20 December 2007

Happy Holidays (Corporate) Detroit


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

Letstalk.com, you are as reliable as that wino outside of Gibson's grocery.

Today I wrote my first "disgruntled customer" letter to a company. So over the past month or so I have spent close to 5 hours talking to customer service. In the letter I itemized my grievances:

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

Really?


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.

And the word of the year is....

Woot!


Take that real other words!

12 December 2007

Austin's Octopus Project are Supertight

You know how when a friend tells you about a band that are about to blow the fuck up on the tightness scale? I first saw these cats at Beauty Bar's backyard at SXSW 2005, and was instantly smitten. More smitten than Drew Cary at a dark black glasses convention, if someone were to organize a convention to sell exclusively dark black glasses and funnel cakes. Anyway, hope you'll enjoy. They are nucking futs live.

New Video



At Coachella:



Lead keys/theramin/heart thief:

Drew Carey, you have a dream job.


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.

Too tight?

A few weeks ago BBC News Tokyo reported that Japan has locked-down its immigration procedures. Now all foreign travelers entering the country will be fingerprinted and photographed. What's more, even foreigners living in Japan (i.e., those who have visas) who leave the country will be subjected to these proceedings upon returning to Japan.

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

Transit Tightness



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

Climate Control Systems




Climate control systems, it's time to tighten your shit up. Seriously, I'm sick of walking into a building--particularly one of those old buildings that everybody hates--and being slowly roasted in my own juices. My pants caught on fire the other day right in front of this really important professor, and I was totally mortified.




I know there's a NYC law that requires residential buildings be heated to certain temperatures during certain hours of certain months, but at least if my apartment gets out of control, I can cut off the radiator or crack a window.




I call for a simple solution: NYC building owners should be required to hire professional ice sculptors (probably from Maine) to carve ice sculptures in the image of important civic and historical figures, sports stars, and majestic land formations. They would be placed in key circulation areas, keeping temperatures perfectly regulated, and inspiring us all to greatness. And cleanup would be a total snap: the melted ice would just evaporate because the temperature would be 6,000 degrees again.




Climate control systems, get it together or you're gonna get hosed.

08 December 2007

Tightnod: Cabela's





Word up Cabela's. Way to keep the denizens of our fair land armed and full of jerky.

06 December 2007

Pepper, Tighten-Up. That's Right I Said It...

I never thought I would have to do this, but, Pepper, you need to tighten. I refer to your previous comments regarding the Cavman of UVA and your not wanting to be facebook buddies. Low and behold, I login this morning to see "Pepper and CavMan Uva are now friends," on your page.

Ouch dude. Seriously. Ouch.

I haven't felt this betrayed since my other hero turned out to be a faker.

Tighten-Up by Proxy: Project Beltway Throws Down

Via Project Beltway.

Original text:

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,
Rachel

NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

This is hilarious: I want to buy corn dogs from Obama and give Hilary and Giuliani a bib. Way to kick it unbiased, New York Times. I'm throwing a TU for the humiliating stock footage, though it did make me laugh. [More complaining; self-promotion.]

Metro: Decidedly Untight



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.

04 December 2007

Mobile Tightness Units


...have arrived. Think globally, act locally.

Yours In Tightness,
The Tighten Up Report
Editorial Board

03 December 2007

Dear Ticketwhoremaster,


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 Mismanaged, purveyor of Bottleneck Bagels


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.

Yet another example of supermarket looseness...


Some inappropriate early December labeling sent by a friend. It can be found right next to the Swiss cheese with pastrami on rye.
PS-If you don't get that reference, move to New York, go to a Jewish deli, and ask for cheese on you sandwich...

30 November 2007

Have it your way, fuck workers over





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 reggie.brown@floridatomatogrowers.org

The font of my yard is not a place for your empty forty.

Walking home from work tonight I spied this lovely treasure as I approached my house.


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

I CAN'T OPEN THE CANDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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

Tightness Has A New Weapon


...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.

Thanks, VistaPrint!

Corner Bistro, a haven of tightness except for this

Ah, the anticipation of the Bistro Burger.  You try not to think too much about it from the time you place your order to the time you see your waiter come back with your eight ounces of heaven.  Then your mouth starts to water as the moment has arrived... only to find a latex glove in the burger?  Unacceptable.  The situation is only made worse by the fact that you now have to wait for a replacement while thinking about how weird and disgusting this is (presumably a bare hand that was previously sweating profusely inside the glove has touched your burger) but also that it is seemingly impossible to misplace a latex glove.  Why was it taken off?  Why was it so easily forgotten?  How did they manage to turn what should be a symbol of cleanliness into this?  Why do I have so much time to think about this before the next burger arrives?  When can we go back?

latex glove in the burger

27 November 2007

Tightness Award: Japanese Blogger "optima optica"

The new Mac Leopard operating system has some pretty nifty features, one of them being that you can add these things called "stacks" to your dock. They're pretty much anything you like: applications, documents, downloads, recently-used stuff--and they explode crisply from the dock when you click them.

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.

Super tight.

Go to download here.
Fuller English explanation here.

Costco Cocktail Parties, Now So 3 Years Ago

Let's leave the shameless family promotion out of this, but the New York Times ran an article two days ago about the relationship between Washingtonian host/hostesses and Costco. The article more or less celebrates this symbiosis, but I must go on record as saying most of the Costco pastries and baked goods suck. There should be much less pride in serving those mediocre black and white cookies (ask Pete). Look, we're all busy, we all love Costco, but so much pride is a little unwarranted. I love my sister, (Julie I love you), but I believe this article portends the death of the Costco Cocktail party. Once it's in the NYT, it's sooo 3 years ago.
Smooches!

Dear Safeway:

Your location in Adams Morgan (a.k.a. The Salsa Safeway, a.k.a. The Soviet Safeway) was out of 2% milk tonight. Out. No organic 2%, no soymilk 2%, no acidophilus 2%, no organic acidophilus 2%, no moocowfuckmilk 2%. None. Please tighten up. No milk does a body no good and I hate dry cereal almost as much as I hate being awake before 10 am.

Yours in tightness,
Orville

19 November 2007

Best First Dance at a Wedding Ever

It's moments like watching this video that makes me happy the TUR exists.  This is so tight I can't stand it.  

Sweet Army Stuff



Check out how tight fighter pilot's new helmets are.  They actually allow pilots to virtually "look" through their planes.  Now we will totally be able to kick every other air force's ass.  Oh wait... we already can.

PS- Matt was going to post this, but the picture scared him too much.

Cannabis compound 'halts cancer'

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'

Worth the six paragraphs

Andrew Sullivan drops a severe TU on Rudy Giuliani.

RG:
[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.

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.
AS:
'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.

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.

(Reynolds: You support Giuliani, right?
I'm interested in hearing your take.)

17 November 2007

We are now living the prequel to Gattaca

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

Lights Out in Reno

Reno, though it is no Vegas, is a neon city, with blinking, sweeping, and glowing lights straining to block out the stars. So you'd think they'd have the whole electricity thing down pat. I'm sure that's what the Supercomputing '07 conference committee had in mind when they chose Reno to host their show. After all, supercomputing means power cables as thick as your arm, with rooms full of liquid-cooled machines simulating particle physics and supernovae.

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/)

15 November 2007

14 November 2007

Dear American Medical Association: please stop pissing me off.

The AMA has stood in opposition to most major efforts to expand health insurance coverage for the uninsured for much of the past century. It makes perfect sense. As an organization of physicians advocating for physicians, they have physician interests (high pay, less regulation, more independence) rather than public health interests in mind. When those interests are in conflict, physician interests take priority. Totally obvious- it's like asking the NRA to lobby against assault rifles (their primary goal, defending the 2nd amendment, trumps any argument why it is freaking ridiculous for individuals to have these weapons). And remember, nobody is spending AMA-like money every year advocating for the diverse and fluid group that makes up the 47 million uninsured. 999 times out of 1000 doctor interests win out. Those interests often align with keeping the current system in place; the system that has allowed doctors to be paid more in America than any other county, by far.

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.

'Your Creation Museum Report'

Props to you, John Scalzi, for your thorough, albeit "snarky", review of The Creation Museum. Your photographic tour provides mighty insight and wit, and your metaphorical tale of horseshit is far from horseshit, indeed. From one Report to another, I say, well done!

Tighten up AP and stop making me look like a jerk

A certain source of mine, who shall remain nameless, with strong ties to the seedy underworld of the zoo-based media just tipped me off to the AP's retraction of their Paris Hilton elephant story I made fun of yesterday. Apparently, Paris said no such thing and could care less about drunk elephants. I will have to retract my TU on Paris and give her some props for realizing that she is, in fact, a worthless piece of human bowel movement whose only real reason for being alive is to convert oxygen to carbon dioxide.

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

Elephants are hot...

It's been a long while since I threw a tighten up on anything, so I really wanted to come back strong. Thankfully, one can always look to celebrities for a solid TU. Paris Hilton has decided the best way for her to make a phoenix-esque rise from the ashes of her once meaningless and still meaningless life, is to develop an Angelina Jolie/Madonna-like crush on some plighted being. Rather than starving children, education, or disaster relief, however, Paris has decided to focus her time and attention on the more personally meaningful cause of drunk elephants.

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...

09 November 2007

Apretado, che, muy apretado.



Do yourself a favor, friend, and dig Rodrigo y Gabriela. Metal mexicano y clasico!

self tighten: remember personal affects


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

For serious, VDOT?


No spellcheck on the old Sign-o-Matic? Come on, these signs have a cumulative vocabulary of about 30 words--is it that hard to spell them correctly?

07 November 2007

I didn't know the devil could shake hands with himself



This should tell you all you need to know about both men.

Dear Microsoft,

It seems your Windows operating system likes to use virtual memory to tell me I'm running out of virtual memory.


Don't do that. Tell those programmers to tighten up.

Sincerely,
Someone who will never use Vista [opens flash video].

05 November 2007

Treacherous Alliance, Troublesome Editing, Teetering Premise(s)




















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[1] 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

Dear Cavman,


How to do this, especially after our last encounter? How about this:

No.

Sincerely,
Pepper

Obama Matters

In a shameless act of self-promotion, I submit to the TUR the newest cover of The Atlantic, designed by our tight art director, Jason Treat:

Flickr vision

This site is tight. It displays newly-posted Flickr photos on a map of the world in real time.

Tightness revoked

I take back every good thing I ever said about you, Mayor Fenty. When you paraded down 17th Street at this week's High Heel Race (not in drag, unfortunately) and someone shouted "Mayor Fenty kicks ass!", I cheered with the rest of the crowd. This morning, I learned your plan to switch taxis in the District to meters meant that the signs atop our taxis would illuminate when vacant and shut off when carrying a passenger, as is the case in the rest of the civilized world. Huzzah, I thought, another triumph for the D.C. Don of Tightness.

No more.

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

Michael Hughes: Giving us a reason to buy kitschy souvenirs since 2003.

A fellow named Michael Hughes takes some pretty amazing photographs. He has one collection of images he calls "souvenirs". It's an ongoing project I like to check in on from time to time and today I thought I'd give it a nod.

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

Royksopp romp



This video caught my eye because it "reminds me" of an anatomy of a city, animated.

30 October 2007

Paul Simon: tight music, tight moves.



"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

Hewlett-Packard, get your shit together yesterday.

[but don't try using it with]


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?"

Probably.

Hewlett-Packard, tighten up your shit. I've got to go plug in the old Dell, and I'm none too pleased.

Light Graffiti

This light is tight. Found this image here; original gallery plus video here. (The video is spectacular! Watch it!)



(In fact, LICHTFAKTOR's entire portfolio is amazing.)

29 October 2007

RPL Responds

Mr. Flagil_Reinhumps -
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

Meal and Blog Post of the Day

I am not a poet. Please read this blog post and delight in the pictures.

A teaser taste:


War Profiteers, redux



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.

Apostrophes 101

" ' "

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:

1. Possession:
  • 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.
2. Contraction [i.e. two words (or a compound word) become one (or shorter)]:
  • 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.
3. Curveball:
  • [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.
Don't ever do this:
  • Beaver's build dams.
  • Beavers' build dams.
Discretionary:
  • If it ends in X or Z. But let's not open that can of worms.
Know it, use it, love it.

_______________________
An addendum for Pete:

You + Are = You're

Your = possessive.

Example: You're loose unless you tighten your grammar.

Tight?

I can't decide yet, since I'm too preoccupied with the searing pain in my eyes...

NSFW!

My sister Kristen

My sister Kristen is seriously tight. You see, when you're my sister, there's a lot of things you have to do. My friends (P and Ingrid) joke about how they have to "babysit" me--and truer words have never been spoken. Babysitting Becca involves the normal thing you would do with a ten year old, like keeping me on time, making sure I've eaten, keeping me entertained with tv shows or events or finding my car keys. Now that you have an idea, here is what I did: twice in the last week, I had some driving issues.

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.
I was wrong.

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.
In conclusion: Kristen Glover, saving my ass since January 21st, 1982.

28 October 2007

TIghten Up Roanoke Public Library

I'll be brief. There is a electric buzz lock on the bathroom at the RPL. They make you ask the librarian to use it. Within earshot of like 8 other people the librarian responded, "should I give you a little extra time for number 2?" Don't do that anymore.

26 October 2007

Friday morning tight nod



The video is kind of funky. The song is one of the best I've heard in a while. Top o the morning to you!

25 October 2007

Enough with the children already!


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.

Annoying Co-Worker Driving Me Crazy


Alright Peter, you drove me to do this.
Fucking stop playing "Big Girls Don't Cry" to piss me off. You are an asshole. I'm totally throwing you under the bus. Tighten Up and play me some Kanye.