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I Hate Linux

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Are Seattle drivers that bad? Apparently so...

...as are the pilots who fly here it seems.

If you aren’t familiar with the Seattle area... it’s best to start with a map:

Map picture

While the city of Seattle is on the left side of the map, the ‘East side’ (Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, etc) rests on the right, separating them is Lake Washington over which run a pair of relatively narrow highways (I-90 & SR-520).

Every summer the city of Seattle has it’s summer fair known as Seafair, part of which often involves an air show over Lake Washington.

This evening while looking for dates of when the Blue Angels would be performing this year, I noticed a Bridge Closure Information link which lead to a page which amongst other things said:

By closing I-90, WSDOT is complying with Federal Aviation Administration rules to create a safer environment for drivers and Blue Angels pilots by reducing distractions to both.

This paragraph got me wondering... exactly what sort of distractions is WSDOT claiming that the FAA is claiming that the pilots may be subjected to? Do they honestly think that some cars driving or people waving from below will throw the aircraft off course?

Furthermore... are we being told that Seattle area drivers are such lousy drivers that the sight of an airplane flying by might cause traffic accidents?

Actually... lemme answer that last one real quick... are Seattle drivers bad? Yes.

Worse than Minnesota drivers? Ehhh... yes... but mostly because Seattle drivers do not understand how to drive on surfaces with reduced traction (rain, snow or ice).

Are Seattle drivers so bad that a low flying airplane would cause them to get into a road accident? Perhaps... but I’d expect these are the same drivers that are distracted by the existence of other cars on the road, billboards, pedestrians and traffic signs and lights.

In either case... it’s always sad to to see the nanny state at work... though since it’s already working so hard, perhaps we must consider the possibility that even these restrictions may not be enough. Perhaps the city should take the next logical step to ban all boats and swimmers from the area during such flights... after all, just imagine the shock to a swimmer at seeing a loud aircraft fly over head could do to their concentration!

Friday, July 10, 2009

It better not happen again...

On Wednesday night as I sat in my living room watching some Torchwood I heard someone fumble with my apartment’s door.

Being puzzled I got up to see what was going on and was met by a person with a grocery bag in tow who opened the door, looked around for a moment, saw me and said “oops, wrong apartment.”

That night I lay awake in bed with some some work related design bits preventing sleep... at one point I got out of bed, walked into my second bedroom to grab my Zune when I heard some rustling outside in a bush near my window… as I got closer I saw the top of a head partially climb a staircase that leads to my main bedroom, look in my second bedroom for a moment then walk off again.

Casing the joint or an accident followed by curiosity I do not know... however given my previous history... tonight I broke out a camera I’d forgotten I had, and after a cleaver bit of lashing with an old belt and some metal bending to a coffee table that is at present on it’s side (long story) have rigged it into a position where if this happens again there... I’ll know it.

Tomorrow I’ll mention (not report) the previous events to management as a heads up in case something does happen, and make sure they’ve no problem with the camera I’ve setup pointing to a place that can only see (and be seen in) a place where no one should be except in the event of an evacuation where people have to use their bedroom windows... or are engaging in misbehavior.

“Again?” more recent readers ask... In fact we are just days away from the 5 year anniversary of the break-in at my old apartment in South Dakota which I happened to have captured on camera and not only lead to the identification of the burglar (who lived behind me)... but also her conviction!

Frankly... I’d rather not have that as a repeating anniversary... though July 13th is truly something to celebrate! (details/reminder then)