I need help. There is a strange phenomenon I have never understood. There seems to be mysterious forces at work that I am unable to understand. How do telephone cables get so twisted? Example: I sit at my desk. The telephone is near my right hand. It rings. I pick it up and rotate it about 90 degrees counter-clockwise to put it to my ear. After the conversation is completed, I rotate it about 90 degrees clockwise to return it to its cradle. After a few days, the cord from the hand piece to the cradle is all twisted up as though someone has been spinning it in circles. I have to un-twirl it a few times to get all the kinks out. I have found this true of every phone I've ever used. Is it a plot by sinister forces to addle my brain? Watch out! They may also be working on your phone.
If I ever ride a pedal-type bike on a country road, (fat chance, what with those funny looking helmets they make you wear) I am not going to ride with my back to oncoming vehicles on my side of the road. I will ride facing the oncoming, to give myself a chance of getting out of the way of some ne'er-do-well road hog. Bicycles travel too slow to be considered anything but pedestrian traffic. I am amazed at cyclists riding abreast of one another, who not only show no fear of speeding vehicles approaching behind them, but in too many cases are negligent in moving over and leaving the lane open to traffic. Their bravado in staking claim to their right to a piece of the road may cause only inconvenience in carefully maneuvering past them, but what if the approaching car is controlled by someone who is distracted, uncooperative, intoxicated, or has an overwhelming chip on his shoulder? I know such types should not be on the road, but why challenge them with your life? I am surprised there haven't been more accidents. To this I credit the drivers of automobiles more than the cyclists.
Listening to my car radio the other day they were talking about law enforcement in Kalifornia. In today's political climate, I feel compelled to spell it with a K, like Kooky. I understand that in Kalifornia, if you are stopped on the highway, and found to be driving without a license, your car must be impounded for three months. This law was passed in an effort to discourage driving without a license. However it was found to be unfair against illegal immigrants, because they were the only ones they kept finding who were driving without a license. Their solution was not to repeal the law, but to avoid accusations of discrimination, police departments have ceased impounding the cars of illegal immigrants. A man whose daughter was killed by an illegal immigrant fleeing in a police chase said in an interview, "Apparently their right to drive outweighs our right to live."
Attempts at clarity should be clear. When referring to midnight or noon, we need a more definite reference than A.M. and P.M. In actual fact, 12 o'clock is never a.m. or p.m., just as the equator is never in the northern or southern hemisphere. It is unrealistic to refer to 12 as a.m. or p.m. with any certainty that everyone will know what you mean. It never makes sense to me why 12 a.m. should be midnight or mid-day. To say 12 n., could mean noon or night. The military has eliminated this problem by referring to the 24 hours in the day as hours 100 through 2400. Thus noon is 1200 hours, and midnight is 2400 hours. I wish the Bureau of Standards, would issue an edict to say they shall be referred to as 12 nn. or 12 mdn, or even 12 mn. I am confident that you understand what each one stands for without further clarification.
Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org