Archive for the tag 'ray johnson'

You know how in zombie movies, before the massive zombie attack, there are always news reports in the background about smaller attacks and nobody’s paying attention? It’s pretty much the same thing with shopping carts.

Trafficked, abandoned, rejected, abused… shopping carts are working corners, lurking in alleys and hiding in yards. All alone, with nothing to do but think about their vengeance on the humans.

So when the above report came on about a small town mayor looking to halt the start of a cart-ocalypse by charging fines for stealing the vehicles, we bet you weren’t paying attention.

But you should have. For the most renowned prophet of shopping carts makes an appearance about halfway through, and you would be wise to heed her words.

Heed them!

The Census 2010 was supposed to be like a category 5 storm, where every single resident was going to be sucked up in a flurry of… um… tabulations. Instead, in parts of Southern Brooklyn and Sheepshead Bay, it barely touched ground with participation rates as low as 44 percent in some tracts.

What are the reasons that the census forms were not sent back? Readers, feel free to write in and add to this list:

  • many people are suspicious of the government
  • some truly did not know much about what the census is
  • the census doesn’t have much importance in the minds of those who didn’t send it back
  • some households wanted to stimulate the economy by getting those census funds spent on workers knocking on doors
  • since the census forms that came in the mail neglected to mention the  deadline date (April 16, 2010), many didn’t know that the deadline was upon them
  • many did not know that if they sent their form in even after the deadline, they may still be counted, possibly eliminating the need for a census enumerator might to be sent to their home
  • residents were surprised to learn that the census form required them to put their name on the form, and felt this to be an invasion of their privacy
  • some are too hip or too frum to be filling out forms or using snail mail, even if postage was not necessary.

To help rally in some more households in Southern Brooklyn, yours truly has been called into the enumerator brigade. It’s not as if I’m looking forward to barking dogs, doors in my face, communication difficulties, braving the elements, or serious dangers of approaching strangers (especially ones with guns) – but I’m thankful to be a federal worker, even if it is for a just a couple of weeks.

Let Ray convince you to fill out the Census

Since Ray was under the weather and couldn’t put together this week’s post, I decided to hold you over with this decidedly Sheepshead Bites-influenced commercial. All I have to say is Ray deserves royalties.

Usually, when a 1-year-old celebrates his or her first birthday, the parents mark the occasion by a big party with loved ones and a bunch of other kids running around. Everyone gathers around the cake and unfurls the noisemakers by blowing into the birthday kid’s face as she smiles at the burning candles, not knowing what it means to make a wish. There’s usually music, food, pin-the-tail-on-donkey, and tons of fun.

But, alas, this is is my birthday, and it’s not the first ever in my life. This birthday is to mark my first full year as a blogger. My parent, Ned (hey, I’m only one year old. I can barely write much less speak and Ned sounds like Dad), being the harried single father that he is — has forgotten it’s my birthday. Continue Reading »

If you’re reading this, then you can already see that Sheepshead Bites has a new look, and we hope you’re as pumped up about it as we are. Bold, elegant and classy – we call it bolelegassy – our new digs reflect where we plan to go in the coming months. The new site, based on different software, has a slew of new features. Check out that map to the right! And the twitter updates on the top! Oh, and what’s that? E-mail updates? Facebook profile? Less categories and the ability to browse by popular tabs?! Oh, my!

That’s right. This new look is about you. On one level it’s about connecting with you in new ways. Twitter updates will allow you to get fresh information by text message, and Facebook lets us learn more about who you are; daily e-mail updates give you the opportunity to read us in your inbox at your own pace.

On another level, it’s also about new means of navigating the site. Just like the old site, you can still browse our posts in chronological order with the latest news first. But we’ve added the flashy map so you can see where the news is happening, and click the markers to see the stuff we’re reporting on near your house, your workplace – heck, anywhere in the bay. And don’t forget the categories and tags. By reducing the categories we’ve made the sidebar easier to view the news that interests you. Meanwhile, the list of popular tags is automatically generated by the number of posts using those terms and the number of people reading them. So you can see exactly what topics are hot on our site as voted by other readers’ clicks. How cool is that?

Also, don’t miss the new features at the end of every post. Using the “Share This” button you can e-mail articles to friends and family, or post it to your favorite social bookmarking sites like Digg and Technorati. And “Print This” has added a printer-friendly functionality, allowing you to bring our digital bytes into real-world bits for the decidedly analog people you know.

But what about the fish? We know; we miss him, too. Unfortunately our mascot and namesake, the sheepshead fish that always appeared on the top of the site, is on hiatus until we can find the right designer for the job. We wouldn’t want you seeing old Sheepy before he’s ready for his closeup, but we promise we’re working on bringing him back as soon as possible.

He’s not the only thing coming soon. Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out even more features. We would hate to ruin the surprise, but we’ll just say this – they’ll all serve to help you interact in more meaningful and effective ways with us and each other. Afterall, getting to know our neighbors and cultivating a deeper, real-life community is what this site is all about.

One last word before we sign off: the site may still have a few kinks in it. Because of a sudden technical glitch in our old platform, we were forced to roll out our latest version sooner than intended. Therefore, as we go along we’ll be making little improvements here and there to both the design and functionality. (That includes a speed-boost, so we apologize if things are running a little slower than what you’re used to.) We could really use your help in this effort. If you encounter any problems or notice anything that doesn’t look quite right, be sure to use the contact button on the top – or my e-mail on the right – and let us know. We’ve been looking at this site for months, so your fresh eyes are our best weapon in the fight against boo-boos.

Sheepshead Bites: great new look, same great content!


(Artist: Lori Merhige, mixed media, 2009, Titled: Fall; Display made possible in part by The Wassaic Project)

This picture was snapped at the Brooklyn Blogfest 2009 afterparty held at the Galapagos Art Space. It was a chic, happening spot, but still not as happening as across the street where Blogfest had just wrapped up.

Some may say this sculpture has a sexual connotation, but I say it looks like a woman drowning. It’s art, so we can take it however we want. Still, drowning seems more like it, since the sculpture is placed in a moat of water.

I chose this picture of a drowning woman for my blogfest post, simply because I identify with the concept. Many of you were surprised to learn last night when you met me at the Place Blogs pew upstairs at the powerhouse Arena that — I am a woman. One other thing that didn’t come up in our conversations, is that I can’t swim to save my life.

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This is just a tiny reminder about Brooklyn Blogfest 2009 happening tonight. It’s less than one year and Sheepshead Bites is one of the notable bloggers representing Place Blogs. You can learn more about blogging and have a little fun while you’re at it. There will be food, prizes, and giveaways. Stop by and say “Hi” at the Blogs-of-a-Feather coop.

…for the powerhouse of blog meetings at the powerHouse Arena in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

I’ll be at the coop called Place Blogs nesting with the rest of the Blogs-of-a-Feather where you can also meet bloggers of the following subjects: Social Activist; Food & Home; Historic; Political; Photo; Popular Culture & Comedy; and, Parenting.

If you’re interested in learning more about this exciting world we call blogging, you will have a great time at the 2009 Brooklyn Blogfest on Thursday, May 7, 2009.

Last year at the 2008 Brooklyn Blogfest, Ned was inspired to start Sheepshead Bites. This year, you will be inspired to start your own exciting online world.

This event is well-planned, with a casual, educational side and a fun, social side. The buzz is that there is also a wild, midnight-hour party not-really-planned for after the official events.

The powerHouse arena, with it’s 24-foot ceilings and 5,000 square feet of virtual world bloggers mingling in the real world, will be the venue for the educational portion, but then the whole crowd of creative geniuses will cross the street for the nutritional side of things.

At the Galapagos Art Space and after the main event, there will be free, real (not virtual) food and a cash bar (hint, bring cash and ID), with time to mingle and meet all these cool bloggers. They’re not just people, they’re bloggers.

It only costs $10 to enter and you can pay ahead to facilitate registration — which would be a good idea based on the number of people who attended last year.

Here is the information:

Fourth Annual Brooklyn Blogfest

May 7, 2009
Doors open at 7 p.m.
powerHouse Arena
37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Admission: $10 ($5 for students and seniors)

Brooklyn Blogfest After-Party
Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
(right across the street from powerHouse Arena)

Cash bar and refreshments


(Sheepshead fish photo before changes courtesy of Wade’s Page website and quiz)

You know how the famous riddle goes, don’t you? But, if you still need a little help, like million-dollar-winning contestant Connie McClellan did on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, you can feel free to recruit some knowledgeable press people. (Ahem, you can reach us at the address below.)

The famous riddle seems to come undone when you see it in, um, black and white — but, just go with it.

What’s Black and White and Re(a)d All Over?

A) A newspaper
B) Inauguration Luncheon Menu
C) Sheepshead Bites
D) The past week’s Obama interviews (minus the NY Times)
E) All of the above

While major newspapers are struggling for ways to keep the presses printing, internet news sources are growing in popularity. Sheepshead Bites is glad to be a part of this trend. Our readership has grown significantly from May 2008 to now. In less than a year, we have seen visitors from 98 countries.

But, our main goal is to serve and interact with our Sheepshead Bay neighbors. So, from now until May — when we celebrate our first anniversary — we are setting our goal for super phenomenal growth. You can get involved by telling your friends about our internet presence and sending us your comments.

Thank you for your continued support. Now, let’s get started on that super-phenomenalism.

[By the way, if you said ‘E’, then you’ve just won the virtual million dollar prize.]


(Photo of Hammock under Palm Trees, Tropical/Pacific courtesy of Picasa user Mudassir)

A post requesting our readers to be patient if the stories aren’t coming up as quickly as we would like:

Thank you to everyone who took our Sheepshead Bites business card when I met you near the Super Stop & Shop. Thank you for stopping by our site. I hope your Thanksgiving was memorable, though for different reasons than mine was.

You see, I had a little accident with a certain hot handle (straight out of the broiler) and a certain M.I.A. potholder (oh, how I wish I had briefed up on Thanksgiving day safety tips) that prevented me not just from writing for Sheepshead Bites, but also for typing cover letters, resumes, and e-mails, for my endless job search.

Read more about my dream job after the jump.
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