Archive for August, 2014

Introducing the NoPhone. It’s sort of a surrogate smartphone to force you (or someone else) to actually engage in social activity and notice the surroundings.

My guess is that it will be met with violent resistance by the person you are attempting to re-insert into the real world.

Wow, read the first testimonial on the page:

I used to sleep with my phone in my hand, but my night terrors would cause me to hurl it across the room in an unconscious panic. With the noPhone, I can still enjoy the comfort of holding a phone in my sleep, without waking up to a shattered screen. Thanks, noPhone. -David H

I just don’t know what to say to that. Then there’s another gem:

Because of the noPhone, I haven’t drunk texted my ex boyfriend in one whole week. -Craig G

 

So you have enough sense to trick yourself into swapping your real phone out for a pacifier (or your friends do) but not enough sense not to drunk-text your ex? WEEKLY? When you cause enough damage to require self or friend based interventions…

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Just a taste of the police statehood in the past 48 hours…

On the boat, out on the river, headed to do some fishing. Beyond a bridge I have passed under hundreds of times, I kick up the throttle and get the boat up on a plane. Moments later I hear the horn and siren of the Florida Fish and Wildlife boat cops, and see them coming after me. So I slow to a stop and let them state their case.

“This is a no wake zone,” BadCop growls, “See that sign?” she points to a sign a few hundred yards away which clearly reads, “No wake,” but is not, clearly, for this particular channel; it is for a channel to the north. Here, beyond the bridge, is full throttle. She demands to see my registration papers.

Papers, please, citizen.

To this point I have yet to say a single word, I just let her do her BadCop routine, and now she demands to see my life jackets, my fire extinguisher, and a whistle. Yes, a whistle.

Years ago I was ticketed for this same bullshit, while in my dinghy, transiting between my boat and the marina, a few hundred feet away, in a river maybe 500 feet wide. A whistle, my ass. I told the jerkwad cop then that I was carrying a VHF radio with a range of 30 miles; a whistle was absurd. The law is the law, he said, writing off any form of moral responsibility. And I had to pay a $75 fine for not having a whistle, while moving a few hundred feet, in a river only 6 feet deep, in a basically unsinkable inflatable boat with both oars and an outboard motor. Even if the motor failed, I could row to shore. Even if the oars fell out, I could paddle with my hands. Even if the boat sank, I could swim or wade to shore. I’ll go out and buy a whistle just to shove it up your ass.

BadCop now demanded not only to see my fire extinguisher but to check the gauge on it to make sure it was adequately filled. Do you have life jackets, do you have flares, blah blah blah.

As my boat is always prepared for the zombie apocalypse, I had everything. Except for that fucking whistle. What a joke. Maybe you can use it to call the zombies to you, so that they take you out first. I have no idea what use it will be to you trying to signal anyone on a river when they are all roaming around drunk, blasting the radio over the engine noise.

In the end, she wrote me up a couple of warnings: the bullshit no wake zone violation, low charge in the fire extinguisher, and no fucking whistle. Then, the cherry on top, she told me she was doing me a favor, in true politician form, while she handed me back my slave papers.

Like we’re supposed to thank you for making yourself a problem and then “going easy on us.”

Then I get a notice from SunPass that my account is being terminated, “For not replenishing your account when it has a low balance… you will not be able to use your SunPass until you reactivate your account.” so I check my account and there is $8 and change. Probably enough for a round trip on the turnpike between here and Miami. Low balance my ass. I check and see that yes, indeed, they still have valid credit card info for me, my balance is not negative and never was, so what the hell? You’re going to hold my money hostage and NOT let me use the toll roads???

It reminded me of a time in college when I received notice I would be put on academic probation for poor grades, when I had a 4.0 grade point average (for the unwashed, you can’t get any higher than that).

“To re-activate your account, you need to put in at least $10,” so I do, and the account is miraculously reactivated. What the fuck. Police state mentality has invaded SunPass.