(Truth be told, I'd enjoy solving these things more than making them, so feel free to play along yourself. If you make one and post it on your site, be sure to post a link here in the comments or something so that we can see it too.)
Despite being pretty much against personal injury lawsuits and whatnot, the other insurance company wants to convince me to sign away my right to sue the (really nice) girl who accidentally hit me. He was successful in outlying some reasonable things that I shouldn't feel bad about being compensated for, and did a fair deal towards convincing me of some things that I still might feel bad for.
I'm meeting with him on Friday to discus things and come up with a dollar amount, so my question for y'all is:
What is a REASONABLE dollar amount to compensate me for sitting at the hospital from 7pm til Midnight on a weeknight, where I had to suffer through copius amounts of offensive television -- such as American Inventor and that American Idol-type show where people compete with really awful celebrity impersonations -- and unbearably stinky and sick people?
Keep in mind that I just want the compensation they're insisting I deserve, not to participate in the unreasonable exploitation of insurance that ensures we all have to pay too much for our premiums.
1) my love/hate relationship with google continues. Once again, google reader's mobile interface is borked up, meaning I have nothing to read. (I wrote this yesterday morning; reader mobile is working again now.)
This brings to mind the point that I'm reluctantly participating in their scheme for world domination, and really ought find another option that won't both leave me in the lurch and use me as a tool for advertising. Maybe this will be the push I need.
2) I hate insurance companies/lawyers. The insurance company of the girl who rear-ended me contacted me over the weekend, asking that I give a recorded statement.
What no one seems to understand is that I'm not out for a settlement or something, and that the only reason we even filed an insurance claim1 is because I was worried that she'd get stuck with a huge medical bill in the event that I WAS injured. So anyway, they asked whether there were any prior injuries or conditions that could simply be "aggravated" by this accident. I suspect that I would probably have been within my legal rights to not answer it, but I did anyway; I said I have had neck problems, even went through physical therapy to deal with it. This really seemed to please the insurance tool.
I understand that they have to look out for themselves in the event that someone tries to screw them over, but it really pisses me off that as someone who is never going to screw someone over, I still have to deal with this crap. In the event that I DO have problems, I'm sure they're going to try to weasel out saying "oh no, he had that BEFORE, we're not payin'."
1: she was really scared of the process of making a claim and having her rates go up. She wanted to pay for the damage and any medical bills herself, but after explaining that medical bills can get REALLY high, she reluctantly decided it'd be best to file a claim as a protection in the event that I were injured. She still wants to pay for damage to my vehicle herself, which I think is kind of silly, but not something I'm opposed to.
(Truth be told, I think I'd enjoy solving these things more than making them, so feel free to play along yourself. If you make one and post it on your site, be sure to post a link here in the comments or something so that we can see it too.)
I guess I'm back after several days of downtime as the result of me being an irresponsible webhosting customer. If you think it would be a good idea to handle 60% of the traffic from a popular automatic image hosting/redirection service on your Dreamhost account, I suggest that you rethink it. All the CPU cycles resulting from the server fetching and processing thousands of images is not something Dreamhost is designed to cope with, and they understandably get mad at you.
Speaking of free image hosting, those mad geniuses over at The Pirate Bay have now launched an image hosting service, the likes of which we've never seen. You can upload anything without creating an account, it's completely anonymous, and the authorities are unable to force anyone to remove said images -- you know, if that's a concern of yours. They're getting ready to launch a YouTube killer as well (imagine a YouTube that never results in that annoying "this video has been removed at the request of the copyright holder" message that plagues us all), and I assume this is sort of a resource test to see what they're going to have to do to keep it running. So far it looks pretty slick.
And in other news, guess what I just did?
If you said "knocked over the tripod holding the brand new expensive camcorder you got for your birthday, smashing it into the floor," then you were right. It SEEMS to be OK, which I'm quite pleased about, but considering I only got that because I broke my other one by dropping it, it makes me feel pretty lousy. Fingers crossed that it stays OK.
Anyway, I'm stoked to be back, and hopefully I'll write up and post even a fraction of the things I kept wishing I could while I was down.
(How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?!?)
1) fly paper is disturbingly effective. While the adult side of me is pleased that it's helping get my fly problem under control, the side of me that likes frosting is horrified at my willingness to unleash a glue-based genocide upon my foe. Seriously, can you think of any worse way to die than rupturing your organs trying to pull yourself free from glue?
2) when your cat manages to knock an unspooled roll of flypaper -- fully laden with fly carcuses (carcii?), mind you -- off its hook, allowing it to become fully entwined into the cat's fur, it is equal parts hilarious and heartwrenching. The more she tried to get it off, the more stuck she got. Scissors were eventually required. Despite having dead flies glued here and there she seems to be taking her impromptu trim rather well.
Know what I think would be a fantastic use of genetic engineering?
Splicing together Ron Paul and Mike Gravel to create the PERFECT LEADER FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. They're both passionate, they're both saying things YOU CAN'T HELP BUT nod in agreement to, and they're both REALLY freakin' nuts.
What could symbolize America more than someone batshit passionate about things pretty much everyone has trouble disagreeing with? I think this hypothetical chimera candidate would give even John McClane a run for his money, and you know how much I want to see him elected.
I suppose they could even make two variants so they could run together as a "Paul-Gravel / Gravel-Paul" ticket in '08.
1) talking to a video camera is an unbelievable awkward-awareness amplifier. I don't think I'll ever be comfortable doing it, but I'm going to make an effort to try to get more so. An Adam Savage I'll never be, but maybe with some practice I can at least be a Jamie Hyneman.
2) yesterday I spent a half hour playing tetris for the first time since that business with my arms a while back. This brought two (more) things to my attention:
a) I'm really out of practice. It took quite some time to get back up to my (still a bit slower) post-bidirectional-rotation speed. I am somewhat comforted that bidirectional rotation was not something I had to give specific thought to; it just sort of happened.
b) I may have to forego any tetris action in the future. It may just be coincidental, but the inflammation level of both wrists was a bit higher than "normal" -- or, what passes as normal since that trouble a while back, anyway. I'll have to do a little experimentation to see if there is a causatory relationship here, but I'm worried that button-oriented gaming may be outside the feeble grasp of my age-addled body.
Last night I spun up another batch of icepudding, resulting in somewhat better results. The really cool thing about my original batch of icepudding was that as it melted, it just became pudding. I'm used to a puddle of liquidy melty stuff in the bottom of my bowl when eating ice cream, but that just doesn't happen with icepudding. There's just pudding in the bottom of my bowl. Even if the texture of the puddingcream wasn't pleasurable, the lack of liquifying during melting would make it worth it. It is pleasurable, however, so it's win-win.
The new ratio was two boxes sugar/fat free Jell-O pudding with 5 cups skim milk and one cup half-and-half. Each box of Jell-O calls for two cups 2% milk, so this is about a 50% increase in volume, but it should be a decrease in fat. This time I used one box of chocolate-flavored and one box cheesecake-flavored, plus a little freshly ground cinnamon and a splash of brandy extract topped it off.
Flavor: delicious. Fantastically delicious, considering how relatively low in fat and calories this batch was.
Texture: could use some improvement. This time it came out a bit too runny and ice-crystally, so next time I'm going to cut it down to 4 cups skim and 1 cup half-and-half in hopes that it freezes up a little smoother and more solidly.
I'll keep you posted.
UPDATE: Make sure that when you put your freezer cartridge thing back in the freezer after cleaning that it doesn't shift and knock your freezer door open after you've walked away. I awoke to a freezer full of mushy melty things. On the positive side, though, there is now a lot more room for ice cream.
In case you've ever said to yourself, "Self, I bet pouring instant pudding into my electric icecream maker would make really awesome, really easy, really interesting ice cream," but never actually <i>tried</i> it, I'd like to point out that you'd have been right.
Pouring instant pudding into an icecream maker results in really creamy smooth delicious ice cream. The only thing I'd suggest is upping the amount of milk/cream/half&half/whatever. I'd say go with double what the box calls for.
When I figure out the perfect ratio, you'll be the first to know.
A while back I bought something I'd spent years wishing I could have.
It's a 1981 VW Rabbit Caddy, lowered way down with a diesel transmission, meaning that it drives very much like a go-kart. I love it.
I recently had a bunch of work done on it, making it finally legal -- and a bit more comfortable -- to drive, meaning I've been driving it quite a bit. I personally love these vehicles, but they're not what I would call "common." Most people I run into didn't even know Volkswagen <i>made</i> a pickup until they asked me what it is, let alone ever having seen one.
But then there's the folk that do know what it is... While it was at the Volkswagen shop, the guy who runs the place told me that on a Saturday 5 different people stopped in to look at it after seeing it from the street. I figured he was exaggerating. However, I am simply amazed at the number of strangers that have gone out of their way to tell me how much they like my truck, despite the fact that it's still pretty rough -- the body needs some attention, the paintjob is horrible, and, due to the fact that the wheels are too big, it makes a funny scraping noise when I turn. None of those things seem to matter though.
Yesterday over the course of three or four hours of running around, 4 different people told me how cool they thought it was, that they used to know someone who had one, and how they don't see them very often.
I love my truck, but I had no idea how many other people there are who agree with me.