Today I had my first driving test. Waiting until I was 24 years old seemed like a good plan. Nerves would not fail me now. I would be brilliant, I would be beautiful. They wouldn’t be able to help but pass me. I knew I could drive, they knew I could drive. The day, beautiful. Cold but sunshine raining down like the heavens knew that this would be my day. When I could trade in my tattered provisional license for a pretty pink one. I’ve been told that pink brings out my eyes. Like I’d wear it as an accessory or something.

As it turns out, something was plotting against me. Something or someone. On the approach to a roundabout, a roundabout that I had driven around hundreds of times before no less, something went wrong. Instead of putting the car into first gear to pull off when there was a gap, my brain malfunctioned. It had decided that today was the first day in over six months that I would put the car into third gear. I’m not sure why my mind thought that this would be a great idea, but it did. I tried to correct my mistake, but it was decided that I would put it in third for the second time and casually roll onto the roundabout as if that was what I was planning. Major, one.

Trundling along after this mishap I decided, why settle for just one major on this test? Upon resting at a set of traffic lights at a junction leading onto a roundabout my mind went into overdrive. As soon as the light went green I shot out from where I had been waiting, with a shaky leg, straight in front of a police van. Which, as it turns out isn’t actually something that you are meant to do. It might even be construed as something that is definitely against the rules. Just cutting up any old van wouldn’t be enough, it had to be a police van. Major, two.

My friend, my dear dear friend, you may be thinking, surely that is enough for one test! Oh how little you know dear friend, how very very little. The solar system was not correctly aligned for such nonsense. The only way out of this dire situation was to make one final mistake. The nail in the already shut coffin which had already been buried. Just one last insult to an already shaken self confidence. It was time for the manoeuvre part of the test. I had been diligently working on these. There was nothing that they could ask of me that I wasn’t fully prepared for and could do in my sleep. Until they asked me to reverse around a sweeping curve. And I thought that it was a sharp curve. And forgot absolutely everything that I’d been taught. And decided the best way to attack a sweeping reverse curve was to full lock the steering wheel and reverse straight into the kerb. With an enthusiasm rarely seen in such a manoeuvre. Major, three.

It was all plain sailing from there on out. Just a nice casual drive back to the test centre to lick my wounds. And be told that on top of the three majors I had also picked up nine minors. Which just goes to show, if you’re going to do something wrong, you may as well go all the way and really tit it all up. There’s always next time.

Last node of the 2010 Ironnoder round.


I managed to stick to my pledge to use up all my votes every day of the month. In doing this, I surveyed all nodes written by cassparadox, Aerobe, Hazelnut, The Debutante, ALittleHawk, RustyLark, and winston_farsoul and found them to be generally very successful.


Starting at #30, since I finished my first 29 nodes by the midpoint of the month....

30. The law enforcement futility storyline

Saw those Criminal Minds episodes and had to ask, what's the point?

31. The nonthinking part of our Universe

Born from the exchange I once had in a forum with a nihilist who insisted that he knew that what we conventionally deems as non-thinking matter possessed an awareness beyond that which was held by humans. Done up with some months of refining, naturally.

32. Hannelore Ellicott-Chatham

Because Hanners = awesome!! Seriously, even after I noded this, she did even more awesome stuff, giving Marten back his worry hat to assuage his certain sadness at being dumped by Dora.

33. Eleventh month calculations on an open letter to Frank J. Tipler

Actually I planned to do this on the one year anniversary, but.... IRONNODER!! And, really, the calculation of the probability that someone has seen something on the Internet was more fun to write about than even the thing thought to have been seen....

34. December 24, 2012

Fie upon thee, gloom and doom, this shall be a peachy day!! Special for ironnoder, by popular demand.

35. gynechiatrist

This drew an awful lot of comment for what was essentially a one-off. I wasn't kidding when I noted knowing people in the field who count themselves as being this (which is why I was inspired to write of it). But I wasn't being all that serious either.

36. pantheism

I've worked on this one at some length. The shorter existing write-ups did not seem to me to capture the breadth of the philosophy, and its myriad incarnations.

37. How to pee in the dark

A pretty basic, useful, somewhat tongue in cheek how to....

38. The Egg of the Great Traveler

I've always had this sort of fascination with the idea of the Earth being an egg; from a science fiction frame, it wouldn't work -- the timeline would run too long to suppose a thing evolving from an egg which doesn't hatch for four billion years. 65 million, still a stretch but not wholly inconceivable.

39. November 25, 2010

So I had this dream about building a castle out of fruit while waiting at a bus stop, and I was simply compelled to write it up before it should be forgotten forever.

40. Monique Alexander having anal sex with a priest

Oh yeah, baby. And?

41. The Ghost of the Old House of Commons, to the New One, appointed to meet at Oxford I find this poem to be more interesting for its historic significance than for its meter and rhyme, though the latter is hardly to be scoffed at -- writing catchy political poetry ain't easy!!

43. What if Heraclides had never been born?

Another response highlighting the flaws in an argument raised to me by a promoter of a particular flavor of theistic faith.

43. Beyond the Ecumenical: Pan-Deism?

Just an interesting old essay, in my view -- not just because it sort-of mentions pan-deism (which, I confess, drew me to read it at all in the first place) but because of the sort of raw internal concern it brings up.

44. Shifting the burden of proof

Came across the node and thought I'd try my hand at laying out questions of how you shift this burden, and what it must be shifted to for the claimant to prevail.

45. November 30, 2012

You're soaking in it!!


To Be Determined!!

So this is my 5th and final daylog in November. It's also the 18th and final node that will count towards the ironman (assuming nothing get's nuked...but in any case I wrote 18 nodes) which I decided I would give up on some time in mid November. I got some good feedback on the stuff I wrote for the ironman, but in the end, it was just too much for me. I could blame a couple of common colds, I could blame working 40 hours a week and all the Starcraft 2 I've been playing, but really I just decided to quit.

It got to the point where I felt I had to make a choice between what was good for me and what was good for E2. It was nice writing some nodes that weren't just daylogs, though. I do love titles.

Thanksgiving was more busy at work than I had feared. Plenty of people from outside of the US who don't care at all about the holiday. Just Christmas left. I do love eggnog. New Year's (and Halloween) aren't as annoying as the other holidays in the Holiday Season.

I'm a little worried my gaming with friends will be reduced to too little when a second baby arrives. I'm sure I can find something to do with my time though. Maybe I'll even try to have sex myself, although the goal there wouldn't even be a first baby, so I'm not sure how good a of a segue that is.

I was thinking the other day that my sexual memories are better than most men's fantasies. When your life has been filled with so much and so many of the things you love, you really can't complain. My life HAS been filled with Sex and Games and Comedy. Fitting that I'm going to stop writing now and play a game. I'll leave you with a joke from work.

What's the difference between jelly and jam?

I can't jelly my cock down your throat...

Judge Pirro was on. I wasn't watching it; someone else was, and I was trying to eat in the same room. But I couldn't help watching it. First off, what the fuck kind of courtroom has an applause sign? That sets the tone. There was this case where a girl tried to break up with one dude, and he was freaking out. He threatened to kill himself, or kill her new boyfriend in front of her, or some third boring thing. There was a ski trip after the breaking up, and he convinced her to have sex with him one last time, and blah blah blah. It was pretty standard. The reason it stuck in my mind, was because this guy (the plaintiff) had threatened the girl and her boyfriend over the phone, and actually said "I'll kill him and make you watch." Judge Pirro responded with some self-righteous hysterics, saying that "the SWAT team should've come over, kicked down your door and had you in cuffs," or at least something very similar to that. (To non-stop applause, of course.) She did mention SWAT.

Of course she wasn't saying what she believed should have happened because he deserved it, but rather what should have happened with the system being what it is. At least, I would have thought so, but that damn sign got stuck. Now, I understand that if someone has threatened your life, that is some heavy shit that you do not take lightly. But this guy was nineteen. She mentioned that he was "an adult", but no one is really an adult at nineteen, and if you are, it's because you had to grow up way too fast. No one is an adult at nineteen without either being surrounded by death and tragedy, or raising a kid. (I'm not trying to compare those things; I have no idea. Those are just the two completely separate possibilities.) I'm not apologizing for this guy, either. I don't think that he was the one and only villain that all disdain should've been directed at. My point is this. Who has not made a death threat at some point? I know I have. I did when I was like six or seven. But I didn't mean it. People rarely mean what they say. There should need to be a demonstration of intent, however small, to actually come and arrest someone. When the SWAT kicks down your door because you said something you shouldn't have, that's like a fucking police state. How is that even freedom of speech?

But I understand, you can't just disregard everything anyone says just because they're pissed off and barely legal. So why not just tail them for a few days, see if they buy guns out of someone's trunk or maybe visit a Pitkin's and a Radioshack within a few hours of each other? If I bought a bag of fertilizer the day after I got pissed and told someone "I'll line your house with explosives and watch you die in a fucking fire!" then I would find it perfectly reasonable that some guys in suits were crouching behind my car with 9mms. And if I was seriously suicidal/homicidal, then my car would already be rigged with more sophisticated explosives for that very contingency, but they would have diffused it already, and then I'd be tried with attempted murder. That would be reasonable, even though it would only actually play out that way if life were a movie. Not that people never do these things, or even that kids can't do them sometimes, even when it just seems like a melodramatic cry for help.

I'm starting to meander here a bit, so let me just wrap up with my point again: if you can't get away with an empty death threat here and there, then freedom of speech is bullshit. No wait, that doesn't sound right. When people are just barely old enough to held accountable for their actions, and they still try to model their lives after shitty teen dramas, you can't take them seriously. The plaintiff might've figured the other man would just be in a coma a couple of weeks and wake up played by a new actor.

Oh yeah, Merry Christmas! It sure seems early this year, doesn't it?

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