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or, better yet, give him a job."
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Little League World Series - Now Terrible

This morning, I was reading the Chronicle online about a writer known as "The Betting Fool." This writer enjoys targeting some of the big flaws and problems with sporting today, and his article was about the Little League World Series.

So I thought I'd share my views about the Little League World Series today...

First of all, the idea of a "World Series" where kids of the age of 11 and 12 can get their 15 minutes of fame is just a terrible idea. Kids baseball is not supposed to be competitive, but an opportunity to get some exercise, meet friends, have fun, and to learn baseball skills. But having young kids at young as 11 to compete for a "world" title is just outright silly.

It's so competitive that even the coaches, parents and kids are really getting nuts.

Some of these kids really show their bad side on national TV, and just watch the coach in this one, he slaps the damn kid!

For the parents, some reasons why sports that are extremely competitive than just for fun is just a really bad idea:

(Above: Parent arrested at Little League game)

(Above: Football brawl from parents)

(Above: Parent shoving kid at wrestling match)

Sometimes, parent involvement just goes to the extreme. I understand that some parents really want to be protective of their children in things like the PTA and sports, but sometimes, just think of them enjoying the fun, and respecting the other team's parents or opposing views.

Fights at PTA meetings:

OK... back to the Little League World Series:
And all the emotions... waa waa waa, just stop your damn crying that you fucking lost! In the most recent final game, the winning (American) team went to their crying counterparts, the Japanese team. So you lost, don't cry about the damn thing. Maybe its time to just head home and enjoy your young life before college starts chipping away at your youth.

What about the corporate sponsorships in this stuff? Do we really need ESPN to broadcast the world series to the entire nation? Do we really need sugary cereal companies promoting their product over the airwaves as well? Come on, all we need now is to promote some kind of muscle building herbal product for kids!

Has the Little League gone nuts? A few years back, a World Series winning team had to surrender their championship because the team pitcher was too old to participate. I mean, come on, how low do you have to go to win a major title? I wonder, will STEROIDS be the next scandal for the little league kids?

Even then, I'm a little bit suspicious about this one (on video below): The tallest kid in Little League. Did they feed this kid some testosterone to give it a growth spurt? Someone check if this kid has facial hair, and give him a piss test.

Let's summarize my rants:
Sports for youth is not supposed to be competitive, but it seems that the Little League organization believes that competition is necessary to survive as an organization.
There's some really bad rotten apple parents, coaches, and kids in these youth organized sports.
If you as a parent want to put your kids in sports activities, find things where there is no competition through such programs as tournaments. Martial arts works because it is self-achievement, as long as you don't do tournaments.
Corporate sponsorship? Is Little League going to go extreme like NASCAR?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More Delays from Translink Bay Area

There's news that the San Francisco Bay Area's "One Card" transit fare system known as Translink is delayed once again.

So... it's been about five or six years since they started the pilot project, and I thought things were going really well. Turns out, the goal of December 2007 for SF Muni and BART looks like it is delayed (again!).

Can't we just get on with this project? Muni is one huge system, so you would expect some issues, but I don't think any major problems.

BART is acting like little whiny children ever since they installed those new faregates. Why not just make it EASY for everyone and go with the one card system?

If they can create a one card system for places like New York and Hong Kong (which has multiple transit companies), I don't think there should really be any problems.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Updates from past Akit's Department Posts

It's time to provide some updates to previous blog posts that I've done, so here we go!

--The Chronicle reports that California State Senator Carole Migden will be charged with a misdemeanor for stupid driving. How about a DUI charge?

--The manager at FedEx Kinkos did not call me back yet in regards to the $37 charge for laminates that really costs $20.

--A response back from complaining via e-mail to San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick:

Dear Mr. Akit:

I have been asked by Supervisor McGoldrick’s office to respond to your email with regards to the San Francisco Marathon.

The San Francisco Marathon site has a lot of very good information on the route with a map and course description. The course description can be found at http://www.runsfm.com/images/PDF%20MARATHON%20ROUTE.pdf and the map can be found at http://www.runsfm.com/course/full.pdf. In addition, they have information on traffic detours which can be found at http://www.runsfm.com/course/traffic-impact-2007.doc. All of these can be found under the heading of Race Info which is on the Marathon Home page. While I do not agree with you on the difficulty of finding this information on the website, I am happy to bring this issue up with the SF Marathon organizers to see if there can be a separate category created on the website which would contain this information.

Both the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner had articles related to the Marathon several days before the event. In addition, they both published a map of the route. This has been a big help in getting information out to the public. The SF Marathon mailed out letters to residents and businesses in the area of the marathon which described the closures in their area and suggested detours several weeks before the event.

I made the decision to refer people to the SF Marathon website for detailed information as the information on their website was more complete than what we would be able to put up on the SFMTA website. It seemed like a waste of time to try to duplicate what they had already done. 311 had been notified of the information and they should have referred people directly to the SF Marathon website rather than to the MTA website.

I can not say why the officer who answered the phone at the Richmond District Police Station did not have information on the Marathon . The SF Police Department is very involved with the planning of this race. However, the information may not filter down to the police officers who answer the phones at the district stations. I will bring up this issue with the police department to ask the Special Events officers from the impacted district stations to be sure the information is available to the station staff.

All street closures for special events are handled by the Interdepartmental Staff Committee on Traffic and Transportation (ISCOTT). ISCOTT is a staff level committee made up of representatives of various City departments including The Department of Parking and Traffic; MUNI; SFPD; SFFD; DPW; Taxi Commission; DPH; Port of SF and the Entertainment Commission. There is a lot of coordination which happens between the event producer and the various impacted City agencies. The information on all of the closures are distributed to a wide number of agencies and individuals. We have no control over what other agencies do with the information which we provide.

We are continually looking at ways to improve events in San Francisco. We appreciate your feedback and we will look to improve the communications with the public about the closures.

If you have any further questions, please give me an email or a call.



Cindy Shamban

Department of Parking & Traffic

1 South Van Ness Ave., 7th Floor

S.F., CA 94103-5417



Ms. Shamban,

I feel that you misunderstood my point about the Marathon's website. The Chronicle and other information sources referred readers to their traffic page that should have included a PDF copy of their full course map, however they failed to include on that specific page on that site. To view what I was referred to from the Chronicle's online website, see this link: http://www.runsfm.com/course/traffic.html There is a simple map on that page of how to get around the short course in downtown (that basically omits Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, Richmond, etc.), but no full map. They put the full course map on another page on their site, something that just demonstrates that there was poor oversight by the event organizers. If the average citizen has to look at that specific page, I think they would expect to find all the information without clicking in other regions of the website to learn more.

Also, is there a response from the SFMTA on why some of the event information on the bus lines were incorrect and/or obsolete on their website? Why was the 15 Third still on there?

Also, I disagree that the SFPD are "very involved" in this process. How can the information to the higher ranks not go down to the lower ranks? In the first Nike women's marathon, they didn't know, and for this year's SF Marathon, they did not know either. And just to add insult to injury, they don't even know where to tell me to contact for more information. If a police officer on the phone can agree with me that not knowing information about events happening in their district is "B.S." (and yes, I did say the exact word to the officer), this is just a flat-out embarrassment.

Citizens of this city expect clear and concise information; consider how many constituents of Supervisor McGoldrick complained about the first Nike Marathon, and how much improvement came after that. I always expect that our city leaders and officials will always make an effort in the best interest of its citizens to provide fun events for everyone and making the impact on citizens as minimal as possible.


Sunday, August 5, 2007

FedEx Kinkos - RIPOFF Prices & Poor Customer Service

Let's put another store on my blacklist. Today's addition is FedEx Kinko's located on 25 Stanyan Street in San Francisco.

Today, I went down to that FedEx Kinko's location so that I can get a couple of signs laminated for an event coming up. Since I knew Kinko's had a bad reputation for higher prices than their competitors, I had no choice but to visit them. I went down to Office Depot to take care of a majority of my laminates that were 8 1/2 X 11 inches (like a buck a page) , but the 8 1/2 X 22 documents I had was too big for Office Depot to do, so Kinko's was the only choice.

When I went in, I was waiting for like five minutes while a dumb lady trying to get her FedEx stuff put it in the wrong envelope and had to refill out forms and use another envelope. Another guy named "Ronnie D." (says it on my receipt) came up to me and asked of what I needed. I explained I needed these two 8 1/2 X 22 inch documents laminated.

Behind the counter was a large laminating machine and he laminated both of them. I noticed that he used an enormous waste of laminate when I noticed that the entire laminate was like a yardstick and a half on both length and width. He then had to cut it up, but he had to use the cutting blade device that was for the public's use. After chopping up the oversized laminate and throwing away the excess waste, he started joking with his fellow co-worker (which got me a little more steamed).

At the register, "Ronnie D." had some difficulty ringing up the price of the two laminates. After finding out the price, he charged me $37.00. I immediately turned from mildly upset to full on pissed. I asked him to breakdown the charges for me. He said to me that my laminates used 7 square feet of laminate, and that was $5 per square foot (plus tax is $37).

I said to him, that this is not right. My two laminates are both 8 1/2 X 22 inches, and the maximum use of square footage should only be four square ft. HE WAS TRYING TO CHARGE ME FOR THE EXCESS LAMINATE WASTE!

I told him that the FedEx Kinko's at Lakeshore Plaza in San Francisco doesn't even rip me off this badly. He reduced the price down to four square feet for $20, and I knew in my mind that it was still a rip-off price.

After paying for my charges, I walked-out and said out loud "this place is going on my blacklist."

Sure, I hate Officemax's copy center, but they would only charge me TWO DOLLARS, yes TWO DOLLARS per square foot of laminate. So my total for doing the two small banners there would be a whopping FOUR DOLLARS.


Let's summarize my rants:
I've already lodged a complaint to FedEx Kinko's main customer support line, and I hope the manager calls me back within 48 hours.
I aint' happy.
Why do laminates cost like five times as much than Office Depot, and Officemax?
Fine, if they were to charge me $37 for the excess laiminate waste, I would say: HEY, WHY NOT GO DIG IN THE TRASH CAN AND GIVE ME THE EXCESS LAMINATE WASTE I'M ABOUT TO PAY FOR!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lighters allowed on planes?

Is our government really that stupid?

Starting now, you are allowed to bring on your possession, a lighter on your person when going through security screening.

The question I'm wondering... WHY?

Sure, the government says that they collect 20,000+ cheap-o lighters every day and it costs them $4,000,000 a year to dispose, but isn't it just a good idea?

I'm not a smoker, but it seems to just be simple common sense to ban all lighters from your carry-on, but it is OK to put in your check-in baggage, which they have looser restrictions on items like pocket knives.

Now, if you are a smoker, why doesn't our government give $4 million dollars a year's worth of nicotine gum for those who got the cravin' but are not allowed to smoke?

Anyway, it's just simple common sense. Eliminate fire, eliminate the risk of a nasty fire by using hard liquor they sell on-board.

Sometimes it is worth asking yourself, is $4 million worth saving people's lives, I say it is.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

TapiocaGate - Ed Jew is going to Trial

Hot breaking news from the folks from the Chronicle, Ed Jew is going to trial.

Word around is that during the preliminary, the judge decided that there is enough evidence to go forward with a trial on nine (yes nine!) felony counts about lying on his residency to be able to be eligible to be a candidate on the ballot.

What do we have? Two sides:
Prosecution is saying that Ed lied about his residency eligibility. Uses evidence such as testimony from neighbors, officials from the post office, and officials from numerous utility companies on the house's usage.

Defense is saying that Ed is eligible to be a resident, yet Fazio (the lawyer) says that his wife "owns" the property in Burlingame and Ed must sleep there on "occasion."

What's my point of view on this case? Ed is just putting another nail in the coffin of his political career. Why not just plead guilty, and quit your supervisor job? Ever heard of saving face dude? I wonder how he takes showers in his sunset district home, oh wait, the waterman says that very little water is used, so he goes to his flowershop to do the damn job. Oh come on, everyone knows that we want to sniff and vomit to body odor!

Here's some great ways to make Ed Jew embarrassed in public or pissed-off:
  • Go to a Board of Supervisors meeting (full board) and when it is public comment time, just laugh and point your finger at him for the entire two minutes.
  • Send the Supervisor a penny for his legal fund. The idiot is actually begging for money! Why give him nothing when you just piss him off by making an effort to send him a penny taped onto a piece of paper! Send it here.
  • Make your own "RESIGN: Supervisor ED JEW" bumper sticker here.
  • Attend a pro rally, be the lone counter-protester, and be on a bullhorn laughing out loud at Ed supporters.
  • Did you know that it is legal to protest in front of his house(s)? Why not do it? He's at 2450 28th Avenue, in San Francisco's Sunset. Or even more embarrassing, why not do it in front of his Burlingame house?
Let's summarize my rants:
I'll be on a microphone going haa haa ha aaahhhaaa hahaha hahahahahahahaaaaahhhhaaaa!