A sign?

Last week I was checking the balance in my 403(b) retirement plan. The wheels got to turning and I had the realization that I could cash it out and buy a series 1 Jaguar XKE.

It turns out, just a few hours after I had this epiphany, my employer mailed me a certified letter notifying me that they are terminating the plan. My options are:
a) Roll it over into an IRA or
b) Cash it out (and buy an XKE, clearly)

It’s like some sort of cosmic double-dog dare.

So… British Racing Green?

Pet Peeve #3,207 “It was just an accident”

This sort of lazy misuse of the word “accident” makes me so mad. From KTLA

Bicyclist Killed in Possible Road Rage Accident.

Seriously, if it was “road rage” then it stands to reason that it was not an “accident”. Why does it make me mad? Because it’s indicative of a far too common apologist attitude when it comes to crimes being committed by automobile drivers. Far too often motorists get away with recklessly, sometimes intentionally, maiming or killing cyclists, pedestrians, motorcylists, and yes, even each other because “it was just an accident”.

The English language is a rich and varied tapestry, full of synonyms with gradated meanings. Stop calling it an “accident” every time a car crashes. I know that the media is careful (for the most part) not to assign or imply blame, but they should also be more careful not to implicitly absolve (alleged) perpetrators of blame which is exactly what the misuse of the word “accident” does.

What I want in a car “entertainment system”

I’ve been thinking about building a PC for use in the car for ages (most likely running some flavor of Linux). Gradually the market is catching up with my desires and it looks as if soon I may be able to buy exactly what I want “off the rack”. Here’s what I want:

1) A touchscreen interface that fits a double DIN dash opening. (common in many late model cars)
2) Provisions for (2) 3.5″ Hard drives. I want all of my Mp3’s in the car.
3) The ability to accept any cell phone’s SIM card and work with a “douche tooth” earpiece.
4) Obviously 3G/4G connectivity, Bluetooth, and WiFi.
5) GPS with turn by turn directions.
6) Alarm System

This is all I can come up with now. I’m sure I’ll be adding to the ‘wish list’ as time goes on.
Does anyone out there have any experience with, or opinions of, these type devices?
Share in the comments.

Apparently It Is Now Impossible To Beat A Speeding Ticket In Ohio

In a 5-1 decision Wednesday, Ohio’s Supreme Court upheld a speeding ticket based solely upon how fast a driver appeared to be moving. You read that right, an officer’s educated guess is now sufficient to overcome the state’s burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Justice Maureen O’Connor (who’s running for chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court this November) wrote (in part):

We hold that a police officer’s unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed is sufficient evidence to support a conviction for speeding in violation of R.C. 4511.21(D) without independent verification of the vehicle’s speed if the officer is trained, is certified by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy or a similar organization that develops and implements training programs to meet the needs of law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve, and is experienced in visually estimating vehicle speed.

That’s right, no independent verification, just the best guess of a highly-trained and infallible officer of the law. Thank God every police officer in Ohio is completely beyond reproach, otherwise some might abuse a law that gives such sweeping power with absolutely no accountability.

The lone dissenting vote came from Justice Terrence O’Donnell (apparently the only person on the Ohio Supreme Court with any sense) who argued the majority essentially created a standard that the police officer is always right.

This sets a dangerous precedent. In what other areas might an officer’s uncorroborated expert opinion to be admitted as incontrovertible evidence?

On the positive side, imagine the positive impact this will have on the state’s budget. Auction off all that unnecessary RADAR and LIDAR equipment! Speedometers in patrol cars will be a thing of the past!

Hopefully the ACLU (or someone) can get this insane decision before the US Supreme Court where it will be overturned. Unless they, too, have all taken leave of their senses.