Category Archives: Politics

Earth Day

One of my coworkers, whom I occasional refer to as the SuperRepublican, has some very dramatic viewpoints. And while I only rarely agree with his sometimes radical political exaggerations, he is a pretty hilarious guy and I consider him a close friend.

Knowing that he would most certainly scoff at our recent Earth Day, I asked the SuperRepublican how he celebrated the holiday.

His response: “I threw some dead batteries into the regular trash.”

Parking Ticket.

Man, I’m miffed.

I parked my car in New Haven today. The parking spot in question had a busted meter. Honestly, I didn’t think anything of it. In Boston you are allowed to park at broken meters without punishment. I presumed the same would be true of New Haven.

Turns out, this is not the case. I came back to find a ticket on my vehicle. I looked at said ticket and it said “parking violation. comments: broken meter” zwa?

Fun fact: In the City of New Haven, if a meter is broken that spot can no longer be used for parking.

Extra fun fact:
When it comes to parking in spots with broken meters…
Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, and Seattle = Tickets.
NY, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and D.C = No Tickets.

source 1, source 2, source 3

Unfortunately, I must concede that for New Haven, this is a decent rule. Parking meter vandalism to avoid fees is very likely a significant problem that any city has to deal with. In general I can see how this could warrant a rule like this one. Secondly, a single broken meter in an area of plenty of parking could result in a decrease in revenue if people purposefully parked in these spots – in my case, there were other spots available that I could have used. I think that’s what differentiates Boston from New Haven. In Boston, a lost space is a very big deal. In New Haven… eh. If the law is implemented correctly, one might be able to use this rule as a test for general availability of parking in a particular city.

Despite the admitted guilt and earned respect for an unknown law, I’m still bummed that I have to fork over $20.

Can Opener.

I suspect that the collapse of the United States (or humanity as we know it!) may very well have been predicted by my can opener. Or perhaps I should say can openers. We at the House of Rock have gone through 3 can openers in as many years. This seems ridiculous to me. It’s not that they are failing in sharpness and need to be sharpened, they are actually falling to pieces.

Means of failure:
1. Squeeze failure: The gears seem have migrated apart. To get the thing to cut you have to pull the handles to the left and right before scissoring them together – the success rate of this maneuver is low.
2. Gear failure: The gear separated from the cutting tool so the gear will spin but the cutting tool won’t.
3. Complete failure: The blade and gearing fell off in a catastrophic explosion of parts.

There are two alarming things here. The first is the failure of seemingly quality goods. That third can opener on the list was a kitchen aid – a reputable brand! Has the need for low cost goods undermined our ability to provide a sustainable product? I remember Schenk was telling me about a dude whose environmental argument is not focused around the materials or methods used in production as much as around the physical life of the end product. Three can openers in three years is pathetic.

The second alarming thing here is that I didn’t spend time to fix any of these can openers. Instead, I just tossed them and went out to buy a new one. The ease and cheapness of buying and discarding goods discourages fixing them. I can’t imagine that this is a good thing for our sustainability.

A Simple Political Quiz

Give it a shot.

It’s simple as evidenced by my score of 11/12. Though the results page reports the average as closer to 50%. Special thanks to Theresa for seeing my error there. Average result is between 8 and 9 correct.

Take the test! Report your results! I suspect MikeDiDonato.com readers are smarter than the average.

Check the comments to see which one I got wrong.