Rome, NY Sucks

I can't believe how many people want to be Mayor of Rome in 2015.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The More Things Change

This month, Hess gas station on Black River Boulevard changed to Speedway, with some color and signage changes to match. This gives me an opportunity to get to a post I've been planning for some time, but never got to.

I was sitting in a car while the driver was getting gas at Hess when I looked at a view very similar to the one above that I took this spring. It is of the Sears Oil Company. There is a Sears Oil Station that was restored to it's former appearance (but it not operational). This office building, however, has not changed in some time, either, even though cars park there every day.

I started thinking about the main drag in North Rome, Black River Boulevard from the Credit Union (the darker building in the picture) to the corner at Chestnut Street. There are no houses and I can remember what all of the buildings used to look like over the last 30 years. Sears Oil, to the best of my knowledge, has not changed.

Time marches on.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Rome is Where You Pay More

I don't really have the will to cook for myself or the money to go to nice restaurants often. Instead, I go to "fast food" places for dinner a few times a week. On these front lines, I've been seeing a steady downturn in the quality of service, let alone the quality of food. It's a good example of why these places should raise wages. They might be able to get better employees. Or maybe, they would have a reason to automate some of the processes hampered by the human touch.

What's unique to Rome is the strange ways I'm being overcharged for items. McDonald's offers an egg and cheese biscuit now, sans meat. It's on the Rome menu for $2.19. In New Hartford, I didn't see it on the menu board, but I got one for only $1.99. I guess I can chalk that up to pricing schemes.

What's really interesting to me now is Wendy's offers value meals for a relatively low price. A meal with 2 juniors, fries and a drink is listed on the menu board for $3.99 and that's what I pay in New Hartford. Not so in Rome. I noticed they didn't ring up a combo, but have a note on the wall to apply a different discount. I haven't gotten up the courage to ask what the issue is, since it appears to be that store's policy. Luckily, they read a coupon wrong and I got a pretty substantial discount. Right now, it evens out.

I've found it somewhat empowering to use Twitter and online surveys to voice my concerns. Sometimes, I get a sandwich out of it. My sister made the point that if more of us made these complaints, the stores might have to look seriously at improvements. Sometimes I just want what I order, not find a way to get a discount on the next one.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Cultural Appropriation

I was listening to Ray Halbritter on the ironically named "Best of Keiler" on WIBX this morning. He was going on about the Washington Redskins, his meeting with Obama on the subject and the concept of cultural appropriation. This is when one culture supposedly uses another's cultural identity for their own purposes, like making money.

I don't see how Washington makes any more money than the Green Bay Packers, whose name isn't even instantly apparent. I do see that the name has an identity and that the Indian symbols are used on their merchandise. I wrote "Indian" because it's not authentically Native American anyway. Here's my question. Isn't Halbritter appropriating the culture of America by bastardizing a treasured childhood story into The Yellow Brick Road Casino?

I'm sure Halbritter and most of Chittenango's answer would be no. He mentioned a local team in Oriskany using a Native America name, but that they are working with the Nation. What this boils down to is money. Chittenango is getting money out of this casino (likely the only money anyone will see out of an Oneida casino from what I hear). I assume Halbritter wants a payday from the DC team. I think the Redskins should publicly ask Halbritter how much shake down money he wants to shut up. It will have to be more than the money he "donated" to Obama to get an audience.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Not Quite Up to Date

This is the last second of May and I figured I absolutely needed to post something. Hopefully, the actual content will be this week. I noticed that of all the businesses on the North end of Black River Boulevard, only one place hasn't changed.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Maybe It's Lee Center that Sucks

For various reasons, I've spent a lot of time in Lee Center / Town of Lee lately. This "town" seems to be a rural suburb of Rome itself. Many of the businesses and locations have the name "Rome" in them. There has been occasional discussion of reducing the number of little towns and villages which would reduce the need for redundant county government.

I don't like local government, not having benefited from it much.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Decade of Blogging

One crappy winter between what I thought was a semi-permanent temp job (that didn't even last until Christmas) and the job I ended up holding for 9 years and counting, I created this blog. Blogging was the early version of "social media." This blog is older than YouTube and Twitter.

That's not to say this blog hasn't been nearly out for the count. Problems with Internet Explorer (I now use a version of Chrome) and another blog where I write about politics have made this blog more dormant than I wold have liked.

I'm a sentimental person at heart, and the fact that this blog has been around before I had a "real job, before my mother was sick and before I had any idea if I could even strike out on my own means something.

The first day of the blog, I wrote about the end of Gillete's Supermarket. That was followed by the end of Jim Gillette and the razing of the building for an Oneida Savings Bank. The Copycat snack stand was sold and it now Samz Eats and Sweets with substantially the same menu. I also wrote about the bitter cold and massive snowfall that month. It's been cold, but not quite as snowy. After a decade, so much for global "warming." The climate hasn't changed much at all.

Does Rome, NY still suck? Unfortunately, it does. So does most of New York State. Except for the hospital, this city is, however, about as good as anywhere else nearby. I have passed up McDonalds and Subway for local fare like Mazzaferro's and The Garage. Stay or move on. For now, I'm staying.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In 2015

I'm making a list. I'm checking it twice. My predictions last year just didn't suffice. Nostradumbass is coming to town. He's bringing some

Predictions for 2015

1. Scientists discover an island filled with formerly missing Malaysian airplanes. The producers of Lost sue Malaysia.

2. The Obama administration lets all Cubans into America as citizens, then realizes that's been the policy for decades. They immediately revoke US citizenship from all former Cubans.

3. YouTubers issue the Ebola challenge. They film themselves giving Ebola to internet celebrities.

4. After the YouTube Plague of 2015, the collective IQ of the US goes up by 5 points.

5. After a year of no improvement in VA hospitals, the White House puts veterans on free Obamacare.

6. The military declares war on Barack Obama. For the first time in decades, the Congress actually passes a war resolution, this time against the administration.

7. Obama drafts an army of Northeast candy-ass hipsters. They surrender at the recruitment centers.

8. New York Mayor DeBlasio fires the NYPD for insubordination and buys an army of robot cops. They immediately mow him down since they were made in a union factory.

9. Obama and what's left of the Democratic leadership activate Plan B and move to Cuba. Sarah Palin becomes president.

10. Presidential approval numbers go up 100%.

11. Kim Jong Un blows up Cuba because they are an embarrassment to real Communists like himself.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Future of Fast Food

Whenever I talked about increasing minimum wage, I would mention the sign spinner at Little Caesar's. This person would either be in an animated Caesar costume or street clothes showing off the deals of the day. I always figured it was something to do, either part time or when things were slow instead of sending them home. An increase in minimum wage would not make that job cost effective.

Then I saw a very thin blond turning the sign.

Upon closer inspection, it was a mannequin with a motor turning a sign that looked realistic from the street. She earns no wage, has no worker rights and only costs the price of electricity, plus the cost of parts and labor.

I have no idea if wage increases, Obamacare or some other business cost led to this. I do know that their pizza went from $5 to $6 a few months ago and it probably didn't help sales. At least there's all day advertising.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Does Rob Astorino Have a Chance in Hell?

Andrew Cuomo's dog and pony show of an ethics commission has been exposed. For months, the group was given investigative powers, but had various people reporting back to Cuomo. His office tried to stop investigations and eventually disbanded the commission when it got to close to his pals. Cuomo apparently tried to claim that he had the sole authority to shut them down, even though it looked very much like they were finding ethics violations in Cuomo's own office.

Now there is the potential that Rob Astorino, the most vocal Republican running, has a real case against Cuomo. The Republicans have not fared well statewide since Pataki ended his term. Even the Republican legislature brought us gay marriage and the SAFE Act, which could potentially bite them on the ass in November. We'l have to see if there's some life yet in the NY GOP.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Vote Tenney

I swore I was going to take the time to blog about Richard Hanna's absurdly expensive ad campaign to paint himself as a conservative. Now I can just point to conservative site Legal Insurrection.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Last War For Late Night

In some ways, this week has been the result of two decades worth of dealings, betrayals and manipulations in the world of late night talk shows. Now that the fairly terrible 2014 winter Olympics are over, Seth Meyers has had his first week on NBC as the new host of Late Night. Jimmy Fallon is the host of the Tonight Show. Leno is off the air. Letterman is the Johnny Carson of late night, having survived the longest and Arsenio Hall is back in syndication. I guess he finally kicked Leno's ass.

I've now read "The Late Shift" and "The War for Late Night," the comprehensive tomes from Bill Carter about the behind the scenes (and occasional on-air) antics of networks, talk show hosts and their champions and minions. I had some moderate interest in the story from 1992, both as a fan of David Letterman and a viewer of "Forever Knight," one of the casualties when Letterman went to CBS.

Conan O'Brien's departure from NBC in 2010 set the stage for this week. That story was similar to the fight from the 1990s. Leno was bot the good soldier and potential traitor. He was always willing to give up the Tonight Show (at least as a bargaining tactic) to keep it. He made a deal with NBC that if they didn't like his 10pm show and took him off the air, Leno could be on TV somewhere else the next week.

In a lot of ways, Conan became a victim of modern times. With a 10pm show, older Leno fans could get him an hour earlier and go to bed. Conan skewed extremely young, and many in that age group were watching Comedy Central at 11pm. At the same time, Leno's show had such low ratings compared to other prime-time fare, it hurt the 11pm news in NBC affiliates which, in turn, hurt Conan's ratings.  When Conan finally walked in 2010, ABC already had their own star and Fox could not effectively mount a new talk show. If he had walked in 2004, he could have been on a network, but he wanted the Tonight Show.

Leno didn't fare so well, either. He made money for NBC, but he also worked cheap. The 10pm show was a disastrous move because it almost lost them affiliates. When the next contract came around, Leno decided he was done with the Tonight Show. He's essentially a stand-up comic who tells jokes at 11:30. Of all the options available, I think the CNN slot opened up by Piers Morgan's firing is the most likely option. I suspect that Leno won't be the ratings powerhouse that some might hope.

Then there's David Letterman. After the 2010 handover, Dave invited Jay to appear with him in a "worst Superbowl party" ad for "The Late Show" also featuring Oprah Winfrey. I think Dave buried the hatchet because he finally got closure. Dave had a small chance to get the Tonight Show by taking over for a floundering Leno in the early weeks of the show for an 18 month trial and no guarantees. The Conan incident revealed that NBC uses the show as a pawn, dangling it in front of people and taking it away when they think they can do better. It even happened to Leno. Letterman makes more money than Leno, owns The Late Show, has a production deal and over 20 years in the same time slot. Leno often describes himself as an employee and he is. When it's his time, NBC fills the chair with someone else. Letterman made the right decision.

I find myself watching Conan O'Brien more often now and chuckling at YouTube videos of his show. I'm over Letterman due to his annoying politics and lack of innovation. Arsenio is as bad as before and less interesting. Jimmy Fallon? I think Lorne Michaels thinks anyone who did Weekend update can have a talk show. Dennis Miller did a pretty good job.

In my case, I wish Forever Knight was back on.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Deep Freeze

There tends to be an ebb and flow to the severity of Upstate NY winter. While it is entirely possible to have both snowfall and arctic temperatures, precipitation in the extreme cold is usually a couple of powdery inches while lake effect can be a couple of feet of heavy, wet, packing snow. Most of the snow came early in the month, followed by temperatures so low that it never had a chance to melt.

So far, February looks to be seasonable, with regular snow and temperatures in at least positive double digits. This is already a fairly bad winter, as my utility bill will attest. Next month will determine if it is a terrible winter. The one consolation is that the rest of the country has seen their average temperatures fall 30 degrees. Except for California, which is set for a severe drought this summer. At least we don't have much experience with that.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In 2014

It's 5 o'clock New Year's Day somewhere. Right now, I think that place is Dubai. Yet again, I hang on to a tradition that started with notes passed around a high school classroom and onto the electronic pages of a nearly dead blog. If I get any followers, maybe I'll take the show to my Twitter page. Until then, I have some

Predictions for 2014
  1. Twitter goes out of business, but only after it is sold to a bunch of old white investors for $10 billion dollars.
  2. Drone tests in Texas turn out badly as residents try and succeed at shooting many down.
  3. Amazon stock plummets as consumers learn their drone shipping plan is actually part of an NSA spying program.
  4. Yahoo becomes the new leader in online shopping when they use carrier pigeons to deliver small electronics.
  5. Tweets are replaced by an app called Angry Pigeons where you can order a bird to deliver a note or crap on someone, whichever is preferred.
  6. The Department of Health and Human Services, home of Obamacare overlords, is overrun with bird droppings.
  7. Kathleen Sebelius catches the avian flu and is sentenced to an Obamacare death panel when it is shown she never paid for her platinum plan.
  8. Just to mess with everyone, Tea Party candidates start running as Democrats when Republican leadership gives them the cold shoulder.
  9. After multiple forced host resignations, MSNBC decides to try an actual news format. Ratings plummet among their key demographic, hipster doofuses in ironic pajama onsies.
  10. Democrats win the House and the Senate, but most of them are Tea Party candidates who pledged to start impeachment hearings. Other Democrats start to go along.
  11. Obama, after realizing impending doom, goes to an Obamacare doctor for depression treatment. He is in a vegetative state within 24 hours, but no one can tell the difference.
  12. Joe Biden creates a drone president, but the public soon discovers that it is just a CPR dummy with a football for a head. They prefer it over Biden 2:1.
I for one, salute our new president Football Head.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tis the Season for Holy Crap It's Cold!

About a decade ago we would have up to a week of temperatures in the -10 to -20 degree range. In the last 5 years it has been more like -10s. This year distinguishes itself by starting November with 60 degree days and ending it in the single digits. The good news is that I can stop hearing how unseasonably cold it is for November after today.

While it sucks for me, this weather is probably closer to what I remember from the 1980s winters. The predictions (which I don't believe anyway) point to this being a cold winter, as opposed to all the hot humid Rome NY winters. I will say that 2012 ended almost snow free and 2013 was at least reasonable. This almost all goes against global warming hysteria. Frankly, global warming could only help this region which was likely responsible for millions of Native American deaths before America made them rich enough to build heated casinos.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gambling With the Oneidas

New York is following California's lead by putting a series of referendums (spell check says this is right) to the state Constitution in a year where the smallest number of people will vote. One proposal is to allow for the creation of up to 7 Casinos within the state. On principle, I oppose the use of gambling for revenue since it is a regressive tax on the poor. Normally, I would support more casinos only because it would create competition between the Halbritter empire and the rest of the state. I still oppose the referendum because Andrew Cuomo would have the discretion to locate the casinos and central New York would be off limits.

Arthur Ray Halbritter got himself in some trouble this month when he decided to support his current benefactor, Barack Obama, and argue against the existence of a team called the "Redskins." Conservative news site The Daily Caller brought up the more unseemly aspects of Halbritter's career. He was appointed to a tribal leadership position by his aunt, whom he later evicted from Oneida lands. He also does not have a solid claim to being an Oneida Indian, but was reinstated by Sherwood Boehlert's request to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. That's plain cronyism, regardless of culture.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This Guy Again?

For all the talk about Anthony Weiner running for mayor of New York City, at least he is confined to the hellhole that is downstate. Elliot Spitzer wants to be Comptroller for New York State. Even his wife finally divorced him. Can't this state do the same?

I should do like George Zimmerman did and move to Texas.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Like many Romans, I work outside of the city. I think Friday was a day many of us had to use our navigation skills (and GPS for me) to find a route in the Mohawk Valley that was not pooled with water. When I told one co-worker about my fairly long distance from work and the lack of chain restaurants near me, he called me a "redneck."

I don't think redneck really applies to anyone in the Northeast, especially with Rome's legendary cloud cover. Also, this city is enormous geographically, so it's preassembled urban sprawl. In my case, however, I live near a farm and see cows on my way to work on a regular basis. I might call myself a hillbilly, especially since I live on an elevated part of the city.

I've run into my share of low income people, ex-cons, white rappers and a few unwed (and more pre-wed) mothers. Frankly, I'm plenty smart but I've kind of slacked off in my daily affairs. I have learned not to be too judgmental about people's position. I reserve the right to dispute people's decisions.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Raw Deal

A generation after one Cuomo negotiated a bad deal with the Oneida Nation, another Cuomo is about to do the same.

The initial compact between Mario the Pious and Diamond Ray Halbritter essentially allowed the Oneida Nation to promote gambling on "their" land as a way to smooth over bad relations between certain Native American interests and the state. It was what the Church used to call an indulgence. Gambling is "bad," but it makes a lot of money and people like it. Since it is illegal for most of the state, it was a way to create monopolies advantageous to one group in a show of reparations.

The Oneidas used this to create an enormous mega casino, pay not taxes of any kind, sell untaxed tobacco, provide the lowest payouts in the East, buy up taxable land they insisted was tax free and sue homeowners for their land.

Part of my problem with this is jealousy. New York should operate like the Oneida Nation. Stop taxing cigarettes and casino winnings. Allow casinos in the rest of the state. Vernon Downs is scraping by with horse racing and video poker, which is not part of the compact and not allowed at the Turning Stone Casino.

The new deal will cement restrictions against state gambling and require an ill-defined payment (explicitly not a tax) from the Oneida Nation and the ending of land claims. The problem with a voluntary payment is the same as the non-payment of Sherill taxes problem. If the Oneidas decide not to pay the state at some point, what court has the power to take it?

This is a good deal for the Oneidas, of course. I notice Mrs. C's arcade was raided this week, located near Ray Halbritter's house. That must have pissed him off no end. I never played the arcade's "games of skill," but the skillful gamesman appears to be Halbritter himself. Make a deal with a politician whose days are numbered to get a free pass for decades to come.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Taxes: More Necessary or Evil?

Anyone who files taxes in New York knows that none of the forms are easy, contain dozens of questions and is generally more dreaded than the federal return. New York finds these forms hard to deal with as well. They'd like everyone to file electronically, and if you file once using software, you stopped getting forms years ago. Now, if you use software to file, you are legally required to e-file. I'm still not sure if that also requires spending the extra NY state fees, since there is basically no "free" state filing available.

I always thought that New York would be better off if they provided a CD or other media with tax information and possibly a simple filing program to fill out the forms. It turns out that there may be more sinister forces at work. Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, has been lobbying the government to keep government-created systems of tax filing away from taxpayers. The last system that turned tax filing into an automated process was the now-defunct Telefile.

Telefile let taxpayers eligible for single 1040EZ filing call a number, use their phone to enter W-2 information and file the return in 15-20 minutes (after filling out the applicable worksheets). While using your touch-tone phone to file returns is a little antiquated, the same process could be used on a secure web page. Even if this happened, New York would refuse such a simple system.

New York State is a tax disaster. At least one page of the "simple" form is dedicated to extra taxes for New York City, but appear for everyone in the state. Until this year, filers had to transcribe everything from their W-2 onto a form that looked like a W-2 for no particular reason. The state also requires filling out a box for non-taxed internet purchases, even though separating them can be nearly impossible. I can't even imagine what taxes are like for businesses.

Tax simplification increases compliance. Giving everyone a STAR rebate or energy tax breaks don't make up for high taxes and high energy prices. I'll be doing my taxes on paper this year, and I'm not going to try to keep my handwriting neat.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Hazy Shade of Winter

This has been a better winter than some, but definitely not like last year. This month, the groundhog has been proven wrong and the weather has been extra crappy heading into March. At this point, I'm just letting the snow collect on the driveway until my car actually stops moving in it. This is the week winter has officially broken me in 2013.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Keeler Over

I don't like Bill Keeler.

For me, it goes back decades. My favorite Central NY radio personality was Bill Wightman. He jumped from 104 to 107 on the FM dial (which were different formats at the time) and then left upstate radio altogether and seems to have relocated to Boston. Bill Keeler was the replacement.

Bill Keeler disappeared from the area himself, went to bigger markets, failed and returned to the area. He didn't get any better. He managed to ruin my morning drive again when he replaced Don Imus on WXUR 92.7 before being fired, yet again. Mind you, WXUR brought Imus back after his 2007 removal by his synidcator. Now, they have Bob and Tom, which is only marginally better than Keeler.

Remember Keeler's TV show? I didn't think so.

After being canned from WXUR and doing internet radio in what I assume was his garage, Keeler is now annoying me yet again on WIBX. He's the newest member of the "First News" morning show, taking the airwaves by storm with factually inaccurate information about guns and then lurching in the other direction with a parody, er, tribute song supposedly supporting Remington Arms in the New York gun legislation battle. I can almost hear Kristine Bellino cringe every time Bill talks to her.

Aside from complaints about his back and uncomfortable interviews with local newsmakers, Keeler touted his big get of Rob Pilatus, the still living half of Milli Vanilli following the beyonce lip sync story. This is the new face of radio news in Central New York.

I need to get me an iPod. Maybe I'll load it with my old Bill Wightman tapes.

Monday, December 31, 2012

In 2013

I "predicted" the firing of Keith Olbermann, which is about as much of a sure thing as there can be in this world. Yet again, the world has not been destroyed and I embark on another decade of this thing with

Predictions for 2013

1. Novelty stationery businesses go out of business when "Mayan Calendars" don't sell. The calendars consist of twelve blank pages.

2. Democrats propose a 1 trillion dollar bailout of calendar manufacturers.

3. At 12:01am on 1/1/13, China begins a hostile takeover of the United States. The plan falls apart due to shoddy workmanship and sub-par materials.

4. Obama "care" becomes the law of the land. New provisions like random urine tests and rectal exams prove less popular than the White House expected.

5. Mitt Romney prepares to move his family back to Mexico, along with all the people in the heart of Philadelphia's slums who voted for him.

6. Hillary Clinton slips into a brief coma. She wakes up to find she has that future predicting power from Stephen King's "The Dead Zone."

7. When Clinton shakes President Obama's hand after returning to work, she has a horrific vision of a post-apocalyptic future. She's not very surprised.

8. After moving to Mexico, it is discovered that Mitt Romney is actually funding the country's space program using Newt Gingrich's idea for a moon base.

9. Romney decides that not enough people can be saved with a rocket to the moon. He places a big sign stating "Super Expensive Vacation Home with Free Female Impersonator Dresses and Steam Room." Mr. and Mrs. Obama are drawn to it like moths to a flame.

10. With Barack Obama finally being a non-resident alien and Biden missing on a fact finding mission in an Irish pub, John Boehner becomes president. After a severe beating by his Congressional caucus, he does a mostly acceptable job.

11. The moon explodes due to mismanagement. The Maya were close.

Boom! And Happy New Year!

Saturday, October 06, 2012


The thing that I think distinguished me from being a kid to an adult is the knowledge that even people with special knowledge and skills are generally as smart (or dumb) as everybody else. Some people get a lot of credit or money, but they just do a job, like everyone else with a job. Sure, there are smart people, but even people at the top of their game are only occasionally brilliant.

I don't know a lot about "cars." It's something that would require me to spend a lot of time knocking around a vehicle and trying to piece things together. If I assembled and disassembled a car a few times, I'd probably get it. So, I tend to rely on the people who do know about cars.

I had a huge repair bill at Goodyear today. They didn't really screw me over except for the fact that they jack up prices more than just about anyone. I went there because I had an intermittent problem that none of the half dozen car guys I knew could figure out. I trust Goodyear's diagnostic skills more than Mavis. Then I find out that they "diagnosed" that the car wouldn't start and they had to replace the fuel pump.

Never have Goodyear replace your fuel pump. It's just too much of an opportunity for them to explode your bill. If any of the morons who think they knew anything about cars had mentioned fuel pump, I would have had it replaced at Mavis or one of the other places that actually drop tanks. I chose to vent here because I feel a massive Obama-level tantrum coming on and I can't blow up at people I work with.

Maybe I rely too much on the opinions of other people in this area, but they should consider doing what I do when I talk about computers and electronics. If I don't know something, I take the hit on my ego and state that I don't know. Regardless, from now on I consider anyone who talks about cards to not know anything of consequence.

Too bad the Chevy Volt was a big flaming turd. I wonder where I can get a Nissan Leaf?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Winter of Our Discontent

Judging by the quick change of season this month, I imagine that winter will not be the breeze that it was last year. I remmeber that I shoveled all of 3 times, and any of those times I could have let the snow melt on its own. This year, I'm planning to get a snow thrower (although I call it a snowblower).

The thing ticking me off right now is the new Daylight Savings. Well, it's not that new. If Fall back is the "real" time and Sring forward is the invented time, why does the fake one last two months longer than the real one? It mostly means I start going to work in the dark next month, since by the time we Fall back, that hour won't give up any sunrise.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Breaking Bath

In the famous Blue Boy episode of Dragnet, Friday and Gannon had to deal with drug addicts having bad trips without the power of law to stop its use. LSD was once in the place "bath salts" are today. It seems like Central New York is ground zero for the current outbreak of users.

I wondered why someone would want to take a drug that leaves them naked, arrested by the cops and possibly eating a dog. It's the same reason anyone takes crystal meth, the quick, cheap high and damn the consequences. Then the process is glorified by a series where capitalism is perverted to show a chemistry teacher can make a better drug and become a kingpin.

Well, meth is just crushed up cold medicine for the most part, and people don't really care about the quality of their drugs, just the knock you on your ass effects. At this point, I'd say to legalize drugs with one caveat. If you get caught using them, you don't go to jail, you lose your right to vote. Obviously, you have a problem with wise decisions. If you want to drop out, then really drop out.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Bus Monitor Irony

The bus monitor story from Greece, NY made national news because of YouTube and the surprise of people about what kids are really like. The thing is, this bullied woman was the bus monitor. She was supposed to keep crap from happening. She actually didn't do her job and because the target of abuse. What saved her was a camera.

What we need to do is put all the little hellions on camera. Forget about bus monitors. Let's put these idiots in their natural habitat and post it on the internet. Then their parents can dispense the kind of justice they should have in the first place.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Ain't no Republican like a New York Republican, 'cause a New York Republican don't stop acting like a Democrat.

Republican Assemblyman Jim Conte is the fool behind this bill and I would rather have a Democrat in his place because of it. He states that his legislation will reduce "mean-spirited and baseless political attacks” and “turns the spotlight on cyberbullies by forcing them to reveal their identity.”

That's bull. First of all, kids who are cyberbullied frequently know their tormentors. If they don't, said attacks will not occur on something as archaic as a newspaper's website. I do think it could have a chilling effect on political attacks, by subjecting people to real-life lawsuits for defamation by the same jackasses proposing this bill.

That's the thing. Internet anonymity is a gift to free speech. If that speech is abused or devolves into threats, the police have a mechanism to stop it. What anonymity does is require that criticism reach a sufficient level to get the authorities involved.

If you want to know why I don't use my "real" name on my blog, google the name "Brett Kimberlin." He managed to find the identity of a well-known blogger, get him and his wife fired from their jobs with the possibility of violent retaliation and got said blogger thrown in jail by a judge who didn't even understand what a blog is.

I was threatened with exposure because of my posts about the Rome, NY school board. Good luck. "Clues" to my identity are frequently lies. Plus, I don't give a crap about the school system any more. I'm just saving up to get out. This bill is just another reason.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Buying Your House Over

This was property tax day in Rome. With city and county, it adds up to somethign like 5% of a home's assesed value. In 20 years, you buy your house again. usually, we call it a mortgage.

Especialy in states with no property taxes.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Many Months, Few Inches

One of my first blog posts seven years ago was about 9" of snow falling in a single day. We've barely gotten that much in 4 months of winter. I still hear that we're going to pay for this moderate weather, but there's not much time left to settle the bill.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The 80s Are Back

I see that a Superbowl ad will run paying homage to "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." On top of that. Nickelodeon's "Victorious" payed homage to the teen classic "The Breakfast Club."

I remember the 80s. They were pretty cool. These remakes are not.