Portable Player

5 Oct

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I was mouthing off so much to a friend about this speaker that somehow I promised to write a review so that I would shut up.  Here it is:

Summary:  I love this wireless speaker.  Easily one of my favorite, most useful techno toys. Huge sound in a beautiful and small package and an excellent speaker phone to boot.  Maybe a bit expensive for most of us, but you’re unlikely to regret it.  Have $150 burning a hole in your pocket and love music?  Get one. The sole compromise  is that at its loudest, it’s not quiet loud enough.


Best Uses: Home computer speaker, In the office, at the park, on a bicycle, travel.


I’m a gadget guy.  Albeit, a restrained by monetary and nuptial reality gadget guy.  This means I have to pick my spots; make sure that I can make a reasoned, straight-faced case for the acquisition of the next quality-of-family-life improving gadget.  So, while I’d love more gadgets, on the gadget collector’s spectrum, I’m not as hot shit as a lot of other people I know.  I say this in order to warn you. What follows is really a regular Joe’s take on a particularly cool gadget.  If you want super technical specs and down to the tenth of the second measurements of various performance attributes, check these websites.


The digital music and mobile computing revolution has transformed the way, the where, and the how of our music listening experience.  If you’re reading this, you know and can probably tell the story better than I can, but the gist is we are no longer tethered to 5,000 lbs stacks of records or trees of spinning upright racks full of CDs.  No, mp3, the Cloud and ever smaller memory chips now allow us nearly unlimited storage and access to music.


One thing that really hasn’t changed all that much is that whatever your gadget, you still have to get the sound from the record/cd/mp3 to your ear.  There really are just two ways of doing this: headphones or amplified speaker- same as it ever was.  I’m not a headphone guy.  I was in high school, and still use them on airplanes, but mostly I don’t care for them.  I have a stereo in the living room but with two young kids, I don’t find a lot of time to sit around listening to music.  Mostly, we listen to music while we’re doing other things, like in the kitchen or in front of the family computer, or in the car, at work. In other words, the music has to be where I am.  


Way back when the iPod Classic was just the iPod, an entire industry burst onto the scene to amplify it. Docks were invented. Now with wireless everything, everywhere, all the time, mobile music listening has become un-docked. Freedom.


The Jambox by Jawbone has arrived.  If you’ve been in an AT&T store recently, you might have noticed them. The Jambox speaker is truly a piece of design art.  Something you might find in the gift shop of a fine arts museum. 


It’s small.  Roughly the size of a stapler but denser, heftier, solid (5.95”L x 2.24”W x 1.57”H). A narrow, chunky rectangle of rubber and metal, like a brick of good chocolate.  The top and bottom are rubberized, grippy.  It has three rubber buttons on its top side and an on/off switch on its right side that is nearly flush; seems like it would be tough to break anything on this unit.  I’ve been carrying it around loose in my messenger bag for the last month and aside from some lint sticking to the rubber, you’d never know it’s been tumbling around in there like a sock in the dryer.  


There are two ways to connect to the Jambox: with a Bluetooth enabled device like a cell phone, or with a 3.5mm audio cable to a device like a phone, stereo or iPod.  Connecting via Bluetooth is as easy as your Bluetooth device makes it.  Flip the power switch on the Jambox up and it automatically searches for its Bluetooth pair.  Easy.  They say the range is about 30 feet, and I’d guess that’s about right.  


The three buttons on top: 1. + volume up, 2. – volume down, 3. Answer telephone.  Yep, since it connects via Bluetooth to your phone, if you receive a call, the music (or whatever you’re listening to) shuts off, the Jambox voice (see below) says, “Call from 415-XXX-XXXX”, press the button and you’re using the Jambox as a speaker phone.  It has a built in mic, so just start talking.  To disconnect, press the button again and the music resumes.  Easy.  By pressing the call answer button when not connected to a call, the Jambox voice will tell you how much battery life is remaining.  You can also reject calls by holding down the same button for 2 seconds and you can mute a call by simultaneously holding the volume + and – buttons for 2 seconds. When you turn the unit on, the whole speaker vibrates.


Under the on/off switch on the right side of the unit are two jacks: 1. 3.5mm audio input, 2. Micro USB Charger cable. I can’t tell you how long it takes to get from an empty to a completely full battery, but it isn’t that long.  One reason I can’t tell you is that I’ve never run out of battery life.  The on/off switch is cleverly designed such that the outside rim of the round switch is illuminated by a colored LED.  When the battery is running low, it flashes red.  When fully charged it is illuminated white. When it is in connecting mode, it flashes white.  When you hit 25% remaining battery life, the Jambox Voice interrupts what you’re listening to and tells you how much batter life remains.  The manual says a fully charged battery should last up to 10 hours. I listen to it a lot and my experience is that the battery life is excellent.


Sound.  As I’ve mentioned, I’m no expert and admittedly, I have very little to compare it to but I think this thing has, especially given its size, enormously good sound.  I mean, really good sound.  To the point where you think, how could this tiny thing sound so damn good?  There are moments when the sound is so good that it literally seems like the sound is surrounding your head.  The only knock on the sound is that at its loudest, it could still be a bit louder- especially outdoors or in big rooms. Much has been written about this by far more savvy reviewers.  If you’re considering it, you shouldn’t be thinking about replacing your stereo with the Jambox, it just won’t get the job done.   


Holding it your hands, you can feel the bass pumping deep and solid.  Highs are high enough for me and drums kick like they should.  Hold the volume +) and volume – simultaneously and “LiveAudio” is turned on (or off).  Magically, LiveAudio gives you “3D” sound, basically increasing the sensation that the music is surrounding you. Pretty cool except that with LiveAudio turned on, it decreases the loudest volume a touch so that the already not loud enough loudest setting is even less loud.  


I see that Jawbone has now released the BIG Jambox which appears to be a jumbo version of the original Jambox reviewed here.  My guess is that this is in response to the lack of volume of the original model and the desire to have bigger sound to fill bigger spaces.  It’s also twice as expensive but from what I read, it is a worthy big sibling.  


A few words about the Jambox “Voice” I mentioned above.  The unit speaks to you.  It tells you it is ready to be paired via Bluetooth, it tells you how much battery is left, it tells you the phone number of an incoming call, it tells you if LiveAudio is on or off.  The default voice that comes loaded on the unit sounds like a female Japanese flight attendant.  Once you have purchased your Jambox, you are encouraged to register a free account on the Jawbone website.  Connect your Jambox to your computer via USB for updates and a large variety of MyTalk “voices”.  Some are clever some are just plain silly.  

You can also get a “JamChain” which is a mount on a plastic chain that enables you to wear your Jambox around your neck.  I got one of these off the Jawbone website for free and I (or one of my kids) wears it when we go biking in the park. Kind of silly, but also kind of cool and useful.

If you care a whole lot about the color of your Jambox, no worries, it’s customizable.  Purchase it from the Jambox website and, for a price, you can choose from 13 different grill colors and nine different top and bottom “cap” colors.  


Bottom line, I really love the Jambox.  I don’t care if it’s not loud enough.  For its size, solid design and sound quality I’m not sure you can do better.  

Cold Hollow

18 Dec

 

“I’m going to die,” said the soldier, his breath a white vapor puffing from his mouth.

“It’s so cold.  I’m going to die here.”

A frozen mist sat on the hollow, a thumb print’s indentation on the immense battlefield. The men were huddled together in groups of threes and fours trying to sleep while the mist slowly froze them to death.  Several of them were already dead.  Usually at least a few died every night. They said you usually lost your apetite first, then, when the night came, it took you.

The soldier looked at his watch.  He had to hold his wrist against the foxhole’s wall to keep it steady.  He thought it said 5:20.  Sunlight and some warmth in two hours.

No feeling in his feet at all.  He tried again to wiggle his toes.  Nothing but erasers, big, numb erasers.

The soldier thought about how many people he had seen get blown apart and shot through.  So many ways to die and he was going to freeze to death.

When he nodded off he dreamed of raging fires, steaming hot soups, beaches.

The mist landed on his jacket and soaked in.  There was nothing left that wasn’t already wet.  He tried not to move.  He tried not to stir any bit of himself.

When he moved the cold shifted to the parts that could still feel.

He sobbed.  Tearlessly he convulsed.  He blacked out. When he came to, he found a frost had settled on his gloves, on the barel of his rifle.

He gritted his teeth and tried to move his fingers, nothing.

The soldier thought about the day he learned how to ride a bicycle.   Summer.  Shorts. His grandmother fanning herself in the kitchen.

A warmth grew over his body.  His mind drifted.  His eyes closed

He was holding a lemon in his mother’s kitchen.  He put it to his nose and breathed deeply, tiny pebbles of oil rising on the lemon’s skin.

The mist stuck low and deep in the hollow.  Frost now on every surface.

The soldier’s eyes flickered and closed. His knees hardened, his grip on the rifle, stuck. His heartbeat slowed.

Flashes of yellow and red, the glow of a fire now in the bedroom he shared with his brother as a child.

The light drew him closer. He walked towards it, bare feet on the warm wood floor.

The candle jumped and dashed as if synched with his heartbeat.

He took another step, nearly close enough to feel the candle’s heat.

He reached out to touch the flame, and held his breathe for the very last time.

Son, Chapter 1

13 Dec


Abraham Martinez woke to a flash of light and a voice. His alarm clock was blaring. 5:45am flashing at him urgently. For 36 years Abraham had been waking up at 5:45 and he couldn’t remember a day he hadn’t woken a minute or two before his alarm sounded. It was important for him to wake up before 6.  Where he was from, hardworking, respectable men got up before 6.

Surprised, he lifted his head and set it back down rubbing his eyes with his worn and hairy knuckles. He wondered where the flash of light had come from. He knew it wasn’t the sun glinting off a windshield on the street, the sun had yet to rise. He didn’t know what it was. Probably it was a side effect of the new blood pressure meds he was taking. He didn’t feel right, but most mornings something didn’t feel right. 62 years old already and slowly falling apart. Back in the Dominican when he was a kid, before his parents took him and his two sisters to New York for good, whenever she pulled herself out of the chair on her porch his grandmother used to say, “Getting old is a bitch.”  Now he understood exactly what she meant. Getting old, he thought, was like watching the weather, there isn’t anything you can do about it except prepare if you can and wait for it to come. Dios mios.

Abraham willed himself into an upright position, feet on the ground, hands at his sides smoothing the crumpled sheets he had just emerged from. Tingling in his feet, warmth in his calves and thighs, the world not yet in focus. He reached for his glasses, put them on and stood up. He padded out of his room down the hall to the bathroom to pee and splash water on his face. When he was done he made his way to the kitchen to put water on to boil. The clank of the kettle on the stove’s grate jolted him, like chewing accidentally on a piece of foil- sudden and unexpected. He pulled his hand off the kettle and shook it. He turned to leave the kitchen and heard the same voice that had woken him; “Abraham!” He stood silently, listening, wondering.

He pushed on. Stepping down the hallway of the apartment he stopped at his daughter’s closed door and knocked. “Inez, time to get up.” He waited to hear her and then moved a few feet further. He knocked at another closed door, “Son, time to get up.” He could hear his son’s radio, Howard Stern, obnoxious as always. He didn’t get the humor but it didn’t matter.

Back in the bathroom, he took a long look in the mirror. He didn’t look any different than the day before but something wasn’t the same. Trying to pick up his pace, he shaved quickly. In the mirror he saw his son walk past him to the toilet. His baby boy was turning into a man. Sliding the razor across his chin, Abraham listened to the steady strong stream of his son’s morning elimination. He almost felt proud.

Abraham!”
– “What?”

His son finished peeing and in a croaky morning voice said, “Papi, you say something?”

Abraham mumbled to himself and said, “No, nothing son. You have practice today, right?”
– “Yeah, 4:30 to 7:30, I’ll be home around 9 after tutoring.”

The kettle began to whistle, before long it was at was at a full shriek, steam blasting onto the kitchen wall behind the stove. Abraham toweled off his face and made his way to the kitchen but Inez had gotten there first and turned it off.

“You want me to make your coffee for you, Papi?” Inez asked.
– “Yes, please.”

Inez’s resemblance to her mother was striking. Abraham stared at her. 14 years old already. High cheekbones, black hair pulled back into a neat, wet braid, exactly like her mother. Abraham’s wife, Marlene, was a nurse. And unlike most, she loved to work the night shift. She said it was less nonsense to put up with; fewer doctors, fewer people telling her what she already knew she had to do. She liked that she could focus on her patients and move at her own pace. She said she enjoyed the rhythm of the hospital at night. By the time Marlene got home from work, Abraham and his kids would be out of the house already for nearly an hour.

Abraham’s son powered down his breakfast like he did every school day. The boy went through an entire box of cereal and a half gallon of milk every two days, a dozen eggs in a week. Because it disgusted his father, he would wait until Abraham had come back into the kitchen after getting dressed so he could show off gulping down 3 freshly cracked eggs with a splash of orange juice. Abraham’s sounds of disgust pleased his son to no end. The boy rinsed out the glass, placed it in the dish drain, grabbed his book bag by the apartment’s front door, came back to the kitchen and kissed his father on the top of his head, “Papi, I’m out. Don’t run anyone over today!” and took off out the front door.

Very funny. Every morning, very funny, Abraham thought. Driving a train for over 30 years and never once had he run over so much as a rat. Inez came into the kitchen. Abraham had already set out a banana, a slice of toast, the jar of peanut butter and a glass of orange juice. She sat-fell into the chair and began eating. Abraham chewed slowly on his toast watching his daughter. Inez stared back at her father bulging her eyes out trying to make him laugh while she worked quickly through her breakfast. He smiled, she gulped her juice. He loved this part of his morning.

When she was finished, Inez cleaned up the table and refilled her father’s coffee. “Papi, don’t forget, I have band practice today so don’t wait for me to eat. Sonia’s mother is driving us home. I’ll call you if I’ll be later than 7. Papi, you listening to me?”

Abraham was listening but the thought of her already in eighth grade was louder. “Si, yes, yes, I heard you. I won’t wait for you. Your mother and I will eat the filet mignon all by ourselves. Maybe even some lobster tonight” he teased.

Inez kissed her father on the cheek and went out the front door.

Quiet.

The house went quiet. He stood for a minute finishing his coffee and watched the sun as it climbed above the Hudson River. This was going to be a beautiful day.

He set his cup in the sink. As the base of the cup touched the metal sink, a sudden shock, like an electric current, pulsed through Abraham’s limbs. His fists clenched, he fell to his knees, his eyes squeezed closed in pain, he felt that his head might explode, like his fingernails would burst, his tongue suddenly too big for his mouth, his feet jerked underneath him, his knees banged together painfully. A voice, as if coming from a car driving towards him at high speed, growing louder and louder calling his name, demanding to be heard, screeching, slamming on the brakes: “ABRAHAM!”

-“YES. STOP. YES” Abraham stammered out a yell, tears forming in his eyes.
-“Abraham, Abraham! GET UP!”

Abraham grabbed the back of the chair and pulled himself up. The seizure, whatever it was, passed as soon as he stood, as quickly as it came, it left. He rubbed his head, and opened his eyes. He felt indescribable… gentle. Like a whisper. A soft vibration hummed in him as if he had just been tuned.

Shocked, numb, he took a step and looked at his watch: 7:01, blinking, blinking, blinking. It was time to get out the door. He knew that. He grabbed his lunchbag out of the refrigerator, put his jacket on and set off for work.

Driving the 12 car number 2 train out of the yard Abraham felt unusually attentive. Life as he had known it was now amplified; sounds were louder, colors brighter, smells more pungent. His eye caught a drip of oil release and fall into the grime of the tracks from the chasis of the train pulling out in front of him, his ear focussed on  brakes engaging on a train six rows down, he could almost taste the smell of hot metal. He pulled his number 2 up to the dispatch and waited for the green light to start the clock on his first run of the day.

Abraham?  Abraham?

The light turned green, Abraham swiveled the handle forward and calmly said, “Yes, I can hear you.”

Beautiful Bodies

10 Dec

 

Pen & ink, water color.  1999.

I’m Buying You The Sun

11 Nov

Tell me why not and I won’t listen.
Give me an excuse to lose my vision.
Staring at the sun and screaming at the sky,
A wind blown day just passed my by.
Dirt through my fingers and
Sunshine on the moon
You’ve gone away today
But you’ll be back soon.

Too bad but oh so fun
Let’s not argue
I’m buying you the sun.

Trouble is here but truth
will save the day
A tree branch blown down and
getting in the way.

I’m calling out loud
to any who can hear
How much longer till the sun appears?
Slap a coat on and let it dry
too many questions to wonder why.

Sleep is a dream
and dreaming in my sleep
the grass is cut and the
willows weep.

Let’s let go,
Let’s give it a go
I’m somebody today
But you might never know.

Too bad but oh so fun
Let’s not argue
I’m buying you the sun.

Don’t want to get burned?
Don’t go outside
Stay in and wait
The night will let you hide.

Rain coming down
Never seen it go up
Running, breathing
Filling this cup.

Tried and true
not lost or found
coming off this story
and back to the ground.

Too bad but oh so fun
Let’s not argue
I’m buying you the sun.

Too bad, it’s just too bad for you
open the door
trade old for new.

Too bad, too bad for you
I’m buying you the sun
There’s nothing you can do.

(Inspired by LA Woman by The Doors)

Carry Yourself Back To Me Unspoiled…

7 Nov

This is one of those songs that takes me to another place every time I listen to it. Whether I’m longing and in despair or I am totally content, this song takes me to that empty place. You can feel every mile across that lonesome ocean- you are a thousand miles away and I can do nothing about it. I don’t love every Dylan song, but this one is special. From the very first time I heard it, it has occupied a special place in me, for me. I’ve come across a lot of special songs by special people, but this one stands out for its ability to evoke in me an emotional response no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Oh I’m sailin’ away my own true love
I’m sailin’ away in the morning
Is there something I can send you from across the sea
From the place that I’ll be landing ?

No, there’s nothin’ you can send me, my own true love
There’s nothin’ I wish to be ownin’
Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled
From across that lonesome ocean.

Oh, but I just thought you might want something fine
Made of silver or of golden
Either from the mountains of Madrid
Or from the coast of Barcelona ?

Oh, but if I had the stars from the darkest night
And the diamonds from the deepest ocean
I’d forsake them all for your sweet kiss
For that’s all I’m wishin’ to be ownin’.

That I might be gone a long time
And it’s only that I’m askin’
Is there something I can send you to remember me by
To make your time more easy passin’ ?

Oh, how can, how can you ask me again
It only brings me sorrow
The same thing I would want today
I would want again tomorrow.

I got a letter on a lonesome day
It was from her ship a-sailin’
Saying I don’t know when I’ll be comin’ back again
It depends on how I’m a-feelin’.

Well, if you, my love, must think that-a-way
I’m sure your mind is roamin’
I’m sure your thoughts are not with me
But with the country to where you’re goin’.

So take heed, take heed of the western wind
Take heed of the stormy weather
And yes, there’s something you can send back to me
Spanish boots of Spanish leather.

Because even long legged women can’t tell there’s a blue eyed hobbit.

25 Oct

This may be one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I wish I could write something funny about it but I can’t.

Pure genius. Also highly recommend the Ricky Perry and Michelle Bachmann clips.

This Is A Poem

25 Oct


The Wrested Rose

(Unchecked growth
Nearly always leads to disaster,
In a rose.)

 

Once an infant in a five gallon pot,
I planted you.  Suddenly 10 feet, then 20, and more.
You climbed the trellis fastened to the wall.

 

For five years I admired your brutish pride,
and your gentle pink flower,
never once thinking that your joy
would one day become my pain.

 

Ripped from its screwed mooring,
The trellis surrendered,
dangled, listed, sailed in the wind,
utterly daunted by your weight.

 

Braced by strong coffee
and the novice’s enthusiastic motivation,
I attacked.

 

With no alternative other than
the total destruction of the trellis,
I chose to sacrifice your limbs, instead.

 

Eyeing your lowest hanging fruit,
I began at the wispy top.
How else to unwind your trellis-woven
branches?

 

On the top step of the ladder,
It was hard not to admire your persistence
against the straining sharp blade of the pruning sheers.

 

And you too, Jasmine, you silky stalker
with the pretty name and the suffocating grip.
You would not be spared either.
Your freeloading days are declared loudly,
rippingly, over.

 

With little method and less technique,
I cut you down.
Your resistance earned my respect:
for each cut, each insult you endured,
you left a scratched, ripped, punctured reminder
on my flesh.

 

Finally, your last stand brought to a
slumped defeat.
I sat on the top of the ladder,
each drop of sweat
a tear of honor
for the battle now complete.

 

Where’s Flounder?

20 Oct

(I googled “ouch” and this is what came up.)
(It has almost no relevance to the post that follows.) 

That’s a good question.

Summer arrived and along with it, a change in schedules.  Me and the other fishes got out of our rhythm of meeting in the mornings and we haven’t yet picked it back up.  Actually, the slowdown in exercise was good timing because there were also some injuries.  I started to have pretty severe left knee pain that I’ve learned is caused by Iliotibial Band Syndrome.  I now know that ITBS is a very common runner’s injury.  It hurt so much while riding my bicycle- the way I commute to work- that I stopped riding in June and only this week have I started commuting by bike again.  It hurts when I run  and it hurts at random times and when it hurts, it burns.  Not fun.  Here’s a list of activities, it is recommended, that one should abstain from when experiencing ITBS:

  • Soccer – I’m too slow and clumsy anyway
  • Running- What probably got me into this mess in the first place
  • Stair climbing or mountaineering – I’ve always equated these two activities.  We hiked up Half Dome in Yosemite three weeks ago and the knee felt surprisingly decent
  • Deadlifts or squats – I’m up to 550lbs
  • Court sports, such as tennisbasketball, not good at either.  Used to be okay at basketball, Never good at tennis
  • Martial arts, such as karate  – I get hurt watching MMA
  • Bowling – recently went for the first time in a long time.  Bowling has a special way of humbling a person.  Felt it in the back.
  • Skating – Can’t, so don’t
  • Wrestling – only in the snow, only naked
  • Cycling – my first love
  • Dancing – only for $
  • Parkour – Brooklyn State Champ 1986, ’87
  • Rowing – virtually, through my wife
  • Softball – fast pitch, baby. Blacksox
  • Gymnastics – I really only focus on still rings these days
  • Kitesurfing – hell no.  Crazy shit.

You can see that pretty much covers any activity where you must bend your knee.

I’ve been good.  I’ve tried not to push myself.  I’ve iced it and rolled it out on a foam roller, but it persists.  I spoke to my Doc, he said ice, ibuprofen, roll it out, blah, blah, and if it doesn’t get better, maybe physical therapy.  It’s probably time to seek PT and see what happens.

I got back on my bicyle this week and the knee has been okay so far. But now the right knee is barking, and at times, barking loudly.  Sheeeeit.

So where’s Flounder?

Because I couldn’t run, skip, jump, etc.  I decided to do more yoga.  I was having a great time doing Iyengar two mornings a week and adding some Hatha Flow on the side.  On one particular evening I found myself in a hatha flow class feeling just about as dis-integrated as one could possibly be in a yoga class.  Everything was going in different directions: body, thoughts, feelings, you name it.  We were doing a lot of bending over and downward dog.  In one particular downward dog, looking back between my legs butt up in the air, the world started to spin.  Hello dizzy, my old friend.

Now I knew I was fucked.  It’s been easily more than 15 years since my last real big episode of vertigo.  After it hit, I was so unsteady walking that I had to hold on to the walls for two days.  But this was also the first time that I had valium on board; at least I could sleep it out.  Still, the acute phase lasted a good week and only now, some 4 or 5 weeks later am I just about back to normal.  I say ‘just about’, because there are still many positions I cannot put my head in.  And I still don’t think I can get back into yoga.

Pretty much the only physical pursuit I’ve had is trying to master a hand grip while sitting at my desk, at work.  In fact, after several months of cranking on this thing,  I may just have the strongest hands in my office.  Perhaps, in the entire building.  Perhaps, in all the land.

I guess it’s fair to say that I’m trying to figure out how not to hurt myself while trying to get into shape.  A full-bellied colleague of mine told me he could easily go out and run 7 miles with no pain.  It’s just not fair.

I guess it’s also fair to say that Flounder is floundering, and not in the good way.  Not in the Obama 2008 way it used to be.  But I really think, despite my track record of giving up on stuff like this, that I will keep striving for that gliding smoothly on the shallow bottoms Flounder groove that made me feel so good.  I’m thinking the guy in the photo at the top of this post had to deal with a lot more pain than I’m dealing with.  If he could see it through, so can I.

The Third Law

28 Sep

Time: 5:25pm (after work)
Place: Big City

Pedestrian: Walking across intersection to bus stop. Backpack, black shoes.
Scooter Guy: On 200cc Vespa, helmet on, visor up, mustache and beard.

Scene: Many cars stopped at red light, many pedestrians crossing intersection. Scooter guy weaves around stopped cars, comes to stop in the middle of intersection.

Pedestrian walking across intersection thinking: what the fuck is wrong with this guy on the scooter? Why would he pull into the middle of the intersection and stop? Now all the pedestrians have to walk around him.

Pedestrian, internal conversation volume on 10, points to the intersection, catches Scooter Guy’s eye. Scooter Guy turns head towards Pedestrian. Pedestrian can no longer keep internal conversation internal.

Pedestrian (“Hey Asshole” tone in full effect): “Why did do that?”

Scooter Guy (muffled by helmet but still audible): “Do what?”

Pedestrian (annoyed): “Pull into and stop in the middle of the intersection?”

Scooter Guy (“What, were you born yesterday?” tone): “Everyone does it. What’s the problem? People can just walk around me.”

Pedestrian (attempt at reason): “Not ‘Everyone’, YOU! You’re doing it. Pedestrians aren’t supposed to have to walk around vehicles in intersections. You’re supposed to stop there (pointing behind the white line marking the intersection). The line is there for a reason.”

Scooter Guy (resorting to the Asshole’s typical fallback): “So what?”

Pedestrian (“Okay, so you’re in 3rd grade” voice): “So what? You don’t cross a double yellow line just because you feel like it do you?”

Scooter Guy (defensive): “No but…”

Pedestrian (dropping the argument hammer): “Why are you arguing with me? You know you’re wrong.”

Scooter Guy (confirming Newton’s third law of motion): “Yeah, I know I’m wrong. Why do you feel like you have to tell me I’m wrong?”

Light turns green. Pedestrian watches Scooter Guy pull off and disappear into traffic.

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