Friday, December 13, 2002 at 18:36:22 (EST)

In which we are treated like children for our own good
Hate to keep harping on this, but it sounds like the fight is over. Bloomberg made a few concessions to the council, but smoking in bars will become a thing of the past this coming spring. This is such bullshit I can't believe it. Anybody with half a brain can see what's going on here, but a 'pro' smoking lobby just doesn't have any muscle. Nor should it, maybe. But in the article, most of the quotes are from reps from the American Cancer Institute or American Lung Association. They speak as though they were the city government. Balls.

So we can look forward to many, many smokeless bars, no doubt teeming with every holier-than-thou asshole whose life is so precious they never hung out in a bar before. Fuck you, pink lungs! We all know the risks, and some of us even know a thing or two about the credibility of smoking studies, but that all seems besides the point. It is still rare, even in these Republican-led times, that the individual feels the crushing weight of his government in action. Of course I use 'Republican' in its present form: a political body who now believes that government should swell up and do everything it can to protect the interests of a small number of people, usually the ones who speak loudest about the legislation. Bloomberg claims this ban wasn't a pet project, but it's pretty obvious somebody has been greasing the wheels for a long time.

So the question now is, where are these 'owner operated' bars in the city? I guess these are bars that have only one bartender who owns the place. They are gonna be packed. I also need to get a listing of the 7 cigar bars in the city. I wonder which, if any, bars will go ahead and build the special 'smoking chambers' that will be the only way a normal bar can allow smoking inside. These rooms shall not allow the entry of any bar employees, need special doors, and separate ventilation systems. So they will be rooms in a given bar that cannot possibly answer to the authority of that business. It's gonna be Thunderdome! No law! We'll be able to sit in there and shoot up speedballs and mock the bar staff through the window! They can't come in and stop us, right?

Will the police also be exempt from having to deal with smoking citizens? They're employees, too, right? They shouldn't be subjected to smoke, wherever it may be. Note to organized crime guys, if you wanna whack somebody in broad daylight, do it in a cgar bar. Get a circle of hefty dudes to encircle the mark and smoke big stogies in unison. According to the logic of the smoking ban, a cop won't come within 50 feet of you, you're free to commence with the Colombian Necktie.

Oh well, I guess I'll get used to it eventually. It's just gonna be hard to divorce the idea of drinking and smoking. They somehow do it in San Francisco (and believe me, there are plenty of smokers there). But of course the climate is a bit more forgiving than ours. Everything kills you eventually, it just depends on how fast you wanna go. Maybe that one tobacco company will reintroduce the 'smokeless' cigarette, which flopped the first time out. Or maybe it's time to move up to something classy, like Skoal.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

Some facts about EPA's smoming study
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Friday, December 13, 2002 at 16:43:03 (EST)

In which I expose the plot to freeze me to death
If anybody else out there knows the joys of telecommuting, you might be able to relate to this. In New York City, it is the landlord's responsibility to provide and pay for heat and hot water (cold water, too, but I guess that's assumed). A major point of contention is how that actually manifests during these cold cold winter months. Up until today I had been giving my landlord the benefit of the doubt about the heat in here, as I was vaguely aware of the laws related to it. I knew that the heat laws were split up into separate parts of the day, assuming that the break revolved around the 9 to 5 hours, since most folks are out at the office during this time. But I just looked up the Housing Maintenance Code and was annoyed to read this:

a. During the period from October 1 through May 31, centrally supplied heat, in any dwelling in which such heat is required to be provided, shall be furnished so as to maintain in every portion of such dwelling used or occupied for living purposes:

(1) between the hours of six a.m. and ten p.m. a temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit whenever the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees; and

(2) between the hours of ten p.m. and six a.m. a temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit whenever the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees.

I dunno who came up with these rules, but I can tell you my landlord is doing almost the exact opposite to what is proscribed in these laws. During my days perched before this computer, I'm often nearing hypothermia, as the furnace rarely comes on during daylight hours. I have to jump around, chase the cat, or, most often, turn on the broiler and open the oven door to warm up. Also helpful is taking a super hot shower to raise the body temperature a bit, but due to the sedentary nature of my business, I keep cooling down to an unpleasant level.

Then again, if the landlord was following the rules, it's be getting chilly in here around 11PM, which would suck infinitely worse than during the day. Do they make solar powered space heaters yet? I'd like one of those.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

The landlord would probably not allow this solution
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Friday, December 13, 2002 at 15:17:31 (EST)

In which I get the Word out
Okay, so one of the major drawbacks of not doing a blog through one of the major blog services is that I'm a needle in the haystack. I don't get listed in any of the blog directories that work off XML or RSS or whatever the hell it is. And I'm not on Blogger, or any of the 'online diary' sites. So I've been hustling through some Blog Directory directories, trying to get my blog some exposure. It feels really dumb, but since I discovered the joys of website traffic analysis, I feel the need to try to get some other eyeballs on this site. I'm still looking into the possibility of working in the proper code to get my blog to ping sites like Weblogs.com, but for the time being it's all gonna be manual. I even had to submit my site to Google to get it listed!

One of the directories I just registered with had an odd delineation between blogs and diaries. I'm still not sure if I get the difference. I guess blogs can be very specialized, like Bitch-Sessions, which only posts stories about weird and annoying things that happen to is authors. When you pick a topic and stay with it, that extra focus can be helpful in defining your site, but I know there's no way I could limit my posts to one thing. Certainly not if I expect to update this space more than once in a blue moon. Okay, now I'll think of something to write that's interesting to more than one person. Maybe.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

Why am I still indoors?
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Thursday, December 12, 2002 at 16:03:09 (EST)

In which I whore my blog
This is pretty pathetic, but I gotta drive some more traffic, and I don't do XML. Not Yet, anyway. So without further ado,

Is my Blog HOT or NOT?

I can tell you right now, it's decidedly not. But whaddya gonna do?

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at 23:04:17 (EST)

In which I get soused
I just put it together that over the course of my recent birthday I received three separate bottles of whiskey! I guess my desire to only deal in consumable presents got around. J&M gave me what is probably the most expensive of the set, some 10 year old Scotch with a name that is impossible to pronounce. It is fine stuff indeed. They also gave me some kick-ass rocks glasses from which to imbibe said liquor. M brought a bottle of Jim Beam, possibly the finest drink you can expect to find in any bar (except for that Patio Bar on Second Ave, they didn't seem to know what it is). He also gave me a bizarre mix CD with music ranging from Stan Getz to Mark Motherspaugh to Scarface. Finally, B (who has the inside track of course) got a hold of a bottle from my past: When I was a mere youngster of 23, my favorite bourbon was Mark Twain, which in those days had a bottle that was obviously a rip off of the more popular Jim Beam. Nowadays it's in a cylindrical bottle, but it's just as cheap ($10 for a liter). I am saving it for a very special occasion, like a transit worker strike. Oh goody!

So I'm swimming in whiskey for the time being. It's a good feeling especially if you've ever run out and wanted badly to make a Speedball. Which reminds me, has anybody else out there (outside of Athens) ever heard of the Speedball? No, not the drug cocktail that sent John Belushi and Layne Staley to that big rehab center in the sky, but rather a cuppa coffee with shots of Bailey's and whiskey in it. It's a real eye opener, first introduced to me by Scott, the bass player from the band Geraldine. I have never seen any evidence that it exists outside of Athens, and I'm beginning to think Scott invented it. I have yet to find a bar in this town who has any idea what it is when I try to order it. I always end up getting an Irish Coffee, which is okay, but not really the same experience.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at 22:29:54 (EST)

I love a good strike
This possible transit strike is spooky. If it happens, it will screw stuff up in this city six ways from Sunday. People will not be able to get to work (despite increase carpooling bullshit), people will lose money, people will get fired. People will get mad and vengeful. Even though there are many ugly sides to this, I just gotta see this happen. That's my guilty little thought for the day. If it gets solved without a strike, that'll be all right, but everybody loves that self-righteous static!

I can rest easy since I work from home most of the time. But it will be tempting to go out and see the mayhem if the strike happens. I have dreamed of riding my folding bike to work, going over the bridge to the Financial Center. I never imagined doing it in the fucking freezing cold, but no dream is perfect, I guess. The solutions to the strike amount to using the remaining transit options, and is pretty insulting frankly. The mayor did his stupid-ass spiel about buying a new bike (what an asshole), and they're gearing up the "High Occupancy Vehicle" lanes, which will probably mean lots of hitchhiking. Then there's the ferries, which apparently are somehow running more boats (where are they coming from? Venice?), and then there are cabs for the rich and snotty. Who were probably taking cabs anyway, so they can go fuck themselves. People are wondering why Bloomberg isn't doing something about this, partially ignoring the fact that for some dumbass reason the MTA is run by the state. So it's Pataki who should be hustling, but Bloomberg flip attitude is just one more reason I want to punch him in the mouth.

The bottom line is the MTA is running a scam on everybody. There needs to be some major reorganization before these idiots talk about raising our fare only to cut the level of "service" we've come to expect. Are you kidding me with this shit? It just blows that the union wants to take us innocent bystanders hostage to prove they have a point. If the strike happens, I'm heading to Hell's Kitchen to buy a horse.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

Read the funny demands of the TWU!
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Tuesday, December 10, 2002 at 14:23:00 (EST)

Photos of my birthday shindig are up


Posted By Jimmy Legs
I grow old, I grow old ... I shall eat Rold Gold©
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Monday, December 09, 2002 at 13:30:39 (EST)

In which I seethe in a tiny cubicle
So I forgot I had this meeting or some shit in the office today, so here I am. I guess I have no room to grouse since most humans have already trudged through the cold to sit in their lame cubicles listening to inane office chatter. But that doesn't make it right.

Mondays are always bad for everybody, but for some reason I get more work on Mondays than any other. It's like my coworkers sit around over the weekend saying "Oh gosh, I've just gotta get that other thing up on the website!" It must be very cathartic for them to file in on Monday morning and deluge me with work.

Anyhow this meeting today is with some 3rd party group who I believe is going to make my job obsolete. That's okay, as I have been informed that my job will be metamorphosing soon to accommodate all of this. How I dread having to speak with these people about what I do. They're going to ask what software I use and when I say "Dreamweaver, Notepad and Windows Explorer," they're gonna go "Huh?" They're gonna ask why I have no true Content Manager installed. I know the other guys in my department use InterDev as a way to 'check out' files so there's a record of who's got what, but since I am the only person who really ever does anything with the Intranet site, there is no reason for such additional methods. It'd be like going to the bank and traipsing through the velvet rope maze even though you are the sole customer. Strike that, it's actually more like I run the bank as well, like I'm the teller and I still have to walk through the velvet rope thing. That's how dumb it would be for me to follow these protocols, yet I just know they will be flabbergasted to hear the company's Intranet site is maintained by a guy copying and posting files between separate open sessions of Windows Explorer. This is also due to the fact that we have no credible replication system for our mirror servers. Like everything else, I have to maintain that as well.

This is boring, I know, but maybe someday, somebody else out there will see these notes and say "Yeah, I know what a pain Vignette StoryServer can be. In fact, I don't really know why they don't just scrap the whole web methodology and build a stand-alone app that is robust enough to get the friggin' job done." Someday, somebody will say just that.

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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Monday, December 09, 2002 at 09:46:46 (EST)

In which I drink and go bald
After much sweating, I managed to get through my party without getting too drunk. This had been my one and only goal for the evening, as I have spent many a birthday with head in the crapper. That and really hungover. If my new heights in age would provide anything of value to me, it should be a better sense of self-control, even when one wishes to give up some of that self-control in the interests of having a good time. Anyway, my regimen turned out like this:

  • Pre-8PM: Some wine and a lot of running out to the PathMark for Christmas Tree lights
  • 8:45PM: Jim Beam on the rocks, in one of my new super-heavy-duty-power-broker-style rocks glasses (thanks J&M!); repeat several times
  • 11:00PM: Lay off the hard stuff in favor of Sierra Nevada; repeat
  • Midnight: Jägermeister straight out of the bottle
  • 4:00AM: Kava tea to ensure I sleep like a baby, a 30 year old baby

It's very simple really, I just have had trouble in the past sticking to one thing so my body can deal with whatever I'm consuming. The Jägermeister was a present from my old high school chum, C. He flew all the way from Scottsdale, Arizona to see me. Not bad, eh? It sort of pales when you consider that his wife works for a large airline, and so he can travel at will for cheap whenever he wants. But still, even if it's free flying across the country's a pain in the ass.

He's visited in the past, but this time he seemed a little different. Frankly, the past few times I've seen him, he's been morose and generally a downer all around. I think stuff in his life hasn't been going in a direction he intended, and he's been feeling like he can't do anything except get sucked along by it. But recently he's decided to face these things and try to do something about it, so he was feeling a bit more lively for once. It was good to see a little of the guy I used to know in high school make an appearance. Here's hoping he sticks around.

S&K showed up, which was cool because we almost never see them. I just need to think of more events to get them to come out I think. They took a bunch of pictures, which I suppose I will post. The only problem is these pictures are striking reminders that I'm going bald! Who wants to see that? At any rate, the photos have made me realize that if I'm to look presentable at all, I'm going to have to stop cutting my own hair, or getting B to 'touch it up' as I constantly beg her to do. So later today I plan to embark on a mission to both buy cat food and get a professional haircut. It might not help reduce how bad it looks, but I'm pretty sure my haircutting methods are not achieving the best presentation for my head possible. I'm thinking 'short' should be the operative word for this haircut. B always tells me she likes my hair longer, but I hate that way hair looks when some shmoe is losing it but acts like nothing's wrong. Something is terribly, terribly wrong!

Posted By Jimmy Legs

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