Wednesday, December 09, 2009

My Friend is a Stooper

Yesterday I read a story in the New York Times, and much to my surprise, I found a new word: Stooper. A Stooper is a culler, a gatherer, a dumpster-diver. A person who separates the wheat from the chaff, although in this case the odds are against them, since there is mostly chaff here. The kind of Stooper that the Times writes about spends his days on the floor of the OTB going through spent racing tickets and making a good living. It turns out that yearly there are over $4 million dollars in unclaimed tickets discarded by accident or by gamblers who gave up in a haste.

My good friend is a Stooper, but instead of racing tickets, it's Metrocards. And instead of making a living, he either uses them himself or gives them to others in need of a ride. Instead of spending his days at the OTB, he's running the streets of NYC with a brief pause at a subway station to do some collecting. He also has been know to use them creatively. On the bottom left of his blog, you'll see a running inventory of his discoveries.

(The photo above was found on the web via a web search for "metrocard art" and to my knowledge was not taken by me or anyone I know. If you took it and want credit or want me to remove it or if the image link goes to your server and you don't want me using your bandwidth or if that is you in the photo and you think I have encroached on your privacy, please contact me. So much for internet-style photo credits.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

AT&T Hurt My Feelings

I don't own an iPhone.

I've been paying AT&T oodles for years and have reported more than once that their service is spotty in my own home. But it seems that AT&T only cares about iPhone users. They recently released an app so that iPhone users can tell them where their service is weak. Of course, the puzzle is how to actually use their network to report network problems when that same network is not working.

And if your plain old cell phone doesn't work? Well, you can wait on hold with customer service on your land line. Then complain. And then they will likely never get back to you or fix it. That's what happened here.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Shakespeare's Manager

I hadn't looked at Geni in a while, but when I first used it, it was an awesome site to build your family tree - if you care about such things. It recently notified me that there are other family trees out there with my relatives on it, but they now charge monthly for me to find out more. Other features they added were statistics on your family - average life expectancy (59 male, 63 female for my family), age and birth month distribution. Handy, but a bit compulsive if you ask me.

Regardless, they are popular enough that people have entered some famous people, presumably distant relatives, or in a wiki-like manner in the pursuit of complete knowledge they have entered the well know family trees of well known people. Shakespeare and Dickens are here. Is Jesus and his Mom and Dad here?

And check out the link to contact Shakespeare's manger. I wonder who gets that email?
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Friday, December 04, 2009

The Connecticut River

The Connecticut River is the longest river in New England. It's beatiful as it winds its way down to the Long Island sound. Here are some photos taken by me last weekend from the air.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Baby Cecil DeMille

The great director Cecil B. DeMille was born nearby in the Hilltowns. Someone in Ashfield unearthed this factoid a few years ago and decided to honor him with a film festival. Since he only "resided" in the town for the first few days of his life, they chose to limit all the films to 3 minute shorts to compensate. Pictured here is the actual award to honor the winner.
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Stupid Reason To Move To Massachusetts - Cheap Gas

Yup, in case you hate the price of gas and the place where you live, then here's a real lousy reason to move near me.

This was taken nearby on October 10. The price is about 20¢ higher today which is still pretty low.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

157 and other numbers

I came across 157 this morning on Wikipedia.
157 is the number equal to 100 + 50 + 7, following 156 and preceding 158.
Juicy information about this number with, if you notice, links to 7, 50, 100, 156, 158.

Yup, you guessed it, just about every fairly low common integer has a page on Wikipedia. Some were created automatically - references in several other entries have created de-facto index pages. But a few have wonderful commentary a bit more interesting than 157above.

How's this:
69 is a semiprime. Furthermore, since the two factors of 69 are both Gaussian primes, 69 is a Blum integer.

Adding up the divisors of 1 through 9 gives 69.

Because 69 has an odd number of 1s in its binary representation, it is sometimes called an "odious number." Of note is that 69² (4 761) and 69³ (328 509) uses every digit from 0-9. 69 is equal to 105 octal, while 105 is equal to 69 hexadecimal. This same property can be applied to all numbers from 64 to 69.

On many handheld scientific and graphing calculators, the highest factorial that can be computed within memory limitations is 69! or 1.711224524*1098.

The number 69 can be rotated 180° and remain the same.

Oh joy. Oh bliss. TMI.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

MS CRM 4.0 Query to return all business unit id GUIDs and names

MS CRM 4.0 Query to return all business unit id GUIDs and names:

SELECT businessunitid, name
FROM dbo.FilteredBusinessUnit BU

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Winter Visitor

The morning after a winter snowfall, we had a visitor.
Clearly not playing possum.

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Hell No!

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Lily Skeleton Cartoon

Click for larger image.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Never Events

I was recently given this list at my workplace. No, not a list of things that happen to Peter Pan and his buddies. This is a serious list of serious occurrences. Meanwhile, since they happen, they are really Rarely Events. Also, if you look at each event, you would probably think that you don't need the three rights, since, for instance, you probably shouldn't be charged for having the wrong kidney removed. So I'm glad to know that I have a right to expect to not be abducted at the hospital and that if I am abducted I should get a report and not be charged for my room while I'm with the kidnappers.

Know your rights, if any of these Never Events happen to you:
  • You have a right to be informed by the provider that a “never event” has happened to you.
  • You have the right to see a report prepared by the hospital detailing what happened and how it occurred.
  • You and your health plan should not be charged for costs and deductibles related to the event. Nor should you be charged for any necessary remediation.
Here is a list of the 28 "serious reportable events" as defined by NQF:
  1. Surgery on the wrong body part
  2. Surgery performed on the wrong patient
  3. Wrong surgical procedures performed on a patient
  4. Unintended retention of a foreign object in a patient after surgery or other procedure
  5. Interoperative or immediately postoperative death in an ASA Class I patient
  6. Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of contaminated drugs, devices, or biologics provided by the healthcare facility
  7. Patient death or serious disability associated with the use or function of a device in patient care in which the device is used or functions other than intended
  8. Patient death or serious disability associated with intravascular air embolism that occurs while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  9. Infant discharged to the wrong person
  10. Patient death or serious disability associated with patient elopement (disappearance)
  11. Patient suicide, or attempted suicide, resulting in serious disability while being cared for in healthcare facility
  12. Patient death or serious disability associated with a medication error (e.g., errors involving the wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong patient, wrong time, wrong rate, wrong preparation, or wrong route of administration)
  13. Patient death or serious disability associated with a hemolytic reaction due to the administration of ABO/HLA incompatible blood or blood products
  14. Maternal death or serious disability associated with labor or delivery in a low-risk pregnancy while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  15. Patient death or serious disability associated with hypoglycemia, the onset of which occurs while the patient is being cared for in a healthcare facility
  16. Death or serious disability (kernicterus) associated with failure to identify and treat hyperbilirubinemia in neonates
  17. Stage 3 or 4 pressure ulcers acquired after admission to a healthcare facility
  18. Patient death or serious disability due to spinal manipulative therapy
  19. Artificial insemination with the wrong donor sperm or wrong egg
  20. Patient death or serious disability associated with an electric shock while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  21. Any incident in which a line designated for oxygen or other gas to be delivered to a patient contains the wrong gas or is contaminated by toxic substances
  22. Patient death or serious disability associated with a burn incurred from any source while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  23. Patient death or serious disability associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  24. Patient death or serious disability associated with the use of restraints or bedrails while being cared for in a healthcare facility
  25. Any instance of care ordered by or provided by someone impersonating a physician, nurse, pharmacist, or other licensed healthcare provider
  26. Abduction of a patient of any age
  27. Sexual assault on a patient within or on the grounds of a healthcare facility
  28. Death or significant injury of a patient or staff member resulting from a physical assault (i.e., battery) that occurs within or on the grounds of a healthcare facility Blue
Please tell us what you think of this list.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dow Down

I know I'm not Mr. Financial News, but just now I noticed that the Dow Jones is down. Down low. Down so low it's not only back where it was in 2003, it's down as low as it was in 2002, and as it was soon after 9/11. It's even as low as it was in 1998 - 10 years ago. If that doesn't quite make sense, you can look at a chart of the Dow over time and see that it goes up, it goes down. It tanked after 9/11, for instance. It just has never dived so far, so fast. And it never quite affected me and everyone I know before.