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"Think of these three things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account"--Benjamin Franklin

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Driven to Distraction: I Passed!

On Monday night, I passed not the comprehensive one (still some way to go), but the theory necessary to move over to the practicals, which I started yesterday evening.

The questions combined multiple choice and ones that needed more elaboration. Here are some of the questions and a few answers:

1. what causes difficulty steering? (under-inflated/over-inflated tires, etc...)
2. when brakes are inefficient due to over-heating, what is it called? (brake fading/brake sponging/brake failure)
3. what is the driving speed limit in town (50km/h)
4. first and second gears are called "bottom gears" (true / false) [it's true!!]
5.  what is first aid? initial help given by driver in an accident before arrival of medical personnel
6. what is the procedure for using a fire extinguisher? (P.A.S.S.)
7. what is the road drill? (look left, right, left again and proceed checking for oncoming traffic)
8. what are gears used for? (moving in traffic; stopping; changing gear; slowing down in traffic)
9. what are driving procedures? there are a BLOODY ten procedures, which include: checking whether handbrake is fully on; seat in proper position; gear in neutral position; foot depressed on clutch and accelerator ready to drive off, etc...)

I go into day 2 of driving for one hour today! Looking forward to it! Yesterday, drove for an hour on roads that enabled me speed up to the third and fourth gear; move slowly and stop in traffic.

Fingers crossed for the subsequent five weeks of driving;-)


Friday, May 09, 2008

An Unhappy Anniversary, or the Cautionary Tale of Carrying Wallets in May

It was already bad enough celebrating seventeen years yesterday since my brother Samuel Dieudonne passed away. At work, two colleagues apologised for my loss. Wondering how, I realised because of the "special request" I had made on radio. They were very much appreciated acknowledgements.

Little did I know that I was going to experience some mini-drama and grief last night.

It all happened when I went back to a shop I was just leaving to go and get some phone credit. It would prove to be a soul-searching mistake. I've been wondering since this morning whether next time I go into a shop, I should not return a second time. It would seem to me a question for the ages, for this is not the first time I've gone into a shop the second time, and realised it would have been better if I waited next time.

Seeing as we are not in a perfect world, it is only normal that we defy chance and uncanny patterns, dismissing them as just that -- patterns, but this one is too spooky.

Spooky because when I got to the office this morning to write a letter to my bank, I realised that it was almost a year to the day that I first lost my wallet!! I love mysteries, but this takes the biscuit!

The last time I wrote the letter was on 23 May, 2007 to have my card cancelled. Today is, what, 9 May 2008--just some two weeks shy of the anniversary of that lost wallet! So, do I deduce that the next time of loss should be 9 May - 2 weeks, = 25th April 2009, or a day before my next birthday?

Heavens! What a sorry thought to contemplate. I best be careful a day before my birthday next year then?;-)

Still, I know we don't live in a perfect world, but I would have thought that a wallet containing some roughly $30.00, some coins; a hospital ID; my complimentary card--with my MOBILE NUMBER!--and plenty of ID about yours truly would have elicited whoever picked it up to call me and say "dude! I found your wallet". And wait for me to give him/her something.

But no, nothing. Nada. While looking up lost wallets, this is the info I found:

Paul Kinsella performed a remarkable survey that tests a person’s honesty when faced with the prospect of keeping a $0.35 wallet containing $2.10 and a $50 gift certificate or returning it to the owner using the id card contained in the wallet. Paul had the bright idea of recording hilarious conversations from many of the thieves and a few of the honest ones.

Some of the interesting results are:
26% of the people kept the wallets
86% of women and 61% of men were honest
56% of young people were honest, 81% of middle aged people were honest, 88% of old people were honest
79% of white people were honest, 57% of black people were honest
The most honest group were white females (95%), the least honest group were young black people (40%)

Judging by that study, am not surprised I am not getting my wallet back.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Birthday Boy Driven to Distraction

After all that cogitation around UN issues and whatnot, it was important for me to pursue the long-postponed need to drive. I'm picking up the bat next week. I will be sure to blog about the experiences in different quarters of my blogs;-)

This place is some minutes away from work, so it should be apt to start straight after work. But first things first: one week of theory, which I am pretending to work on!

Can you tell I'm thinking?;-)

Either way, it was my birthday on 26th April. Just one year over 30. Good stuff. There's a lot of things I need to do regulating over. Now that I have a new laptop, I have endeavoured to set out a much-needed timetable on things to do.

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