The Watering Hole: September 28 – Me and my Segway

Jimi Heselden, the owner of Segway drove one off a cliff and into a river. He did not survive. Not wanting to make light of this tragedy, it still brings to mind this video clip of a former president on a similar device:

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on this or any other topic.

85 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: September 28 – Me and my Segway

  1. I watched β€œThe Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” last night and had some problems with the motion graphic in the upper right corner of the screen.

    I suffer from vertigo and the graphic made me nauseous. It was the one with the rolling circle and occasional expanding double circles from 2 “broadcast towers.” I had to turn the show off after about 5 minutes so I would not puke.

    If I suffered from epilepsy, I would not have made it as far as I did. Perhaps, I can tape a piece of black construction paper over that part of the screen if the show turns out to be worthwhile.

  2. I didn’t even notice the graphic, but I don’t like things that move on the edge of my vision either. We get a lot of that on web pages, usually to the right, which is my dominant eye anyway.

    I didn’t finish the O’Donnell show either, but it was because after two hours of Keith and Rachel, I was ready for something else. I’m interested to see his ratings, which will be either late today or tomorrow.

  3. Good morning. That video was funny. It was a sad story about the owner of the Segway company going over a cliff. People witnessed this event. How horrible.

    Walt – send a letter to MSNBC and tell them about your experience. The feedback will be helpful to them.

  4. I’m amazed by those of you who can sit through hours of political shows in the evening. I like talking about politics, or arguing about it, but listening to other people talk or argue about it bores me to tears. I tried watching Keith a few years ago, because I thought his commentary was critical in its forthright criticism of the Bushies, but the theatrics irritate me no end. I can watch clips, but I have to much to read already, and too many movies or television shows I want to watch to sit through it.

  5. I hate programs that have a lot of stuff moving on the screen–crawls, pictures that move, etc. Or just too many chyrons. Another reason I hate Fox–aside from the content. πŸ˜‰

    I’m off soon to take my little boy kitty in to be fixed. The other cats are not happy about the lack of food and water, as I had to take it all up. The only other option was to lock Jasper in a carrier overnight, and I didn’t want to do that. I’ll have to do it all again in a couple of weeks with his sister. I wanted to do them both at the same time, but they are a little younger than the vet would like. I told them we had to get Jasper soon though, because I keep catching him trying to do icky things with his sister. 😯

  6. I don’t know Gummitch. From seven to nine pm on weeknights, there’s very little of interest to me on entertainment tv. I watch Keith and Rachel because they’re not Fox or CNN. Before Comcast added MSNBC, I was watching clips of Ed Schultz online, or listening to Ron Reagan (prior to Air America going down). I did most of my reading at work during long cycle times. Now, if I’m in the recliner, I’m doing something online, with the tv on MSNBC. Depending on the time of day, I’m listening to a Progressive Talk webstream, too. Like now.

  7. I now truly understand why health care costs so much money. I’m on a telephone conference for Worker’s Compensation training for health care providers. The amount of work that is required to submit a bill to Worker’s Compensation (this is based on submitting bills to Medicare and health insurance companies) is insane. Because of all this extra “paper work”, health care providers need at least one full time person to do this work. From this day forward, I will NOT be taking Worker’s Compensation patients.

  8. The wind-up chimp with the cymbals (not pictured) is my favorite!

    Prosecutor in Sen. Stevens Case Commits Suicide

    A Justice Department prosecutor killed himself while under investigation over whether he and other attorneys in the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens acted improperly in the case, officials said.
    Nicholas A. Marsh, 37, committed suicide on Sunday, two years after being part of the Justice Department team that convicted Stevens on corruption charges that were eventually thrown out. Marsh’s suicide was confirmed by his lawyer, Robert Luskin.

    Another death to aid in the coverup of rampant corruption in the Bush DoJ? It also has the chilling effect of silencing the ones still living.

  9. The Minnesota River in my area continues to rise. It’s one of those slow-agonizing sort of disasters. The rains were last week, and largely south and west of here. The river crests are now making it to our area.

    According to a local paper, this could be the fourth highest recorded flood level at this location. Very unusual for a fall event. Normally, the floods are in the spring due to snow melt.

    I would have to actually think that global warming, and the changes in weather patterns could be a culprit here. Fortunately a dry weather pattern is at least going to keep this from getting worse.

    Thankfully, few businesses or homes are in harms way. The disruption is largely to traffic and commerce, due to the large number of road and bridge closures.

    It’s an odd feeling driving across the river (and I do cross on the one bridge that will remain open) every day, and seeing it noticeably higher each time I cross, and knowing that the flood will happen, and that all anyone can do is watch and wait.

  10. I’m reminded of how one of the founders of the major spiritual retreat/center in Big Sur died: He was out meditating on a hill side when a huge rock broke loose, struck him in the head and killed him.

    When the irony gets that extreme, it is hard not to let it take priority.

  11. Z, I have a number of relatives currently in the Shakopee area; in years past relatives populated the river bottom from Franklin through New Ulm, Mankato, LeSeur, Chaska, and Savage as well. Last time I was up that way, the only bridge in the Chaska-Shakopee-Savage area was the new one, and likely the only bridge ‘upstream’ from the I35 and Mendota bridges that could handle the rising waters. Am I close on that?

    My current relatives in Shakopee live in the hills and not the bottomland, so they’re ok, but they did say it was a tricky and unexpected setup there for lots of people.

  12. “I would have to actually think that global warming, and the changes in weather patterns could be a culprit here.”

    Preaching to the choir: While no single weather event can be laid at the doorstep of climate disruption, these major floods have taken on the character of a pattern and it is the patterns that make the connection. Since warm air lofts more moisture, extreme precipitation events are the kinds of things AGW predicts, along with the redistribution of those events in space and time so that while some locales get deluged, others get drought. (We’re in an 11-year drought here in the SW, and facing major water issues as the Colorado continues to dry up.)

  13. zxbe, hope it’s not too bad for you. Good to here that the flood shouldn’t be in neighbourhoods.

    The slowness and inevitability of it reminds me of falling in the snow while snowshoeing a couple of years ago. We were on a regular trail that traverses a steep slope. One of our dogs, Jake the black lab, went by me on the high side but just caught my left snowshoe. My left leg wanted to cross over to maintain my balance. My brain said no but the momentum of my leg was not to be stopped.

    The slope is full of birch saplings some 30 meters to the ice covered creek. Leaning more and more to my right and down the slope, I reached out for the nearest sapling. We have seen similar trees covered by a fresh wet snow that nearly bent clear over to the ground and I was discovering first hand how flexible they are.

    My left snowshoe found some solid footing in the snow. Unfortunately, this snow was a foot or more below my right snowshoe. Again my brain had no control and my right snowshoe had to give putting all my weight on my left snowshoe. This snowshoe promptly sunk through the snow and down the slope with my foot and leg still connected.

    The poor sapling didn’t know what hit him. I kissed it somewhat roughly as I slowly but surely started to loose grip on it. Not to worry, I said to the sapling, you will grow a new branch. It was apparent that I was not stopped falling quite yet. The sapling kept me from an initial free fall and delivered me on my back on the snow like a mother placing the baby in a crib.

    The sapling was now in the shape of a letter n while I was pointing head first down the slope on my back. Snowshoes about as useless as a canoe paddle. The sapling, wanting to get back to it’s static position, displayed it’s incredible strength and ripped itself from my grip.

    I did not see this particular part but apparently the sapling whipped back upslope and gave Jake slap on his bottom. Clearly the sapling knew what caused this calamity.

    I slid and rolled in slow motion for what seemed like minutes until coming to rest against the saplings big brother. I have never played in one of those ball filled playthings for kids but I imagine this was not much different. It was a good thing there was a lot of snow in that area.

    The fall had taken probably 10 to 15 seconds but seemed like forever. I laughed for the first 5 seconds, cried for the next 5 and laughed for the last bit. Jake thought it was a whole lot of fun and came down to see what I was sniffing!

    After 5 minutes of energy sapping work, I got back to the trail. Camera and gps in good shape. Snow found it’s way to places that snow shouldn’t go. Happily we were on the last kilometer of a 12 kilometer hike.

    Well, story time is over.

  14. frugal, I’ll start with the “small world” thing as Shakopee is my current home.

    There’s a relatively new freeway crossing for US-169 that connects Shakopee and Savage with Bloomington (it replaced the old Bloomington Ferry Bridge, which also flooded easily). The new bridge doesn’t flood and is now the main artery for getting people across the river. Unfortunately, on a good day the traffic jams badly up on this crossing, let alone when there’s an event (such as this). But some towns (such as Belle Plaine) are 15 miles from this crossing. If you live just over the river there, but work in the other side, you have an extra 30-mile trip to get to work.

    There’s been years of talk and studies about a new Hwy 41 crossing (which is also currently closed to flooding) in Chaska. But it’s not a high-priority project, and various groups have dug in their heals to oppose the various proposed routes. That project is probably a decade away at the earliest.

    Thankfully, most of the river towns in this immediate area are well prepared, and property damage should be low. Further south, however, many farms have been flooded, and FEMA and the Governor are working emergency relief.

  15. Z — I kind of remember when the new 169 bridge was built. I haven’t been in Shakopee since 1995, but think it might have been pretty new right about then? I still remember, of course, the old bridge in Shakopee, the one that had signs which indicated the high water marks in a pair of floods back in the fifties.

    Shakopee’s a nice place, always enjoyed it there. My ex-wife’s sister and her husband still live there in the woods about a half mile off 169 (the high side) just SW of town on the way to Belle Plaine. He taught in Burnsville for many years. It was a fairly long drive, but as he liked to say, “I don’t have to cross the damn river to get there.”

  16. I also agree Dycker. No apology necessary. Great story.

    Frugal, Yeah, there are times I wonder why I moved “south of the river.” Mostly because the taxes in this county are about half of what they are in the other metro counties. And Shakopee, after the new bridge, became a bit of a boom town. Just in the 8 years I’ve lived here I’ve seen drastic changes. It’s been exciting.

    The “old” bridge you’re referring to is what they call the old “Holmes Street bridge.” It no longer carries cars, but is being repurposed as a pedestrian/bike/trail crossing.

    House, that’s very cool that you listen to 950. I love having access to a local progressive station (particularly now that I spend more time in the car on the way to work.)

  17. MSNBC is predicting Rahm Emanuel’s replacement could be Tom Daschle, John Podesta, or Leon Panetta. If it turned out to be Podesta, the trolls would descend on TP like locusts!

  18. We have had some near 80 degree days for the last 4. Prior to that though, we had 2 weeks of rainy and/or cloudy days with highs of only 50. Far too low this early. We call them Indian Summers too but my dad and I were wondering if that is now a no go term.

  19. We’ve finally settled back to around 80, which is good as my AC was ripped out yesterday. We finally got some rain too, and are due for more.

  20. Dunno Zooey, but she’s for sure wrong about the Creigh Deeds case. He really was an uninspiring candidate who failed to clearly differentiate himself from his opponent.

  21. Raul Labrador? I’m so sorry for you, and that’s from someone whose district brings you Eric Cantor. Didn’t some of the folk up there force Helen Chenowith upon on years ago?

  22. TP goes right down the toilet in the evening, sad for me as I rarely have time during the day. Just means you folk are stuck with me.

  23. Jane Hamsher started going down the slippery slope when she realized that health care reform wasn’t going to do what she wanted — no public option, among other shortfalls.

    I used to hang out with some regularity at FDL, but when they started ripping Obama for the shortfall when the reality was a bit different than that, I said goodbye, haven’t been back since. Although today I did get a plea from Jane Hamsher to contribute to Russ Feingold.

    Progressives have to realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day, not even in two years. It takes time, and the smart approach is to not shoot the movement in the foot because it fails to meet expectations in the first six months.

  24. If you’re interested, there’s a Jerry Brown-Meg Whitman debate in a few minutes. It’s liveblogged at Crooks and Liars, but I imagine it’s other places too.

  25. From one of my favorite books:

    Preacher Casy: “the only thing you got to look at is that everytime there’s a little step forward, she may slip back a little, but she never slips clear back”.

  26. Well done zxbe!

    Reminds me of this joke:

    Teabagger: We’re taking back America!
    Citizen: Who are you taking it back from?
    Teabagger: From the people that America elected to represent us!

  27. If I look at a thread at TP and then do something else for 10-15 minutes and the number of comments has increased by over 100, then I don’t waste my time on that thread.

  28. O’Doodoo studied at Oxford (Mississippi, that is).

    (My spin.)

    Re Hamsher: One of my long standing complaints against the “Left” has been the childish, “If I don’t get everything I want the instant I want it exactly the way I want it, I’m going home and taking my glove with me” drivel. I take some comfort that the ‘baggers are pulling this crap on the GOP (Zooey: “George Orwell’s Prediction” — fuckin’ brilliant). But I’m not sure it is in time to do enough good.

    This was the attitude that put Shrub in the Whitehouse. Quite aside from the distraction and loss of resources that Nader’s campaign cost Gore; in spite of the fact that Nader was and remains a bald-faced liar (“Gore and Bush are the same”); in spite of the fact that Nader has been easily recognizable as completely unqualified to manage a corner grocery store for the last 40 years, to say nothing of an industrial nation; in spite of the fact that Nader has never held an elected office of any kind; aside and in spite of all of these facts, Nader pulled in 27,000 votes in Florida alone. Without Nader in the race, and assuming that 90% of those votes stay home and pout, that still means that Florida unambiguously goes to Gore. All because Nader is and remains and infantile, self-involved, self-important egotist who appeals to those self-same qualities amongst the left.

    Those qualities on the left have not gone away. Even with lists like these:
    one sees “Obama is just like Bush” drivel popping up all over the place. Without approving, I can at least understand why the Obama administration does not always worshipfully adore the further left regions of the American political spectrum.

  29. Hi everyone. I left a comment on the TP thread about Christine’s education lie after I had sampled a new beer I recieved today. The beer is called Slaapmutske and it is from Belgium.

    The comment I left was written after I had consumed two bottles of the dry-hopped lager and after posting I realized I had left out half of my snarky comments and had meant to post it here!

    Oh well, back to the beer. I received 12 beers today, via UPS, a gift from an out of state friend.
    I took a nap and just finished my 3rd and will drink the 4th watching TDS starting now.

  30. Slaapmutske…

    What do you suppose that means in Flemish or Dutch or whatever, pachydiplex?

    Being phonetically bent, I’ll hazard a guess…
    Slap me silly?

  31. Last Word was on again tonight. The flashing graphic is gone, thank you FSM! It is still immature. I made it through, but my snoring may have annoyed Larry. It had that effect on my spouse!

  32. Gary’s discussion on the Nader run for prez makes me wonder how much idealogical purity is fueled by ego. Do we want to further the cause of humanity, or secure a win that vindicates our own beliefs?

  33. Good question, Raven. Google translate returns with Slaapmutske for both Flemish and Dutch.

    The back label only says “With a name like Slaapmutske it has to be good”.

    If I drink another one tonight I might be tempted to go to Walmart and buy some birthday balloons before Beck starts selling helium filled balloons as an investment.

    Oh, what the hell I’ll chance it!

  34. Well Gary, just don’t go to Walmart and you’ve no need to speculate. Beyond that, you need to face the mirror, look at yourself honestly, and ask yourself the existential question…do these pink stretch pants make me look fat?

  35. I just opened another beer and had to count how many were left (7) because I lost count.

    Watching Colbert remembering seeing him on a Law and Order playing a forger who created documents for a group of people trying to get sainthood for Jerome.

    Interesting that his character today, based on Billo, is similar in the attempt to pass off phonies as real.

  36. ooo, ooo, ooo few things on this earth, or in the sky are as magnificent as my cousin doing some ‘shopping’ (hunting for a snack)!
    Peregrines are poetry/beauty in motion…a swoop, strike and catch – mmm, mmm dinner of pigeon on the wing~!~

    Thanks for posting that vid, Raven.

    dragonfly – love the gravatar. Are you, per chance, Pachydiplax longipennis?

  37. Happy to have you back, ebb…
    I thought about you immediately when I saw that video.
    Goshawks and their environs are protected areas here on the forest, I see them often.
    We were sent a safety bulletin regarding the requirement of wearing hardhats while working in the field.
    One young person wasn’t while doing a survey of a nesting site; and received a nasty scalp wound from a protective parent who came out of the trees silently and at a low angle.

  38. Thanks, Raven – it’s great to be back and read all about your part of the world. Sounds as if you are very busy these days.
    There’s a lovely field across from the apartment building- on the day I moved in: Cooper’s Hawk snacking on a pigeon! Now that was a “welcome to the neighborhood.

  39. I’m glad you’re getting settled in Ebb, I can empathize with being lost in transition.
    Very busy, yes, I’ve been at my desk computer for two weeks now, writing grants which are all due tomorrow.
    Late afternoon.
    It will all be finished by Friday, the summer crew will be gone, and I get one day off before starting my new job. At the same desk, in the same office….
    I have been adopted by the courtyard cat, Feather, big, fluffy, calico, aloof but needy…..

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