Wednesday, October 26, 2005

BioWillie Fuel

I guess being kissed by Jessica Simpson and then watching her wash a T-bird mostly naked would be enough to inspire paroxsysms of car-related giddyness in any hot-blooded American man. But for Willie Nelson, it seems to have inspired positive action! Coming soon to a truck stop near you: BioWillie, a new brand of Bio Diesel endorsed by Willie Nelson.

IMHO, Willie Nelson may not be the best celebrity icon to choose for this purpose. Do we really want a fuel that is associated with a sluggish silver fox? Given a choice, I think I'd opt for BioRicky (a Ricky Martin-branded Bio Diesel blend). When I step on the accelerator, I want my car to clap and yell, "Huerpa!" (even if its emissions then begin to smell like digested French fries). Empower the Latino consumer!

Yet withal, Willie's effort is a step in the right direction. The more people who consider alternative fuels, the merrier!

Monday, October 24, 2005

PADOT Hits Paydirt?

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "Bags hold down sections of tarpaulin that keep rainwater from a hillside along Interstate 99 construction near State College. The road project has uncovered rock containing pyrite, which becomes highly acidic when exposed to oxygen and water. Acid runoff leaches into groundwater and streams, creating hazards."

Oops! I wonder whether Bauxsol can save the day!?

Monday, October 17, 2005

NJ Overhead Highway Warnings

They really know how to motivate motorists in New Jersey! Cruising along the mountainous area of I-95 South that leads away from the George Washington Bridge, the first overhead warning sign I came to in the Garden State read:



I think this is truly grand. It's so refreshingly direct. In New York, I would have expeced to see more of the usual overhead sign boilerplate, after a "Slow Down" command, such as, "It Saves Lives," or "It's the law." I say it makes more sense to appeal to our pocketbooks, rather than our minds.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Clean Train Campaign

According to a 1010 WINS ("the most listened to station in the nation") report, our querulousness may have paid off!:

Oct 12, 2005 7:40 am US/Eastern
(1010 WINS) NEW YORK The Long Island Rail Road says it's heard the message from commuters and it will hire more train cleaners. The railroad had cut its cleaning budget by more than 625-thousand dollars this year, and the cut has not gone unnoticed by passengers.

Most of the positions eliminated were the cleaners who was go through the trains between trips and clean up litter, coffee cups, newspapers and other litter left by the previous passengers.

The railroad had 450 cleaners in 2002 and just 400 cleaners this year.

Passengers complained that fares went up an average of 30 percent in the last three years, yet they had trouble finding a clean place to sit.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Amber Alert!

NY ↑CCR2225

As traffic crawled up the Meadowbrook Parkway on a sultry Sunday afternoon, I noticed the above on the warning sign overhead. At first I thought, "That sounds like my license plate!" Then I thought, "If the child was abducted anywhere around Roosevelt Field Mall, the abductor couldn't have gotten very far...look at this traffic! Oh how Long Island unites to save its children!" Then, after I followed the warnings across the county line (unsurprisingly, the "Sign Under Contstruction" near Douglaston Parkway remained blank), into New York city (out of curiosity), I thought about what might happen if I were to call and report a sighting:

Me: "Hi. Is this e-911?"
e911: "Hello, 911 Emergency. What is the nature of the emergency?"
Me: "I think I see the grey 1999 Lexus. What an ugly car!"
e911: "Are you referring to our Amber Alert, sir? What is your location?"
Me: "Of course Amber! Don't you know where I am? Isn't that why we put the e in 911?"
e911: "OK. Can you confirm that you're on the Long Island Expressway at Francis Lewis Boulevard?"
Me: "Yes! Attack!"
e911: "Please refrain from incindiary commentary, sir. Are you calling from a cellphone?"
Me: "Of coruse I am!"
e911: "Are you using it hands-free?"
Me: "Oh shit."
::throws phone across car, looks out for police::

Maybe it's for the best that I didn't find the car...

Concerned, excited, but also having to pee, I gave up the hunt and left it to my fellow motorists to save the abducted child.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Federal Highway Authority Infrastructure Song Lyrics!

Yes, there is a section of dedicated to "infrastructure songs" and their lyrics! What a country we live in!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Gas Prices

From MSN Today. HA!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Giving the LIRR Some Credit After All...

Within 7 hours, I found a personalized response to my complaint in my inbox. Way to go, LIRR! :)

Here's what Susan McGowan had to say in response to my complaint:


Recently you requested personal assistance from our on-line support
center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

Funky Trains

Discussion Thread
Response (Susan McGowan) - 10/05/2005 05:04 PM
Thank you for your e-mail. Please accept our apology for the unpleasant conditions you encountered this morning. Immediately upon receipt, a copy of your e-mail was forwarded to our Assistant Chief Mechanical Officer - Fleet Cleaning for investigation and remedial action regarding this car.

By this afternoon, the train had been pulled out of service and brought to West Side Yard for inspection. First, the cleaning crew checked the restroom of the car you described, but found it to be in good working order. The cleaners then checked under all the seats, lifting each seat cushion in turn. They found that someone had stuffed a bag containing vomit under a seat cushion. We believe this was the cause of the foul odor.

They did not find the milky film on seats that you referred to. The car was cleaned and deodorized. The remainder of the train was then cleaned.

As information, given the high degree of utilization of our fleet, it is not always possible to clean our trains between every run. However, all trains are swept and mopped at least once during every 24-hour period. Train restrooms are cleaned and re-stocked daily. All cars are given a top-to-bottom heavy-duty cleaning every 90 days.

We appreciate your bringing this matter to our attention and in particular, we thank you for providing the car number, which allowed us to speed the response by our cleaners. We hope that your future travels with the LIRR will be more pleasant.

Keeping the LIRR on its toes

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Overheard in the Women's Fragrances and Accessories Department at Bloomingdales

Basia's "Baby You're Mine!"

Food Worth Finding in Your Zip Code...

The "Pumpkin Muffie" at Panera Bread.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Fitness & Fatness

At Faith Popcorn's Panasonic-sponsored AdWeek lecture, she vouchsafed a number of her tongue-tippingest trends. Portraying herself as something of an ingenue, one cannot help but wonder how much rigor is really behind her official-seeming trend definitions.

Yet withal, one thing's for sure: her "fitness + fatness" trend is right on the money. Eating a cookie (a Cookie Wookie) on my way from the car to the gym this afternoon, I saw two other people munching on high-calorie snacks as they marched toward the door. I held the door open for a patron who was sipping a Krispy Kreme beverage. Faith, you're right: fitness and fatness often do go together!