Wednesday, December 31, 2003

What Classic Movie Are You?

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Time for a revolution?

"...economists Laurence Kotlikoff and Jagadeesh Gokhale say that a typical man reaching age 65 today will get a net windfall of more than $70,000 over his remaining years. A luckless 25-year-old, by contrast, can count on paying $322,000 more in payroll taxes than he will ever get back in benefits."

from: "Meet the Greedy Grandparents: Why America's elderly are so spoiled."

Monday, December 15, 2003

My one question about the Saddam capture is this: What was he doing with $750,000 in U.S. currency?? Wouldn't he be holding Iraq Dinars??

Friday, December 12, 2003

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Here's the problem with the debates. It's misnamed. There's very little debating going on. It should be called something like "stance on issues" or "here's my platform." Anyone who watches it sees the following:

Moderator: Candidate #1 recently *insert current event or issue* has happened. How would you have handled it?

Candidate #1: I would have done this that or the other because I believe this that or the other.

Moderator: So you would have done this or that?

Candidate #1: That's correct.

Moderator: Okay, Candidate #2 how would you respond?

Candidate #2: I don't believe this or that would work. I would do this and that because I grew up poor. My father worked hard. I have experience. I like small fluffy animals.

Debate it is not, showcase of platform, it is.

I like my apartment. I really do. Sure there are things I'd like to change about it but I'm happy with it as is. My apartment, like any apartment, has given me a few headaches over the last year and with a new one tomorrow, I thought I'd share some of these with you.

Chapter 1 - Blackout I signed the lease a half a month before I moved in. During that time I made all utility arrangements prior to my move in date and was assured everything was A-OK, switched into my name, new phone number, etc. When I showed up at dusk on moving day, low and behold, there was no electricity. As the movers were carrying my large and very heavy furniture up the 7 half-flights of stairs, I was on the phone with the electric company ("Oh, I see what happened. We usually don't shut apartment electricity, however the person who lived there before you never changed the service into his name so he was getting free electric for a year. When we see that, we do shut it so someone is forced to put their name in to have it turned back on. The operator who transferred the service into your name didn't put out a service call to turn it on because they didn't notice it was off, like I said that's very unusual. We can have someone out there tomorrow to turn it on for you. That's very unusual.")

Chapter 2 - Gas-X A month or so after I moved in I came home from work one night and smelled gas in my apartment. It was pungent and strong and hung heavy in the air. I immediately opened all my windows despite the winter air. InstaHangover happened to be with me and after 20 minutes with no relief in sight gave me this sage advice: "Dude, you'll have to call KeySpan. You either call them now or you call them later, but either way you have to call them." He was right. I knew he was right, so I called them. The woman took my name, said they'd send someone out. To their credit the repair guy showed up within 15 or 20 minutes, told me most likely it was a dead mouse in my wall because that sometimes smells like gas. I told him I wasn't a fucking idiot and would know the difference between a small woodland creature's rotting carcass decaying in my wall and the smell of natural gas. Okay, I just thought that, but as soon as he walked in he knew he was wrong. So with sensors and pumps, he checked all the connections in my stove and the pipes in the wall then took out the most high tech of all his gadgets. Soap and Water and checked and rechecked all the seals, connections and nuts and washers. There were no leaks anywhere. "Well I can't find it. I bet it's stopped now and we're just smelling the residual gas that was trapped in here" he said, "if it still smells in twenty or thirty minutes, call us back, they'll send someone to check the lines."

So I waited. It still smelled. So I called, explained the situation again, they sent someone out pronto, again. He had pumps, sensors, turkey basters, and high tech soap and water, all of his readings came out clean, too. Except for one. He was now sensing something in the wall. "You have a leak in a pipe in your wall. I'll need to shut the gas in the building. So he found the basement and the super and he shut the gas and left. The super called the landlord, the landlord called a plumber and they all barged into my kitchen, tool boxes ablazing at 10 pm telling me that KeySpan over reacted by shutting the gas in the building. The plumber sensed the leak too, though he couldn't get to it so they'd have to keep my gas off for an indeterminable period of time. It ended up being 14 or 15 days. The leak was under the floor of my kitchen. After day 2 or 3 of no gas I got a very nice surprise, however. My landlord telling me to take $10 a day off of my rent for every day I don't have gas. So I did and saved myself something like $150.

Chapter 3 - Joyus Spring.
Spring is a time of rebirth. I know this first hand because I had baby birds living in my wall for a little over a month. They made their way out of the cold into a ventilation shaft which leads to the building's attic. The attic must have a passageway into my wall because that's where they nested, laid their eggs and nurtured their young. The constant chirping, squawking and scratching in the wall was getting progressively worse as spring went on until one day it stopped all together. Some people might say "and I missed the noise for the same reason I missed the silence, because I lived with it for so long." Not me, I don't miss one squeak, squawk or scratch. I'm glad they learned to fly. So long suckers.

Chapter 4 - Winter Wonderland
So winter has come again and with it, here in the Northeast are the infamous Nor'Easters which just dumped 2-3 feet of snow on Boston and most of that was plowed behind my car. I needed to use my car, which forced me to dig it out yesterday morning. Forty five minutes using a shovel designed to dig a hole, not moving 80 metric tons of snow behind my car. I might as well have been using tissue paper. Ahh, but that's not my problem. You see, after I dug my car out and drove it out of the lot, they plowed my spot, which is great. Tonight, I received a notice from the landlord saying two things. First, I must move my car today between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, because of all the snow, they've contracted to have the lot plowed and the snow removed and second, due to an unexpected maintenance issue, there will be no hot water between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm.

It will be nice not to have to deal with the snow in the parking lot and I appreciate their efforts, however this means I'll have to park it on the street, which would be fine in any other town than the one I live in, where the 2 hour parking limit is enforced on all streets between the hours of 6 am and 2 am. So it looks like I'll have a parking ticket tomorrow, along with all of my neighbors and a cold shower at 7am when everyone will be using the water. Brrr.

Overall I really do like my apartment though. I used to like my landlord, he was Greek and very nice, even if he did tell me that KeySpan over reacted, but he passed away this summer. His brother still runs the place, he's nice too, I wave to him in the parking lot when I see him.

O Apartment, treat me well this winter, it'll be cold and lonely enough without you playing your tricks on me. Thank you.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I just spoke to Sepi. She Rules.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Yay. My Birthday.

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