January 24, 2005

Throwing the Sixes.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:02 pm

dice.jpgI suspect that there are very few people in the United States who don’t know that Johnny Carson died yesterday. Having succeeded Steve Allen and Jack Paar as the host of the “Tonight Show,” Carson was about as regularly funny as a person could be. I cannot possibly add anything to the wealth of the material that is available today about him and his life.

However, I have to wonder how many people realize that Rosemary Woods died this weekend as well**. I wonder how many people remember who she was. Rosemary Woods was former President Nixon’s long-time secretary (since his days as a Senator), who should win a Golden Globe Award for Loyalty.

She threw herself on the grenade when it was discovered that an 18 and ½ minute segment of audio tape containing a critical discussion between then-President Nixon and his Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman that occurred a few days after the Watergate break-in.

Ms. Woods claimed to have accidentally erased the tape while answering a telephone. She even demonstrated her version of the events for a photographer, something which she undoubtedly came to regret.

Later, very sophisticated analyses were performed on the tape, which showed that the section of the tape in question had been subject to repeated “erasures”. It was clear to everyone (even Dan Rather – remember Nixon was a Republican) that Nixon was the culprit.

Johnny Carson always intended to be funny, but Rosemary Woods was only trying to be loyal.

May they both rest in peace.

**Via The Idiom

Parking Spot Poachers.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:09 pm

In a comment to this post, Susanna, of Cut on the Bias, who now lives in Alabama, wrote about the frustration she experienced while living in New Jersey and having to dig out from a nasty snow storm.

Actually, when I lived in Jersey I didn’t mind the snow. It was digging out when you parked on the street, and the snowplow kept coming by to rebury your car, and the snow took up 2-3 parking spaces on each already-overcrowded block for at least a week, and someone took your clean space after you busted your butt to get your car out (they even moved the trashcan you put there to save the space)… Grrrr..!

The town Susanna refers to is the town in which I was raised. In my part of the town, as in hers, very few of the homes (many of which were two-family homes) had driveways. Hence, the only available parking was on the street. As such, parking was difficult in the best of times (even back when the one-car-family was the rule). When visiting someone, it was always prudent to allow a bit of extra time to find a parking spot (We always called it a parking “spot” rather than a parking “place”).

Because parking spots were so difficult to find, we all had to be expert “parallel parkers.” Hell, I could ease my ’64 Chevy Impala into spots with about twelve inches on each end of the car to spare. (If I were to try that now, I would damage three cars.)

So, while in good weather finding a parking spot was at best a challenge and, at worst, aggravating as hell, a snow storm transformed the parking spot thing into something deadly serious.

After a snow storm, the snow plows would pile the snow against the cars on either side of the street. Often the snow would be halfway up the windows and, in particularly bad storms, the snow would literally reach the roof. Mind you, I’m not talking about easily movable, fluffy, powdery snow, bur rather the heavy, salt and dirt-laden slop that the plows push off the street. For those who did not move fast enough with the shovel following the snowfall, this slop turned to ice and chunks of “snow” with the consistency of boulders.

What made a bad situation worse was finding a place to throw the “snow.” Shoveling it into the street was often self-defeating because the plow would just push it all back. And one damned well better not toss it near a spot that someone had previously dug out. Consequently, each heavy shovel full often had to be walked between cars and deposited on the small patch of grass between the sidewalk and the curb.

Digging out a car after a bad snowstorm could take the better part of a day and rendered that spot a prized, hard-won piece of real estate for which an official “claim” was made. As Susanna pointed out, this was accomplished by leaving a garbage can in the vacant spot.

Overwhelmingly, people observed this unwritten “Code of the East.” However, occasionally some lazy, inconsiderate, miserable prick person, perhaps too farookin’ stupid to realize the purpose of the garbage can or what went into shoveling out the spot unfamiliar with the local custom, would remove the garbage can and take the spot – a parking spot poacher.

Big mistake.

I am aware of a few garbage cans accidentally finding their way to the parking spot-poacher’s windshield. Sometimes the “owner” of the spot, with an eye toward confrontation, would intentionally “double park,” thereby blocking the P-spot poacher from getting out of the spot. This required the p-spot-poacher to knock on doors in the neighborhood to try to locate the owner of the double-parked car (i.e. the “owner” of the spot). It was not uncommon for the owner sit by his window and enjoy watching the p-spot poacher frantically go from house to house while freezing his ass off.

Of course, when the “owner” was finally located, things almost always got sideways real fast. Sometimes, the confrontation would even attract a small crowd of locals, none of whom ever took the side of the p-spot-poacher.

I seem to recall one such confrontation during which my uncle (sort of a Sopranos-type fellow) threatened to kill a p-spot poacher and stuff his dead ass into a garbage can if he ever committed the offense again, and if he didn’t “shut the fuck up” and immediately move his car.

Occasionally, the police would be called, but most of members of the police force lived in town, and they understood the Code of the East. So, other than preventing the spot poacher’s demise, the cops were never much help to p-spot poachers.

Besides, at least back then, killing a p-spot poacher constituted justifiable homicide.

I have not lived in that town in decades, but if I were to drive there tomorrow, I would never, ever think of moving someone’s garbage can.

I know the Code of the East.

January 23, 2005

Digging is Done.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 1:46 pm

The snow stopped not too long after my previous post, and I have been outside since then snow-blowing about a zillion tons of snow. After I did my driveway and walk, I then helped everyone else on the block.

Color me whipped.

Memo to Self: Next time use ear plugs. That snow blower is one LOUD sumbitch. Say what?

I feel Geoff’s pain.

Still Snowing.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:22 am

The snow has now drifted halfway up the side of the car in the driveway and a couple feet against the front door, and it is still snowing. Even getting out of the house begin the dig-out will be a challenge. And, it is still snowing.

Good grief.

January 22, 2005

State of Emergency.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:35 pm

The Governor of New Jersey (Well, the “Acting Governor” – You remember. It was in all the papers) just declared a “State of Emergency.” I believe that means that only “essential” vehicles are permitted on the roadways. I’m not exactly sure of the scope of the prohibition, but it doesn’t matter, because I have no driving plans at the moment.

Random snow thoughts.

Why would anyone want to live in a place where it is 75 degrees, clear and breezy tonight? The 50-60 mile per hour winds and single digit temperatures expected in a few hours from now will be a rare treat. Cocktails on the veranda? Feh! There’s nothing like having 60 mph icy wind blow snow in your face and down your neck. Gott-damned bracing, that.

I just heard that Newark Airport is still open, “though experiencing significant delays.” Open??? I don’t think they have printed enough money to get my ass in a plane at Newark Airport tonight.

Why, why to local television stations feel compelled to have some sorry ass news person do live reports while standing in the driving snow? They don’t have to do that for my benefit. I can look out the window and see that it’s snowing like a bastard. Must be some kind of rookie reporter initiation. I believe that Dan *spit* Rather got his start by tying himself to a telephone pole during a hurricane or some shit. Dumbass.

From what I am hearing now, it appears that we won’t even be able to begin digging out until tomorrow afternoon. Thrilling.

I need a drink.

…And So It Begins.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 1:39 pm

The snow began falling here at the house by the Parkway at 11:35, Eastern Time. Because of the several days of bone-cracking cold that preceded today, every farookin’ flake that hits the ground is sticking. If the weather predictions are accurate, this should slow or stop for a couple hours, and then we get the blizzard, which will dump a couple feet of this shit the powdery white stuff on the ground.

We made the obligatory run to the supermarket this morning with the rest of the nutbars who feel that they cannot survive 24 hours without five gallons of milk, three loaves of bread and four dozen eggs. We went, not for home-supplies, but rather to pick up about a half dozen things for mother-in-law who refuses to inventory more than three days’ worth of food in the house, and she was down to the last day’s worth. Crazy? Yep, but I have learned over the years which arguments are worth having and which are not.

Anyway, in the supermarket, my assignment was to go directly to the deli counter to pick up a half pound of Schickhaus (It absolutely must be Schickhaus, and it must be sliced thin), and a quarter pound of provolone cheese. I plucked my number from the number dispenser and saw that I was number 76. The people behind the counter were working on number 20. Hell, I only had to wait for 56 people to buy a quarter pound of this and a half pound of that. “Yo, is da ham nice? Lemme see. OK, gimme a quarter pound.”

Actually I had to wait for fewer than 56 people, because it turns out that many people play “deli-roulette.” They pick a number when they first enter the store and then continue shopping, checking in now and then on the current number of the person being served. The good news is that the oldish ladies who work behind the counter strictly enforce the “two holler” rule, and if you are not there, they move on to the next number and the absent-when-called person is schnitzled.

I suppose I could have taken a couple numbers and as my turn approached sold the lower numbers to the newcomers. Probably a bad idea though, because if caught trafficking in deli numbers, I could well be beaten to death.

So, I waited….and waited…and waited, and finally was blessed with the receipt of a half pound of bologna and a quarter pound of provolone, clearly life-sustaining supplies. One does what one must, I suppose.

So, for now, I think I will crack a book for a while and try not to think too much about what’s going outside or the prospect of snowblowing all this stuff tomorrow.

January 21, 2005

Da Sidebar.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:41 pm

As many of you know, Jimbo does not like to screw around with Mr. Template. Frankly, it is often tough being surrounded in the sphere by people who can put up a new skin during a smoke break.

I really squirm when I see people talk about SQLs (whatever the farook they are), and my knees positively buckle when I read stuff like this:

…found a couple of PHP files with improper permissions, but it seems the most important find was the cache location. In EE, under your control panel directory is one named cache. That has to be set to 777, which in FTP shows up as drwxrwxrwx. Full read, write and execute across the board. Under that is a db_cache directory. It also must be 777. Under it were some directories with GUID names. That is, randomly generated sets of characters designed to be unique. It all must be 777. Some of this existed in the new location, but not with correct permissions.

Yowza! Talk about making my hair hurt!

To me, the equivalent of reaching the summit of Mr. Everest is being able to add shit to the sidebar (That would be one sidebar – I can’t relate to two sidebars), without turning this box into a pile of smoldering plastic. Don’t speak to me of Style Sheets, as they sound like something on which one sleeps. Ethernet cards? Does the deck contain jokers? Spare me.

So, it isn’t without unbridled fear that I actually opened Mr. Template to add some sidebar stuff. My first masterpiece is that Garden State Parkway logo on the left. It’s actually a button. If you click on it, it will provide information that will go a long way to answering the question that every half=assed comedian asks some pour soul in the audience who volunteers that he/she is from Jersey –“What exit?”

My second serious accomplishment was creating a little piece of blogestate for “Da Joisey Blogmeet.” With a couple cocktails, I could get way out on this one.

So, check out Da Joisey Blogmeet thing on the sidebar to see how to reserve your space at the cold-weather Meeting Place of the Usual Suspects. And, for Chrissake, click on the gott-damned Parkway logo, if for no other reason than to humor me into believing that the year or so of life I lost qvetching about fooling with Mr. Template was worth it.

In Case of Emergency.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:52 pm

If there ever was a site to bookmark for future reference, this is it.

I booshit you not.

January 20, 2005

Slash and Thrust.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:11 pm

I was doing a bit of net surfing, and I came across a site that has Eric’s name written all over it.

I give you……..

Babes with Blades.

Via The Presurfer

Nice Work, If You Can Get It.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 7:11 pm

I would like all of you who make a living by working for an employer to consider the following:

Suppose you decided that you would run as the candidate of one of the major political parties for a significant elective office, such as, for example, the job of governor of the state of New Jersey. Let’s further suppose that your run for governor might well entail a primary campaign and that the two campaigns could well occupy virtually all of your time for the next eleven months.

Let’s also suppose that you asked a co-worker to head up your campaign, or campaigns, as the case may be, which role might well occupy virtually all of your co-worker’s time for the next eleven months, and that your co-worker agreed to do so.

OK, so the two of you go to your boss and explain that neither of you will be showing up for work very often over the next eleven months, because you will both be busy with the campaign(s).

There can be absolutely no doubt that your employer would explain that you are being paid by your employer to do your job, and that, while public service may be a laudable goal, he has no intention of paying you to be absent for the next eleven months.

Both of you would be shown the door.

Of course, that won’t happen if you and your co-worker work as the two US Senators from New Jersey. Senator Corzine will do little else between now and November other than campaign for the governorship. Our other Senator, Frank Lautenberg, will do little else between now and November other than run Senator Corzine’s campaign. And, neither of them will lose his job.

The only losers are the citizens of New Jersey who will effectively be without representation in the US Senate for the next eleven months.

On second thought, maybe it’s a good thing that these two birds won’t be showing up much for their regular “jobs,” because nothing they do in the Senate is worth a damn anyway.

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