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How's everyone doing this year?

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smashing up my left leg pretty good
-Shades (December 22, 2018, 04:05 PM)
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Sorry to hear about your leg! Hope you recover ASAP.
-cranioscopical (December 22, 2018, 07:22 PM)
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Same here! And also hope that she pays up quickly!

@Shades: Yes. Hope you have a speedy recovery. Sounds like you're lucky to be alive and with your legs still intact. It could have been a lot worse. From what you write, I suspect that you may be unaware of how very important your life is - or may become - and the implications of the risks you perhaps unwittingly face but with little concern.
Maybe it's a timely lesson.
This sort of accident could probably have happened to anyone under similar circumstances.

I say this because, statistically, motorbikes have always featured as a fairly common life-threatening risk in my experience. One of my brother's friends was brain-damaged in a motorbike accident. A couple of my school friends had (separate) motorbike accidents - one was killed and the other lost a leg. A one-time boss and good friend of mine - and who was a very experienced motor-cyclist - lost his life when he skidded and crashed solo on a motorway one night for some (unknown) reason - presumed a drinking-and-driving risk (he had been driving back home to his family after drinking some alcohol at a meeting).
By comparison, I and lots of people I know (friends and family) have had some pretty serious car accidents over the years, but I don't personally know of anyone who had been similarly injured/maimed/killed in those car accidents. Cars are statistically "safer" in that regard.

As a student of statistics, my studies showed me that there are clear lessons in the road accident statistics which are not perceived by many people, but which actuaries are only all too well-aware of (hence the car insurance premiums). For example, I took an intensive course of advanced driver training in the UK, when I was about 21, culminating in a relatively arduous 1½ hour on-road driving skills exam (the examiner being a police driver with a police  Class 1 driving certification), to gain certification by the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists). I passed the test, thanks to good training, based on the IAM handbook and the police driver's instruction manual "Roadcraft".

I did this deliberately to gain a 10% discount in my insurance premiums, which were high because I had had a driving accident at age 18 or so, and which had loaded my insurance premiums - which I could ill-afford. They would otherwise have remained heavily-loaded until I reached the age of 25, because, statistically, male drivers' risks of accident reduce significantly, after they achieve the age of 25. The discount which - continued against the reduced premiums after age 25 - was due to the reduced lifetime statistical risks of of drivers who had passed the IAM driving skills exam.

It was all about statistical risk. I recall reading the history that the IAM was set up to improve public road safety as an offshoot of the hugely successful London Metropolitan Police experiment in driver education/training in (I think) the 1960s. The Met had wanted to (actually had to) reduce their horrendously high cost burden of driver insurance, due to the rapidly increasing risks, costs and frequency of accidents in an expanding fleet of police-driven motor vehicles. So they instituted a police driver-training program, where no police cars were to be driven by any officer who had not got (I think) Class 3 certification, at least, and no pursuit was to be undertaken except by drivers of Class 2 certification and above, and motorway patrol vehicles could only be driven by Class 1 certificate holders.

Before I took my exam, my instructor had told me that he thought I should be able to pass OK, and stressed the need for my taking the responsibility for speed (I enjoyed fast driving). (To my shame, I didn't fully comprehend what he probably meant by that, until a few years later.) He also prepared me really well for the running commentary section of the IAM test, where I would be required to give a running commentary (of my observations, anticipations, actions, car control and manoeuvres) for 10 to 15 minutes, and he said that I might "get a surprise" at that point.

The test consisted of proceeding from base and driving for a period in a built-up area of city/congested roads, moving out to suburban roads, then urban/country roads and then motorways (in that order) and then returning back to base.
About 15 minutes into the test, the examiner said he wanted me to give a running commentary and said he would give me an example of what he was looking for. He then proceeded to give a running commentary whilst I was driving. His commentary was spot-on, he didn't miss a single thing - everything that I was able to see and that I did notice or could anticipate and would have mentioned, he also saw, noticed, anticipated and mentioned - so at least I might have been forgiven for feeling a tad relieved about that (i.e., that I wasn't missing anything) - but what was disconcerting was that his narration was coming into my ears just as I was myself becoming conscious/aware of those things and before I could have articulated them myself. So, as a Class 1 certificate holder, his observation and anticipation placed him crucially way ahead of mine, in a way that could have made a live-saving difference in a split-second driving emergency. When I gave my commentary I felt that my inferior and sluggish perception was as nothing next to his awesome standards. (My instructor later said that that was the humbling "surprise" he mentioned I would get.)

The police examiner would fail you for any single factor, including, for example:

* if you drove "too carefully"/slowly at any stage;
* if you did not consistently make efficient, smooth and safe progress at all times, within prevailing road conditions;
* if you drove too quickly for the prevailing road/weather/traffic conditions at any stage;
* if your running commentary (evidence of observation and anticipation) was inadequate/deficient;
* if you seemed unaware of the potential risks and avoidance/escape avenues as you were driving.
* if you broke any prevailing speed restrictions/limits.
* if you made any single driving mistake.
So, am I a good/less risky driver as a result of having trained for and passed the IAM test? Nope, not necessarily, but what I decidedly have become is someone who is capable of being a good/less risky driver, if I consistently strive to maintain the standards and apply my training, and the experience has made me acutely aware of my failings and others', on the roads, and for which I now take responsibility. I also am also acutely aware that most - if not all - accidents are relatively predictable and avoidable, and that, in the case of road accidents, as a driver, one takes a decisive role in either causing the accident or not adequately anticipating/avoiding it.
The implication of course being that those accidents that do take place need not have done so.

These experiences changed my perceptions of real-life risks and what I could/couldn't do about them. For similar reasons, I never got a motorbike (though I had often thought about it - still do, in fact) and I also gave away my hang-glider (which I had built myself) after settling down and starting a family - because, at some point, the realisation had dawned on me that our lives can sometimes be (or become) more important to others than they might seem to be - or we may actually feel them be - to ourselves.

I suppose that might seem to some to rather beg the question as to whether we "own" our own lives.
I could be wrong of course, but following on from that, and speaking as a lapsed accountant, and though it is not necessarily taught as such in schools, the general rule seems to be that who we are, and whether we have "a useful life" is largely defined by our own actions, where "useful" is generally a life which is lived by default somehow directly resulting effectively in the improvement of the human lot (e.g., resulting in service/care/improvement of the quality of life for others), rather than as being solely/merely directed towards (say) the selfish pursuit of a thing - e.g., hedonism, or power, or wealth (for their own sakes), or focused on becoming an economically viable and maximally productive unit of production.

Coincidentally, I was discussing this with my 8 y/o son the other day, on the subject of the duty of parents - as guardians - in the context of caring for their children and to protect them from harm.
He has a classmate who is what I think they call a "special needs" child and with whom he often plays, but who recently inexplicably showed some alarmingly serious intent of wished and actual deliberate harm towards my son, though my somewhat trusting son did not perceive the very real and potential threat of the other boy's actions. However the school eventually saw the red flags, profusely apologised for missing the problem, and have permanently separated the two.

My son understood that this was to protect him as much as it was to protect the other children, and the boy in question from himself. The thing is that I was the one who belatedly raised the red flags, after accidentally hearing my son innocently describing the boy's behaviours, and if I hadn't of done that, then my son would almost certainly have been at risk of having his eye seriously gouged out by the other boy (who had actually started to try to do just that).
If I had (say) been involved in and contributed to causing, or to not avoiding a predictable/avoidable accident, whilst I was riding a motorbike, I might have been killed or too brain damaged to have been there or able to protect my son from suffering a horrendous and predictable injury at school.

So, take care of you, for someone else's sake. Start by seriously thinking about dumping the motorbike (I mean, how many lessons does one need?), or, if you are unwilling/unable to do that, then at least taking some advanced driver training (if such is available).
Here's wishing you health and a great Christmas, and a prosperous New Year. 

I wish all of you a merry Christmas and a happy new year. I hope you all are safe, healthy, and able to spend time with loved ones during this special time of year.

Not typically a normal poster, but thought I'd chime in and say the rumors of my disappearance are well founded. I simply did not post here  ;D

I am having somewhat of a hard holiday due to my health issues, but nothing I can't tough out. Have had a lot of bad luck investing in open source, such as arduino and a cards against humanity clone server. The first has ended up seeing a somewhat limited lifespan, as now RPi will remain dominant and Adafruit migrating to micro python, and the cards against humanity server, well, the Canadian government shutdown the main server and I discovered bad people on mine so I shut it down as well. Was an expensive investment, keeping up a server no one would play on for months at a time. Digitalocean was a great host though!

Would love to have a meaningful discussion on here again sometime!

Stoic Joker:
Last Friday I got to hear that the PY Traffic regulation body deemed her to be at fault and she is now personally responsible for all the costs made by me and herself.-Shades (December 22, 2018, 04:05 PM)
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I really am quite tired of hearing about fellow riders getting run over because - yet again - some idiot cager isn't paying attention. Scare up a good lawyer and burn her to the ground.


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