I got two (2) tickets from the NYPD for riding my bike yesterday. They pulled me over with lights, sirens and the whole production.

NYPD cut me some slack

Broadway towards Inwood, NYC

The officers were exactly right to pull me over and I know it. I was speeding in a 30mph zone on the wrong side of the street while weaving through traffic and I got caught. Hands down. I have no complaints about this. I was breaking the law.

It took the officers about a mile to catch me because of the dense traffic. When they did finally catch me, it was no joke — lights, sirens, megaphone and all.

I pulled over carefully on a side street and laid my bike on the curb and displayed my hands, open palms at my sides.

The driving officer got out of his car, approached me and asked, “Is there a reason you blasted through all of those red lights back there?”

I answered, “Yes, officer. I just didn’t want to stop. I know that I should have stopped and I chose not to. I know the rules and I chose to break them. I know I’m in the wrong here so do whatever you need to do.”

He looked over my bike and noticed that I did not have a bell on it (required in NYC). He asked, “Is there any reason that you do not have a bell on your bike?” I answered, “Yes, officer. My bell is on my other bike and I haven’t swapped it. I know I should have it on this bike. My bad.”

He asked me for my ID. I gave it to him and he went back to his car.

I knew that I was entirely fucked.

The officer came back and said the following: “Listen, man. You really seemed to know what you were doing back there. I’ve really never seen anything like it. But, you were doing over 30mph and weaving through traffic and blowing red lights. I have to ticket you. It’s nothing personal. I’m giving you a ticket for ‘failure to have a bell’ and for ‘failure to stay to the right (weaving and riding in the oncoming lane)’. I’m not going to ticket you for speeding or for running all the red lights, okay? Be safe.”

Point of the story: Cops can be really, really cool to cyclists, sometimes.

For the record, and before anyone blasts me for my cavalier riding — This is a route I have ridden thousands of times and I knowexactly how to read the traffic. That said, laws are laws. If you choose to break the laws, man up, take your tickets and thank the officers.

Also, go to court and tell the judge what you think about the bicycle laws in your area. I have a few things in mind which I’ll suggest to the judge.

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An Instinctual Precursor To “Social Engineering”.

When I was in high school, I engineered and executed a method of torture specifically designed for substitute teachers using humming as the method of attack.

It was planned beforehand that I would sit in the center of the room. When the teacher started speaking, I would very quietly hum a single note which was only detectable by the persons sitting closest to me, the choir members of course. They would then begin to hum the note and the people closest to them would begin to hum the note and it would expand like a ripple effect throughout the room. When I heard the ripple reach the edges of the room, I would slightly alter the pitch and it would ripple just the same. From the teachers’ perspective, all the students were sitting upright and paying attention but the teacher was hearing an unexplainable, undulating surround-sound effect. That, and most of our faces were purple.

The winning substitute teacher lasted just shy of eight minutes before storming out of the room.

Enter, the Principal:

Principal: “What did you morons do this time?”

Students: “Nothing. That teacher was crazy.”

Principal: ಠ_ಠ

Bombing of the Murrah Federal Building, 4/19/05 — A Day I Will Never Forget

I was in high school about two miles north of ground zero.

I was checking over the set of our production of “Little Shop of Horrors” just before hundreds of elementary school students were due to arrive at our school to watch our show. This was just a few days after my 15th birthday.

BOOM

Everyone suspected that the boiler or the new AC units had exploded. It’s the only thing that made sense at the time.

A few minutes later, the principal’s voice came over the intercom. His voice sounded different than usual. What was usually an upbeat and cheerful voice was now flat, robotic, terrified and on the verge of tears.

“Teachers, please release all students who have family working in or around the Murrah Federal Building to meet in the auditorium immediately. Everyone else, please stay put. Thank you”.

At least a third of the thousand-or-so students shuffled to the auditorium, confused. I was also confused because I was already in the auditorium where were expecting  several hundred children to arrive in just a few minutes… and my father works a block away from the Murrah Building.

The principal told the students in the auditorium what had happened. We were told that we could use the resources in the school’s office to try to contact our families. Most everyone decided to leave school and either go downtown or go home to contact their families. No one was going to stop us. The older kids crammed in as many underclassmen as they could into their cars to take them wherever they needed to go.

The other kids who were still in the classrooms figured out very quickly that something was horribly wrong when the kids from the auditorium came back into the classrooms to retrieve their belongs, many of them in absolute hysterics and some shell shocked. Word spread very quickly about what had happened. My pager, which I wasn’t supposed to have in school, went off displaying my father’s ‘code’ so I knew he was okay. This was before every kid had a cellphone.

The bus loads of children were turned away when they arrived to see the show. Half the cast and crew had already left the building, myself included. I don’t know how the administrators handled turning the buses away and if they broke the news to them right then and there. It would be interesting to know in retrospect.

A friend of mine and I walked to ground zero and helped bring water to the rescue crews.

I will never forget that day.

Reddit.com’s Secret Santa

Pissed&Petty is beyond excited to be participating in the biggest “Secret Santa” gift exchange ever. Ever.

It’s no surprise that, as the economy is shrinking, so is the number of presents under most people’s trees.  Thanks to the vision of one member of Reddit.com, nearly 3,000 people will have one special surprise from someone they’ve never met before. The members of Reddit.com, an online social news community where users discuss and share links to breaking news stories, photos and more, have gathered together in what they believe is the biggest “Secret Santa” ever and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.

The idea started simply enough, with one member “kickme444” asking if anyone was interested in a gift exchange and, like most social media, the idea exploded in just days.

Kickme444 and other Reddit members designed a new website, wrote programming to match up givers to receivers and come December packages will arrive from around the country and possibly around the world. Around 2,000 participants are from the United States, but the rest hail from Iceland, Italy, Malaysia, Australia, Japan and beyond.

The current Guinness Book record holder for the largest secret Santa is more than 1,500 people, held by the staff at UK’s pharmacy chain store Boots. This exchange is set to double the number and smash the record.

This Secret Santa is unique in its relative anonymity. When signing up, Redditors could volunteer information about themselves and participants can look at their recipient’s past comments to get an idea of their interests and personality.

Suggested value of gift and shipping is around $15. The organizers have stated, “Handmade awesomeness is suggested, thoughtfulness is required!”

Some are opting for homemade gifts – original art, photos, mix CDs, pepper seeds or items unique to their area. Discussion of ideas and requests have been flying on the site for the past few weeks.

Gifts will be shipped out by Dec. 10 and Redditors will post photos of their present on a thread for members of the site to see.

For more information, see the official Reddit Secret Santa website.

Shotgun Awakening

When I was 16, concluding the last day of my freshman year of high-school, my car broke down on my drive home from the last day of school. I walked to a friend’s house in the area to use his phone to call my parents to ask them what I should do. I think we had a AAA membership at the time.

I had stayed overnight at my friend’s house several times and had become trusted by his parents. I knocked on their door several times but no one answered. I had seen my friend break into his own house several time by reaching through the mail-slot and unlocking the backdoor. For some stupid reason, my sixteen-year-old self decided that it would be OK for me to reach through the mail-slot and unlock the door so that I could use their phone. They wouldn’t mind, right?

I reached through the mail-slot and unlocked the door, turned the handle walked right in. Immediately, a shadowy figure sprung from behind the door, pinned my throat to the wall with one hand and pointed a shotgun at my eyeball with the other hand.

I had no idea what was going on. I impulsively started trying to de-escalate the situation. While I was being choked with a gun pointed in my face, the assailant repeatedly screamed, “Don’t F&(K with the (redacted) family!” Subsequently, I calmly convinced him that I wasn’t a threat.

As it turns out, my friend’s older brother had just returned from serving in the military overseas. He was treated for PTSD shortly after this encounter.

Halloween is coming!

Welcome searchers.

If you’re looking for my post about the ‘Where’s Waldo Costume’, CLICK THIS.

Otherwise. Please continue reading below.

Hey, guess what! There is a good chance that I hate everything you stand for.

When someone looks me square in the face and tells me that they truly believe that the entire human race is inherently evil because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat the wrong apple and if I don’t devote my entire life to a Jewish zombie then I’ll spend eternity burning in fire… that tells me something very important about that person.

This is the same person who, after being cured of a serious illness, will thank god and not recognize the doctors or the science that brings us modern medicine. This is the same person who, when receiving a promotion or a raise at their job, will thank god and not recognize their own hard work and achievements. This is the same person who claims that god gave him this land therefore he is completely justified in committing acts of unspeakable violence against his neighbors. This is the same 40-year-old Yemeni man who watches his pregnant 12-year-old wife bleed to death over the course of 3 days while attempting to give birth because she can’t receive the necessary medical attention because she can’t be seen naked by another man, lest she be put to death according to religious dogma.

Fucking ridiculous.