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  • Michael Krakovskiy 9:15 pm on June 21, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 9, Bloomington, Carolinas, , crane car, DNA Lounge, , Michele Oka Doner, , radio car,   

    On My Way To The Subway 

    The Joel writes:
    “New York is the kind of place where ten things happen to you every day on the way to the subway that would have qualified as interesting dinner conversation in Bloomington, Indiana, and you don’t pay them any notice.”

    The same exact day I realized just how true that is. Let’s take my illustrated walk to the subway that is pretty typical of what I do to clear my head :

    As I was taking this picture of people backlit by a sunset, a was shoved with a great deal of force. From the following stream of obscenity I understood that I inadvertently pushed (or more likely just simply got in the way of) an “apology enforcer”, and the shove that I got was my punishment for not apologizing.

    Apology enforcers are this tiny subset of New Yorkers who will berate you for any tiny little bump that you might give them in the most crowded streets, subway cars and platforms. They will demand an apology even if you didn’t feel the bump yourself or even if they bumped into you. The crazier ones will return the bump back, taking it almost to the level of assault and curse you in the process. The only way to deal with them is to apologize and not try to argue your case. This does not always work, as the craziest of them will follow you, delivering an obscenity laced sermon on the importance of saying “excuse me” and “sorry”. Try to get away as quick as possible from them.

    Walking down 8th I came into a White Castle to buy a diet soda. I prefer fountain soda to canned stuff. Most of the patrons took some time to study two wanted posters documenting the great White Castle rug capers of ’05.

    The guy on the right kind of looks like Monzy a little bit (it’s not him though).

    These thefts reminded me of all the stuff (including a webcam) that was stolen from DNA Lounge over the years. This also reminded me that the best way for hotels to stop towel theft is to use non-logoed towels. Stealing stuff without logos is just not as fun.

    A little further down 8th I saw an elderly guy sitting on the stairs leading down to the subway. The guy was breathing heavily and holding his chest. “I really, really hope so” is not a good answer to the standard “Are you Ok?” from a gray haired gentleman, with a forehead overflowing with sweat on a cool summer evening, staggering to get up and sitting down again and strangely not emitting any alcohol vapors. I called 911, described the situation to the dispatcher and waited for a “radio car” to show up (it took about two minutes). The cops talked to the old dude, who happened to be a tourist from one of the Carolinas, and quickly called him a “bus“.

    Meanwhile, I noticed another thing about NYPD uniforms – there is a little bar over the pocket that indicates in Roman numerals the previous round anniversary of the cop’s service. The guy responding to my call was a 10+ year veteran, the other cop was a rookie.

    When I made it to West 4th the old school clock on the top of a building was showing time in those alien characters from Predator.

    My good deed for the day done, I walked further. Guess what – there are fireflies on lawns in Manhattan too.

    I reached 34th street and once again stopped to appreciate “Radiant Site” – and art piece by Michele Oka Doner. I like it, the hand made gold tiles are all different and look very good. But then again, I can’t stop myself from thinking that this is not really art, but something that any contractor with a good tile supplier could accomplish.

    Down on the platform instead of a regular train I was met by the cool Mantis crane car.

    P.S. Dang, that Starbucks logo is everywhere. It’s in two photos in this post.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 10:39 am on March 3, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 9, accountant, accountant /editor, banker, Black tie, blue banker, building The Tent, Carpet river, Carpet With Joan river, Carpet With river, , , Formalwear, Green eyeshade, , , Jean Baptiste Chardin, Joan river, Melissa river, , Tesla, Tuxedo, With Joan river, With river   

    Ow, My Eyes, My Poor Eyes! 

    One of the things that I hate the most about my job is overhead fluorescent lights. How, how could Mr. Tesla unleash such an evil invention upon us? Anyway, even after jumping through a few hoops to get the lamp directly over my cubicle turned off and talking most of my co-workers into turning theirs off (everyone seems to like it better without them), there’s still way too much glare from remaining lamps.

    Short of building The Tent of Doom over my cube I found some relief by wearing a promotional baseball cap that found it’s way onto my desk. Yeah, it might say “Red Carpet With Joan and Melissa Rivers” on it, but the cap really cut the glare down.

    This made me remember a stereotypical picture of an accountant or an editor: in cartoons they seem to wear those funny little green visors. Now I understood their purpose – it’s to cut down on the glare. I still don’t understand why they wear weird little bands or garters on their sleeves.

    It’s interesting to know why the predominant color of the accountant/editor eyeshades is green. It might have something to do with the green color of the banker’s lamp. I once seen a blue banker’s lamp at Staples, but when I tried to buy it an extremely rude stockboy took it away because it was the only display copy.

    These days it seems that the only professionals who wear green eyeshades are casino dealers. I could buy one, but I am afraid wearing it at work would make me look even more eccentric, which is probably not a good thing.

    Turns out there’s such a thing as Green Eyeshade Award. Also copyeditors don the green eyeshades sometimes when going to their conventions. Who knew they had conventions too…

    It looks like in the olden days eyeshades were worn by accountants, editors, typesetters and Morse code operators. I wonder if early computer programmers wore them too. I really don’t see a reason why nobody except the card dealers wear them anymore – if anything there’s even more glare in today’s workplace than ever before.

    Researching the matter further it looks like the green eyeshade is a lot older than I thought. Here’s a self portrait by Jean Baptiste Chardin dated 1775:

    Well, maybe the eyeshades are out because they look dorky, like many other old wardrobe elements. I don’t miss the old high waistline pants which really freak out generation Y kids when they see old James Bond movies, but I wish old fashioned headgear would make a comeback. I absolutely love the top hats, bowler hats and fedoras.

    By the way, this quote from Great Fortune gave me pause:
    “In the 1930s, one elevator to the Rainbow Room was reserved for customers in formal dress, meaning white tie; men dressed more casually in tuxedos had to travel second-class.”
    I always thought that tuxedo or “black tie” was just about as formal as you could get. As it turns out that white tie is not just a tuxedo with a white bowtie. This reminded me about a newspaper story about a company that had “dress up Friday” and instead of dressing in jeans men came to work in tuxedos. Apparenly they had a lot of problems eating out – other restaurant patrons mistook them for waiters.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:04 pm on September 27, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 9, , , , , , , , , , , Northrop Grumman, northropgrumman.com, , , , , web logs,   

    Top 10 Reasons Why Deadprogrammer Left Livejournal 

    1) Old entries are hard to get to: “back n entries” works only for a while, after that you need to go day by day. Which makes paging through a blog that is not updated daily a nightmare.

    2) Can’t run ads.

    3) The degenerate “friends” system with it’s stupid add/remove politics. It’s better to read stuff in an aggregator.

    4) Livejournal is widely known for drama and teenage angst. Having a Livejournal blog is similar to having an AOL email – it doesn’t matter that the famous hacker JWZ has one. People will still think that you are a loser.

    5) No categories. You have to keep a separate journal if you want to give your readers an ability to read only stuff that interests them. I want to write some entries in Russian, but do not want to have a separate journal for that. Also some of my readers might be interested in my photos, but not in what I think about Livejournal.

    6) Constant outages, lost posts, slowness and other technical fun. What else can you expect if you share your servers with a million teenagers frantically refreshing their “friends lists”.

    7) No trackback.

    8) Image hosting that is still in beta, but a fully released “phonepost” system that instead of using MP3 format uses OGG. I spent a couple of hours trying to find a player that would actually play these files when I click on them, but for the most part miserably failed. Those are a couple of hours of my life that I’ll never get back. I mean, what the hell is wrong? You click on a file, the player opens, but doesn’t play anything. You click play button – nothing. You click again…. Arrrgh, it’s driving me nuts!

    9) No web logs – you have no idea how many people actually read your stuff. The only indicators that you might have are how many “friends” you have and how many comments you get (both of which are poor indicators). Since you can’t run JavaScript, you can’t have a reliable third party tracker either. I’ve had a visitor from northropgrumman.com at my new shiny (well, not so shiny yet) MT based site, and I would not have know that if it was still at Livejournal. Hey, Northrop Grumman reader, who are you?

    10) If you set an article with a future date in Livejournal, instead of showing up if your readers lists normally, it sometimes disappears. There’s a bug there somewhere.

    Livejournal does have a superior comment system, but since I don’t get too many comments it doesn’t matter that much.

    Did you expect the Spanish Inquisition? No? Well, nobody does. But it brings you 11th reason:

    11) No integrated search.

     
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