Category Archives: rants

Traffic ticket saga

Nothing is ever simple. I got caught in a speed trap a few weeks ago. Normally I do the speed limit, but I got caught in a place where the speed transitions from 50->35 fairly abruptly. The cop didn’t put the cost of the ticket on the ticket, so I have to call a Marian county office to get the cost. I’ve called seven times so far. Everytime, its either busy or goes to a message that says they are closed (even though its during their listed business hours). They also have a website, but the website can’t find my ticket’s serial number.

What an annoyance.

proposed Kentucky law would make anonymous posting illegal

Kentucky legislature member Tim Couch recently proposed Kentucky House Bill 775 which would make it illegal for Kentucky hosted websites to allow anonymous posting. If you’re bored, read the bill. It’s short. It pretends as though by forcing Kentucky-based websites to collect this information, the world will be a safer place.

Ludicrous. I wrote to Tim Couch ( and let him know how badly this bill reflected on his understanding of the internet. I doubt he’ll ever read it, but at least I spoke my piece.

Things that make me angry

Police flagrantly violating traffic law (or any law) is something that really angers me. Not only because of the contempt they show for the law of the land, but also because of the dangerous implication that some citizens are above the reproach of the law. The cops who post on this website, Cops Writing Cops, are exactly those sorts of criminal individuals.

At first, I thought about writing an angry email to the operators of that site, but that wouldn’t have any desirable effect, I don’t think. What I’m currently thinking about is finding a way to scrape the identity info out of their forums for the cops that have ticketed them, and setting up a fund to try to reward those policemen. Or something like. Some sort of positive reinforcement of the law abiding police that still do exist.

Data Point: Global Warming

In 1942, the P-38 now called “Glacier Girl” landed on the icecap that covers Greenland. In 1992, the plane was recovered through a feat of ingenuity (and cash). In order to recover that plane, this group of people had to melt through 268 feet of ice. That means that approximately 5 feet of ice accumulated per year, from the time the plane landed in 1942, until it was recovered in 1992.

There are many variables here that we are not able to consider. I’m simply putting this fact forth for use when one considers the arguments for and against global warming. Do with it what you will.

Edit: Bryan pointed out that an airplane would very likely sink through ice, ice being a liquid. So some of the depth may well have come from sinking, rather than purely from accumulation.

Circuit City? Liars.

I received a post card in the mail a few days ago telling me that the $35 mail-in rebate that I sent in for the video card I bought at Circuit City was invalid because of a “bad upc”. (Between the $100 coupon I had and the $35 MIR, the Circuit City price was marginally lower than mail order) The post card of course had a toll free number to call. I had almost decided to give up on it, since such things are usually a waste of time.

Instead I decided to combine two wastes of time into one: I called during my morning commute this morning. So after navigating my way through the [purposefully] useless automated “help” line, I reached a real person. He didn’t give himself a name, so I’ll call him Juan. My conversation with Juan went something like this:

Juan: Hi, how may I help you?
Me: I received a post card that claimed my rebate was invalid.
Juan: I can help you with that. Just a moment sir.
Juan: Please give me your name and the number on the post card.
Me: *provides the information*
Juan: (without even a pause) Since you are a valuable customer(what?!?) I can take care of this for you.
Juan: Your rebate is taken care of. Please allow 4-6 weeks for the check to arrive.
Me: *a bit incredulous* That’s it? The $35 is on its way now?
Juan: Yes. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: Yes, there is one more thing. Where are you located?
Juan: Our headquarters are in Lubbock, Texas.
Me: No, no. Where is your call center located?
Juan: *slightly sheepish* The Dominican Republic.
Me: Thank-you, good-bye.
Juan: Good-bye.

So, there you have it. It was just one more hoop for the consumer to jump through in order to get the rebate. Or, more to the point, they lied to me about my UPC being invalid, in the hopes that I would write the money off (which I almost did). I wonder if they just send those “invalid UPC” post cards out to a random sampling of rebate hopefuls to raise the bottom line, or if they only send those out for the higher dollar value rebates?

I hate slimy corporations.

Democratic Agenda

The Democrats have revealed their plan to bankrupt America within five years. I’m not a Republican by any stretch of the imagination, but does anyone really buy the Democratic agenda anymore? It’s as though the carebears took all the issues facing the nation, and did a care bear stare, and decided to fix everything wrong within five years, at no cost to anyone. How convenient.

Sure, as a citizen without access to low-latency broadband, part of me wishes their “100% broadband coverage” bull-hockey was plausible. We’re not South Korea or Denmark or any other small area of land with a bazillion people in it, however. We’re the United States, and we cover a not insignificant area of land. This makes “broadband for all” infeasible with current technology.

Also, from the article:

“I was told that an entry level person at Wal-Mart, who works his or her entire career at Wal-Mart, would make as much as the CEO makes in two weeks. A lifetime of work versus two weeks in the executive suite — this is not America, this is not fairness, this is not the basis of a strong middle class that is essential for our democracy. We must change that in our country,” she said.

Now “she” is Nancy Pelosi. As a Representative, she pulls in $162,100 per year. Minimum wage is currently $5.15 per hour. To bring Rep. Pelosi’s quote into context, a worker who works at Wal-Mart their entire life will pull in about $503,464 (all other things being equal)($10,712 per year from age 18 until age 65). Rep. Pelosi earns this amount in 3.1 years, which is one and a half terms.

If it is unfair in the employee versus CEO comparison, is it fair that she herself be making so very much more than these poor wage slaves? Bah. The entire article makes me angry. I really have no idea how the government gets *anything* done, given the wildly varying degrees of understanding of reality we have present in our congressmen.


South Dakota has made abortion illegal in their state. Apparently, the law proscribes abortion, including abortions for pregnancies arising from rape. Obviously, there are a large group of opponents to this new law. One such oppponent has written a manual for performing an abortion at home. She is being heralded as a friend to the downtrodden women of South Dakota.

The lightening rod that this person and many others hold up for examination here is that not even pregnancies that are a result of rape are allowed to be aborted. Think about that for a minute. Rape is a horrible crime, worse than many other crimes because it horribly violates the woman’s person. Everyone can understand that, on some level. I do not, however, understand the idea that the tiny life that results from this abominable crime should be murdered. When is the murder of an innocent life an acceptable punishment of a crime that is only incidentally related to the existance of this person? Does this murder absolve the crime? Hardly.

I can understand a woman not wanting to raise a child that was fathered by a rapist. I don’t think anyone could fault her for allowing the child to be adopted. I do, however, weep for a nation who finds murder of an innocent to be a good and proper response to the heinous crime of another. I stand amazed when there is outcry against a law that makes this sort of indiscriminate murder illegal.

False Advertising

I was looking up the zip code for the old alma mater today, so I went to their website. Take a look at that website for a second. Note the photos, all four of them.

Each of those photos contains at least one woman. In fact, of the eight people portrayed on the front page, 5 appear to be women and 3 appear to be men. Last I checked, the Rose-Hulman student body had something like a 6/1 ratio of men to women…

What sort of advertising is this on our front page then? Is it wishful thinking? Is it simply marketing, relying on the fact that women are generally more esthetically appealing than men? Is it an effort to dupe prospective students?

Who knows?

Crazy Mexican Bugs!

Melissa and I got food poisoning from the Mexican we had for lunch Tuesday. The tacos were hecka good, but I don’t think we’ll get sour cream on them in the future. (:

We’re mostly recovered. It wasn’t the worst food poisoning in the world, just rumbly stomach for a day or so. And various other annoying, but common, food poisoning symptoms that I won’t make a stink about. hehe.

It really annoys me when…

electronic presence monitoring (such as those that flush toilets, turn on faucets, etc) fails to acknowledge my presence. It’s as though the device is sticking out its virtual tongue at me, and questioning my humanity. Or something. (: