Sunday, October 30, 2005

Officer DeMars

Since I recently bought an ex-Minnesota State Patrol car (see below), I decided to attend a Halloween costume party as a Minnesota Highway Patrol Officer. This is a picture of me, Officer DeMars, at the party. I went to the party with my roommate who was dresses as my convict, a biker gang member. When I get the pictures I'll post them. It was a fun party and everyone loved it when I brought my roommate into the party handcuffed. The costumes were a great success.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

This is my new car. It is a 2002 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. It was a Minnesota Highway Patrol car just a few months ago. Give me a badge and a gun and I'll be ready to protect and to serve!

I plan on decking this thing out with cool features like:
- an armrest!
- cupholders!
- a CD player!

and all kinds of other high tech options. Maybe I'll even buy tires that aren't bald!

While it may seem cool to own a ex-cop car, they get pretty bad gas milage and they have almost no modern features found standard in most other cars. One good thing I can say about the MN State Patrol, is that they order thier cars from Ford with a few more options than standard cop cars. Like mine car has carpet floors and cloth seats unlike standard cop cars that have rubber floors and plastic/vinyl seats (which is easier to clean vomit out of - they just open all the doors and hose her out). MN State Patrol cars also have posi rear ends (for all you car people out there) and traction control and cruise control - all of which are "options" on cop cars.

So I got a pretty nice car - for a cop car. the down side is that the car has over 100,000 miles on it. The up side is that I paid only $4000 for it. In the end - a good deal.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Technology and Relationships

In this post modern age as we desperately grasp for control and rule over our own lives, we find that machines often dictate how, why, or when we do things. For example, I am a student who needs to write papers. While it may be acceptable to turn in a handwritten paper, teachers expect typed papers these days. This forces me to use computers. I could not post on this blog if it were not for computers. We all know that technology and machines pervade our lives. But they do more than merely pervade; they often control our lives as well.

Technology keeps improving, but when will it improve to the point of invisibility? In my opinion, technology is supposed to help us and make our lives better, not worse. I used to watch Star Trek, and I was fascinated by the way the show portrayed computers and technology. If the crew needed the computer, they would simply say “computer” and the computer would then take commands and perform tasks. It also did things in the background like open doors, turns on lights, and keeps the ship from falling apart. While this show is pure fiction, it presents a more person friendly way of computing.

We need more personal human contact. Mail is wonderful; it allows people to communicate over vast distances, but it cannot replace speak to the person directly. Phones are a great invention, especially the wireless ones, but they are meant to augment personal contact, not replace it. E-mail is great, but it reduces the level even more than phones and written letter – we can’t even hear the other persons’ voice or see the character of their hand.
In my recent discussions with classmates, it has been revealed that MOST of the contact these people have is through e-mail and cell phone.
Pros: We can be in many, many more relationships than our ancestors could.
Cons: We are not in full relationships with these people because we lack person contact.
So we have more relationships, but more of them are surface relationships.

Technology needs to augment, not replace. I have lived by the personal rule that I speak to someone in person more than via devices. This usually means that I have less relationships than most of my friends, but in my opinion it is worth it.