With the full understanding from the beginning of this piece that I am completely miserable due to the loss of my dog Zeus (arguably the world's best German Shepherd) with the full admission that these opinions are mine and mine alone and with apologies for any offense these statements may cause.

I am currently mad at the world and some of the idiots who populate it.

I am livid with the powers-that-be in the electronics industry who seem to think it is perfectly acceptable for a 4 year old flat screen TV to die. Four effing years old!

Believe me, I realize that planned obsolescence has been part of our society forever. After all, if things never wore out and broke down, we'd never have to buy replacements and where would industry be then? I get it!

But a purportedly well-made television should not "go silently into that good night" after barely four years! No!

On another issue (and again asking for indulgence here) is it just me or can you sometimes sense what kind of person is driving in front of you? I'm not sure if I am burdened with some sort of vehicular ESP or if in general I tend to be a fairly observant and deductive person (probably thanks to all the murder-mysteries I read and watch on my now, week-old TV).

In any case, time-after-time I will experience a situation while driving and formulate a theory about the unseen person attempting to navigate traffic in front of me being: A) busy texting or talking on a cell phone; B) a newly minted driver (of any age or ethnicity); or (and with apologies to all seniors and in particular to my Mom & Dad who drove much longer than they should have) C) extremely elderly.

It is something about the wildly divergent styles of driving that seems to clue me in to the texter/talker. The vehicle will either move along extremely deliberately - slow one minute, fast the next with no consistency - and sometimes (but not always) weave in and out of the lane they are almost in. The gentleman (not the term I want to use) I encountered yesterday on West 12th moving onto I-29 was doing exactly that when I finally passed him on the highway and confirmed my suspicions.

Not once did he stop texting!

The newly minted drivers are easy to spot, changing lanes and cutting off other drivers right and left at alarming speed, no signals (ever), running red lights with gleeful abandon and like a nervous drug dealer, always just on the verge of jumping over the line they're supposed to stay within.

The third category is also fairly easy to identify by the incredibly slow, measured pace they maintain (usually well below the speed limit, sometimes in the left lane and often with a turn signal in operation) while (quite often) struggling to see over the steering wheel.

Before I tie this diatribe up with a bow I'd like to send a shout-out (a very loud one) to the woman at the laundromat yesterday who always makes a habit of talking louder than the Scorpions concert I attended in the 80s! I have no need to hear about you and your sweetie's underwear preferences, plans for lunch or predilection for weird sexual antics, and neither did the 10-year-old girl who was there with her dad!