30 November 2003
Submitted by eve on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 12:10am. Tragic
"Can someone tell me how to get to the city?"
"They said this was a shuttle to Berkeley. Isn't this shuttle going to Berkeley?"
"Yes. Yes. Can someone tell me how to get to Berkeley?"
--An airport shuttle driver, and a passenger, on a shuttle to a city (which was supposed to be Berkeley.)


Hey, kids, if you're ever at SFO at 1am and you're waiting for the Bayporter and a competitor comes up and suggests that you should giddyup to his Berkeley-bound shuttle, do you know what to say?

The proper answer is, "Wrong."

Alternatively, the proper answer is "Golly, I *do* think it would be fun if your cartography-impaired driver didn't take credit cards and had to drive each individual passenger to his/her own atm once he/she discovers that your rates are twice as much as the Bayporter. All aboard!"

Apparently the travel industry calls it Black Sunday for a reason.
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Bayporter free association
Posted by Jon on Tue, 12/09/2003 - 11:01am.
Heh. Looking at the word Bayporter just now made me imagine a Bay-area teleporter.
Posted by ParU on Tue, 12/09/2003 - 2:49pm.
Well yes, there is one in Berkeley. I used to work on it at LBL (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, now LB National Lab). It was in one of the cyclotron buildings, but we kept it confidential cause they didn't want to disrupt the economy too much. It would only work about 10-15 miles, as I recall, but they'd never tried to send any 'live' objects on it.

But the computer problems may have been solved by now, so who knows?
Completely off topic
Posted by Inuki on Thu, 12/04/2003 - 11:37am.
Has anyone else noticed that in the "view recent posts" pages, old threads will sometimes appear as brand-new, with all the archived comments marked as new too? For me, the post of July 18, 2001, suddenly showed up in the recent posts, with all the comments starred. Is that a glitch, or is Eve doing something with the old posts? It's happened a few times before, and it's a little confusing and a little annoying. Maybe it's a sign from the Internet gods that I should go read those posts? I don't know...
I had noticed that
Posted by Jon on Thu, 12/04/2003 - 12:14pm.
Yes, I have seen that as well. Perhaps there is some element in those old threads that is being reloaded? That might "fool" the system into loading it in the New queue.
Unfortunately, I know zilch about programming languages, so I don't know if that is a feasible possibility.
Haven't noticed that...
Posted by yoda on Thu, 12/04/2003 - 11:49am.
but i have noticed that when i click on a thread, the formatting of the page is all weird (ie it's in times new roman and the calendar isn't formatted nicely).. when i refresh the page it goes back to normal, but the new posts aren't marked "new" anymroe... anyone else have that problemo?
If you don't like the long term prospects....
Posted by Social Neanderthal on Thu, 12/04/2003 - 11:29am.
If you don't like the long term prospects associated with your career of choice, find another career.

Long term job prospects usually improve for those who make an effort to better their skill set and educational level [IT workers currently excluded]. If all you've got is a high school diploma [or less], you need to expect limited opportunities and financial compensation.

There are plenty of companies out there offering NO vacation time, NO benefits, NO holidays, and NOT MUCH opportunity.
Posted by marinerd on Thu, 12/04/2003 - 2:00pm.
I'm just happy to have a job! These are scary times, jobs-wise.
Posted by brian65401 on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 3:59pm.
I used to run the Topographic Readiness Facility on Ft. Bragg. I'm not sure a day went by without hearing some form of the word cartography. Of course, the TRF was basically a map warehouse.

Wal-Mart was seeing very good comps on grocery in the affected Midwest markets. About double the average comp sales vs nation wide. No complaints here.
Posted by hypoxic on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 1:27pm.
in the midwest? That's pretty damn good considering the skills really needed for that.

Yoda, I don't know the facts either but since you said you weren't crossing the lines I had hoped you did :) Oh well.

All I know is that both sides are slinging mud and its not helping either of them. On another note it looks like Cal's GSI might strike again and SBC might be striking too. Damn I wish I had something to protest too.
Ok, i asked a friend who is i
Posted by yoda on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 3:09pm.
ok, i asked a friend who is into all this stuff, and he pointed me to this settlement offer.

basically, the main complaint is with not being able to make median wages no matter how long you've been there. if you check page 18, you'll see that after working full time for almost 4 years, you hit the top of the pay scale and can't advance further. while the maximum amounts would be a halfway decent wage for someone just out of high school, it'd be difficult to raise a family on that. and, socal has a higher cost of living than many places in the US (gas prices are hovering around $1.69/gal for regular stuff and that's way down from the summer) the reason the vons (safeway) workers are on strike are because they don't want to pay the $5-$15/week for health care. albertsons and ralphs locked out their union employees so that vons wouldn't be singled out.

the holiday and vacation allotments are another thing that are pretty bad.

from page 16 of that agreement: after working for 6 mos, they get 2 holidays their first year (christmas and thanksgiving). then after having been there a year, 4th of july is thrown in the mix. after another 6 mos they get labor day. Then, 6 mos later (after being employed for 2 years), new years day. finally, after 3 1/2 years, they get memorial day. so basically when you start, you get no paid holidays. after a year they'll have 3 holidays. after 2 years they'll have 5 paid holidays. then after 3.5 years, they'll have a whopping 6. (to compare, my company gives everybody 12 paid holidays a year.)

vacation is similar. after year 1 you get 1 week. by year 3 you've finally graduated to 2 weeks, and after 7 years of service you can get 3 weeks of vacation. (my company gives new hires 2 weeks to start with)

oh, and the new hire health care wouldn't start until the 13th month of employment, and not until the *37th* month for dependants.

and of course, the executives get much much more.

ok, enough of that...

but yeah, i think we should go on strike too...we've gotta pay extra for healthcare too! UC GSI's are supposed to go on strike tomorrow.
Hrrm looked at the proposal
Posted by hypoxic on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 4:20pm.
and it looks like a pretty fair deal to me. $20/month in healthcare for a single or $40/month for a family is pretty good.

Grocery stores are a VERY low margin business. I think it is like 3-5% of the total purchase. If the current wage rates and health benefits keep increasing so will our grocery bills. This is one of the reason why places are trying the self checkout option. Worker costs keep increasing and profit margins keep decreasing. Remember this strike isn't helping anybody. Grocery stores are know under attack by WalMart, KMart, Costco and other "super"stores. They no longer have the economies of scale to keep them a better deal. Therefore they have to adjust. If they don't at some point they will disappear and those jobs will be completely lost.

If the unions can't get more out of their workers then I don't think that they have a leg to stand on. There is to much competition for them to argue. Look at what happened to the autoindustry and airline industry. Outside competitors come in without the handicaps that the existing stores have and they can beat you up pretty good. So the union is going to need to find something to give on here too.

BTW I like Vons I used to shop there all the time when I was in San Diego.

Now I shop at Mollie Stones up in the Bay Area. I pay more but the quality of goods and service make up for it. I didn't find that at Albertsons or Safeway, or Cala.
Posted by yoda on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 5:18pm.
yeah, that's not that much to pay for health care...i think ours can be increased much more than that...a couple hundred a month or something... but i guess it's the principle of the matter that they're against. if they instate this now, they can easily increase it, or something. i dunno...it's a difficult battle from either side of the argument. for what little they're being paid, the extra costs can be difficult, especially for those who live paycheck to paycheck... but then the grocery stores are in a difficult position as well. but remember, the picketers at albertsons (and earlier at ralphs) are locked out, not on strike...

so i'm not completely sold either way, i just choose not to cross the lines.

oh, and i love andronicos and berkeley bowl in berkeley.
Black Sunday.
Posted by Pizza Delivery Guy on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 6:08am.
I know for a fact that Retailer's consider the day after Thanksgiving 'Black Friday,' as that is when most go from being in the red (debt) to in the black (profiting). Mayhaps the same is true for the travel industry, that most profits come in on Thanksgiving weekend, more so than Christmas/New Year's.
The correct response was...
Posted by Mike on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 6:37pm.
"I'll give you directions into Berkeley in exchange for a free trip."

or the slightly less scrupulous version:

"Yeah, thanks for the ride. My atm's just up this stairway. Park here, I'll be right back." (*vanishes forever*)
Posted by ParU on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 5:15pm.
I'd just like to say, that it's a testiment to the California public schools that my daughter uses words like cartography.
Posted by Matt on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 1:19am.
But she still can't teach her dad to spell words like "testament" correctly.

...Hey! I'm just sayin'!

In other news, it's not always in everyone's best interest to have your friend come over after 11:00 and stay for a couple hours when you have work the next day.
Posted by Joe Napalm on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 12:27am.

Efreeti Sophist
Spelling and Nouns.
Posted by ParU on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 11:19am.
Well no Matt, I can't spell, but I thought you knew that.
And Joe, how many people, in your immediate acquaintance, have ever used the word 'cartography' or even know it's meaning? I was just bragging about my little girl (something I never do, right? *g*)
Well, since you mention it...
Posted by paul on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 2:17pm.
Strictly speaking, I used to be a cartographer- I worked for a surveyor, drawing maps. There are a lot of maps in the Syracuse area with my name on them, and even more that I drew that don't.

So there.
Ahh the joys ...
Posted by dave on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 2:03pm.
That would be like trying to get anything in Singapore over Chinese New Year. Its worse than Christmas in Australia, at least here its really only the actual day of Christmas, but in Singapore for four days you could virtually get nothing.

Even finding a taxi or a meal was difficult.

"Million to one chances happen nine times out of ten">
Posted by yoda on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 2:27pm.
In Madrid (and other parts of Europe, I'd imagine), during Easter, almost everything, including grocery stores, is closed for 4 days. If you don't know in advance, that could pose a serious problem... Of course, those of us in Southern California who are choosing not to cross the picket lines have had to do without shopping at the major grocery chains for quite a while anyway...
Why are you supporting
Posted by hypoxic on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 9:05am.
the strike? I'm just interested in knowing why you are supporting it.
Posted by yoda on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 11:34am.
I'm actually a little undecided, since most of the "facts" out there are wrong (they conflict with each other), but since there are other alternatives (costco, trader joes, stater bros), I just go there instead. oh, and ralph's doesn't have picketers anymore either. I'd just rather avoid the picketers, although I did cross the picket lines once in early November, but they were complacent then, and didn't even bother talking to us. i've heard anything from they make an avg of $25/hr to they barely make a living wage...I'm not sure what to believe, and it does suck to have to pay more for healthcare...I've gotta do it too. so, basically, i'm being non-confrontational. anyone know the real facts?
Picket lines of death!
Posted by ChristyMC on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 1:25pm.
You know, as a child I was taught never, NEVER to cross a picket line. I was taught this lesson very young, and for quite a while I actually thought you would be in physical danger if you crossed that line, that the people were out there to warn unwary shoppers and protect them from whatever scary thing was in that store. To this day, when I see a picket line in front of a grocery store I get an image of rampaging ghoulies in the ice cream aisle.

And those, yoda, are the Real Facts. At least about my life, they are.
No facts, but...
Posted by umrguy on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 12:10pm.
Did have to deal with the same thing in St. Louis a few months ago (one of the places these strikes started), fortunately I think they got things worked out the other month. Did cross a picket "line", but they weren't really doing much, just standing in groups near the entrances to the parking lots holding signs. I'm sure Walmart and a number of the other stores saw a definite increase in business from it.

I think in St. Louis, though, they were trying to hire scabs for like $11/hr, so I'm pretty sure they don't make $25/hr average in the Midwest, anyway.

-There's someone in my head, but it's not me.-
Hey waitaminute
Posted by hypoxic on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 12:02pm.
So Eve skipped out on Thanksgiving dinner with the old man?
Turkey Day...
Posted by ParU on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 1:19pm.
Actually she came here on Sunday night and made Thanksgiving dinner. She had to go on her trip the next day.
And that's why I sat in a car
Posted by Obsidiana on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 9:59am.
And that's why I sat in a car for two hours with an overly-talkative Poison fan last week. I desperately wanted to avoid public transportation.
Damn that sucks
Posted by hypoxic on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 9:10am.
to bad bart isn't running at that hour.
Yeah well...
Posted by ParU on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 11:31am.
There's some things your kids just have to learn for themselves. Like not coming home at 1 AM into SFO and relying on public transportation to get home. Of course she could have taken a cab (for about 50 bucks). Ah well, live and learn.

And I think she took BART to the airport (Under the Bay).
The best-laid plans
Posted by JStrizzy on Wed, 12/03/2003 - 9:09am.
Or maybe she expected to be back before BART shut down for the night. There were lots of us at SFO Sunday night who were supposed to have arrived in time to take BART, before the weather delayed our flights for several hours.

Seems SFO was the only major airport in the country that had significant weather problems Sunday.
Notice that ParU didn't say t
Posted by yoda on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 11:58am.
notice that ParU didn't say that she could have called him to pick her up!
Posted by ParU on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 1:18pm.
Had she called, I would've gone. But she's more than capable of getting around by herself. And she didn't call...
Posted by Matt on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 6:33pm.
There's no way in hell I'd call my parents at 1:00 in the morning, no matter how local they were. I'd call all five of my friends first.

But hey, maybe I value my autonomy more than most.
Posted by marinerd on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 7:56am.
I was just thinking how strange it is that we get so much enjoyment from Eve's misadventures (not to mention those of strangers that she records). Of course, when it's Eve, we're sympathizing at the same time!
Posted by Kris the Girl on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 7:17am.
I really thought "giddyup to his Berkeley-bound shuttle" was a new euphamism or something. I need more coffee.
Posted by Jon on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 5:29am.
That sounded... annoying, at best.
Posted by peegee on Tue, 12/02/2003 - 1:11am.
Ah, the wonderful experiences one makes when travelling goes wrong. Murphy hasn't lived in vain.
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