Archive for April, 2009

Dear Pitt, Not bigger but blinger.

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Poverty leads to tractors.

So for those of you that missed it yesterday the meandering conversation on poverty lead to a tractor battle between Pitt and myself ( by battle I mean he posted a pic and now I feel the need to do the same).

@Kevin:

I’ll bet my tractor’s bigger than yours:

http://ccspecialties.org/1872.jpg

18HP 2 cylinder, 60″ cut, hydrostatic drive, Power Steering and hydraulic deck lift. 26″ rear tires FTW

Well…

17HP  / 48″ Cut I have no idea about the other stuff as I am not a gear head by any means, not bigger but I did make it look pretty.

Was just at Ollies Bargin Outlet, might get some skull shifter knobs for it.

French Press

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Ever wonder how easy it is to type on one of the new fangled portable email devices while blasting round a rally track in a beefed-up Citroen?  These guys did:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10230160-1.html?tag=mncol;title

Kind of reminds me of the old Lincoln commercial where the Rabbi performs a circumcision on a baby while riding in the back of a Versailles over a cobblestone road.  Snip! Snip!

Anti-Poverty “Plan”

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Fifteen months ago, the Mayor of our fine city hired Donna Brown (no relation) to serve as Deputy Mayor. Her top priority was to be the creation of an anti-poverty plan. Fifteen months and $115,000 in salary later, it was finally released yesterday.

(A side note: you can now download a PDF listing the salaries of all city employees from the city web site. If you want something even more appalling and depressing than my blog, that’s where to go.)

I haven’t read the plan yet, but from the summary in the News, it looks like a complete waste of time. It’s nothing but an enumeration of everything that’s already in place, and a weak imploring to do more collaboration and communication.

No unified plan for demolitions.

Nothing like a plan for shrinking the city (a la Youngstown).

No specific measures for job training or creation.

Apparently, not even anything about reforming a school district with a 29% on-time graduation rate.

Just an inventory of the programs that have already helped make us America’s third-poorest city. Great. That was a hundred-plus thousand dollars well-spent. Obviously, what we’re doing now _doesn’t work_. We need new ideas, new programs, new initiatives. Staying the course is pretty stupid when the course is this rocky.

Naturally, the plan was presented to a handpicked group of “community activists”, people like the head of the Community Action Organization, who don’t seem to do a whole lot besides suck up grant money. I suppose a public audience would be too much to ask for. The public’s job is to pay for things that don’t work, and then to shut up and pay some more.

1934 Chicago Tribune Cartoon

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Common Council Terms

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Joseph Golombek, the North District councilman here in Buffalo, has entered a resolution to change the term of service for a council seat from four years to two. His reasoning is that the longer terms have led to a more complacent, less effective Council.

On the other hand, opponents say that reducing the length of the term will lead to more campaigning at the expense of governing.

I think, much as it pains me, his opponents are right. Four years isn’t a terribly long time, and since the Council is the only brake against the mayor’s office, it’s nice to have a bit of continuity. Of course, this is all really a moot point. I’d be willing to bet that eighty percent of the people who live in the city couldn’t name their councilman anyway.

Unrelated Wisdom – Now with 50% more Swinyness

Monday, April 27th, 2009

“The best way to get over a girl is to get under another one.”

“I’ve got three words for you: English Degree.”

At least GM won’t have to change its acronym.  It’ll just stand for “Government Motors” now.  Hey, its like American Citroen.  At least we won’t have to suffer through an American 2CV.

*Note: Edit!  Added 7:30AM 4/28*

Some comments on the SwineFluPocalypse:

“I think they’re trying to distract us from noticing that Obama has named the CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving to run the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. No, that’s not a joke, even I couldn’t make this up.”

“If we’re all busy freaking out over swine flu, maybe we won’t notice the government borrowing billions of dollars from China and then flushing it down the toilet. ”

And the best:

“Rahm Emanuel might not know how to manufacture automobiles, but the corrupt Chicago politician does know how to manufacture crisis. ”

Who was it that said that you should never waste a good crisis?

Automotive Question

Monday, April 27th, 2009

So now that it looks like Pontiac is getting the heave-ho, are people finally going to stop growing mullets?

Discuss.

Swine Flu

Monday, April 27th, 2009

It looks like the possible pandemic is going a lot rougher in Mexico than the official accounts indicate. The link leads to emails from Mexican doctors to the BBC — healthy patients in their 20s and 30s are dying, huge doses of anti-virals not helping.

This could be a rough ride.

Logo Contest

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

So, we’re in need of a new logo for this year’s team shirts for Ride for Roswell. I think last year’s came out pretty well, but it’s always nice to be fresh.

To that end, I’m having a logo contest. Whoever wants to send me a prospective logo in the next week, here’s the rules:

  • Must include either “Super Atomic Pedal Squadron!” or “SAPS!” lettering somewhere in the design. Can’t have a team shirt without a team name.
  • Can be no more than three colors, not including white. These are going on shirts, and stuff that’s really colorful is also really expensive. White (or, more accurately, light grey) is “free” because it’s just the color of the shirt coming through.
  • Must be received by midnight, next Sunday, May 3, 2009.

For purposes of comparison, here’s last year’s shirtfront design:

All received designs will be placed on the site next Monday, May 4, and we’ll use the voting booth in the sidebar to pick a winner. The winning design will go on the shirtfronts for the team for this year’s ride.

Please send submissions in PNG, GIF, or some other common format. They can be emailed to me at “contact@roadflares.org”. No warranties expressed or implied. Not valid in all fifty states. All right reserved, all wrongs reversed. And so on.

I think it would be fun to run a newspaper

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Rosebud.