Moments of Permanence

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Things I have said repeatedly this afternoon include: "It's OVER." Jun. 17th, 2009 @ 02:56 pm
written this morning

With one eyebrow raised to the sky, I followed a link to the infamous whale.to for an apparent argument that the tsunami several years ago was actually caused by a "nuke".

Second paragraph makes reference to "fake hurricane flooding" in New Orleans.

I. What. Seriously.

What's supposed to be fake? The hurricane? I'm pretty sure that happened, and would be prety hard to fake, given how far weather effects for hurricanes and cyclones reach. (Speaking as someone who lives about a thousand miles from cyclone latitudes: trust me on this. We haven't had one even close to the severity of Katrina hit northern Western Australia in my lifetime, but cyclones still affect the weather in Perth significantly when they're hitting Broome.)

The flooding? Because there's an awful lot of evidence that the flooding happened.

Is it some kind of weather control thing? I don't know. I don't think I want to.

returns some hours later

So!

The pre-trial conference for the insurance thing finally happened, and... I pretty much won.

Well, my lawyers won for me, anyway. They negotiated a settlement about fifteen times the initial offer - out of which I have to pay legal fees that amount to about 7.7% of the total. They had given me an initial range of what they thought they could get, which the barrister said he thought might be slightly high... and yet, the final amount was a tick over the upper end of their estimate. And it's definitely an amount I find acceptable.

I should get the money in about ten days - the insurance company pays my lawyers, who deduct their fee and transfer the rest to my bank account. On some level I really like just the fact that at no point do I have to pay my lawyers myself, it's just part and parcel of the Stuff They Handle. Of which there's been quite a lot, and it's been an unbelievable relief to me along the way that all of this process has, since I engaged them, been Not My Problem. I don't have to know how to deal with it or fix it, my lawyers do that. I didn't have to deal with the discussions with the opposing lawyers today - I sat elsewhere, and periodically one of my lawyers would come and talk to me if they needed information from me, or just to update me on progress.

I am fortunate in that I was recommended one of the handful of non-scabby personal injury lawyers who don't charge you anything until the whole thing is finished; they paid for all sorts of medical tests and things, and it all gets sorted out now. (The insurance commission pay for most of that. And about two thirds of my legal fees.)

I talked about it with the barrister, and mentioned my bemusement at the risibly terrible initial offer the insurance people made. He observed that about 50% of people take that offer.

Which of course is why they do it. Ironically, in cases like mine, if they'd offered me, say, five times as much as they did, I might have taken it, and in the end it cost them a lot more than that (not just the settlement, but also all my medical and legal fees), but sadly they probably do come out ahead this way - financially, if not morally.

Oliver and I talked about motor vehicle injury in Australia a bit. It's interesting the way Australian legal precedent goes on this one - even if, say, someone steps out from behind an obstacle directly in front of you, and you couldn't possibly have seen them, and you were travelling at the speed limit, and you brake immediately, but hit them anyway because it was not physically possible to avoid it - legally, you're At Fault. And when it comes up in court judges have noted that, specifically, no blame should be placed on the driver's ability or character, as this was unavoidable, but preference states that...

Because Australian legal precedent is based on the fact that third party insurance, which does, in fact, cover injury to other people, is compulsory.

The driver who hit me has never been identified, and never will be. However, the Insurance Commission is still liable, because I was injured in a motor vehicle accident and was, in fact, legally Not At Fault, and that's what they cover, for everyone.

Seriously, some things about Australia are pretty thoroughly awesome. (Like the AEC. Which we also talked about but I'm all tired and going to chill out for a while now.)

Current Mood: relieved


You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars... May. 28th, 2009 @ 12:51 pm
I'm currently at uni, waiting in the Guild Village courtyard for my ADHD meds prescription to be filled. The joy of using the campus pharmacy is just this, that I can sit outside, connect to the campus wireless, and have internets while I wait. (Including downloading lecture recordings over intranet.)

Ooh, just got blanked by Frenchie.

Anyway, I've sorted out a whole bunch of issues today, so everything's going quite well, actually, and I keep having these little happy moments when I see The Stickers.

Someone - I have no idea who, but I kind of want to hug them - has put stickers all over campus, in odd, hidden corners and in public spots like on the poles of signposts. The stickers are white, with plain black text on it, but the text is always so lovely - little messages of love, of mindfulness (which I why I think it may be a Buddhist behind this), of kindness and compassion and joy.

It's such an understated thing, and yet, all over campus, they keep catching my eye. They make me feel good. And it's a near-subliminal campaign for people to think good thoughts, which I also approve of.

On the way here I was listening to a recent Bugle. They were talking about how apparently the leader of the BNP is going to go to a garden party hosted by the Queen, due to being invited as the guest of someone else.

John Oliver said that he thought that not only should he be allowed to go, the Queen should talk to him, ask him a question, and then when he answered, respond: "I'm sorry, I didn't understand what you said, because I don't speak Arsehole. Can anyone translate?"

Words can not express how very much I would love that to happen.

Another line I liked was Andy Zaltzman's: "They're called the British National Party because that is what would take place if they decided to get out of politics."

On a recent episode of the News Quiz, from Radio 4, one of the panellists talked about how he'd got a leaflet that told him that "people like you" vote for the BNP, which he said, made him feel really very disappointed in himself. Later in the same episode he made a joke about how "this is why the BNP need to get us out of Europe" - and then immediately followed with "- and you can cut that." It's okay, most people who listen to the News Quiz are pretty good at irony, I think.

Andy Zaltzman also said that he wasn't going to vote for the BNP - first, because they're racists, and second, because they're also total *beep*s. John Oliver chimed in to explain for the benefit of listeners that what was under that beep was the worst possible beep there is, and further suggested that it was one area in which the word should be allowed to go unbeeped.

Zaltzman: "They ARE *beep*s. That would stand up in court."

Somehow, I get the impression they don't approve of the BNP. Me, I say: What's wrong with the BNP? And yes, I immediately hear your response: "Everything." But I mean, apart from that.
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