left three lanes closed, wah

December 1, 2004
Feh. Traffic court was so-so; the mediator guy knocked off half because of my complaint about the confusing signage, but I imagine I'll still be feeling some insurance repercussions.

It's funny gauging my own response to the little mediator room, sitting across from a state trooper who was acting as the State Police lawyer (or something like that), how uptight and nervous I was. Maybe it's just some authority issues I have, or maybe it's something deeper. It made me think, I do believe these guys are pretty much the good guys, looking out for people's safety, and that there's a strong tradition of justice in this nation that really means something. Could you imagine how scary a similar setting would be in a nation that didn't have our history of civil rights, being brought in for a little chat about some posted opinion or suspicous activity? It's a sobering thought.

Passage of the Moment
However, there are certain things that are so wonderful in American life that I can hardly stand it myself. Chief among these, without any doubt, is the garbage disposal. A garbage disposal is everything a labor-saving device should be and so seldom is -- noisy, fun, extremely hazardous, and so dazzingly good at what it does that you cannot imagine how you ever managed without one. If you had asked me eighteen months ago what the prospects were that shortly my chief amusement would be placing assorted objects down a hole in the kitchen sink, I believe I would have laughed in your face, but in fact it is so.
Bill Bryson

Bad News of the Moment
Just to scare the bejeebers out of everyone..in the US media there's been an amazing lack of coverage about this whole Bird Flu Thing...Tens of millions, 100 million? A billion if it happened to mutate in a few especially nasty ways?

And of course, I'm sick with something today. My skin hurts, I had the worst night of sleeping...I thought it was either because of the post-court nap I had, or because of a wee-hours-of-the-morning power outage (which led to all sorts of half-awake musings that maybe I'm such a technogeek that I was sensing whatever happened to my electronic and electric goodies, or that they were getting some of my illness...)


At the risk of getting a big old pile of LAN3's scorn, I decided to check out the metafilter discussion on this. One of the last posts made an interesting point, that so many of these epidemics are "zoonotic", because we shove too many animals too close to each other and to our selves, largely for the purpose of lunch.

Game of the Moment
On a lighter, fiddling-while-Rome-sneezes note, thanks Andy for sending along this Altoids-advertising rip off of "WarioWare" 2 Fast + 2 Curious. Lots of goofy little microgames. It lacks some of the pizazz of the original (I think because of a lack of sound effects, just a soundtrack) but it's not bad.