Category: Rhode Island

Usually the sight of hundreds of people ambling down an interstate in a big city is a bad thing. Think 12 Monkeys or Hurricane Katrina. But yesterday in Providence there was a more benign reason to see the citizenry take to I-195 – the DOT bused us up there.

The new highway bridge in Providence is opening up soon, and we got a chance to what kind of bridge you can get for $610 million these days.

Just playing in trafficBridging the gapskylines and support cables

 Pretty cool.

Oh, Rhode Island, how I love you.

via Seth

Stache Tats

Almost two years after I wrote this post, I finally got to see the Buddy Cianci movie.

It was awesome.

Go see this movie, or I’m revoking your Rhode Islander status. Make sure you watch for my Nana bringing her trash to the dump.

Now that I’m brushed up on my Buddy lore, I’m excited for him to come back to Rhode Island (and to my neck of the woods, no less) in a few months. For more, keep an eye on the Buddy Watch!

I can’t believe I hadn’t heard this before, but I just read that Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal tech columnist, and perhaps the most powerful man in Silicon Valley, cut his teeth working for the ProJo in my hometown of Warwick, RI. I like reading Mossberg’s column in the Sunday paper (even though I wouldn’t consider myself part of his target audience).

Are you saying to yourself “Walt Mossberg, where have I heard that name recently?” Perhaps you’re recalling Warren (from one of my favorite shows, Ed) talking to The Daily Show’s John Hodgman about how awesome Macs are? Yeah. That was it.

Back to that Wired article from above, it also says that Walt used to hang out in Warwick with his best friend, James Woods. Just another data point for (Dilbert creator) Scott Adams’s theory about famous people knowing famous people before they were famous.

I heard the other day that more Americans than ever are growing disgruntled with President Bush, and it turns out that this particular factoid came from a 50 state poll. What fun! Who loves their Dubya the most? Not Texas, but Utah! In fact, there’s only 6 states where our Commander in Chief has support over the 50% mark.

Wondering which state is at the other end of the chart? The state where you’re least likely to, say, get your window bashed in for, say, having a non-flattering Bush sticker on your car? Did you guess Vermont? Taxachusetts? Oregon? Nope, it’s none other than the smallest state with the biggest hate, Rhode Island. Only 1 in 4 Ocean Staters are likely to approve of 43’s performance on the job. Ouch.

Dilbert creator Scott Adams has a great blog that I enjoy reading. This morning we find out that yesterday’s Dilbert strip was sent to the papers with two different end panels, one potentially more risqué than the other. If you’re wondering which one the Providence Journal ran (and can’t guess from this post’s title), it was the “safer” ending. Check out the Dilbert blog to see what you missed.

I’m curious as to who at the Journal makes a choice on this sort of thing, and why. Maybe the decision came from the corporate masters in Texas, which might explain a lot of things

(and just in case you don’t remember ever seeing Dilbert in the ProJo, the strip appears inside the Business section. I didn’t know this for a long time)

UPDATE, later this day:

I got an email from someone at the Journal who tells me that all erring is done on the side of “family friendliness.” After all, we must think of the children! BeloCorp out in Texas has no say on content. This seems right to me, but not nearly as fun as I imagined: Mr. Burns, Dr. Hibbert, Crazy Texas Oil Guy and Dracula sitting around a big table, accelerating global warming and censoring Dilbert cartoons…

Prudish ProJo?

I like to do my taxes as early as possible if I can help it, being poor has the benefit of getting most of your federal contributions back from the guv’mint. This year I bought Tax Cut Deluxe from Best Buy (mostly because I got a free wireless mouse with it), collected my various 1099s and W2s and set to work. My federal return was done in about 20 minutes (and looks like I’m getting a new 60 gig iPod!), but then it was time to do the state return. I chose Rhode Island from the menu and clicked next, where I encountered probably the worst approximation of the state of RI I have ever seen:

blob island!

I’d have to say this is even worse than the Off Track Bedding commercial (you know the one. Damn you Roanne!!) Now this stupid blob means I’ll forget to do my state return and end up at the Providence post office at 11:30 again this year

The Taxman Cometh

From even before I got to work today, there was more activity than usual a little ways down the street. We watched from the window as police taped off the cute little house with a water view that had been for sale for a few months. Neighbors milled about, cars were turned away, and someone arrived in a Jeep and strapped a video camera to his shoulder. Calls were made, and information trickled in: garbage trucks were stopped and searched, the homeowner was in Florida, something serious had happened. By three o’clock someone from the office went out to get the story. It was something serious. “It’s a homicide,” he said, and everyones’ stomachs tightened. We looked out the window some more as some details answered some, but not all, questions. Trying to discern the action down the street, I wondered if this would lower the asking price on the house. Then I felt bad and went back to work.

Link

An Unsettling Day

The headline read “Rhode Island fares well in national study of obesity.” Apparently, our little state has the third lowest obesity rate among adults. Well yeah, but look at the competition. Being the skinniest guy at the Krispy Kreme Konvention isn’t exactly Kate Moss-ish (she’s still our culture’s yardstick of skin-and-bone-ism, right?)

Still, we should be happy that only one in five Rhode Islanders are considered obese (although every other one of us Ocean Staters is overweight). Or, as sandwich maker Lily Hall says, “We’re chubbies. Not to be mean, but I think a lot of us are chubbies.” Better, 16-year-old mall slave Spencer Stolle is “surprised. I thought everyone in Warwick was fat.” Ouch, Warwick.

If you’re wondering whether you’d be considered obese, or, like me, just terribly overweight, you can punch in your numbers here and get your body mass index, or BMI, the number used in this study to determine fattiness. BMIs of 25-29 are overweight, 30 and over are obese (unless you’re especially muscular or willing to lie to yourself that you are).

include(‘http://www.bilherron.com/cryforhelp/php/bmi.php’);

If that form doesn’t work, tough noogies, I don’t have time to whip up perfect programs for you. Just take your weight and multiply it by 703, then take that number and divide it by your height in inches, then divide that number by your height in inches again. Fun, no?

So maybe if we all take the stair from now on and park at the back of the lot, we’ll push RI to number one least obese. And then our one-eyed state will rule the land of the blind! (figuratively, of course)

Some of these make me think people just pick any 6-letter word so they can have a whole word on their license plate…

JUNGLE

DANISH

PYRMID

WATERS

KRAZEE

HRYPTR

MAHALO

FRESCO

SCRIBE

HAYJUD

PUREOX

LET GO

SHREK

GOLDEN

SERNTY

COOLIT

PLATNM

JULY29

WENT69

SEEGUL

EXPLOR

KIDSDR

BTRFLY

LONDON

WTRCAN

ALEGRO

MARGIN

ELITE1

Out of Staters:
WOLWO (on a Volvo from MA)
RUBBISH (PA)
CAPTIV8 (NC)

…so we can keep an EYE on YOU…

Due to the failing of RIPTA to provide me with an economical and environmentally sound method of transportation to and from work, I have been commuting by car approximately one hour each way, Monday through Friday. I hate it, but I’ve been getting really good at spotting and remembering interesting license plates. Here I share with you my list.

Rhody plates:

BIVALV
CEMENT
QUAHOG
WILLIT
SOXGRL
BATMON
TRIP
THATCH
JUSTRI
NKTOWN
SHARK
FLXAPL
SHPWRK
ARREST
SEABIZ
SUNAMI
WTPOOH
GONG
IGUANA
BOWMAN
ACT 1
CARPDM
BOX
BGOOD
SEEBRZ

Out of staters:

GOSOX1 (New York)
SAIL RI (Michigan)
GANSETT (South Carolina)
TO NPT (Connecticut)

Is it obvious which part of the state I commute to?

I just got back from something that I never thought I would have the right to attend – the RI Monthly ‘Best Of Rhode Island’ party. In a year that has seen more local press then I ever thought possible for the little improv group that could (or couldn’t, depending on the night), we landed the mother of them all. In the August issue of RI monthly, Unexpected Company was named Rhode Island’s best comedy troupe. You read that right – Unexpected Company, not Ocean State Follies.

Those out of state may not understand how big a deal this is. I went to lunch at a place called ‘Duffy’s Tavern’ today. On the front of their menu they had the best of RI logo… From their best seafood win in 1996. Now we can do that, and we have the plaque to prove it.

The event was great. Held at Trinity Rep, free food, open bar, psuedo Rhody celebs crawling all over the place – all the while me and my UC associate sticking out like a sore thumb. One of the highlights was the auction of RI centric items. The crown jewel was a walk on role in the upcoming ‘Prince Of Providence’ film (it only went for $1,200!). That stuff was cool and all, but the real cool thing was the fact that we were even there to begin with.

Since I joined this group (consisting of 5 people at the first rehersal), I have been through a ton of shit in a year and a half. There have been the good: cover feature in projo arts, sold out one year anniversary show, providence improv fest. And the bad: selfish people along the way, shows at other venues that no one wanted to see or perform at (Bil – you were at one of those), and other thankless work. Ups and downs aside, taking over as Artistic Director for the company in December has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life. I hope to some day run a local theatre in RI (ideally Warwick) and it is days like today that make that feel more and more like a reality.

Check out a show sometime and say hi.

Best Of…