The day all now spins around an unpleasant event, a traffic ticket. I managed to be seen by an officer of Beaverton when I touched my phone to have it call a number while driving. My hands-free was getting it wrong, so I reached over, pushed the listen button, and told my phone to call such-and-such, a crime in Oregon. It is a $265 ticket for the first offense. This was on 217 on my way back to work after seeing Susie, a road apparently packed with Beaverton’s finest watching you drive as you can’t obvious speed on the construction-filled road. Also, you can’t really change lanes that much, so much for getting a moving violation. So, while I am OK with this from a legal point of view, it still sucks. I also feel they should get a life–but that is just me grumbling.
The officer was kind and friendly and even explained that I was to be charged with a first offense. I could take a class to reduce the ticket to just $40. But, unfortunately, I can’t promise to show up at a class and see my sick wife every day–even an online one. So I paid the whole amount and signed it and mailed it this evening with the thought that I don’t need one more thing, a legal something, to do: Get it over with.
Aside: This time, I made a copy of the ticket as it is nearly impossible to know if a ticket was processed without noting the control number and date it was issued. The last ticket I had, a speeding ticket to the State of Oregon, was over ten years ago, but I remember that I failed to copy it and was scared it was lost in the mail, and I had no way of knowing if it was received.
So that event soured my day.
I was up at 6:30ish and managed to have breakfast of a banana and a bagel, a New York City poppy one delivered from NYC from the Smith plus Jason family. I learned today that Jason and Natasha will be here on Saturday but are too busy and tired for dinner. They are moving from NYC to Stanford to complete Natasha, now Doctor, internship. From the East to the West Coast and will spend a single day in Oregon.
After breakfast, I showered and dressed and was late for work, getting there at 8:10 or so. I had no meetings in the morning, so that was OK. I then handled a few items and headed out in Air Volvo off to raise the crime rate for Beaverton at 10:30, running late again. But, again, I managed no police entanglements or other events inbound to see Susie.
Susie was awake and watching TV in a recliner that she looked very comfortable sitting in. I called Susie’s mother, Leta, who was home this time, and they talked for fifteen minutes. I then sat with Susie for another ten minutes until my time ran out.
During these moments, my sister had rushed to check on my mother, Barbara Wild, who was not answering the phone or the door. Mom had just overslept and ignored or did not hear the phone and the knocks. But this had unsettled Linda and me, but everything was OK.
I left Susie with a kiss and began my life of criminality on Highway 217, often called the Devil’s Bowling Ally. It was full of traffic. I then committed my crime of getting frustrated with the failed voice control for hands-free on the Volvo. I remember looking in the mirror and wondering if they saw me push a button on my phone (amazed that they could see that through the tinted windows) or if I had an unpaid parking ticket or a brake light out. Nope, it was the phone use. No warning from the officer, but the funny printout from the thermal printer in the cop car that is a ticket now, no handwritten stuff anymore. My day ruined by the cheerful officer; I could leave, the policeman told me.
I returned to work, looked at some Python code, and did some magic with Cloud9 Amazon-based cloud servers. I managed some more coffee but limited my use of stairs as I was undoubtedly distracted now, and my coordination was not too good. I left at 5ish and drove Air Volvo with some caution, and left my phone on the car seat.
I got home and made a steak dinner (frozen New York Strip) with corn (also frozen). I fried the steak and then finished it in the oven. It was a bit overdone for me, but the thinner strips of steaks are hard to time right. I still enjoyed it and put today’s event behind me.
I read some more this evening. I finished The Destruction of the Steamboat Sultana a few days ago. It was a page-turner for me, and it contained a good description of the tribulations of the lives of Union prisoners in the American Civil War. The writing was good; the narration would make Shelby Foote happy, and the footnotes were extensive (unlike Mr. Foote’s books, but I would recommend his short book Stars in their Courses to understand the emotion of the ACW battle of Gettysburg). If you like history books like Dead Wake by Eric Larson, which I strongly recommend, you will like this one.
I am today back to brain cookies and SciFi reading. Now I am continuing the second book in a series: A Desolation Called Peace. I enjoyed the first book, and the second is holding up well, and I love Space Opera. I will likely be returning to other books, some more serious books, including one about US Constitutional words, but the recent politics has me running for brain cookies!
I was coding some Machine Learning today at work. I will be doing some of that over the holiday. It is just pure joy for me to code. But, again, I am tired after work and will try to get organized to finish my ballon model soon. I got some more parts in the mail today that I needed. Excellent!