Truth, Justice, and the American Way

There I sit at MSP (Minneapolis/St. Paul) airport, waiting for my flight on the way to an adventure I’m currently enjoying.  A few random observations – –

–  TRUTH:  Before my divorce, I had a few life adventures (like my trip to Scotland two summers ago).  During the divorce, I was looking forward to dramatically increasing the number and frequency of adventures.  Reality sets in.  These things cost money.  So, I must work.  But work bosses don’t let you take off on holiday any old time and as often as I’d like.  So I find myself balancing more instead of the spontaneity I was (naively?) expecting.  Nonetheless, I am, in the grand scheme of things, increasing the frequency of adventures compared to the first mumblety-three years of my life.  It’s a good thing.

–  JUSTICE:  The Wilds of Ohio is attempting to become less wild.  Consider this a PSA.  A friend, “Slipper”, who has at times abused the bottle prior to driving, was finally caught by the local gendarmes.  I have heard many stories of such stops in the past, wherein the offender, especially if older and without a prior history of being stopped, is usually warned in a tone intended to emphasize the severity of the situation, but released to drive carefully home.  My friend was not so lucky.  Charged with OVI (Operating a Vehicle under the Influence…formally known as DUI, Driving Under the Influence).  The ‘stern talking to’ is gone.  She got 10 days without being allowed to drive at all…that was just to get to the court hearing.  There she got a 6 month suspension to her driving privileges where she can only drive to and from work (how does she get her food?), a $2000 fine, a $500 fee to get her license back, 2 years suspended sentence (meaning if she’s caught again, the shit will really hit the fan), plus has to go (at a $250 fee) to alcohol abuse class.  All this for .02 above the legal limit (which is .08).  Like I said, a Public Service Announcement.  Be careful out there.

–  THE AMERICAN WAY:  All in favor of a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing free access to the internet from anywhere on the continent?  Yeah, me too.  While some airports, like the one at home, do give free internet access (often accompanied by the prerequisite flurry of advertisements you have to wade through before actually beginning to surf the interwebz), MSP does not.  As a matter of fact, most bigger airports do not.  Yes, you can get access, but usually at an exorbitant fee.  If I traveled more, I’d consider buying a subscription to one of the pan-U.S. services which are found in most airports (e.g., Boingo).  But, for now, I’ll just be patient and wait until I can liberate borrow steal find a free signal.


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9 Responses to “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”

  1. writerdood Says:

    I read something today about Ohio being in the top five most cost-effective places to live (if you can afford to buy a house there and get a job). But, having never been to Ohio, I had no idea as to whether or not I’d want to live there. I like mountains and forests (preferably with evergreen trees). Does Ohio have those?

    As for the American Way, yeah, I’ve always been a little surprised that the government didn’t offer free wifi to everyone as a utility, just so they would have easy access to everyone’s data. But then I realized they have that already, so it would just be a big waste of money and wouldn’t give them any advantage.

  2. Rob Says:

    On Truth: Having read your account, I must consider myself to be quite fortunate in the freedom that comes with being able to manage my own time. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to “clear” my vacation plans, even if last minute, with my boss.

    On Justice: Driving drunk is nothing more than stupid (and I will admit that I, too, have done it in my youth). Your friend is lucky that she has never killed anyone. Contrary to popular belief, having a few drinks, does not, in fact, make you a better driver. Up here in the Great White North, it’s called “Impaired Driving” and it’s a Criminal Code offense. So even just one conviction gives you a criminal record, and for starters, immediately prevents you from any travel – ever – to that “paradise” south of the 49th parallel.

    On The American Way: Huh? I thought the American Way was profit first. Why would anyone give something away when they can gouge hapless “consumers” for it?

    So, to counter all that above, just let me say good luck on your adventure and have fun. Sorry to hear you’re flying through MSP. That implies you might be on Delta/Northworst, upon which it follows that you may not reach your destination quite when you thought you would.

    Bon Voyage!

  3. Mitzi G Burger Says:

    Happy adventuring, Gnuckles. I too came to the realisation that to facility sponetaneous wanderings I’d have to fund them by working.

  4. nursemyra Says:

    What’s south of the 49th parallel Rob?

  5. Stephanie of Stopbouncing Says:

    have fun, we expect photos.

  6. thegnukid Says:

    writerdood – forests? plenty. mountains? not so much. but the people are, for the most part, great.

    rob – i am totally with that “don’t kill someone” thing. but people tend to gloss over that, thus the focus of the PSA being the money and inconvenience.

    mitzi – a shame, isn’t it? guess i better win the lottery

    nursemyra – beasties and creatures that will devour our ship, dear nursemyra

    stephanie – when i can get back to a real computer? done deal.

  7. daisyfae Says:

    it amazes me the stupid risks i used to take… in high school? driving drunk was just what you did on friday nights. no foolin’ with it these days… always have a designated driver. and feed him/her very, very well…

  8. thegnukid Says:

    daisy – i remember (which is amazing, considering) driving home drunk one night as a teen…but don’t remember shifting out of first gear the entire way. yep, i was stupid too. designated driver is a must.

  9. Rob Says:

    @nursemyra: The 49th parallel is (mostly) Canada’s southern border with the U.S. of A. Many Canucks (nicknamed “snowbirds”) flock there during the harsh winter months, especially the retired ones. At least, in the past they did. Many still do, but with the increasing paranoia, not to mention border security presence, I’m less inclined to want to do so myself.

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