Archive for September, 2005

Hey look! Another SEPTA strike! ::yawn::

Sorry folks, but yawn-o-rama here. Again? How many times has this come about in the past year? How many strikes have been averted? SEPTA, SEPTA, SEPTA, you need a new way to get attention.

Here’s some drama-mongering:

Six months of a tense truce between SEPTA and the Transport Workers Union will end Sunday when 4,600 members, who have worked without a contract since March and without a raise for nearly two years, will meet to discuss a strike.

“We are tired of waiting,” declared Local 234 president Jeff Brooks in his notice to members, which appeared on the union’s Web site yesterday. “To get a fair contract, we are prepared to act. We can and will strike.”

So why this strike? Why this threat? Because SEPTA is asking their workers to do a small co-pay for the medical benefits.

Let’s step back, shall we? SEPTA employees don’t pay jackshit for healthcare right now. No co-pay. No out of pocket at all. And from what I understand, no “out of paycheque” expenses. In exchange for this, they get no vacation days and no paid sick leave. All days off or missed work is unpaid. Ok, so a downside for the upside.

Stepping back again, why do these folks deserve such good benefits? Over the past year, GPS systems have been installed in the buses. All of them. Functional GPS systems. This was done for two reasons: to track where the buses were and to keep the drivers from getting way lost. Now, because of this, when you can SEPTA’s local hotline, the folks in the “command center” can tell where buses are (or aren’t) on the route. I’ve done this twice, usually on Sunday mornings. The conversation usually goes something like this:
Me: Hi! I’ve been waiting for x bus for an hour now. According to the schedule, three buses should have some by y location by now. Is a driver out? Is someone sick?
Surprised SEPTA rep: Umm…hang on a second.
Me: Ok. ::hangs::
Surprised SEPTA rep: The driver is saying that he went through there 20 minutes ago…we can’t really…ummm…find him on the GPS system. Wait! No…we’ve got him. He’s…uhhhh…parked. Hang on.

At this point, they usually hang up on me because it’s pretty shameful to have to admit that a SEPTA driver is parked and lying to his bosses. This has happened at least twice. Usually on a weekend, but there are so many cases of buses or trolleys just not running or zooming past, despite being not-full and ready to take passengers. (I was late to work because of one such bus.)

Now. Having looked at that, do we really think these people need the best benefits in the city? Do they deserve them? As a whole, I don’t think so. Maybe I’m being selfish about where my fares go; but if I’m going to be paying for these benefits, I expect to get something out of that deal. Like maybe employees who do their job…?

Logan Circle Trees

This morning when I was walking by Logan Circle I saw something on one of the trees that had me stop dead in my tracks. There was a man with a chainsaw, and half of those beautifully strange trees had already been cut down!! Such a sad sight. Oh, I should mention, the man with the chainsaw was part of the city, not some random tree cutter. They also had construction equipment. Now it’ll look so bare.

blogging and podcasting

apparently a lot of people in the UK don’t know what blogging is, nor podcasting. Some lady was interviewing a bunch of people who thought she was talking about dogging!

Well anyway me and my friend Brady are thinking of making a regular weekly podcast or something. We made one yesterday and it put it in my Jay V Mail (new season next Wednesday!) and I think it would be cool to, like, do random podcasts from select locations in Philly.

But what kind of a place would allow too blokes to just barge in, sit down, plug in a laptop and microphones with mic stands and just talk in their establishment? Herein lies the dillema.

And yes I said blokes and dogging in this entry. And no I’m not a bloody Brit.

Umbrella Etiquette

For those that don’t walk the city streets in Philly during a rainy work day lunch, or even a rainy time when people are en masse walking around, you might not experience the “Large umbrella, small sidwalk” issue that plagues Philadelphia.

I have almost had my eyes poked out on numerous occasions, had to wait a good 5 minutes to pass through a small space between a food cart line and the wall, all because people with jumbo umbrellas and people who are unaware refuse to commit to good umbrella etiquette.

Ian’s Unbrella Etiquette:

1. Always be aware of where your umbrella is, you might not notice the tall guy behind. You might not realize that the pointed ends of your umbrella, that seem like you might have filed them down to a point, can in fact be considered a weapon.
2. When you are about to pass someone with umbrella in hand, be kind and tilt your umbrella at an angle, or raise your umbrella over the ocoming umbrella.
3. If your umbrella is wider than the sidewalk, please don’t use it unless you yourself are as wide as the sidewalk.
4. Please please please don’t stand in the middle of the sidewalk with your umbrella extended, you are now blocking the rest of us from passing.
5. Finally, if it is not raining, or if no one else is using an umbrella, ask yourself “Why is my umbrella open?” If you do not know the answer, please close your umbrella.

Sometimes I feel like I am in marine boot camp when I have to duck, jump, and defend myself in order to walk 2 blocks to the gym. I feel I need to also pack goggles and a helmet for those rainy days.

Where are we? #9

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Where is the Hotel Stephen Girard, on what street is the front entrance, and what is it now?

America’s Next Great City? Us? Really?

According to a nine-page story in National Geographic Traveler that hits newsstands on Oct. 4, Philadelphia is America

YIP Open House Tonight

Anyone looking for a way to get involved in Philly? Here’s one way…

Tonight is Young Involved Philadelphia’s annual Open House -7:00 p.m. at the Seiss Community Center, 2111 Sansom Street.

Come and meet YIP’s board and committee members, find out about initiatives planned for the upcoming year, and learn how to get involved withYIP’s:

– Advocacy campaigns
– Civic education programs
– Social events and activities

Meet other young Philadelphians who are also committed to making this “next great city” an even better place to live, work, and play.

WAW #8


So my band played a block party in South Philly on Saturday. After us, some hardcore band jumped into the street and started playing like crazy. I forget their name so if you can help me out you’d be SO rad!

Also, can you name the corner?

Drinking Liberally

It’s Tuesday, which means it is time to come out to Tangier at 18th and Lombard and Drink Liberally. Tonight from 6 to 9 pm (and sometimes later). Enjoy $1 off drafts and well drinks and some free wings.

11th and Arch-ish

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