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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