Monthly Archives: September 2010

saved by the special font

when i think about ways to spend $27,600,000,  this just never crossed my mind.  i am wondering, is it just me?  is there anyone out there who knows someone who  was killed by capitals?

i usually write in all lower case but it has nothing to do with safety.  who knew it may be saving lives?

The Capital of the World is going lower-case.  Federal copy editors (federal copy editors?) are demanding the city change its 250,900 street signs — such as these for Perry Avenue in The Bronx — from the all-caps style used for more than a century to ones that capitalize only the first letters. (i wonder if this has anything to do with keeping the federal copy editors employed? how much $ does a federal copy editor make anyway? i should look into this for possible future employment.)

Changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives, the Federal Highway Administration contends in its updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, citing improved readability. really?

At $110 per sign, it will also cost the state $27.6 million, city officials said…

It appears e.e. cummings was right to eschew capital letters, federal officials explain.

Studies have shown that it is harder to read all-caps signs, and those extra milliseconds spent staring away from the road have been shown to increase the likelihood of accidents, particularly among older drivers, federal documents say.
The new regulations also require a change in font from the standard highway typeface to Clearview, which was specially developed for this purpose.
for further enlightenment, read full story:


i will try not to spend too much time today thinking about the federal officers reading e.e. cummings and federal documents that explain to them how a millisecond  may increase the likelihood of accidents in older drivers.  rather, i will focus on just doing my job trying to figure out how to get a mere $500k government grant to fund the research that will save the lives of the 24,000,000 people suffering from diabetes instead.

“changing BROADWAY to Broadway will save lives.”   hmmmm. . . .


“The sense of danger is never, perhaps, so fully apprehended as when the danger has been overcome.”
Arthur Helps


Ike Ditzenberger, Teen with Down Syndrome, Scores Football Touchdown!

By Kathryn Hawkins. Posted on September 28 2010

On Friday, the Snohomish, Washington football team were on the losing end of a game against opponents Lake Stevens, behind 35 to nothing. So the Snohomish coach decided to try a different tactic: the “Ike special.”

Ike Ditzenberger, a 17-year-old player with Down syndrome, was called out to the field. He would be given the chance to score a 51-yard touchdown—and, even though it would keep Lake Stevens from scoring a 35-0 defeat, the opposing football players were happy to give the teen a chance to score on the field. As he ran, they chased behind him, some falling to the ground. For Ike, the moment was pure magic.

Though Ike may not be the best player on the football team, he has a true passion for the sport, and is ecstatic when he has the opportunity to play. His coach, Mark Perry, tries to give Ike a chance to play for at least a few minutes in every game. “I make him a deal. ‘If you keep your shoulder pads on and your mouthpiece in, you’re going to get a play,’” he told the Everett Herald.

And while Ike couldn’t quite save the game for his team in this case, the joy on his face more than made up for the loss.

Watch the wonderful video of the “Ike special.”


“True happiness…is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Helen Keller

September 29, 1905

this is gram on her 80th birthday. today she would have been 105.  i still think about her every single day and always when i make my bed in the morning.

gram was a master bed maker. she used to let me think i was helping her make the beds at the lake house when i was a little kid.  i can still see her pulling the sheets up really tight after making the most perfect hospital corners at the bottom ends.  then gram would turn back the top  part of the sheet just the right amount and flatten it out  using several firm swipes of her hand  – then  tuck the sides real tight under the mattress.  you could easily bounce a quarter on any bed gram made.  next came the bedspread.  she would flip the bedspread high into the air and then center it perfectly onto the bed making sure it hung down on both sides exactly even, swiping her hands across the top of the bed again and again.  it never came out less than perfect.

gram was one of the kindest people i ever knew –  the kind of person you just wouldn’t ever want to disappoint.  that is why to this day, i can never put a pair of shoes on a table and why you could bounce a quarter on my bed.


happy birthday, gram.  i miss you -


“May the Irish hills caress you. May her lakes and rivers bless you. May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.”
– Irish Blessing

room with a view

“Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves by.”
– Saint Augustine

“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

yay for you!!

54 million dollar smile !

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: Once-broke single mom Garina Fearon wears a $54 million smile yesterday.

She’s been homeless, bankrupt, a robbery victim and assaulted on the job — but radiant Rikers Island guard Garina Fearon now has 54 million glorious reasons to start living la dolce vita.

The 34-year-old single mom from East New York, Brooklyn, who has endured a lifetime of hardship and poverty, told The Post she’s the mystery winner of last Friday’s Mega Millions drawing. . . .

Her top priority is taking care of her ailing mom.

“I’m from Jamaica,” Fearon said. “I have a sick mother. She has diabetes, and I’m going to buy my mom a house in Jamaica.”     f ull story

yay for garina!  i wish you well!!  good  front page news today.   :)


“This moment deserves your full attention, for it will not pass your way again.”

bad cabbie!

A traffic jam of cabbies was herded into a Manhattan courtroom yesterday to face charges of cheating some 77,000 riders in the most “widespread con operation” in the industry’s history.

District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. hit 45 of them with the felony charge of scheming to defraud by charging the double-rate suburban fare for rides within the city — punishable by up to four years in prison.

Yesterday’s round-up began when drivers were lured into appearing at TLC headquarters at 40 Rector Street at 8 a.m. yesterday — until then, 31 had still been on the road. All 59 drivers knew they had been implicated in the overcharge scam, but the letter they received said they were there for “settlement conferences.”

When they arrived, authorities ushered them into a room, told them to stand against the wall, and arrested them.   :) “It’s not fair. It was tricky,” said Hassan Chowdhury, who allegedly stole nearly $6,000 by hitting the Rate 4 button 3,126 times.  tricky? “I would expect this from a Third World country, but not from a civilized country like this,” he fumed.   that’s funny.

read full story in the ny post


“Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not the wits enought to be honest”
– Benjamin Franklin

buses that can drive over traffic

Instead of spending millions to widen roads, a Chinese company has come up with a new futuristic bus design to counter traffic jams.

Enter the 3D Express Coach. Developed by the Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Company, the vehicle is able to carry up to 1,400 passengers at a go while reducing traffic jams by some 30 per cent.  full story


cool.  i wonder if they have a special ez pass.


“Inward calm cannot be maintained unless physical strength is constantly and intelligently replenished.”
– Buddha

september 20, 1941

your beauty is forever, sis.  happy birthday.

Make me an instrument of Thy peace

Where there is hatred, let me sow love

Where there is injury, pardon

Where there is error, the truth

Where there is doubt, the faith

Where there is despair, hope

Where there is darkness, light

And where there is sadness, joy

Grant that I may not so much seek

To be consoled, as to console

To be understood, as to understand

To be loved as to love

For it is in giving that we receive

It is in pardoning that we are pardoned

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life


we arrive on the planet for a great adventure. with each trip we will be great teachers to someone somewhere.   we will touch lives and change the paths for many people and we will have no idea when it’s happening. that is why we must always do our best and always be kind.  i don’t know why and i’m not sure how it works but i’m now clear on the rules.


“The arts provide recreation for the soul.”
– Linda Mayrose

sock season

it’s 52 degrees at 6:00 am.  the leaves are beginning to turn yellow.  it’s almost sock season and  roxy’s mom is sporting her fall fashions.  i spotted her wandering around the parking lot this morning in her flip flops, bifocals and extreme bed head with a full length, sky blue, fleece bathrobe covered in white clouds and a zipper front.


“Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade before the public. Never clothe them in vulgar or shoddy attire.”
George Crane

subtle differences

in the several months i’ve spent in suburbia, i’ve noticed some remarkable differences from life in nyc.  here are just a few:

1. in suburbia they have hillbillies selling furniture door to door out of an 18 wheeler similar to the one pictured below.  they ring your doorbell and claim they’ve driven all the way up from tennessee, or some place like that, to deliver a shipment of furniture to a store.  if you haven’t shut the door in their face (which most of the suburbanites would find just to rude to do – another subtle difference) they continue on with a story about arriving at the store only to be told the store did not have the money to pay for the shipment.  then they invite you to take a look at the contents in the truck.   no thank you.

2. when i took ivan to the vet i saw an suv with a  horse trailer pulling out of the parking lot.  i never noticed that in the city.

3. baby deer pop out into the middle of the street all the time, every single day. and people are afraid to drive in the city??

4. in the city i could count on a friendly greeting and some small talk from at least 7 people on my 6:00 am walk with ivan.  in suburbia so far i’ve seen bunnies big & small, cardinals, blue jays, deer, chip monks, squirrels & no people.

5. even the mice are different.  the mouse currently living in my kitchen only comes out at night – never to be seen.  the only evidence is mouse poop all over the kitchen counter.  i see it every single morning when i go in for my coffee. city mice know to poop on the floor.  they are also bold enough to walk around right out in the open – even walk right over your feet  (see rodents).

6. quarters.  in nj people treat quarters like they’re made of copper & nickel, which they are.  in ny, people treat quarters like gold.  in the city, all people who make under $150,000, need quarters for laundry and parking  – lots of quarters –  and collect them whenever possible.  we pay with dollar bills when we have exact change, just to get quarters back.  and it’s a real bummer when store clerks give you dimes and nickels  instead of quarters.

7. you could live in just about any neighborhood of the city and be within 2 or 3 blocks of organic cottage cheese.  in the suburbs it’s a 10 mile drive to a store that carries just 1 brand and it’s not even the kind you want.  and there is no place that sells frozen yogurt.   no pinkberry, not even a tasti-delite facsimile. no frozen yogurt – that’s it – none. you can’t get that here.

8.  there no vegetarian restaurant within a 4 zip code radius.  (think –  white plains to the seaport)

9.  there is no delivery.  no one delivers anything. ever.

10. in the suburbs when you ask about finding a good restaurant, people often direct you to a strip mall.  i will not dine in a strip mall.


“I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.”
–  Willa Sibert Cather