Things I've Pondered In Days Past

  April 24, 2018



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nadine s.Apr 9
Brad (52) M.Apr 12
TJ D.Apr 12
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Chris H.Apr 13
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Madison C.Apr 22
Elias V.Apr 29
Dave S.Apr 30
April Birthdays
Brigham C. Apr  1
Emily B. Apr  4
Miles M. Apr  7
Kat P. Apr  7
Spencer F. Apr  8
nadine s. Apr  9
Brad (52) M. Apr  12
TJ D. Apr  12
Lisa B. Apr  13
Chris H. Apr  13
June B. Apr  15
Madison C. Apr  22
Elias V. Apr  29
Dave S. Apr  30
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Things I've Pondered In Days Past
Here are the most recent articles from my site.

July 2008: A Time to Celebrate!!!!

It’ll soon be illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving in California….unless you’re using a hands-free device.

Marianne Russ of Capital Public Radio

Governor Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that bans drivers from using a hand-held cell phone…..unless they’re in an emergency situation. Instead, they must use hands-free devices, like a headset or speaker phone. California Highway Patrol Spokesman Tom Marshall says it may help to prevent accidents by eliminating a common distraction:

“We know that a lot of our crashes are caused by cell phones. We had over 1,000 of them last year due to hand-held cell phone alone.”

Opponents of the law include Sprint-Nextel. The company argues it’s unfair to single out cell phones when there are many other driving distractions like eating, or fiddling with the radio. The law goes into effect in July of 2008. It’s a 20 dollar fine for the first offense and 50 dollars thereafter.

Music - some new, some new...

Cell Phone No. 1 Driver Distraction

Drivers who don't pay attention or are distracted are three times as likely to be involved in a crash as drivers who pay attention to the road and don't eat breakfast, talk on cell a phone or put on make-up, a new study finds.

The study, sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, offers detailed evidence that inattentive driving causes accidents and that young drivers are much more likely to be distracted.

The report labels cell phone use as the most frequent behavior distracting drivers.

"The number of crashes and near-crashes attributable to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening," the report says. "Dialing is more dangerous but occurs less often than talking or listening."

According to the report, almost 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near misses occur within three seconds of some form of driver distraction.

Reaching for a moving object multiplied the risk of a crash or near-crash by nine times, according to the study. Reading, applying makeup, or dialing a handheld device tripled the risk.

The study found that drivers between 18 and 20 were four times as likely to have inattention-related crashes and near-crashes as drivers over 35.

Drowsiness is a significant problem that increases a driver's risk of a crash or near-crash by at least a factor of four. "But drowsy driving may be significantly under-reported in police crash investigations," according to researchers.

"Drivers who engage frequently in distracting activities are more likely to be involved in an inattention-related crash or near-crash," according to the report. "However, drivers are often unable to predict when it is safe to look away from the road to multi-task because the situation can change."

Researchers tracked the behavior of 241 drivers in 100 sensor-equipped vehicles for more than a year. During the 2 million miles of the study, the drivers were involved in 82 crashes and 761 near-crashes.

"This important research illustrates the potentially dire consequences that can occur while driving distracted or drowsy," said Jacqueline Glassman, acting administrator of NHTSA. "It's crucial that drivers always be alert when on the road.

By Joe Benton - April 20, 2006 - ConsumerAffairs.Com

Renaissance of Hate
 - I’m not going to dumb this down; people hate. We don’t just dislike or are frustrated, we HATE with a vengeance. We just do.

I’m not talking race, creed, religion, or whatever else the media tells you is hate. That kind of hate is wrong and decays society at its core.

I’m talking about pure jabs of daily run-of-the-mill hate: rudeness, self-entitlement, unruly children, barking dogs, SUV’s, fearless youth, smokers, crime, grime, skinny people, loud people, that plastic wrap around DVD cases.

Yes, you know this kind of hate very well. It’s the kind of hate your mother used dampen with “You don’t hate!”.

Of course, all of us react to hate in very different ways. It makes your blood boil, your skin itch, your hair fall out, and your face turn red. Some people get angry, some people get cynical. Others may be sad and others embarrassed.

Sure, it’s a kind of benign hate. But a hate nonetheless. This hate is everywhere too. Malls, walkways, hallways, freeways, at work, in restaurants, banks, the DMV, and of course, the post office. It’s wide spread. The common cold of society’s judgment of the world around them.

I support this kind of hate. I believe that it is healthy for everyone. If you take your benign hate and do something with it to make a difference then you are a better person and people will respect you.

Maybe the term “hate crime” should be redefined. Maybe it should be a crime to ignore that which could be made better. Just a thought.

Perhaps we bring back hate as a positive and influential force on the community. Make hate a family value to force change for the better. Create a hate renaissance.

You would hate that wouldn't you?

Suburban Ignorance
 - Get in your 8 MPG SUV. On your way to KFC drive "thru", make a few calls on your cell. You have two fat kids so you get the 12 piece bucket of extra crispy. You get angry at other drivers for being in your way and pick your nose at traffic lights.

When you get home, open the bucket on the floor in the living room for the kids - who haven't been outside in a week. Turn on the TV, sit on the couch, and eat. Eat.

Watch the commercials, lick your fingers, flip through channels.

Be content with your weight problem. You have achieved the American Dream.

Coming Soon to The "You Know What I Hate?" section. Contribute, read, fume, and identify with others.

South African Carrot Soup
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock (add 10 thin coins of ginger)
1 tblsp. light olive oil
1 med. size yellow onion thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp cumin seed, toasted and ground
1 tsp coriander toasted and ground
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
Cayenne pepper
2 pounds carrots, thinly sliced, about 7 cups
1 med. size white potato or sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced, (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tablespoons of coursely chopped cilantro

Make the stock or use canned and keep it warm over low heat.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and add the onion and 1/2 tsp. salt. ( I always use Kosher salt) Saute over medium heat until it releases its juices, just about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger, and a few pinches of cayenne. Cook until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes, adding a little stock if it sticks to the pan.

Add the carrots, potato or sweet potato, 1 tsp. salt and 1 qt. stock. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 15 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth, using a little extra stock if needed. Return to pot, add orange juice, and thin with stock to desired consistency. Season with salt to taste and, for additional heat, a pinch or two of cayenne. Garnish each serving with a wsirl of creme fraiche and sprinkle with cilantro.

The Real Psychopaths
 - An interesting excertp from Wikipedia explaining 'psychopath' as:

A psychopath is defined as having no concern for the feelings of others and a complete disregard for any sense of social obligation. They seem egocentric and lacking insight and any sense of responsibility or consequence. Their emotions are thought to be superficial and shallow, if they exist at all.

They are considered callous, manipulative and incapable of forming lasting relationships, let alone of any kind of love. It is thought that any emotions which the true psychopath exhibits are the fruits of watching and mimicking other people's emotions. They show poor impulse control and a low tolerance for frustration and aggression. They have no empathy, remorse, anxiety or guilt in relation to their behavior. In short, they truly are devoid of conscience.

Most studies of the psychopath have taken place among prison populations, though it has often been suggested that the psychopath is just as likely to sit on a Board of Directors as behind bars, concealing his true nature behind a well crafted "Mask of Sanity" (also the title of the one of the first definitive studies of psychopathy, written by Hervey M. Cleckley in 1941.)

Cleckley defined psychopathy thus:

  1. Superficial charm and average intelligence.
  2. Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking.
  3. Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations.
  4. Unreliability.
  5. Untruthfulness and insincerity.
  6. Lack of remorse or shame.
  7. Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction.
  8. Poor judgement and failure to learn from experience.
  9. Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love.
  10. General poverty in major affective reactions.
  11. Specific loss of insight.
  12. Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations.
  13. Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without.
  14. Suicide threats rarely carried out.
  15. Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated.
  16. Failure to follow any life plan.
Scary huh? We identify these people by giving them California Driver's Licenses and cell phones.

The DPI Lie (revisit)
 - PLEASE stop using the term DPI (dots per inch) in reference to online graphics and photos.

For online media this term is being used incorrectly and does not provide the necessary information required to understand the actual size of the image on a given display. DPI is a printer measurement only. It does not apply to computer screens.

Visit Wikipedia for an explaination of what DPI actually is.

It drives me crazy when a so-called "digital artist" provides me with artwork and say's it is at 72 dpi. That is fine if I was sending the artwork to a printer. However, it still doesn't tell me the size of the image.

You see, online, there is no such thing as an inch (Sorry guys but it's true.). For example, the monitor I am using right now is a 19 inch display. Your display may be a 17 inch monior. Therefore, photographs and other graphics will actually appear smaller on your monitor because it is physically smaller - the definition of an "inch" changes depending on the size of the display.

Here is a more detailed explaination: The Myth of DPI

I thought he was Mr. Smith?
 - I know what you are saying: "Deeved?, Dev-ed?...what the?" The story is over 20 years old now.

The short story: In the
small town where I grew up, there were several David Smiths. There was even another David Smith that played keybords with me in the same band (was the '80s afterall). Thus began a lifetime of my association with other Davids.

So, to be "creative and different" (again, it was the '80s), I changed the spelling to "Deved". Well, it stuck like I never expected it to. While I was working in theatre the spelling started to appear everywhere: play programs, newspapers, posters, placards, trophys, nametags, and even in the credits for the 1997 election news when I worked at KOVR.

There have always been so many "David's" around that in the early '90s friends started referring to me as simply "Mr. Smith". I think my family even uses it now. I like and prefer it.

Mrs. Wal-Mart
 - At lunch today I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things for camping. Yes, although I hate the people there, I like Wal-Mart.

What I thought to be a quick in and out shopping trip had a very irritating delay.

This woman in front of me in line was a casino-town-freak of the third degree. She is Wal-Mart's target market.

She was what I call a “shiny” lady. She had huge fabulous hair, gold jewelry, and not a tooth in her head. Of course. Because she thought she was so much better than anyone else the resulting speech flourishes compounded with a toothless impediment was quite overwhelming.

You know how people with no teeth kind of talk with the back of their gums and it sounds like they are slurring? I thought at any moment she was going to drool tobacco. She smelled like a Nevada motel room.

She was super thin with a gross dark leathery tan and wore a black leotard tank top number that went way too far up her 60 year old crack.

I do not even want to describe the "side boob" moment. I thought it was a giant testicle on her chest.

As her items were rung up by the clerk she kept asked questions about each one. She would inspect each piece after the fact as though she wasn't sure it should have been rung up.

She loudly told the cashier put a couple things aside when she decided she didn’t like or want them. Then she had to "go back and get a different one": a 2 foot plastic lawn sculpture of a dog with a bone in it's mouth.

When time finally came to pay she couldn't get her money out of her wallet. It was shoved behind her driver license. The “wallet” was one of those giant checkbook/wallet/purse/clutch things that women cram full of crap. I saw old keno cards, lottery tickets, and pictures of what I assumed were her grandchildren. The thought of this woman having offspring was revolting.

My eyes caught the driver license again. Wait, this scatter-brained nervous twit DRIVES?

She kept looking back with her drawn skin and disturbing amount of eyeliner apologizing, "I always get in the wrong line." She kept saying that while fumbling constantly with her wallet. I thought "YOU are wrong."

She could only find $20 so she decided to write a check but couldn't get it out of her aforementioned "wallet". Her checkbook was shoved in the back of the thing so tight she ripped a check puling it out.

Then she wrote the check - scribbled nervously rather - and handed the clerk the ENTIRE CHECKBOOK. So the clerk tore the check out for her.

The shiny lady apologized several more times as they both waited for her check to be approved. As she left I told the clerk, "Ok, back to work."

May Mrs. Wal-Mart with her Sanka breath and double-wide trailer butt be swept away by tornado. Amen.

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