August 19, 2010

1080p Tappan Zee

On an otherwise picturesque day boating on the Hudson, it suddenly struck me that the helicopters were flying overhead because a portion of the bridge’s superstructure had fallen into the water. I wondered if anyone I knew was up there. Maybe it was a gust of wind, maybe it was a strong river current, maybe it was a fly landing. Like a row of dominoes toppling over, truss after truss was pulverized to dust. Good thing they’re building a new bridge. They’ll probably break ground about ten years from now.

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August 18, 2010

Vertical Vehicles & Viciously Venomous Vibes

Last night under a clear bright summer sun I was driving the 1993 Mitsubishi Diamante that broke down on me two years ago through the streets of what Tarrytown, NY would look like if it were fused with frequent ancient roman fountains. When I made a left turn onto a cobblestone street, I noticed that the road ended suddenly and proceeded up a sharp set of stairs. For a moment I considered trying to drive up the stairs, but the gap between the plateau and the top step grew ever more imposing with each second I hesitated. I veered right, proceeding into a squarely spiral underground parking garage complex which at each floor provided breathtaking ocean vistas. Spiraling down the levels, I finally arrived at my intended floor – the ground floor of the garage, set at least 50 feet up a steep cliff side. The open design allowed the salty breeze to strike my face. I realized I was completely alone, and decided to head back topside, but I’d managed to lose my car in the moment I’d turned my back to it. However, there was a vertical conveyance nearby. Rather than an elevator cab, it provided two pads on which a person would stand as they were lifted vertically by the mechanism, which seemed to spiral upwards like a screw, passing through narrow slits at each floor. For fear of dismemberment, I decided it would be best not to ride this unusual paternoster. Once again appreciating my new found free time with an ocean view, I noticed what look like dirt on my otherwise clean shirt. Before I could remove it, I realized it was a spider, and in fact there was not one, but hundreds of spiders, crawling all over me. And at the very moment I felt a spider preparing to crawl into my mouth, open as I screamed, my BlackBerry rang, and it was my father. He asked if I wanted to go vacation near the ocean.

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August 13, 2010

Second Sloppy Supermarket Self-defense Spray

In the dark it was already hard enough to see, but through the dirty glass window, it was obvious that the two men circling the outside of my friend’s new car were not interested in being our friends. When I saw a fist lay down a futile strike against the tempered glass windshield, it became more obvious that without swift action this situation would continue to escalate.

I pulled a self-defense spray out of my pocket, positioned it in my hand, and released the safety tab. Exiting the car from the rear driver side door, opposite the attackers, I knew I only had a second before they would be in swinging distance. When I aimed at the nearest attacker and fired the spray, I realized it was aimed backwards, and unable to avoid being sprayed, a small amount hit me in the left eye, causing it to immediately unleash searing pain before welling up with tears and swelling shut. But undeterred, I aimed a second time and hit the attacker square across the bridge of his nose. He grabbed his face and screamed out loud as the same symptoms affected him. The second attacker was hit just as easily and likewise became immediately overwhelmed by the powerful irritating effects of the pepper spray.

In their stupor, with only one functional eye, I managed to lay down a few good punches and kicks to the both of them, before dragging their unconscious bodies to the nearby curb. And when the police showed up, you’d have figured they’d be interested in what happened, but the officer told me to wait while he took an accident report.

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August 12, 2010

Check out any tile you like, but you can never leave

In an abandoned and half-forgotten remote winter lodge, built decades before a nearby high-rise hotel which cast an imposing shadow, I wandered aimlessly, separated from a friend who was probably busy being unconcerned with my well-being and admiring her own vanity, photographing herself in a bathroom mirror somewhere nearby. The stone walls and chandeliers in the lobby were all quite impressive, but a trip down the corridors revealed the usual dilapidation one would expect with a building this old. I couldn’t help but notice that one room drew me in magnetically, and one drop ceiling tile might as well have had my name on it. I stacked some books on top of a chair, and stepped up so the tile was within reach. I gently lifted the tile upwards and placed it out of the way above the other tiles as nearly a century of dust and cobwebs lingered above my head. Unfortunately since I couldn’t see whatever I was supposed to find, I carefully stuck my hard-hat covered head above the ceiling line, carefully turning my head to provide a view inside the plenum.

And there it was – my father’s wallet. Not the wallet I gave him recently for Father’s Day – the wallet I caused him to lose years before – still stuffed to its britches with credit cards and a collection of business cards that any Rolodex would be jealous of. Inside there was still exactly $200 cash. Unfortunately before I had a chance to even step back down off the chair I realized I was no longer alone, and my new yet-to-be-acquaintance was not someone I wanted to be acquainted with. When I stepped down off the chair, and saw the dark-haired woman wearing a business suit watching me, I realized the jig was up, and I surrendered.

“Take a seat,” she said, motioning to one of the many couches I failed to take notice of earlier in the cavernous lobby. She asked about my interest in her building – which I knew was not hers. As I explained to her my fascination with this particular abandoned hotel, not mentioning my father’s missing wallet, I noticed her hair was much lighter than I remembered from moments before, and it was as though she was now twenty years younger. We were laying next to each other on the floor beside the couch which I never got off of. We looked each other in the eyes longingly and I kissed her.

And if it weren’t for the foul taste of cigarettes which permeated her breath, I wouldn’t have kissed her again.

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October 22, 2009

RoadRunner DNS Hijacking Hits a New Low

Seriously, you’re not even trying to be helpful. This is just wrong. This is not at all doctored, see for yourself how bad RoadRunner “Website Suggestion” search results are.

RoadRunner DNS Hijacking

RoadRunner DNS Hijacking

There is no excuse for this. They claim the results are powered by Yahoo!, but the real Yahoo! search results are not nearly as irrelevant for the same search terms. For users running at 1024×768, all links above the fold are sponsored links. But even the ranking of the organic results are suspect. But to boot, another five sponsored links appear below the results. This “service” is enabled by default for RoadRunner subscribers. The opt-out process is simple enough, but forcing this on unsuspecting users its unconscionable. One has to wonder, based on these website suggestions, if RoadRunner is in fact at all interested in providing relevant suggestions, or if they are misrepresenting the service as helpful when they are knowingly providing all sponsored results and presenting them as organic.

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June 7, 2009

Used Bible Google Ads

What are you trying to tell me eBay?!

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