Aside from the weather, 2011 has sought fit to dump the following things in the first thirty-one days of the year.
It's a good thing February is only twenty-eight days long.
The last of my core group of friends from high school is moving 600 miles away today. I've known him since I was fourteen, which makes him the only friend that I've actively remained social with for such a long time. Best friend? I dunno. We got on each others nerves plenty and there were regular moments of hate. But friend nonetheless.
Earlier this year, a guy that I'd known since I was six and had parted ways with after high school popped back up only to move out of state too. It was great to reconnect and have that old familiarity. But it was all dashed away pretty quickly.
It wasn't too long ago that my good pal Rob moved to the west coast, taking with him much of what made our group "the gang". It was his wit, intelligence and compassion that kept this small circle of nerds from dissolving into desperate chaos.
Every year I continue to lose those little bits of myself in the form of people who've I shared lifes experience with. I wonder what it will be like when I'm in the twilight years and attending funerals every month.
As I walked back to the four star hotel, after eating a meal that cost much more than a Wal-Mart employee makes in a day, at the end of a week of being sheltered and fed by the corporation, I fell in behind three gangly youths. They were clad in black, studs, patches and pins; mohawks and ragged bangs. And I was embarrassed by my own complacency and luxury.
But then again, they probably all rode into the city from the suburbs in their moms Escalade.
Here's the latest bit of mind rattling what-the-fuck from around these parts. Late late one evening (September 30th to be exact), a local police officer was ending his shift when two of his buddies say "Hey, let's do some bicycle training". At least that's what they say they said.
So they gear up, put on the lights, helmets and glowing bits and set out into the night on one of the major international roads that cuts a swath through the nation. It's a nice big road, with two lanes in either direction as it travels through relatively flat and boring countryside.
One of the officers was struck and killed by a vehicle, that left the scene. Everyone loved this gentleman and much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued.
This has been something of an epidemic in this here town - people hitting cyclists and then just running away. The last guy killed a 20 year old college freshman. The cops found his car at an auto-body shop, getting repaired. He claimed that he didn't know that he'd hit anyone.
If that doesn't hurt your brain, just hang on.
A day or so later, police confirm that they've been contacted by a suspects lawyer who wants to negotiate a surrender. And this doesn't happen the next day. Not the day after but five days after the officer was left dead in the road, the suspect turns herself in - just shy of a day before a funeral that will be attended by thousands.
So here we have Sue Anne Vanderbeck, called "a prominent member of the community" traveling home with her three kids, attempting to entertain one of her children in the car (an autistic child from all accounts) when suddenly there was "something" in her path and she swerved to avoid it. She wasn't able to and "gave it a bump".
She slammed on her brakes, looked in the rear view mirror and saw two other people attempting to assist "whatever" it was... so she thought "oh - they have help, so I can just go home, since all of my kids are now awake and screaming". A passing cop car with its lights on reassured her that help was on the way for whoever she clipped.
Now... her account varies from the police report. She's not clear if she knew she hit a person or if it was a deer. Then seeing people behind her, she knows that she hit a person. Once she got home, she and her husband survey the damage to the vehicle and conclude "Enh - it's not bad. You must not have hurt anyone. We'll worry about it in the morning."
Then she saw the news report of the officers death. Then she got scared. Instead of calling the police, she called... her lawyer. Who called the police. Later. When he had time.
I'm not making this up. The police report indicates that police wanted to get to Sue as soon as they could, but she "didn't feel comfortable" without the lawyer present. Heh. So they had to work around the lawyer's schedule. And even still, he held up the impounding of the vehicle as evidence.
So let's run down the check-list here...
* Hit a cyclist (check)
* Leave the scene of an accident (check)
* Don't call the police or try to contact anyone even with a cell phone in your possession (not even an ambulance - check)
* Assume that help is on the way when you have no way of really knowing (check)
* Assume that you didn't hurt anyone just by looking at your car (check)
* Go home and put your kids to bed because one is autistic and is screaming and crying because they're scared out of their minds now (check)
* Lawyer up as soon as you can (check)
* Take five days to do the right thing and turn yourself in (check)
I can understand reacting poorly when you're scared but seriously? OH YEAH... the clincher... She used to be a nurse and had, as I understand it, stopped to assist at accidents in the past.
Sue Anne Vanderbeck, you're a real piece of work. I think you'll do fine in the same circle of hell as Officer David Bisard, who was drunk on duty and killed a motorcyclist while responding to a call on his radio in August.
It's dangerous on two wheels out here.
The police report:
Dealership: Base cost is $300, but if shit goes wrong, it'll be $1400.
Mom & Pop Garage: Base cost is $400, but if shit goes wrong, it'll be $1650.
Wait... what? Isn't the dealership supposed to be more expensive? Fuck.
After spending a good amount of money on things I didn't want to or felt compelled to spend the money on I think "I should be good if no emergencies come up. Like my car. Good thing my car has never given me trouble".
That's about the time the "Check Engine" light came on. And I haven't been driving it very much this summer since I've been riding my bike to work!
I don't have the time, the patience nor the inclination to want to deal with car repair. Once again, I am fucked.
Please, just be yourself.
If you're a Christian - be the best Goddamned Christian you can be. If you're a Satanist, by gum, wear that black and shave your eyebrows into wicked little points! If you're a drug-addict, reach for the highest high and the deepest bliss without apology. If you're a bigot, by all means fly that Confederate flag and raise your hand in salute on 4/20.
Do it. Do it well. Do it with all of your heart. With passion - with feeling. Raise your voice and shout to the heavens and let it be known. Don't hide! Never let anyone stop you from being who you are.
Because then it will make it easier for me to spot you.
A 60 year old man, riding his bike on the main greenway/trail in Indy was mugged by three men at about 2pm on Tuesday of this past week. This happened right in the heart of "urban yuppie-ville", where it's presumed to be safe. Actually this is maybe 10 blocks from "the hood" (my neighborhood) so I don't see how the area really makes a difference.
Ya see - about three years ago, the same thing happened. One old man plus three teens meant a hospital visit for the old man. The difference is that it happened where shit like this is expected to happen. The next thing I hear is "No - I won't ride my bike down the trail to your neck of the woods, it's not safe!"
I really don't hear that this time.
And it's weird because the 2007 incident happened about 20 blocks away from me. Not 10. It happened in an area that people don't normally ride their bikes in *anyway*. Not in the upper-middle class neighborhood of SoBro. Not in the area that I ride through every day on my bicycle commute.
Honestly, I still think fat retarded rollerbladers with their yapping dogs are way more dangerous than thugs. Or news crews. News crews on the trail looking for a story can get fucked too.
Even after I called him out for watching the World Cup during a meeting today and contributing nothing to the group discussion, my co-worker went back to the broadcast, burying his nose in his laptop. My manager said nothing.
How the fuck is this right?
Fuck people. Fuck 'em. Fuck Broad Ripple. Fuck people in Broad Ripple. Fuck people driving in Broad Ripple. Fuck people driving in Broad Ripple who can't read a "No Turn On Red" sign. Fuck drivers.
Fuck drivers who stop at crossings and frantically wave you across, despite the fact that the opposing traffic is going full bore. Fuck them for getting annoyed. Fuck drivers who slow down at crossings but don't stop. Fuck drivers who slow down at crossings only to speed up when you start across. Fuck crossings.
Fuck people who take their kids on the trail to ride their tricycles, letting the kid meander all over the path. Fuck kids on tricycles. Fuck kids.
Fuck fat walking retards who take up the entire path despite oncoming rollerbladers and me coming up behind them, with no room to pass. Fuck rollerbladers. Fuck fat retarded rollerbladers.
Fuck people walking their dogs. Fuck their leashes. Fuck leashes that stretch all over creation. Fuck people walking their dogs without leashes. Fuck them as they try to train their dogs as I try not to hit them. Fuck dogs.
Fuck people who can't look up. Fuck them as they careen into my lane, despite being able to see each other quarter of a mile away. Fuck them when they almost wreck when I yell at them to pay attention. Fuck.
Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all. Fuck 'em all for crossing my path today. Fuck anyone who has such a grandiose and overwhelming sense of self-entitlement just for doing what it is that they do.
Which, I guess, means... fuck me.
It's nice to be able to reconnect with old friends via the wonders of the Internet. But, Jebus, how in the Hell did so many of my childhood friends turn into raging conservative thoughtless assholes?
Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) want to introduce what they're calling the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill (or CIR). Part of this bill, as I understand it, will require all legally employed or maybe even employable, persons in these United States to carry a "worker ID" card - card that says "I'm not an illegal alien and can be legally employed here."
This is more than just a slip of paper. The ID would carry handy information such as a finger prints. Then they become sort of a national ID - chipped "for your protection."
Fuck no. Hell fucking no.
This is not the way to fight illegal workers. This is not the way to provide jobs for American citizens. It is, however, a handy way to continue to monitor and surveil everyone in Oceania. We already have plenty of tools to identify ourselves as U.S. citizens. Use them.
After 15 years on this thing we call the Internet, it still gets to me. It shouldn't, but it still gets to me. Trolling. Fucking trolling. On the stupidest shit. I can still be baited and unnerved and it pisses me off! Namely - when it appears that the person has singled whatever it is I am involved in to point their snide little comments towards, without much in the way of legitimate beef.
The incident in question was over a bit of fluff I posted to my YouTube channel, which myself and some friends worked very hard on over a week-end of no sleep, no bathing and full on stress for a film contest. It was obviously an amature production, put together quickly and as best as could be. It's the nature of the contest.
So what do we get? Down ranked, and shat upon by random trolling user who seemingly created their YouTube login to specifically to dump on the production (account created 5 days ago - only activity was to dump on our video). Two comments that amounted to "well that sucked" and "this positive comment was obviously written by someone who worked on this video". Well no fucking shit!
Why? What's the purpose in that? What's the purpose in sniping at someone's hard work - especially hard work done for no reward? What's the purpose in random acts of anything malignant? Fuck 'em.
It's a dumb question, I know. And yes, I should know better. Anytime you put something out for public consumption, there's going to be some douchenozzle throwing rocks. I know this. But it doesn't stop things from wrinkling my skin.
And seriously - if you're going to troll ... FUCKING DO IT RIGHT! Have the balls to call out something specific! Call people by NAME and make them accountable for whatever crackpottery you've got going on. AT LEAST TRY!
So what'd I do? Enh. I blocked the user and removed the comments. What else is there to do? I'm guessing it was from someone who managed to get pissed off at someone else who was involved. Fuck, I don't know. I'll probably get trolled for this.
Hey - check it out... Oral Roberts died.
I believe I'd brought this up in a previous post, simply because it involved a cyclist. The long story short is that some nutjob decides he needs to shoot a cyclist IN THE FUCKING HEAD because the cyclist is riding with his child on a busy street. Evidently the nutjob felt the cyclist was being a bad parent.
So the judge gives the nutjob 120 days.
I can't honestly come up with much in the way of substance for this one. Here's my link to the left-wing media site where I read the follow-up to this outrageous display of barbarism.
Nothing. I got nothing. That's what I got. Nothing.
Then why don't I have any free time?
And here's even more in the way of our elected officials chewing on the soles of their feet.
Not being the brightest bulb in the bunch, Rep Baron Hill (D) dressed down a young student and a crowd of registered voters concerning the right to visually document a townhall meeting by telling everyone "You're not going to tell me how to run my meetings".
Despite the respect and politeness exhibited by the student when asking why she could not "film" the meeting for her class project, Hill went on the defensive. He started out by saying "This is my townhall meeting" and backpedaled when the crowd began to boo. "This is my townhall meeting for you."
Is this the equivalent of "I hit you because I love you"?
Hill went on to say that the reason he does not allow visual recording (or "filming" as everyone keeps calling it) of his townhall meetings (for the people donchya know) is because "usually the films that are done wind up on YouTube in a compromising position".
Welcome to the Internet, Representative Hill. Enjoy your congressional office while it lasts.