Tag Archives: subway

Economy Candy

Jen needed to go to a candy store to pick up some special candy for some wedding invitations she is doing and so after our trek up to Grandpa’s old stomping grounds, we caught the train at 96th to head way downtown to a place called Economy Candy. When we got on the train, it was being held because of “police activity” at 86th and that meant that once we got going, it was a crowded train ride all the way down to 14th street. I tried to people watch, which you really couldn’t avoid doing since there were so many people on the train. I was amused to see one man board the train reading 1492, which I assumed he was doing in connection with some course on history attempting to relate its curriculum ot the upcoming Columbus Day holiday. Of course, it could have been a coincidence. More amusing were the two woman who nearly got into a fight because neither wanted to budge from their cramped space on the train.

We finally made it down to 108 Rivington Street, where Economy Candy is located and the first thing I noticed upon walking inside was that the whole entire placed smelled like Halloween. It’s not a very big place, but it is probably the largest candy store I have ever been in. Typical of famous New York shops with New York reputation, the sign above the counter read, “There will be a $5 charge for whining.” No one was whining. In fact, this place was a child’s dream, or a dentist’s dream, depending upon your perspective.

There were all sorts of candy, some of which I thought were long extinct. I took in as much as I could and finally turned to Jen and said, in a haughty tone, “I’ll be impressed if and only if they have Clark bars.” Jen reached her hand into a red box just under my nose and said, “You mean like this?” Sure enough, boxes and boxes of Clark bars. They had a 16 ounce jaw breaker that sold for $9. I estimated the diameter to be 4-5 inches. You literally had to lick your way to the point where it could fit into your mouth. Forget Tootsie Pops, how many licks would it take to get to the center of the “Mega Bruiser” jaw breaker?

Among some of the candy that could be found, that I had all but forgotten about: every variety of Pez you can imagine. There were pop rocks and lemonheads, and Boston baked beans. There were boxes and boxes of candy cigarettes! All of the parents seemed to afraid to allow their kids to buy a pack, even though it’s what all of the kids wanted to buy. There was a taffy kind of candy called “Mary Janes”, the name of which amused me. There were un-opened packs of 1988 Topps baseball cards. Could you imagine how stale that stick of gum must be 18 years later? They also had the Harry Potter jelly beans, complete with two new flavors: bacon and rotten egg.

As it turns out, Jen could not find the candy she was looking for in this candy emporium and so she had to make due with an alternative selection. She wanted to get me a Clark bar, but I refused. While I like looking at candy, I no longer eat it. She asked me what she should get for Jason and the answer was staring me right in the face: Sugar Daddy.

We took a bus back uptown and all of my observing must have worn me out. I slept most of the way.

Train etiquette

The train from P.G. Plaza today had some new door sound effects and voices to go along with it. I think Metro is experimenting with changing the two-tone “door closing” sound that they currently use. It was only that train however; the train at Mt. Vernon had the normal tone.

Subway and train commuters will understand this: when you are a regular commuter, you have “your spot” on the train. Most of the other people there with you are also regular commuters and they all respect this and know this. It’s only the tourists and irregular commuters who don’t realize this. So I was somewhat surprised this morning when I got on the train at my connecting station and another regular commuter took “my” spot. I might be paranoid, but it seemed like he did it intentionally: there was no one else on the train, it was there first stop, and every seat was available. This person normally sits at one end of the train car, but today, he made a bee-line for my seat. I sat somewhere else, but I have to say I found this to be an annoying breach of commuter etiquette.

One of those non-stop days…

I realized that it was one of those non-stop days today when it glanced at the time and it was 2 PM and I hadn’t even thought about eating lunch yet. I spent the morning hip-deep in code, trying to make something work with SQL triggers that has no business working, and yet I managed to convince it otherwise. Then I sat through a great 10 minute meeting. Problem is the meeting went on for another twenty minutes.

By the time I got back to my office, I had heard back form a vendor I am working with to schedule some training, and so I then spent several hours trying to obtain conference rooms for 4 days of training at the end of the month. Meetings are out of control. I had to beg and borrow in order to convince people to shift meetings around so that I could get conference rooms for four consecutive days. And not even the same rooms! Do all companies have these problems when it comes to conference rooms? Do we really need all these meetings? I’m reminded of something I once heard on KNX radio in L.A.:

A meeting is a place where minutes are taken and hours are lost.

It just seems as thought there is something wrong with the world when the time it takes to schedule a meeting exceeds the time of the meeting itself.

Somehow, I was then bombarded by email and it seemed like every message demanded an immediate response. I counted (come on, let’s face it, you know me by now) and in a two and a half hour span, I sent or replied to something like forty email messages. Productive work slipped away. I wrote one line of code, answered two email messages, wrote another line of code, answered three more email messages.

But I finally made it out the door. Switching trains on Mount Vernon Square, the Green Line that game by had an “isolated” car (that means that the car was closed, you had to use other). What this really means is that it was a crowded train by Washington Metro standards. In the 3-1/2 years I’ve been taking the metro, I’ve ridden on trains with isolated cars three times; two of those time have been in the last month.

I was finally able to relax when I got home. I finished up Foundation’s Fear and will start on Foundation and Choas tomorrow. Spoke to Mom, Dad and Doug on the phone this evening.

No need to pack a lunch tomorrow; I’m having lunch with A.J.

Best of all: tomorrow is my “Friday”. I’m heading up to Albany this weekend (a 4-day weekend for me) to see Eric and Ryane and so I took Friday off.

Now, going to watch a Sopranos episode and then off to bed.