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Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 11:32 AM PDT

Homophobia & Potheadphobia

by Yonkers Boy

I was listening to POTUS on Sirius/XM yesterday afternoon, and Julie Mason had a gentleman on named Michelangelo Signorile.  I have a feeling some of you know who he is.  I found him to be a very well-spoken and seemingly super knowledgeable LGBT activist.  The portion of the interview that I caught interested me, big time.  I would like to discuss those reasons with my fellow Kossaks.

I am passionate about legalizing access to cannabis for adults for any reason, period.  There are many, documented reasons why, but they are not the point of this post.  As a middle aged adult male in 2015 in the U.S.A., I just cannot believe we continue to have this debate about legalizing weed.  Mr. Signorile made some points that really hit home--points applicable to the homophobic world and the potheadphobic one.

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Fri Apr 03, 2015 at 11:51 AM PDT

Iran's View of the "Understanding"

by Yonkers Boy

Hey all--just saw this.  Not sure if it was already posted.  Very interesting, however.  See this link.  It looks like young and medium and old Iranians are celebrating the prospects of peace.  Now I can get with that!  Who the fuck wants to go to war???


Thu Dec 04, 2014 at 02:05 PM PST

Iceland. You had me at "ice."

by Yonkers Boy

First, I want to thank fellow Daily Kos member, Rei, for the excellent volcano reporting from Iceland.  I try to keep up with the posts as much as possible, and I have found them to be very, very interesting and informative.  My decision to visit Iceland with my family over the long Thanksgiving Day weekend was, in part, inspired by Rei's excellent, in-depth reporting.  

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Fri Sep 26, 2014 at 03:20 PM PDT

Are we becoming England?

by Yonkers Boy

As in the England right before the American Revolution, or is it just me?  All the things that the founding Americans fought for seem to go against everything conservatives stand for.  Women are X.  Kids are X.  Gays are X.  Dark brown people are X.  Light brown people are X.  Obey the law no matter how pointless and/or irrational it is.  Profit for insider me and not for outside thee.  Do as I say and not as I do, blah, blah, blah.  Secrets everywhere.  Backroom dealing only.  I mean, the friggin' "Tea Party" is named after a group of absolute terrorists from the British colonial point of view, right?  They secretly plotted to hurt the Brits where it counted at the time, no?  What is up with these people?  Is this what it's like to belong to a race that is disappearing?  I mean, literally disappearing into the sand.  Do these people need ongoing, sustained confirmation that they are valid?  Why is looking in the mirror and pulling some Stewart Smalley affirmations not enough for these folks?  I mean, strength comes from character.  It does not come from finding security in your neighbors' thinking exactly like you do on every topic--that's not even true friendship.  I am so looking forward to the coming generations of mixed blood people.  As I always say in my DK tag line, mix the blood and make new people.  Maybe I need to start saying mix the blood and make new new people.  That seems to be the one thing that stops race-differentiation-based stupid.  I am a proud mixed blood dude, and I can honestly say I dig all three of my very American-yet-made-up-of-Japanese-Swedish-Dutch components.  The sum of those IS my magnitude.  I say that loud, and I say that proud.  Peace.


I have to come clean with something.  I don't know why this is so hard.  I enjoy herb daily.  There.  I did it.  Not that bad. The truth is that life would not be the same for me without my herb.  It opens up my sensory receptors or something.  SO.  If you are like me, and you really enjoy eating food while happy times (because I do eat daily), then you know exactly what I am saying here.  

Eddie wastes no time enjoying life in like manner and just putting it out there honestly.  It is sooo refreshing.  He doesn't give a crap about avoiding controversial behavior/issues, and he just jumps right into everything, everywhere he goes.  And he jumps openly with lots of smoke and smiles and a big appreciation for life and a thankfulness for being lucky to even have an American perspective in the first place.

If you understand the PH instinctive comprehension of all things Universe, then you will enjoy this show.  It is different and raw in a way that network shows have never been in my eyes.

I found the Season 2 Detroit issue to be extraordinarily revealing about segments of American life that are just not finding any light these days, no attention or anything, amidst uniquely screwed up times when this stuff should be talked about.  Let me put it this way--I did not know about Detroit until I watched his show.

Starting with Season 2 and working backwards worked best.  The rabbit-slaughtering episode that was taped somewhere around San Francisco during Season 1 was a bit direct.  Hipsters learning to hunt. Strangely educational.

I heard Eddie Huang as a guest on Joe Rogan's podcast and became curious. He is a lawyer turned restaurateur. Smart guy. New style. I've got to check out his restaurant on 14th Street in New York soon.

Please show him some love.  His open appreciation for herb and cuisine and culture and people and life is fucking awesome.  In many ways, and on so many levels we are all:  Fresh Off the Boat.

Thank you, Eddie Huang, for being brave.


Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 12:14 PM PST

The power of sustained peach hate.

by Yonkers Boy

Like many of us, I have been living with what I call "peach hate" most of my life.  It is out there--all around and often quite silent.  And it is not every peach person, mind you.  Of course not.  It may even be limited to a significant minority of peach folks.  But it is enough to be felt.

See here.

Peach people I have spoken with about this all know the scene--that uncomfortable silence when the monkey jokes begin, but nobody intervenes to stop them--they just shake their heads and return to their desks feeling embarrassment and disgust.  Or, at the very least, disappointment toward their friend for saying something so vulgar out loud.  It is a very strong peer pressure thing when everyone around is a lighter shade of peach.  When peach hate rears its familiar head, well, the song remains the same as Led Zeppelin astutely pointed out years ago.  

I really want that song to change, man.  It is going to have to start with all young folks, including all shades of peach and brown, and that is what makes this story sad for lack of a better term.  It is just so sad that this is where the conversation goes as often as it does, especially in as diverse a region as this one, and especially in 2014 as gay marriage becomes accepted and potheads are finally normalized.

So youth, what's up with the sustained hate?

This post is coming to you from Westchester County, New York--a rather diverse county in many ways, but a weird one, too.  Westchester County is home to lots of wealth--think Scarsdale, Bronxville, and Rye.  But Westchester County is also home to a surprising array of successful folks who were not raised in Rye.  For example:  Actors, artists, and entertainers from places like Yonkers and Mount Vernon--think Denzel Washington, Dick Clark (believe it or not, he is a total Mount Vernon native), Heavy D, Diddy, Jon Voigt (he is a dick, but he was born in Yonkers), and Steven Tyler (moved to Yonkers at age 12) to name just a few of the more recognizable ones.  Places like Peekskill and Yonkers tend to be heavily brown, while places like Mahopac and Katonah tend to house significantly peacher demographics.  And there is plenty of mixing in between.  

As the linked article above demonstrates, yet another example of sustained peach hate has arisen.  I want to share this with you because it is such a bummer to see this in 2014--especially since it comes from our youth!  The Mahopac High School basketball team and the Mount Vernon one had some issues the other day.  Sure enough, the hate came flying out when the largely peach side lost, even though the Mahopac High School basketball coach is brown.  

How the confederate flag became relevant to a Westchester County basketball game is simply beyond me, especially up in these parts.  I mean, the New York Yankees reside in the Bronx for goodness sake, and the Bronx border touches Mount Vernon's.  They are called the "Yankees" for a reason, and it is not out of loyalty to the confederate flag.

So a few Mahopac kids (three were suspended for their racist tweets, and none, thankfully, were basketball players) somehow think flying the confederate flag on Facebook is a good way to respond to a basketball game loss when the other team is primarily comprised of brown players.  

Saying things about "monkeys" and being able to talk to "our fathers" (a jab at single mothers in Mount Vernon) is mean spirited, to be sure, but what is worse is that this is the default mode for these young peach folks when they get mad, despite it being 2014.  I have seen this before.  If all else fails, the thinking goes, peach superiority still prevails.  

The only way to end this is to reset our default social views.  Young people understand changing default settings in a very concrete way thanks to the digital age.  That needs to happen, so let's help them find the correct "F" key.  And to the young folks out there who are on the fence regarding whether to go full racist, regardless of your shade, please realize now, while you are young and growing:  HATE IS NOT NUTRITIOUS.  


Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM PST

ACA Experience NY Style-My Take

by Yonkers Boy

Hello fellow Kossacks.  

I am posting about the nuts and bolts of my recent experience with the ACA as a super small business owner in New York State.  I am one of the 100-and-some thousand folks who has selected a plan and is now awaiting the arrival of my first premium bill.  

First, it took a couple of frustrating weeks to get registered.  The website appeared to be changing on a daily basis, and I finally was able to see the plans available to me.  My spouse and I own a super small business with no employees, so we are required to go on the individual exchange.

Before ACA, our current plan:  Our monthly premium with a major insurer in this state is currently $655 per month for two of us.  Zero dental mind you.  Our deductible is just shy of $12,000 annually.  We have an HSA.  In addition to our premium, we spend anywhere from $0 to $2000 per year toward our deductible.  I believe that, due to the ACA, my flu shot was covered 100% for the first time last year--before that, I remember shelling out something like $30 for the shot at a local pharmacy every year.

After January 1, 2014, here is what we get:

Insurer:  Health Republic (covers NY, NJ, and OR).

We went with the "gold, primary select" option.  What this means is that we have to have a primary physician on record where we start when we have a problem other than an emergency.  I am okay with that, since I currently view my primary physician through that lens, anyway.  I did a quick physician locator check, and ours was fortunately in the ACA database, so no change there--I selected her.

Pro:  There is never a co-pay when I visit our primary.
Con:  I have to list a primary.

Premiums for the "primary select" plan were significantly less than the open plans (10% to 20 % less, as I recall).

Cost:  We do not qualify for subsidies.  That said, our monthly premium will go up by about $200 to around $850.  

However, we will now have dental insurance for the first time in about ten years, and that is huge for us in NYS.  The dental plan costs an additional $22 per month for both of us and is an optional add on.  It is not the best dental insurance in the world, but considering our cleanings cost about $120, cash, for each of us every six months, it makes sense.  Plus cavity fillings are included.  Cleaning and filling visits require a $48 co-pay per visit and not per service.  Financially, that makes sense for us.  Bigger things, like root canals, may or may not be covered, according the official I spoke with--they are going to figure that out over time.  Fine.

The big news, however, is our new annual deductible:  $500 for the both of us.  Repeat:  $500 for the both of us.   That represents a tremendous advantage should something really bad and really big happen--especially if things go wrong two years in a row.  Plus, we cannot get dropped; there are no lifetime limits; all emergency services are fully covered; and all preventative care is fully covered.  

As a business owner in NYS, I am very, very happy with this deal, especially with the cost controls in place.

I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to receive a 20% or 30% premium increase notice.  Every.  Single.  Year.  Like clockwork.  Man, that sucks rocks!  It gets me enraged every time--especially in those years where we have not filed a single insurance claim (most).

The way I see it, our premiums would have gone up to $850 per month anyway.  We would never be able to afford reasonable (i.e. "real") dental insurance in this state.  And our deductible amount would only go up the keep ever increasing premiums as low as possible.  A $20,000 annual deductible was sounding about right to me at the rate our increases were coming, and that would just stink.

Even with the $200 per month increase in the premiums, the additional benefits I will receive makes it totally worth it--you just have to think a little about the future, do the math, and factor in the very likely chance that I, in my mid-40s now, will need to draw on my insurance further as I age more.  Makes sense to me.

For comparison, I lived in Japan for about seven years as a teenager and then as an employee of the Ministry of Education (JET Program for those of you who know it).  When I was working in Japan, post college, I had to pay monthly premiums for my Japanese social insurance, and the cost (in 1995, mind you) was about 45,000 yen in Kagawa Prefecture.  That is roughly equal to $450, and I had a 30% co-pay requirement on top of that, as I recall.

When I moved to Japan as a teenager, my mother and I were pretty broke.  At that time, according to my mother, our monthly premium was about $50 for the two of us.  As she became more successful in Japan over the following decades, she paid more and more.  She never complained, however, always pointing out that she was happy to help folks in Japan who were in need the way we were.  As a kid, I found that logic to be rational and just.  It is called "helping each other out."  Most every family has its losers, I believe, but we do not leave them to die in the streets.  

I just wanted to put those numbers out there.

Finally--please note that I broke down after getting registered and went with a "navigator."  He was my insurance broker for years, so we had a working relationship.  I just had not considered reaching out to him for help since I figured we would be dropping the plan purchased through him.  I did not want to be rude.  My mistake!  After a 40-minute screen sharing session, everything was clear to me.  He really, really helped me out on that.  So thank you to the navigators.  Plus, my understanding is that he will now receive a commission, and I am happy to send some business his way.

Health Republic appears to be very financially sound at the moment, despite it being a brand new entity.  Hopefully, they will get cost controls in place rather than pure greed enhancers, and we can all work together to make this happen.  The U.S. "ME ME ME" generation sucks, and we need to rebuild teamwork into our thinking--this "every man for himself" approach may have been great for 1850 expansion (fear of starvation is a good job-finding motivator), but blows for 2013 social stability.  

We all know the deal; we all know we have to work.  So let us make America a better place to work.  That will require a certain amount of cooperative social engineering, but if you think that is not already happening, you are a fool.

I am all for success and reward, but when some folks are getting paid more than $2 billion per year while 1 in 7 is on food stamps, well, there is no balance to our society, and we the people must fix that.  The ACA, from my perch, is a necessary first step forward.

Would I have preferred single payer?  Absolutely.  The infrastructure is there--everything is set in place for Medicaid buy-ins, but the political reality is nope.  

Additional note:  Our child is on NY State "Child Health Plus" which is an extension of Medicaid, I believe.  We get no subsidy there, either, but that is capped at $250 month, regardless of income.  It is single payer, from what I can tell.  EVERYTHING, including dental, is covered and then covered again.  We are extremely satisfied with NY's CHP, and it even covers our progressive, holistic pediatrician.  No co-pays, no nothing.  Full dental.  $250 per month.  One bill.  Lovely.

So from 0 to 18--check.  From 65 to death--check.  Medicaid.  From 19 to 64--fuck you.  So here we are, trying to deal with that reality.  At 44, 64 still seems like a pretty far ride.

Finally, please help end the war on cannabis!  Pot heads should not be in cages.


Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 08:20 AM PDT

Pot, the 2nd Amendment & Drones

by Yonkers Boy

I have been doing a lot of thinking, lately.  About drones and what they really mean.  It is a matter of perspective, and I fear that we the people are dropping the ball on considering just how dangerous and sinister drones are and will continue to be.

You see, as I read story after story about 5, 10, 20 year prison sentences being handed down to adults who choose to consume cannabis, and as I think about the Second Amendment and the arguments concerning the importance of keeping government tyranny in check, I realize that nothing is actually happening to keep any government tyranny in check.  Government tyranny is not something we necessarily see--it can be embedded deep within the chess game played between the leaders and those they lead.  

In my 40-some years of life, I have had a number of truly fearful moments.  When I was a kid hiking in the Santa Catalina Mountains, I almost fell to my death on a bed of sliding shale.  At 18, I was in a pretty bad motorcycle accident, waking up in the hospital after 24 hours or so of being unconscious.  On September 11, 2001, I was working at my office at Broadway and Chambers in Lower Manhattan when the first plane flew directly into the North Tower.  I have an experience-based idea of what danger is, and I like to think of myself as wise enough to get it.  I have grown to appreciate the meaning of concern over the years, and I am growing very concerned about drones and what seems like a big lack of public interest in their ongoing development.

Regardless of your perspective, drones make killing impersonal to a whole new level, as in totally.  With drones, survival of the fighters on the drone side is no longer an immediate  motivation to mitigate the damages of warfare.  Kill and win, like the atomic bombs dropped in Japan, make the victory so complete and psychologically devastating that there is simply no coming back--that is the end game with drones.  

I get the Second Amendment folks.  I really do.  We are not in disagreement on many core issues.  I read the RKBA diaries, and I know how important the Second Amendment rights are to many people in America.  In fact, the Second Amendment is one of the most unique aspects of our supreme law.  Growing up in southern Arizona, I have shot and reloaded thousands of rounds in my lifetime, which means I have spent meaningful time with many who have done the same.  But things are starting to feel extraordinarily different in 2013 because of drones.

The "preventing government tyranny" line of thought is something I grew up with.  I have heard it many, many times stated by very serious people in a convincing, passionate, and thoughtful manner.  And I always thought pot heads and gun fans should band together to protect their freedoms, even though they often stand diametrically opposed on the social issues.

Freedom to smoke pot is freedom.  Others would argue that freedom to keep you from smoking pot on their property is freedom, too.  Same with guns.  Same with birth control.  Same with marriage.  And all the rest.  Freedom, true freedom, is the power to exercise your will.  So we modify in response to reality--freedom means freedom over your land and body but not that of others', etc.  We all know the arguments.  We are all familiar with the complexities.  Liberty is messy.

Back to drones.  It is really important to think critically about what we are doing with them.  Afghanistan appears to be a bastion of freedom for our military.  Far away, significantly "other," and doomed for failure so hopeless.  But for our military, live testing of drones means real data on how to make these machines better and increase efficacy--it is a test track, so to speak, without limits, and test tracks have proven to be essential to automobile development on virtually all issues involving safety, control, handling, everything.  I would be willing to bet a lot of money that ABS braking systems did not see public sales lots until extensive testing on closed circuit tracks was completed, with a lot of the "fails" kept secret from consumer review.

That said, imagine how important such test tracks are to drones.  It is like the guy who lies a little bit all the time--when something really big comes along, why would you ever expect him to tell the truth about that?

So potheads keep getting arrested in 2013 despite all of the scientific and common sense data available that clearly demonstrates pot essentially hurts no one.  Potheads are not dying of cancer; they are not going crazy with withdrawal shakes; and they do not start bar fights.  There is even data available suggesting the radical--pot helps many more than it hurts.  So who are we protecting by arresting anyone who has anything to do with pot?

Yet the Second Amendment guys are not fighting that tyranny.  Because it is not bad enough?  Must the government tyranny argument be modified to "government tyranny and I really meany government tyranny?"  

Try to imagine smoking some pot at the end of the day on your balcony watching the sun set while you sip on a delicious beer, really enjoying those organic beer nuts.  Easy to imagine.  Now, try to imagine aiming a gun at government officials who have come to take something from you--for most rational folks, it already is a "no-can-do" situation.  

I mean, that is just extreme.  It is suicide.  It is death-by-cop.  Look at that dude in Pennsylvania who just got fired for shooting automatic weapons in the middle of the forest and posting on Youtube--that is a far cry from aiming at government officials (he was a government official!), and he is now essentially unemployed.  He aimed at nobody.  Imagine if he had aimed at somebody.  That guy just may be alive today because of the First Amendment if you think about it.  

The drones continue to advance, becoming infinitely more effective, deadly, and dangerous day-by-day.  I, like most of us, have never seen them in action.  I have only read about them, so everything "drone" remains abstract.  Yet our military was designed by our musket bearing forefathers to be civilian-controlled for a reason--the military always considers action from a  viability chance of survival perspective.  It is never about win-win with the military.  War was designed to be the last option, and only when civilians agree.

There has always been this undertone to government tyranny that involved people, you see.  That is what I always heard growing up from what I would consider to be pure folks in spirit--it is embedded in my psyche.  It goes something like this:  Real people--our brothers and sisters in uniform.  If they could just see our eyes, understand our purity, our honest intentions, we could get some of them to defect to our side, the good, civilian side.  The civilians fighting for our rights side.  And if not, we would at least have the means to fight with our own arms and engage them in battle.  We will make the ultimate sacrifice to defend our beliefs.  That is why we need these guns.  End.  Of. Story.

So when the drones arrive, they will be nothing like what we thought.  They will have become so advanced that no person necessarily controls them. It was no longer desirable to have humans use drones to kill other humans.  Instead, we developed programs that are so unbelievably advanced.  Individual genetic codes of people could now be identified, and the drones can lock onto one person at a time, eliminating them with extreme precision--with no humans pushing kill buttons on the other end.  

The plastics used on the drones became so strong that military-caliber machine guns could not penetrate their outer shells, round after round bouncing back to Earth.  A 12 gauge shotgun may be the most effective home defense weapon for many reasons, but it cannot shoot 1000 feet or 10,000 feet into the air where the drones hover.  The effective range of a choked shotgun is what, maybe 50 yards?

All of the Second Amendment-protected weaponry in the world is being rendered obsolete right now as I write this diary.  We are following the footsteps of individuals who took on the English royalty and won with guns--then they wrote a guarantee to keep those guns.  We have been sucked into the hole of believing that the logic of the Second Amendment as it addresses government tyranny somehow still applies in 2013--when in fact it has not for a long, long time.  

We cannot stop drone development and/or deployment--I get that.  But we cannot stick our heads in the sand and think that drones would never be used to stop a domestic revolution seeded in stopping government tyranny.  Once those gloves come off, which I hope they never do, it is over for the guys with the hunting guns thinking they have any chance at all of stopping the government tyranny.  A single burglar maybe.  Government tyranny no.

This applies to everything.  Everything.  Nuclear weapons destroy a wide range--they are scary, but the deterrent effect of arming both sides actually works.  Drones are far more sinister than nuclear weapons because they will eventually develop into extremely precise, individual target killing machines--far more effective than nuclear weapons or poison gas when it comes to eliminating specific threats since there is no collateral damage that only time can heal (days for poison gas and centuries for nuclear fallout).  

So I now think of drones in a very different way, and I understand how important it is for all of us, conservative and progressive, to keep a very, very close watch on who holds the keys to the drones, their development, and their deployment.  We keep a close watch on the keys to the nuclear arms--why are we dropping the ball here?  It is a matter of perspective.


Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 07:19 AM PDT

His heart was in the right place?

by Yonkers Boy

Good morning fellow Daily Kos folks.  Just a short posting about something I heard this morning on the radio.  It feels important to me, but I cannot figure out exactly why.  "Heart."  I have heard and used this word in contexts like sports and giving.  "He may suck at throwing the ball, but wow, he's got heart!"  "Have a heart--give a dollar to feed the homeless."  Stuff like that.  Trying your best and giving.  

SO, when juror B37 says that George Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place," I am really curious what, exactly, that means to her.  Am I missing something about this term along the lines of "bless his heart" (I never knew that could be a veiled insult until I read a diary at Daily Kos many moons ago explaining such)?  

It just seems like such a weird, creepy, bizarre thing to say IMHO.  His heart was in the right place, with a loaded gun and all, but he killed an unarmed minor?  Does she mean . . . .  I really don't know.  

I cannot get it out of my mind, though.  His heart was in the right place?  What the hell does B37 mean?


Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:18 AM PDT


by Yonkers Boy

Hello all.  Just a few notes, as promised in a prior diary, about CITIBIKE in NYC.  I went ahead with the annual registration.  The person on the phone had indicated that my key should arrive in about three days.  Well, it took about 14.  In the meantime, although I vowed against doing this, I chose to use CITIBIKE once, via a 24 hour pass, before my key arrived.  I was in a jam.  I wondered if this is what they wanted, since it got me to drop an extra $10 while waiting for my key.  The annual clock on the key, however, only starts once you register it online, post receipt.

The system thus far has been awesome.  The bikes are easy to use and feel very sturdy to me.  I have not even come close to either the 30 minute use limit (daily users get this) or the 45 minute use limit (annual key holders get this.).  The additional leg exercise I have enjoyed has been good, too.  I have been reminded how much faster biking is compared with walking.  What used to take 25 minutes to walk now takes about 5.

A few tips to new users:

1.  As stated above, it took almost exactly two weeks to get my key--plan ahead
2.  The key pad (aka "kiosk" which employs touch screen key pads similar in feel to iPhone interfaces) for daily and weekly users works, but it is slow--be ready to spend about 3 to 5 minutes registering your credit card and obtaining your release code number per individual bike user.  If the "key" you push does not respond right away, give it a second before pushing it again or pushing other keys, or you will fall into that domino/whirlpool effect thing when the system starts trying to catch up to the keys you pushed too soon.  Each code expires immediately upon use or in 5 minutes, and when you are ready to use another bike later in the day, you swipe the same credit card at the new kiosk and select the option for obtaining a new code rather than registering a new user.  This way, if some jerk jots down your code from afar, he/she cannot use it at another station to steal a bike with your biometrics.
3.  Pulling the bike out and pushing it into the locking mechanism is made vastly easier if you pull the bike up by the seat during each maneuver.  Up and out/up and in.
4.  GREEN LIGHT ALERT:  When you replace a bike, if you do it correctly, the yellow light goes on.  It stays on for a sec, and if the bike locks properly, the green light shows.  You can then walk away.  However, sometimes the yellow light just goes out after a few seconds, and the green light never comes on--this is BAD.  If you pull hard enough, the bike will release, so never leave your bike until you see that green light.  Repeat.  Never leave your bike until you see that green light.  For some reason, the red light does not seem to come on indicating that the bike did not lock!  I think this will be a problem for many folks who do not know this, and a software update will be required.  Evolution.  
5.  The basket-like thing is very well designed for a briefcase or other small, narrow item--the bungee cord holds it super tight.  However, loose items will fall through the bottom.  If you need more space or you have a lot of loose goods, bring a backpack.
6.  Watch out for assholes who are still getting used to seeing these dorky looking bikes around--I had an intoxicated, shirtless guy walk toward me yesterday afternoon making me swerve away as he yelled that he wanted my bike.  I passed him deftly and never looked back.  This was by the South Street Seaport, so visitors be prudent.

Over and out.


Dear Daily Kos Community:

Last week, I started a super mini series on general points to consider regarding immigration law and the CIR debates.  There was limited interest expressed for me to continue, and that's enough!  So continue, I will.  Today, I will briefly (in an ongoing effort to avoid causing people to pass out from boredom) touch on immigrant versus non-immigrant intent issues (huge topic, BTW) and a few comments on what this often-mentioned H-1B thing is.  Disclaimer:  Nothing in this diary shall constitute legal advice.  This diary is comprised of my opinions, observations, and experiences only.  More below . . . .

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Dear Dailykos Community:  May 3 marked my third-year anniversary as a member here.  Since joining, I have not looked back.  I really dig this place--good and bad.  I lurked for a long time, and recently, I started to write a little bit with encouragement from another member.  Thank you.

That said, I have noticed that immigration law reform discussions have become a topic of interest for more and more people during the prior year or so.  I recently read a diary by Kos wherein he stated that immigration law reform is his top priority, despite the fact that it is not rated so highly, overall.  I was inspired by his statement because, honestly, when I committed to becoming an immigration lawyer in 1999, it was not by choice or professional preference.  More below the orange fold thing about how much that has changed since 1999.


As a U.S. Citizen, I have had exerience with the USCIS through

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