Wednesday, November 2, 2016

If you find everything to be annoying the real annoyance is probably you.

I've been reading The World-Wide Internet Web™ this morning and now I'm very upset.

Maybe it's the collective anxiety before the election bubbling up through the various social networks, maybe it's the post-Halloween sugar crash, or maybe I'm just suffering from pre-manstrual syndrome.  (Yes, manstruation is a thing, don't make me mansplain that to you.)  Or maybe it's just the fact that the Internet exists only to make people agitated.  Whatever the reason, there's some irritating stuff going on out there.  The first thing that stressed me out today was this, which I saw retweeted in @jasongay's feed:

Really?  Her heart is exploding, my head is exploding:


Like every ostensibly cute thing parents and pet-owners do, there are a number of serious problems with this, including but not limited to:

1) She's three.  She doesn't understand dates.  She can wear goofy clothes and eat candy any day of the week.  She doesn't need to join the mile high trick-or-treating club.
2) Halloween was on a Monday this week.  People work and go to school.  Was there really not a Halloween party in their neighborhood on Sunday?  I saw kids walking around in costume a full two weeks before the 31st.  If you do it right your kid's burnt out on Halloween by the time it actually rolls around.
3) If Halloween is such a big freaking deal to your three year-old (who won't remember trick-or-treating tomorrow, let alone when she's a teenager and making out her list of reasons to hate you), why the hell are you flying?  ("Remember when you made us fly on Halloween?  I HATE YOU DAD!  That's why I'm dating a weed dealer.")
4) Further to #3, what kind of jaded three year-old is this that she's not so excited to be on an airplane she no longer gives a shit about Halloween?  Kids LOVE airplanes, which is why the little shits can't stop kicking the back of your seat.
5) Don't call your kid a donut.
6) YOU WANT THE CANDY BACK, REALLY???  What, are you going to pull the same stunt again at the car rental place?

As a parent of 17 children I can assure you that had I been on that flight I'd have pretended to be asleep.

Next up was this:


As Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration moves forward on plans for a new streetcar line from Queens to Brooklyn, city officials on Tuesday unveiled the different routes they are considering for the project.

The $2.5 billion waterfront streetcar would run on streets in some of New York City’s most popular and crowded neighborhoods along the East River, including Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn. City officials plan to discuss the routes at community meetings over the next two months before selecting a path early next year.

So basically it's a bus that can't get around the inevitable double-parked car and requires rails designed to fell cyclists:


No matter, I'm sure it will work out great, because if there's one thing New York City drivers have proved time and time again it's that they're always willing to share the streets.  In fact, they're so downright magnanimous that they also share our bike lanes--which is why you can now report these kinds of overshares to 311:

New Yorkers have long had many ways to deal with people parked in bike lanes. There’s the classic death-glare, or taking a photo for online shaming, or getting in a yelling match and maybe knocking a mirror off with your U-lock.

This week the city added another option: officially reporting lane squatters through its 311 app and 311 website. To make a complaint, go to the drop-down selection for “Illegal Parking” and specify “Blocked Bike Lane.”

Sounds great, until you consider that the number one blocker of bike lanes is the NYPD:


The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.

Reporting bad police behavior to the police is like smoking banana peels: sure, you can try it, but I can promise you nothing's gonna happen.  Plus, you get the same answer from 311 even if you're not complaining about the police.  Last time I complained to 311 about an illegally parked vehicle this happened:

1) Police arrived at vehicle;
2) Police parked in front of vehicle;
3) Police opened sandwiches and ate lunch in their car;
4) I got an email saying pretty much the same things as above;
5) They drove away.

I'd have gone downstairs and kvetched but my kid was napping and I didn't want him to wake up alone because I'd been taken to jail.

I also happen to live on a street with no alternate side parking that is close to a subway station, which means people use it for long-term car storage.  (Don't get any ideas.)  Here's what happens when you report that:

LONG TERM PARKING IS NOT ILLEGAL FOR PASSENGER CARS

Except that it totally is (PDF):

(9) Street storage of vehicles prohibited. When parking is not otherwise restricted, no person
shall park any vehicle in any area, including a residential area, in excess of seven consecutive
days.

But why would that matter?

I'd prefer and "OFFICER DOESN'T GIVE A SHIT AND WAS HUNGRY" to an outright lie.

Meanwhile, the city needs to repair the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway:


The crumbling 1.5 mile stretch of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway that wraps around Downtown Brooklyn may not be in need of emergency repairs, but representatives of the Department of Transportation said Tuesday that a combination of eroding concrete, leaky joints, and corroding rebar are proof the city needs to be proactive or face emergency repair work and gridlock across the neighborhood a decade from now.

"The structures have been out there some 60-odd years and are starting to show their long life now, and we're going to need to start planning," said project manager Tanvi Pandya.

Here's an idea: tear that piece of shit down and replace it with a bike lane.

Done and done.*

*[If you'd like to read my New York Times op-ed about how New York City should allow Staten Island to secede and annex Yonkers and Mt. Vernon to offset the lost revenue you can do so here.]

Anyway, I was just coming to terms with my 311 frustrations when some company tweeted this at me:


Shoka: Is There Anything This Bicycle Bell Won’t Do?

It might look like a cross between a vintage microphone and a Nokia 3310, but the Shoka Bell is a bicycle bell which will smarten up your ride with am impressive array of features. It packs an LED light which adjusts to ambient light and even your speed to optimise safety and energy efficiency - that of course frees up some space on your handlebars for other useful things. Shoka doubles up as a GPS navigation tool as well, directing you with an LED display and audio system; it doesn’t score quite as highly on this front as the BeeLine compass, but it’s certainly not short of additional features. The Shoka Bell links up to your phone to provide you with ride-tracking information and will alert you if your bike is moved by anyone other than yourself (provided you are within 250m radius).

I don't know, how about make a bell sound without having to be charged first?

So basically it's the phone you already have, the bike light you already have, and the bell you already have with the added benefit of needing to charge it.

All in one ugly bumble bee package.

No thanks.

Lastly, there seems to be some Twitter kerfuffle over this article, which has nothing to do with bikes but is nonetheless relevant to my personal experience:
The nameplate necklace was always a cultural touchstone of black and brown urban fashion—that is, until Sex and the City, something Rosa-Salas and Flower also noticed. I first began to encounter white girls wearing nameplates in the early 2000s, after the HBO show exploded in popularity. The series’ main character, Carrie Bradshaw, wore a single-plated version of the necklace that had a tiny diamond dotting the “i.” Google “Carrie Bradshaw…” now, and the search autofills to “necklace,” yielding results such as “Unique carrie name necklace related items” and “Personalized Boutique, Inc.: Sex and the City Style.”

Hmmm, I dunno.  I went to a school with more than its fair share of what are politically-incorrectly referred to as "JAPS" and "Guidos" (hey, as what is polictically-incorrectly known as a "pizza bagel" myself I feel entitled to use these terms provided I put them in "quotation marks"), and I can assure the writer that "white girls" (and boys) have been wearing nameplates long before "Sex and the City" was a glimmer in Darren Star's eye.  Indeed, the only thing that differentiated one group from the other was whether they paired the nameplate with a Star of David or a crucifix--well, that and a mysterious shrinking of the nose at 16.  (I wouldn't even be surprised if WASPs wore then too, but the fact is I never saw a live WASP until I was 21 and working in book publishing.)

In short, I don't think nameplate necklaces are in any way a case of cultural application...though the kid in my class who wore a rope chain with his "Italians Do It Better" t-shirt might be another story.

63 comments:

Jeremy said...

Woohoo!

Watch and Camera Guy said...

Podium?

Ted K. said...

186. Most people hate psychological conflict. For this reason they avoid doing any serious thinking about difficult social issues, and they like to have such issues presented to them in simple, black-and-white terms: THIS is all good and THAT is all bad. The revolutionary ideology should therefore be developed on two levels.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

10er?

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

5er even! Wooohoooo!

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

7th? Scranus, I had a mechanical in the sprint!

clyde said...

Top Scranus - left coast podium?

N/A said...

I heard about that plane/ trick-or-treat thing on the radio. I thought it was stupid, and not at all cute. I didn't even know that he was asking for the candy back. That makes the whole thing extra lame.
Kids may like flying, but the chances that most of the adults on that plane were having a good time are probably slim-to-none. Hey, strange guy, how about you make me pretend to care about your attention-grubbing!

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Top tennus miraculus

JuanOffhue said...

Read the whole thing and still made the top ten!

Grump said...

Streetcar tracks are a perfect way to separate Freds from Cyclists. Freds will be crashing on their $8000 Carbon sleds whenever they cross these sort of tracks.

wle said...

"the added benefit of having to be charged" ---> bev.spew

wle

N/A said...

Shoka: Is There Anything This Bicycle Bell Won’t Do?

Be purchased by anybody with any damn sense?

One Track Mind said...

Why do they call them streetcars anyway? I mean, any car on the street could be called a "streetcar".
They should be called roadtrains.
Thank you.

N/A said...

Man I'm being extra surly today, I guess.

clyde said...

"I wouldn't even be surprised if WASPs wore then too, but the fact is I never saw a live WASP until I was 21 and working in book publishing."

Interesting - growing up in the Midwest outside of any major metropolitan area (yes, redneck central) all I knew were WASPs. There was the occasional catholic - but "Jews" were nowhere to be found.

dem_bieks said...

Remember when you made us fly on Halloween? I HATE YOU DAD! That's why I'm dating a weed dealer

Good times right there.

Just wait until your 17 kids hit teenage-years. "We need another bathroom, Dad. Get rid of your stupid bikes. Why can't I wear stripper heels to the mall, Dad?!?!?! YOU SUCK!"

I'm fascinated by that rail project. Someone was down there and said "This place needs light rail." And so it was...

BikeSnobNYC said...

clyde,

Did any of these WASPs wear nameplate necklaces?

--Wildcat Rock Machine

leroy said...

So what I hear you sharing is that you're sick and tired of these monkey fighting snacks on this Monday through Friday plane.

Interesting.

Does someone else want to share?

Yes? Okay, you in the back of the internet with the Pepe themed avatar, go ahead....

(My dog wrote the above, not me. He says it's an ostensibly cute pet owners thing.)

janinedm said...

I went to school with East Coast lacrosse-WASPs and they'd never do a nameplate. They were monogram people. Monogrammed everything. Especially luggage.

JB said...

I think girls wore nameplate necklaces here in Waspy middle America.

Also, our eye-talian boys usually had a gold chain with an Italian horn.

Why is Los Angeles Rams NFL head coach Jeff Fischer in the crosswalk in the street car photo?

Bryan said...

girls with nameplates = basic as fuck.I find "white girls" to be more and more basic every day. Though that might be because Pumpkin Spice Latte and everything pumpkin flavored season is still upon us.
Meanwhile my wife makes things like hotteok and bulgogi and I'm not forced into pumpkin this and pumpkin that. Wait, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, bikes. Go ride!

Bryan said...

More annoying that name plate necklaces down here in the south are all of the cars with monogram decals. That's southern basic. No one wants to know your initials, and if you can't tell your car apart from others without needing it monogrammed, you fail at life!

DB said...

Wildcat:
Female Wasps had their monogram on a gold disk pinned through the collar of their blouse.

1904 Cadardi said...

I don't remember nameplate necklaces in either of the flyover states I grew up in. But there were monogram necklaces and nameplate bracelets. How WASPish was it? There was a conversation about the new girl being Jewish. How did they know? Curly hair.

Drock said...

Why haven't hovering streetcars been on the minds of transport folks? Make it happen already. Now to business, NYC reported the expressway had leaky joints.

Fred Mercury said...

I'm glad that I'm not the only one annoyed by the trick-or-treating on the plane. That father probably proposed to his wife at a baseball game on the big screen.

wishiwasmerckx said...

What's a JAP's favorite position?

Facing Bloomingdale's.

wishiwasmerckx said...

What's the difference between a JAP and a plate of spagetti?

The spagetti moves when you eat it.

N/A said...

Here in America's doughy paunch, people didn't have nameplate necklaces when I was a youngster, but they had the bracelets with the engraved names. And embroidered horseys up on the chest of their shirts!

Now, I see a lot of the tacky Mr. T starter kits.

wishiwasmerckx said...

How does a JAP screw in a light bulb?

She holds it up to the ceiling and waits for the world to revolve around her.

BamaPhred said...

No no no Female Wasps had monogrammed sweaters and blouses, back then. Now it's monogrammed sweat shirts.
Something I never understood. How could a redneck bride have a great something grandfather named Abraham Goldberg, and him be from a long line of Baptists?

bieks said...

Name plate necklaces are a cultural artifact? This blog is my one stop for edification.

bikeshepherd said...

oh wow, I haven't heard the JAP slur since my SUNY Albany days. Had to have it explained to me.

N/A said...

For something completely different: Have any of youse seen the purple mixte just up on the Riv Blug? I don't think I'm exactly a purple mixte kinda' guy, but that's a damn fine looking bike. Might be one of the better looking specimens of theirs.

N/A said...

Velouria of Lovely Bicycle has a purple mixte that I like a lot, too. Maybe I actually am a purple mixte kinda' guy.

Anonymous said...

I'd be a WASP if I weren't an atheist. I suppose that makes me a WASA.

Worth the Weight said...

I could use a mono gram of Wednesday weed.

Donald Trump said...

My daughter Ivanka coverted to Judaism so she wouldn' have to give anymore blowies after marriage. But we'd probably still be dating if she weren't my daughter.

dancesonpedals said...

How does a cardiac surgeon change a light bulb?

They hold it in the air because the whole world revolves around them

They used to call me Fred (really). said...

Menopause = men o pause (before you open your mouth). Not all that clever, but as having a spouse suffering through it, it certainly fits. Dumb quip for the day done!

Olive Oyl said...

The kid in your class; his name wouldn't happen to be Cipo, would it?

Anonymous said...

My mom had a nameplate broach but it was in Arabic.

Anonymous said...

How many Torontonians does it take to change a light bulb?


Two.

One to screw in the bulb and one to see if that's how they do it in New York.

Anonymous said...

Two lightbulbs walk into a bar...

Bartender says screw you!

Matt said...

Hey Snobby, I have to take exception to your #5 reason for being upset at the dad who brought candy on the plane for his daughter...she was DRESSED UP as a donut...hence "when my little donut" remark. (I didn't get that either until I followed the link and it was said that was her costume). Otherwise, yes...if "my little donut" was his term of endearment it would be not so cool (maybe she is plump and round like a little donut...let's NOT crush her soul with a mean nickname at 3 years old, eh?)

JLRB said...

I would have eaten the candy, then passed the "little Donut" the airline provided peanuts/pretzels.

ps - So journalism = asking a twitterer for more details...got it.

blunchbelly said...

I too needed JAP explained to me back in the seventies at Syracuse U.(well SUNY Forestry but SU gave me a diploma too for paying state tuition.....suckers!). There were Guidos that who wore peppers, I don't remember any nameplates on the girls. Favorite overheard quote " I'm sooooo tired,I've been shopping awwwwlllll day". Silly me never knew running up daddy's credit card was so exhausting!

JLRB said...

And the asshat actually carried a bunch of extra bags of crap on to the plane to pull off his little stunt?

bad boy of the north said...

In our little corner of nyc's crappy brother...nameplates and thick chains were de rigueur in the 1970s

leroy said...

Well my afternoon was shot by a stream of snarky remarks from you-know-who about his collar and his license and vaccination tags.

Nadir was when he observed he's so hot right now.

Dogs should not catwalk.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Olive Oyl,

He made Cipo seem understated. He also masturbated under his desk and regularly exposed himself. To this day if I smell Drakkar I run.

--Wildcat Etc.

clyde said...

Nope - do not recall seeing a "name necklace" - although this was in the eighties - way before sex in the city.

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!
a copper gave me the useful advice of never engraving your name or initials on a maglite, so when used as a defensive weapon, there would be no embossing left.

BamaPhred said...

I am unfamiliar with the JAP. Had to look that one up. Apparently it is related to ASS I leave it as a rhetorical group exercise.

David Henri said...

One of your better ones. I think anger brings out your best.

EricBikeCO said...

You forgot #7 = "fuck Halloween and get a job so you can afford to remove your rotten teeth you little leeches"

Bert said...

Remember those license plates you could buy for your bike, when you were a kid, that had your name on it? If you had any sort of uncommon name then you were shit out of luck. Those were the days when America was great. (sigh)

Numan G. Ayanoğlu said...

Thanks...


dancesonpedals said...

Why, God....Why??

McFly said...

dop,

WTF IS THAT

Pist Off said...

Corima, French slang for fugly