August 10th, 2011

#2859: Survey says: you're an idiot!

On the way back from the motorcycle course, I got onto 394 from Glenwood-Dyer road. About a mile or three south of there IDOT is doing something or other, so they've got the left lane closed.

For a change, everyone actually got into the right lane and stayed there, well in advance...but then this moron in a Dodge van comes roaring past me.

I figured, okay, the guy's one of those douchebags who just has to pass people; it looked to me as if he'd be pulling over in front of me. There was plenty of room for him; I practice a 2-3 second following distance some 96% of the time and the douche could have easily fit in that space. But no! He laid further on the throttle and went to pass the semi in front of me!

...and the sawhorses begain creeping to the right. Thud! one went flying! The idiot didn't back off the gas but kept going, and he actually made the semi swerve to avoid a collision.

Of course I caught up to the idiot at the Sauk Trail light. Do you honestly think his stupidity saved him any time at all?

I couldn't see any obvious damage to his vehicle but I know there had to be some; but he was in the left turn lane and the damage was on the left side of his van.

Oh well! Life sucks when you're stupid!

* * *

Gorgeously cool day today, nice day to be on the range riding around in circles. I stink at the precision low-speed stuff, though I have to say I am getting better at it the more we do it, which is about what you'd expect.

It stings a bit when the instructor yells at me, but he's not yelling because he's mad or because he wants to hurt my feelings; he's yelling at me to make me a better rider. (Also because you have to yell to be heard over the sound of 12 motorcycles doing various maneuvers.) So I take the critique in the correct spirit and tell myself not to be such a big vagina about it.

I was getting pretty frustrated at my inability to make the bike go where I wanted it to when doing very low speed U-turns and stuff, but I did manage to stay inside the box and managed to complete each exercise successfully at least once. I would have preferred more runs through each one, but they've got a pretty tight schedule. Hopefully the actual test at the end won't be as hard as the exercises are.

'Cause I really want to get the Suzuki street legal on Friday afternoon and take it for a legal spin around town!

* * *

USB 3.0 might soon be able to deliver 100W of power. You can run a lot of stuff on 100W, including hard drives--so maybe the next external drive I buy might draw all its power from the USB bus (assuming I stuck a USB 3.0 card in this machine, because it's only got 2.0.)

* * *

"We dealt with them in a kinetic strike."

Why can't we just say, "We blew the shit out of those motherfuckers?" (Other than the fact that you can't say those words on TV, I mean.) No, it's got to be a politically correct "kinetic strike" now. We didn't blow the assholes to kingdom come; we "dealt with them".

*sigh*

* * *

Conservatives ought to call it "The Contract on the American Dream" the way Democrats called Gingrich's "Contract With America" the "Contract on America".

* * *

"We will not put up with this" and "nothing is off the table" but they're still using nonlethal means of subduing crowds, so I guess there are some things that are off the table after all, aren't there?

* * *

Bert and Ernie are not gay. For Christ's sake, we're talking about a kids' show here. What the hell makes anyone think Bert and Ernie are gay? They have twin beds in the same room? Maybe they share a 1-bedroom apartment, has that occurred to anyone? What the fuck.

* * *

If you're living to be 1,000 years old, you shouldn't be retiring at 80. You shouldn't be retiring until you're in your 600s at least.

...this assumes a simple ten-fold expansion of human lifespan, of course--something like regenerative treatments which expand your lifespan to thirty score and a hundred, rather than threescore and ten--and so that senescence begins around six or seven hundred years of age, rather than sixty or seventy.

If you end up being a brain in a jar for nine hundred years? Blech. I'd rather go be with Jesus.

* * *

Speaking of the riots in England, there's a quote in this Ace of Spades HQ piece: "I felt very panicky because we are not safe from either the rioters or police."

You're not allowed to defend yourself in England; they'll put you in jail if you do. So you end up with Hobbes' choice: lose your property to rioters, or lose your property to fines and court costs.

* * *

AND the usual DOOM! post from over that-a-way.

I can't help linking it every day right now. The Dow is off 240 points from yesterday's close as I write this; I think it'll go a bit higher but not exceed yesterday's close. I AM ALWAYS WRONG. IF YOU ACT ON THAT INFORMATION AND LOSE YOUR ASS DO NOT BLAME ME BECAUSE I AM ALWAYS WRONG.

Okay? I'll say it again: I AM ALWAYS WRONG.

...except when I'm not, of course.

* * *

DPUD on the riots in England.

Money quote: "In some instances, skirmishes turned violent. 'The police wanted to arrest one of my friends because he punched some of the guys,' said a waiter at the Somine restaurant. 'We didn’t let them.'" Emphasis theirs.

"We didn't let them."

Yeah, those police, they're really in control of the situation, aren't they? You don't need to own your own weapons because the police will always be able to save you! Right? Right??

* * *

My left ankle is not happy with the boots I'm wearing to class. Well, there are two days left; then we'll see where we go from there.

...looking around at motorcycles, just for grins, it turns out that the entry-level models (similar to the ones we're riding in class) start around $3,000 and go up from there. The Suzuki I'd like to try riding--it's a single cylinder, 250cc, with fuel injection--has an MSRP of $3,999 and the instructor keeps talking about some shop which has one with about 30 miles on it which could be had for $3k.

There's another entry-level model Suzuki--same engine, but carbed--which has an MSRP of $2,999, and I bet I could find a used one a few years old for not a lot of money. Probably $1,500 or so in good condition, and I could ride it anywhere if I wanted to.

Sailor V was shocked and surprised to learn that a brand new motorcycle could be had for such a meager sum--$3k? $4k?--but I was not; back in the 1990s when I went through most of this (all but taking the riding course) there was a similar model Suzuki which was $2,400 at list price. If I could have found a riding course, I might have gone for it....

Sailor V has also volunteered to loan me his motorcycle, since he's not going to be using it; all I need to do is pay for insurance. WTF, I could do that. (Assuming, of course, that it actually gets fixed and returned to him.)

I don't need a 4-cylinder motorcycle; I don't want one. I want something for short day trips around town, you know, maybe quick rides through the countryside. I'm not going racing and I'm going to avoid the expressway like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, at least until I have enough riding experience that the idea doesn't scare me green.

...but all that's later on. First I need to get the damn "M" put on my license. Two days, and we'll know whether or not I get that.

* * *

Anyway, so now it's 2 PM and I'm starting to slow down from the morning's activity, and beginning to feel sleepy.

I suppose I'll have more energy this weekend once the "get up at 6:45, leave at 7, then go learn new things for four hours" regime has ended. I'd like to run the ethernet cable through the attic, fix the bathroom fan, and maybe get a piece of drywall fit to the hole in the ceiling of Mom's room.

I forget when it was--2004? 2005?--but Mom had me install a vent fan in her room, to get the cigarette smoke out. Well, we're going to remove that fan anyway; I might be able to use parts from it to fix the bathroom fan, so I'm going to remove it. I'm thinking of laying cardboard over the hole from the attic side, taping it down, and then using double-sided tape to affix a piece of drywall to the cardboard; when we get around to spackling and painting that room, we can seal up the cracks and it'll look fine.

This would be the week to do it; it's supposed to be nice and cool, at least until Sunday.

Man, last night was great sleeping weather, let me tell you. I lay in bed with the windows open and the fan running, and I had my comforter covering my entire body, and I was comfortable as all get-out.

* * *

One drawback to looking up MSRP of motorcycles: now the weather web site is showing me motorcycle ads instead of ads for web site selling brassieres for women with big tits. I have no idea why it defaults to that. Really I don't!

#2860: Thirteen

Here's an interesting thing about me: my life seems ruled by the number 13.

Okay, just as an example: the two domiciles I've lived in? The numerals in their building numbers add up to 13. For the six years I lived in Cedar Rapids, I lived at 1651 34th St SE; 1+6+5+1=13. (And I lived in apartment 13.) The bunker's numbers add up to 13.

So I just noticed a bit ago that the motorcycle course I'm enrolled in is LAP-58.

5+8=13.

What were the last two digits on my ticket for the seating lottery?

58. 5+8=13. Looked at that way, it seems almost inevitable that I'd get in, doesn't it?

In addition to that, I've worked for two employers at store locations numbered #832 which--you guessed it--adds up to 13.

The new plates for the Fiero have two number groups on them. One group is 832.

I suppose I ought to be freaked out about all this, but in fact it's actually kind of cool, in a way.