Saturday, August 09, 2008

Cambridge Police: Strong Douchebag Potential After Midnight

Officer in car on right tells me I'm violating "the wiretapping statute" by "videotaping" flashing lights. Officer standing behind me tells me I'm blocking traffic by not standing on the curb and in the already blocked street. "WE'RE MAKING ARRESTS!" Apparently it takes about a dozen douchebags in five crown vics and a wagon to arrest two more douchebags punching each other outside a frat bar. Waste of time, guys. Perhaps all douchebags involved should read up on the First Amendment.

If it's not a secure crime scene and it's in public view, it's fair game, with or without meritless intimidation.

All files I created at this scene, which was clearly under control, were images without audio or video. I normally respect the police, unless they act like douchebags.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

pork cutlet

I am walking around downtown Vancouver late at night, because I thought staying here and absorbing aura would be good for something about me. I decide that I want a Japanese pork cutlet for dinner, then immediately turn a corner and see a storefront advertising Pork Cutlet for sale.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Globe Reports on Cost of State Police Cruiser Details; Many Wheels Continue to Get Greased

We all know how much I like to point out the horrendous contempt for taxpayers Massachusetts displays, particularly by forcing us to pay cops $40 an hour to stand outside of open manholes and read the Herald at road work sites.

Last month, the Phoenix cited a Suffolk University/Beacon Hill Institute paper that reported that municipal police departments took in $67 million in detail pay.

Curiously, figures were not available for the State Police. Today, the Globe devotes an entire article to the outrageous salary inflation details provide State Troopers, without ever mentioning how much money the State Police removes from our pockets.

What the Globe does admit, however, is that Mass is the only state in the nation to require State Police details. One interviewee calls them "a political sacred cow."

The Globe article quotes another Beacon Hill Institute paper estimating that state and municipal forces took in $93.3 million dollars in detail pay in 2003.

Before writing my next two Mass-questioning posts, my favorite lines of the Globe article:

A 2004 study by Suffolk University's Beacon Hill Institute, examined data from details at construction sites in 103 cities and towns and found that the state has the worst accident rate in the country measured by property damage and the second worst measured by bodily injury.

But, the study excluded State Police details, because the agency said it could not produce necessary records for less than $5,800

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A great read on the MBTA Greenbush Project.

Our beloved MBTA has spent over $500m on a rail line out to some tony suburbs. The line will generate less than 2000 (some say 8,000...) riders a day, and feed them into crumbling downtown transit infrastructure.

Big Dig megacontractor Jay Cashman built the line together with the British firm Balfour Beatty. Operation of the line will be the duty of the "MBTA Annex," or MBCR, a corporation of former/retired MBTA bigwigs and their French and Canadian partners in collusion. Their private company has a $1.07b (billion), five-year contract to run the state commuter rail for the state.

BadTransit has a great article about what may have gone wrong here, and who's going to pay for it.

ADDENDUM: Note that the state was required to build this line to offset pollution from expanding I-93 (the big dig). But other required projects--like the extension of the Green Line, a project that would attract and benefit 15-20,000 riders per day--have not even been designed.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Last Week in BBQ, Part I: Clem's BBQ, Outside Port Matilda, PA

This addressless, open air shack on the side of PA-322 just outside of Port Matilda, PA (pop. 638) serves up real wood-fired 'cue.

Inside, we found one guy in full winter gear placing ribs on racks above a glowing woodfire. Another bundled-up worker was handling sales from a little booth-like area within the shack. A tiny, open-sided wood stove provided heat for customers standing in line. Frozen marshmallows and roasting sticks waited next to it. The menu boards announced all the barbecue standards you'd expect, but the one intriguing item, boneless ribs, had sold out by 4:30 pm.

We got a pound of chopped pork--tender chunks punctauted by smoky flavor as well as the occasional fleck of bone or cartilage. The house sauce--thick, tomato-based and tangy--was slathered over the cue as an afterthought. (That might be how things work everywhere but the Carolinas, but I still prefer my pig to be drenched with vinegar-based sauce as it smokes for hours). Clem's potato salad managed to be both velvety and chunky (delicious!). The baked beans were nothing to brag about.

As you may have guessed, the vending machines handle all the beverage sales.

Web link:

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The woodstack at Clem's, just before sunset.

Martha's Furnace/Port Matilda, PA.

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