Pete

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Wikis, blogs, and note scribbling

I think that I've successfully demonstrated that a wiki is a poor choice for my "fracture" story. It doesn't read as well for a blog type entry as a blog would but don't forget that this started as a test bed for documentation and we all agree that for documentation a wiki is best. Because the story continues with new additions weekly and the need to go back to add, delete, or edit content written previously, people that try to follow the story in real time can find it more difficult. A blog by definition makes it easy to follow. But don't forget that the wiki has a "Recent changes" link for just that purpose.

The "fracture" story has yet to teach me anything about advanced wiki formatting but that's just because I'm being lazy.

The Libyans

What's this dot LY business? How does that work?

Back in 2003 I got a wild idea to register the domain kel.ly. At the time, the ccTLD for LY was managed and run by the folks at lydomains.com. Around my birthday in 2004 there was a Coup d'├ętat at ccTLD LY resulting in a year or so of some .ly routing uncertainty (read: doesn't work at all). The entire year of 2005 was a complete loss (read: no news, no contact from anyone) but again around my birthday in 2006 Libya got their arms around the concept of the ccTLD and we got it back on the rails.

There were a few years there where I paused every time I spotted a plain, windowless van parked on the street where it didn't belong. My friends maintain that I was just being paranoid. In May of 2006 the U.S. restored diplomatic relations and in September of 2008 Condoleezza Rice visited Libya as Secretary of State. The vans also disappeared around that same time.

Very Important Musings

Actually, this is sort of a dry run for some documentation stuff that I'm doing at work. My notebook is getting a little tattered and as a good friend of mine pointed out, "it's actually easier to read your notes when you treat them like others might read them."

Pulling out all the stops

I found some stuff that I did back in 1996 when Pac Bell built a PCS site adjacent to our office at Nekton Technologies. It was so much fun that we documented the construction and then went out and bought the service. I've had that service since then with a brief exception while I was out in Chatsworth with company-supplied Sprint service.

Getting snippy with the law

So, some pedestrian gets a little hard of hearing and while walking on the train tracks doesn't notice the Metrolink train rapidly approaching. I happened on to the scene long enough after the event that all of the emergency equipment was in place and the streets were sealed off. I first learned of the event when I approached San Dimas Avenue on Puddingstone Avenue from the East. The Sheriff Department's Volunteer car was parked in the street as though it had stalled there. My first thought was "I wonder if they need help?" but then I remembered that they have technology that helps with that sort of thing. My second thought was "where do you suppose the driver is?" but that question was answered when, as I drove around the stalled car, the driver jumped out yelling "You can't go that way! What do you think I'm doing here?" My moment of brilliance was when I quickly answered "I have no idea why you're here" but I peeled off a U-turn and headed for the Northern approach to my street. Because of the bend in San Dimas Avenue there are no people or vehicles visible from this intersection.

Up Cannon Drive to Walnut where, as I cross the tracks, I notice the motorcycle with the flashing lights parked at the grade crossing and the Metrolink train idling between San Dimas Avenue and Walnut. Doesn't look good.

As I enter the left turn pocket on Arrow Hwy preparing to turn South on San Dimas Avenue I can clearly see the Deputy Sheriff, his car, and the flares staking claim to the Southbound lanes of San Dimas Avenue. As I wait for the light to change I watch a Lexus SUV stop at the Deputy, chat, and proceed South the first Condo complex. I can also see the emergency equipment littered at the grade crossing from here.

When the light changes I roll around the corner, sight up the flares for tire clearance (Tow Truck experience) and prepare to find the now invisible Deputy. He, not unlike the volunteer at the other intersection, flies out of the car and he's pissed. "Where do I think I'm going? Did I notice the flares?" I assure him that yes, I saw the flares and I'm interested in parking and walking. He's having none of that and tells me to "Back over the flares and get out." This is where I made my fatal mistake. I _think_ "I'm not backing over the flares and into traffic on Arrow Hwy" but I say "No." Well, he's so pissed now that it really doesn't matter what I say but just in case, I point out that I just watched him let a car through. He assures me that _that_ motorist asked his permission first and it is at this point that I recognize the situation for what it is: what the database guys affectionately refer to as the "deadly embrace."

We can go over the details of the traffic stop when I start drinking again but the short story has me, 45 minutes later, 10 minutes after the lane has been re-opened for traffic, receiving a citation for driving over the flares and expired registration. What? I'm lucky that he didn't tow the car for that? I'm sure that he would have if when he ran the plates, it had come back expired, which it didn't. I have a weak excuse consisting of being off-my-game for the first four months of the year and missing the sticker and proof of insurance forms.

I seem to have set the tone for the remainder of the Deputy's afternoon because when I drove off, there were six people, other vehicles that dared to cross the flares, waiting to get their very own ticket. It gets better. The Volunteer (remember from the Southern intersection?) shows up on its way back to the barn and gets recruited by the Deputy to assist in the ticket writing. The Volunteer responds "I can't write tickets" so the Deputy answers with "It's okay, you write them and I'll sign them. Note to self: next time drive around the Volunteer vehicle and wave.

As I look back on this circus I liken it to a soccer game where the Ref lets the fouls go uncalled until he needs to show a yellow card to slow down the violence. When that doesn't work he shows several more yellows and winds up sending a couple of players off with reds. At this point the Ref is pissed and taking it personally but the players have regained their composure and are back to playing soccer. Not that this scenario ever happened to me personally :-).

I've never contested a ticket in court but check back with my in a couple of months. Let's see how pissed I am then.

California Vehicle Code Section 2818. It is unlawful to traverse an electronic beacon pattern, a flare pattern, cone pattern, or combination of electronic beacon, flare, or cone patterns, provided for the regulation of traffic, or provided in a situation where public safety personnel are engaged in traffic control or emergency scene management.

Railroad Accounting

This is a stretch of track in Pomona and as I understand it, also part of the Alameda Corridor. SO, do you supposed that they are looking for lost cars? Railroad transponder sensor.jpg Railroad transponder sensor-left.jpg Railroad transponder shack.jpg Railroad transponder label.jpg

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