Tuesday, June 28, 2005

World's most expensive cities

Hard as it is for me to believe, Money magazine says in their poll that little old White Plains, NY, where I was born and where I'm now working, is the third most expensive city in the US to live in. Since I don't live in White Plains myself, I can't vouch for that poll, but I know that it's expensive to park and to buy lunch anywhere around here.

CNN Money - World's most expensive cities

Mets and Yankees, part deux

OK, so they had identical records before Sunday's game; afterwards the Yankees were 38-37, one game over .500, and third in their division at 6.5 games behind the Boston Reds Sox; the Mets were 37-38, one game under .500, and last in their division at 7 games behind the Washington Nationals. But the way the NL East has been shuffling around (even the vaunted Atlanta Braves are doing no better than the Mets this year) the Mets have a better chance of catching and passing the Nationals than the Yankees do of catching and passing the Red Sox.

We shall see what we shall see...

Monday, June 27, 2005

Mets and Yankees

After all the years of hearing Yankees fans heap abuse on the Mets and us Mets fans, I'm so glad to see the Yankees and Mets have identical records as of last night. Not so happy that those identical records are 37-37, but happy nonetheless.

Today's NY Daily News notes how, even though the teams have identical records, the managers' takes on their teams' prospects are markedly different. Mets manager Willie Randolph and his players are quite optimistic about the possibilities for the rest of this season, since they're in the basement with a .500 record. Most teams in the basement are way below .500, but the Mets, and just about every other team in the National League, are beneficiaries of the Colorado Rockies and their horrible record (25 wins -- the Mets' 1962 record of 40-120 may be in danger), as well as the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants, who aren't doing much better.

I am glad to see, though, how George Steinbrenner isn't micromanaging the team the way he did back before Joe Torre came to town. I don't know if backing off was his reaction to the way Torre turned things around, or just a change in outlook, but even with this lackluster season his $200 million-plus team is having, he's holding his tongue surprisingly well, at least where popping off to the press is concerned.

As for Fred Wilpon, ranting to reporters about what his team isn't doing just isn't his style. Even before he bought out ex-partner Nelson Doubleday, he let Doubleday do all the talking while he [Wilpon] stayed in the background and let the front office people do what they get paid to do. Let's see how much longer George Steinbrenner continues doing the same...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Aunty Spam says your checking account is not safe...

...if you pay by phone using your checking account number and bank routing number. Read about it at her blog

Friday, June 24, 2005

Thing like this explain the name of this blog

In Zimbabwe, two children were crushed when their house was torn down while they were still inside. The government is acting against squatters, and apparently they just want to "remove" the problem rather than make some attempt to solve it. More info can be found at Squattercity, a blog maintained by a writer who actually lived in a squatter city for two years and documented his experiences.

Missing: One radio station...

The other day I was scanning the radio dial, going through my presets, and when I got to 101.1, which is WCBS-FM here in New York, instead of the familiar oldies station I hear a voice-over with attitude announcing something called "Jack-FM."

This makes twice in a few years that a favorite station has dumped the format that made me a listener. I absolutely loved Jammin' 105 (105.1), which played a mix of current and classic R&B; then one Thursday morning I'm awakened by the unwelcome sounds of Ice Cube. I don't dislike Cube, but hearing his voice on what was supposed to be a classic soul station wasn't a good sign. I thought it was a commercial at first, until I heard all the censoring beeps.

I was mad; I wanted to call and let them have TWO pieces of my mind. Then I remembered that the station is a Clear Channel station; complaining is like screaming at a wall; you make a lot of noise without any effect on your intended subject.

Oh well, the world will keep turning...

UPDATE, 6/24/05

OK, so maybe the Jack format isn't so bad. I've been listening off and on, and I have to admit that, all in all, I've been hearing more music I like than I did with the old format. But I still miss some of those oldies; there's now one less station to hear them on. Then again, as has been pointed out elsewhere, WBLS and WRKS have been playing more older R&B; the dance music stations have been playing more 70's and 80's music; and the newest rock station, 107.1 (don't know the call letters) plays a mix of rock from the 70's up to today. And there's always Kool 96.7 from Connecticut, which plays oldies from the 60's and 70's. I guess the old WCBS-FM market is being served; it's just too bad it's not all on one station anymore.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Michael Jackson's acquitted. Biiiiiig whoop.

So Michael Jackson got off. All the charges brought against him, all the negative press from newspapers and magazines that basically tried him in print, and the jury said "not enough to convict." Is it really something to celebrate?

The jurors decided that there wasn't enough evidence to reach a guilty verdict, but that doesn't mean that he's innocent. Yet, the fact that he liked to have young boys sleep in the same bed with him doesn't mean he's guilty, either. He made the repeated mistake of putting himself in situations where shady business is presumed, whether it happens or not. When a grown man sleeps in the same bed with children (not his own), isn't the first thing that comes to mind that somebody is doing something wrong? Hopefully Michael will learn from this and not leave himself open to such accusations.

At the same time, the prosecutor was like a shark. He smelled blood and wanted to rip into Michael Jackson. Like President W acting against Saddam Hussein to avenge his father after a failed assassination attempt, Sneddon tried to clean up "unfinished business" from 1993 by finding witnesses willing to testify against Jackson just so he could finally put him in jail, or so Sneddon hoped. But Sneddon was so intent to find bodies to put on the witness stand that he apparently didn't do much of a background check. He couldn't have, considering all the things that came out about the accuser's family during the trial. As I said earlier, Jackson may very
well be guilty, but who would believe that coming from someone with a long history of scams and fraud?

This trial was a circus from the very beginning, and the jury acted correctly in not jailing a man just because he's a clown.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Here's an interesting site...

"The Museum of Bad Album Cover Art". There's some truly bad stuff here, as well as stuff that's probably not so bad, but the list/site creator just doesn't like them.

Netflix pairing with Match.com?

Someone posted an idea at Cinematical suggesting that Match.com could partner with Netflix to match people according to the movies they like. I suppose, for someone who is using Match.com, that the idea is valid. But being the cynic that I sometimes am, I can see Netflix allowing Match.com to XML Netflix's member database to pitch their services to people, customized according to whatever movies they've identified as their favorite. These companies all have privacy policies that are longer than any other page on their website, but still what would stop them from doing this? I was thinking about joining Netflix, but if this idea catches on with them, maybe not...