Spike strips can make the world a better place

Seemingly more often than the average person, I see a lot of people driving the wrong way on one-way roads.  I’d say probably 80% of the time it’s in a parking lot, but there’s also a roundabout near my job where I see countless people go the wrong way far too frequently, because they’d rather drive 90 degrees to turn left instead of driving around 270 degrees; whether is is done deliberately out of laziness and selfishness, or because these people are complete imbeciles is irrelevant, because they’re still turning into the opposite direction of traffic and putting people at risk.

Shocker of the century, whenever I see people driving against a one-way street, it annoys me.  To the point where the thought sits in my head long enough to where words begin to formulate in my head, and inevitably becomes a topic, something that I can write about in my brog that six people read.

Naturally, my first thought after annoyance is “how can this epidemic of wrong-way driving be solved?

First, I thought if every single one-way street in the world had a gate of some sort, it might help a little bit.  But then I think about the gates of the apartment complexes that people I know live at, and how they’re unreliable, break often, or deliberately broken by criminals in the night who take their frustrations on the world out on gates, and either sabotage the mechanics or straight up break the gate physically.

Gates, are far too unreliable, fragile, and require too much maintenance.

And then I thought about spike strips.  The kind of spike strips pictured above.  The kind of spike strips that exist at every single car rental lot, typically near the car returns lanes, so that thieves can’t steal cars and expect to get away, and to deter in the most severest ways, people from going in that direction.  Spike strips, designed to allow for one-way passage ONLY, as even attempting to go the opposite direction only leads to severe and costly damage.

These would be the perfect things to install all over the place, to condition and ultimately deter people from even considering going down the wrong direction on the streets.  And they’re vastly lower maintenance than gates; non-retractable spike strips could be bolted, nay, soldered, to streets, to eliminate vigilante removal of them by aggravated motorists.

Naturally, because people are dumb and do not pay attention to signs, there is bound to be an extremely steep and severe learning curve, as negligent motorists across the country fail to abide by street laws, go down a one-way street in the wrong direction, and then blow out their tires.  Their now incapacitated vehicle sits immobile in the middle of the street, pissing off other motorists to whom their own route is suddenly obstructed by an idiot.  And before the flatbed tow-truck can arrive to remove the car with the four flat tires, the police can come and issue a ticket(s) for going the wrong way and any other extraneous violations they might take the time to seek out.

You better believe this is a lesson that the example offender is going to learn, real fast, when they have to deal with this kind of humiliation and punishment.

As for the asshole drivers who deliberately go the wrong way to save time, this will be even more satisfying to know of it happening to them.  They’ll likely learn even faster, to start abiding by the law, before Ruler Danny can think of more draconian methods to correct bad behavior.

Really though, I fail to see a downside to this idea of installing spike strips all over the place to regulate one-way streets.  It’s an idea designed to efficiently correct a bad behavior through extremely severe punishment.  Since they’re also speed bumps, it will get people to slow the fuck down, because lord knows there are a lot of maniacs on the road who think the real world is actually Gran Turismo and drive as such.

For the people who have a hard time learning or abiding by the law, their misfortunes will be a boon for the tire industry, as well as tow truck drivers, mechanics and auto parts, or anyone else involved in the process of getting a dumbass’s car back to driving condition after plowing over spike strips.  Sometimes, there are cars that are on the road that are pretty obviously not either safe, legal, or in proper driving condition, but be it through poverty, negligence or just plain ambivalence, they’re still around; going in the wrong direction and paying the price all but guarantees being forced to see a mechanic, thus potentially making the roads safer.

Economy improves!

Not to mention, one of the biggest drawbacks to seemingly minor offenders is that they get away with it, because police can’t possibly be everywhere at every time.  When a car is immobilized by the the stupidity of their driver, the car is sitting there while waiting for a tow.  At these times, police can more leisurely show up if they’re nearby, and upon seeing a car with a bunch of flat tires, the story kind of writes itself, as do the tickets they can issue to people for failing to pay attention to the road.

Police write more tickets, generate more revenue.  Economic improvement here too!

But ultimately, the goal is to make the roads a safer place.  Through draconian punishment, people might actually learn to respect the importance of one-way streets, and not endanger lives or risk making a whole lot of people unhappy with their negligence.

When the roads are a safer place, and a myriad of industries are flourishing economically, can anyone really deny the fact that spike stripes, just might, make the world a better place?

Furiously excited for more Fast logos

Among some of my guiltiest of guilty pleasures is my general love for The Fast and the Furious film franchise.  I mean, when I was a wannabe car tuner who thought everything JDM was god-like, and wanted to do a laundry list of things to the cars that I’ve driven, I watched the first film with that “it’s going to suck, but I’m going to watch it, so I can criticize everything wrong with it,” oblivious to the irony that I was forking over my money to feed the machine regardless.

Eventually, the arrogance and false sense of superiority dissipated AKA I began to grow up, and it turned out that I actually enjoyed these terrible films.  Yes, I enjoy them, but there’s little denying the fact that they’re really campy, over-the-top films.  My mom would watch it and call it an “엉터리 movie,” which translated literally means “nonsense.”  Whatever though, I still enjoy them, and I can admit that I have seen every single one.

Needless to say, I was amused by the announcement by Vin Diesel who used social media to drop the news that not only is the FF franchise continuing for an eighth installment, but there are plans to have a ninth, and a tenth installment of the story, so that the franchise can literally boast ten films in twenty years.  Also amusing are their tentative April release dates, so I can probably pull out the birthday card and force mythical girlfriend to go see them with me.  hue hue.

I’m excited to see just how much more over-the-top the series can possibly get, and considering the series has destroyed Los Angeles three times over, Miami once, Brazil, various places near the Middle East and a tiny part of Tokyo, I’m curious to see what’s going to happen next, or how they plan on raising the bar while it’s already precariously high, for three more films.  Supposedly #8 is going to take place in New York, (which is to say like 5, 6 and 7, will be filmed primarily in Atlanta), so there will probably be some taxi chases or driving through subway rail lines.

But ultimately, more than the campy ridiculous action sequences they will inevitably contain, I’m more excited than anything else, to find out just what they’re going to call these next three films.  Part of the fun for me as the series has progressed, is analyzing their names and subsequent logos, and finding amusement in the gradual stretching they’re doing in trying to integrate numbers into names, while maintaining the “integrity,” and I use that term loosely, of the franchise.

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It’s pretty widely known knowledge when it comes to the internet, don’t read the comments.  And such sagely wisdom is not at all incorrect, since comment sections all across the world wide web are full of mostly nothing but putrid, useless and contrarian garbage, loosely under the guise of words.

But sometimes, I can’t help it, because I’m also of the type that enjoys watching good train wrecks every now and then.  Come on, I watch TLC more than any other channel out of 450 available channels, I apparently have an affinity for watching chaos unfold.

Here in Atlanta, there was a little bit of news about how retired Atlanta Braves legend, Chipper Jones has decided to move back to Atlanta, after enjoying the first few years of his retirement down in Texas, presumably with his dad, reducing the wildlife population.  Additionally, he has taken a position with the Braves as some sort of non-player personnel, likely the start of his gradual transition into some sort of coaching position, preferably a hitting one, as he is undoubtedly one of the finest hitters in history.

And seeing as how the Braves more or less have no real superstars to market with, they wasted no time in utilizing Chipper Jones to spearhead some of their paltry promotions going into the likely already-a-wash 2016 season.

Associating “Chipper Jones” with “Valentine’s Day” would be like trying to associate a garden rake to the Indian Ocean, but whatever, the Braves decided to shoehorn together a promotion for a Valentine’s Day special, in selling tickets that would probably be difficult to give away.

After rolling my eyes at such a lame idea and effort, my eyes noticed the bottom of the screen the words “View Comments” and a number that wasn’t actually zero, which is something of an anomaly on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, unless it’s on a story pertaining to crime, in which the comments section is then flooded with black profiling, racist remarks, and the people that bite the bait and feed the trolls.

But in regards to a story about Chipper Jones?  I mean, I know a ton about the guy as he was one of my favorite players, including the sensitive personal things about his past that aren’t the most endearing things, but I was curious to see what AJC commenters could possibly say about a Chipper Jones-Valentines promotion…

And to no surprise, what few comments are there, are full of vitriol, sarcasm, and loathing for Chipper Jones and the Atlanta Braves.  Brilliance.  In just the five comments that I was privy to, the commenters were quick to point out Chipper’s adulterous indiscretions, with a Hooters waitress, predictions to the Braves’ 2016 record, the fact that they have no stars, and the requisite “why not Dale Murphy” remark.  Perfect.

This, amuses me greatly.  Not bad for internet commenters.

Is this conservative of me?

Now you’ll have to forgive me if I’m not entirely getting the facts straight; politics interest me as much as Michael Cera movies, so I will be the first to admit that most of the things I think I’m aware of, have mostly come via half-heard news broadcasts, and skimming through daily news.

But apparently, the State of Georgia’s Supreme Court made a ruling that stated that unauthorized immigrant students would not be eligible for in-state tuition.  To me, this seems kind of like a no-brainer; if you haven’t lived in Georgia for a substantial period of time, why should you get in-state tuition rates?  This is irrelevant if the students are coming from Nebraska or Nigeria, if you’re not a resident, why should you get resident benefits?

Apparently, not everyone seems to think it’s as clear cut as I do, as dumbass students do what dumbass students do, which is protest things that they are probably as clueless to as I am, and get arrested for it.

But yeah, I don’t see why it’s up for such contentious debate.  If I were a concerned citizen, I think I’d be a little against the idea of for example, a Hispanic family crossing the border illegally, landing in Georgia, never doing whatever it takes to become legal and documented, and then the children growing up and expecting in-state tuition – and getting it?  That seems a little bit like using underhanded means to get to a position to where benefits can be capitalized upon, which to me, is not okay.

Colleges are seemingly competitive enough to get into, but I don’t think it’s necessarily right to include a pool of potential students who don’t even exist as U.S. citizens to compete against.  It’s like paying and registering to run in a marathon, but then a bunch of people show up on race day to run unregistered, and expect accolades if they do well.

Ultimately, this is a matter that doesn’t concern me one iota, but I don’t understand why people are protesting this matter; maybe that’s very conservative of me sure, but seriously, the phrases “undocumented” and “unauthorized” typically have a deceiving connotation to them, and deception is a negatively perceived idea, so why should anything inherently negative be privy to such a useful concept such as in-state tuition?

Why does internet in America suck so badly?

I mean, we all know the answer to such a rhetorical question, but seriously, why does it have to suck this bad?

Like many Americans, I would like to embrace the notion of cutting the cord and completely absolving myself of cable television.  I mean, I have nearly 350 channels available on my subscription, with maybe 10 networks tops that I actually bother to peruse through, so why should I pay for that many channels?

Unfortunately, I’m not going to be cutting the cord any time soon, and frankly, I still think that we’re a long way off before the thought will gain any substantial traction in the near-future.

I was trying to watch Making A Murderer recently, which as you might recall, is only available on Netflix, a streaming service.  I’m getting into the general plot and ease in which the facts are presented to me, but about 40 minutes in, suddenly I get my first stop in the action on account of buffering.  I’m watching the little red Netflix swirly-circle counting up the progress, and it hangs up on like 82%.  A minute of this, and I’m already pissed, and have to stop the program, only to try to open it again, hoping the reset will jumpstart the stream.  Nope, it starts back up 15 minutes prior to where I was interrupted, and I have to play the guessing game of trying to fast forward without knowing where to resume playback.  My watching experience is basically soiled.

And this is the story of almost all streaming media, to varying degrees.  Mind you, this particular instance was involving wireless connectivity, and it basically relegates me to having little to no faith in wi-fi technology, at least when it comes to utilizing attempting to stream high-definition television.  Wi-fi is a great technology, but honestly it’s kind of crap if you’re trying to do anything remotely heavy, like streaming television or playing League of Legends; the slightest hiccup is enough to stall your show, or create lag spikes that will undoubtedly cost you dearly in-game.

Ultimately, there’s no real good solution to shitty internet, save for wiring your home and places you like to hang out with internalized CAT-5 in the walls, with ethernet jacks in the walls.  Wi-fi is far too weak and unreliable when it comes to heavy data consumption, and Powerline wall jacks, which at one point, I thought were the second coming of christ, I’ve learned through trial by fire, require such stringent electrical configuration for optimal speeds, that in a place like my house, speed tests worse than wireless.

Which all amounts to the fact that the idea of streaming media is great and all, but until internet speeds can really be relied upon to not suck balls, then we’re relegated to this age of insufferable, where turning on your Xbox to play video games, loading Netflix to watch television, always runs the risk of a lag spike, connection issue, or other lame excuse, to why things can’t simply be gratifying.

I want to watch Battle Royale again, because reading the book has got me feeling nostalgic, and wanting to watch the film again.  I know it’s available somewhere streaming, but I’m not going to bother, when I own a DVD of it.  I’m not even going to play it on my Xbox 360, because the last thing I want to run into is an update being required for the DVD player software.  I’m going to play it on a standard DVD player that’s wired directly into my television, where I can guarantee that being two minutes of menu and preview window skipping, I will be relaxed and watching a stall-free version of a movie, even if it means having a few pieces of hardware and a physical case in my home.  Fuck the internet.