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.