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And in retrospect, I suddenly find my earlier comments about people not
knowing how to drive are justified; in England, there are 4 major things:
1) Emergency stop
2) 3-point turn
3) Reverse round a corner
4) Parallel park

In England, you have to do #1 and two of the others [chosen by the
examiner]. Here, I had to do none of the above. Which, now I think about
it, goes partway toward explaining the fact I've seen people rearend
other people multiple times on the road since I got here.

The hardest thing I had to do here is reverse in a reasonably straight
line. Which I did badly [looking in the mirror not turning around],
and I still passed.

In other news, I've upgraded to slackware-current, have installed ALSA,
lots of other new-age things that I've been meaning to do for ages,
and I'm impressed. It's nice.

Note: You know your audio library is "too big" When the CVS, bzip2ed,
is nearly 9M. Even after I stripped out the win,mac,Be,and test stuff,
it still came in at a 2.5M download. I've no idea at which point an audio
API becomes "too big", but I'm pretty certain 9M is the wrong side of it.


Ways to get the attention of a driving test examiner really really
  really quickly, #34:

When he walks up to you and asks who was sitting next to you while you
drove there on your driving permit, tell him you drove here on your own.

I made 9, count them, 9 mistakes on your driving test. Two were for
speeding [both backwards and forwards], and the other 7 are all in some
way related to the fact my neck hurts like hell to turn it. So I'm not
feeling too bad about it...

Just to clarify, that means "yes, I now have a full driving license
for CA"


I hate that.
I walked in on Friday evening, turned on the computer. Fair enough.

The 40G games drive had bitten the dust. Fine, except 15G of
non-trivially-replaceable data also went with it [downloads, builds,
documents, etc]

Pffft. So I walk over to the freezer to put a couple ice trays into
it. Holding them, a book falls off the top of the freezer when I open
it. Spreading water all over the floor, and messing up a book.

Within one minute of walking into the appartment, I realise it's just
not gonna go well...

Other news?
I have some furniture in my appartment, finally. A love seat, a semi-comfy
chair, a table, a lamp and some other stuff. All generously donated by
one of my aunt's friends who's moving to a smaller place.

I hired a cargo van from Budget to get the furniture back. The single
most un-vroomy thing I've ever driven. Thoughts:
1) Why is it necessary to initial pieces of paper saying "this makes
wider turns that you're used to in your sedan"? If someone needs to
be told that, then they shouldn't be allowed on the road in anything,
let alone a behemouth van.
2) Why is it covered in dents when I get it? I mean, one or two dents
is fine. But these puppies are /covered/ in dents...

People in this country are shit drivers. I mean, /really/ shit.
Before I left England, I only ever saw one accident. Interestingly,
it was the one where I was involved.

I've seen more accidents first hand since I've moved here than I'd seen
during my entire life in England.

I know that people say "there are more roads here with more people on
them", but, as a percentage, there are several thousand percent /more/
cars on the road here that're all dented up than there are in England.

I suppose I oughta say something good so, "Carpool lanes are a good
idea". Seriously. And that's about all that I've found here that's good.

Even the police here are dangerous drivers. They're far too agressive,
to the point where I query whether or not they're a major source of
accidents. Like, from what I've seen, they're more agressive than almost
everyone else on the road.


Having read over all of that, I appear to be a prime candidate for a
terrorist for "attacking the American way". Well, here's the deal: I
have nothing to hide. I don't encrypt my e-mail, anything like that. I
really do pity the poor bugger that has to read through all of my e-mail
[if, for some reason, I'm flagged and they're reading it all].

"How's things over there?"
"Nothing changes"
"Chunky misses you kids"
"Us kids miss Chunky"
And so on, and so forth.

And some poor bugger has to read it all. Hahahahaha.

And while we're at it, I hope some policeman comes knocking at my
door. It won't happen, from what I gather, but I'd love to spend half
a day watching someone get paid to sift through my dirty laundry. That
would just amuse the hell out of me.


Apparently, I'm currently in the right place to be at the forefront of
technological developments, various. LA is "the place to be"

But man, there's some stuff here that's just... backwards. Socially,

Has it occurred to you people that it's a bad thing that your policemen
carry guns? Surely in any civilised society, this crap isn't needed?

"We're all allowed to carry guns to protect ourselves". Bollocks. Get
the hell rid of them. You do not have a fundamental human right to carry
guns. Really. I promise. In England I had to jump through many many
hoops to get a license for a shotgun. Anything that holds more than 3
rounds? Not a chance. And have I /ever/ heard of anyone "protecting"
their home with one? Of course not. You catch a burglar, they tend to
run off. In this country, you catch a burglar, they shoot you. /now/
tell me guns are a good idea for everyone.

There's something very badly wrong when you go into a fast food
restaurant, and there's inch-thick perspex between you & the servers.
I mean, /badly/ wrong.

It is my considered opinion that there should be some manner of
sanity-checking in this country. Any lawsuit that could conceivably
be "frivolous" should be voted on by 150 random people in any
street. Anywhere. If you think it's fair that 12 people can vote on
something, why not 150?

Surely, in any even semi-sensible society, you'd take the guy, who thought
it would be safe to put his winnebago on cruise control and walk into
the back, out the back and laugh at him. Point at him, even. People like
that are the subject of ridicule in England. There's a certain level
of stupidity that's simply beyond rational explanation and so should
therefore be laughed at. And yet, you people waste valuable time on
it. You take 12 productive people, and waste a few days of their time.

And that woman who bought a coffee and spilled it on herself, then
sued McDonalds for serving coffee too hot because it scalded. Well, hot
diggety-damn; now anybody dumb enough to drink McDonalds coffee gets it
cold. That's nice.

Two thoughts on this:
1) She thought she'd make a quick buck
2) She really is that dumb
I think it's a happy medium, but things like that need to be thrown out
of court and the sue-er should pay for wasting everybody's time.

Of course, there's more, but I'm bored of writing now.

In conclusion, this is a completely backward country, and I want the
fuck out of it. Until you stupid fuckers grow up, I'd rather be in quaint
old England where people tend not to shoot each other, say hello, and
I can walk from one place to the next.

[note: old plan entries are all avilable at]

When this .plan was written: 2002-10-05 21:12:31
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