February 26, 2007

February 22, 2007

A funny thing happend on the way home last night....

The past week has been quite traumatic in my computer life. A week ago today, I was sitting at my desk, checked some email, and got up to get a glass of ice water as I was about to begin watching my DVD lectures for the evening.

I didn't realize it, but the power cord was wrapped around my shoe, and with one simple move, my Apple 17" G4 PowerBook crashed to the hardwood floor, breaking 75% of the viewable screen.

After spending quite some time writhing in agony, and getting some assistance from my main main, a replacement screen was eventually ordered, and all would hopefully soon be well.

So last night, we began the computer repair process taking apart my constant life companion only to discover that the screen that we purchased, while made specifically for my make and model, didn't meet the "product number" requirement, so no replacement was made (that complete adventure will be blogged about in the future... I'll end it at that for today's purposes).

So last night, about 1:30 AM, I am driving home through the boonies of Montgomery County at a rapid, open road rate. Some time into the journey, I realize that I have a car on my tail, and upon closer inspection, I realized that it was in fact a state trooper behind me. At this point, I'm doing 60 in a 30, and feeling that it was already too late to avoid the inevitable stop, I didn't brake, but eased off on the gas slowly slowing down.

The moment I hit 40 miles per hour, the flashers come on and I pull off to the side of the road.

Dreading what was forthcoming, visions of my last ticket (a $523 doozy two years ago) came to me. The officer hopped out of his car relatively quickly and come to my side. He asked me for my license and registration, to which I complied.

He had his flashlight pointed at me, and using the illumination from it, I fingered through 4 different registration cards (I replaced my original boring plates with cool Maryland tags, and had one renewal since I got the car...and I just saved the useless, invalid ones just to complicate situations like this). As it took me a minute to find the right one, the officer asks me, "Does your car have interior lighting?" Me first analyzing his question as if "interior lighting" was some sort of criminal activity I was partaking in. After I affirmatively answered his question, he replied, "So use it."

Well said.

So I turn on my interior lights, and while locating the correct card, he looks at my gas gauge and remarks, "I know why you were going fast! You were running out of gas!"

I wisely agreed with his assessment of the situation. He then asked me where I planned on filling up my tank. I had no idea where the next station was, being out in the boonies and all, and he told me where I could find one. He then took my license and registration and told me he would follow me to the gas station and would let me know there "what he decided to do with me."

While filling my tank, the officer and I had a pleasant conversation. He asked me where I was headed, questioned the out of date address I had on my license, and asked my why I hadn't filled up at the outset of my journey.

After successfully replying to all his queries, we had a conversation about my computer breakage incident, the fact that a unsuccessful repair attempt had been made, and his personal doubts about the chances of returnability of items on EBay.

We even talked about religion.

He also reminded me about the 2 points I had on my drivers license which are set to expire in June.

At the end of our chat, he reminded me to be safe when I was driving, so as to not kill myself or another driver. He told me he didn't want to give me more points, and to make sure I filled up my gas tank appropriately. He told me he tries to keep his tank at a quarter tank at minimum, and that he usually tries to keep it above a half a tank in case he is called on a chase.

He let me go without a warning, without a ticket.

I am one lucky guy.

February 20, 2007

This Morning on the Metro....

After a busy long weekend, I waited on the platform of the Silver Spring metro station for the next available train to take me to work. As a train approached, I was pleased to discover it was starting its journey from our station, so we boarded an empty train. Seat selection was a joy.

However, with our arrival to the Takoma station, the real excitement was about to begin.

As people boarded our formerly empty train, a gentleman was seated two rows ahead and to the right of me, and apparently was waiting for his friend to sit with him. A lady had approached this seat, and seeing that his friend was still approaching the seat, and there were others available, asked the woman if she could find a seat elsewhere.

She took a seat behind him in the very next row, and when the man's friend sat down, she began the morning's hysteria.

She loudly exclaimed how rude the man was, and that he had no right to push her away. (For the record, the lady sat down next to a Metro contractor who said he hadn't witnessed the alleged push because he was reading a newspaper. I didn't see a push, nor did anyone else claim to have witnessed it. This does not mean it didn't happen.) The man denied pushing her.

The conversation escalated, with the man and the woman going back and forth: she declaring his rudeness, and he denying her claims.

A Metro driver happened to walk by, as we were in the front car of the train, and came to intervene. He attempted to mediate, but eventually decided backup was necessary and called it in.

He leaves, which prompts the involvement of other passengers. A woman two rows ahead of me, and to the left of the men in question loudly states that the man who was holding the seat needed to be kicked off the train.

Another woman, a hippie type, then began her mediation attempt. She talked about how we humans are all "interconnected" and that each of us have an "energy" and when people argue like those two were doing, all of our "energy levels" were being depleted. She told them they needed to think about these things before they chose to fight.

He then apologizes for what he had done. The lady, not being satisfied since he wasn't looking at her when he said sorry, asked for another one. He complied.

By this time, we had arrived at other station, and an additional Metro employee boarded our train in an attempt to resolve the escalating conflict. He tried to get both sides of the story, and concluded with informing them that he was going to put in a call to the transit police.

The employee leaves, and the man and the woman do another back and forth. The man, who seemed to get extremely irritated with the situation at this point, informed her when she once again asked why he allowed the other man seated next to him the seat and not her, that he and the man "were together" and had been in a relationship for the past five years, and due to their schedules, riding the Metro was sometimes the only time they had to spend with one another.

The lady then spoke of the "relationship" she had with the Metro contractor seated next to her (who she had clearly never met previously), and when the man gave her a puzzled look to her response, she slowly understood what he had meant by being "together."

Unfortunately, this was not the end of the saga. Metro employees still needed to finish their involvement.

The Metro driver who initially witnessed the event came back to see what the status was. Both parties indicated that they had resolved their differences, but the driver wasn't convinced. He called for another employee to the situation. The other employee came and talked to both, and once again, he was informed that the two had solved their problem. After an impromptu meeting between the now four Metro employees now riding the train, the woman was offered a personal escort for the duration of her Metro ride. She declined it.

The couple departed at the Gallery Place station, 7 stations after the incident began. After the man and the woman exchanged a final apology, he and his boyfriend disembarked the train.

At the next station, the woman was greeted by a transit police officer who asked all the individuals in the front of the packed rush-hour train to leave so he could approach the woman. He asked her if she wanted to press charges against the man, which she declined. He confirmed this with her twice more, and after being satisfied, he left.

As we arrived at the next station and as I stepped off the train so I could head on into work, the lady I was seated next to, who I had shared the experience (sighing in unison on several occasions and offering our commentary to one another) were never so relieved to finally arrive at work.

What an exciting morning in the capital of our great land.

Maryland finally coming into postseason form

Click here.

I realize I have neglected my blog recently. I am sorry.

Not to worry, regularity will return. I have been chewing my fiber gum.

February 15, 2007

Snot Drips....

So I'm sitting on the Metro this morning on a crowded train. It seems that everybody is sick around me - the person who I am seated next two keeps breathing in the mucus in their nose because they lacked a Kleenex and their nose was about to leak, apparently. Standing above me was also a similarly sick individual.

I am quite the germophobe. If people cough or sneeze around me, I tend to hold my breath for an acceptable amount of time before the germs floating around in the air pass. It's a very scientific method I employ. Yes, and it works I tell you. It works.

So anyway, as I am sitting there, surrounded by coughs, sneezes, and runny noses, I feel something on my lip. A liquid of some sort from the man standing above me dripped onto me.

Yes, I got snot dripped.

After it happened, I was in shock, and didn't know what to do. I then, using my sweater sleeve, dabbed it up, and sat in misery for a train ride that seemed it would never end.

You know how sometimes you have the urge to lick your lips? I was having this urge, but the thought was so repulsive. I sat for the rest of the journey with dry lips.

The moment I finally walked into work, using my faithful bottle of hand sanitizer, I disinfected my lip. I had a cold, I guess a psychological one, for the next 5 hours of the day. But luckily, my trusty immune system dealt with the germs that sought to wreak havoc on my body.

SO gross.

February 9, 2007

Word of the Day: documentational

doc·u·men·ta·tion·al (dŏk'yə-mən-'shən-əl), adjective.

1. Of or relating to documents.

Example: You have met the documentational requirements.

February 7, 2007

Oooooh Maryland...

That is all that I can say. Looks like this will be the third consecutive year without a tournament appearance.

February 6, 2007

In Defense of Joe Biden

In case the rock you live under completely blocked you from the news in the past week, there was some hoopla over some comments made by Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware about the other democrats who are running for President in 2008. The main hysteria was caused because of what he said about Barack Obama - that he was "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."

Biden did not say that as a racist, nor did Obama take the words as such. They were simply blown out of proportion by the media. He, unfortunately, despite being a politician, doesn't talk in politician-speak which to me is very appealing.

I realized that I was clearly in the minority as I listened to the talking heads across the political spectrum. But then, once again, I felt affirmed by reading the comments by Pat Buchanan - my favorite commentator. He wrote a piece on the issue published today. Go ahead and check it out here.

I am not endorsing Biden as my favorite in the 2008 sweepstakes by any means. I still have yet to find a candidate from either party that I really like at this point. But sometimes the frenzy over petty things gets to be over the top, and this was just one of those times. (For example, during Biden's mandatory apology tour, Al Sharpton tells him "I take a bath every day.") What a joke.