Monday, May 28, 2007

Painfully cute

This is the same pup who was Bonden's shadow a few months ago, growing in leaps and bounds

Campus life

It's great to be able to let the dog run around off leash around groups of people. As I discovered last year with Mac, putting a bandana around a dog's neck makes them seem much less intimidating. There was a small child chasing him around which made him a bit nervous, but he tolerated all the attention. It's a somewhat awkward and unfamiliar situation for me when people want to interact with him and he is aloof. It's a typical shepherd behavior though; they don't typically warm to people quickly. He was overjoyed to see his friend AR, and it's nice to see what his enthusiasm for someone other than me looks like. He didn't scrounge the burgers, which I attribute more to weirdness than good behavior.

How to explain Los Angeles

I went out the other night to a friend's birthday dinner at a nearby mall. When I went into the underground parking garage, this sign was resting on the ticket dispensing machine. I had to dig through my backpack after I took the ticket to find my camera, hoping the barrier wouldn't drop. The sign says "'Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.' - Ralph Waldo Emerson." It looks like it was simply run off their printer and stuck in a cheap lucite stand. Do they rotate the epigrams? Is this why they call themselves _Modern_ Parking Inc?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Live free and splat

The third of today's rants comes from my favorite crazy libertarian state, New Hampshire, with a quote from one of the anti-seatbelt law lawmakers: "When people get in their car in the morning and put on their seatbelt, they'll think 'I'm no longer free.'" (NPR Morning Edition)

When children are present

Another piece of vagueness that I drive past every day is a sign restricting the speed limit "When children are present." Well, it's a school. Children are present from 8-4 or something like that. What if there are evening programs? Is there summer school? How can I know these things.

After a web search, I found that I wasn't the only one with this kind of question. Here's what the California driver's handbook says:

Within 500 feet of a school while children are outside or crossing the street, the speed limit is 25 mph, unless otherwise posted. Also, if the school ground has no fence and children are outside, never drive faster than 25 mph. Always drive more carefully near schools, playgrounds, parks, and residential areas because children may suddenly dart into the street.

I think that means unless students are going to or from the school, I can go the regular speed limit. Most cars don't slow down and I expect to be creamed if I do.

p.s. I wanted to use the word "vaguery" but neither miriam webster or the OED would approve.

"i quoted quotes from osama bin laden"

i turned on the radio to the distinctive voice and phrasing of our national village idiot. naturally i turned it off immediately.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

my mental dialog during a first date

(you = perfectly nice prospective from online dating who i drove a long way to see. she suggested we meet at barnes and noble at the mall. ok, the nicest mall ever, but still, the mall (The Grove if you must know). )

wow, you're young-acting. you act younger than all the 23 year olds i work around.

you're out of your 20s and living on someone's couch?

hmm, that putting yourself down thing is pretty unappealing. guess i don't have to wonder how light hearted the self-deprecation in your emails was.

[she apologizes for her appearance]

well, if you wanted me to have a different impression, you could have set up a meeting for a different day.

[we're looking at a fountain and at how the shape of the water droplets change. i record a movie of it, and show her the last picture i took, one of bonden]

her: you have a dog?

mental me: uh, yeah. note for your future dating success: make an effort to remember the few pieces of information you have about someone you're having a convo with. especially if it's something that seems to be relevant to you (i infer from her tone).