Actually, my computer had very little to do with it.

But noding until one in the morning, chatting/lurking in #everything until one in the morning, or playing (pick one) Quake 3 Arena/Civilization II/X-COM UFO Defense until one in the morning, etc., then having to wake up five hours later for the morning commute, then doing it all over again, regardless of how tired I was from work or my twice-weekly aikido workouts....

Today, as I drove back to the office on my lunch break, preoccupied and tired, I blundered through a red light at a major intersection feeding an interstate highway.

I could very easily have died. I came very close to killing someone. Instead, by some miracle, the damage to our cars was minor.

Computers, games, books, sex, hobbies, drugs, parties, television -- all of these are wonderful distractions. I've just been reminded -- the hard way -- that if you're not taking care of yourself, you are actively harming yourself. There's nothing passive about it. I can't blame the computer for lulling me; I could always have walked away.

(Computers are somewhat insidious, though -- unlike the TV when you press a button you actually change something. Take the hypnotic effect of watching a screen for hours and add interactivity and you have a potent combination.)

Please take a lesson from me. Ask yourself if you're taking care of your own well-being. Ask those questions that Moms always do: Are you eating healthily? Are you sleeping enough? Are you exercising? Do you have a healthy social life; are you taking care of your spiritual and intellectual needs?

I've just been reminded that the answers to those questions don't just affect me. They can affect people you know, and they can affect strangers.

Tonight I'm getting a good night's sleep -- but I'll be thinking a lot about responsibility before I drift off.

This writeup has nothing to do with the wisened and responsible tone of Sudderth, and I apologize for that. This is merely a factual account of a blood-crazed murderous killer mutant computer on the looose.

Sadly, I've not had any experience with this wondrous specimen, so the story was related to me by a friend.

Well, it seems that this computer had a really powerful CD-ROM drive, with a scary number closer to 100 than 50 followed by an X to designate its reading speed. Consequently, this bad-ass CD-ROM was habitually spinning at an ungodly speed. Unfortunately, a fabric defect would cause the CD-ROM bay to open before the CD was allowed to spin down properly, and the plastic disk would therefore fly across the room, badly injuring whoever so happened to stand in the way.

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