Thursday, August 27, 2009

Odds of dying...

Yahoo! News today published a story from about a "death calculator." Apparently a Web-based tool that allows you to enter various age and life-style data and the system will calculate your odds of dying. I'm sure there are disclaimers.

I don't need a calculator or computer to compute my odds of dying. Don't need any disclaimers. I'm confident that my odds of dying are 100%, and I'm fine with that! Why make things less EZ than they need to be?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Worse than not EZ, technology, I thought my friend, has let me down! No, worse, it has double crossed me -- all these creepy half-sentient entities ganging up!

I posted earlier about how my Garmin misled me and tried to get me lost in middle-America. Upon return home from the driving trip I have found:

My garage door remote has quit. Just quit.

We have three battery-operated clocks in the house. They were all dead when we got home.

My Facebook account has been "compromised" so was deactivated. Wish me luck in getting it back.

X-Marks decided to (first) delete all my bookmarks and dutifully synchronize the loss across all my PCs, then (second) decided to duplicate all of my re-entered bookmarks and dutifully synchronize that across all my PCs.

Tonight I tried to order a Pizza online. First, AT&T's DSL line gave me no service. An hour later, back online, neither Domino's nor Pizza Hut's web sites could find a store near my address. I have accounts with both companies and have ordered (successfully) pizzas from their web sites many times in the past. Domino's is 1 mile from my home. Pizza Hut is four blocks.

In my attempt to post this blog entry, I find that the Blogspot will not allow me to enter any labels (tags) for this post except ones that I have used in the past. So don't blame me if the tags make no sense.

Aaarrrgh!! What is going on? Why can't anything be EZ?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More on speed enforcement and driving styles.

Tennessee takes the prize for the most troopers seen per mile. I counted up to a dozen and then lost count. There was a trooper in the median every few miles, unless they had a car pulled over. We did not see much enforcement in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, or Kentucky. Entering Arkansas, there is a sign posted that states that the speed limit is enforced and there is "No Tolerance." Well, the one trooper we did see in Arkansas seemed to tolerate my 78 in a 70 zone just fine. We'll be back in Texas tomorrow, so it feels like home turf.

On driving conditions and driving styles. The worst part of the drive so far: I-94 Southeast of St. Paul and into Wisconsin. Two lanes each way, horribly heavy traffic, speeds constantly cycling between a dead stop and the maximum limit. And that went on all the way to Madison, WI. I-40 out of Memphis to Little Rock was not fun either: very heavy truck traffic, only two lanes each way most of the way, and all the trucks have to pass each other at 0.5 mph faster than the other and at least 8 mph below the speed limit. Until you go downhill--then they are eating your back bumper at 85 miles per.

We were not far into Arkansas from Tennessee when enough Texas-plated cars were visible on the road to remind me of the characteristic Texas driving style. In other words, "What right lane?" I'm in the left lane, and I'm darn sure going to stay there. The Texas car that moves to the right after passing is a rarity.

Driving at highway speeds in a mix of styles and heavy traffic is anything but EZ!

My Garmin Nuvi 260 sucks....

I may have more on this later, but, in a nutshell: I purchased and installed an updated version of the map software (for $119.00) just before I started our current 19-day 5,000 mile road trip. Prior to the upgrade, my "broad in the box" was pretty reliable--I trusted her based on two years of near-flawless performance. After the upgrade, she can't guide us to addresses in her own database. She advises us to turn on streets that don't exist; leads us to restaurants that have been out of business for 15 years; advises a 90-mile-plus detour off the interstate as the "shortest time" route (when it clearly is not); can't tell the difference between 9th Street East and 19th Street East; and seems to be generally confused; chimes, "Now arriving at destination on left." when we are more than a mile from the destination; and advises critical exits 200 or 300 yards AFTER we have passed them on the interstate. Just let me say that Garmin is going to hear from me...

Meanwhile, Google Maps on my Palm Centro has saved us a couple of times with current and accurate information that the Garmin just does not have. Why did I pay $119.00 for an update?

Why cannot anything be EZ?