Social Credit Scoring

 

On Thursday I kept running into stuff like that shown in the photo. The fourth day’s ride had taken me through flat and level corn and soybean country, from Kokomo almost to Lebanon, Indiana, where Mrs R had reserved a motel room. (A KML file of this year’s routes is here, and might display in Google maps if you click on it.) But I was having trouble getting across Sugar Creek. 

 

I first tried a county road northwest of Lebanon, but when I neared the bridge (judging by the low ground and trees ahead) there was a sign saying the road was closed. Road or bridge construction doesn’t necessarily stop me, as I can often get through with a bicycle where a car can’t. But I was thinking of the huge amount of rain that southwest Michigan had received this year, and although I couldn’t see ahead to the problem area I didn’t think I would be up to jumping a gap where a washed-out bridge used to be. And there was a puzzling sign that said, “This is not a detour.” What did that mean? And speaking of detours, why had there been no warning a couple miles back to warn me the road was closed ahead? And why wasn’t any detour indicated?

A road that turned off to the west looked like it had been prepped as a detour for cars, even though there was no sign saying so. It had a fresh layer of coarse, loose gravel thrown on it. I had already ridden several miles of gravel that day, but there would be no riding on this stuff. While I was puzzling over the situation a car came down that road, bringing road dust with it. The window rolled down and the couple inside asked, “How do we get across?” I pleaded ignorance, saying that’s what I was trying to figure out. They told me it was “like this” the way they had come from. 

We were no help to each other, so I backtracked and headed west to state road 39. There wasn’t much of a paved shoulder on it, so I tried going further west, but then realized highway 39 would probably be preferable, so made my way back to it on more gravel. And then, as I neared the bridge, there were signs saying the road was closed. No wonder there had been no traffic on that road. There had been no warning signs until I got within 1000 feet of the closing, and no detour route was suggested. That wasn’t very sporting on the part of the local highway departments, but maybe they figured locals knew what to do and outsiders didn’t need to know. 

But here there was a paved road that went west, and it looked like there was another stream crossing that paralleled the interstate. But as I got close, there were the signs seen in the photo. I didn’t look at them closely (the photo was taken the next day) but a glance told me it was more of the same so I just pedaled on, figuring I’d call Mrs R to pick me up. I could use my computer in the motel room to figure out how to continue the ride the next day.

As I crossed the interstate, I was thinking of finding a good place where Google would be able to direct Mrs R to my location, but got interrupted by a dog that came out and bit me on my right calf. At first the dog had seemed to be restrained by an underground wire in the residential yard it had come from, so I didn’t hit the pedals to outrun it, and then there wasn’t any more time to react.

I had been through a dog bite situation a couple of years ago, so I knew the routine. I called 911. At first the dispatcher said the animal control officer wasn’t available but someone would come out. He also asked if I needed medical help. When he asked if I was bleeding, I took a look. Why, yes, I did have blood running down my leg. So although at first it seemed as though he would find somebody who wasn’t busy who could come, he was soon telling me that an ambulance and a bunch of other people would be sent, too. In the end, it was a whole armada of vehicles, and toward the end an animal control officer came out, too.

While waiting, and during all of the attention when a deputy sheriff arrived, followed by others, I had a chance to talk to the owners of the dog. (Yes, they had paperwork showing the dog had its shots, which I said might save them and me both a lot of trouble.) There were a lot of other things to talk about regarding the dog, and there were also questions to answer and paperwork to fill out on the part of the sheriff’s deputy and the EMS team. But I also got to ask about how to cross the river. What was the deal with all these closed roads? The master of the house explained that the state road was closed for bridge repairs or a new bridge, he wasn’t quite sure which, and that the other roads weren’t really closed. Those bridges just couldn’t handle all the traffic that would ordinarily be diverted to them, so those signs and barricades had been there to discourage traffic. But I could get through, including on the road I had just passed a mile west of his place. 

Mrs R took me to the local ER, and while there the subject of a tetanus shot came up. I said I had just been through that when I had a dog bite 2 or 3 years ago, but wasn’t sure. I don’t like the consolidation and centralization of medical care that we’ve had in recent years, but I have to say the local system does a good job with its consolidated online portal. So while at the ER I tried to look up my records. Hmmm. They said nothing about a tetanus shot. So maybe 2 or 3 years ago we had decided I had had one recently enough that I didn’t need one then, but my memory of what I had remembered at that time was no longer very distinct. 

Friday morning, before heading out on a ride (which I decided to make an even shorter one than originally planned) I called my doctor’s office about coming in Monday (today) to get a tetanus shot. And today I learned that I didn’t need a shot; I had had one two years ago, at the time of my last dog altercation. The nurse showed me the record in a Michigan database of immunizations. My recent pneumonia vaccination was in both the state database and the local health system’s database, but the tetanus shot was only in the state database. And that database would have been available to Michigan health care providers, but would not have been available to an ER in Indiana.

I was surprised to learn that there was such a thing as a state immunization database. (Eat your hearts out, Google and Facebook!) I’ve been thinking about it today, and have been kicking myself for not checking on my social credit score while I was at it. I presume it is based on more than just my vaccination record, though what else they would use, I don’t know. However they finally decide to compute these things, I hope I end up with a higher score than the dog that bit me. 

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    The Reticulator: I hope I end up with a higher score than the dog that bit me.

    “Hangs out on Fascist Website.”

    Nope. No hope.

    • #1
  2. Jim Beck Inactive
    Jim Beck
    @JimBeck

    Morning Reticulator,

    If you ever go for a more casual ride, like on the Monon in Indy, let me know, I could meet you and the Mrs.  We live 4 house away from the trail.  Also did you research the dog’s canine credit score, and do dogs score points for every ER visit they produce, maybe even a commission?

    • #2
  3. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    Last Saturday, I tried to follow Hwy 39 from west of Kokomo south to Martinsville, mainly because I-65 going south is closed south of Lebanon.  I ran into two road closures on 39 about 15 miles apart.  Moral of the story is, when you close an Interstate you should also close all highways that might be used to get around the closure.

    • #3
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    Last Saturday, I tried to follow Hwy 39 from west of Kokomo south to Martinsville, mainly because I-65 going south is closed south of Lebanon. I ran into two road closures on 39 about 15 miles apart. Moral of the story is, when you close an Interstate you should also close all highways that might be used to get around the closure.

    Yeah, they slipped up this time, but give them another chance and maybe they’ll block off all possible detours. Baby steps.   

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jim Beck (View Comment):

    Morning Reticulator,

    If you ever go for a more casual ride, like on the Monon in Indy, let me know, I could meet you and the Mrs. We live 4 house away from the trail. Also did you research the dog’s canine credit score, and do dogs score points for every ER visit they produce, maybe even a commission?

    I didn’t know about that trail in Indianapolis.  I’ve never ridden right in the big city, but in 2006 we spent a couple of days there doing research at the state library while waiting for the rains to pass.   

    The owner of the dog said it had never bitten anyone before, and I tend to believe it as it was a fairly young dog (a german shepherd/bit bull mix, he said, which was plausible from the looks of it).  In a lot of jurisdictions a dog gets one free bite, so maybe that one doesn’t count toward its social credit score.  

    • #5
  6. Jim Beck Inactive
    Jim Beck
    @JimBeck

    Afternooon Recticulator,

    The Monon goes from, St Rd 32 at Quaker Park to 13th St access to the Cultural trail downtown.  It is about 20+ miles on a rails to trails path that once was, back when I was a kid, I’m 71, the train track to Chicago.  It is the typical bike/walk/skate trail, asphalt, with a few rest areas, but going through Carmel and Broadripple which are popular dining areas.  For a route that goes from rural to suburb, to urban, it is a good example.  Riding on the Cultural Trail downtown is a different type of ride, more like a city scenic ride, from eateries and shops to parks, State Museum, a Western Museum call the Eiteljorg Museum, also a great minor league baseball stadium. 

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Getting yourself bitten by a dog seems like a lot of trouble to go through, just to get directions . . .

    Glad you got through it!

    • #7
  8. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Sounds like a great ride, and I bet it’s nice to have quality support staff.

    Your dog story got my attention; I was mauled twice as a kid. I’m usually friendly with dogs, but I give no second chances if they’re aggressive when I’m on foot or a bike. If I kept scalps, I’d have a belt full. My favorite dog taming stick is a short telescoping baton. You bring it straight down on the top of the head towards the back and quiet ensues. It’s small, light, unobtrusive, and effective. Beats a gun or pepper spray, at least for one dog at a time. I’ve had to use knives, but both times I got teeth in my forearm before I got the job done. My Spyderco is a razor, but small.

    That picture looks hot and muggy, but maybe I’m just projecting. East coast summer has been awful this year. I wonder how much the weather contributes to the dysfunction of the Feral gov’t.

    I also wonder what this comment will do to my social credit score.

    • #8
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Sounds like a great ride, and I bet it’s nice to have quality support staff.

    Your dog story got my attention; I was mauled twice as a kid. I’m usually friendly with dogs, but I give no second chances if they’re aggressive when I’m on foot or a bike. If I kept scalps, I’d have a belt full. My favorite dog taming stick is a short telescoping baton. You bring it straight down on the top of the head towards the back and quiet ensues. It’s small, light, unobtrusive, and effective. Beats a gun or pepper spray, at least for one dog at a time. I’ve had to use knives, but both times I got teeth in my forearm before I got the job done. My Spyderco is a razor, but small.

    That picture looks hot and muggy, but maybe I’m just projecting. East coast summer has been awful this year. I wonder how much the weather contributes to the dysfunction of the Feral gov’t.

    I also wonder what this comment will do to my social credit score.

    Do you have any experience using a baton on a bike?  Long ago I often carried an aluminum photo monopod with me, and with the head mounted on the business end it would make a pretty vicious weapon in its collapsed state, but I hardly ever had it handy when I might need it. And it’s tricky to swing a stick while riding, anyway.  But spraying with pepper spray is tricky, too, as sometimes the wind is not in your favor.  Years ago on a winter walk I got out my pocket knife to use against a dog, but it got a bite of my long coat and then backed off.   

     

    • #9
  10. Pony Convertible Inactive
    Pony Convertible
    @PonyConvertible

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    Sounds like a great ride, and I bet it’s nice to have quality support staff.

    Your dog story got my attention; I was mauled twice as a kid. I’m usually friendly with dogs, but I give no second chances if they’re aggressive when I’m on foot or a bike. If I kept scalps, I’d have a belt full. My favorite dog taming stick is a short telescoping baton. You bring it straight down on the top of the head towards the back and quiet ensues. It’s small, light, unobtrusive, and effective. Beats a gun or pepper spray, at least for one dog at a time. I’ve had to use knives, but both times I got teeth in my forearm before I got the job done. My Spyderco is a razor, but small.

    That picture looks hot and muggy, but maybe I’m just projecting. East coast summer has been awful this year. I wonder how much the weather contributes to the dysfunction of the Feral gov’t.

    I also wonder what this comment will do to my social credit score.

    Do you have any experience using a baton on a bike? Long ago I often carried an aluminum photo monopod with me, and with the head mounted on the business end it would make a pretty vicious weapon in its collapsed state, but I hardly ever had it handy when I might need it. And it’s tricky to swing a stick while riding, anyway. But spraying with pepper spray is tricky, too, as sometimes the wind is not in your favor. Years ago on a winter walk I got out my pocket knife to use against a dog, but it got a bite of my long coat and then backed off.

     

    My wife had a scary encounter with a couple of dogs.  She decided to get smart and started carrying a 9mm.  I promise you, the dogs are not getting close enough to take a bite out of her coat.

    • #10
  11. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    Reticulator, I’d love more details about your road trips. Items along the line of what you do regarding hydration and food. For instance, do you depend on energy drinks and energy bars?

    I am also curious if somewhere along the way, you aren’t told about Elvis or Big Foot sightings. Or much less occasionally, a recent sighting of our buddy Black Hawk.

    • #11
  12. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Barfly (View Comment):
    I also wonder what this comment will do to my social credit score.

    Don’t ask.

    • #12
  13. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    I couldn’t have imagined when I was a child riding the Monon from Chicago to visit grandparents in Indiana that it would one day be a trail, but then people today would find it utterly shocking that our father would put me and my two siblings—at the youngest we were 4, 6, and 8–0n the train by ourselves and that no one thought anything of it.  

    I do think your explanation of  the natives’ plan to protect their alternate routes with road-closed signs is exactly right.  Hard sometimes to be a foreigner.

    • #13
  14. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):
    I also wonder what this comment will do to my social credit score.

    Don’t ask.

    Oh, c’mon. You mean I get demerits for just asking? I want to be in the class that gets access to the master social credit dashboard.

    • #14
  15. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Do you have any experience using a baton on a bike?

    Yes, but it’s different from standing braced. The best I can do while actually riding is to hold it out for defense. It’s long enough to keep a snarling mutt beyond arm’s length.

    I carry this when I ride or walk back roads. It’s about 6″ collapsed and can be flicked open in the same motion as the strike. I have a belt holster that I almost never use, but I rigged a holder out of milk jug plastic that I can velcro to the bike’s down tube.

    It’s too heavy, really, weighs about a pound. They make a lightweight version, and they say it has similar striking power. I’ve never held one.

    But mi pistola weighs way more. I just don’t like carrying a firearm.

    • #15
  16. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Barfly (View Comment):

    I carry this when I ride or walk back roads. It’s about 6″ collapsed and can be flicked open in the same motion as the strike. I have a belt holster that I almost never use, but I rigged a holder out of milk jug plastic that I can velcro to the bike’s down tube.

    It’s too heavy, really, weighs about a pound. They make a lightweight version, and they say it has similar striking power. I’ve never held one.

    I’m thinking I should get the 21″ version that retracts to just under 8″, with the airweight finish (which is what I presume you mean by the lightweight version).   8″ would be about right for easy access in my handlebar bag, though maybe I’d look for other mounting possibilities.  

    The only place I ever saw something like that was in a Russian film comedy, where one of the gangster types had one. If I hadn’t seen that I might not have known what you were talking about at first.  

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    Reticulator, I’d love more details about your road trips. Items along the line of what you do regarding hydration and food. For instance, do you depend on energy drinks and energy bars?

    I am also curious if somewhere along the way, you aren’t told about Elvis or Big Foot sightings. Or much less occasionally, a recent sighting of our buddy Black Hawk.

    Three water bottles, and sometimes a fourth or more in my rear pannier.  In hot weather I stop at convenience stores to get more water, and also gulp down a Peach Snapple (which I learned about in the early days of Rush Limbaugh) and a V8 (so I don’t cramp up at the end of a day).  I very seldom drink water while riding. My left hand has problems (originating from the days when I didn’t wear gloves while bicycling) that sometimes make it hard for me to squeeze a bottle. So I stop, open the cover, and glug it down.  

    My main food is Subway BLTs, but sometimes I’ll stop at a McD to get two (2) regular hamburgers and a coffee, or if those places are not handy I may stop and get something at a convenience store. I carry Cliff Bars and trail mix in case I’m not riding to any places like that.  On some days I won’t eat anything but a Cliff Bar while I’m out on a ride, but usually by Day 3 of a multi-day ride I find myself wanting more than that during the day.  By Day 3 I’ll also try for an old fashioned ice cream sandwich on a hot day, though those no longer can be had for old-fashioned prices like they could 15-20 years ago.

    The general direction of my trip to Lebanon was inspired by the need to get photos at a Black Hawk site near Goshen, Indiana.  Black Hawk wasn’t actually there at any time, though, except in settlers’ nightmares. Militia companies were activated at Goshen, Lafayette and Crawfordsville during the Black Hawk war (as well as at many other places in Indiana and Michigan). I had originally hoped to get at least as far as Crawfordsville, but I may get there on the next leg of the trip. Present plans are to continue where I left off and go to the Cahokia Mounds outside of East St. Louis.  It’s a site I’ve long wanted to visit.  

     

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Pony Convertible (View Comment):

    Do you have any experience using a baton on a bike? Long ago I often carried an aluminum photo monopod with me, and with the head mounted on the business end it would make a pretty vicious weapon in its collapsed state, but I hardly ever had it handy when I might need it. And it’s tricky to swing a stick while riding, anyway. But spraying with pepper spray is tricky, too, as sometimes the wind is not in your favor. Years ago on a winter walk I got out my pocket knife to use against a dog, but it got a bite of my long coat and then backed off.

     

    My wife had a scary encounter with a couple of dogs. She decided to get smart and started carrying a 9mm. I promise you, the dogs are not getting close enough to take a bite out of her coat.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of dogs back off after they take a bite, whether or not they get a piece of your actual person.  They seem almost embarrassed or ashamed of what they’ve done.  I’ve never had any experience with a dog that goes for more after the first bite, although I’ve heard stories of that happening, especially where a pit bull is involved. 

    My preference would be to make them unwilling to take that first bite. 

    Sometimes when there is sufficient distance when I first notice a dog that might want to come after me, I’ll call out, “Come, puppy, come! Want to go for a run?”  It’s that word “come” that does it. To a badly trained dog, the word “come” means “Don’t come. Stay away.”   It actually works sometimes, stopping a dog in its tracks, but it certainly doesn’t work in all cases.   

    • #18
  19. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    and go to the Cahokia Mounds outside of East St. Louis.

    It is nifty. Not much left to see compared to what it was hundreds of years ago, but you can still walk up the Monk’s Mound and get a great view and they have an interpretive center there. (Maybe more. I think it’s been close to 30 years since I was there.)

    • #19
  20. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):

    I carry this when I ride or walk back roads. It’s about 6″ collapsed and can be flicked open in the same motion as the strike. I have a belt holster that I almost never use, but I rigged a holder out of milk jug plastic that I can velcro to the bike’s down tube.

    It’s too heavy, really, weighs about a pound. They make a lightweight version, and they say it has similar striking power. I’ve never held one.

    I’m thinking I should get the 21″ version that retracts to just under 8″, with the airweight finish (which is what I presume you mean by the lightweight version). 8″ would be about right for easy access in my handlebar bag, though maybe I’d look for other mounting possibilities.

    The only place I ever saw something like that was in a Russian film comedy, where one of the gangster types had one. If I hadn’t seen that I might not have known what you were talking about at first.

    Let me know what you think of it. IIRC the airweight models have a middle tube made of aluminum but the striking end is still steel, so that’d put the momentum at the end. Sounds, at least, like it should be effective.

    Did you ever watch the series Lost? I recall the bad guy carried an Asp when he visited one of the castaways (the southern con man guy) in the polar bear cage. 

    • #20
  21. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Arahant (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    and go to the Cahokia Mounds outside of East St. Louis.

    It is nifty. Not much left to see compared to what it was hundreds of years ago, but you can still walk up the Monk’s Mound and get a great view and they have an interpretive center there. (Maybe more. I think it’s been close to 30 years since I was there.)

    I’m packing up for my return from the Swamp Coast to the Blessed Rockies. I never do that trip quickly – every crossing is an opportunity to soak up more of my country. That said, it’s always problematic to figure out where to recreate when I’m traveling heavy with possessions. If I go the I-70 route then I might visit Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois. 

    Illinois, what a bluehole. Even down south it ain’t Indiana, let alone Ohio. A visit to something ancient would take the sting out of having to cross Illinois. 

     

    • #21
  22. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Barfly (View Comment):
    Illinois, what a bluehole. Even down south it ain’t Indiana, let alone Ohio.

    It hasn’t been too long since it was a lot more Republican and conservative. Especially in Egypt and the rest of Downstate. Illinois gave us Ronald Reagan and Donald Rumsfeld. Now? It gives us license-plate making governors.

    • #22
  23. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Barfly (View Comment):
    Illinois, what a bluehole. Even down south it ain’t Indiana, let alone Ohio.

    It hasn’t been too long since it was a lot more Republican and conservative. Especially in Egypt and the rest of Downstate. Illinois gave us Ronald Reagan and Donald Rumsfeld. Now? It gives us license-plate making governors.

    The suits of the tarot each begin with their archetypal idea, develop it to a point of balance, then decay into one form or another of ruin. I’m afraid that doesn’t imply a new cycle – something has to deal us a new Ace.

    • #23

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