Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hard Times?

Citizens of Leningrad fleeing their homes, destroyed by the Germans. (Source)
Election Day is less than a fortnight away and I am still refraining from political commentary. Those of you who come here often know my leanings and I honestly couldn't state things any better than Tuna did yesterday. My slightly left of center colleague at work remarked recently how amazed he was at my apparent equanimity as regards current events.

No, I'm not seething on the inside, as I really feel...

Well, what say you, General Lee?

Though I daresay I might be as dumbstruck as J.E.B. Stuart in two weeks time, depending on the outcome of the election. Dumbfounded, shocked, stunned, and not a little peeved described my feelings on the day after election day the past two cycles.

But, I am confident that the ship of state will eventually right itself. We are, after all, a constitutional republic, not a democracy. I presume that eventually enough honest men and women will find their way into government to halt the rising tide of idiocy that seems to be all the rage throughout this fair land.

Things might get uncomfortable for a while, but they're not going to get Siege of Leningrad bad. Or so I really, really hope.

Anyhoo, let's have a bit of a rant on one of my favorite topics.

Crappy drivers!

On the way home from my place of employment this week I have observed on the roadways of Little Rhody behavior which, to me, is symptomatic of "what's wrong with our country." I am, of course, speaking of the blatant disregard for the law and, no doubt, a certain ignorance when it comes to operating a motorized two-ton death machine on the public thoroughfares.

On Monday, and again on Tuesday, I watched as two moronic scofflaws followed the path depicted in the following photo (courtesy, as always, of Google Street view)...

The red arrow marks where two folks from the shallow end of the gene pool went from the far left lane, across traffic and down the off ramp at a very high rate of speed. Note that the entrance to the off ramp is well behind us in that photo.

The car on Monday, with the California plates, might be excused for realizing at the last minute that this was indeed their exit. Being a non-local, as it were. However, traveling, at a conservative estimate at upwards of 70 mph seemed a bit much. Perhaps the relative lack of traffic in these parts led them to go "hog wild" regarding the application of pressure to the accelerator. I don't know, just seemed a might fast for my tastes. Also this idiocy occurred not ten yards from my port bow. Startled me just a bit I must say.

Tuesday's poor excuse for a human couldn't use the "I ain't from around here" excuse. That rather large pickup truck (even bigger'n Juvat's new ride) had Massachusetts plates. He was going even faster than that feller from California. (Yes, both perps were men. Women typically, at least in my experience, don't drive like they have a death wish.)

He left a cloud of debris in his wake as he entered the off ramp just in front of the exit sign (which can be dimly perceived in the preceding photo). Then at the bottom of the ramp, which is a T intersection, he was determined to execute a 90° right turn at the bottom of the aforementioned ramp without backing off even a teensy wee bit on the throttle.

Physics and inertia forced him to give her a bit o' brake just before he rolled his late model truck. Which no doubt would have been nasty. Odd that this is one of the few times in the past couple of days that there wasn't a cop car parked underneath the overpass. While the speed limit on that road is 30, folks like to push that well past 50.

Okay, ee-jits trying to inadvertently end it all by driving like complete a$$clowns is annoying to a certain extent. But nowhere near as annoying as having someone of questionable ancestry talking on her cell phone while driving as close to one's back bumper as possible without actually contacting said bumper. And yes, I had the pleasure of that experience on the way home yesterday. While still pondering the complete stupidity of the alleged human in the pickup truck.

Said grande dame of cluelessness stayed glued to my bumper all the way into town. Apparently I wasn't exceeding the speed limit to an extent she found to her tastes. Speed limit 35, I was doing a tad over that. How positively gauche of me! When she had the opportunity to get out from behind me (red arrow below) she did so at roughly twice the speed limit. (That's me under the green arrow, traveling at a law-abiding 25 mph.)

Google Maps
Was she really in a hurry? Or simply oblivious to her surroundings. Some Little Rhodians (and denizens of the Commonwealth as well) will travel right up your kiester as a signal to "go faster or get out of my way!" Some will simply keep pressing on the accelerator if there is nothing in front of them, or until their vehicle won't go any faster. And I'm only exaggerating a little. On the interstate you can almost see the color shifts as they slip in and out of light speed.

So for now, I'm still not gonna bitch about politics, not when I can bitch about my fellow motor vehicle operators. Elections are ephemeral, seeing and complaining about crappy driving is a year-round sport.

Though I am currently under a ban on bitching about other drivers when The Missus Herself is behind the wheel. Hardly seems fair, when I'm not driving I can see so much more inanity and lack of skill.

But rules are rules. Not for everyone mind you, just for a select few. It's just one of the things which fall into the "what's wrong with this country" category.

Or so I think. What say you?


  1. When you are in a snow white Tahoe, with SHERIFF in 18" reflective letters down the side, in a well lit parking lot, and someone blows right past you, and through a red light, and the can't seeming see your grille strobes, alternating headlights, the lights on your rear view mirror caps, nor your Federal Signal ARJENT lightbar, ( with the optional retina burn feature ), it shakes one's faith in one's own species.

    1. It does make one wonder how we became the dominant species on the planet.

    2. Our ancestors became the dominant species. Most modern humans are riding that inertia and would be dominated by a kangaroo rat if it ever came to nut-cuttin' time.

    3. I see your point Shaun. Well put.

  2. Probably dominant due to running over everything slower.....

    I've seen the left lane to right exit on the highways we have in SATX. Usually those dopes are doing 10 less than the speed limit in the far left lane, then cut right across to exit. Texas even has signs that advise the left lane is for PASSING ONLY!! Times I wish I had a bulldozer blade on the front of my steed.

    1. I like the idea of the bulldozer blade. A lot.

    2. Coming into San Antonio on I-10 for the truck extravaganza, we were approaching the exit for 1604. (STxAR knows which one I'm talking about) It's 4 lanes each direction plus off ramp. Guy driving a Fast and Furious knockoff in the far left lane takes about a 30 degree angle across all 4 lanes into the off ramp. Brakelights and smoking tires all over the place. The on ramp was slow, so he was stopped just slightly in front of the people he'd just endangered. There was a satisfying solidarity in the salutes he received from the cars passing him on the highway.

    3. The "Me Firsters" are everywhere. I just can't figure if they're stupid or arrogant. Both perhaps?

  3. I call those folks Me Firsters.
    The initials of those words being relevant to what I really want to call them.
    But I no longer talk like that.

    1. Exactly. They are "what's wrong with this country."

      Roger that on the secondary usage.

  4. Having just completed a round trip to Florida for a ship's reunion (mostly on I-95) I could not agree more. Huge FAPUs (Fat Ass Pick Ups) seem to be the prime violators, followed by BMW's and those small sporty cars with the deliberately loud exhausts. Occasional profanity in the cockpit.

    1. FAPUs. Love it, will use it.

      The little sporty cars with the loud exhausts are usually called "rice rockets" aren't they? (Seems that the majority of 'em are Hondas.) No, The Missus Herself doesn't care for the phrase.

      My cockpit often experiences language that would made a longshoreman blush.

    2. Where I live the roads are dominated by the fapu

    3. "The fapu." Sounds like an alien sub-culture.

    4. When you're right, you're right.


  5. I like the center turning lane, left turn signal on, turn right tactic.

    I was once rear-ended whilst stopped at a light by a coed who was applying makeup.

    Driving behavior is a good indicator as to whether a person believes that other people are real humans or just things to be used.

    1. Your first line, I call that the "Crazy Ivan." May not clear the baffles but it certainly will fill the shorts. If'n you get my meaning.

      On your second line, "rear-ended" by a "coed." My mind resists going there. Oh wait, that's not what you meant?

      Your final line is so true. It's one way of identifying what Skip calls the "Me Firsters."

  6. This is very simple; remove all BMW's and drivers from Massachusetts...problem solved!

    1. A simple, yet elegant, solution.

      Now how do we fix the NJ Turnpike? I may have occasion to travel that way again in the future. :)

    2. Land mines and alternating spike strips comes to mind.

      Or safety barriers like found on carriers.

      Really, sometimes I think the only thing that would fix the NJTP would be to let it get really bad, suddenly seal it off from the rest of the world, trapping all those drivers permanently away from the real world, and build a nice quiet 4 lane road for the 50 remaining sane drivers in New Jersey.

  7. One of my favorite fantasies is to buy a twice and a half, equip it with railroad tie bumpers, and drive according to the law.

    Paul L. Quandt

    1. Need a co-pilot? I'd love to play that game.

    2. Thanks, but it will be some while before that can happen. I do like to dream, however.



  8. There are four cars ahead of me in my lane. The yo-yo 1/2 car length behind must believe he can push me, I'll push the car in front, etc.

    What frightens me is a woman in a shopping center headed for a parking spot.

    Then there are the bull haulers. Tuesday 0430, Exit 12, I-25 Southbound in Cheyenne there was on on it's side. Later in the day one spilled his load on I-70 by Georgetown, CO. Those cows not killed or badly crippled were running around four lanes of traffic.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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