Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My thoughts about the service cuts by MTA New York

I understand that people are unhappy about the service cuts by New York City Transit, MTA Bus Company, Long Island Railroad, and Metro North Railroad. I understand that some of you will have harder commutes. Here's my take.

The Media always points MTA New York as the bad guys. Transit workers are condemned every day. They are portrayed as the bad guys. I have something to say to the Media. You are wrong for saying that the workers are not giving enough efforts in providing bus/subway/railroad service. Come on now, are you kidding me?! I'm not hurt too much by the cuts, however if you are, please do us a favor:
  1. Do not take your anger on the bus operators, subway train operator/conductor, and railroad engineer/conductor, and station booth clerks. They don't like the cuts either, and some of you aren't thinking that way. They don't want to lose their jobs too.
  2. Station booth clerks are vital to the subway/railroad systems. They are portrayed as the lazy bums that do nothing. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY WRONG! They help customers go to their destinations by providing maps, timetables, and directions.
  3. Bus Operators do their best to take you from one place to the next. Please pay your fare on time, in coins or with a transfer or your transit card.
  4. Please don't talk too loud, especially if you are near the bus operator, subway train operator/conductor, or railroad engineer/conductor. You are interfering their operations and their duties. In some cases the train and bus operators can give you a warning.
I will agree on one thing, MTA New York's management isn't as organized as they should be, does that mean they stink at what they do, absolutely not. It's not fair that transit workers are feeling the wrath of the customers, the customers should be expressing their anger and frustration at the management, not the operators, conductors, engineers, and station booth clerks.

Now about the cuts, New York City Transit is removing services that fit the following criteria:
  1. Bus service that duplicates the subway.
  2. Subway routes that have easier alternatives.
  3. Bus routes that have low ridership
  4. Bus routes that do not perform like they should be.
MTA New York did not want to cut service at all (believe me, they have tried several ways to preserve all services, but they can't, due to a budget shortfall.)

Here are the leading causes of the MTA New York's revenue loses
  1. Emergency exit gate illegal entries into the subway
  2. Passengers entering the rear door of the bus when not allowed.
  3. Passengers jumping the turnstile (costs MTA $27 million a year)
  4. MetroCard Scams
  5. Select Bus Service's infrequent fare checks has allowed people to ride Bus Rapid Transit buses in the Bronx for "free". These riders didn't even pay the fare.
The slashing of station booth clerks will lead to the following:
  1. Robbery
  2. Metro Card Scams
  3. Fare beating
  4. Less help in how to get around
  5. Reduced changes for seeking help when a crime starts
Station Booth Clerks are a necessity to help keep these crimes down. If they are as lazy as you make them to be, then you are OUT OF YOUR MIND!

Here's a list of the cuts, beginning with the NYC Subway:

1. Reduce Weekend Train Frequencies to Accommodate Construction Work

2. Revise Off-Peak Service Levels – Change Maximum Loading Guideline from No Standees
Per Car to 10-18 Standees per Car (from 100% of a Seated Load to 125% of a Seated

3. Operate (G) Between Court Square and Church Avenue at All Times

4. Extend (Q) to Astoria and Operate (N) Local North of Canal Street to Replace the (W)

5. Extend (M) to Replace the (V) Between Broadway-Lafayette Street and Forest Hills-71st
Avenue, Discontinue M Between Essex Street and Bay Parkway (Note: route letter
designation changed from 1/27/10 proposal).

6. Discontinue Staten Island Railway Baseball Special Service

These buses will be cut completely:
First the Express ones
  1. X25 service between Grand Central and Lower Manhattan
  2. X32 service between Queens and the Bronx High School of Science
  3. X20 service between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan
  4. X18 service between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan
  5. X16 service between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan
  6. X29 service between Brooklyn and both Lower and Midtown Manhattan
  7. X51 service between Queens and Midtown Manhattan
  8. X90 service between the Upper East Side and Lower Manhattan
The Local ones:
  1. Discontinue all B23 service
  2. B39 service
  3. B51 service
  4. M18 service
  5. M27 service
  6. M30 service
  7. M50 service
  8. Q26 service
  9. Q31 service
  10. Q42
  11. Q74
  12. Q75
  13. Q79
  14. S67 service
For more info please go to this proposal.

That is my post for now.

Select Bus Service

Select bus service (a form of bus rapid transit) is a bus service that has the characteristics of a bus service that is similar to the subways and the railroads. Here are some interesting characteristics of this bus service
  1. You must pay before you board the bus, via the fare machine at the bus station.
  2. You can board via the front and rear doors.
  3. There will be dedicated bus lanes to speed up the bus service.
  4. Buses will receive special priority with traffic signals.
  5. Free transfers can be made (only if you board the front of the bus and request a transfer from the bus operator)
  6. You must board at the stop within one hour.
  7. All receipts obtained from the machine must be displayed to fare inspectors, or face a $100 fine.
There is currently one such service in the Bronx, the Bx12, running along Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway between Inwood in Manhattan and Pelham Bay Park or Bay Plaza in the Bronx.

Two other routes, the M15 in Manhattan and the B44 will get this service later this year.

For more information go here.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your ride with New York City Transit and MTA Bus Company.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My message to those who choose to trash talk about transit workers.

Bus operators, rapid transit train operators/conductors, and railroad engineers and conductors work around the clock to take you from one place to another. For you to say that they are half-assed, that is just wrong! You should be ashamed of yourselves! I am a loyal customer to MTA New York, usually riding the services of New York City Transit and MTA Bus Company and I have to say that they have the best transit services you can ever ask. Those of you who trash-talk about transportation workers, you have absolutely no idea the hard work these people put into everyday in making subways, buses, and railroads work and run efficiently every day. You have to bear in mind that things cause them not to run normally, and you should be forgiving to those subway/bus/railroad operators and engineers who can't take you to your destination in time due to unforeseen circumstances.

To be quite honest with you, the bus operators who move buses, the subway train operators and conductors who move the subways, and the railroad engineers and conductors who are moving the railroads are seriously underpaid to do their jobs. I don't think they get enough respect they deserve. I think it's time to say thank you to what I call them "the driving forces of the city." Without them, we wouldn't be going to our destinations, in big numbers. I do have friends who operate buses and subway trains every day and just wondering the hardships these workers have to go through. I think about the subway train crew every time I ride their subway train, I think of the bus operator every time I ride his or her bus, because I want him or her to be in good spirits and I want them to know they have supporters from their commuters.

These workers are human beings just like us and it's unfair and shameful that some of us don't even this way. We only think about where we want to go. Why not think of those transit personnel moving you instead. Try stepping onto their shoes and see how you would feel if you were operating a subway train, engineering a railroad train, or operating a bus. How would you feel if you weren't getting enough respect? You'd be angry too. Some bus and subway train operators and railroad engineers recently had nightmarish experiences too.

For Example:
  1. A bus operator accidentally kills a bicycle rider in the Bronx after the biker avoids a car opening up close, unfortunately into the path of the bus. The Bus operator has to live with this experience with a long time. Horrible
  2. A train operator on the 6 line tries desperately to decelerate his train in time to avoid hitting a woman in the tracks. She dies in the impact. Train operator is off three days and is having sleepless nights!

I honestly think it's the commuters' fault that the MTA New York is messed up these days. Some of them lack common-sense these days with their daredevil stunts, their decision to jump the turnstile or hop on back of the bus when they are not supposed to, or not paying enough money on the bus. Give me a break! Who are you kidding!? For you to say that MTA New York is half assed, that's your fault, not the transit operators, and conductors!

I am sick and tired of hearing people that the MTA New York is corrupt. If you don't like their services, go drive your own car to your destination or hop on a taxi. Remember in a city like New York, you have several options of getting around the city. If the MTA New York isn't one of them go find other ways. Go have your friends or family drive you around. Go get yourself a skateboard or bicycle and move around with it. At least when you are biking you won't be sharing your rides with anyone else.

Station Booth Clerks don't get enough respect these days either. They have to deal with the wildness of these commuters, who bark at them for being lazy and rude. Do you want to know why transit workers are rude, it's because of you passengers. You are giving them the hard time. How, you may ask? You take your frustrations at them and you talk with a bad attitude. I don't give a thing what you are frustrated with (missing your train, running late, your fare card not working properly, etc) Stop being rude to them, they are human beings. Same thing with bus, subway, and railroad personnel.

Stop treating the buses and subways like they are your personal space and keep it clean, Don't bring in food and drinks and start making a mess. This is why train cars and buses are dirty, because the commuters make such a big mess. The station cleaners and bus maintainers are not your maids, so you should be cleaning up after yourselves. You shouldn't be eating in the subway or railroad or buses anyways, they are not your personal RVs!

Please understand that bus and subway/railroad personnel have a lot of things to go through when they operate and conduct buses, subways and railroads.

For the buses:
  1. Traffic Jams
  2. Construction detours
  3. Pedestrians
  4. Selfish driving, (for example double parked cars or cars constantly moving from one lane to the next and back)
  5. Traffic lights
  6. Running under elevated bridges
  7. Difficulties in making bus stops due to parked cars.
  8. Wheelchair lift use
For the Subway/Railroad:
  1. Train traffic
  2. Construction reroutes
  3. Track switches
  4. Rail Conditions
  5. Acceleration,deceleration
  6. People blocking the doors
  7. Making station announcements
Some commuters are guilty of making commutes more difficult for everyone by:
  1. Loud Cell phone talk
  2. Radio playing
  3. Playing music instruments or singing when not allowed
  4. Begging for money
  5. Eating food and drinking beverages
  6. Not giving a seat to others such as elderly, disabled, and or pregnant woman.
  7. Holding bus and train doors
  8. Not paying the bus fare in time in the bus.
  9. Jumping the turnstile in the subway, entering the railroad train without a ticket, and hoping on the back of the bus when unauthorized.
  10. Beating the fare on the subway through the emergency exit gates

At the end of the day, if you think MTA New York is bad, think again. I see this as the fault of the commuters. Do us a favor and stop whining about how slow your buses and subways and railroads are okay.

You know what you should be doing?

  1. When you are boarding a bus, say hello to the bus operator. He or she will respond politely. Say thank you and good bye when you leave his or her bus. Better yet, make friends with the bus operators. I currently have seven bus operators as friends.
  2. When you board the subway train in the first car, say hello to the train operator, (especially when you are entering at the first station of the line) When you board the middle car, say hello to the conductor. Make friends with the train crew. (you do not have to but it would be nice) Say thank you and good bye when you leave their train.
  3. Same rule in number 2 applies to railroads except that conductors walk through trains. Say thank you when they punched your ticket as proof of purchase. Make friends with them too.
  4. Say hello to the station booth clerks before making a transaction with them. When you leave, say your farewells to them. Be polite. When you are having a bad day or in a hurry, be patient and don't take your frustrations at the station booth clerks. Same goes with other transit personnel.
  5. Please be understanding and patient if transit employees take their frustrations and act rude toward you. Do not take it personally. Lots of times, people have this wrong impression that transit employees are rude. That is wrong. They are just having some hard days just like you are. Forgive them and move on.
  6. Mass Transit employees can be your best friends or your worst enemies. It's up to you on how you treat them.
In conclusion, stop:
  1. Accusing transit personnel of being lazy. They work hard around the clock 24/7!
  2. Making excuses on not paying your fare in full on time on the bus.
  3. Beating the fare and pay your fair share!
  4. Taking your frustrations at transit personnel.
  5. Blaming Mass Transit on being late to school, work etc. That is all on you!

I am done with this post. This doesn't just apply to New York City, this applies all over the world with mass transit and transportation services.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Ugly Truths of the USA

While the United States of America is one of the most advanced nations of the world, they are however have some ugly truths to them.

  1. The US academic performance in education is amongst the lowest in the world. Some students usually get their science and history facts wrong. About 1.2 million high school children are dropping out of school. Another 1 million are left back each year.
  2. The US has the most deaths by gun violence. About 10,000 people each year die from gun shot wounds.
  3. The United States is the leader in releasing toxic gases and contributing to the pollution of the environment.
  4. The United States government in recent years has been rocked by corruption, leading to removal or resignations of politicians.
  5. The wealth gap between the rich and poor has continued to rise over the last several years. About only 1% of Americans actually make over one million dollars or more a year.
  6. The "Middle Class" has shrunk over the last few years.
  7. Most products are imported from other nations, and less products are made in the USA, meaning less jobs in the US.
  8. Gang violence is rampant in the United States.
  9. Jobs are hard to come these days, as the unemployment rate is around 10%
  10. The United States has no official language.
  11. The United States lead a war in Iraq that seems never ending.
  12. The United States dropped the most explosives at other nations, for example, dropping two atomic bombs in Japan to end World War Two.
  13. The US leads the world in rape and sexual assaults.
  14. The United States has a problem with obesity.
  15. The US gives the least products to other nations, because they get theirs from others.
  16. The US' problems with racism and discrimination continue to this day.
  17. The United States is having problems with homelessness.
  18. About 15% of the USA Population are living in poverty.
  19. Domestic violence is another big issue in the United States.
  20. Police Brutality is a problem with the US Law Enforcement.
  21. The American Army has been accused of inhumane treatment of prisoners.
  22. The United States rule of the Death Penalty has killed the most prisoners.
  23. The Meat packing industry is amongst the worst jobs in the US.
  24. The Prison system is the worst in the world.
  25. Obtaining Health Insurance is amongst the hardest tasks by American Citizens (right before a recent change in Congress was made)
These are the ugly truths of the USA, I know this sounds like I am not a proud American, I am, but we have to realize the truths sooner or later, and learn to fix them.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Profanity Filter Part Two

I think now is the time that a profanity filter should be implemented. After all, some social networking sites do not allow these objects to be posted.

  1. Nude or racy photos of people
  2. Obscene gestures and or images
  3. Links to sexually explicit websites
  4. Links to sites that look suspicious
Now this is why I am calling for a profanity filter. I've written a post about it just two days earlier. My reasons.

  1. I feel that profanity is used excessively in general here.
  2. I feel that users tend to be more intimidating with those terms.
  3. I do think that the websites are becoming more dangerous in general if these terms are allowed to fly around chat rooms and social networking sites.
  4. When "flame wars" and cyber-bullying happen, the vulgarity becomes worse and this even leads to real-life criminal activity.
  5. I think it's not fair for the users who are usually polite to have them subjected to vulgarity, especially if it's not warranted.
  6. Profanity filters are necessary because there are young users on sites who look for information, they don't need to be reading all these vulgar words and learning them. I know, it's in movies and TV shows though.
  7. The title of your blog or photo album has a swear word, really? That's just insane.
  8. It tells that the person is just not a polite one, period.
  9. Some people become offended, everyday. I don't think they need to be offended anymore online.
  10. Swear words can be used as insults too.
Now how shall the profanity filter be implemented?

  1. Considering free speech, I think it's up to the user if he or she wants the swear words to be censored or not.
  2. The level of which the profanity becomes bleeped can be divided into these categories, light, moderate, or frequent, or all times.
  3. Profanity Filter can be controlled by a user and he can enter terms or words that he/she does not want to see.
  4. This profanity filter will be mandatory and by default all profanity will be bleeped out unless he or she changes the profanity filter options.

Like all proposals, there will be drawbacks. Here are some:

  1. Certain words such as glass, molasses, assassination, embarrass may have their world altered because they contain the sequence "ass"
  2. Users may find ways to go around the filters and enter the word twice with no space. The Filters can not pick up on this, though.
  3. The word may be split into separate letters separated by space. This can still go through.
  4. Profanity Filters may bleep out other terms such as "manuscript" because it has the word "anus" on it.
  5. How the terms are bleeped may not be as consistent.
At the end of the day, I think it will work. I think it's up to the administrators of these sites to implement them with little or no problem at all. I hope it goes through, just for the sake for the ones who use little-or no profanity at all.

If you agree with me, thanks, if not, then go ahead and tell me why.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Profanity Filter


I'll admit it. I do have moments where one swear word slips out here and there. But hearing it and seeing it knowing how polite I am, it's really annoying. I hear in people's conversations, I hear it in commutes, I see it in internet chat rooms. It's really annoying. I think it is the time that social networking sites activate profanity filters so that offensive words don't come across the windows and forms. I would really like chatting with people where profanity doesn't fly around, like people taking like frustrated sailors.

I like to keep conversations polite. Swear words just break it all up. You know, would you talk to your young children and have them say your swear words!? No, that's impolite. I used to cuss when I was young and I got in trouble in school just for that. In 2nd Grade.

While we can't completely eliminate swearing from the internet, not like that is going to happen because of our 1st amendment rights, we can do something about it.

If facebook.com and AIM and other social networking websites would like to be more kid-friendly, profanity filters are a must.

How would profanity filters work?
  1. Turning the swear words into #$%^&^%&%^
  2. Turning them into *******
  3. Or just eliminating them completely

Facebook and other sites shall try other things:
  1. Penalize users for using swear words by counting each instance
  2. If they use too many profanity words and images they'll have their profiles restricted.
  3. Their abilities to post will be limited
  4. Their profiles will be disabled.
  5. Finally if profanity continues they'll be banned.
Swear words I understand can be used when a person is angry, but there are better terms.
  1. Replace the word with a polite one.
  2. Don't use the word.
  3. Don't have anything nice to say, don't say it.
That is all I can think of now.

Funny Friday and school

Today is a funny Friday. Yes it sure is. Thanks a bunch for those of you blog posters who choose to follow my blog entries. I try to be as entertaining as possible. In the meantime, I am also attending school, halfway done with my undergraduate degree, but as of right now I am in academic shambles. I am trying really hard this time around and trying to get my grades back up. I know. A person like me should not be struggling with school but I am. I know my blog posts have not been really that frequent with my last writing coming three days ago with the buses.

I urge you not to fall in the same problem as me and do your studies efficiently. Make sure you are taking the right courses. If your grades are too low, fix them. There are penalties for low grades. I have written a blog entry about that just last week. You can go to the link for academic success!

I am not kidding about academic success, it's critical for your degree. Think about, a degree is worth nothing or very little with grades that are failures or too below standards.

Group work in school can be fun and hectic. For me, it's been hectic. I've either been zoning out, falling far off topic, or my classmates not doing work. This is what stinks about group work in school, however you are working in groups in the workforce.

My group members were reading "The trial and Death of Socrates" I had fun reading the book. I had trouble sharing my ideas. Maybe I didn't understand the book really well. They got it more than I do. Looks like I need catching up. This is what frustrates me sometimes, when you're not keeping up with the readings, you go to class and you don't know what's going on. I have lots of readings ahead as well as doing a lot of math problems.

I am usually a very good math student. I used to get As on it from elementary to high school. Now in college, it's my worst. How can that possibly be? I haven't taken math in three years so yes, I can be rusty with it. I just failed pre-calculus last semester so I am taking it again. I am doing much better at it, finally passing my first test. Let's see how it goes with the rest.

It's also a funny Friday because it's raining outside. Just two days ago it was nice, warm and sunny. Now it's raining. Interesting. My umbrella broke on my way to class.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My bus shots around Midwood, Brooklyn

Just a few weeks ago, I saw some buses lying around, with no one to run them. Just for fun I decided to go shoot some shots!

RTS-06 on the B6

The C40LF on the B11
And some more from the other side!

The Orion V CNG belonging to Spring Creek depot of MTA Bus

And the Orion VII NG Hybrid with no name on it!

And a RTS 06 bus also with no name on it!

I hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jennie Finch documentary and her friends

Jennie Finch of the NPF's Chicago Bandits (pitcher/first baseman) and a member of Team USA will have a documentary coming out soon, which is produced by MTV. So far this is an ongoing project that is currently rolling. No release date has been announced yet. However here is my scouting report on her best friends that will be featured on this documentary.

  1. Brianna Glenn- Brianna is a track and fiend runner who specializes in the long jump. She has failed to make the 2008 US Olympic team, due to injury. She is currently traveling around the world. She will try to make the summer Olympic team again in 2012.
  2. Bianca Juarez- Bianca is a teacher a preacher who believes in God and will do nothing but spread the word out. She generally makes speaking arrangements to give faith and to guide others in need.
  3. Jasmine Star- A twin sister of Bianca, she is a professional photographer who specializes in photographing weddings. She is amongst the most popular photographers based out of California. Wedding photography is her profession.
I believe the documentary will focus on a variety of topics
  1. High School in La Miranda California
  2. Her softball career in the University of Arizona. Jennie does have 50 home runs in her career and has amassed over 1,000 strike outs, and 100 career victories in her tenure at Arizona. Her number 27 has been retired by that University
  3. Her USA Softball team career. She has won two Olympic Medals one gold in 2004 in the victory against Austrailia, and a Silver medal win against Japan in 2008.
  4. The attempt to bring back softball back in the Olympic Program, it has been knocked out of the 2016 games in Rio.
If you are looking for more information, I suggest you go read their blogs, and check out their blogs too while you are at it.

My So Called Fabulous Life by Brianna Glenn

In the Name of Love by Bianca Juarez

Jasmine Star Blog

If you are reading this from facebook.com, I can give you facebook fan pages for the corresponding blogs. These pros are looking for new feedback and new readers!

In the Name of Love

Jasmine Star

Jennie Finch has a fan page too:

Jennie Finch

Again, be on the lookout!

Thanks for reading, I write this because I find these bloggers and friends rather interesting, Trust me you might learn a thing or two from these blog writers. They really write blog entries that are worth reading!

Dancing with the stars!

I am glad ABC is back in Cablevison. I am watching the Academy awards right now, In the meantime here are the "Dancing with the Stars" lineup for the 2010 season. It was just revealed today!

  1. Pamela Anderson (actress)
  2. Nicole Sherzinger (Pussycat Dolls)
  3. Kate Gosselin (Jon and Kate Plus Eight)
  4. Chad Johnson OchoCinco (NFL Cincinnati Bengals)
  5. Shannen Doherty (Beverly Hills 90210)
  6. Erin Andrews (ESPN)
  7. Aiden Turner (All My Children)
  8. Niecy Nash (Reno 911)
  9. Jake Pavelka (The Bachelor)
I got this courtesy of MTV.com

This show looks interesting!

Cablevision vs ABC, Look at this!


There's a secret Cablevision does not want you to know. You pay more than 500 million dollars a year for access to ABC7. Cablevision has been pocketing that money! But now rather than reaching a fair deal, Cablevision is letting subscribers lose ABC7 this weekend.

You Have Choices! Call Cablevision NOW and tell them LOSE MY SHOWS, LOSE MY BUSINESS!

March 3, 2010

In response to Cablevision’s ongoing campaign to mislead their consumers rather than focusing on reaching a fair agreement with ABC7 for retransmission consent, Rebecca S. Campbell, president and general manager, WABC-TV, has released the following statement:

It's time for Cablevision to stop spinning this issue and get serious about doing right by their customers. The fact is that, over and over again, Cablevision picks fights with programmers, and it is Cablevision subscribers who suffer the loss. The inconvenient truth about Cablevision is that it pockets hundreds of millions of dollars in subscriber fees each year by carrying ABC7. Dropping our station would be the latest insult. Their customers should know they have choices: They can switch service now and take their business to a provider that values them and isn't threatening them with the loss of programming every few months, or get us free-over-the-air.

ABC7 urges concerned Cablevision viewers to tell Cablevision Lose my Shows, Lose my Business by calling 1-877-990-ABC7 or visiting www.saveABC7.com

Cablevision claims they want to resolve this issue and not subject their customers to the loss of ABC7. However all of their offers have been designed to be rejected. For two years WABC has been working in good faith to try and reach an agreement that acknowledges the station's value financially and as a key resource to the community. This is value Cablevision already charges their customers up to $18 each month for access to. It is value they further recognize in their own channels such as Sundance, which they charge other cable and satellite operators to carry. It is patently unfair and unsustainable for Cablevision to pay fees to less popular channels and to pay fees to its own channels, while refusing to pay reasonable value to the most watched and most community-involved channel in New York.

About WABC
WABC-TV, Channel 7, the most watched local television station in the United States, serves more than 7.4 million television households in 29 counties covering New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. For more than 60 years, ABC7 has consistently been the leader in local news and local and national entertainment programming.

-- ABC --

And this is Cablevision's version of this dispute:

  • ABC's parent company has pulled the plug on WABC-7 and is demanding that Cablevision and its customers pay millions of dollars in new fees. Cablevision has asked ABC to continue delivering WABC-7 while we negotiate, but instead ABC is holding Cablevision customers hostage by pulling its programming.
  • It is wrong that ABC pulled the plug on WABC-7 as a negotiating tactic, and we are not alone in this point of view. Over 70 elected officials at the local, state and federal level, including U.S. Senator John Kerry, have urged ABC to return WABC-7 to our viewers while we negotiate a fair agreement.
  • Cablevision already pays ABC's parent company more than $200 million per year for its cable channels, including ESPN and ABC Family. Now ABC wants $40 million more in fees for WABC-7, a 20 percent fee increase for exactly the same programming.
  • In these difficult and challenging economic times, it is not fair for ABC to force Cablevision and its customers to pay tens of millions of dollars in new fees, what amounts to a new TV tax, for the same programming that is available today for free over the air and on the Internet.
  • It is wrong for ABC to demand $40 million in new fees, which is nothing more than a new TV tax, to help pay the salaries and bonuses for top ABC executives.
  • We have been able to reach agreements with every other broadcast network, including CBS, NBC, Fox and Univision. We have offered to pay ABC as much, or more than, what we pay these networks. ABC has rejected this offer and every offer we've made thus far.
  • While we work to return WABC-7 to the lineup, you can watch WABC-7 free over the air by obtaining a digital TV antenna from your local consumer electronics store.
  • Or, you can watch almost all of ABC's prime time programming free on the Internet at hulu.com or abc.com.
Who's side are you on, I think ABC sucks! Seriously I am a cable customer and I really dislike this back and forth bickering between tv companies and broadcasters. We viewers are being held hostage by this situation. Looks like I won't be watching the Academy awards tonight. I can care less. I don't really have any favorite movies from this past year anyways!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Adventures and school

I would like to talk about school, and the importance of getting the highest grade possible towards your degree. That is what I'm doing right now.

So here are a few things that are on my mind:

If you are currently enrolled in school, that earns you a degree, keep up the good grades, having bad ones can mean dire consequences, and expulsion can happen.

I feel like those academically struggling can use a little help but I think this is more of a self-motivating thing to do well academically.

What's so different from grade school (elementary-high) is that there's more freedom, however time management is so crucial between success and failure in school.

There is this term Academic probation and students land on it if their grade point average falls below retention standards, (senior schools, it's 2.0, usually lower for community schools) Students who don't improve their academic status will eventually face expulsion.

I know keeping up the good grades is more of a common sense thing, however circumstances may prevent one from doing well in classes.

Study habits are important too, it can make a big difference between passing and failing. For example, when you have material coming from lectures and discussion courses, it's best to study them now, rather than cram it just a few days before the exam. I had the habit of cramming for exams and it killed me academically. I hope you don't make the same mistake as I did.

Reading the textbook. Don't just skim it, or look for short versions like "Cliff Notes". Those won't help you here. You must try to read the textbooks thoroughly and carefully. Take notes of the most important points. It will help you in the long run. Making outlines for your readings will help you too.

Here is my short list for doing well and getting the highest grades you can achieve
  1. Attend every class: Too many absences can result in failure. If you don't attend, you can't participate, you can't take notes, and the instructor will have to mark you absent. Absences are the reasons people fail.
  2. Be organized: Papers, pens, books, folders are helpful in organization. Use one notebook for each class or use dividers to separate notes for your three ring binder. Take some phone numbers from your classmates in case you need help or if you miss an important part of the lesson.
  3. Time management: Study time, recreation, work, etc, time for all those must be balanced. This plays an important role in preparing for exams and projects.
  4. Take good notes: Good note-taking, especially in lectures will help you do well, and these can be helpful for studying for exams.
  5. Read a textbook effectively: Take notes to jot down the most important points of the textbook, most likely the terms will be reviewed.
  6. Prepare for exams: Do not just start studying just a few days before the exam starts (that's cramming) In fact, when your first lesson begins, study it carefully and do the same for each upcoming lesson or lecture, and go over it daily. This helps you retain more information.
  7. Help centers: If you having trouble with class, go to your instructor, a tutor, or a academic adviser for help in classes. They really know their material very well.
  8. Study effectively: Find a quiet room to spend roughly two hours studying your material. For every three hours on one class, two of them are usually spent studying on your own. You probably didn't do this in high school!
  9. Keep pace: If you start having those grades drop, go seek help or change your study habits. If your grades are high, keep them there, if they are low, make them higher in the next exam, assignment, and or project.
  10. Exams: Exams play a huge role in determination of grades, do well and you'll be fine, do bad and watch your grade suffer.
Some things to point out during school life:
  1. Classes may very in size, you may have from 15 students to as much as 100 in one classroom.
  2. Critical thinking skills are required to do good in classes. When you read, you must be able to recall important points.
  3. While Exams make up the big portion on your grade, homework does make very little, but they prepare you for exams.
  4. Low grades can lead to a loss in financial aid, probationary status, disciplinary action and expulsion.
  5. Most of the learning (I specified this earlier) is mostly done on your own, you should expect to spend hours reading, doing assignments and studying the material.
  6. If you have computer work, save it on a disk. I highly recommend memory flash drive sticks because they can store as much as 2-8g of memory.
  7. Returned papers, quizzes, and exams can be your help in studying for other exams and projects, it's best to keep them safe, even if the grades are low.
  8. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses from classmates are a great way to keep in touch with others, so you can keep tabs on work.
  9. Neat and organized space, prepare to study in a desk or table, when doing assignments.
  10. Plan ahead for upcoming schoolwork, that way you don't have to stress when time is running short.
  11. Adapt to different instructors, there are different teaching styles, get used to them quickly.
  12. Prepare for each class by doing readings, assignments, and research beforehand. If you don't you'll be lost.
  13. Communicate with your instructors, they can be your friends too, you know. They find their jobs enjoyable if students are more engaging.
  14. Be on time. If your are late too much, your grade drops.
  15. Participate, it helps, spread the word out.
  16. If you work in groups, be active and take an role. If you are doing nothing, the group suffers too, not just you!
  17. Take notes and recognize important information: Instructors place a big emphasis on them.
  18. Read, read, and read some more. You may not understand the readings the first time, go read it again and take notes of the topics that you may not have looked thoroughly the first time.
  19. Memorize important information! This is helpful especially if you have to memorize formulas in mathematics, or terms in history class. Use flash cards with the formula and answers in each side.
  20. When writing paper assignments, be clear and concise. Proofread your paper or have someone do it for you, just don't have your helper write the paper for you.
  21. Answering essay questions require that you address all aspects: Brainstorming helps too.
  22. For every math question that you bump into solve the problem and check. Do not spend too much time on one problem. You must show all work in math problems, just the answer alone won't give you full credit. Partial credit for wrong answers is given out too.
  23. Open Book tests give you the advantage of looking through your notes, however they require you to look at information quickly.
  24. Test anxiety: Study early, often and relax. Don't beat yourself up if you didn't do good in the previous exams, maintain your self-esteem.
One thing to stress: Plagiarism! Do not be tempted to do it. If you cheat in exams and papers, there are disciplinary actions that can be taken against you and you'll eventually face expulsion! Do your own work instead!

That's it for this post!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ABC off the air for Cablevision!?

This is one of those he said she said moments on cable TV. ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel, and all the other ABC/ESPN network channels will be cut off the air on March 7, unless a deal is reached. Apparently ABC is demanding a $40,000,000 increase so they can carry the channels while Cablevision refuses to add this "tax" to their subscribers. I watch ESPN more often than ABC, however, this is getting ridiculous. If you are a cablevision subscriber, then you are being affected by this change:

Here's more info taken from cablevision.com/abc

  • ABC is threatening to pull the plug on WABC-7 unless Cablevision and its customers agree to pay millions of dollars in new fees. Cablevision has asked ABC to continue delivering WABC-7, but instead ABC is holding Cablevision customers hostage by threatening to pull its programming.
  • In these difficult and challenging economic times, it is not fair for ABC to force Cablevision and its customers to pay what amounts to a new TV tax for the same programming that is available today for free over the air and on the Internet.
  • Cablevision already pays ABC's parent company more than $200 million per year to carry its channels; now ABC wants a 20 percent fee increase for exactly the same programming.
  • It is wrong for ABC to demand $40 million in new fees to help pay the salaries and bonuses for top ABC executives.
  • Cablevision has tried in good faith to reach a fair agreement with ABC. In fact, top Cablevision executives traveled to ABC offices in California earlier this month, and had lengthy face-to-face meetings this week in Bethpage and New York City. We have made numerous proposals, all of which have been rejected.
  • Programs you won't be watching include:NBA Basketball, MLB Baseball, Dancing with the Stars, etc.

This isn't fun, really, but what can we do about it?

Send this message:
Dear ABC:
Now is not the time to demand a $40 million annual rate increase!

Tell ABC not to take their channel off Cablevision and negotiate a deal that is fair for everyone!

That is all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy March and another blizzard recap.

Hello, everyone.

Today is the first day of March, and it's on a Monday. Spring is right around the corner so we don't have to be wearing such heavy coats and knit caps anymore, (if you have been living in the cold days). Unfortunately for the residents of the east coast, there has been another storm that has blanketed cities for as much as one foot of snow, and some slush. The weather has been up and down in New York.

I have some photos from the 2nd blizzard to hit Brooklyn in the last month of February.

I'm actually standing in the middle of the street, luckily no cars came my way.
The buses still run.

...and so do the subways.
The snow plow.
That's me with the camera looking at a mirror glass wall.
The snowmen are at the boardwalk.

Here are more shots of them.

Believe it or not, the sun still shines.

Let's hope there is more sunshine along the way.