Daily Archives: March 30, 2008

Fiddle Fiddle

To everyone who missed the “last post, next post” navigation on the single entry pages: I just put it back in. Now the site is ever so slightly easier to trundle through. You’re welcome.

I may do some additional fiddling tonight, so don’t be terribly surprised if the site suddenly spazzes out and then equally suddenly returns to normal.

Where Was I, Anyway?

Well, here’s a hint:

For those of you not up on these things, that’s a headcrab, featured in the games Half-Life and Half-Life 2, by the video game company Valve Software, which I visited on my trip.

What did I see there? I can’t tell you (I signed an NDA).

What did I do there? I can’t tell you (see above).

Did I have a good time? Oh, yeah.

Should you, as a video game fan, be immensely, immensely jealous? See above.

I can say this: If you’re a gamer, I think you’re going to like what’s coming down the pike from Valve. Even the stuff I saw in rough form was very cool.  I can also say that the folks at Valve were all very smart, very talented and building really interesting stuff. As I said, when you see it (eventually), you’ll probably agree.

In all, a very nice tour of the chocolate factory, if you know what I mean. I’m glad I went.

How I Avoid Speeding Tickets

Because, as it happens, I get out of speeding tickets nine out of ten times I pull over. Here’s how I do it: I admit I’m speeding and tell the cop to please go ahead and write me up. Usually the cop is so shocked that I’m not even trying to argue with him that he’ll let me off with a warning.

This morning, for example, after I was pulled over for zooming out of the airport:

Cop: Sir, you were doing 50 in a 35 mile per hour zone.

Me: I’m sure I was.

Cop: Can you tell me why?

Me: Because I just got off a plane eleven hours late and I just wanted to get home to my family.

(This was true, incidentally)

End result: Friendly warning.

Now you might think the “dude, I just want to get home to my family” hearttugger is what did it, but I’ve also had times when they asked me why I was speeding and I said “I have no excuse whatsoever. Go ahead and write me up if you need to,” and it’s worked pretty much the same.  Cops like it when you acknowledge that they are not stupid, and you were breaking the law, and that you recognize this is their job. I’m sure there are other things that help (in this case, I was driving a minivan, I was polite and friendly to the cop, and I didn’t look like I was on a meth bender, etc), but I think just admitting guilt is the kicker.

Now, this doesn’t work every single time, and I suppose that’s the risk; since you’re admitting you’re speeding, you’re going to have problems contesting the ticket in court later. But come on. It’s a speeding ticket, not murder. It’ll cost you points on your insurance at most. But like I said, it generally works for me, because I’m letting the cop know that I know he’s caught me fairly, and that it’s entirely his call to ticket me, and I’m not going to show up in traffic court with some articles I downloaded from the Internet proving his radar is totally borked or whatever. It’s refreshing to them, is what I’m saying.

Worth a try for you, in any event.