Catch-up Rants And Platitudes - #4 - surreal images
So I burned up a couple of days of my temporary bachelorhood by heading out to my folks' place, near Rockford, IL. As if that concept - willingly subjecting myself to them without the safety and shelter of my spouse - wasn't surreal enough, I went that extra mile and even brought laundry with. Hey, machines that don't gulp down your coins in order to operate - I'll take 'em!!
The drive out there takes you somewhat nearby a nuclear power facility, assumedly at Byron, IL. My eye is always caught by the quite distinctive cooling towers, all the more dramatically due to the inherently frightening nature of nuclear energy. Apparently Illinois is the state with the most nuclear facilities - and I don't think we're glowing, yet. I'm just fascinated with the steam you can usually see rising from the cooling towers.
On the drive over from Chicago this time, I noticed some particularly prominent contrails, which my wife and I incorrectly refer to as "chemtrails" - we're not conspiracy nuts, we got the name mixed up. Again, a fascinating visual phenomenon, very eye-catching at times.
The surreal aspect was seeing a quite distinctive pair of contrails heading downward from the sky, DIRECTLY AIMED AT the cooling towers. My cell phone was (as usual when traveling, since I never broke down to buy a car charger for this model) on "low battery" mode and refusing to take pictures, otherwise I would have documented this for the sheer amazement of it. Of course, given that I was driving alone, in a moving vehicle going 65 mph, if I HAD managed to snap a photo it would have looked like this:
But below is a mini recreation of what I saw ... now tell me that seeing this combo in real life wouldn't make you triple-take?
Granted, there was no plane at the business-end of the contrails, the cooling towers were still intact, and there was no mushroom cloud in sight - but I still had trouble extracting my jaw from the dashboard.
Once I arrived, I gladly accepted the offer of a drink and promptly forgot to mention the sighting to my folks. Alcohol flows pretty freely when I visit with them - I probably drink more in one night with them than I would normally consume in a typical month on my own. This is not to say that I (or they) require the substance to interact humanely ... it has just become a
ritual habit we have not "grown out of" yet. This is only the case when I am participating in an overnight, of course. Although I am guilty of having driven while "buzzed" in my youth, I would never intentionally drive while drunk.
It is quite frustrating, then, to hear all these news stories about celebrities convicted of DUIs. Celebretards aside, it is really frustrating to hear all the incidents of everyday people having accidents attributed to driving under the influence. The fiercely aggravating stories are about all these REPEAT OFFENDERS who have had multiple incidents of being caught driving under the influence. It's one thing to make a stupid mistake once. It's wholly idiotic to be in the position of many of these drivers who continue to drive after drinking - even despite tragic incidents in their past.
Some judges have stepped up the "punishments" for these people, and apparently many participate in an ignition lock system that requires a clean breathalyzer test before they can start their car. Sounds reasonable enough, although easily overcome - think of the scene in the movie 40 Year Old Virgin when the chick asks him to "breathe into this" before she starts her car.
Then there is this idiot, who rented a car to avoid his breath analyzer ignition lock, and then wrapped the rental car around a pole. GIVE ME A BREAK! Rental car companies are supposed to be so cautious - not renting to "kids" under 25 years old, supposedly doing background checks and denying people left and right for *seat belt violations*, let alone DUI. Somebody screwed up in a big way letting this guy have a car.
If nothing else, perhaps rental car companies should also provide vehicles prepared for this unfortunately numerous portion of the population, with breathalyzer ignition locks. Hell, if they are not going to bother with background checks, it should come standard. Or maybe you can get a free "upgrade" to a model WITHOUT one if you have a clean driving record?
Ok, enough for now. Hey - a whole blog without mentioning Burris. Whoo-hoo! I need a drink....
Anyone get the title reference?
Pictures ripped off as follows: byron.jpg and contrail2.jpg borrowed from wikipedia pages. Others found on google image searches.