Snakes on a Homonym (Parts 1 and 2)


My boys and their buddy Ben went to the salamander path on Tuesday, to turn over some rocks and find salamanders, but--to their surprise-- they found more reptiles than amphibians: six garter snakes to four red-backed salamanders; they brought the snakes back to the house, marched into the kitchen and -- to my wife's surprise-- tossed them on the counter (which is a geometric plane, of course . . . I know puns are gauche but I couldn't resist . . . and I like to imagine the scene like this: my wife yelling at the kids, Samuel Jackson style, while gesturing at the counter with one of those math-teacher rubber-tipped chalkboard pointers, "There are too many motherf*#$ing snakes on this motherf%$ing plane!") and then they removed the snakes from the kitchen, put them in a cooler, and wheeled them around town to show their friends (and released them in Ben's yard later that afternoon) but they neglected to inform my wife that though they had brought six snakes into the kitchen, they only managed to remove five of them, and so when we got back from soccer practice, there was a snake on the counter under a clear tupperware container-- when my wife started cooking it crept out from behind the spices to enjoy the heat of the burner and she trapped it . . . it was a cute little guy, just enough of a snake on that motherf*&^ing plane (and I was going to title this sentence Snakes on a Plane, but I mentioned this anecdote to an English teaching colleague and he said, "Ah . . . a homonym" and I realized that the only title more annoying than my initial idea is the current one).

Problem . . . Solution . . . Problem . . . Solution . . . Problem

I am sure you have had the problem of what to do with your keys when you drive somewhere to go for a run-- normally I take the car key off my giant keychain full of keys and then leave all those other keys in the glove compartment, and tie my car key to my waistband cinch string . . . I've even stuck the key in my sock (I'm afraid to put it in my pocket because it could fall out while I'm running) but I figured out a much more elegant solution-- I laced the my headphone cord through the key ring and put the key in my pocket, attached to my iPod-- so there was no way for the key to fall out of my pocket because it was attached to my iPod . . . but then when I got back to the car, though the key opened the door, it wouldn't turn in the ignition because the steering wheel was stuck at a weird angle and locked in place . . . and apparently the solution to this is to take both hands and turn the wheel in whatever direction feels springy, and then turn the key-- but I was able to get it to work by pushing up on the steering wheel with my knees while simultaneously turning the key . . . next time I will run in the park by my house and avoid all this crap . . . because I recognize the irony of driving somewhere to go for a run (instead of driving to the gym, I should put my van in neutral and push it up and down my street).

What Are the Odds?

On the way home from our trip to the Poconos, my wife asked me what the mileage was on the oil-change sticker and I said "97,629" and then I pressed the little dashboard peg so I could check the mileage on the odometer, and --miraculously-- it was exactly the same number: 97,629; this seemed impossibly fortuitous, and-- after some celebrating-- we decided we should play those numbers in the lottery . . . but on further reflection, this may be one of those things that seems extraordinary, but is actually fairly likely . . . because while we get the oil changed every four thousand miles or so, we don't think about changing the oil until a good three or four months after the last oil change-- which is approximately three or four thousand miles of driving, so if it was completely random, then it would be a one in four thousand chance, but it's not-- in fact-- it might be closer to a one in five hundred chance, if you think about the window of when the subject of an oil-change comes up versus where the odometer might be . . . so I think we'll skip playing the lottery and put the money towards the oil change.

We Really Did Hike Glen Onoko Falls

Although we had a lovely hike up the Glen Onoko Falls Trail in Lehigh Gorge State Park (next to Jim Thorpe, PA) there isn't much evidence-- my wife took a number of pictures of myself, the dog and the boys as we climbed the treacherously steep, rocky trail-- and there are numerous photo ops as there is literally another waterfall at every turn in the path, each more scintillating than the next . . . and we even had a nice lady take a family picture by the sign (which contains dire warnings about the trail: hike at your own risk, sections of the trail are steep and treacherous, hikers have been seriously injured and killed, wear proper hiking shoes, use extreme caution, etcetera) but then my wife trusted our oldest son to select the best photos from the many on the phone, as he insisted he had a shortcut method of pruning all the pictures . . . but he didn't know his ass from his elbow and instead of keeping the photos he wanted, he permanently deleted them . . . but I got my revenge on Sunday when we went to Hickory Run State Park to see the Boulder Field; my wife had never seen the field, a terminal moraine created by a glacier during the last ice age-- 18 acres of various sized boulders, a lake of boulders in the midst of a pine and hickory evergreen forest-- but the kids and I had been there years ago; my older son insisted that we drove there the last time we went-- but I couldn't find any driving directions, so instead we hiked three and a half miles over rocky terrain on the eponymously named Boulder Field Trail to get to the field, and when we (finally!) arrived, my son noticed a parking lot on the opposite side, and his loud complaints jogged my brain and I vaguely remembered driving down a gravel road to get to the site-- but I insisted it was far more fun to hike it (and the dog certainly thought so) but on the return to the car, by mile seven my left knee hurt and my feet were sore and everyone was very hungry . . . luckily, Woody's Country House was open, if you go there, get the chili.

The Test 42: Literary Stuff

This week on The Test, Stacey teaches Cunningham and me a few things about her literary heroes; if you listen to this episode, I promise you will learn some anecdotes you can brandish while you drink martinis at a posh cocktail party with your hyper-educated, effete, literary friends . . . along the way, I try to make some half-baked jokes, and Cunningham decides that in order to inspire her literary muse,  she may have to live inside a computer or journey to Mars . . . play along at home, have fun, and remember: in order to seem educated, you don't have to actually read the book, you just need to know some literary stuff.

 

Oops, I Did It Again?

I've got a plethora of excuses for my actions yesterday (though my wife is accepting none of them) but apparently I got naked in a public area again, though I didn't realize it; this time, at least I was out-of-state-- at the H2Oooohh! Waterpark in the Poconos-- and my first excuse is that I hate indoor water parks: I hate the noise and the echoes of the noise, I hate being damp, I hate how hot and crowded it is, and I hate the claustrophobia . . . so I was mentally bracing myself for a rough time, and I wasn't paying attention to details-- and so after we got our bracelets and proceeded through the glass doors, my wife handed me my bathing suit and spandex, and I went into "changing mode" and found a bench surrounded by lockers, and while I did find it weird that there was a big glass window, and that the people in line could see into the area, conveniently, there were no people near this section of the window, and there weren't any people around me-- so I whipped off my shorts and boxers and quickly put on my spandex and bathing suit . . . and while it should have seemed strange to me that I was in the same area as my wife, I didn't really count her as someone who shouldn't see me naked, and there were no other females around, and the floor was nice and dry and there was no one anywhere near this bench, and-- like I said-- there were lockers, so I went into "locker room mode," but apparently I was still in a very public and visible area (so much so that my wife couldn't stop laughing for the next twenty minutes and actually took a photo of the spot where I changed) and while I don't think anyone saw me, my wife insists that a couple of teenage boys witnessed the incident, and were like "WTF!" but this can neither be confirmed nor denied, and the worst part is that I've been to this waterpark several times before and know where the men's locker room is, but my brain somehow blanked this information out . . . I don't know why I went into auto-pilot like this, but perhaps I was excited because the floor was so nice and dry in this area, and inside the actual men's changing room the floor is wet and damp everywhere . . . anyway, my story is that I changed so quickly that no one saw anything out of the ordinary, but my wife isn't buying this one bit.




Quest for Pizza . . . Old Bridge Edition

My Quest for Pizza continues . . . my friend Stacey, who is an Old Bridge local, recommended General Saloon and the pizza is pretty good: thin crust, yummy bacon, but a little too much cheese . . . I think if we requested light on the cheese this pizza would have been excellent, and it was quite good despite the cheesiness . . . the place itself has a pleasant and comfortable pub-like vibe-- you can bring the kids for lunch and it looks like a fun place to see a band at night; after a hike with the dog at John A. Philips Preserve, I tried another highly recommended Old Bridge pizza spot: Krispy Pizza . . . and I love the name-- there's nothing more American than spelling shit wrong-- and the pizza is good as well, thin crust . . . my plain slice was a tad greasy, but still very tasty; the chicken on the buffalo chicken slice was awesome, crumbly and tender, and the sauce was fairly spicy . . . but Shanahan's Bakery is still my favorite place to grab a slice in the vicinity . . . who will oust them?

The Perks of Being an Astronaut

The death of rock legend David Bowie and the ending of the movie Interstellar inspired me to write and record a song to rival "Space Oddity" . . . but I must warn you, I only watched the last twenty minutes of Interstellar so I may not have comprehended all the complexities of the plot; anyway, Greasetruck proudly presents "The Perks of Being an Astronaut" . . . for lyrics and more head to Gheorghe: The Blog.


Incentives and The Prize

I'd like to know what economic lessons Tim Harford would find behind Mark Zuckerberg, Cory Booker, and Chris Christie's attempt to transform the Newark school system; Zuckerberg donated 100 million dollars, Cory Booker-- a passionate proponent of charter schools-- raised sums to match this money, and Chris Christie saw this as an opportunity to attack the unions; Dale Russakoff explains all this and more in her book The Prize: Who's In Charge of America's Schools? and the morals of the story are complex, ugly, ambiguous, messy, and occasionally inspirational:

1) there is no magic bullet to fix education in an impoverished city;

2) top down directives, even if they use excellent jargon, don't change broken infrastructure;

3) you can't move kids around willy-nilly in a city like Newark to fill charter schools-- because the kids left behind have no where to learn, and the kids who get moved may have issues with with where they are moved-- gang turf, lack of busing, etcetera;

4) if you don't consult the community before implementing giant initiatives that involve their kids, they will feel angry and oppressed, especially if these directives are ordered by a white superintendent in a primarily black city;

5) you can be a rock-star or a mayor, but you can't be a rock-star mayor;

6) it's difficult to measure what parents and administrators find important in education, so the bureaucracy tends to find important what is easy to measure-- which is usually test scores-- and this can bite you in the ass;

7) consultants know how to bill hours and make a shitload of money from a situation like this (and it seems Zuckerberg has learned this lesson and is trying a different approach in the San Francisco bay area);

8) kids in a city like Newark need all kinds of additional support besides teaching, many of them have experienced horrible tragedy and violence, and they need counseling and psychological support as much as they need reading and math review;

9) Newark's billion dollar education budget is the "prize" sought after by politicians, unions, government and citizens . . . and there is going to be greed and corruption surrounding this much money;

10) there are superb teachers and students in the current system, and smart parents shepherd their kids through, but it's difficult to get rid of poor teachers because of union rules;

11) politicians and philanthropists will eventually lose interest and move on with their lives, but the parents and the kids and the community remains-- so change has to come from the bottom-up, and it needs to come from people that are going to stay in the community-- Booker went on to a senate position, Christie had to deal with Bridgegate and his presidential campaign, and Zuckerberg moved on to a new project-- meanwhile, the two hundred million dollar donation was a drop in the bucket, and got eaten up by consultants, contract negotiations with the union, and some charter schools-- but the main infrastructure in Newark is still ancient and crumbling, teachers still go to work in that environment, and students attempt to learn there . . . and the work needs to be done one student and one teacher and one classroom and one school building at a time, which is far more boring than radical, transformational top-down change;

12) if you want to understand some of the complexities of educational reform, read this book.






Life isn't Fair (but Sometimes It Is Logical)

Tim Harford's The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World is another gem, especially if you're a fan of Freakonomics style logic; he examines how incentives often do the reverse of what is intended-- the existence of nicotine patches encourage teens to smoke, too many women in big cities discourage marriage, mild preferences create neighborhoods that would suggest virulent racism, it's more beneficial to research the kind of coffee maker or car you're going to buy than the next presidential candidate, your boss is probably an overpaid dope who doesn't know how hard you work (and that makes perfect sense) and the best way to solve overpopulation might be to move to the city and have six kids . . . I don't have the time or energy to explain the logic behind all these conclusions, but the book is smart and worth a read, though I must warn you, it starts in a rather salaciously concupiscent manner (reminiscent of Superfreakonomics).


This Is Difficult to Articulate

I feel like on some level, in some space in my brain, I am very, very smart . . . but I just can't remember things, or think of examples when I need them, or put things into words very well . . . does everyone else feel like this too?

The Test 41: Zombies (and Zombeavers)

This week on The Test, Stacey collaborates with special guest Liz collaborates on a phenomenal and comprehensive zombie quiz-- Dave and Cunningham struggle (despite Cunningham's rather ambitious prediction that she will receive an A+) but learn that they know more about zombies than they thought; this is a great test for both newbs and aficionados, and, not only that, Stacey gets her comeuppance from the Voice of God (probably because of her frequent use of profanity) so give this one a shot and see how you fare.

I Can't Get the Slime into the Tube

I was very excited to use the bottle of Slime Tube Sealant that I purchased, as Slime Tube Sealant prevents and repairs flat tires, seals instantly and uses non-toxic fibro-seal technology, which is exactly what I needed to fix the slow leak in the back tire of my mountain bike, but, despite repeated efforts with various tools (including a pair of needle-nosed pliers and the top of the Slime Tube Sealant bottle, which claims to be a device for exactly this purpose) I couldn't get past instruction #2, even with help from a Youtube video-- and if you can't remove the valve core from the Schrader air valve, then you can't get the Slime Tube Sealant into the tire tube . . . so it's back to the bike shop for me-- I'm sure they've got a tool for this sort of thing, and I'm sure I'll feel like an idiot when I explain that I couldn't remove the Schrader valve core from my bike's back tire (even with the included tool) and that I couldn't motivate myself to remove the back tire of my bike and prize the tire off the rim and switch the tube myself, because I'm lazy and get no satisfaction from working with my hands because I'm an effete useless bastard who just wants to ride his bike but doesn't wanted to do any of the maintenance associated with riding said bike.

They Skipped This One in Driver's Ed

Obviously drunk-driving and texting-while-driving are bad news, but neither of these is as dangerous as driving with a large hairy black spider on your leg (and the worst thing about this incident is that in my attempt to kill this spider, I endangered my own life and the well-being of everyone in the vicinity of my car, but I didn't actually squash it-- I was travelling forty-five miles an hour--,and it scurried under the floor mat, whereabouts unknown, lurking, waiting for another chance to clamber up my leg and cause more mayhem on the highway).

Reverse Allusion

The weather has warmed up, and this has inspired me to continue my project of grabbing large rocks from the river during low tide, putting them in my backpack, and then carrying them up the hill to my backyard, where I use the stones for decorative mulch and ivy barriers . . . my friend Stacey calls this maneuver The Reverse Shawshank.



'tis the Season to Be Cranky

It is once again time for my semi-annual Daylight Saving Time Rant, but this year I'm happy to report that I've found one kindred soul who empathizes with my pain and suffering-- my friend Ann; her husband takes the same stance as my wife about Daylight Saving Time: it's only and hour, stop complaining . . . but Ann is of my mind, she feels the same anger at this pointless top-down bureaucratic time shift, and suffers the same anxiety and discomfort from the lost hour, which won't be found for six months-- and by then, I'll have adjusted, and it will screw me up all over again, and I don't know why we can't move the time 30 minutes ahead and leave it forever, or do a Daylight Saving Month and move the clocks two minutes a day, so no one is inconvenienced (we have computers) and while everyone agreed it would be bad news if Ann and I were married, as the dynamic combination of our indignance, suffering, criticizing, complaining, and general disgust would create a whirling black hole of negativity that would suck up everyone within twenty miles of the nexus, I think that it is good that we provide some yin in the yang of our respective marriages . . . nothing is more boring than two positive, practical, efficient, and focused yangs . . . so this Daylight Saving Time, let's celebrate the darkness, the yin, and those people who are willing to speak and complain and criticize and whine about this antiquated, absurd, and ultimately pointless practice.

Musical Theater as Punishment

My son Ian got in some serious trouble Friday night and his consequence for his various infractions is a two week grounding; for the first night of his punishment, I forced him to attend the school play: a musical version of Little Women . . .  I didn't really want to go (because I hate musical theater) but I had several students in the show and the added incentive that I could torture my son was enough motivation for me to spend my Saturday night with a bunch of teenagers and their parents in a high school auditorium-- and though we both didn't care much for the plot-- girl stuff-- Ian and I did both concede that the actors were really talented . . . and the next time Ian screws up I'm taking him to the opera.






The Test 40: More Theme Songs

This week on The Test, Cunningham administers another TV (and a movie!) Theme Song Quiz; Stacey and I do better than the first time around (but that's not saying much) and I am chastised by the Voice of God for making stuff up; as a bonus, in order to educate young Cunningham, Stacey sings the theme song from an ancient TV sitcom (and I join in).

 

Pleasant Rhyming Surprise

I was walking the dog Friday afternoon and a middle school girl nearly ran into me-- she was looking down intently at an object in her hands-- and I assumed she was staring at her cell-phone, and my brain started on its normal path-- cursing technology and its death grip on the youth-- but then I noticed she wasn't looking into a tiny screen, she was thoughtfully perusing a perfectly formed pine cone, and this made me very happy.

Something to Teach Your Kids: Money Talks and Bullshit Walks



While my parental proclamation declaring that my children may only watch approved and highly rated documentaries on school nights has predictably fallen by the wayside, I was able to resurrect a bastardized version of the decree on Wednesday night; instead of allowing my kids to continue their obsessive viewing of Family Guy on Netflix, I forced them to watch Spinal Tap . . . and while they didn't laugh as hard as I did, they admitted that they enjoyed the film, especially when Derek Smalls gets stuck inside the pod and when Nigel Tufnel reunites the band for a reunion tour in Japan . . . the next movie I'm forcing my kids to watch: The Breakfast Club.

Pizza Ambitions

The Freakonomics episode "The Cheeseburger Diet" has inspired me to eat pizza from a wider variety of establishments, and while I'm not as ambitious as Emily O'Mara, i.e. I haven't created a rubric to judge the pizza I eat, I do have a couple of recommendations: oddly, Shanahan's Bakery (in Milltown) makes fantastic pizza-- thin and delicious crust, sweet sauce, and just the right amount of cheese . . . and they also have lots of specialty slices; Brothers Pizza (in East Brunswick) was highly recommended by the locals, and I really liked their square cut "Grandma Style"-- which reminded me of Rhode Island pizza (no cheese) but I didn't really care for the mushroom slice-- canned mushrooms, doughy crust, and too much cheese . . . and while both of these places can certainly compete with my two mainstays, Mancini's-- which is in East Brunswick-- and Attilio's in Edison, I've yet to find pizza as good as the thin crust pie at Pete and Elda's in Neptune.

Expatriates

I remember when we first went to live and teach overseas, an older international teacher told me, "Don't expect anyone back at home to care or understand what it's like to leave the United States and live in a foreign place . . . when you go home for the summer, they're just going to tell you how many rolls of toilet paper they bought at Costco," and while I found this to be a bit of an exaggeration (while my family wasn't particularly curious about our life in Syria, my friends and colleagues were generally interested in my stories, anecdotes, and analysis . ..  or maybe they just pretended) and while I thought I had forgotten much of day-to-day life overseas was like, Janice Y. K. Lee's novel The Expatriates brought it all back for me; it's the story of three expatriate women in Hong Kong, and while it's definitely chick-lit and examines the inner lives of these women in detail-- and makes some statements about the inner lives of women in general-- it is also a story of the fishbowl world of the expatriate community and how that world operates . . . there is the sentiment while you are there, far from home, that the people you are with are (and will be) the most significant people in your life-- and Lee takes a sardonic look at that struggle to fit into this new community, how difficult that is for adults, but there is also the realization that "no one back home cares . . . there's an initial shallow interest in what life is like abroad, but most Americans aren't actually interested at all," and not only did the novel detail and articulate that theme, which is near and dear to me, but there's also Mercy Cho-- the Korean-American Columbia graduate who is so ironically American that she sees the "meta" in everything, despite the tragedy that surrounds her, she remains detached; you don't have to have been an expatriate to enjoy this rather intense (but also humorous) novel, but it certainly helps.

The Arbitrary Nature of Basketball Design

99% Invisible is a fairly nerdy podcast which focuses on design, but "The Yin and Yang of Basketball" is a refreshing change from the norm; it features a short history of basketball, and how James Naismith's arbitrary decision to place the basket ten feet off the ground privileged tall folks, which inevitably led the game down a ploddingly boring path, where big men banged around near the paint in order to get as close to the rim as possible, but as interest waned (in the 1970s) the ABA introduced the three-point shot, which spread the game out and led to the current state of affairs: Stephen Curry has broken his own three-point record with twenty-percent of the season left to play, if he continues on this pace he'll outstrip his old total by an incredible amount . . . most sporting records are never broken by more than ten percent (and usually much less) but this indicates a sea change in professional basketball-- for more on this, check out "Stephen Curry is the Revolution" at FiveThirtyEight.

Happy Birthday?

On the morning of my birthday, my mother texted me this:

Hi Dave, Happy 46th birthday . . . have a good day . . . I can't believe in four years, you will be 50, I will be 75, hopefully, and Alex will be driving on his permit . . .

and I feel like the tone of this text is a breach of birthday etiquette, as not only is there a reference to my mother's mortality-- and she's perfectly healthy-- but the text also thrusts me four years closer to my own hypothetical demise, for no apparent reason-- and four years is a long time: longer than my wife and I spent in Syria, the same amount of time it takes most people to get a degree, and so I wanted to text back (but didn't) a message in this vein: "That's true, and in fifty-four years, the bulk of the East Coast will be underwater and we'll both certainly be dead."

The Test 39: Chronological Fun for the Whole Family

Once upon a time, I had a great idea for a Trivial Pursuit style family board game-- you would receive three thematically connected things, and you would have to put them in chronological order (for example: The Great Wall of China, The Taj Mahal, The Mesa Verde Anasazi Cliff Dwellings) and while I gave up on this concept as fun for the whole family, it did make for a pretty good test . . . so check out this week's episode, see if you can compete with Stacey and our two special guests (MJ and Terry) and try not to get involved in our rift with Billy Joel.




More Undercover Economics

I highly recommend Tim Harford's book The Undercover Economist-- here are a few of the many many topics he covers:

1) why storebrand supermarket products are packaged with the "purpose of conveying awful quality" though they are often indistinguishable from actual braids . . . it wouldn't cost much to improve the logos of these products, but that would defeat the purpose, the packaging is designed to put off customers who might be willing to pay more . . . IBM did this with their LaserWriter E low end printer, which was the same machine as their high end LaserWriter, only with an additional chip to slow it down-- it was cheaper to manufacture it like this than make an actual slower printer for less-- and the same goes for "professional" and mass-market versions of software programs . . . the professional is built first and then the cheaper one is handicapped;

2) the externalities of traffic jams . . . the best solution might be a per trip tax, especially during rush hour in congested areas;

3) the economic reasons U.S. health care is "hugely expensive, very bureaucratic, and extremely patchy" and the ways we can combat this, using inside information, catastrophe insurance, and cooperation between the government and markets;

4) why poor countries are poor, and why tariffs and "bringing jobs" back isn't the answer-- this section gets quite technical, but mainly what I got out of it is that poor countries try to protect industries that can't compete in the global market instead of doing what they do best, and this often leads to subsidies and corruption which drain from the economy and only help special interest groups-- in other words, the best way to make really good cars in the US is a technology called "Japan," and we should grow a shitload of corn and export it so we can turn that foreign currency into great cars, instead of trying to make our own . . . this in controversial, of course, and people get laid off and fired and have to be retrained along the way . . . but that's what wealthier countries do, time after time (and I have read that no country has become poorer after opening its borders, though I have also read that you may need the government to help you establish the infrastructure to compete on an global level, and then you can kick out the ladder . . . economists never agree on anything).

Triple Threat

I may not be a great cook, and I'm certainly not a great singer, and (compared to my friends) I'm not the world's best beer drinker . . . but combine the three of them into one event and I think I'm right up there, one of the best there is at beer-drinking and singing while I'm cooking (especially if I'm listening to Sheryl Crowe).

You Be the Judge



So "face-swapping" apps are all the rage right now at our school, and the "face-swap" above is a combination of me and my colleague and podcasting partner Stacey; it's my face on her head, with her hair of course-- and the general consensus is that my face and Stacey's hair make for a spitting image of Brad Pitt . . . of course, there are a few doubters out there-- including my wife-- but I think those in doubt are just jealous and don't want to admit that if I had some luscious brown hair and a slightly longer face, I'd be a super-famous movie-star desired by most of the women on the planet . . . anyway, I'm growing my hair out, so in three or four years, we'll see just how accurate the face-swapping is.

Dave and Theodore Geisel Both Enjoy Another Birthday (to Varying Degrees)

The doctor and I
are both a year older,
but his celebration
is darker and colder.

An Open Letter to the Lady Who Yelled "FULL STOP!" at Me

Dear Old Lady with Two Little White Dogs Who Yelled "FULL STOP!!!" at me,

while I will readily admit that I did not come to a full stop at the STOP sign before I inched my car out at the intersection to make a left turn, I'd also like to point out that in the town of Highland Park, which has narrow streets and many cars parked on the sides of these streets, coming to a full stop at a STOP sign is useless, as you can't see anything until you inch your way forward and look beyond the parked cars on either side of the intersection-- and while I was inching out, at an approximate speed of ten miles per hour, I heard someone screaming . . . it was you, waving your arms, screaming "FULL STOP!" at me and I'd like to point out to you that this distracted me from my task of getting out into the intersection, because instead of looking for oncoming cars and pedestrians and bikers and skateboarders, instead of watching for these hazards, I was looking at you, a wildly gesticulating gray-haired lady with two white dogs, shrieking "FULL STOP!" at me and this nearly made me forget my mission, which is never hit a dog or a child with my vehicle, a mission I am proud to say that I am vigilantly pursuing each and every day of my life, despite your attempts to subvert my attention, and while I realize that you mean well, I hope this sentence finds its way to you and you recognize the irony and insanity of your actions.
A New Sentence Every Day, Hand Crafted from the Finest Corinthian Leather.