Re: Citi Frothing

1

I am cross with Citibike because I excitedly signed up for a key, but can't get it to work (the website shows it as activated, but it wouldn't release a bike for me yesterday). And their customer service number doesn't answer.

Growing pains, it's just started, the kinks will get worked out, but I'm annoyed.

(I'm considering restarting my bike commute by doing halves of it.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 11:54 AM
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My mother does her errands on a bike, and has been amused by the wobbly masses drifting in and out of traffic on Citibikes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 11:56 AM
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I am cross with Citibike
You could almost certainly get quoted in a NY Post article if you wanted.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 11:58 AM
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I'm holding out for the WSJ.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:00 PM
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Wow. The main opposition to our bike share program here was from people who are already avid bikers, who felt that it didn't go far enough in promoting an increase in bike ridership. I'm not even kidding.

Does Mayor Bloomberg ride around the city on one of these bikes? Our mayor does. See him all the time if you're down by city hall.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:01 PM
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No, he's not much of a physical guy. Much as I'm not crazy about him generally, though, he's been stellar on the general principle that dense inner cities are places that should be more for people than cars.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:02 PM
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4: I was reading about their fit a couple of days ago


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:03 PM
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This article, quoted in the post linked in the OP, is such a thing of incredible beauty it really deserves sharing. Sample excerpt:

n 1933, Idris wrote a letter asking why Allah would have chosen the Jews, whom he described as, "the most despicable, repulsive and corrupting nation on earth." It's hard to say what Imam Idris would have made of his granddaughter marrying a Jewish law professor and peddling bikes that no one wants from a nearly bankrupt Montreal government company.
But considering that Imam Idris was at times accused of being a Soviet agent and did some work for Imperial Japan, it seems likely that he would have understood.
In partial revenge, Khan has made many New York streets nearly as impassable as those of her grandfather's wartime Dresden. Bike lanes have turned two lane streets into one lane streets. Infidels sit in their cars and honk while bike lanes go unused and midtown bus lanes sit empty except for the occasional daring taxi driver braving the bus lane camera and the 150 dollar fine.
Nightly a roar rises from the streets as an island full of people heading home curses Bloomberg until long after the sun has gone down. And from his townhouse on East 79th Street, he sneers at them, having gotten his revenge on the off-island drivers who sabotaged his congestion pricing scheme, borrowed from London's former mayor Ken Livingstone, who just got done blaming America for the Boston bombings on Iranian television.

....

Of such strange alliances is the technocratic banana republic on the Hudson woven. A Muslim Nazi collaborator's granddaughter oversees the de-car-ing of a city after a plan based around a plan from the tenure of a modern collaborator with Muslim Nazis falls through. Imam Idris might have called it the providence of Allah. But more likely he would have found a way to get his piece of the pie.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:05 PM
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(the website shows it as activated, but it wouldn't release a bike for me yesterday).

Apparently a serious problem.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:08 PM
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The bikes look basically the same as the ones in the DC bikeshare program, with the same infuriating oversight--the front rack thing is useless. I can't understand why they couldn't just put a real rack or basket on the things; it's not like they were trying to keep them light and nimble.

Still, all in all, pretty neat. I think SF's doing something similar, too.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:19 PM
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The parochialism on display is really quite something.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:21 PM
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We've got the best parochialism in the world, and don't you forget it!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:22 PM
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Goddamnit, the SF bikeshare system is going to be the same, with the same stupid front racks.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:24 PM
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Why do you hate bungee cords?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:25 PM
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dense inner cities are places that should be more for people than cars.

Seattle is having the same fight over many of its bridges -- the WDOT and the Eastside want to hugely widen the ingress highways, although the WSDOT simulations only work because they pretend there's no limit to surface capacity in the rest of the city.

I keep pushing 'We have room for more people, not for more cars' as a slogan, and when I move back I guess I need to get into local politics just to have something to say.

I'm also going to be interested to hear how they came up with the terrifying bike lane plans, which only seem to work for bicyclists who can accelerate to 35mph on any navigable slope. (I have a theory about this, which is that the bike community there is completely captured by the hardcore athletes who could mostly survive in traffic anyway. However, the hilly non-grid layout throttled by bridges is much harder than what either Berkeley or Davis dealt with.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:35 PM
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13: It looks like most of them are using identical models. Our baskets (still sideless) seem a bit bigger though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:37 PM
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Wow. That diagram is hilarious and painful at the same time.

Around here, opposition to bike lanes is something that I'm mildly sympathetic to, because it's really not about the bike lanes, but about who is viewed as a "desirable" city resident.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:37 PM
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It's called "Bay Area Bike Share", but I see the acronym BABS nowhere.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:43 PM
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I'm puzzled by people who seem to be arguing against their own self-interest. If biking becomes more enjoyable and as a result fewer people drive, don't the drivers also benefit?

There's a fight in my city between an outer suburb and the downtown, about paying for a subway extension. The whole thing seems absurd - both parties benefit. The city has fewer people driving downtown, and the suburb becomes more accessible (higher property values) and there is less competition on the roads leading into the city.

Maybe it's just arguing for the sake of arguing.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:49 PM
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They are using identical models. One of the reasons NYC's took so long to roll out is that the factory has limited capacity.

Oddly enough it sounds like NYC's is using different software, which explains some of the current bugginess.

I haven't tried using the basket but it seems reasonably good for putting a backpack or something into, and also indestructible, which is presumably a big part of the point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:49 PM
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the suburb becomes more accessible (higher property values)

Ah, but nay! More accessible to people who DON'T OWN A CAR? You want them walking around? That is not the image of the suburb I moved to, thank you very much.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:52 PM
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Yea. People deliberate fight transit to make it impossible for anybody to who can't pay for a car to live there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:53 PM
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You've seen the bike share venn diagram explaining conservative hatred?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:56 PM
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It looks like most of them are using identical models. Our baskets (still sideless) seem a bit bigger though.

Someone's making a regular basket for those things, because ours have them.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:56 PM
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23: not before it was the only link in the OP.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:57 PM
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24: oh huh, no, those are a different model. Interesting!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:57 PM
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RTFOP.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 12:58 PM
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17: Around here, opposition to bike lanes is something that I'm mildly sympathetic to, because it's really not about the bike lanes, but about who is viewed as a "desirable" city resident.

Spin this out a bit? I'm figuring that it's got something to do with bicyclists being viewed as middle class white people who the city government wants to cater to, but while I can get from there to sympathizing with people who oppose bike lines, I can't quite get to sympathizing with their opposition, if you see what I mean.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:02 PM
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I haven't tried using the basket but it seems reasonably good for putting a backpack or something into, and also indestructible, which is presumably a big part of the point.

It was definitely too small for my huge backpack, but, fine, that was a huge backpack. It looked too small and precarious for a smaller backpack, but I didn't try. When I got dinner with a friend of mine, who uses them frequently, she said that it's her main complaint--she said that they're useless for carrying any significant amount of stuff, which often keeps her from using them to commute to work.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:05 PM
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Oh, hey, you're right.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:07 PM
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It was definitely too small for my huge backpack, but, fine, that was a huge backpack. It looked too small and precarious for a smaller backpack, but I didn't try. When I got dinner with a friend of mine, who uses them frequently, she said that it's her main complaint--she said that they're useless for carrying any significant amount of stuff, which often keeps her from using them to commute to work.

BUT THERE'S A BUNGEE CORD! IT HOLDS ALL YOUR GOODS IN PLACE!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:08 PM
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I guess I should be happy about 24, because that looks great, and I assume it'd be easy enough to swap in some of those, but that just means it's something I should actually be writing letters or making phone calls about, and I prefer indolent despair is really more my style.

(I suspect the decision had to do with not wanting any basket that people would use as a trash can, and the SLC ones look like they might be a problem in that respect.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:09 PM
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You know what can hold a backpack and can't be easily used as a trash can? A bungee cord. Or, a back.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:10 PM
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Another case where the right doesn't have the faintest idea why they oppose something, aside from knowing that their sworn Islamocommie enemies support it. Obama and Bloomberg should come out forcefully in favor of exhaling, and then we can wander about collecting the watches and wallets from all the passed out Republicans while they recover.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:19 PM
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Yeah, I use similar bikes a lot (the original design pioneered here), and I like the rack, actually. The bungee cords are great, and my often very full backpack generally fits just fine. But of course the design could have been tweaked a bit, especially the proportions.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:21 PM
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It's striking how dense the stations are downtown and midtown and then they just stop at Central Park. I know we talked about that here before, but still, weird to actually see, especially since I've been to NY briefly in the meantime so I have more of an idea of what the map actually means. In DC it's more irregular, with outcroppings along some of the metro lines.

DC's system has glitches now and then, even years in. So, no, don't count on taking it to something that you really, really can't be late to, it'll never be as reliable as a car or bike of your own. But the most common problem I have is bike stations being full when I want to leave a bike there or empty when I want to take one. Obviously, that sucks for me when it happens, and if it happens too much then they need to bring in more bikes or get more people working on moving them from full stations to empty stations, but it just means the system is popular.

I've actually been riding T.'s bike for a few days. It spent years in storage. She finally got it tuned up. Then she started jury duty, and she hasn't wanted to bike to an unfamiliar place and all that, so I've been using it. Being able to bike straight home from work and vice versa is great, but I actually like how the bikeshare bikes handle better than I like hers. I'm not sure if that's because it's the wrong shape/size for me or just because I've got used to them, but still, something to think about when I go shopping for a bike of my own.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:26 PM
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21, 22: Absolutely. You wouldn't believe the opposition from wealthy neighbors to a beautifully landscaped, wooded jogging/walking trail in our area. Basically it all came down to "But who knows what kind of people would be walking behind my house!!"

28: City government has a finite amount of resources. The School District is in perpetual financial crisis; mental health, substance abuse, and disability services have been massively cut by the state, disproportionately affecting the city; the wage tax cuts were halted (it's currently near 4%); the city's ability to oversee the construction going on is in shambles.... and bike lanes are a so-valuable-we-should-do-it way to spend city money? Not to mention the opportunity cost?

Like I said, I'm not actually opposed, but I'm sympathetic to the opposition. In a city with 28% of residents in poverty and 26% of the working-age population with a felony conviction, bike lanes advocates* all too often make their case with not-so-coded statements about "the kinds of people we want".

I get that the city needs revenue. I like having more workers, and I think it's good to say that the city wants to attract people who have education and skills. I like and hang out with people who use bike lanes.

But I couldn't go to a community meeting and look people in the eye and say that I thought they were a good use of city money and Center City space.

*Politicans and planners, mostly -- not so much cyclists themselves.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:29 PM
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I'm not crazy about him generally, though, he's been stellar on the general principle that dense inner cities are places that should be more for people than cars.

I get the impression that he just really likes telling people what to do. When he happens to be telling people to do the right thing, he comes off as being on the side of the angels. But the next time he casts around for an excuse to boss people around, he might hit on something despicable.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:30 PM
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That, certainly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:37 PM
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I don't really see how starting a bike share is telling people what to do. It's just an increasingly common piece of infrastructure he's adding to the city.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:38 PM
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38. Tayyip Bloomberglu ?

Damon Acemoglu's column about the Turkish protests was interesting, makes the claim that Erdogan's popularity is tied to his outsider status.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:38 PM
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35: But of course the design could have been tweaked a bit, especially the proportions. As Leni Riefenstahl said to Albert Speer.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:40 PM
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I actually don't get the Bloomberg hatred that so many NYers seem to share. That's not an argument for Bloomberg, I just am genuinely ignorant as to what people are mad about and I don't think I've ever heard it clearly expressed, even by relatives. From the far outside he seems to have been a pretty competent mayor with some pretty bold environmental initiatives.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:43 PM
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You all think you're pretty slick with your bikeshares, but do you have a city hall, with a green roof, with honeybees*? http://tinyurl.com/kk7q7mq

*And when the dogs open their mouths the bees fly out and sting you?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:43 PM
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I don't really see how starting a bike share is telling people what to do.

Oh, but he gets to tell a bunch of people they can't drive in certain places. And then they get mad about it, and he can tell them to shove it, because he's the mayor.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:44 PM
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The bike share spaces are a trivial portion of the number of places he gets to tell people not to drive and get yelled at for it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:46 PM
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43: His buddies defrauded the city of hundreds of millions of dollars?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:47 PM
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He used the police force as goons to shut down protests at the 2004 RNC?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:48 PM
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I dunno, that looks bad but not like a particularly big deal. I'd trade some minor corruption, if it can be caught and dealt with, for competent governance any day of the week. Is that really the main complaint?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:48 PM
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Likewise not allowing antiwar protests in Central Park because it's bad for the grass?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:50 PM
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49 to 47, but I guess "bad and should be corrected but not that huge a deal in the grand scheme of governmental responsibilities" is probably my response to 48, as well.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:51 PM
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He thinks stop and frisk is good policing?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:51 PM
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53

Keep going, LB, because from a continent away, my reaction has been the same as Halford's, so this is interesting.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:52 PM
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52 suffices, I think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:54 PM
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And tried to appoint a completely unqualified crony as schools Chancellor?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:54 PM
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That's not a basket. This is a basket. Most I've carried in it simultaneously is an adult woman, 6 year old boy, and 4 month old puppy.
"But who knows what kind of people would be walking behind my house!!"
This is one of my favorite things because it pisses off some really rich people and there's nothing they can do about it, you can just stand in their back yard staring at their windows and it's all legal. (Some of the owners are cool with it, like the visitors and maintain the path, but every year someone tries to plant a hedge or something to block it and the town kicks their ass.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:55 PM
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As well as being generally gung-ho about school reform in a counterproductive and stupid way? (This link is only generically relevant. I find the school system very non-transparent, but there seems to be a lot of unnecessary jerking around of well-functioning schools.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:56 PM
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Yeah, 52 is bad news.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:57 PM
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LB's links are right on the money. Which is why when the big soda thing came along and caused all that outraged I was baffled. I mean, you're outraged because you can't drink big gulps anymore, who gives a shit? But the other stuff was infuriating.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:58 PM
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52 and 55 are beyond enraging. The funny thing is, from 90 minute down the road, the biggest impact your mayor has had on my world is positive -- he's been good on immigration stuff, broadly speaking.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 1:59 PM
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I don't have a neat link on the term limits thing, and my feelings on it are complicated. I'm not crazy about term limits generally. But he got NYC's two-term limit removed by, essentially, paying off the city council, so he could run for a third term. It's not exactly that I mind the limit going away substantively, but I mind the billionaire mayor being able to whimsically change the election law to suit himself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:00 PM
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Once again, I should have previewed. Or just written grammatical English in the first place.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:01 PM
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52 seems like the real answer.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:02 PM
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If Bloomberg were the worst political opponent we had to deal with, things would be pretty good. He's not insane, and on a fair number of issues like bikes, or gay rights, or whatever, he's absolutely fine. But he's still a plutocrat, and I still want him gone.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:03 PM
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65

This is what I can do off the top of my head, and I'm really irresponsible about digging in to city governance issues. I have the general impression that if I were a better person who kept track of the kind of stories that don't get covered properly because they're complicated and dull, I could do more with robbing from the poor to give to the rich, in terms of property taxes and so on, but I'd have to do a bunch of work to tell you what I'm thinking of there, because while those issues are important, I also get really bored reading about them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:06 PM
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It never ceases to amaze me that Bloomberg is actually literally the richest guy in NYC.

In a lot of ways I think I'm a fan of Bloomberg's style, big-city mayor in a country with good civil liberties protections is exactly the right place for mild paternalistic wanna-be autocrats, but I certainly agree that stop and frisk is a really bad thing. (Some of the others are certainly bad, but seem kinda run-of-the-mill to me.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:06 PM
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FDR was a plutocrat!

Anyhow, I view this from the point of view of LA, where for years we've had government that's been fairly clean and democratic, but also fairly incompetent, largely from the terrible structural way in which our City is set up (progressive-era good government reformers, I blame you for everything). There's a lot to be said for the "competent dictator" model of city governance, although the trick is of course making sure that your dictator is competent.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:08 PM
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Some of it is just local politics as usual. Representative democracy has some weird incentives and too many disincentives(?) for normal people to run for a large public office. For a guy with more money than dog, why would you run for office? I'm sure he could boss a lot of people around without having to do it as mayor.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:13 PM
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Actually, I don't have much money.


Posted by: dog | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:14 PM
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67: FDR was an aristocratic traitor to his class, which is what we love him for. Bloomberg's been loyal to his class.

I don't have specifics at my fingertips, but 65 is a strong impression; that city resources have been directed to the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us. If people are interested I'll try to put something more concrete together.

But I will agree that he hasn't driven the city off a cliff or anything. The garbage is picked up, the subways are running, the schools are open, and so on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:15 PM
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He lost on the West Side stadium, but put a lot of effort into it, and that certainly looked like a plan for diverting public money to developers for the sake of putting a football stadium, of all things, in Manhattan.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:25 PM
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the schools are open
Say what?
On the bike thing, one of the most positive but intangible benefits is that due to the outsize publicity more drivers are going to be aware of bikes and look for them before opening doors, turning, etc. Thanks Dorothy Rabinowitz!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:26 PM
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That was me, my name keeps disappearing on preview.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:31 PM
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On the schools chancellor thing, have the NYC public schools covered themselves in so much glory that they ought to be entitled to name their own supervisor?

On everything else: Democracy sucks. Shut up and drink your sub-16-oz. soda and quit smoking. Now dance! Dance for your diminutive mayor!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:35 PM
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On the schools chancellor thing, have the NYC public schools covered themselves in so much glory that they ought to be entitled to name their own supervisor?

This seems to reflect a basic confusion about what sorts of things are capable of naming a chancellor. Honestly, I'm not sure at all how the schools should be structured, and I don't object on principle to mayoral control. I just object when he names some unqualified buddy of his chancellor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:39 PM
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||
Holy shit, the insurance claim for the baby's 96 hour hospital stay just went in... $28k, and that doesn't include all the separate fees from the 5 different doctors who looked at her, echocardiograms, EKGs, medications, etc. Don't know if that's the list price or what the insurance company agreed to pay, I'm guessing that's full price. So far total is $33.5k and counting.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:52 PM
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Good lord. How's she doing?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:54 PM
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In other words, my prediction was obviously correct although I still haven't heard how much it cost Labs to do his hair.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:55 PM
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Everything is on the right trajectory- inflammation markers, blood counts, etc. all back within normal range and the key one, her coronary artery diameter, is back within the 95% population distribution even though it's still obviously above average. And overall she's her happy self again. Just continued monitoring from here on and they have to finish weaning her off aspirin and steroids over the next couple weeks.
She has terrible stranger anxiety from the whole experience, though- screams if anyone unknown tries to touch her.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 2:58 PM
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Wow. Hope she keeps on that path. That must have been hard on the parents and baby.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 3:02 PM
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Being sensitive to wi-fi is just woo, right?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 3:03 PM
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79: Good luck! Glad to hear things are getting better.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 3:04 PM
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81: almost certainly


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 3:05 PM
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I have the impression in current polities, speedy, effective leadership has corruption as its tradeoff. Where you have more picayune, small-scale corruption, you also tend to have stultifying government by committee. (Not that you can't have plodding as well as corruption. And not that effective, non-corrupt governance is impossible, but better systems are needed.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 3:11 PM
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79: best wishes for a full recovery.


Posted by: torrey pine (formerly YK) | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 5:02 PM
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It's striking how dense the stations are downtown and midtown and then they just stop at Central Park.

If anybody needs me, I'll be in my room. Yeah, Manhattan past Lincoln Center is basically Brooklyn without the Girls cred. (When I tell people my neighborhood they always get this look in their eye that tells me they are going to guess that Inwood is in the 140s, and then they do. I live north of 190th.)

I mean, not having looked into these at all, it might be a good way to get some exercise, pick one up downtown, ride it to Columbus Circle, and get on the subway. Avoids the problem of The Hill of Despond.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 5:40 PM
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Slope of Despond. Slope of Despond would have been better.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 5:42 PM
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88

diminutive mayor

anti-semite.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 6:03 PM
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So, our mayor, who I admit to being glad to see on his way out, is being very strangely counter-sued. For suggesting that maybe a non-profit should pay some property taxes, he's being compared to Nixon and accused of trying to make everyone think he isn't an asshole for after he is done being mayor. It's working, if that's what he's trying for, I think.

He spent the recent election paying the people who ran the Swift boat ads to attack the guy who eventually won the primary and now he's being accused of some sort of conspiracy for working with SEIU. I really should go to some local political meeting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 6:17 PM
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90

I live north of 190th

I believed manhattan was a peninsula when I was little, because the maps in the cabs* are cut off. I though calling it an island must be a figure of speech.

*the extend-o-cabs where I sat on the little pop-up stool between the rows of seats.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 6:41 PM
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91

I believed manhattan was a peninsula when I was little

The Harlem River's not really big enough to count, anyway.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:03 PM
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92

I would seriously hate to be doing health policy in the Pgh area, from what I hear. Duopoly, brr.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:04 PM
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93

Actually, before I checked just now, I assumed Manhattan was historically an island but that a lot of the gap was filled in. Probably for the same reasons as heebie.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:04 PM
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94

The last time I went to the Oakland Public Library, about 10 years ago, they had some great pictures up of Alameda in the process of being made into an island.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:09 PM
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92: It will be a monopoly soon enough, if that helps.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:09 PM
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Yeah, Manhattan past Lincoln Center is basically Brooklyn without the Girls cred.

Or, you know, shame.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:10 PM
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I have the impression that people think that all of the Bronx is north of all of Manhattan. So a 190th in Manhattan and a 149th in the Bronx seems weird.*

*Leaving aside the weirdness of street numbering in other boroughs.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:16 PM
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98

Oh, and I have that impression because I think I thought that for a while. Certainly I was surprised at how far south the Bronx actually goes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:17 PM
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I have the impression that people think that all of the Bronx is north of all of Manhattan.

It is, in the local coordinate system, which is clearly defined such that the Harlem river is locally the east-west axis.

When I lived in a certain university town in central NJ, it was an article of faith for me that its main street ran west-to-east, so locally "north" was pointing from the campus to the area where the restaurants were. This was about 45 degrees off the true direction, but it was a useful choice of coordinates to orient myself, and it didn't usually seem to confuse people I was talking to.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:23 PM
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100

In other words, in every place there is a socially optimal definition of "north", which is only loosely related to compass-north.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:24 PM
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101

Magnetic north, geographic north, social north, Oliver North...


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:27 PM
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In other words, in every place there is a socially optimal definition of "north", which is only loosely related to compass-north.

Which is itself only loosely related to true north, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:27 PM
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103

Don't forget Ryan North.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:27 PM
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104

What a bunch of social constructionist septentrionalism.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:30 PM
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What did Ryan North ever do to you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:34 PM
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Whatever you do, dont let Ollie North set your moral compass.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:38 PM
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For a long time I would get lost in Aspen because the first time I arrived someone handed me a map that had south at the top.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:39 PM
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108

Was the someone Australian? They do that for national pride.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:40 PM
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No, those street numbers are in the local north. 200th in Manhattan really is 50 blocks north of 150th in the Bronx.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:41 PM
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110

Perhaps 93 would be more embarrassing if I mentioned I was born in Inwood.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:47 PM
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111

If you'd been born in Marble Hill you'd have been kinda right.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:55 PM
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108: North and South I can handle here, but it is very disorienting as a former Californian to live on the East coast of anything.


Posted by: antipodestrian | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 7:56 PM
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93: They did fuck with the Harlem River but not in that way. I can't remember exactly what the details are....Marble Hill or Spuyten Duyvil was part of Manhattan and the river was rerouted beneath it but it's technically still part of Manhattan. Or something?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:05 PM
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114

113 was me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:06 PM
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115

Less cosmopolitanly, the Missouri River decided it wanted to move and left part of Iowa on the Nebraska side of the river. You have to drive though this bit to get to the airport from downtown.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:13 PM
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Yeah, the Harlem river used to go around Marble Hill to the north, and now goes around it to the south. So Marble Hill is no longer on the island of Manhattan but is still in the borough of Manhattan.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:15 PM
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Yup. Marble Hill.

Thank the Army Corp of Engineers. (New York District, not Manhattan District; the latter had a different area of responsibility.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:15 PM
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Pwned, but I brought pastries link.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:17 PM
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155: It was my understanding that Omaha's solons located the airfield in that geographical oddity so that the planes would mostly irritate the Iowans as they took off and landed.

Never really heard an explanation for why they put a level crossing of a major railroad between the airfield and the city though, probably something related to Union Pacific corruption.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:30 PM
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120

I have seen the future of commenting!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:31 PM
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I'm thinking they up the railroad there before the airport. If you haven't been there in a few years, they've really upgraded the road from downtown to the airport. I don't know if the level crossing is still there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:36 PM
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122

Ooh.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:41 PM
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123

Who's the cutest little pene-enclave ever?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:45 PM
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121: Yeah, I mean, either way, sitting in the taxi, waiting for the train to pass when you have a flight to catch was somewhat annoying.

I have indeed not been back to the big O for awhile, but am planning a trip for next fall.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 8:52 PM
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There's some real low-hanging fruit in 123 and 124, but I'm too busy appreciating the hell out of the links flowing from the link in 122 to take full advantage.

Apparently within the Delaware National Water Gap Recreation Area there's a toll bridge whereat "[u]nder the terms of its charter, churchgoers, schoolchildren, and funeral processions [are] given free passage". Dunno why that strikes me as funny, but...


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 9:12 PM
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I hope someone has used pene-exclaves to study vagility.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 6-13 10:13 PM
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they had some great pictures up of Alameda in the process of being made into an island.

No woman is an Island, entire unto herselfe. UNTIL NOW!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 1:31 AM
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Over here, the bikes are sponsored by Barclays, but (and this must irritate the arrogant, sociopathic, overpaid, rate-fixing, money-laundering sons of bitches intensely) everyone calls them Boris Bikes. I'm surprised there isn't more of a push to call them Bloombikes in NY.
The main problem that people have with them is that they're mainly used by rich men. (Because most of the docking stations are in the centre of London, where rich people work, and because women in London don't cycle nearly as much as men.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 1:35 AM
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||

A full week in a hospital is a long time in a hospital.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 5:13 AM
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It is. You all O.K.?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 5:16 AM
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Yeah, all fine. Just an unusual confluence of circumstances.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 5:24 AM
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Or not even probably unusual. A time-consuming confluence of circumstances.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 5:25 AM
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Hope you can get out soon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 5:25 AM
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Yes, hope everyone involved is fine and on the way home soon.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 5:28 AM
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We went home and had to come back. That wasn't pleasant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 5:29 AM
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we are leaving today. it has just been a while.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 6:08 AM
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I'll say. Convey my good wishes to Blume.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 6:17 AM
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128: Here the conceit is that they did all kinds of market research to set up the system so as to appeal to young professional women, because this is some kind of keystone demographic that gets everyone else biking. And anecdotally, one does see a fair amount of groups consisting of a woman or women on the shared bikes with man or men on privately owned bikes.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 6:30 AM
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139

Meanwhile,

When graduate students stroke female rats' clitorises (which apparently look like little eraser heads) and then stop, the rats will tug on the students' sleeves and beg for more. "This," writes Bergner, "went on and on." No research yet on how the situation is exacerbated if the female rat has had a really tough week at work.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 6:30 AM
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140

In retrospect, maybe my GAship wasn't that bad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 6:34 AM
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141

Somewhere, Emerson is quietly pleased. (Determining how pleased, exactly, in the standard units, is left as an exercise for the reader.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 6:35 AM
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142

Did you actually get to sleep in a bed, or did you have to tough it out in one of those crappy hospital room recliners?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 6:37 AM
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I don't think either of those would be a good position to reach a rat clitoris.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 6:40 AM
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Here the conceit is that they did all kinds of market research to set up the system so as to appeal to young professional women, because this is some kind of keystone demographic that gets everyone else biking.

NO, NO. FIRST YOU GET THE MONEY, THEN YOU GET THE POWER, THEN YOU GET THE BICYCLE SHARING SCHEME, THEN YOU GET THE WOMEN.


Posted by: Opinionated Michael Bloomberg, As Played By A Young Al Pacino | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 6:43 AM
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142: it's not a recliner exactly, more of a half-assed fold-out but yeah, the latter. Well, first night was in an actual crappy recliner.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 7:35 AM
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Er, second night was in an actual recliner. Kinda hard to keep track.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 7:36 AM
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Picture of half-assed fold-out in Flickr pool.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 7:40 AM
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Those fold-outs are remarkably half-assed. I would have been better off bringing a thermarest. (and a week? oof. We were there three and a half days, and then back for another day after going home for a night, and that was more than enough).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 7:46 AM
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147: Oh, man. I feel (felt) your pain.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 8:05 AM
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147: Oof. We lucked out and had a double room to ourselves, so Snark got to sleep in a real bed. Even so a week would have felt like forever.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 8:07 AM
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I think they moved a cot in for Buck, but I honestly don't remember.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 8:09 AM
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I had to just go home, and come back repeatedly during visiting hours. No overnight stays. Out by 8pm.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 8:12 AM
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I think that was the explicit rule in the hospital we were in, but it was conventionally ignored.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 8:14 AM
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When my kids were born, I still could only really sleep on my stomach (I've since learned to sleep on my side, which would have been somewhat better), so I slept face-down on one of those monsters at a ~150 degree angle. I was younger and stretchier then, so I could actually do that, but my back wasn't quite right for days.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 8:14 AM
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re: 153

Strictly enforced, no exceptions, in the one we were in.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 8:16 AM
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And so we see how thin is the line between socialist health care and Stalinism.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 9:29 AM
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In Chinese maternity hospitals they won't let the father in or the mother and baby out until the bill's been paid in full. I read an article about it with photos of lots of doting Chinese fathers in the hospital car park looking up at the windows behind which their impounded wives were holding up their impounded newborn children.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 9:44 AM
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Ugh, Blume/Sifu/Zardoz, that sucks. Glad to hear you're on your way home now.

Our hospital allowed dads/partners to spend the night on a foldout thingy, which was uncomfortable but shiv spent most of the time watching Calabat breathe anyway.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 9:59 AM
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I recently toured a hospital's pediatric ward, where they basically said it was the norm for [some] family members to stay with the child, so there were more substantial beds for family (I forget what kind), and the new wing they were building was only single rooms so there'd be more space for families. (And this was not a ritzy hospital.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 11:35 AM
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I slept on one of those (possibly the same one Sifu slept on since we had our kids at the same hospital) the first night of the first kid, then never again, went home each night after that. We live less than a mile away so it wasn't like I was leaving the state.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 11:46 AM
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I slept on a fold-out recliner for four nights in the maternity ward of the Army hospital in Fairbanks, and found it much more comfortable than the fold-pit couch I slept on in my sister's hospital roomin FL. The most annoying part was not being allowed to use the in-room toilet, as the prospective mother's urine was collected and tested.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 12:11 PM
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And those recliners really don't absorb much urine at all.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 12:12 PM
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Vinyl, as I recall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 12:13 PM
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Geri-chairs, when I worked in a nursing home. One model drained well and the other didn't and they were both a real pain to get into the showers.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 7-13 2:25 PM
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I think hospitals here are the same as UK re: stayin over despite being mixed private / public (worst of both worlds, usually). Slightly different for intensive care.

The DublinBikes are wildly successful, cheap to use and now being extended to cover a less tiny area (price to go up but still worth it for occasional users like me). Lots of commuter use morning and evening, maybe somewhat more men but certainly plenty of use by women. They have baskets and have proven remarkably vandal-resistant.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06-10-13 4:48 AM
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They have baskets and have proven remarkably vandal-resistant.

By now they are all presumably at least 14% Dubliner. Emir, have you noticed any propensity among your friends to stand in rows on the pavement and demand your credit card before they'll agree to go anywhere?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-10-13 5:06 AM
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The hippy Birth Centre [where we started out] has family style rooms where the parents and baby can stay together. The medical Delivery Suite / Obstetrics Ward, where we ended up when the hippy birth plan failed, does not, and all visitors expelled at 8pm.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-13 5:39 AM
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166. Nice one.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06-12-13 4:18 AM
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167.2: that is the weakest of sauce.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06-12-13 5:12 AM
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166, 168: That reminds me. Having recently re-read Ubik, I really should re-read The Third Policeman, since I first read the two back to back in a happy accident.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-12-13 5:31 AM
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