to save drunk pachyderms comes up, would be a good idea. Apparently, said reporter disagrees.
13 November 2007
Hilton, who recently did a stint in county lock-up for drunk driving, has stated that "the elephants get drunk all the time. It is becoming really dangerous. We need to stop making alcohol available to them... It is just so sad."
Oh Irony! Paris is thy name...
12 November 2007
09 November 2007
When I came back from DC on Wednesday, I forgot to bring my cellphone charger. I didn't realize this until my phone battery began to die on Thursday evening.
I do this all the time. Becca had to mail it to me, and until it arrives, I am without phone. Need to tighten that up. [I'm also good at leaving scarves and coats at friends' houses, in classrooms, etc. Sometimes, I put cereal boxes back in the fridge]
Meantime, if anybody has a cellphone charger that will work for an LG CU500, wanna lend it to me? I'd like to call Becca to thank her for mailing it to me.
08 November 2007
07 November 2007
Don't do that. Tell those programmers to tighten up.
Someone who will never use Vista [opens flash video].
05 November 2007
Dear Mr. Parsi (please note, doctors can perscribe medicine--you are not a doctor but rather a simple mister like the rest of us not trained in the healing arts):
I have read your work Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the U.S. and would like to take this opportunity to ask you to tighten up and get a new editor. Are you aware that the first printing of your book contains boldfaced errors in editing, not least of which is the wrong date for theProphet Muhammad's ascension to government in Medina by nearly 1200years? When you cite a poll, it is helpful to footnote it along with its methodolgy, sample size, and where possible, wording of the original question to which the answers derived from polling refer. "Based on this premises," should read, "based on this premise." If you have an address for your editor, I'll be happy to direct my further criticism to him/her about his/her terrible/awful grammar/factchecking.
02 November 2007
The next piece of taxi-related news to appear today was the $4 minimum fare price, as compared to $2.50 in New York and under $3 in every other city I know of.
This is unacceptible. Fare prices are going to rise across the board now, angering riders, yet the independent contractors that dominate the Washington taxi market remain displeased because meters will bring in larger operators to crowd them out. In other words, nobody is happy. Way to go, Fenty. You have squandered your legacy: affordable rides home for drunk 20-somethings, to say nothing of the thousands of impoverished Washingtonians who lack an alternative means of transportation. Way untight.
UPDATE: I just discovered that existing fees will still hold, including the loathesome extra passenger surcharge ($1.50 per person). I could go on for thousands of words about the insanity of this new policy if I wasn't rendered completely speechless.
01 November 2007
The premise? Foreground: cheesy souvenir. Background: actual thing it represents. A great idea that makes for fun images. Here is the slide show.
31 October 2007
30 October 2007
"Well, I'm spottin' him a 1' 4" advantage, and, to be honest, that's going to be a factor in this game. He's got me on speed and shooting ability, but I've just got to play my game as, I usually play it, and...I'm not going to change anything--I've got to stay with my strengths, basically singin' and songwriting."
--Paul Simon, songwriter, champeen
I just upgraded to the much anticipated Mac OS X 10.5, aka Leopard. It's as beautiful as it was in Steve Jobs' dreams. Bla blah blah.
When I went to use my Hewlett-Packard Photosmart C4280 All-in-One Print/Scan/Copy (acquired for free with the purchase of the computer), it wouldn't work because HP hasn't updated their drivers yet. The only reason the printer is working at all now is that it's running on Apple's proprietary driver for HP devices, included in Leopard. The scanner is still disabled, and will be until you get your shit together.
To figure this out, I had to spend 3 hours on the phone with Apple Care and another half hour with HP. This was 3.5 hours I have been unable to use in being productive at other tasks, which is why I purchased this new equipment.
HP, if a major computer manufacturer is about to release a major operating system upgrade, especially when your 2 companies have a rebate deal going--and you know new devices are being installed on the new OS--wouldn't it be reasonable to ask "Is our software up to date?"
Hewlett-Packard, tighten up your shit. I've got to go plug in the old Dell, and I'm none too pleased.
29 October 2007
I apologize for the uncomfortable situation you were placed in this past week. Unfortunately due to the massive amount of obscene graffiti and gang tags the Main Library has experienced in the past year in its restrooms, Library Administration and the City decided it would be best if the restrooms were locked.
When I read your posting on The Tighten Up Report on Sunday, I was wondering if the librarian you spoke with thought you request additional time on Computer #2? Most of the requests we field at the desk are for additional computer time. We just started the buzzing patrons in the bathrooms last week and are just getting use to it ourselves.
Again, I apologize for the awkward situation and hope it doesn't stop you from using the Main Library.
Roanoke Public Libraries
706 S. Jefferson St.
Roanoke, VA 24016
Today's post was going to be all about how a bona fide sign of a fascist government includes using public money to train mercenaries to kill innocent civilians abroad, but then I remembered that we "deployed" Blackwater soldiers right in our own backyard. The same company that operates outside of Iraqi jurisdiction also helped with our home-brewed class war exposed in real time in the Ninth Ward.
Instead, today's military industrial complex tighten up award (perhaps a tiny statue of Cheney shooting us all in the face, or Ike intoning his warning to beware) goes to Exxon Mobile, who today posted record quarterly earnings. I know that a lot besides invasion and bloodshed over vast deposits of crude oil might increase the commodity price thereof. But it sure doesn't hurt Exxon Mobile every time Cheney turns on his pacemaker to threaten Iran or the aforementioned Blackwater opens fire on another group of Iraqis. Admittedly, Exxon is the most profitable and low-hanging fruit of my tirade. Fortunately, we still have exemplary operations to look at that should have nothing to do with war. Hello Shell in Nigeria!
If the MSNBC article is correct, Exxon Mobil has grossed some $40 billion more revenue this year than the discretionary annual budget of the US Department of Education.
See if you can play "when did the U.S. invade?" on the chart above. I know it's a bit old, but in view of today's quarterly earnings report, it is quite de moda.
I can't stand it anymore. To everybody, everywhere:
Apostrophes do 1 of 2 things:
1. Denote possession
2. Denote contraction
Here's how you use them:
- If you possess it, and you don't have an S on your name, easy: [Pepper's broccoli].
- If you possess it, and you have an S on your name, easy: [The Jones' broccoli].
- TIP: [The Jones's brocolli] would be awkward. DBA [don't be awkward]. It's a plural possessive and should be [The Joneses' broccoli]. Except the Joneses hate broccoli.
- Yours, His, Hers: already possessive. No apostrophe. Ever.
- Can + Not = "Cannot"; becomes [Can't]. The apostrophe symbolizes the contraction and disappearance of two letters.
- "Is not" becomes [isn't]. The apostrophe symbolizes the contraction and disappearance of one letter.
- [Its] is possessive but has no apostrophe. Why? Because:
- [It's] was already taken, and is short for "It is".
- Correct: It's difficult to use apostrophes.
- Correct: Grammar--its importance should not be overlooked.
- Beaver's build dams.
- Beavers' build dams.
- If it ends in X or Z. But let's not open that can of worms.
An addendum for Pete:
You + Are = You're
Your = possessive.
Example: You're loose unless you tighten your grammar.
Last Sunday, Kristen and I were coming back from a trailride, and planning on getting a bite at the Hunter's Head, but parking there is tricky when you're driving a horse trailer (which I was). So Kristen, driving her own car, told me to park in the church parking lot. As we got closer, the church parking lot looked full, but I thought I could drive around it and turn around.
The church parking lot was PACKED. People had blocked the thru way, and immediately after pulling in, I realized I was screwed. I got out of the truck and walked to Kristen in her car behind me, her mouth a little agape. She simply said "I can't believe you pulled in here."
The thing about trailers, is they take a ton of room and goosenecks are really difficult to back up. Kristen jumped in the truck and after multiple strategies, she was finally able to get the truck and trailer out of the packed parking lot, without having to wait until the people got out of church. She was only borderline about to kill me.
So last night, Kristen picked me up at National airport at 9:40 and dropped me off at Pepper's car, which I drive most of the time. I jump in the car and turn the key..... And it's dead. Totally dead. Because I left a light on (all weekend). So I yell to Kristen that it won't start. Kristen, being the "always get the job done" master that she is, just shrugs and backs her car in front of mine. Pepper, being the "always prepared" master he is, has a fully stocked emergency kit in his car--complete with jumper cables. About 3 minutes later, we're up and running. I follow Kristen back to our place in Georgetown, until at a stoplight, the car dies again. Again, we jump it (no kind gentlemen to help--tighten up men of DC). Kristen advises me to rev the engine a little at stop lights, and I manage to get the car home OK.
28 October 2007
26 October 2007
25 October 2007
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the word children 45 times in her speech about the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Did your speech writer take the day off? For the love of baby jesus ... the word is in the BILL... we.get.it.
Here's a sample paragraph:
" In my case, grandchildren. My children are grown. So it's not a question of that. But you who have children, god bless you, i'm jealous, you have children at home, you have health insurance for your children. The children we are trying to give this health insurance don't. They can't afford it. And by the way, over 90% of them make one-fifth of what a member of congress makes, one fifth of what a member of congress makes. So we're talking about people who are playing by the rules who are trying to get up to the middle class or sustain themselves into the middle class, we are talking about a deeply held value, an ethic that to be a great nation, we have to take care of the health of our children."
Your approval ratings are -25 % ... no bills are passing ... at least tighten up your oratory skills and set a good example... for the children.