Sub: MTA & LIRR SMS/Email Alerts

To Whom It May Concern,

When I first learned of SMS and e-mail alerts, I thought to myself, “What a helpful service! Kudos, MTA/LIRR!” Now, three years hence, I’ve unsubscribed from all alerts. When I initially signed up I made sure to select only the hours in which this service would make a difference for me: The hours preceding my departure from home and work. Maddeningly, I could only select six-hour blocks, but c’est la vie; we all must make sacrifices when dealing with otherwise useful opportunities.

Up until 6 months ago I’d had nothing to complain about, but now I have a bone to pick. Messages are coming at all hours and at an irksome frequency (I’ve just received 6 text messages in 36 minutes). This is not a problem that exists between the seat and the keyboard, to use an industry phrase, as my settings have not changed and I clearly have my work hours blacked out and my colleagues and acquaintances are all receiving the unwanted “alerts.”

A note on these “Alerts”: An alert is not helpful if it comes while I’m already standing in Penn Station or packed on a train struck in the East River Tunnel. It would be helpful when a disruption first occurs so I know to stay at work as I have no reason to run for a train. Like so many people in Manhattan, I have stuff to do. With that said, I’ve taken note over the past two months and have noticed that in the past 4 major delays or significant incidents, alerts have not been sent at all, but the “all clear” is given some time later. I’d like to point out that Wins don’t count if you’re not accepting of the accompanying losses. Just putting that out there.

This is a system-wide issue that needs to be dealt with. And while I appreciate that this is a free service, you surely have staff devoted to it that is tasked with its oversight and care. The effectiveness of this staff needs to be evaluated because to quote Bruce Willis, “[They’ve] done a piss-poor job.” I look forward to any announcements about changes in the alert system and will re-subscribe at that time. For now, I must bid you adieu.

Just because we don’t have choices doesn’t mean you can treat your customers like idiots. You will also be able to find this letter on my blog: Aright, Doom!

All The Best,

Christopher Cona


[Ed Note: Join me in my fight against the LIRR. Comment below to show our strength.] #yesImserious


Time Travel Movies and the Paradoxes Within

I saw this on Gizmodo last night and it’s pretty emblematic of everything I feel about time travel movies as a genre. For instance, in Hot Tub Time Machine [spoiler alert!] everyone comes back to the future and–as far as we can tell–just slips right into their glossy new lives. And I don’t get how that works. You can’t just start RUNNING a recording studio/production house. You can’t just be married to someone for 20 years and then come back and not know them. I’m confused.

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In Defense of the 2005 World Series or: Look Deeper, You Lazy Bastards!

Ed Note: This is an inaugural guest post by our very good friend, Brian Berman. Keep track of his posts with the tag, “Berman Is Always Right.” Cause he is, and it’s true.

The World Series is upon us, pitting the San Francisco “You have to go back to New York to find our last championship” Giants against the Texas “What World Series appearance?” Rangers. These are two fan bases that do not get enough “tortured” cred[1], so I’m truly ok with either of them taking the title. In fact, this is going to be my first stress-free World Series since the excellent 2005 World Series[2] where the Chicago White Sox swept the Houston Astros.

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Save The Manuals: One Man’s Journey from Freeport to Bayshore in Search For a Car Worth Driving

Stick Shift

They came for our flip up lights, and we said nothing, for we had no flip up lights for them to take. They took away our dipsticks and we looked away, for what were we to say? But we cannot–nay–shall not stand idly by as they take away our stick shifts. Read more of this post

WTF Happened to Facebook?


My darling girlfriend thinks that the Smartcar is just the bee’s knees. Being in my right mind, I know that it’s a death trap not built for American roads. But that’s just me. Even still, when I see something having to do with these pint-sized automobiles I’m sure to send the link her way. Read more of this post

Greg Giraldo’s Dead: How Does This Make You Feel?

Whether you realize it or not, you know who Greg Giraldo is. If you’re between the age of 21 and 26 and spent every day after school watching Comedy Central, then you absolutely know who Greg Giraldo is and have some sort of opinion about his many failed show attempts and final descent into “The Guy They Wheel Out for Roasts.” Either way, he’s the scruffy, sputtery standup that you’ve seen hanging out with other standups on O&A, the Howard Stern Show, and–yes–The Comedy Central Roast of [Insert Celeb Here].

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Dear NYU: I Still Owe You that $5 I Promised You When I Graduated


There’s really something just immediately satisfying about sitting around and watching Top Chef with my girlfriend, coming home, pouring a scotch and getting down to write. Bonus points for Death Cab For Cutie playing. Read more of this post