Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Continual Abuse of Expectant Mother Parking

So the parking lot at my office has 3 spots reserved for expectant mothers. I think this is a nice touch, it emphasizes the family values of the company and makes things a little easier for those who really shouldn't be walking long distances lugging any sort of bag.

As I entered in today a young lady pulled into the one of the reserved spaces. She got out and didn't appear to be pregnant with anything, maybe emotion.Of course I confronted her over this and I found out she is 5 weeks along. I have very little pregnant experience but 5 weeks doesn't seem like such a strain. She said she is pregnant and has every right to park there.Now that I don't care for.

There needs to be statutes and protocals in place to prevent this flagrant abuser. Where does it end; some scofflaw could be trying to institute parking there at conception. How about any girl who expects to have children at some point?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stop Correcting My Grammar

Let me qualify the above statement. Unless you know you're right, stop correcting my grammar. Why? Because it makes you look pompous and stupid at once. When you use bad grammar, I believe you should be corrected, but the corrector should make sure that the correction is, indeed, correct.

The following example is one that really just drives me off the wall:

Me: Hey do you want to meet me and Larry (the awesome bartender) at the Ebbitt for some delicious half off raw bar and drinks?
Idiot: It's Larry and I.
Me: You don't even know who he is!

The thing is, it's not Larry and I, you idiot. You could make the case that it should be "Larry and me," but to be honest with you, I just feel weird saying that. In the written form, I or me should always go last, but I think the English gurus give us a little more latitude when the spoken word.

It isn't Larry and I, and it's never going to be. Why not? Just take out Larry and see if it still makes sense. "Hey do you want to meet I?" No dice Chicago.

So if you're going to correct someone, make sure a. you're right, and b. it won't make you look like a total elitist.

We hope you enjoyed today's grammar lesson, and remember, if you don't have something nice to say, then don't say it. Unless you can support it with facts.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Food Fight Gone Global

Proof that I spend entirely too much time on the Internet. Then again, whatever. Of all the YouTube drivel I watch on a day-to-day basis, this clip is definitely one of the cooler ones.

Imagine every battle we've fought from World War II to the present day. Now condense it down to five minutes. Also, instead of people fighting, it's representative foods. Not going to lie, it's pretty cool. So if you have a minute and are bored, check it out.

Quick Hint: The Lox and Bagels are Israel. Because it's Jewish.

Need more? The official website should help you out if you happen to suck at history.
http://www.touristpictures.com/foodfight/index.htm What the Battles Represent http://www.touristpictures.com/foodfight/cheat.htm Which Food is Which Country

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Found: Bookish Sexual Deviant...

...If interested, please inquire within.

I found this delight of an advertisement in the third floor men's room at the Barnes & Noble in Georgetown. Sorry the picture is so film noir, but I had to mess with the exposure settings in order for it to become more readable.

Just when I thought that bathroom advertisements had fallen out of fashion, or had at least been replaced by TV's inside stalls playing ESPN News, this gem pops up. In a rather classy establishment no less. In case you can't tell, its written on one of those toilet seat condom holders. You know, the really thin paper things that crinkle every time you move, making sure everyone in the bathroom knows that 1. you're taking a shit and 2. you're not comfortable putting your ass on the seat.

"202-271-3000 Sunshine
Sucks Good Dick
Ref by: (Charles)"

I don't have the balls to call the number, but if you do, let me know. I would be very interested to learn how it pans out.

This little invitation gets my stupid around town tag for coming straight out of 1996. "Charles" should really know that a much better way of getting "Sunshine" to turn tricks for cash is Craigslist Casual Encounters (Both Pops into a new window and is DEFINITELY Not Safe For Work).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Breaking News: Stereotype Once Again Confirmed

At the recent upfront meeting of the network television executives it was revealed that Telemundo's Fall programming will be highly tetas oriented. Appropriately, the new drama is entitled "Without Breast There is No Paradise," or "Sin Tetas No Hay ParaĆ­so" (For our Spanish speaking reader).

Below is the actual promotional photo. It is clear the program has somthing to do with tetas, and also apparently cell phones.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Time 100 Most Influential People: Really?

Since 1999 Time Magazine has annually relased a list of what it deems to be the 100 most influential people in the world; composed of politicians, scientists, atheletes, artists and architects to name a few.

Much like Time Magazine the briefs on each honoree is concise, mildly witty, and is complete with a nice photo to distract you.

What it really comes down to is the real movers and shakers aren't always in the limelight, and as a result Time does not care. I'm sure Kaka is great soccer player and it's nice that Loren Ochoa cares about kids staying in schools while golfing, but something tells me they aren't influencing the world as much as Time thinks.

Where Time got it right:

1) Mark Zuckerberg: Changed model of social networking. Facebook daily attracts more and more users and is linking people at an exponential rate. Myspace remains slow, slutty, and filled with too many bad bands who just can't seem to make it.

2) Carlos Slim: The man who has more money than Bill Gates isn't on the list for shaping telecommunications, he is on for influencing social reform. Carlos isn't simply donating money, he is spearheading poverty fighting programs and using cellular technology as a type of remittance in Mexico.

3) Ratan Tata: Chairman of India's Tata Group, the man helped develop the $2,500 car. The car is blistering fast with a 0 to 43 (yes, 43) clocking in at 14 seconds and no air bag or seemingly any features. The deluxe version includes an air conditioner, but no power steering. It will spur mass motorization in the developing world, aggravate pollution, and maybe even a little climate change. That's influence.

Where did they go wrong:

This list could be much longer, for the sake of brevity let's go right to Mariah

1) Mariah Carey: Really? Really, was Time scrounging for people at this point. Were the editors stuck at 99 and Glitter turned on the television. "I can barely read, I have people for that anyway" - Mariah Carey

2) Peter Gabriel: Solsbury Hill is a good song and Genesis was certainly better with Peter on vocals. Reading his article I still don't know why he is on the list. Is a white guy from england who is interested in african music that infuential? Fact: no.

3) George Mitchell: In last week's episode of 30 Rock Jack goes to work for the Bush administration and notices a leak dripping in the office. His new colleague, played by Matthew Broderick, informs Jack that there is not a leak and he can show him the study to confirm that. George Mitchell is not listend among Putin, Clinton, and Obama. He is not listed in the leaders secition because he is listed in the Heroes and Pioneers section. Much like the fictional "Leak Negating" report in 30 rock, the mitchell report did not clean up baseball. It released some names all garnered primarily from one witnesss, who was doing the injecting himself.

Oh and the person who has made the list the most...

Oprah. (6 times, the next closest is Bush, Gates, Hillary, Steve Jobs, Condi, and Jintao at 4)

D.C. Cabs (not the movie)

After what feels like decades, the D.C. Taxicab commission finally changed the arcane, inconvenient zone pricing system to a time and distance system involving a meter. After fighting this all the way to the Supreme Court, Illustrious Mayor Fenty finally got this new legislation (is it legislation?) approved. A great victory for the consumer, yes? Not so much.

So what does this mean for your average D.C. cab rider? Basically nothing. Under the auspices of a very quietly released study, the Taxicab Commission found that under the current meter system, the average price of a cab ride is nearly identical to that of a zone system. Which means still absurdly expensive.

One of the goals of switching to the meter was to get rid of some of the surcharges that plague us today. The gas surcharge, the rush hour surcharge, the additional passenger surcharge, and most importantly, the “You’re drunk (and/or a tourists) and I’m going to fuck you over” surcharge—where does it end? Well, thanks to the new regulations, it doesn’t. The gas surcharge is still in place, and so is the absurdist of absurd, the additional passenger surcharge. Rush Hour might still be in place, and I know that drivers are really going to try and use the drunk surcharge as often as possible.
What I am trying to figure out is why the additional passenger surcharge still applies. I mean this really must be one of the only cities in the country that uses a meter in addition to per-passenger rates. For one thing, the meter isn’t exactly cheap. It costs $3.00 to drop the flag (which is more expensive than NYC, if you were wondering) and then 25 cents per each 1/6 mile and then 25 cents per minute of being stuck in traffic. With adding surcharges, one person going one block can still expect to pay $5.00.

So why do we need the per-person fares on top of this?

Cabbies should be trying to get as many short distance rides as possible. Instead, they’re trying to get as many big groups as possible. This system is, quite simply, doomed to failure.

The average cab fare in New York is $6.00. The average cab fare in Washington is $11.83. Why? Perhaps it’s because D.C. is bigger geographically than New York. Or does D.C. have a higher cost of living than Manhattan? Or perhaps it’s because cabbies need to charge that much per fare in order to make a decent living. Why would that be? Especially with the K Street crowd, cabs are a highly sought after form of transportation in D.C. For one thing the Metro closes at midnight and unless you want to take the bus (and who knows where those run?), a cab is your only bet. So that leads me to believe that there is a drastic oversupply of taxis in the district, meaning that they have to charge higher fares to survive.

Assuming that average fares dropped to $6.00 a trip, Cabbies would need to pick up twice as many fares to earn the same amount of money, ceteris paribus. If there was a somewhat normal number of cabs per person in D.C., then making up the additional revenue would be extremely difficult. The demand for cab service, in my opinion, leans towards the inelastic side, and dropping rates by half will not cause ridership to double. However, according to a Progressive Review article (LINK) that I wholeheartedly disagree with, D.C. has 1 cab for every 75 citizens. New York, on the other hand, has 1 cab for every 600—London and Paris have similar proportions.

Are D.C. Residents eight times as likely as likely as New Yorkers to take a cab places?

My solution, would then to increase barriers to entry to reduce the oversupply of taxis in the district. Perhaps that way I could get a cabbie who actually knows where the address I give him is, or that the car I’m in is younger than I am (more on that in a bit). New York has medallions, London has The Knowledge (LINK), D.C. has a piece of paper that says sign here on it, and then you get your cab license—I just made that up but it sure feels that way.

Furthermore, district cabs fall way behind in other categories compared to other cities. For one thing, they’re really shitty cars. Not only that, but they’re old and falling apart. On a recently rainy evening, I was in a cab where water was literally coming in from the ceiling. And I’ve been in dozens of cabs where the suspension was completely shot, the seats were ripped, the windows didn’t work, or the car just looked thoroughly distressed. This is what I’m paying a premium for?

By both reducing the number of cabs on the street, and the overall cost of trips, D.C. cabbies could be making a whole lot more money. Besides that, with lower trip costs coupled with cleaner cabs and nicer drivers, the money made on tips could increase greatly. A solution like this would benefit both drivers and riders, and at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Epitome of Cool

Peter O'Toole, I want to be you. Although I must admit, there have been nights that have ended up with me just like that. Except I may or may not have been asleep/passed out/blackout.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Very Modest

I was drunkenly staring at this bottle of Jefferson's Reserve Whisky recently when I came to the following conclusion: They are cocky motherfuckers.

I mean most of the time when you have a niche, expensive product, you don't actively advertise it on the label. Even when it's just expensive, you don't tout it on the packaging. Take Gray Goose for example. Gray Goose (quite possibly the most overpriced vodka on the market) relies on word of mouth, a pretty bottle and a certain amount of undeserved cache to find its way into $9 vodka tonics.

You might as well spray paint the following on a Rolls Royce:
Very Expensive
British Car Made by the Germans
You'll Get Laid, Guaranteed.

In my opinion, the whole thing is completely absurd. If Jefferson Reserve was really as prestigious as its makers would lead you to believe, then you wouldn't need to hear about it on the outside of a bottle.

On a different note, there's been a lot of hubbub about Alltel Wireless. It's not that I have anything against the company (except that fuckass Chad). So besides from being stupid, and not knowing what I'm talking about, if you could at least help me understand why you're so passionate about your phone company, It'd really help me understand all the commotion.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Who The Hell Has Alltel Wireless?

I am so sick of those commercials with "Chad," the dyed-blond, other annoying adjectives, yokel that Alltel Wireless has as their spokesperson. Note the term spokesperson rather than spokesman. It's not that I'm trying to be politically correct, I seriously wonder if Chad has balls.

To be honest, I just don't know how they keep paying for advertising. Seriously, can you name anyone that has Alltel? Start asking around. If you know someone who has Alltel, have them get a hold of me. I wonder if they look different.

So I did a little research and this is what I found out: They are the 5th largest cell phone provider in the country. If you can name more than 5 cell phone providers, I'd be amazed. Alltel has 13 million subscribers (or so they claim...), which is half as many as the next largest provider, T-Mobile, which was 27 million subscribers. There isn't an Alltel store within 50 miles of New York City or Washington, D.C. On the other hand, AT&T has 4 stores within 5 miles of downtown Little Rock, AR--home of the headquarters of Alltel Wireless.

I've really got to wonder about Alltel's marketing strategy. Why blanket the northeast with advertisements if you can't even actualize any interest you do manage to drum up. It's just so frustrating, as someone who wants to be in advertising, watching a company like that completely shit the bed.

That's all for now, but after a short hiatus, we here at A Clean, Well Lighted Place will be coming back in force. And I'm proud to say that we are in fact a we.