RI Traffic Tribunal ban use of cell phones in cars.

Go and read this  link.

Now obligatory disclaimer. I know the Chief Magistrate William R. Guglietta. He and I both worked for Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse back in the early 2000’s. Our nickname for him was Googs.

I recall when the new AG came in that Googs went over to the Traffic Tribunal. I went on to other pastures in state government.

There’s one point about the ruling that I have to question. I’ll have to call Googs on Monday and ask him. The question is, and I see this in a lot of cars – what about the dashboard cell phone brackets. It keeps the cell phone at eye level. I see this as allowing police a fishing expedition and it disturbs me. Enough that I’ll reach out the Chief Magistrate of the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal.

 

 

Driving fun today

So in the past I’ve rented a BMW X3 and an BMW X1. I much prefer the X3.

However today I had the opportunity to drive an X1 again. I’m going to say something here that won’t sit well with fans of Japanese or American cars. Get one of those mentioned up to 80 to 90MPH  and they get squirrely handling wise. The front end shimmies a little bit and well I consider them unsafe above those speeds.

The X1 has some interesting features. No Bluetooth or at least that I could find. However it does have what I have noted of two brands made in Germany, Volkswagen and BMW – that is it handles smoothly at speeds in excess of 100MPH. I had the X1 up to 110MPH today and it was tracking straight on, didn’t shake or shimmy, just automotive perfection. God I love German engineering.  There’s just something about zipping along at that speed in a car that can handle said speed without effort. And the X1 it auto start/stops the engine when you’re stopped for any length of time.

And get this, the X1 had in excess of 20K miles on it. Amazing.

 

Well it seems the network problem got fixed

So for the past few weeks I’d been noticing between the hours of 19:30 hours and 20:30 house (That’s 7:30PM and 8:30PM – or if you prefer 23:30 to 00:30 UTC) my network connection through Cox Communications would go away for a couple minutes then come back.

So last night I logged into my firewall and watched the status page. First I noted DNS failed for YouTube and then I saw the IP address drop.

Once it came back up I tagged Cox Communications on Facebook. And wonder of wonders the problem didn’t happen this evening.

Amazing.

 

When it comes to shipping

Here’s how I rank shipping companies:

  1. USPS – always delivers no questions.
    It’s very simple – if it can be left on your porch it gets delivered. If it’s too heavy you go pick it up at your local post office.
  2. Fedex – just like USPS delivers and no bullshit.
    I ordered a pair of Reeboks – I note they no longer ship UPS but Fedex instead. Much better. It means I don’t have to go and pitch a fit at the local UPS office.
  3. UPS – They used to say they love logistics, well they love bullshit.
    They are Shit Wrapped in Chiffon. That’s the best term I’ve heard for them. And I’ve had some epic dealings with them as detailed in other blog posts. I mean truly epic though my takedown of their presidents office was the pinnacle. It ended with me telling UPS President’s office that they were inept and stupid. It did conclude though with them waiving all signature requests for shipments to me.

 

As life goes on

So the other day I read a post that I’m of that generation that lived before we had the internet. Can’t say I wasn’t connected – had a 2400bps modem and a bitnet account. They were the precursors to the Internet.

But other things that changed in my lifetime are as follows:

  1. Cell phones that morphed into little computer tablets.
    1. Related – computers that didn’t just have black screens with white/green/amber text.
  2. Online video
  3. Medicine stepping out of the dark ages.
    1. Related – CRISPR-Cas9 – that is going to be one of the holy grails of medicine.
  4. High speed rail.
  5. Squeezing 300HP out of a 4 cylinder engine.

That’s just a small snipet.

2016 Ford Escape Review

So had occasion to get a Ford Escape for a  couple of hours today.

I’ll get it out of the way at the beginning  – I don’t like the vehicle for a multitude of reasons.

  1. You cannot adjust how far back the seat goes. There’s no lever, control or what have you to do that. My left knee kept rubbing against the door control panels. Not good.
  2. The location of controls is alien to me.
    1. The Sync system – it sucks. Couldn’t find it on my Android Galaxy Core Prime.
    2. The rear windshield wiper control is on on the very tip of the wiper control arm and is a toggle, up for on, down for off. Bad design.
  3. The car gets abysmal gas mileage, 18.2 MPG. I was noting an Expedition gets 13MPG so not a very big difference between the two vehicles.
  4. I noted, a VW Golf – I’ve driven it when brand new and with 30,000 miles on it. It still performs like all get out. The Ford – it’s transmission does NOT shift smoothly and it takes really high revs to get it up to 90MPH. I’d really like to drive this again when it’s got about 30,000 miles on it. I bet it’ll be retired by then as that is what is wrong about U.S. made cars.

A Busy Saturday

So yesterday we rolled out by 09:00 and hit our new breakfast spot the West Side Diner. It’s an old diner that’s been rehabilitated.

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Should have seen it before this – plus there’s a big addition out back that houses more table space and the kitchen. Kudos to the owners – really nice job on this one.

By 10:30AM we had hit the first of the Saturday circuit called Market Basket in South Attleboro, MA. I seriously love that place. Everything you need and not too outrageously expensive. We tend to gravitate toward fresh fruit and vegetables, but the store also has the most rocking Sushi in the region and it’s in a supermarket, they do Nigiri and Maki though I’m sure special requests would be honored.

Back home to stash the comestibles in the fridge. And then off to out other haunt, Trader Joe’s in Warwick, RI. There the biggest item we get is fresh flowers. Started the practice about 36 months ago and I love the colorful array of flowers. It’s a small price to pay to make me happy I suppose.

The reason we had to do all this on a compressed schedule was because we were to attend a Book unveiling in Newport, RI. The author is a good friend of ours and so this was obligatory.

The book if you’re interested can be purchased on Amazon. It’s called Newport Knights and was written by H. Beth Loomis. 

At the event the author made a rather emotional speech – the book is really about the character she’s met ever since she opened a shop in Newport, RI but also about the history of the area. But she called up what she calls her Knights – and my guy was one. I’m just the genius.

NewportKnights-people

From left half of the couple of John and Rico, Jim, unknown, Meghan, Liew, and Keyron.

The best part though got to meet the gay couple who owns a shop down the street from the author. They’re older but very interesting guys. Rico and John have been in Newport for 34 years. So I bet they can tell some tales. We’ll definitely talk to them again.

And it’s funny I’ve learned over time I get one of three reactions when I talk about what mankind is in for in the near and long future. Those reactions are serious interest, utter horror, or deer in the headlights. When I mentioned life extending technologies John fell into the horrified category. Because when everyone hears we might be good out to 150 years or so. I think it’s the automatic automatic assumption that it’ll be 150 years of decrepitude. But it won’t be.

Another character I met last night was a gentleman dressed as what his interpretation of Merlin would look like by the name of Jim. Apparently Jim knows EVERYBODY in Newport and to paraphrase speaks fluent five year old.

What I thought would be a somewhat moribund evening ended up being fun. And the book, 30 autographed copies were sold last night. Ended up leaving sometime near 11PM and finding out you can get to I-95 south via RI-4, but you come out much further down I-95 than you’d have thought damn it. So that ended up with me coming northbound on RI-4 not once but twice.

Aborted that particular mission at that point and came home. Had a really late dinner steak with biscuits and roasted zucchini/grape tomato. I am really digging Home Chef – the three meals we get from Home Chef are pretty much a highlight every week. For the $60 a week I can only say it’s pretty cool.

And I do hope my friends book gets optioned for screen play or movie someday. That would be cool.