eric's blog

My new old-school monitor stand

I picked up a small LCD monitor at this past month's Really Really Free Market.

It works great but did not have a stand. When I got it to the office, I spent a while working on different methods of propping it up, none of which really worked. I was resigning myself to the fact that I'd have to go out and buy something to mount it to the desk when I looked at the ancient manual typewriter I keep around and had an idea.

The monitor fits perfectly into the top of the typewriter box and the typewriter keeps it from falling down. The only down side is that I occasionally find myself reaching for the typewriter keys to reload the browser window on the second monitor (future project: make the typewriter work as a keyboard).

child's toy delivers healthy amount of cynicism

We were having dinner at Todd and Laura's recently and Todd and I were playing with one of Wyeth's toys -- a set of 3 wood blocks on a stick with letters. You turn the blocks to spell words.
In some combinations, more than one face of the toy has a word. In some of those, the combination of words is totally brilliant. I hope this was by design.

Don't use Windows? Don't have Internet Explorer? Don't apply for New York City's 2009 Summer Youth Employment Program

Check out dkg's blog post where he talks about how New York City's 2009 Summer Youth Employment Program requires Internet Explorer in order to apply online.

He points out that "Even downloading the pdf version of the application to print out from the site is impossible under non-IE browsers because the actual pdf link is wrapped in some IE-only javascript."

Everyone should read the post and if you live in NYC, please follow his suggestions for further action: call 311 and file an official complaint against the NYC Dept. of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) or even call the number on the application page (1-800-246-4646) and demand that City services be built on public and open standards and not locked to use of any one proprietary system.

NY election law's secret deadline

I'm registered to vote in NYC, but not in any political party. If I wanted to, I could change my affiliation and run in the Democratic Party primary in September. But, as a voter, if I switch my affiliation today, I am prevented from voting in the primary until the next election.

I understand to an extent the reasoning -- prevent a mass re-registration in order to skew the results of the opposing party. However, I really think that this should be considered an illegal barrier to my participation in the democratic process.

NYPD Harassment of Critical Mass continues

Last night's Critical Mass bike ride could have gone without any problems. However, no matter how far we compromise, the NYPD insists on continuing to treat us as if we were dangerous terrorists. They continue to criminalize a legal gathering; they continue to try to harass us into giving up. Dear NYPD: Fuck You! We will not back down. Rights are rights only when you use them.

We all tried so hard last night to have a fun ride. We all tried so hard to give the cops no excuse to arrest, ticket, or otherwise interfere with our right to assemble and ride.

The ride stopped at every light. We blocked no traffic. We kept the ride to one or two lanes, making sure we could not be accused of blocking traffic or disorderly conduct of any kind.

Everything seemed to be going along fine. We had a crew of cops on fancy new scooters riding along side us the entire time. They seemed completely bored. Based on the money the NYPD must have spent on those new rides and the overtime for all those cops, you'd never know there's a financial crisis in this city.

The ride was moving uptown on 6th avenue. When we stopped at a red light at 41st street a couple dozen cops appeared out of no where, walked towards us and ordered a bunch of us to get off our bikes and give them our ID.