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Old 01-31-07, 05:31 PM   #1
deputyjones
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Cyclist killed by Drunk Driver - Kalamazoo, MI



http://woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6016539

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood TV8
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department has now identified a bicyclist who authorities say was killed by a drunk driver.
It was around 5 a.m. Wednesday when the accident occurred on Sprinkle Road, just north of East Main Street.
Police arrested the driver, a 23-year-old man from Comstock Township, on a charge of operating while intoxicated causing death.
The victim did not have any identification on him and police had asked the public for help.
By Wednesday afternoon, investigators positively identified the man. They say he is a 31-year-old Kalamazoo Township resident. His name is being withheld until his next of kin is notified.
5:00 a.m. and the guy was STILL drunk, sad.
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Old 01-31-07, 05:40 PM   #2
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What is the point of posting this (and other threads like it) on an Advocacy and Safety thread?

What is the relevance to Advocacy or Safety?

(I don't mean to imply there is no point. I know what my answer is: but few if any seem to agree with it, hence why I am asking).
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Old 01-31-07, 05:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by deputyjones
5:00 a.m. and the guy was STILL drunk, sad.
RIP biker. They mentioned no ID, If he wasn't wearing a helmet, no lights and reflectives you might as well drop the charges against the driver and blame the cyclist.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by remsav
RIP biker. They mentioned no ID, If he wasn't wearing a helmet, no lights and reflectives you might as well drop the charges against the driver and blame the cyclist.
Well, in other states maybe, but the MI Supreme Court recently upheld the conviction of a drunk driver for Operating While Intoxicated causing death even though he was was found not at fault for the crash. Their reasoning was that the driver had no right to be on the road in the first place since he was drunk, and if he had not been on the road there would have been no crash and no death.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
What is the point of posting this (and other threads like it) on an Advocacy and Safety thread?

What is the relevance to Advocacy or Safety?

(I don't mean to imply there is no point. I know what my answer is: but few if any seem to agree with it, hence why I am asking).
1. Remind everyone that this sport/method of transportation is dangerous (safety) and often times unnecessarily so (advocacy).

2. Memorialize the dead.

3. Learn from their deaths.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
1. Remind everyone that this sport/method of transportation is dangerous (safety) and often times unnecessarily so (advocacy).

2. Memorialize the dead.

3. Learn from their deaths.
1. Do we really need a reminders that cycling in traffic can be dangerous? Does do such reminder do anthing in terms of helping cycling in traffic be any safer? What does cycling advocacy have to do with drunk drivers making cycling in traffic unnecessarily dangerous? Do diving magazines feature a "diver deaths" section? Do travel agents post lists of all the airline planes that terrorists have hijacked and crashed on their websites? How is this advocacy?

2. Memorialize the dead. Understood.

3. Learn from their deaths. Now you're talking. But what exactly can we learn, and how do we do that when we can never know for sure what happened?
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Old 01-31-07, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
Well, in other states maybe, but the MI Supreme Court recently upheld the conviction of a drunk driver for Operating While Intoxicated causing death even though he was was found not at fault for the crash. Their reasoning was that the driver had no right to be on the road in the first place since he was drunk, and if he had not been on the road there would have been no crash and no death.
Now that's what I call an example of logical reasoning. Good for the MI Supreme Court!
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Old 01-31-07, 06:28 PM   #8
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RIP fellow 'Gander
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Old 01-31-07, 06:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
What is the point of posting this (and other threads like it) on an Advocacy and Safety thread?

What is the relevance to Advocacy or Safety?

(I don't mean to imply there is no point. I know what my answer is: but few if any seem to agree with it, hence why I am asking).
Thing is HH, while these incidents can indeed be disected and used to learn from, as you've been told before, at least have the decency to let the body cool and be buried, not to mention waiting for more actual facts to become available before launching into your VC, anti-BL, the cyclist is always wrong, lectures.

Your past behavior in these threads is akin to someone reading an obituary and showing up at the wake to lecture the folks paying their respects about what the deceased did wrong to cause his/her death. Think of these threads as BF wakes for fellow cyclists and have some respect, that's all anyone is asking. Feel free to take notes and follow up with one of your patented lectures/polls at a later date.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
Thing is HH, while these incidents can indeed be disected and used to learn from, as you've been told before, at least have the decency to let the body cool and be buried, not to mention waiting for more actual facts to become available before launching into your VC, anti-BL, the cyclist is always wrong, lectures.

Your past behavior in these threads is akin to someone reading an obituary and showing up at the wake to lecture the folks paying their respects about what the deceased did wrong to cause his/her death. Think of these threads as BF wakes for fellow cyclists and have some respect, that's all anyone is asking.
Thanks. I think the message is finally starting to sink in. Let's hope.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
Think of these threads as BF wakes for fellow cyclists and have some respect, that's all anyone is asking.
Why "respect" is what HH is all about! Or at least demanding it for himself.
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Old 01-31-07, 06:58 PM   #12
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Good discussion. Sincere thanks for hijacking the thread for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
1. Do we really need a reminders that cycling in traffic can be dangerous? Does do such reminder do anthing in terms of helping cycling in traffic be any safer? What does cycling advocacy have to do with drunk drivers making cycling in traffic unnecessarily dangerous? Do diving magazines feature a "diver deaths" section? Do travel agents post lists of all the airline planes that terrorists have hijacked and crashed on their websites? How is this advocacy?
I think I need reminders. I do a dangerous job, but I have an RSS feed to OfficerDown.com on my home page mostly to remind me that it is dangerous. With anything you do you become complacent (OK, I become complacent. I don't know if you do or not) after a while. In my mind that is actually the cause of about 95% of car accidents. Driving becomes automatic for people (i.e. they get complacent) and they forget how dangerous it is. I definitely think that fighting the complacency of tactical and traffic safety by keeping those recently dead Officers in the forefront of my mind makes me safer.

As far as diving magazines and travel agents go, both of them are sales people and have a reason to NOT publicize people dying doing those things. I am a diver, and I just recently got a copy of a report from the Coast Guard that was FOIA'd about 2 Coast Guard divers that died last year. I am sure that report is not in any magazine, but I was glad for reading it and learning from the Coast Guard's mistakes.

Besides the advocacy of reminding others and fighting complacency, I feel this is also indirect advocacy. I am preaching to the choir hear by posting this, but if it inflames someone enough to step up at their next local city, township, county, DOT or road commission meeting and fight for safer roads and safer drivers on them then that is the point. There has never been a safety innovation in this country that did not come before lots of people lost their lives due to the unsafe condition, and even then someone else had to fight like hell to get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
2. Memorialize the dead. Understood.

3. Learn from their deaths. Now you're talking. But what exactly can we learn, and how do we do that when we can never know for sure what happened?
Like I said above about getting the report on the dive deaths, it might not be easy, but you can get a lot of information if you want to.
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Old 01-31-07, 07:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
Good discussion. Sincere thanks for hijacking the thread for it.


I think I need reminders. I do a dangerous job, but I have an RSS feed to OfficerDown.com on my home page mostly to remind me that it is dangerous. With anything you do you become complacent (OK, I become complacent. I don't know if you do or not) after a while. In my mind that is actually the cause of about 95% of car accidents. Driving becomes automatic for people (i.e. they get complacent) and they forget how dangerous it is. I definitely think that fighting the complacency of tactical and traffic safety by keeping those recently dead Officers in the forefront of my mind makes me safer.

As far as diving magazines and travel agents go, both of them are sales people and have a reason to NOT publicize people dying doing those things. I am a diver, and I just recently got a copy of a report from the Coast Guard that was FOIA'd about 2 Coast Guard divers that died last year. I am sure that report is not in any magazine, but I was glad for reading it and learning from the Coast Guard's mistakes.

Besides the advocacy of reminding others and fighting complacency, I feel this is also indirect advocacy. I am preaching to the choir hear by posting this, but if it inflames someone enough to step up at their next local city, township, county, DOT or road commission meeting and fight for safer roads and safer drivers on them then that is the point. There has never been a safety innovation in this country that did not come before lots of people lost their lives due to the unsafe condition, and even then someone else had to fight like hell to get it.



Like I said above about getting the report on the dive deaths, it might not be easy, but you can get a lot of information if you want to.
Yes, good discussion. Let's focus on your complacency point, if we may, because I think that's novel to this forum.

We have talked a lot about inattentive drivers on this forum. I suppose that is a form of complacency. While I agree we should do what we can to reduce inattentiveness and complacency within ourselves - and I see how sharing these types of threads might be helpful in that, more on that below - but with respect to inattentiveness and complacency in others (motorists in particular) I'm fairly convinced that we're better off if we embrace/accept it, rather than hand-wring about it. I have come to this conclusion because everything I've read about inattentional blindness indicates the experts have no idea how to address it. Consciousness and attention are complicated cognitive processes about which we have a lot to learn. At any given point, sure, you can tell someone, or yourself, "PAY ATTENTION", and that's an effective short term fix, but, in general, how to increase one's general attentiveness, if you will, is simply not known (short of the basics, be rested, eat healthy, exercise, etc.).

That's why what I like to focus on is the technique of identifying the few if any motorists out there at any given time upon whose attention your safety depends, or is about to depend. What many seem to do is make the mistake to believe and/or feel that everyone out there driving needs to be paying attention to everyone and everything all the time in order for everyone to be safe. First of all, that's just impossible, because humans can pay attention to only one thing at a time. Even if they are paying attention to something that is legitimate to be paying attention to while driving, that means they are not paying attention to anything else, including something else that may be just as or even more important to pay attention to. Not to mention that everyone is susceptible to paying attention to something "illegitimate" at any time, whether it's thinking about the fight they just had with the kid, or dreaming about the vacation they're looking foward to, or whatever. Second of all, it's false. The fact is, you can get away with driving for thousands and thousands of miles for dozens of years, a full lifetime, while being distracted much of the time. So, realistically, the key to safety in traffic (whether driving a car or cycling) is recognizing when you need to pay attention, and when you need others to be paying attention to you, and knowing to verify that they are paying attention to you before depending on them to be doing so. That's why I like to identify when motorists need to be paying attention to me, and making sure that they are, before I put myself in a situation where my safety depends on them to be paying attention to me. The bonus is that it's a full-time activity, and helps keep me alert - helps me from getting complacent. What many others seem to do is worry about anyone and everyone who is not paying attention to something, regardless of whether that is relevant to their safety. It's overwhelming, and distracting in and of itself. So another key is to focus on what matters, and filter out that which doesn't (including the inevitably countless inattentive drivers who are irrelevant to your safety).

Given that attitude, that understanding and that approach, I, for one, feel that I don't need to be reminded about the drunk drivers out there. Most of them are noise since their driving is irrelevant to my safety, and that thinking about is a distraction from my need to focus on what does matter to my safety.

So, let's focus on what matters. Yes, we know drunk drivers are out there. But let's recognize that the vast majority of them are irrelevant to us and our safety, because the vast majority of drivers out there are irrelevant to us and our safety. So let's not blow this out of proportion, or make cycling seem more dangerous than it is (I'm convinced that most people, including most cyclists, already think cycling is more dangerous than it really is - let's not add fuel to that fire). Complacency is bad, yes, but inappropriate concern is equally counter-effective because it's distracting. Let's focus on what matters: the few motorists on whose attention our safety depends, during those rare moments when we need that attention. Everything else is irrelevant noise that we would be best served to tune out.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 01-31-07 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 01-31-07, 08:27 PM   #14
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Unfortunately, Chip's comments were posted while I was typing so I did not have the benefit of his experience before engaging in this debate. damn.

The way I see it your arguement is two fold:

#1. We are being counter-productive by thinking cycling is more dangerous than it is because maybe we are somehow hyper-aware when we need not be making it harder to focus on the real dangers.

#2. We need to make the drivers that matter focus on us when we need them too.

I can see some wisdom in the first. You can't focus on everything at once and you need to learn what is important to focus on. Experience is the key there. You are FAR more likely to be in an accident as an inexperienced driver/cyclist than a more experienced one for that reason.

As far as the second part goes you provide no proposed resolution to this point, and to be honest I don't see one. How do I as a cyclist make someone (which one I will not know until after I've been smoked by their Hummer) be aware of me beyond my blinkies and reflective gear? Getting back to my point which is if WE are more aware WE will be more likely to protect ourselves from that person, and here is an example of that: Mile for mile drivers of ambulances, be them Paramedics or EMT's or whatever, are far less likely to get into an accident than just about anyone on the road. The reason you ask? Well that is because even though they are flying down the road with their lights and sirens on their partner is in the back, typically unbelted, performing advanced medical procedures. If they even have to slam on their brakes to avoid an accident their partner could be killed. When I worked on an ambulance as a Paramedic I was aware of this and became hyper-aware to my surroundings in this scenario. It protected me and my partner. Extreme example, but it illustrates my point.

Secondly, if we advocate to build better traffic systems, we can make the first point moot.
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Old 01-31-07, 09:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Learn from their deaths. Now you're talking. But what exactly can we learn, and how do we do that when we can never know for sure what happened?
What can a cyclist do, about someone else who goes out, drinks a forty pounder solo, and then gets behind the wheel of a car, and mows them down. There seem to be many of these cases these days, and it doesn't matter where the cyclist rides, unless they are on a path seperated by a two foot thick wall, six feet high.

Now, I think that intoxicated driving penalties are far too weak, personally I think a long term driving ban, followed by your licence being cancelled, is the only proper penalty. What I mean by your licence being cancelled, is that the state considers it the same as you never had a licence. At the same time, the penalty for driving without a valid licence needs to be much stiffer as well, a $10,000 fine, and the car your driving being ceased, and sold by the state should be sufficient.

At the same time, if you cause an accident, while intoxicated, you should be charged with first degree murder. In other words, make the penalties hefty enough that people don't want to risk it.
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Old 01-31-07, 09:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones


http://woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6016539



5:00 a.m. and the guy was STILL drunk, sad.
Thank you for sharing, deputyjones. It's always a difficult thing for a region of cyclists to learn about a death, especially when a drunk driver is involved. I'm sure you know that readers from other parts of the country are thinking about you and yours.
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Old 01-31-07, 09:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
Thing is HH, while these incidents can indeed be disected and used to learn from, as you've been told before, at least have the decency to let the body cool and be buried, not to mention waiting for more actual facts to become available before launching into your VC, anti-BL, the cyclist is always wrong, lectures.

Your past behavior in these threads is akin to someone reading an obituary and showing up at the wake to lecture the folks paying their respects about what the deceased did wrong to cause his/her death.
But you just don't get it, chip. HH is a visionary. We mere mortals cannot begin to understand his vision.

(By the way, where exactly do you draw the line between visionary and delusional?)
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Old 01-31-07, 09:22 PM   #18
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I for one may not read every post about cyclists being killed, but I do see the headlines and it does serve as a good reminder to be careful out there. It also reminds me of the work that needs to be done to make things safer out there and makes me want to be more involved.
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Old 01-31-07, 09:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
5:00 a.m. and the guy was STILL drunk, sad.
1st-My heart goes out to his family and friends.

2nd-we get ALOT of drunks around here where I work; it makes no difference if it is 5am, 3pm, 11am. Time of day makes a difference, but not as much as you would think.
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Old 01-31-07, 10:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputyjones
The way I see it your arguement is two fold:

#1. We are being counter-productive by thinking cycling is more dangerous than it is because maybe we are somehow hyper-aware when we need not be making it harder to focus on the real dangers.
Exactly, except I wouldn't say "hyper-aware". I would say, "Paying attention to irrelevant stuff like inattentive or drunk drivers who are not relevant to our safety diverts our attention from focusing on drivers (and other potential hazards) that are relevant to our safety, and so is counter-productive".

Quote:
#2. We need to make the drivers that matter focus on us when we need them too.
...
As far as the second part goes you provide no proposed resolution to this point, and to be honest I don't see one.
Not quite. We need to verify that drivers are paying attention and are aware of us before we put ourselves in a situation where our safety depends on their paying attention

As to how to do that, it really depends on the situation. I've written a lot about it in other threads, but it starts with selecting cognitively conspicuous lane positions:
  1. By default, riding where drivers are most likely to be paying attention, in space normally used for vehicular travel (between the left and right tracks).
  2. Avoiding as much as possible riding in space where drivers are likely to not be paying attention, like closer to the edge of the road, including in shoulders and bike lanes, except when really necessary to ride there, specifically only when faster same direction traffic is present (or about to be present), and moving temporarily aside into the less conspicuous space is required to allow them to safely pass.
  3. Moving back into the default more conspicuous space (see A) as soon as it is safe and reasonable to do so.

It also includes being vigilant and observant for signs of drivers noticing you, as often as possible long before their noticing you becomes critical to your safety. That is, by the time you need to depend on them to see you, you've (relatively) long ago already verified that they are aware of your presence (that they haven't overlooked you). As with many new concepts, it may sound complicated and nearly impossible to implement at first, but as you make it habitual, it becomes easier, almost automatic and nearly effortless. It becomes just what you do innately when you're "out in traffic". To some extent, all cyclists already do it. What I'm talking about is being more deliberate and systematic about it, habitually. The goal is for it to be systematically habitual so that you don't have to remember to do it - so that you do it automatically subconsciously.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 01-31-07 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 01-31-07, 10:42 PM   #21
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I think your problem here is the mixing of arguements and the terms advocacy and complacency.

When I say I want to avoid complacency I am saying so because I want continue to do the same things you are talking about here. Your A, B and C are not magic secrets that you are just now clueing the cycling world into. Those particular traffic strategies are exactly what I have been talking about here without actually listing them out like it is some new concept. I just want to avoid falling into a bad habit because it is easier like making sure I make eye contact with that driver across from me before going through that 4 way stop.

In terms of advocacy, I am referring to what you do when you get off the bike. When I talk about drunk drivers I don't think that anyone is terribly concerned about them when on their bikes. Sure, if I see some guy swerving down the road I will try to avoid him, but otherwise I am assuming most people on the road are sober which, statistically, would be correct. That does not mean, however, that we should not be concerned about drunk drivers. We should be working with our lawmakers, judges, cops, traffic engineers to make our roads as safe and accessible as possible, but I am not so concerned with those issues when on my bike that I forget to unclip my pedals when I stop.
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Old 01-31-07, 10:58 PM   #22
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my heartfelt condolences to the riders' family and friends. RIP, rider.

there ARE a lot of drunks driving in Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. I grew up there, and know the culture is quite boozy.

Helemt head, your continuing spiel is pathetic and disgusting.

Half of your sophmoric, pedantic arguments surround catching drivers attention by using lane position to be as conspicious as possible, then you say there's nothing to be done about distracted, impared drivers. Which is it? I doubt you know yourself.

Pathetic. mr head, simply stomach turning. you should be ashamed of yourself.

Last edited by Bekologist; 02-01-07 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 01-31-07, 11:06 PM   #23
CrosseyedCrickt
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you guys are aware that HH just hangs out here in A&S looking for threads like this so that he can begin his work. I honestly don't think he has posted in any other forums. Looking thru his post history, just the last few hundred posts, I don't see any other forum than this one, and all of his banter is on the same subject.
I believe we have found a new spieces of troll, and since I am claiming discovery of it I get to name it!!
nananananaaaaa!!!
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Old 01-31-07, 11:16 PM   #24
deputyjones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
you guys are aware that HH just hangs out here in A&S looking for threads like this so that he can begin his work. I honestly don't think he has posted in any other forums. Looking thru his post history, just the last few hundred posts, I don't see any other forum than this one, and all of his banter is on the same subject.
I believe we have found a new spieces of troll, and since I am claiming discovery of it I get to name it!!
nananananaaaaa!!!
No, but I am catching on slowly . So what did you decide on for a name?

BTW, congrats to you Crickt for commuting on the east-side. It can't be easy in the motor city.
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Old 01-31-07, 11:23 PM   #25
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old news, you guys. mr. head is a real drain on this forum.

my condolences to the riders family and friends. RIP, dark rider.
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