Thursday, May 14, 2009

And So It Ends

I'm keeping this short, because I'm blogging from home - and I don't blog from home... I blog from work... Well, blogged from work. SmartFilter struck again, and now blocks Blogspot, Wordpress, and several other blogging sites. :(

Maybe one of these days I'll work up the motivation to post something of value from home.

But not tonight.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Check Math

Check Math - A branch of Mathematics focused specifically on solving complex the systems and equations frequently occurring on checks.

Entry level Check Math deals mostly with individual checks, calculating tip, determining who gets the change back (parties of 4 or less). This level is fortunately indirectly taught by other branches of Mathematics within the primary and secondary levels of education.

Advanced Check Math analyzes such complexities as checks for 5+ people, systems for X varying quantities of change needed, calculating tip when a "group fee" is included (an acceptable fee), calculating tip when a "mandatory gratuity/tip" is included (don't give them fucking anything, and tell your waiter/waitress that you would have tipped more had their employer not forced you to tip in the first place).

Unfortunately, due to the level of difficulty of Advanced Check Math, courses are only taught at the highest levels of Mathematical education, and therefore never make it to the public knowledge. Groups rely on shear will power and techniques such as "see what you owe" or "everybody throw in $20" to conquer these mathematical behemoths. Paying for a check in large groups could take upwards of 10 minutes. On the contrary, it's been shown that using the skills acquired from Advanced Check Math can solve problems like these in 2-3 hours. It may be longer than the primitive techniques currently used. But at least it's done right!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Elevator Woes

Why do the designers place the "Help" button right below the "Open Door" button? No one actually needs to open the door with a button unless someone is running at the closing elevator yelling "wait!". If you ever find yourself inside an elevator when this happens. Never EVER be the one closest to the door. If you are, I'm sorry. Here's how it would play out. You're the person closest to the door. Now you have three options. Your initial thought is to stop the door with an arm. The runner enters, all sweaty and embarrassed. You emerge the hero, and are worshipped forever, right?


Unconsciously, you're thinking, "This door might not stop for my arm." In the span of half a second, you weigh the options of saving the runner time in exchange for arm, or sparing your arm and leaving the runner for dead out in the lobby. Now let's assume you're a rational person. You choose your arm... Good choice, because you'll need it to fend off other people in the elevator trying to beat you up for not stopping the door.

"Why didn't you help that guy?"
"Well since you didn't stop the door, I guess you won't stop my fist either!"

Things are looking grim. You need an alternative. Plan B is to do a quick wave of the arm through the door in hopes of triggering the sensor. Save the runner, and your arm - a perfect outcome.

Yeah right...

You forgot reputation. Everyone, including the sweaty person that just entered, would begin to make fun of your dooraphobia.

"What was that? Are you afraid of the door?"
"Better watch out, or the elevator monster is going to get you!"

I'd take the black eye over that.

So what now?

The doors are inches from closing, when you look down and see that glowing "Open Door" button. That's it! The safe, easy option to save the day. But there's no time! So you throw your arm down taking no heed to the accuracy of your hand.

Almost there... and... oh shit...

You hit the "Help" button. Doors closed, the elevator rises sans runner, and a faint voice is heard throughout.

"Hello. Do you need assistance?"

Game over...

"No, sorry I was trying to hit the button to open the doors, and missed."

You can practically hear the facepalm coming from the guy in the control room. Everyone else in the elevator just looks at you in disbelief.

No words... just disbelief.

Game over...


On a not-so-lighter note, I was getting off the elevator and this blueberry of a lady starts trying to get on. Now I may be way off here, but isn't the correct elevator etiquette to let the people off first? And it's not like she was a thin woman entering on one side, while I comfortably exited on the other. This woman was round. More spherical than the Earth, with only slightly less mass. There was no room to exit, and she wasn't stopping. I had to actually back up, to let her in!

If that was all that happened, I wouldn't be writing about it.

But get this. Get THIS!

Just out of politeness, I say excuse me. It was genuiine sounding, but deep down it really meant, "Excuse me... is what you should be saying to me right now!". Needless to say, I was expecting some sort of apologetic gesture. An "excuse me, sorry, pardon" are just a few of the options this woman had to satisfy me.

No... Instead I get an "Mmmhmm".

"Mmmhmm"??? Like "Mmmhmm. I will excuse you, mmmhmm."

I hope that elevator broke, so she had to take the stairs, and while taking the stairs, she fell back, and rolled all the way to the bottom. She would bust through the exit door so fast, witnesses would think they're in a cool aid commercial. Of course there would be civilian casualties, due to the doors acting as projectiles after actually breaking off their hingles, but it would probably be a net gain to society. This woman was like 5 negative people.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

End of Transaction

That's two days in a row that Dunkin Donuts gave me a receipt... I feel like Mitch Hedberg:

I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut... I don't need a receipt for the doughnut. I give you money and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don't need to bring ink and paper into this. I can't imagine a scenario that I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. To some skeptical friend, 'Don't even act like I didn't get that doughnut, I've got the documentation right here... It's in my file at home. ...Under "D"'

Oh well, at least it wasn't a Duane Reade receipt. I can't even pick those up off the counter, because I'm not strong enough to lift a tree. Did I mention, I HATE Duane Reade?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New York State of Mind

Ever since I was presented with the idea of moving into Manhattan, I've been feeling like Billy Joel and/or NaS. Living in New York has always been a goal, since beginning work. The problem was always money. Do I hold off on retirement savings and live for the Now? Or sacrifice my youth (have I already? Find out here!) and live for the Later? Living for the Now and Later would be ideal. Who could pass up a life filled with sweet juicy taffy? However, with Manhattan rent costing at least one arm and one leg, it never seemed like a possibility.

*Enter Global Economic Collapse stage left*
Global Economic Collapse - Hey guys, what's up?
The World - Oh #%$@.

Consider this analogy: Global Economic Collapse is to Tom, as The World is to Walt.

I've been doing some much research on Manhattan apartment prices, and have found a lot of information regarding the recent downturn in the NYC realstate. It seems to have finally begun to catch up to the rest of the country.

Vacancies are forcing landords to reduce rents, offer months free, and pay broker fees.

Some Goldman Sachs guy talks about how prices need to fall

Examples of some recent apartments being rented for less

Currently, it is unclear whether prices are expected to drop further as the year goes on. Typically there is higher demand going into the Summer, which may balance out the decline. I'll be following the market closely in the next few months, but it's pretty clear now that moving in soon would be the best plan.

The more I think about it, the more exciting it sounds. No longer will I have to commute an hour and a half to work every day... No longer will I have to cut city nights early to catch that last train... No longer will I have to follow up "So you want to come back to my place?" with "I live over an hour away in New Jersey"... But is all that worth the extra $700+ rent every month? Yes.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 In Retrospect

What a year... We lost an economy. We gained a Black president. The Grape Lady video is still as funny as it was in 2007. In order to officially say goodbye to 2008, I feel it’s only necessary to compile a list of useful tidbits to keep in mind as we venture into the new year.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you,

The Guide to 2009: Lessons Learned From 2008
  • You don't appreciate the 1:41 AM train until it's gone.
  • Getting an early start on Sunday to drive home from the beach is a smart plan in theory, but fails in practice, because EVERYBODY gets an early start on Sunday to drive home from the beach.
  • Hockey games are actually fun to attend.
  • You can get anyone to sing with a private karaoke room.
  • Getting a tattoo IS as painful as it looks.
  • If you are desperate at the end of the night, say "Yo, does anyone want to make out?" to a group of girls. It has a 100% success rate so far.
  • When attending a wedding, don't bring someone you have to babysit. Bring someone you know will have a good time. Bonus points if they are hot.
  • Play poker very conservatively in the casinos. The other players will get pissed and throw away all of their money trying to make you fold on good hands.
  • The difference between a restaurant "fee" and "gratuity" added for large parties is not worth arguing over. It can end friendships.
  • The difference between "crayon" and "cran" IS worth arguing over. It can strengthen friendships.
  • Don't miss Newark Penn Station when taking the last train home. Bad things happen to good people.
  • Mistletoe-on-a-stick has great potential, and if mass produced, would make literally hundreds of dollars.
  • Copper wind spinners don't work when hanging from an attic ceiling.
  • Girls find you more attactive when you dress like a guido.
  • NEVER, under any circumstances, do Teach For America. It's worse than boot camp.
  • Don't wait another 15 years to go to Medieval Times.
  • Boyfriends are like assholes. Every girl has one. Especially the really awesome girls who have 2 (one being their boyfriend).
  • Virginia Tech > Boston College
  • Joshua Tree gets way too crowded, but I will still continue to go there.
  • and finally, Don't take taxis home from NYC that lack GPS capabilities.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hi, my name is Jerry

Jerry Atric

My knees have been aching more this winter than any other. Hopefully it's just the weather and not the fact that I still sit on my knees like a 6 year old when I'm at home. A couple times it's been so bad, that you could even see my knees glowing red. Like I was in an Icy Hot commercial.

Yeah, you could see my bone, and the glowing was even covering my finger. It was THAT painful. Knees shouldn't be the first things to go on humans. After a million years of walking upright, you'd think the ones with shoddy knees would have dropped from the gene pool. Those wooly mammoths would have ROFL'd as the hopeless humans attempted to escape writhing in pain, their knees buckling every step looking like marionettes. Alas... they obviously must have survived long enough to reproduce, since I'm a direct decendant of one of them. Hopefully, by the time these knees give up for good, there will be some technology out there to make them super charged. Give em a POWER SURGE! I knew Mike O'Malley was on to something.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Great New Blog

A new blog has started up featuring some big names in the blogosphere and ...podcastosphere? Skepticblog is a blog put together by the cast of "The Skeptologists". Each blogger is very educated in their field of expertise, and every post is insightful. Check it out if you are at all interested about the credibility of whacky claims heard on the news or from others. But you don't have to take my word for it.
Heres a good start:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Republicratism: The New Religion

This concept has existed since the beginning of the Bi-Partisan era. However, these days, it's spreading fast. If politics were baseball, Republicans would be the Red Sox, and Democrats would be the Yankees, with Independents as the young kids wondering why their dads are yelling at the other team's fans instead of just watching the game. The two parties are so divided, that virtually no one is a true "Republican" or "Democrat". Or are they??? (Dun dun dunnnn....)

Why do people consider themselves a Republican or a Democrat? Get this - I believe the answer is the same as why people are a Christian or a Muslim or a Jew. Parents and Community. Since birth, we are placed into categories that, most of the time, don't even have close to the same values as us.

"What a cute kid." "Yup he's my little Democrat."


How can a 3 year old know enough about the world to have opinions about it? I don't remember a lot from when I was 3, but I know I wasn't concerned with world issues.

Now when that same kid is 10, he wants to beat up a classmate, because he said Democrats suck (which the classmate's parents taught him to say). These children grow up, vote for their party, have children, and it starts all over again. Just like Religion, people believe in the party itself, retrofitting their views to agree with the party's. As the presidential campaign continues, the initial biases against the opposing candidate get strengthened every time something negative is said. Even if it's not true! These political patriots will still find a way to allow that statement, however untrue it may be, to enhance their hatred towards the candidate. It gets to the point where just seeing the other candidate, or listening to their speeches make them angry. Everything the opposing candidate says is a lie in their mind. It's all an attempt to brainwash you into voting for them, so they can be elected and execute their plan for world domination. Party polarization at its finest. This all happens in the unconscious, which is why most people don't think they are being biased at all. They will just claim that they disagree with the opposing candidate, and agree with their own.

- "We're not anti-abortion. We're pro-life!"
- "Oh yeah? I am also an advocate of life! Go Republicans!"

- "We want tax cuts to the lower 95%!"
- "Woot. Go Democrats."
- "But they will be raising the tax for your business."
- "Yeah, but they are lowering taxes for 95%! Go Democrats!"

Are people actually against gay marriage? Or is it just because their party says they are? Why would someone "pro-life" want less gun control? Ah Yes! Political patriotism is at it again. I think the worst is when people respond with "because I'm a Democrat/Republican" when asked why they are voting for their candidate. We are giving up our critical thinking skills, and allowing the irrational emotional part of our consiousness to take over. No one wants to question themself, so why do it? Admittedly, when Barack Obama became a potential candidate, I wanted to vote for him, almost exclusively because he was Black. I thought that having a Black president would be a huge step in the progression of this country. Plus it would be a great way to tell those who oppose it to get with the times. To me, this issue was way more important than anything else. Now this is no where near as bad as voting for someone because of their political party, but I now agree (thanks to a few friends) that all issues should be considered when choosing a candidate. I mean, what if he was palin' around with terrorists?(LOL @ Fox News) After looking up the issues, and positions I found that I agreed on mostly everything he had to say. Did I hold those same beliefs before I knew Obama was supporting them? Who knows? I'd like to think so (I was a "little Democrat" afterall :)).

But, I'm an Independent now. Only because we all have to be in a category, right? We can't just be a Person. One who holds their own beliefs, shaped from critical thinking, and rational thought about what we experience in our life. We have to choose a group, and since there is no WeLikeTo Party, Independent is the next best thing I guess. It feels nice being able to think for yourself. No obligation trying to defend your group of people against criticism. No need to retrofit your beliefs to justify the category that you want to be associated with. How does one obtain such luxury? Not blindly following one party or another is a great first step. Voting for Obama, because he is Black, or McCain, because he is old are both pretty stupid reasons, but they are at least reasons that required conscious thought. Simply going with "the usual" is not the way to go. Unless "the usual" is a Taylor ham egg and cheese sandwich.

Epilogue - An experiment I would love to see happen is to present hypothetical candidates to the most hardcore partisan patriots. Each candidate has the other party's plaform. How many would still vote for their party's candidate? I would hypothesize significantly more than if you didn't give party names.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Important News

Mega Man 9 is fucking hard.
That is all.

In other news, here is how to make a White Russian:

  1. Fill a rocks or highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour the vodka into the glass. Use a measuring cup, free pour, or pour a portion from a mini bottle. Mini bottles are 50 milliliters, which is equal to 1.69 fluid ounces. Pour a little more than half of a mini bottle to get about one fluid ounce, and a little more than a quarter of the bottle will be about one half of a fluid ounce. If using one and one half ounces, just pour in the entire bottle and call it even.
  3. Pour the Kahlua into the glass. There is no need to stir, but some may prefer to stir the ingredients at this point with a swizzle stick to mix the alcoholic ingredients. The Kahlua can be poured before the vodka, but even when the Kahlua is poured second it will sink to the bottom of the glass because it is heavier than the vodka.
  4. Top off the glass with half and half or milk. The drink is usually not stirred after adding the half and half or milk, as the alcoholic ingredients, especially the Kahlua, should rest on the bottom of the glass. The dark Kahlua should be evident on the bottom of the glass, and contrast with the milk. The vodka will not be apparent, at it is clear, and it will mix some with the milk.
  5. Garnish with a single maraschino cherry if desired. The cherry can be rested on the surface of the drink itself, and will be supported by the ice cubes that are in the drink. A stemmed cherry that has not been speared with a toothpick is desirable.
  6. Serve the drink with a cocktail straw if desired. The straw will enable the alcoholic ingredients to be sipped from the bottom of the drink, or the drink can be stirred if desired.