Traffic school open thread

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My sins are returning to haunt me, as I am taking my online traffic school course today.  As a punishment for sins, it’s not bad.  I’m learning a lot of new things (laws have changed since I took my driver’s test decades ago), and I’d forgotten all the heinous penalties California has lined up for people who deviate from the law.  As I said, my new attitude is that this is a good thing, because the universe is sending me a message to be a better driver.  The more I learn now, the safer I’ll be (and the rest of you will be) the next time I get behind the wheel.

While I’m spending this lovely Sunday learning, if you have anything interesting to share, please do.

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Comments

  1. lee says

    When I took the online traffic school about thirteen years ago, I had to take a proctored final at some mailbox store. You were supposed to print out a”study sheet” to bring with you to the test. Turns out it was a crib sheet you took the test WITH. My thought was that you’d have to be dumber than a box of rocks to NOT pass the test, with all the answers printed on a sheet that wa handy while you took it.

  2. Charles Martel says

    Lee, it’s still pretty much the same: The traffic school pretends to teach us something and we pretend to learn. The government doesn’t give a damn because it’s already nabbed its take from the traffic fines we’ve paid.
     
    The schools are simply benefiting from a little crony capitalism—somebody gave a state senator or committee some walking-around money in exchange for being able to charge through the nose for useless information, which, once imparted, allows us to have our violation expunged. In coarser, less sophisticated societies, this is known as a “bribe.”  

  3. Michael Adams says

    Hammer, You are such a cynic.  Correct, of course, but such a cynic.  I’m denouncing myself for laughing at what you say.  If I get enough points, I’ll have to go to joke school, or whatever they call it.

  4. Caped Crusader says

    Open thread:
     
    Last night on Smithsonian Channel saw a program on the 1956 crash of two airliners over the Grand Canyon and was floored with the comments that there were only 117 commercial airliners in CA in that year, which happened to be the year I graduated from college and I remembered it well.  At that time there was essentially no air traffic control. Anyone care to comment on your first flight. Mine was in 1962 going to Alaska on active duty. I flew everything from a DC-3, to a 707 (jets new at that time), and two four engine props (a Super Constellation, and a DC6B). Was in Seattle the day the 1962 World’s Fair opened. O’Hare was still unfinished and had to walk a wooden plank many feet off the ground, carrying my large, heavy, stuffed sea bag, from one terminal to another.  Flight was an adventure then, and a PITA (pain in the a**) now.

  5. Charles Martel says

    My first flight was on a Lockheed Electra turboprop from Burbank to Sacramento. I was in high school (1964) and on the way to a conference. I don’t remember how I lucked out to get the ride, but I sure felt special.
     
    After that and through the years flights on all the usual jets—707s, 727s, 737s, 747s, 757s, 767s, Airbus, Lockheed L-1011 (my favorite—what a sweetheart of a plane), DC-8, DC-10. Two or three rides in small Cessna prop craft.
     
    Never had the fun of riding on one of the big prop airliners like a DC-7 or Constellation. To this day I think the Connie was the baddest-ass prop airliner that ever flew, and sometimes I’ll go over to YouTube and call up a clip of a Connie taking off. When those four 3,500-horsepower engines rev up to full power and flames start coming out of the manifolds as the plane begins its run, you know you’re looking at technology that can reach deep inside a 65-year-old man and pull out his inner 7 year old. 

    • Caped Crusader says

      The Super Connie was awesome to hear and ride. About 20 years ago we were at an air show at the nearby Naval air base and got to meet Col. Robert Morgan, pilot of the famed Memphis Belle, the first crew to complete 25 missions over Europe in WW2. A real honor. Felt that I already knew him since I had seen the original wartime movie untold times in ROTC when weather forbade drills. Later he went on to B29′s in the Pacific, a real hero and patriot. A P51 Mustang landed nearby and the whine of those Merlin Rolls Royce engines are a sound never to be forgotten. The most beautiful plane ever designed as far as I am concerned.

  6. JKB says

    I was just reading a Richard Fernandez post on how centralized information leads to “sudden” falls of tyrants.   Of course, this post had some linkage to Obama.  I had this thought:
     
    Turns out the “Light Bringer” is a compact florescent bulb. Expensive, flickers and induces headaches, dims and dies long before advertised. And by all evidence, once broken, he’ll leave behind a toxic mess.

  7. jj says

    No idea what kind of plane it was, but first flight was in a little high-wing thing that belonged to a friend’s father.  So were the first couple of dozen flights thereafter.  He had the theory that he could probably get most of the way from New York to Florida on one tank of gas by the simple expedient of climbing to eight or ten thousand feet, then shutting back to idle and gliding for a while.  He used to practice this between Plainview and Montauk airports on Long Island, and we went with him fairly often when young, so he could have some extra weight in the plane and really see how it performed.  That thing would glide forever, I bet we didn’t use more than a tablespoon of gas to get two thirds of the length of Long Island.  Interesting flights – looooong roller-coaster type profile.  It was fun, because he also tended to fly with the door open.  (We were belted in.)  One summer day he went low and slow over the fairly crowded beach at Southampton, and made the engine stutter, pop, and backfire, then shut it back to idle, counted to three, and we all leaned out the door and screamed.  People did look up…

  8. Charles Martel says

    “One summer day he went low and slow over the fairly crowded beach at Southampton, and made the engine stutter, pop, and backfire, then shut it back to idle, counted to three, and we all leaned out the door and screamed.  People did look up…”
     
    Is there anything better on earth than a man who truly knows how to entertain kids?

    • Caped Crusader says

      Slightly eccentric elderly uncles who never lost their love of life, and how it was to be a kid, who also knew a million jokes, funny stories, and interesting facts (true or otherwise) were always my favorites. I was fortunate to have one who was also a great spinner of yarns.

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