The Federal Trade Commission reports that “As of 10:30 a.m. on Monday, July 7, 2003, 19.6 million telephone numbers had been logged into the registry.”
Wow. That’s more than the number of people that voted in the last California gubernatorial living. The total number is expected to reach 60 million.
Unfortunately, registering for the Do Not Call list doesn’t prevent all people from calling you. Politicians and charities are exempted from the ban. Also exempted are companies and organizations that have an “established relationship” with you. So you’ll still get a call from Visa offering insurance to pay off your credit card if you get killed. The only way to prevent these calls is to tell these companies to remove you from their call lists, mailing lists, email lists, third-party lists, etc., etc. Also, this Do Not call list doesn’t go into effect for a few months. In the meantime, you can contact the credit reporting agencies.
Okay, I don’t know too much about Strong Bad and Homestar Runner and all that stuff, but if you’ve ever wondered what Strong Bad would look like as a Japanese anime character, check out this Strong Bad Email.
The MR2 has new front and rear motor mounts. They’re mostly solidified, so I put them in the car to wait out the remaining few days. The front motor mount had been completely destroyed… and it’s no wonder, too. It looked flimsy as all hell. So now the car will sufer from more vibration and noise, but the throttle response is supposed to be much improved. Can’t wait to drive this car Monday evening.
New brake pads arrived today from BrakeWarehouse. Those guys are awesome. They had the best prices for the Axxis Metal Masters I wanted, and they were delivered the day after I placed the order. Now that’s fast. I’ll probably install the pads Sunday afternoon after I re-attach the exhaust. I highly recommend Metal Masters to people for street use. My Impreza had shitty brakes before, but now they’re awesome.
Brake fluid’s on its way, and so are the stainless steel braided brake lines. The brakes on the MR2 are going to kick ass.
After that, suspension.
The FTC has set up a registry to block telemarketing calls. Sign up at DoNotCall.gov. The server might be slammed right now, though. Apparently they’re getting hundreds of registrations every minute. As of 5PM ET, they had 735,000 registrations. You can read more about the Do Not Call Registry at the FTC site.
You can also take steps to stop receiving junk mail at home: Junkbusters provides information and form letters to do this.
Another way to prevent telemarketing calls and junk mail is to send in those opt-out notices that your financial institutions provide. They often allow opt-outs by telephone, too. Credit card offers usually also provide a telephone number to opt-out of credit reporting agency spam lists. One phone call will take you off the lists of Experian, TransUnion, and the rest for two years. They’ll send you a form that you need to return if you want to make this permanent. So annoying, but worth it.
Now if I could only get the ACLU and ActForChange to stop sending me junk mail…
All this took place in a few seconds:
Driving up the 405 in the far left lane, I noticed several cars up the road in my lane with their brake lights on. The next lane over also had some cars putting on the brakes, but there were fewer cars. I moved over one lane to the right, but figured I should move over another lane because of the sympathetic braking going on in this lane. I also figured a car from the far left lane might try to change lanes.
I checked the next lane over and was starting to move over when the SUV that had been in front of me in the far left lane suddenly moved over. I turned my wheel more aggressively and continued to change lanes. The space between our cars was probably no more than ten inches–I wouldn’t want to be parked next to an SUV with only this much space, let alone drive next to one at 70 mph.
Once I got clear, I checked the rear-view mirror and noticed the SUV swerve left back into his original lane. What a dumb fuck. If I hadn’t anticipated his maneuver and started the lane change, I probably would have totalled my car, gotten my face bruised on the airbag, and fucked up traffic for an hour.
Analysis of his stupidity:
1) Did not anticipate traffic ahead of him.
2) Did not anticipate traffic behind him.
3) Did not check traffic.
4) Attempted to enter a faster lane after slowing down from 70 mph to 50 mph.