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Latest Humorous T-shirt Slogan:
"You Wish!"
This one has to be taken in context to be appreciated. The girl wearing this belly shirt was maybe 5'0" tall, with a muffin top going on, despite the fact that she was clearly in her third trimester of pregnancy. In addition she was wearing a thong that came up past her low-rise jeans and pushed her muffin top down over the edge to really emphasize the roll. I'm not in perfect shape so I don't expect that others should be, but when you are wearing that shirt, along with the rest of the outfit, you open yourself to scrutiny (and perhaps random looks of horror).

It's fun to hate:
The Soccer Moms who insist that they drive gas-guzzling SUV's for the safety of their children despite the fact that they are 6 times more likely to be in a rollover accident than any other vehicle. It's like beating your child unconscious with the butt of your gun so that he will remain on the floor, thus making him less likely to be hit by a random bullet coming through the front window.

When Shadowtwin reigns supreme:
There will be mandatory, passive birth control required to participate in any form of government assistance. If you can't afford to raise your child on your own we are here to help you, but we must first make sure that your reproductive organs are adequately contained. If you don't like that policy all you have to do is support your kids your damn self!
Vote Shadowtwin!

Wildly inaccurate, yet shockingly precise, predictions based completely on happenstance and arbitrary universal fluctuations.
Your Horoscope:

Sagitarius: 11/22-12/21
A typographical error in your Church's newsletter will lead to you performing sex acts on dozens of anonymous strangers in your pursuit of "oral highground."

Capricorn: 12/22-1/19
The stars did recently tell your wife to "listen to her heart" regarding whether or not she should leave you. The stars did not intend for you to listen to her heart. But once you used that bonesaw on her sternum (not trusting the stethoscope which just responded with a cryptic thumping sound), we're pretty sure she made up her mind anyway.

Aquarius: 1/20-2/18
The stars would like to apologize for stating in their last prophecy, "Be wary of the stranger you meet at beach this weekend. The stars aren't sure why, but they don't trust him." Through a cosmic hiccup, that information was supposed to be released this month. The August prophecy should have read, "A dark and handsome stranger will approach you on the beach, profess his love for you, and sweep you away for a jetset marriage. After which you will lead a long, happy, prosperous, healthy life as the Queen of a small island nation." We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

Pisces: 2/19-3/20
Your new stopwatch will allow you to time how long you can hold your breath underwater down to the thousandth of a second. Unfortunately, poor planning will mean that you are not able to actually share the information with anyone.

Aries: 3/21-4/19
Your innovative new device for beauticians to use while giving pedicures can be wildly successful and make you quite wealthy IF you change the name. Trust us, no one is going to buy a "Ped-O-File".

Taurus: 4/20-5/20
Your Mother always told you to wear clean underwear just in case there was an accident and paramadics had to see them. But as you board that plane today, the stars want you to know that you needn't worry about it. The debris field will be more than 8 square miles, making it impossible to find most human remains. Not to mention that the ensuing fire burned so hot that it disintegrated not only all fabric, but most of the thin metals aboard as well.

Gemini: 5/21-6/21
You just had to get that genital piercing, didn't you? The stars tried to warn you not to, but you went ahead and did it anyway... Now all your worst fears will come to bear when, at a campground this weekend, you run afoul of this guy:

Cancer: 6/22-7/22
The less traveled by areas of the Grand Canyon's north rim offer some of the most breathtaking views of this natural wonder. You will soon find out they also include some of the worst footings and none of the handrails. They do, however, provide equally awe-inspiring, terminal velocity impacts.

Leo: 7/23-8/22
The stars heard your pleas, begging for someone who you could share your love with and embrace for the rest of your life. If you are still single, throw your arms around the closest person to you at 3:44pm GMT on Dcember 9th -That'll be the one. Trust us, you won't have time to be picky...

Virgo: 8/23-9/22
The stars have piled up most of your things on the front porch. You can stay at a friend's house, but you aren't coming back home until you admit what you did and apologize. The stars' Mother was right about you... (you must have really pissed them off; the stars were in tears while they told me this)

Libra: 9/23-10/22
The stars have been doing a little thinking and a lot of math. The population of planet earth is roughly 6,796,590,704. That means that roughly 566,382,558 people share each astrological sign. About 18,620,796 have the same birthday. Based on average life expectancy as many as 248,277 people were born on the same day, in the same year, for every zodiac sign. How can one statement possibly predict the future of all of them? Ehh, fuck it. "A full moon while Venus is rising is an omen of good things to come."

Scorpio: 10/23-11/21
They say you never know how you are going to react to a crisis. After a home invasion this weekend you will: You will scream, "Do whatever you want to my wife, but leave me alone!" You will then create a distraction by throwing your newborn at the assailant as you dive through the window to safety. Now you know.

Music lost to history:

Aerosmith - Dream On When I started doing these, I could never have imagined that I would be putting an Aerosmith song here. Since I was born in 1974, this song is well before my generation. It was recorded in 1972 and released in 1983 on Aerosmith's Self-Titled Album, but to read the information on it at Wikipedia most of us would become familiar with it from a re-release in 1976.

Like most of the music being released in the late 60's/early 70's that was pushing the rock-n-roll envelope, Dream On relies heavily on solid composition and and melody. Before the era of the modern effects processor, these bands had no distortion to hide behind (or very little), and synthesized instruments hadn't yet made their way into music. In that way the music always sounds more raw to us today because, quite simply, it was. While it seems laughable to think about today, music like this was so far removed from the bubble-gum pop of the 50's that it still wasn't accepted into the mainstream. As the baby-boomers became the target demographic, the rock-n-roll movement really started to pick up speed, with bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith clearing the path for the much darker and heavier bands like Black Sabbath.

While I (and most of my generation) are probably far more familiar with the Aerosmith of the late 80's and early 90's, the reason this song makes it onto my MLtH page comes down to one thing: Age. Not necessarily the age of the song; In fact, as I sat down to do the research for this today, I had no idea when it was released, but would have guessed (closely) the mid 70's. Tyler was born March 26, 1948, meaning that this song was written when he was only 24 years old. I'm not sure why, but I have always thought this song was pretty amazing given his age at composition. I suppose it is human nature to wax poetic about the days of yore and the imminent passage of time, but the melody sets a mood that makes you feel it right along with him. As the song nears the end and his lyrics become more more frenzied, you can almost feel the pain (longing?) in his voice. Listen to it with headphones and no distraction sometime, you'll see what I mean.

I wrote a short bit some time ago about Kelly Sweet's cover of this song (see the video on Youtube). While I have since gotten over the initial hatred I felt towards the cover of the song, I still just can't like it. The words are there; she hits the notes; but I just can't hear it in her voice. As if there is somthing very personal about the song and Tyler's deliverance of the lyrics that just can't be duplicated. At least to me.

That said, I have heard Aerosmith doing the song with an orchestra, and it also seems to lack the passion of the original. So perhaps the thing that I like so much about it is the under-produced, raw sound of it, or it may be that I am still hearing it through the ears of that impressionable youth that heard if for the first time in a dusty old Van with my Uncle Art. Either way, it seems it is Lost to History.

Music Lost to History Archive

I Can't Believe it's Not Porn!
WhorePresents.comYep, it's not porn. It's not a site with gifts for sale either, which is probably a good thing since I can't imagine that any woman would be at all flattered to get a gift -no matter how nice- in a box that says "Whore" on it.

Daily Reading:
Magazine Man
Shane Nickerson
Wil Wheaton
Hoyazo's Poker Blog

My reading list changes from time to time, and there are many sites that I visit that are not on the list. They are listed in the order that I visit them, enjoy!

Locations of visitors to this page

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? April 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The seldom used pedal that sits directly beside the accelerator. It is your friend. Know it. Use it. Love it

One of the biggest differences between my new job and my old one -well aside from being treated as both a human and a peer- is the commute. My previous commute was about 2 blocks, and them is small town blocks where it actually only worked out to about a half a mile. The new job is 48 miles each way, but most of it on highways and the freeway during off peak hours, so it's not really all that bad. Now that I have to spend two hours a day in the car though, I can tell you firsthand that the 12 bucks a month for commercial free radio is so worth it.

Having to make the drive everyday, I have been finding out that all the stereotypes about people and the way they drive are pretty accurate. Not to say that every guy that is driving a convertible is exactly 50 years old with a small dick, or that every SUV is being driven by a blonde woman on a cell phone, but enough of them are that I can tell that the stereotypes are at least grounded in fact (although I haven't actually yanked the pants down on any of the guys in the sports cars to check penis size).

One thing that I have learned while driving around on the outskirts of a huge metropolitan area is that a lot of people tailgate. I'm not talking about the type of following close enough to put you a bit out of your comfort level either, I'm talking about cars following at a distance of less than 18 inches from the car in front of them. I'm sure that the people who are doing this assume that their superior driving skills will be able to keep them from getting into a collision (and a note to everyone out there: most wrecks are collisions not accidents. In order for it to be an accident, it must necessarily be unavoidable. Unavoidable means that driver error didn't play a role. So say an axle snaps and your car rolls over, that is an accident. If you are following someone too close and smash into them when they lock up the breaks, that is a collision, it can't be an accident since it was your action that directly caused it. Just because you didn't do it on purpose doesn't mean that it was an accident), but it just doesn't wash. First off, if they indeed possessed superior driving skills they wouldn't be following so close to begin with. Secondly, humans all have roughly the same reaction times in given circumstances, regardless of how good a driver you are, or how good your vision is, it takes the same amount of time to react to what you see. Give or take a couple thousandths of a second.

There are two simple ways to judge if you are following at a safe distance or not (well three I guess. Since if you can read the dash instruments on the car in front of you, you are following too close). These are the ones that they teach in driver's ed. The first one was always pretty vague and subject to your ability to measure distance. It says that to follow someone safely, you should maintain a distance of one car length per 10mph. That method works pretty well for driving on surface streets, but that would mean that in order to fit that definition, you would have to be about 70 feet behind the car in front of you on the freeway, which I think we can all agree is just too much distance. The other method is the 2 second rule. Which is pretty self-explanatory. You should be passing any given landmark two seconds after the car in front of you. This one works pretty well since the distance will increase as speed increases. Two seconds is a good distance to be following at anyway, since human reaction time is about .8 seconds. If you are 2 seconds back and you see the car in front of you lock up the brakes, it will take you about .8 seconds to register it and hit your brakes as well. But since the car in front of you may have better brakes, you may need every bit of the 2 seconds to stop before you hit them.

Of course no one, myself included, ever really follows those rules. The only time I will actually maintain a full 2 seconds behind the car in front of me is if I am being seriously tailgated by the car behind me. You see, I don't want to get into any collisions, even if they aren't my fault, and I also know that it is going to take the guy behind me about .8 seconds to react if I hit the brakes. If he is following me at, say, waytoofuckingclose, he is going to hit me if I have to lock up the brakes. So I give the car in front of me a cushion that will allow me to to touch the brake pedal just enough to make my lights come on for a half a second or so before I start braking. That should give the guy behind me enough time to react to seeing the brake lights and hopefully avoid a collision. Probably also reinforcing the guy behind me's belief that his superior driving skill can keep him from smashing into the car in front of him. But what do I care as long as that car isn't the one I'm in?

But how to know if the guy behind you is following too close to stop safely? If you can see a bit of pavement between you and him in the rear-view, give that guy a fucking medal; he is at least 2 seconds behind you. If you can see his bumper in the rear-view, he is probably far enough behind you to react if necessary, this assuming that he is paying attention to what he is doing. If he is close enough that you can't see his headlights, he is way too close and you will have to make an extra effort to keep him from hitting you if you do have to brake suddenly. If you can't even see the hood of the car behind you, he is going to hit you, and it probably doesn't matter what steps you take to try to avoid it.

And that is Donnie's guide to safe following distances in a nutshell. Also, and totally unrelated to actually driving, you can walk around a parking lot and pick out cars of people who habitually tailgate. Since that type of driving leads to braking hard, often, it tears the brakes up. Cars should have an even amount of brake dust accumulated on all four wheels, but if they habitually tailgate it will wear the front brakes out 10 times faster than the rear ones (since the front brakes do about 2/3 of the work in normal circumstances, but that amount goes up significantly when the full weight of the car is thrown onto them by locking them up at freeway speeds). So people who habitually tailgate will have a much thicker coating of brake dust on the front wheels than the rear ones. Which also generally leads to having to replace the front rotors with every brake job, thereby doubling or more the cost to maintain the brake system. That information is, of course, completely useless.

All of the judging of distance and increasing my following distance to accommodate the jack-ass behind me is done pretty subconsciously at this point. In fact it doesn't really even bother me anymore. Well, most of time. Sometimes, though, a situation will develop that I just know is going to lead to a collision. I found myself in one of those situations a couple of days ago.

On a two lane road with a 65mph speed limit (one lane each way, undivided), a girl in a green Ford Taurus was following me so close that I couldn't see the hood of her car in the mirror, just her face. She was talking on a cell phone. I was behind a Budweiser delivery truck that was going about 5mph less than the speed limit, but oncoming traffic made it impossible to pass. We were a few miles away from the Blackwater Trading Post (which is actually just a small store that specializes in beer sales. They sell a lot of beer, being that they are the first store you can buy beer at once you leave the reservation -beer sales are forbidden on the reservation). I want to pass the beer truck, so I am staying close enough to him that I can get around if a spot opens up in the oncoming traffic. I made an attempt to go around, but had to fall back when a car turned onto the road from a side street. The girl behind me came inches from hitting me and, well, that pissed me off.

She nearly hit me when I accelerated to go around the truck then just let off the gas. If I were to have to hit the brakes she, being so distracted on her cell phone, would surely hit me. Knowing that the beer truck was most likely going to be stopping at the trading post, which requires coming nearly to a stop on the 65mph road, I needed to get that girl behind me to fall back a bit. But since I was already a touch miffed (if you are going to tailgate, pay attention, damn it!), I decided to use the "scare the holy fuck out of her" technique. I fell back from the beer truck just a bit, and smashed the brakes with my left foot. I only hit them for a fraction of a second, and I accelerated hard with the right foot immediately to keep her from hitting me. In the mirror, I saw an expression of terror on her face as she locked up her brakes. She also dropped her cell phone. What I did was foolish, sure, but it usually makes them fall back a bit, since now they are worried about the maniac in front of them. Not this girl. She picked her phone back up and got right back on my ass.

At this point, we are maybe two minutes from getting to the trading post. I still think the beer truck is going to stop there, and the traffic still won't allow me to pass. The girl behind me is going to hit me when we have to stop guaranteed. My only other option is to slow way down, which I did. I just let off the gas and coasted my way down to 40 or so. There still wasn't a break in the oncoming traffic, but the girl passed me anyway, forcing me and two oncoming drivers to pull partially off of the shoulderless road. Dumb bitch. Anyway, since the beer truck was going under the speed limit, I caught back up to them just before they got to the trading post. The truck put on his brakes to stop to make the turn and...

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

The girl smashed into the back of the beer truck.

I dialed the local police on my cell phone (yes I know the number, don't ask), and pulled off the road. I grabbed a sheet of paper from my leather binder (still in the car from the job interviews in September and October), and started writing out a witness statement (which I am an old hand at at this point, again, don't ask).

When I saw the guy get out of the beer truck, I went over to talk to him. His name is Lenny, he used to deliver to the store I worked at. We were looking at the back of his truck, which took only minor cosmetic damage, and talking about me, actually. He hadn't seen me since I quit working at the store here in town, so there was some catching up to do. The Taurus was pretty fucked up though. The front end of it was smashed up accordion style (well the hood was), with the requisite smoke billowing from it. The girl was crying, begging us not to call the police -which Lenny had already done as well- screaming that if she got into another wreck she would lose her license.

The cop arrived only a few minutes later. I went to his car to give him my witness statement and let him check my ID. I let him know that I was on my way to work and all my contact info was already on the statement. I was back on the road within ten minutes, and made it to work on time (of course I am usually about 20 minutes early since I leave early enough to account for getting stuck in traffic).

The whole thing leaves me wondering though. How many wrecks has that girl caused? If you aren't driving drunk, how many collisions do you have to get into before they actually take your license away? 3? 5? Hmm. What if it was like that for other things as well? Say you shoot 2 people and the judge says, "okay, that's it. You shoot one more person and we take your gun away!"


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