Life in progress


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Three Times Lucky

This post has been brewing for about a week.  Since I can’t sleep tonight, here it is.

It was Tuesday. I know it was Tuesday because I took Alex to his weekly baseball game at 7pm. But it all started on the way to camp in the morning.

I was driving along the main strip during what passes for rush hour in this little city, late as usual. It’s a four-lane road, with two lanes going north and two going south, with lots of plazas, restaurants, car dealerships–you get the picture–on both sides. Anyhoo, I was traveling north in the left lane when I came to a line of cars stopped, waiting for someone to turn left. I was still going the speed limit, so I decided to go around them. I checked my rear-view mirror: absolutely nothing behind me. Checked my blind spot: nothing there either. So I put my blinker on to change lanes.  Just as someone pulled out of a driveway on my right.

Here’s a diagram: (I’m the one driving the purple space ship.)

Mad Paint Skillz Diagram 1

I managed to swerve and miss him, though I’m guessing he really slammed on the brakes. Close call number one.

Fast forward to the afternoon. I’d picked Alex up from camp and we were coming home.

There’s this one little awkward four-way intersection near my house with a two-way stop. I had to stop. I did. I looked both ways. I swear I did. I always look left first, then right, then left one more time because that’s where the nearest cars are coming from. Where the one I almost pulled out in front of that was coming down the street on the passenger side of my car, I have no clue. In my defense, it really is an awkward intersection. It’s hard to see both ways, AND I have this post on the side of my windshield that gets in the way.

Mad Paint Skillz Diagram 2

We both slammed on the brakes this time. And avoided a collision. Still, that was close call number two.

I KNEW there was going to have to be a number three. I just KNEW it. But, I got in the car anyway to drive Alex to baseball. I could have let my best friend, John, drive–he was coming with us anyway, and he’s a professional driver–but I didn’t.

How far from home did we get? About two minutes. Almost the same scenario as the morning, the difference being I was in the right lane this time, and the cars were stopped for a light.

I saw way ahead that there was construction in the right lane, so I decided to go around the loooong line of cars in the right lane. I checked VERY carefully – rear-view, blind spot, rear-view … Before I got a chance to change lanes, I saw a black SUV coming up fast behind me. He pulled the same maneuver I did in the morning–without slowing, he went around me and all the cars in front of me.

I said out loud to John, “Oh well, I guess I’m not changing lanes yet,” and at the same time, John said, “Oh shit.”

What happened ahead of me when I was concentrating on my lane change was this:

  1. The light had gone green.
  2. The black SUV saw this and didn’t slow down.
  3. A car in the long line of cars in the right lane stopped to let someone pull out of the Dairy Queen driveway on the right.
  4. Bang.

Mad Paint Skillz Diagram 3

If that black SUV hadn’t cut me off, I’d have hit the twit who trusted the other twit to let him out of the DQ. John saw it coming before I did, though I might have seen it too because I’d have had my focus front-ways, but would I have seen it in time? I doubt it.

I also doubt the guy who got T-boned enjoyed his ice cream very much.

Close call number three was three times extremely lucky.

 

 


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One-Liner Wednesday – I’m driving here!

Last night, as I was driving down the main laneway in a parking lot, an entire family stepped out in front of me. I stopped rather close to them by necessity and the woman yelled at me through my open window, “We’ve got kids here, you could wait your turn!” I hmphed and drove away. When I got home, my adult son told me I should have retorted, “I’ve got a car here, you could wait yours!”

From now on I’m not leaving home without my 21 year old son. I’m sure he’ll be pleased with that arrangement.

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Anyone who would like to try it out, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a ping back, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Have fun!


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One-Liner Wednesday – Dangerous Driving!

(Drawing you a mental picture.)

Sign I saw on the back of a transport trailer while going 105km/hr (65mph) down a North American highway:

<—-Passing side                             Suicide—->

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Anyone who would like to try it out, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a ping back, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday, if you see a ping back from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Make it either funny or inspirational.

Have fun!


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JusJoJan 20 – Whoa!

I have love/hate relationship with those moments when I just stand back and go, “Whoa!” at something I’ve figured out after years of doing it wrong.

Today my “Whoa!” moment came to me concerning the operation of a car, which is something I’ve been doing for (I’m dating myself here) about 34 years. I was talking to the lady who manages the dry cleaner down the street, and during our conversation, we were discussing the inclement weather yesterday. She said she had been in a store for only a few minutes during the blizzard, and when she came out her windshield was already frozen so much that she had to scrape it off. That’s when I realized it.

I too, went into a store yesterday for a few minutes during the same snow storm, and when I came out, for the first time in all my years of winter driving, didn’t need to scrape the windshield. Why? Because for the first time in my life I drove to the store with the warm air blowing out at my feet and through the front-facing vents instead of the defrost, which warms up the windshield causing ice to form before I get back in. If the windshield is relatively cold all along, the snow doesn’t melt.

I’m wondering why in the name of all laziness have I believed since I was a novice driver, that if it’s cold out do I need to warm up the windshield? But that’s it! If I’m too lazy to brush the snow off when I first go out, instead of letting the warmth of the car do it, then I’ll have to either keep doing it, or waste gas letting the engine do it!

Whoa!

How I love that feeling: and how I hate having not thought of it before.

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Post on your site, and join Just Jot it January. The rules are easy!

1. It’s never too late to join in, since the “Jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to WordPress that day, great! If it waits a week to get from the sticky note to your screen, no problem!
2. If you write a JusJoJan post on your blog, you can ping it back to the above link to make sure everyone participating knows where to find it.
3. Write anything!
4. Have fun!


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Cows are rarely wrong

Back when I was five years old, I remember being on vacation with my mother in England. On this particular day that so clearly comes to mind, we were driving to the seaside. My uncle, who was driving, told me that it was a good sign that the cows were standing up in the pastures as we drove by.

“Why?” I asked in a perfectly five year old fashion.

“Because when the cows lay down it means it’s going to rain,” he explained.

Since that time I’ve taken predictive cow thing to the next level – to a degree of percentages. So for instance, if three quarters of the cows in a field are standing up, there is a potential for a 25% chance of rain.

So today I was driving to where my son was at camp. It was out in the middle of nowhere and inevitably I passed a field where there were horses and only one cow. It was bright and sunny, but the cow was laying down.

Shit, it’s going to rain, thought I.

When I passed the same cow on my way home, my windshield wipers going as fast as they could, I nodded to the cow.


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Dangerous politeness

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

Being polite in this town I call home runs rampant. So much in fact that it normally takes twice as long to get through a four-way stop because everyone is insisting everyone else go first, regardless of who gets there first. Today takes the cake though.

I was sitting in a long line of cars at a red light waiting for it to go green. Finally we get to go (it was a long light); I was behind a Cavalier. We were almost at the light when the Cavalier almost rear-ended the pickup truck in front of him. Why did the pickup stop at the green light we’d been waiting so long for, almost causing an accident? To let a pedestrian cross in front of him on the red.

Fuuuuu…

As the population in this town ages – I believe it will be half empty in the next fifteen years – it seems that many of the drivers lack more and more the concept that the rules of the road are more important than being nice. And it’s scary! I’m trying to teach my son to drive around town, but it’s unrealistic. The first time he leaves town and goes to a big city he’ll be run into and over top of. There is no such thing as aggressive driving here. I actually had a ball when I went to Montreal last month, getting to experience that again after so long. At least when everyone is only looking out for themselves you know what to expect.

This little town with all its nice people is, I think, the most dangerous place I’ve ever gone out in public. Unless I’m walking of course.