September 6th, 2017

Chimpcrosoft 101

Seriously, I keep telling people this, and they think I’m joking. It seems stupid, but there are real technical reasons why it works so often.

MS_101_chimp

p.s. SMBC is awesome and you should give them some of your money.

In: Computers, How ToNo Comments

August 23rd, 2017

15-year-old TV show on the NYC subway system

This morning, it took me about 90 minutes to get to work.

I used to have a relatively long commute growing up, so I know that doesn’t sound too awful in the ears of a lot of people. But you might change your tune upon learning that this was how long it took for me to get four miles. 3.25 as the crow flies.

This means that, in a city with one of the largest and supposedly best transit systems in the world, I would have arrived roughly 30 minutes earlier if I had gotten out and walked.

In my state of frustration, I went looking for a gif of my favorite line from Black Books, in which Bernard screams “Lies! Subterfuge! Seething Corruption!” This was in response to the fact that mta.info specifically said the 7 was borked due to mechanical problems with a train at 33rd Street – the exact train I was sitting on, with a conductor telling us we weren’t moving because of smoke in the tunnel.

This was followed by a transfer to the N, which I was immediately informed was also not running, due to both a sick passenger and a power failure. This forced me to exit the station entirely, walk to another one, and catch an E, which did run, but with infuriatingly vague ‘train traffic’ delays.

I could not find the gif in question and had not the patience remaining to make it myself.

Yet, paging through the images that did exist, it became clear that the modern MTA has a lot in common with a show about a surly, filthy, alcoholic shopkeeper. Allow me to illuminate.

The all-purpose comment:

nope_train

Everyone off, please. This train has suddenly forgotten how to train:

time_wasting_bastards

No matter what time I get up or leave the house, there is some nonsense that will make me late to work:

betrayal

Just about anything that ever gets said over the intercom, even on those magical occasions when you can actually understand the words being said:

what_what

The entire city, for the last decade or so:

up_with_this

Come to think of it, we’d all be a lot happier if they just gave us a damn sausage before boarding.

That idea right there is free. You’re welcome, MTA.

In: News, OtherNo Comments

August 9th, 2017

Stop the presses: changing thing changes

It’s an unholy rite of passage for a New Yorker. Once you’ve been around for 20 years, you’re obligated to blather on about how the city is changing for the worse.

Gentrification. My favorite store closed. Younger people have different expectations from restaurants or retail outlets. The rent is too damn high.

THINGS THAT EXISTED DECADES AGO ARE NOW DIFFERENT. CALL IN THE NATIONAL GUARD.

garth_change

Myself, I’m only around the 10-year mark here in the city*. I too have noticed that things have changed. But what I’ve noticed most is that things always change. Constantly. It’s a feature, not a bug.

So, when I read something like this [from the venerable LongReads, no less], I can’t help but think the author an imbecile for not realizing they’re penning the exact same swan-song bullshit that every single era before them has written. If they take the time to look around (or possibly stop shoegazing for a minute and listen to the constant stream of complaining all around – which is our right as New Yorkers), they’ll find their story not as original as it may feel.

Because here’s a fun fact: the neighborhood you’re whinging about, the very buildings and stores and restaurants you strive to keep around – were all, at one time, instruments of gentrification themselves.

New York City was founded in 1624. That ‘indispensable’ neighborhood locale that’s been around for 50, 75 or even 100 years only ended up there after 300 years of change. There’s an excellent chance it used to be the location of someone’s home or another much-beloved neighborhood staple that the New Yorkers of the time were thoroughly pissed off to see replaced.

Now, gentrification is a very real thing and certainly no laughing matter. A lot of these chain businesses are vastly inferior and are unfairly supplanting their predecessors, to the detriment of all. That said, gentrification is a complex situation and not every Starbucks (pronounced ‘The Devil’s Failing Kidney Piss Dispensary’) that replaces a bodega is a pure travesty that sucks the ephemeral ‘soul’ out of the neighborhood.

Change is the soul of New York. Your favorite deli, no matter its fascinating backstory, is not.

*If I try to pull this crap next decade, feel free to force-feed me a printout of this little ditty.

In: OtherNo Comments

Whois

IT guy, dev, designer, writer.

Got a degree in print journalism from UF but history dealt some bad cards to that industry, so I moved back to an earlier love: the computer.

Was recently at ZMOS Networks, but am now the Senior IT Associate at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

My name is moderately common, as are a couple screen names, so always look for the logo to make sure you're reading something with official Km approval.

You can get to me directly with kyle(@)kylemitchell.org