Archive for March, 2011

Special Flip

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

So, this guy’s completely out of his mind, eh?

State Budget

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

For the first time since I was five years old, the state actually managed to pass a budget on time.

This might not seem like a big deal to outsiders, but it’s a complete reversal of the normal backbiting and acrimony. Wow.

Wage Freeze Decision

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The highest court in New York has finally ruled – the teachers of the Buffalo Public Schools are not entitled to their automatic raises that would have accrued over the three years that the control board froze wages.

This is obviously a complicated issue, with facts bolstering both the “they should have” and “they shouldn’t have” sides. The contract guaranteeing the raise steps was negotiated in good faith, but it expired in 2004. Teachers do an admirable job, especially given the blight and poverty that many students are living in, but the taxpayers supporting those raises are tapped out. I imagine that this is only one of a coming deluge of public union promises that are going to be broken in the coming years.

The Beast

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Update on the Tunachuckers, on our blog. We finally have our new car.

2010 Census

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The results of the 2010 census are in, and it’s not looking so great here in Buffalo, either.

The region as a whole lost population, which isn’t surprising. But the disturbing part is that the city and inner ring suburbs lost population, while towns like Pendleton and Wheatfield were gaining people. So while the number of people in the area, and thus the tax base, is dwindling, we’re required to maintain a more and more dispersed infrastructure to service the citizens that are remaining.

Could someone please explain to me again why regional planning is such a dirty word here?

Paul Baran

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Paul Baran, one of the many men who deserve to be called the founders of the Internet, died this weekend. I’m not mentioning this because I assume anyone knew who he was – I just really liked this line from the NYT obituary.

“The process of technological developments is like building a cathedral,” he said in an interview in 1990. “Over the course of several hundred years, new people come along and each lays down a block on top of the old foundations, each saying, ‘I built a cathedral.’

“Next month another block is placed atop the previous one. Then comes along an historian who asks, ‘Well, who built the cathedral?’ Peter added some stones here, and Paul added a few more. If you are not careful you can con yourself into believing that you did the most important part. But the reality is that each contribution has to follow onto previous work. Everything is tied to everything else.”

Bike Shops of Japan

Friday, March 25th, 2011

A cinematic journey through the bike shops of Japan. I love the idea of traveling to Asia to buy a “Brooklyn” brand frame.

Pink Slips

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Costa Mesa, California, has decided that the best way to get out from under pension obligations and other workforce issues is to fire everyone and just outsource city services.

Interesting experiment.

Ludicrous Speed, NOW!

Friday, March 25th, 2011

This was posted on a friend’s blog, though it pertinent (if we lived in NYC).

In NY,  someone actually looked at a current law and decided that it should be allowed to expire. Then they went and made new signs and reversed any tickets issued after the law expired……

Positive news for us cyclists out there…..keep it going.

Now if we can get them to repeal the hands on the bars amendment…

Lenten Dissent

Friday, March 25th, 2011

For my fellow Catholics:

“Lenten Dissent” by Cherie Lashway

There once was a logger, named Paddy O’Connell,
Who at lunch during Lent, found himself at McDonalds,

And had just settled down to his Big Mac and fries,
When along came his priest, much to both their surprise.

The priest said to Paddy, “Just what are you eating?
In this season of Lent, I sure hope you’re not cheating.”

Paddy said to the Father, “I’ll tell you no lies.
I’m enjoying a Big Mac, along with some fries.”

The priest said to Paddy, “I see no repentance.
Because of this sin, you will have to do penance.

“By Friday or sooner, I say that you should,
For our fireplace, deliver a cord of chopped wood.”

Now our timberman, Paddy, an overworked man,
Did think to himself, “I don’t think that I can.”

But early on Friday, our priest, he heard shoveling,
And looked out the window at Paddy not groveling.

And saw with confusion, dismay and disgust,
That the wood bin was now almost filled with saw dust.

He called down below, barely hiding his ire:
“Hey Paddy, your penance was wood for the fire!”

To which Paddy said, rising up from his work,
While wiping his brow and concealing a smirk:

“I’ve brought you a cord, like you said that I should,
But if burger be meat, well then sawdust be wood!”