Category Archives: Be a Good Citizen

Cincy Streetcar… A Design Qualm

I feel bad writing a post about this, I do. But Cincy Streetcar Team, you really have made your first misstep. Everything up until now has been basically perfect. You’ve kept your cool amidst attacks by COAST and NAACP. You’ve maintained your composure amidst a city-wide backlash. Your blog informative, entertaining and effective. Hell, the virtual tour you put up just a day or two ago was even effective on me and I’ve never wavered in my support of the plan! As I said though, you made your first oops yesterday: The new website is pretty blah. Cheap looking, even. The previous site was wonderfully minimalist and modern looking. It said “here is a modern idea, proposed by modern people for what could be a modern city.” Now it looks so decidedly Web 1.0 that I wonder if you really are trying to pander to older people who just discovered the internet. I was so disappointed when I clicked the link on twitter yesterday. It was a brick wall of drab.  To paraphrase former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, I don’t how to define what bad design is, but I know it when I see it.

The addition of a lot of information is a bonus and it is encouraging that it looks like the Streetcar plan is slowly moving out of the “Hey! We should do this!” phase, but the site design itself is not encouraging. It does not encourage people to click around because it sort of looks like a Cincinnati Streetcar fan-page, not the real deal. Keep the information, overhaul that design! Please! If this is to be the official home of the Streetcar/anti-issue 9 movement, than give it some flash. Make it look official. This kind of looks like I put it together, and I have trouble embedding youtube videos sometimes. If you could just merge the boost of info of this page with the lovely design of the previous, I think we’d be getting somewhere.

The New Cincinnati Streetcar Website

Love,

John

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Tips for your dining experience…

waiter13

I’ve been working in the food service industry for most of my employed life. I’ve worked in the back of the house at big corporate restaurants, front of the house at tiny holes in the wall and I’ve been a barista at go knows how many coffee shops. Though I often feel like moving on, there is something I like about the work. You get to move around all day, you get to eat a lot for very little and, if you are smart, you develop a charm so effective you can make any octogenarian swoon with only a passing glance. As of late though, I’ve found behavior in restaurants has gotten worse.

I remember when I was in grade-school I had a habit of putting my feet up on the desk between subjects. Whenever the teacher caught me, she would ask “Do your parents let you put your feet up on the dinner table.” Being a smart-ass little kid, I recognized the flaw in this argument. The dining room table? No feet there, that’s where I eat. I would however, gladly put my feet up on my desk at home, it’s in MY room. I  understood what she was saying though, and, for the most part, the moral has stuck with me, as I suppose was intended: If you think your parents would frown upon it, don’t do it, especially in public.

So here is a handy-dandy list to help you through your dining experience. I won’t specifically mention where I’m at right now, mostly because I love my employer and 97% of my customers, and I don’t mean to blame them. There are many people in the food-service business though, quite a few of them my friends, and we all have these gripes. These gripes are then placed into a slow-cooker and allowed to simmer for a long time, becoming juicier and juicier with each added bullion cube of customer misbehavior. I’m dumping mine out as it has been cooking for too long. Many of these pointers will reinforce things you already know, but some people could use a refresher course:

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I’ll get back to this…

Yeah, it’s been a while, I know. I seem to have a tendency to get very bogged down in this blog and then abandon it for a good long while. Well, I’ve come back around the mountain again and will starting to write again. I know, I know, this is great news to the ones, perhaps even fives or tens, of readers I once had and who have most likely taken me off their google reader/rss feeds. But no matter, once I have a little more time on my hands and something substantive to say I’ll be back on here. All I can say for now is this:

– After a very long-winded struggle with the philosophical and Kurzweilian implications of a service such as this, I decided to suck it up and re-up my Twitter account. I’ve been more active as of late, and I still kind of hate it, but it is a good kind of hate these days. It would be filed under Curmudgeoned.

– My good friend Alex’s blog grass console should get more traffic, take it from a very not-vegan soul.

– The streetcars are still a great idea and having these open houses is an incredibly smart move.

Squid and the Whale is not a good film. “Divorce is unpleasant and oftentimes involves unpleasant people” is not a brain bursting idea and Noah Baumbach needs to cheer up (I’m looking at you Margot at the Wedding). You know what is original?

Marauders, thats what.

-Kanye is the smartest celebrity of all. Not nominated, not performing and still the most talked about aspect of that show (which we all hate, but somehow are angry he disrupted)? Kudos to you sir. Taylor Swift will get over it, don’t worry. She is very young.

But the public outcry over a seemingly trivial moment in an even more trivial award show begs the asking of a bigger pop culture question: Why is it people who are famous and talented have to be super nice these days? You’ll hear people say “Well, I love his music, but I can’t listen to it because he’s an asshole!” Better throw out most of your records if that’s becoming the new standard by which listenability is judged. Sinatra, John Lennon, pretty much all of The Who, Axl Rose, Bono, Bowie, and the list goes on, were or presently still are all monumental assholes. Why have we started imposing a new standard of behavior and attitude on our celebrities?

Alright, that is all for now. Be back later.

Love,

John

Last Thursday’s Streetcar Debate

frank-mcgohan-conductor-cable-street-car-cincinnati-ohio_small

One of the first major streetcar debates was held last Thursday on UC’s campus. I, unfortunately, was not able to attend due to the fact that Thursdays are one of my only days off to get errands taken care of. Thankfully a UC based radio show recorded the whole thing and put it up online for you to listen to in the comfort of your own home. It can be found here or on iTunes by searching for “Explore Cincinnati.” I’m not going to put too much of my own spin on this because it is very clear that the Jason Haap and his rag, The Cincinnati Beacon, are very sensitive to “bias,” also known in this case as “another opinion.” There is one point I would like concerning this debate, though. If Jason would like to continue to participate in debates like this and be taken seriously, he needs to work on his rhetoric. While I support the streetcar wholeheartedly, Haap does make a few decent points but they were lost in the muddle of his manically indignant delivery. The setting up and knocking down of arguments by sarcastically exclaiming things along the lines of “Wooow!” or “I don’t know what you guys think, but…” really harm a speakers point. 

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Pat on the back…

There seemed to a bit of push by local media outlets, big and small, to shop locally this Christmas season. Well, in case you haven’t heard, it seemed to pay off to some extent. This article in the Business Courier suggest that people are really responding this call to consumer action. I managed to do all of my shopping downtown and, I have to say, it feels pretty good to not have slogged through the local malls this year.

Your New Years Plans!

Special edition, non-weekend DMF tonight alongside a midnight performance by Bad Veins. Come on down and ring out a fairly lackluster 2008. (Yes, I know Obama was elected this year, but most of the other stuff kinda blew.) Here is to 2009 being a whole lot better!

Save the date!

Next Thursday I expect the lot of you to attend the inaugural You, You’re Awesome show at the Tavern. Kevin and Yusef will be manning the instruments and I’ll be doing my damnedest to produce and interesting light show to compliment the completely awesome video accompaniment. This will really be something exciting so come on down. I may or may not be DJ’ing afterwards as well, we’ll see. If enough of you show up and decide to enjoy yourself into the wee hours, I definitely will be. There are more surprises to be had that night as well. Mystery abounds! Good friend Ben Davis, of Bad Veins, will be opening up as well. Sounds like fun, right? Yes, yes it does.

Here’s a little treat for you to chew on. Unsanctioned mp3 giveaway!

You, You’re Awesome – You and Your Bad Self

Love,

John

P.S. The poster was done by Yusef and Julie.