Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

JAYWALKING – there’s a reason it’s illegal.

Motorized vehicles go on the roads. Pedestrians go on the sidewalks. Pedestrians and motorized vehicles are not a good mix, but because pedestrians have to cross roads to get to the other side, we made crosswalks and put in lights and made laws to stop the motorized vehicles so pedestrians could cross safely…if they just would. But since we’re so iffy about enforcement of pedestrians’ behavior, we have a bumper-crop of busted up foot-traffic when the feet meet the same ground as the motorized traffic.

Good thing this woman wasn’t jaywalking in Germany . Because then she’d be paying the driver who killed her son for the damages to his car. Failure to use the crosswalk when there’s one around means that you are at fault if you (or your child) is hit by a car while crossing the street; it’s all your fault, twit. Jaywalking and getting hurt in Germany means you can’t sue the driver who hits you – no matter how poor his driving record. Germans believe pedestrians are equally responsible for their conduct – not just the drivers of vehicles. The street is for cars. The crosswalk is for pedestrians. If you’re where you’re supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to be, you’re not the liable one.

Somehow, here in the States, we’ve gotten the message that everyone is responsible except the person pulling a bone-headed stunt.

This mother was not charged with crossing where there’s no crosswalk. She was charged with jaywalking. Do you remember the cop who stopped the pair of girls for jaywalking and they went belligerent and combative and he hit the one in the face? I wrote a blog on that incident. Jaywalking is not crossing the street without using the crosswalk, but crossing it at a diagonal, putting yourself in the line of traffic for longer than necessary to get across the street – and this woman was apparently crossing a four-lane highway with a median (didn’t say if it was grassy and upraised or just a double line type median).

She has a four-year-old and she’s apparently not holding his hand, doesn’t have him in a stroller, it’s after dark, she’s out buying supplies (?) for her birthday (per the article, not the kids’ birthdays but her own), and she has two other (one presumes older) children with her. It’s a dangerous highway but she’s in a hurry and doesn’t want to cross at the crosswalk, which means walking further down but she’d be able to cross with a light – and one presumes a well-lit crosswalk, so they can be seen. Did she even have enough sense to dress them all in light-colored clothing? Why wasn’t the four-year-old in a stroller? Why wasn’t she or one of the other children holding his hand? Why is she out after dark with small children? The article doesn’t say she worked all day and this was just the only time to go shopping, only that she was out shopping for her birthday and missed a bus and was an hour late which put her coming home on foot in the dark with three children.

So they crossed. And they apparently crossed at an angle, putting themselves in the road longer than they needed to be in order to save a few steps to the entrance of the apartment buildings. And so they all got hit by a guy with a really lousy driving record and the four-year-old was killed. Mom won’t get the max at sentencing. But I think a conviction for jaywalking is warranted. She put herself and her children in harm’s way. And it’s epidemic in the area of the accident of locals jaywalking that the authorities felt an example needs to be made. And a judge or jury found her guilty of jaywalking, despite the tragic outcome. That’s pretty telling all by itself.

Candidly, the disregard for law and safety are part-and-parcel of some urban cultures. It’s a way of life to choose the easy way, not the safe or smart way – just the easy way. And hey, everybody else does it, is the excuse. You can’t fix culture. But you can fix the environment to restructure habits within the culture.

A couple of things need to happen in designing urban traffic areas. Americans need to erect a lot more over-the-street crosswalks like they routinely use on the Vegas Strip and other heavily congested traffic areas. Then pedestrians with brains can cross safely without necessitating building ground-level crosswalks, traffic lights, etc., and relying on drivers to honor those crosswalks/signals (which is a whole other problem). Developers must start designing residential and business complexes with entrances near the end of the city block instead of the middle of the block to encourage pedestrian traffic flow at the street intersections and traffic signals. And all public bus stops need to be moved to the ends of the city blocks and not in the middle of the city block to further discourage middle-of-the-block foot traffic.

Almost every apartment complex in the Orlando Metro area has the main entrance squarely in the middle of the block – but the traffic signals and crosswalks are at both ends of the block. The bus stops are placed directly across from the entrance of the apartment complex (on both sides of the street – entrance-side and across the street from the entrance) for the convenience of the residents, instead of at the ends of the block for their safety. This means the people getting off the bus opposite the complex are naturally going to try to run across the street to the entrance, that being the shortest route home. But if the bus stops were only toward the end of the block by the crosswalks, any foot traffic would routinely cross in the crosswalk and walk on down to the entrance – reducing their risk. People have to walk to the bus stop anyway. There’s no rule that says it has to be right at your door.

Disabled persons using public transportation have the smaller Lynx buses available that can come into the complex to pick them up. Those whose disabilities are not so confining can also catch the bus at the end of the block. And if the complex entrances were toward the ends of the block, this would facilitate pedestrian access to the bus and the disabled (often in wheelchairs) would also not be hazarding a cross-over in the middle of the street, a common sight here in Orlando .

We need to re-think urban plans and enforce the codes/ordinances to encourage people to do the right and smart thing by environmental design, and not by solely by conscious adherence to the law, which requires intellectual capacity for good decision making. People just aren’t that bright and convenience always out-votes compliance.

I’m sorry for the woman. I’m sorrier for the four-year-old. But like so many, mom’s done the wrong thing so many times without consequence that it was a complete shock and a tragedy when her poor decisions came smashing home and cost her little fellow, a child whose life depended on mom making smart and safe choices. Yes, she’s being punished by the courts. She didn’t just make a mistake; she willfully broke a law that would have protected that child, her, her other children, and deliberately put them all at risk for the sake of convenience. And hopefully, a legal conviction will make an impression on her neighbors and save a few lives until we finally get smart about the physical design of our communities.

Florida Cracker

P.S. The driver – he should be permanently barred from driving and serve as a habitual traffic offender (felony).

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

Even more info on what the bastards were up to. Will any of them be arrested over this? Of course not. They'll get a slap on the wrist, a pat on the back and a promotion. And the deaths that THEY CAUSED, will go on and on.

Rec: Kimchi Quesadillas

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cabbage kimchi, drained and chopped
4 fresh perilla or shiso leaves (optional)
2 (8 inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup grated Sharp Cheddar
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 tablespoon Canola oil

Add the butter to a large skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH
heat. When melted, add the kimchi. Cook for about 6
minutes, stirring occassionally, until the edges of the
kimchi start to turn a little golden brown. Transfer to
a bowl and let cool for a few minutes. Divide the kimchi,
cheese, sesame seeds, and perilla leaves (optional)
between the two tortillas. Fold each tortilla in half. Pour
the oil into a large skillet set over MEDIUM heat. Add
both folded tortilla to the skillet, cover, and cook for about
2 minutes per side, or until they are golden brown and
the cheese has melted. Slice into serving portions, and serve.

Serves 1 to 2

Rec: Microwave Chinese Cabbage Rolls

10 pieces of round cabbage leaves
5 1/2 oz. of minced pork
1 1/2 tablespoon of dried shrimp
1 stalk of green spring onion
5 water chestnuts
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of light soy sauce
a dash of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of corn flour

Rinse the cabbage and cut off the hard stems. Put them
into a heat-proof bowl. Cover and cook for 3 minutes on
HIGH to soften. Soak the dried shrimp in water until soft.
Drain off water and chop finely. Mix the green spring
onion and chopped water chestnuts with the minced pork.
Add 1/2 teaspoon ofsalt, a dash of sesame oil and corn
flour. Stir and mix evenly. Place the mixed minced pork
onto the softened cabbage leaves and roll up (like spring
rolls). Place a toothpick at the end to avoid openning up.
Put them in a heat-proof bowl. Add salt, light soy sauce
and stock. Cook on HIGH for 8 minutes.

Rec: Microwave Kale With Oyster Sauce

16 oz. of kale (Chinese broccoli)
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of salt

Rinse and drain the kale. Mix the kale on a plate. Arrange
it with the stem and leaves interestingly. Mix 2
tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Place plastic
wrap over the neatly arranged kale. Cook on HIGH heat
for 4 minutes. Add oyster sauce to oil and salt, and mix into
kale when ready.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Deano Sez: IP Address Locator

I get asked for this all the time....useful for tracking spam origins, hits on web servers by script kiddies, etc.


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Thought For Today

"We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glow-worm." - Winston Churchill

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum IV

"More than 25,000 security breaches have occurred at US airports since November 2001, a congressional panel has heard." Let's see: They've NEVER caught a terrorist. They don't seem to be doing their jobs very well and are being caught right and left stealing from the passengers. And we should let them keep bumbling around groping people because? IDIOTS! They're not even very good theater. The Keystone Cops were much more professional at it. And more entertaining.

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum III

If you or I did crap like this - it's prison time! For the ATF agents (and supervisors) who did this - it's party time! ASSHOLES!

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum II

And this poor woman is being accosted by city elders whose IQs are the same as their shoe sizes.

The Inmates Are Running The Asylum

It looks like the idiots are at it again though this time it's more of a "he said, she said" situation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

US-CERT Cyber Security Alert SA11-193A

*SIGH* SURPRISE! It's Microslug AGAIN!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hard To Find Films

Hard To Find Films

He Lives! And with even more movies!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Hard Truth From Orlando

Lest we lose perspective on Casey Anthony trial.

Casey – acquitted of murdering her daughter. And another case where citizens serving as jurors have zero common sense and think that forensics are the end all and be all of finding a guilty verdict. You have to wonder what people around the world think of American justice when such blatantly obvious murderers walk away free from court in case after case. If you’re going to commit a crime, make sure you do it in America where Lady Justice is not only blind, but brain-damaged, too.

Guess the child wrapped duct tape around her head and threw herself into the swamp.

But I’m not losing sleep over the injustice of it. Casey Anthony will get hers as the great wheel goes around. She still has all the theft charges and lying charges. But more than that, she still has her mom Cindy.

Who lost (aside from the taxpayers, but we always lose) from the death of Caylee? Not Casey. She never wanted Caylee. Cindy and George lost their grandchild, but if they’d been serious, they’d have pressed Casey earlier about where their grandchild was – even if they had to beat her black and blue to get a straight answer.

But Casey got what she wanted – freedom from motherhood. Cindy got what she prayed for and lied for -- she gets her monster daughter back. She gets back the dangerous snake she nurtured and protected instead of correcting and drawing a firm line. Yay. She gets back a person who gutted everyone’s lives and reputations and bank accounts to further her own amusements.

Cindy can cuddle that snake to her bosom and see what cold comfort she derives as the rest of her friends and relatives run for cover.

And Casey gets to go home to mommy, knowing that Cindy will punish her every single day for the loss of Caylee because that’s what Cindy does – hold you close and make you pay.

A match made in Hell for both of them. Whoo-hoo.

And the only one lost is Caylee. But hey, the world is full of dead children discarded like garbage. One more will not break the bank.

I wonder how close Lee will be after what his sister has done to the family? I wonder if George will make another attempt or just go on like the living ghost that he is; a neutered shadow, running behind Cindy and cleaning up Casey’s messes until he calls it quits or keels over.

We’ll see.

The big wheel of justice doesn’t always work in court rooms but it does come around. I’ll be curious to see what becomes of this smirking, murderous psychopath and her viciously unstable mother. Little Caylee – yeah, she’s the lucky one.

Florida Cracker

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Thought For Today

"Must be a yearning deep in human heart to stop other people from doing as they please. Rules, laws — always for other fellow. A murky part of us, something we had before we came down out of trees, and failed to shuck when we stood up." - Robert Heinlein

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Happy Fourth Of July Weekend!

Enjoy the card and have a great weekend.