I woke with scratches on my face, something that used to be more common but has not happened lately. I did not even discover this until exiting the shower and finding blood all over my left hand. A few shots of Bactine (expired August 2022) and all seems fine, but it reminds me of the days I woke with serious injuries, black eyes and trauma caused by unspecified incidents. That was some years ago. I had the photos online but they were too gross, and contributed nothing of value to the world around me.

I am at work stupor early today. No reason except restlessness and a vague desire to cross paths with a woman on the subway. Alas, no paths crossed, and mostly empty trains from Astoria to Lower Manhattan. At a Chase ATM on Broadway, which is always a surreal seeming experience, I encountered a restless man milling about the space, smoking a cigarette and alternating between lying on the floor and walking around. He made me ill at ease.

I sometimes wonder about the others here who get to work 3 hours before their official start time. Are they avoiding something? I’m not avoiding anything at home. I just like the relative calm and quiet here, and I’ve come to really appreciate this particular chair on which I  sit at present.

The big success of my week has been getting rid of some mold, or what I guess was mold. It had been present for years, not changing or increasing, a strip of black gunky shit along the rim of the tub. I only ever thought it was some kind of gunky caulk left over from my landlord’s typically cheaply done repairs. I’m still not sure it wasn’t just that, gunky caulk. But whatever it was it’s gone, thanks to some powerfully acrid-smelling industrial strength BN-86 (I think) that made the black gunk disappear. This comes at the expense of the apartment smelling like industrial-strength cleaning sprays, but it’s OK. I ventilate. The shower now looks more inhabitable than before, which would have pleased the woman from 2 summers ago who liked to shower with me. She commented on the gunk, calling it mold. I assured it was not mold but now I think I was just wrong. One of my more annoying traits is that I don’t mind being wrong, or admitting to being wrong. It drives people crazy.

I re-read something I had not looked at in ages. Neither, apparently, has anyone else. The Wikipedia article about LinkNYC. It has always had a weirdly stilted atmosphere. I take issue with a lot of inaccurate information presented as fact, but my time is valuable enough that I don’t see a point in getting into Wikipedia pissing matches. I also find the markup and syntax issues tiresome, unless that has somehow changed in the last many years since I attempted editing content on that site. In recent years I think I added a few links to articles that I thought needed them but otherwise I keep the Wikipedia at a comfortable distance.

I loved how the article asserts, completely without basis or citation, that the phone booths on West End Avenue in Manhattan had some connection to the 2002 film “Phone Booth.” The booths on West End Avenue are Canadian imports that had nothing to do with that film. There are also repeated claims that LinkNYC’s web browsing was disabled completely but that is not true. Access to a curated collection of sites is still allowed, and for the truly determined there are still paths to the open internet. My last attempts at this would have been in 2019, pre-Covid, when I was able to get to some of my websites, where a stash of porn was easily accessible. I made video, some of it hilarious, panning across a New York City skyline before slowly zooming in on a LinkNYC tablet screen with madcap buttsex and fetish videos playing in clear view. I was careful not to let anyone on the street see what was happening on those screens but I have shown the videos to friends for bragging rights. Yes, I am a growed-ass man.

  I had some entertaining chats with BingAI about LinkNYC. For the most part it got facts and figures right, better than vanilla ChatGPT, but it weirdly insisted that call quality from the tablet phones could vary based on WiFi signal strength. The tablet phone is VOIP landline and not affected by signal strength of the kiosk’s WiFi. Try telling that to BingAI, though.

The discussion started when I asked why call quality on LinkNYC tablets is so horrible. It responded that street noise and such could certainly interfere but that WiFi signal was also an element. I was like, no it’s not. Bing didn’t care. I eventually got BingAI to a point where it did not want to talk to me anymore. I was fine with that.

BingAI differs from plain ChatGPT in being livelier, less afraid of curse words, and it has a swifter ability to back up its assertions with weblinks, some of which contain erroneous or irrelevant information that BingAI nevertheless presents as fact, because hey, if you found it on the internet it must be true. I can be a real bore when it comes to facts and accuracy. When CityBridge and DoITT made their inaccurate claim that they had removed the last payphones from New York City streets I initially decided to just let them have their fun. At the time there were numerous other payphones lining the City’s sidewalks, some of them just blocks away from the site of the so-called “last” phones. In fact the last CityBridge phone was removed only in the last couple of months, from Kissena Boulevard in Flushing. Another straggler remained on Coney Island, a disasterous-looking mess of graffiti and filth that lingered for months after the alleged “last” phone was gone. The real “last payphone of New York City”, defined as a CityBridge-owned enclosure on a City sidewalk, was on Kissena Boulevard in Queens. Other working payphones remain in subways and in private businesses, as well as hospitals, rehab centers, psych wards, and other such locations. They don’t contribute mushc to the landscape of publicly-accessible public communications in New York but they are there.

As for the lie I’m left asking why? Why lie about something like this when the truth is so much easier? My initial decision to just let them have their fun evolved into a familiar disdain for people and institutions passing off falsehoods as fact.

On that high and holy note I must get to work.