Archive for October, 2009


Halloween at the Sama’s

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Monkey & Banana



Hallowe’en in a Suburb

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

I only tolerate the apostrophe above because it’s Lovecraft

The steeples are white in the wild moonlight,
And the trees have a silver glare;
Past the chimneys high see the vampires fly,
And the harpies of upper air,
That flutter and laugh and stare.

For the village dead to the moon outspread
Never shone in the sunset’s gleam,
But grew out of the deep that the dead years keep
Where the rivers of madness stream
Down the gulfs to a pit of dream.

A chill wind blows through the rows of sheaves
In the meadows that shimmer pale,
And comes to twine where the headstones shine
And the ghouls of the churchyard wail
For harvests that fly and fail.

Not a breath of the strange grey gods of change
That tore from the past its own
Can quicken this hour, when a spectral power
Spreads sleep o’er the cosmic throne,
And looses the vast unknown.

So here again stretch the vale and plain
That moons long-forgotten saw,
And the dead leap gay in the pallid ray,
Sprung out of the tomb’s black maw
To shake all the world with awe.

And all that the morn shall greet forlorn,
The ugliness and the pest
Of rows where thick rise the stones and brick,
Shall some day be with the rest,
And brood with the shades unblest.

Then wild in the dark let the lemurs bark,
And the leprous spires ascend;
For new and old alike in the fold
Of horror and death are penned,
For the hounds of Time to rend.


GMAC – Ally Bank Asking For Further Bailout

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

On June 7, 2009 I predicted:

This is another disaster waiting to happen. I’m guessing we’ll see the ruins of the 31yr old in charge of GM sooner rather than later.

Well, here it is. GMAC, also known as Ally Bank, is now asking for a further bailout. It’s worth revisiting what the American Banking President, Edward Yingling, said about Ally’s banking practices back in June:

“This aggressive deposit strategy is particularly egregious when it is used by a troubled bank in which the government holds a controlling interest,” said ABA president and CEO Edward Yingling in a May 27 letter to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chief Sheila Bair. “Such a bank is significantly shielded from investor and market influences that might otherwise act as a brake on risky financial strategies.”[…]

Who they gonna blame now? This shit will never end… GM and it’s offspring will be the zombie government children of the economic apocalypse, much like Amtrak… Welcome to Obamanomics.


Assault Marketing Tactics

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Velociman is wondering why newspapers are suddenly piling up on his front lawns, free copies of local rags he does not subscribe to or want to read.

The answer is undoubtedly an organization called the ABC, which stands for the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Think of them as the Neilsen of the print industry. If you want to sell advertising based on certain circulation figures, you need the ABC to come in and audit your numbers.

Back in the days when I was a financial auditor, I had a local newspaper as a client. And I was stuck in the same room with the ABC auditor, and we got to talking. This is pre-1996 for reference sake. When he wasn’t telling me stories of his fondness for nudist camps and the various 3-way sexcapades he would have at them, he told me stories of how he’d act like a private eye, following delivery trucks from the newspaper office to the local river, where he’d watch the driver dump the entire load of printed papers, and then claim they’d been delivered to newsstands and storefronts. He hadn’t seen anything like that at the paper I was auditing, but he had seen it at large, nationally recognized name papers.

Velociman extolls “There is no need to engage in assault marketing tactics.” Ahh, but that’s not what this is. It’s a fraud upon the advertisers, who are likely being told that Mr. Crawford requested all these free samples or is otherwise a subscriber. The point isn’t to get Kim interested in the papers, but rather to fool the advertisers into thinking that Kim is a legitimate reader. It’s advertising fraud, and it’s been going on for a loooong time. And the free press doesn’t report on it, because they’re all engaging in it.

The problem with the Internet for newsprint isn’t that it siphons off readers, but rather that it provides incontrovertible proof of how many people are actually reading the damned thing. And having based their pricing for so many years on fraudulent readership figures, they now find themselves unable to convert those advertisers over to the Internet at the same per-person rates. They shot themselves in the foot, and their fate is well deserved.

I’ve already written what I think newspapers need to do to save their skins. Again, I doubt any of them will. They’ll go down trying to steal from their advertisers and by littering our respective front lawns. Good riddance to them I say. Long live the Internet.


Storrow Drive Update

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Received an email from my representative regarding the ongoing saga:

You wrote to me a few weeks back about the backups on Storrow.

I did get a little unofficial feedback about plans. DCR has a couple of changes that they want to make to try to make their new design work better. They are adding additional signage to get drivers in the right place earlier. Then they have a plan to do some new lane striping towards the same goal.

It sounds like they are still fully committed to the major decisions that they made but they know that they have problems and are trying to make things work better.

Sounds like progress is being made. I replied with the following:


The key here is to get a commitment as to what the circumstances for failure are, and when they’ll return Storrow to its prior configuration. It’s fine to add more signage and lane paint (though they’ll have to start before the Feidler Bridge if it’s going to have any impact). But what we need is an agreed-upon set of criteria after which the DCR admits failure on the reconfiguration. Without that, we’re in for endless “improvements” to what appears to be an unworkable situation.


-Rob Sama

I’ll keep you all posted.



Saturday, October 17th, 2009

In the event you haven’t been following me on Twitter, we have had a baby. See here and here. Email me if you want to see more pictures…


Black Dynamite

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

I need a reminder to catch Black Dynamite. Trailer here. Looks hysterical.

Black Dynamite yourself here.


SNL Is Pathetic and Unfunny

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Pitched softballs, they couldn’t even make me chuckle last night. Here’s what they should have done (and it’s pretty obvious):


OMGWTF – Obama’s Nobel

Friday, October 9th, 2009

What a joke…


Imagined conversation:

POTUS: Secretary! Get me the president of Europe!
Secretary: You’re connected Mr. President.
POTUS: Who is this? Hello?
President of Europe: Hello Mr. President, this is Bono.
POTUS: BONO! You crazy ass cracker! It’s one thing to lose the Olympics, but you Euro-peons frickin’ humiliated me!
Bono: Yes, it was quite funny Mr. President, but you have to understand, we did it because we hate America, not you. Don’t take it personally…
POTUS: Well I AM taking it personally! You Euro-peons have any idea what I go through? I drink your wine, I eat your cheese, and I stand up for you when everyone else in my country derides you. You owe me!
Bono: Ok, ok, Mr. President, lemme see what I can pull together…


Storrow Drive Update

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

My state representative had responded to my first letter and asked me to contact him again in a month or so to see if people adjusted to the lane change on Storrow Drive. So I did, and I sent him another letter :


I wanted to write you back regarding Storrow Drive. Since first discussing this with you in August, the situation has gotten markedly worse. The right lane backup extends all the way to the beginning of Storrow Drive by the TD Garden. Nearly everyone in the left lanes is attempting to cut in as close as possible to the exit. It’s becoming like warfare at the point of exit, where people who waited in line are attempting to block those who didn’t wait from cutting in. I have given up, and am taking the Mass Ave bridge to Cambridge and back roads home from there. But that obviously isn’t a viable solution for everyone. Ironically, when the Red Sox are playing, it’s actually easier to get through, as the left two lanes are blocked for Red Sox traffic. But that’s also only a minority of the time.

I’m enclosing some comments from my blog post on the matter. I would encourage you to reconsider doing something about this. Some readers of my blog have asked me if we should make a push in the press regarding this, which I’m considering. But I’d rather not.

Thank you for your personal responses regarding this. I really do appreciate it, especially after hearing how other people get form letters back from reps or responses from staff members. I really do appreciate your personal attention to this, regardless of where you come out on it in the end.


-Rob Sama

This time, he responded that he agreed that the lane was way too backed up, and inferred that he’s since heard from other constituents as well. The DCR is asking for people to wait for 6 months, but my rep says that’s too long and he’s going to “start asking some hard questions now”. You should stay on your rep as well to do the same thing.