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.

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