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January 19, 2006

Retardcapades, or, meddling with technology

Pourquoi le fuck has my blog all of a sudden changed to not show any entries on the main page? I tried to fix it and ended up having to restore all the default templates (I think), and it's still doing it. Something is strange.

This is what happens whenever I start trying to meddle with technology I don't fundamentally understand. There seems to be some basic problem, but since I don't understand what the problem is, I don't know how to target that specific problem in my meddling when I try to "fix" it. The end result is that I end up doing stuff that's the computerary equivalent of unplugging the DVD player, changing which cords are plugged into which holes, then replugging it and turning it back on and beating it with a wrench while alternately pressing "play" and "stop," all because it made a funny noise at some point. It's evidently not the way to fix the original problem, and it makes for a big fat host of other problems along the way.

For better or worse, though I have no concept of how various technologies work, I do have pretty elephantlike memory, so I can usually figure out exactly what I've already fucked with. This means that when "fix" A doesn't work, I know not to repeat that, so I keep trying to tinker with other variables and combinations of variables until I've made a big mess, at which point the only way to fix the whole thing seems to be the old beating-with-a-wrench-and-pressing-buttons approach, or, god forbid, asking for help.

Though it looks like there's shit-all going on on the main page, my approach might actually make my blog interesting to watch, if you agree with my context-specific meaning of "watch." I don't mean checking in periodically to see if I've actually chronicled some new moronic escapade or other. I mean hitting it at the right time to watch me try to "improve" something. If you catch it right, and refresh about every three minutes over an hour-and-a-half period, you can watch a lot of things change color and size, everything become invisible, half of the page temporarily return, the whole thing break, everything come back in a different form, break again, and then finally resolve into a half-working configuration that will limp along until the next time I decide something needs my intervention. It's fun.

Posted by katie at 04:09 PM

January 11, 2006

Retardcapades, or, the DMV tries to interpret its own law

I'm bemused and grateful to Schwarzenegger for exposing an interesting loophole in California licensing laws, after his recent "Getting In An Accident While Driving A Motorcycle He Was Not In Fact Licensed To Operate And Which Was Transporting His 12 Year Old Son And Then Not Getting Cited For It At All" adventure.

I'm sure that late-night television has probably taken care of saying pretty much everything that needs to be said about this. However, since I do not have television, I feel the need to point out that a particular element of this sets a precedent for unlicensed vehicle operation which spells fun, fun FUN!

From The Chronicle's article today explaining why Schwarzenegger wasn't cited, when he had a standard car license but no motorcycle license:

A standard license for driving a car cannot be used to operate a motorcycle, but according to DMV spokesman Mike Miller the relevant sections of state law makes no mention of a motorcycle with a sidecar. Miller said that means Schwarzenegger was operating within the law when he crashed.

You see what's great about this? Schwarzenegger had no motorcycle license. He was riding a motorcycle. Ah, but he was riding a motorcycle plus a sidecar, which is evidently not still fundamentally a motorcycle. No violation.

The Thing You Are Prohibited From Operating
+ Some Other Element
No Problem.

I've been just giddy trying to think of combinations of things this might work with.

I do have a driver's license, but let's say I didn't. If I were driving a car which was pulling a boxcar carring a dirigible, would that be okay?

For that matter, I've been assuming that the Mitigating Element (ME) would need to be another vehicular component, or at least something related by type to the original unlicensed object. But what if I, who do not have a pilot's license, flew a plane whose ME was not, for example, a helicopter towed at the end of a rope, but a pyramid of circus elephants glued to the wing? I highly doubt that there is a statute on the books that expressly prohibits unlicensed persons from flying commercial airliners carrying circus elephants in formation.

Or, or, I don't have a license to own, carry, or use a gun, nor do I want one. But what if I get a gun and affix a bicycle horn to the trigger? This is fun.

Posted by katie at 09:46 PM