Monday, March 31, 2008

They're Not All Bad

There was an umm... incident on the road from Mazatlan to Culiacan, Mexico on Saturday night. I came up over a hill and on the other side, I saw something in the road I couldn't identify right away. I swerved to avoid it. I was driving a relatively small car with 4 other passengers including an infant; I didn't want to risk hitting something that could total the car.

I should mention here that the road was 2 lanes with no shoulder on the left side, just a concrete barrier. I was driving in the right lane when I saw what only turned out to be geese walking on the road. Of course if I knew they were geese before I swerved, I'd have just run the bastards over.

Well the sudden swerve caused the car to start fishtailing a bit and to make a long story short, (like I ever do that) rather than end up against the wall, we ended up in the ditch.

So there's the back story. The police came of course (Federales). We were stuck and couldn't simply back out. They took statements and the Captian spoke English so we were able to communicate directly. Based on many things I've heard, I was more than half expecting a bribe to be exacted from me in order to keep me out of jail. I know it's a very common practice in Tijuana where the Captain used to work. Fortuntely, he turned out to be a decent guy and he was very helpful. The tow truck driver that pulled us out later told us we're lucky he was on duty that night because things might have turned out different if it wasn't him.

As a side note, I want to add that no one was hurt in the incident, I wasn't found at fault for anything, no tickets were issued and the only damage to the car was a bent rim. Also, though no bribes were asked for, apparently it's common to tip the police when they've been helpful.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fun With Rude People

I was on a commuter train the other day and I had a fun experience. It was the busiest train of the day and were packed in like so much cordwood. The seats are in groups of four where two seats face the other two. People tend to avert their eyes a lot and not say much.

In this case, there was a woman who got on her phone almost as soon as I sat down. She made one phone call to her sister and she was discussing various personal things. Then she called what sounded like someone who was a friend that knew her and her family for quite some time.

I now know, if I care to recall, how long she has been married, how long her parents have been married, the health of her father, mother and brother. I know where she went for vacation and how many fishing boats her uncle (on her fathers's) side owns.

So she's yammering on for 20 minutes of unadulterated gossip. Finally, I looked at the guy across from me (he was sitting next to the yak woman) and said in a manner loud enough for the woman to hear, "I didn't really want to know about her entire life, did you?"

Her conversation came to a dead stop and I thought, "Oh, this is going to get interesting."

In a very indignant manner, she glared at me and said, "EXCUSE ME???!!" Then she told the person she was talking to that she had to go because someone had a problem with her talking on the train.

In a calm but matter of fact voice I explained, "I now know far more about your life than I ever cared to know. Do you think the rest of us really want to hear all of the personal details of your life?"

Her respose was totally unexpected. She looked at me as if to cast out a demon and said, "You're an angry man. Why are you so angry?" As I mentioned a moment ago, I was very calm. In fact, I was downright amused because I knew she'd get irritated and I'd get to have a little fun with her.

"I'm not angry," I replied barely looking up from my book, "I just think you're rude." Again, she accused me of being angry. So I said, "Listen, here we are in a very crowded train and you're forcing everyone around you to listen to a very detailed and personal account of your life and those you associate with. What makes you think we want to hear all of that?"

"DON'T talk to me!" was her response and then I was even more amused. I wasn't expecting an apology but her blatant refusal to recognize her rudeness was amazing.}

So I said "You're just upset because I'm not afraid to tell you what everyone else can hear you is thinking, which is that we do not want to hear the intimate details about your life."

And then came the not-so-original reply "Don't talk to me! Oh, and God bless you."

I did't pursue it further, but I almost did. I considered standing up, getting everyone's attention and asking for a show of hands who thinks it's rude for someone to carry on an extended personal discussion on a crowded train. I refrained out of consideration for the other passengers. I didn't want to put them on the spot.

Even though the woman wouldn't admit to me she was being rude, I know she'll think of me every time she gets on her phone on the train or other crowded area and I can almost guarantee her calls will be shorter.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Where's My Disability Check?

It seems that I, and probably most of you reading this have a mental illness. I have no doubt the neo-cons and liberals would agree with that assessment with no further qualification but that's not what this is about.

The American Journal of Psychiatry is reporting that excessive emailing and texting are a form of mental illness. I first picked up on this here.

So, what I want to know is, when do I start collecting my disability check because I am clearly mentally ill. But wouldn't putting people on disability simply further the problem? "Here you are good citizen; have some tax payer money because you're disabled. Now you can sit home and umm, oh, that would be counter productive; you'll just be on line more often. Oh well, those are the rules. Enjoy!"

Seriously though, look at the Americans With Disabilities Act and look at all the crap that's considered a disability. You can't even fire someone just for being an alcoholic anymore! Alcoholism is a DISEASE you know and they can't help it!

Why does everything have to be a disorder or a disease?


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What's Up With Obama?

I get most of my news and information from the Internet. I very rarely watch TV. So today, I just heard Barak Obamasama for the first time while listening to the radio.

I heard him denouncing his pastor for his divisive racial remarks.

The thing I noticed most was that his voice sounds like a bad imitation of Eddie Murphy doing his imitation of a nerdy white guy.

It's not that I think black people should "talk black" but it sounds like he's trained himself to try to sound as white as possible or what he thinks "white" should sound like. The net effect is, he sounds like Eddie Murphy's version of a white guy.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

I Upped My Plan


I love that joke!

Seriously though, I just saved money today by switching my T-Mobile cell phone plan to Unlimited calling.

Previously I had 2500 minutes per month for $99.00 and unlimited text messaging for $14.99 per month. The new plan gives me unlimted minutes and text messaging for $99.00.

Why so many minutes? Mostly I use it for work (self employed so I don't get reimbursed) but even at 2500 minutes, I've come dangerously close to going over at $0.40/minute. So really, this works out to be a good deal for me.

Apparently AT&T has the same deal going but it doesn't include the text messaging. It's $20 more for that plan.

Verizon has also jumped in with the same deal as AT&T. If you want Verizon's VCast and navigation it's $140/month.

MetroPCS offers an unlimted plan for $35/month with NO contract but their coverage area SUCKS so it's not a very good deal. To talk out of their coverage areas is either $0.49 or $0.79/minute depending on the zone. That could get very costly.

Isn't competition great? Left up to the regulators, these companies would be forced to offer cheap plans with lousy service and bad phones. Yes, I know, there is still a lot of room left for improvement with all of them but let's let the market handle it. I think if the regulatory burden wasn't already so high, it would be better now.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Lotz Uv Missteaks

I was reading the following article on FoxSnooze. I sent a letter to the editor pointing out all the errors. Find the errors, report in the comments. In all fairness to Fox, they appear to just be pasting an article from another source but it lowers the editing standards. Here's the article on the website. It may be corrected by the time you read this which is why I copied it below in its entirety.

An Australian doctor who had sex with his two daughters was ordered never to practice medicine again, it is being reported by

The man, who cannot be named because it would indentify his daughters, is served two prison sentences following his convictions in courts in Brisbane and Canberra.

Last year, the Health Practitioners Tribunal of Queensland suspened the doctor for five years and listed a number of requirements in order for him to register again.

However, the Medical Board of Queensland went to the Court of Appeal seeking his name be removed permanently from the register and that he never be allowed to practisc again.

The court heard the man had previously been suspended in 1996 after being charged with misconduct for having sex with a patient.

He was re-registered in 1997 after serving a nine months suspension.

The court was told in February 2005, the man pleaded guilty to indecently dealing with his daughters, aged 11 and 10 at the time, in 2003 and 2004.

He was jailed for 12 months to be suspended after four months on those charges.

In June 2005, he pleaded guilty to two counts of having sexual intercourse with his daughter while in the ACT.

In the Supreme Court in Canberra he was jailed for three years with a non-parole period of 14 months.

The Court of Appeal today upheld the Medical Board's appeal and set aside the Tribunal's suspension.

In its place it imposed a sentence of cancelling the man's registration as a doctor and ordered he never again be allowed to practise as a doctor in Queensland.

Justice Pat Keane noted the man had admitted having committed violations with six other female patients and the daughter of an elderly patient.

He said the conditions imposed by the Tribunal on the doctor's reregistration were inadequate.

"A medical practitioner cannot be rendered fit to practice by conditions which reflect the likelihood he will actually do harm to a large segment of the public if allowedto enjoy the privileged status of medical practitioner," he added.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


The Supreme Court of The United States which I refer to as SCROTUM: "Stupid Court Repeatedly Orders Treacherous Unconstitutional Mandates" will begin deliberations this week on what is considered indecent broadcasting. Apparently, there are a lot of people out there who go running to the FCC every time someone says a cuss word on live television.

If the viewers would contact the networks and voice their displeasure I could accept that. If they contacted the advertisers, I could accept that. But the default position for far too many people is to seek a government solution to the problem.

Why do we need an FCC? We don't! Existing property laws could govern signal stealing, etc. We don't need the government to regulate the content. Viewers and potential viewers are capable of doing that on their own.

But, but, but, DIFSTER! If there is no regulation, the airwaves will be filled with nothing but pornography! I disagree. Sure, there will be some. However, not as much as you would imagine. There has to be a market for it. Yes, I'm quite a aware there is a market for porn. However, many companies would not be willing to spend their advertising dollars on those shows. Parents will block the naughty channels so their children cannot watch them. Parents will complain bitterly to the broadcasters. Other broadcasters will market themselves as "smut free" and brag about higher standards, etc.

The free flow of information is far more important than using government to protect the eyes and ears of our young ones. That job is up to the parents. Instill the values you want your children to have. For the most part, they WILL listen. We do need to control the media content that enters our homes, but it's up to us to do it.

The additional problem I'm having here is that once again SCROTUM is trying to make laws for us rather than simply interpreting it. Let Congress define decency if they think they can but stop treating us like children who can't protect ourselves and our families.

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