Monday, July 26, 2010

Grousing Because I Can

The law prohibiting texting while driving is one of those “duh” laws that ought not to require a law. Really, how stupid do you have to be to do something that requires you to use both hands while you are driving a car, which also requires BOTH HANDS? (No, not just if it’s a stick shift. You need a hand free for emergencies like if you start to drift, or if you need to signal a turn or a slowdown, or just if you need to use the steering wheel. A couple of seconds with one hand off the wheel to change the radio station is probably not a big deal but to text? Seriously? Wow, some folks really do have far too high an opinion of their own abilities than they ought.

That said, what is less self-evident is that you shouldn’t text while walking. Case in point: This morning a man who was absorbed in typing who-knows-what walked past me on Oak, jostling my arm and not noticing it. That didn’t bother me although it did make me stare at him in some amazement that he hadn’t noticed. I’m not microscopic. I’m not even svelte. But, anyway, I then saw him walk out into traffic because whatever he was typing was apparently more important than noticing if there was a Max train barreling down on him. It wasn’t barreling so close that I got to witness the gore of a Max-ident up close, but the train tooted at him from a half a block away. He didn’t look up. But the car that was closer and had to slam on its brakes to avoid him got his attention. He sort of handwaved an apology and returned to his texting. I lost sight of him after that but am keeping my ears open for news of Darwin at work in Portland.

And lest anyone think I am all curmudgeon all the time, let me sing the praises of my little air conditioner. While it is true that the mild climate we enjoy in Portland seems to make an air conditioner wasteful and completely unnecessary, I have to say it’s made me uncommonly happy on days when the temperature goes over 90. It might be cooling the smallest room in the house, but that room is really comfortable. There’s just one oddity. You know how a window air conditioner drips condensation? Usually that goes out the window and either evaporates before it hits the ground or it waters a little tiny patch of pavement. Well, there are bars on my window. That made it really easy to install the unit, because I have a piece of furniture JUST the right height to fit it into the window frame up to the screen. But guess where that condensation is now dripping? I finally figure out that I needed to put a pail under the unit. But that is a minor inconvenience next to the lovely cool afternoon I had Sunday!

Now if only my neighbors weren’t setting off fireworks every night I’d be happy. WTF, people? The Fourth of July was on the FOURTH! Today is the twenty-sixth. Did you really buy enough fireworks to last twenty two EXTRA days? (Probably thirty extra once all is said and done.) I just don’t understand it.

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