Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Words to best Queensian, drive-by curseout experienced in childhood and now preserved here forever

[car roars down residential st at 50+ mph, screeches to halt in front of nearby rowhouse]


[peels out down narrow alley]

Saturday, January 28, 2006

yet another ambulance screams past my living room on its way to the somerville hospital

observations arrived at this morning:
  • it was wrong to stop making music. it was wrong of my accomplices, too.
  • mcdonalds's scary I-AM-ASIAN.com website is still up
  • this fucking sucks!


After $120,000 at the nation's "best" "public" (8% publicly funded) institution of higher learning, my brother has started a blog entitled CODE 1053 about the ironies of the college "mega-industry." Please have a look.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Major fucking annoyance:

Bite-sized corporate pseudosentences that begin with "And" and "Which," like the ones found here: http://www.blogger.com/about.

And when did the newspaper style cartel decide that the last item in a list of three or more items no longer warranted a comma?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

"We never close, honey,"

quoth the night attendant of the City of Portsmouth, NH (pop. 20,000) municipal parking garage. Why might such a small city need a 24/7 car storage facility? Because it's fucking awesome. In what other city in America can you eat a cornbread and pulled pork casserole, get as inebriated as you wish while reading by yourself in a corner, see live music 7 nights a week, shop for used cds (at least until 11 pm), drunkenly wander the active city docks as freighters from far far away unload thousands of tons of winter road salt, and then cash out at the parking garage and head home? A slice of pure devil's pie. And Sam Kininger is playing here Saturday.

WISH LIST, Portsmouth Comfort Inn, 1.25.06

  • That this hotel were not full of scary, drunk, redneck man and manwoman flannelclad contractors.
  • That Melissa Block would record some type of pornographic voiceover work. I'm just curious.
  • That it were possible to read at dinner without constant interruption by waitstaff and/or drunks.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


if you saw the branches in brunswick's bright morning, you now fully understand this word

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Disposable Architecture 101

Can you tell what this once was?

Almost as soon as it began, Krispy Kreme's expansion into Massachusetts failed. Maybe it was the climate, or the fact that this store was built next to a patronless MBTA facility. Or maybe it was Kripsy's questionable business practices.

Now, this beautiful box, its signs adorned with garbage bag, greets pedestrians and drivers on Route 16 in Medford.

Luckily, though, this roadside corporate tombstone was just purchased by the developer of adjacent property. But what if it hadn't been? Who would want a cinder block drive-thru box? As James Howard Kunstler rightfully points out in his seminal The Geography of Nowhere, these asphalt-surrounded, car-friendly buildings serve no purpose but to remove money from communities and place it in the pockets of a distant parent corporation. When the local franchise is left behind by the times or the parent or both, the citizenry is left with the equivalent of architectural feces. And cinder blocks take a long time to decay.

While we're on the subject of problems with Route 16, look at where I had to walk to take this picture:

Thanks to this well-kept MassHighway fence, pedestrians actually have to walk into 3 lanes of oncoming traffic to use the sidewalk. All hail the auto!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

search query report

it's 4am and i can't sleep. here are the top 5 search terms our dear patrons entered into search engines before coming to rbellinger.com this week:

1. rob bellinger 5
2. bowflex 50 years old 2
3. gothic poetry contest 2
4. why jews love chinese food 2
5. iud and sis peaches what means


Lest you forget that I am a sometime maritime photographer, I thought I would share with you the fact that my most "popular" Boston harbor shot has made its way around the web pretty well and ended up a featured photo on a site called tugfest.com. Look at the photo for January 3rd--good thing I stuck my name on there.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Where Do Cogs Come From?

Beginning of email letter sent by the Tufts Alumni Community:

"Dear Robert,

As a graduate of one or more of our undergraduate, graduate, or professional schools, you are a valued member of the Tufts University Alumni Association, and as such..."

We produced you...pay up forever!

Intelligent [illegal] graffitti from the Anna's Taqueria men's room

Voice Two: Say It to our face Bitch!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

MBTA failure addendum, 1.19.05

Abbey planned to take the Route 83 bus to a work meeting at 6:36 p.m. It didn't show. So she planned to take the bus scheduled at 6:52. No bus. A bus finally came at 7:12, almost tripling the time it takes to get from Somerville Ave. to Central Square. At least it's a balmy 40 degrees out for today's peak rush hour.

MBTA failure of the day, 1.19.06

I didn't think I'd have any failures to report today, since I drove. But it was pretty hard to notice that the rear engine door cover on bus #8915, Route 88, was only attached on one side and hanging off from the other! And one of the service doors on the left side of the bus was gone, leaving a square void in what was once its place. This bus also spewed black clouds of exhaust into my car. There is no possible way that this bus could meet emissions standards for Massachusetts, or any other northeast state. Since the MBTA is allowed to issue its own state inspection stickers, however, the agency is accountable to no one and their equipment fails routinely.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

MBTA failures of the day, 1.18.06

  1. Torrential rains were cause for legitimate use of umbrella at Kenmore Station...underground.
  2. One Davis Square Station elevator deconstructed and abandoned with no KONE INC. (contractor) personnel in sight.
  3. Today's bus home, on route 88, was a mid-80s GMC RTC suffering from a deafeningly obvious transmission problem. In fact, the bus wouldn't shift above second gear and never rolled faster than 15 mph on the whole route. It was passed by two other buses on the same route inside less than a mile, as a townie mom with toddler barked on cellphone, "DA BUS IS FAHKIN SLOW AS MALASSES! IT SOUNDS LIKE SHIT!"

    Even worse, the back door (and therefore wheelchair lift) did not work, rendering the bus a slow-rollin' death trap much like the FOUR newer buses of the same type that spontaneously combusted last Fall.

    It should be noted that the RTS bus, a single model designed by GMC in the late 70s and subsequently built by three different manufacturers up until a few years ago, is perhaps the most popular transit bus in North America. But only the T ones catch fire.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Current Listening Obsession:

Steely Dan's newish Everything Must Go. Even if their lyrics aren't as sharp as their superpolished cynical rampages of the 70s (and Two Against Nature), these two old fucks continue to prove that you're never too old to rock intelligently. Bye-bye, youth.

MBTA failures of the day

  1. Both 88 and 90 buses this morning, which should run about every 8-10 minutes along Highland Ave.(counting both directions), did not show for over 35 minutes.
  2. Upon arriving at the Lechmere terminal, commuters were greeted by an abandoned token booth, turnstiles roped off with a thick, rusty chain, and an open gate. No fare collected.
  3. This evening's 88 bus home featured a bulky "MBTA INSPECTOR" (guy who writes down when buses arrive at terminals for absolutely no reason) wrestling with the farebox. Five minutes of punching could not unclog it. No fare collected.

Number of MBTA services used in past two days: 8.
Number of times fare paid: 5.
Amount of debt the bankrupt MBTA has (and won't be forgiven by MA): $4,900,000,000.

my brother, the actuary

c-mike is taking the exam! whatever chance i have of becoming a cog, he's triplng it.

did i get boring, or was it you?

hmmmm. be creative.

Monday, January 16, 2006

unimportant website update

servers done been switched. blog archive now works. you wouldn't believe how many weird comments i get on ancient posts.

Let's try to think of things the MBTA outsources...

  • Station cleaning...to One Source
  • Elevator repairs...to "Kone Inc.," masters of cone placement
  • Recycling....to whoever wants free newsprint
  • The entire commuter rail SYSTEM...to "Mass Bay Commuter Rail Co." (http://www.mbcr.net/).
Keep 'em coming.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

massachusetts: a thing of the past

The state population has shrunk for each of the past fifteen years, as people decide it's not worth living here.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


hello! i finally moved my site to a better server, so now i have to come up with a new excuse not to put anything on it. i am drinking a smuttynose shoals pale ale, listening to the system of a down disc i bought when i was 18, and waiting for dan barry to arrive from ct. he should be here in another hour or so. it is 10:03 pm.

Friday, January 13, 2006