Rendell and the Furloughs

Sounds like a really, really, really bad college band, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I don’t want to brag, but I told you so.  According to a story on WHTM:

The state Supreme Court said Monday it agreed with state workers’ unions and ruled against the position that Gov. Ed Rendell had taken leading up to the July 2008 budget deal. The unions had argued that the federal Fair Labor Standards Act trumped a section of the state constitution that requires an appropriation in order for money to be paid out of the state treasury.

This is a huge victory for us bottom-of-the-ladder state workers.  But it’s a hollow victory, because although it reaffirms what we’ve known all along, the state still chose to knowingly break the law.

Continue reading Rendell and the Furloughs

Time’s Up

It’s Christmas eve (at least it was when I started typing).  If you haven’t wrapped up your Christmas shopping by now, there’s no hope.  Most stores are closed, and of the ones that are still open … well, nobody wants that Imitation Designer Perfume / Cologne from the 24-hour truck stop, no matter how cheap the price.  Just cut your losses and move on.

Earlier today I completed my trek up to parts north to spend the holiday with family.  As I’m typing this in front of a roaring (gas-powered) fireplace, a dog of intriguing lineage has decided I’m her best friend.  She’s pretending to sleep right now, but every few minutes she inches closer and wedges herself in as close as she can.  I just finished off the last piece of homemade poppy seed roll while watching the season’s final three episodes of Dexter.  Life is good.

2009 has been an amazing roller coaster of a year.  For starters, floor9.com moved a little further from covering nightlife and a little more towards consumer interests.  I called out Privado for printing full, unmasked credit card numbers on their receipts (a practice which they have since corrected).  Circuit City went under and tried to take us all with them through unethical, anti-consumer behavior.  Metro Bank Harrisburg … don’t even get me started (although the story did earn me a link from The Consumerist).  The state decided not to pay 70,000+ state workers for weeks on end.

And then … I ran out of steam.  Don’t get me wrong — lots of other interesting and significant things happened in 2009.  I just didn’t have the momentum to cover them all.  I honestly think I’ve put forth more blog posts this year than I have at any point in the last seven years of floor9.com, and I’m only now starting to recharge.

And now it’s Christmas.  I’m exhausted from a day of shuffling presents around.  We polished off the last of the traditional Christmas Eve made-from-scratch pizza hours ago.   The though of spending the next 12 hours sleeping is awesome.

Merry Christmas* to all.  I doubt I’ll update again in 2009, but I do want to thank you all for being here.  The massive readership over the summer has been, if nothing else, therapeutic towards the shared causes so many of us took up.  And the gigantic spike I saw after the last post let me know a ton of you are still here.  Be safe, and see you in 2010!

* – To avoid offending the fragile sensitivities of Glenn Beck / Rush Limbaugh / et al listeners:  “Please partake in and/or observe an adequate non-secular event”.

The Road Passes Through Harrisburg

Of all the theaters to pick up The Road — the movie I’ve been babbling on about since last spring — Regal was the last one I’d expect.  Given the film’s quasi-arty, low-impact release, I was expecting Midtown to pick it up.  Or even Cinema Center — they usually pick up the non-blockbuster and/or lesser-known films.  Regal traditionally limits itself to doing things like showing “Twilight: OMG MOON” on 11 screens and “Old Dogs” on the remaining three.

But I’m not complaining.  I want to see the shots of the abandoned turnpike in all their glory, and Regal does have the best picture quality in the area (which is disappointing, because their service is abysmal and a small popcorn & drink will cost you $35). 

If you haven’t read the book, you owe it to yourself to do so.  I’m not one to jump on the “the movie sucked compared to the book” bandwagon, but the nature of the book (see: no dialogue) means it will be impossible to do a direct translation to a movie.  And from watching the trailers, I see they’ve already bent the movie a little more towards an action flick and less towards the post-apocalyptic non-survival story of the book.

I’m going to go see it.  I’m going to see it today.  And I’m going to chow down three Quarter Pounders topped with 12 pats of butter.  I’ll let you know.

Abandoned Turnpike 2009

This past weekend I grabbed some friends and ventured west to re-visit the abandoned turnpike.  As you may recall from my previous posts, the abandoned turnpike is hands-down my favorite nugget of bizarre Pennsylvania history.  And ever since I learned that scenes for the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road had been filmed along the abandoned ‘pike, I’ve yearned to go back.  But, work being what it is, I haven’t had enough free time to return.  So with the decent weather about to run out, I cleared my calendar and trekked up this past Saturday.

Continue reading Abandoned Turnpike 2009

Turkey Tweetup

This month’s Central PA Tweetup is this coming Wednesday (11/18), just more than a week before Thanksgiving.  We’re getting together at The Abbey Bar, which is on the second floor of Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg.  Things get started around 7pm and wrap up when we’re all stuffed and happy.

Everyone with a blog or active social media account living in or around Central PA is welcome to attend!  Our wintertime Tweetups usually have a much smaller crowd than the warm-weather tweetups, so if you’ve wanted to come but have been overwhelmed at the prospect of meeting 30+ new faces at once, now is the perfect time to come out.  ABC is a smoke-free environment with free WiFi, good food, and great drafts, so now you’ve REALLY got no excuse not to show.

See you there!