Not From Around These Parts

So today I witnessed what was almost a really bad accident.  Let me explain…

After leaving the restaurant we had dinner with my parents at I was in line behind a car that had their lights off yet. I didn’t think much of it as some people just don’t turn their lights on until they merge into traffic. I don’t get that and I think its a bad idea, but whatever. However, as we stopped at the next light  the lights had not come on yet So I flashed my high beams at them.

We continue on in traffic and at least half a dozen cars in the opposing lanes flash their lights at them as well. During the transit to the turn to get on the highway I would see the driver turn on their map light in the vehicle and fidget with their GPS or phone. Now I know their not from the area and are trying to figure out where they are going.

So as we get to the turn said car in front of me proceeds to make it and heads down the exit side of the ramp instead of the entrance side. The only reason there wasn’t an accident is because there were no cars exiting from the highway and no one exited until the idiot driver had turned themselves around.

I think they got the clue when they had a whole line of cars honking at them. At no point in time before I exited the area did their lights come on.

The moral of the story here is to pay attention to what the hell you are doing especially when you are in an area unfamiliar to you. There is zero excuse to not be using a mandatory safety feature of your vehicle especially when other peoples lives are at stake.

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The Wheels On The Bus Go Round & Round

By now all the schools in my area are officially back in session. With that buses are back on the road. For the love of pasta pay attention people.

A lot of things will change with peoples morning routines. Give yourself about an extra 5 to 10 minutes for your morning commute. However, my concern is routed in safety. Again, PAY ATTENTION.

The buses are about as nimble as newborn and they aren’t exactly going to be found at le mans anytime soon either. The drivers are competent and vetted, but give them some time and room.

Secondly, be aware of the bus stops and crossing areas that had disappeared during summer break. I have watched on more than one occasion some half awake/ zoned out morning commuter just blow past despite the large bright yellow bus with its flashing lights and stop sign extended and the crossing guard there in their florescent yellow vest holding a stop sign as well.

TSA Strikes Again

While catching myself up on news yet again I learned some more awesome facts about how much of a shit job the TSA does. That and I also can’t sleep. So here is a second dose of my thoughts.

73 TSA employees who have been given a badge and some level of federal clearance have been identified with links to terrorist groups. If that doesn’t grab your attention maybe the scores of incomplete employee records they have would send up a warning flag. How about the fact that some employees may have criminal back grounds or their US citizen status cannot be verified.

All of this stupidity horrifies me but does not shock me because lets face its a government controlled entity. Uncle Sam couldn’t be bothered to upgrade the IRS’s antiquated record keeping system (software with minimal upgrades with origins in the mid 1990’s) so why should I expect better from the TSA.

If I fuck up as much as the TSA does scores of people would be dead and myself and many of my co-workers would be fired, fined, and jailed.  Someone explain this shit to me. Millions of dollars have been wasted and I am sure millions more will be wasted to “fix” the problems and I use fix very loosely.

TSA

So while catching up on the news I just learned that the TSA was tested on 70 separate occasions to see if banned items would make it through the security check process. Of those 70 checks TSA failed 67 times and allowed the contraband to pass through. If you are genuinely surprised you might want to get out from that rock you are living under. The TSA at best is a joke. They either don’t give a damn enough to do their job correctly or abuse the power given to them. The half billion dollars invested in improvements over the last few years has yielded almost no discernable improvements.

Let me illustrate my point further. Most times when I pass through a TSA check point I get the special swabbing. Every time they do it I come up positive for GSR (gun shot residue). One of my recreational activities is shooting firearms so of course I will most likely have some reminisce of powder on me, especially since one of my long rifles is a muzzle loader. Normally production of my carry permit is enough to get things moving along, but I have also come across the one go getter who had to get their supervisor to come down from on high just have them tell me to have a nice day.

On a separate occasion I forgot that I had two 23 fl. oz. ice tea cans tucked into the mesh side compartments of my back pack. TSA rules state that liquids can only be carried in a no larger than 4 ounce bottle that is clear for easy inspection. (Up to 3 bottles as well.) So having had to put the back pack on the x  ray machine for inspection and was given a visual inspection as well was not caught. I was enlightened to the  fact that I still had them when I retrieved the backpack from the over head bin and was bonked on the head by one of the teas when it fell out.

Keepin the Hammer Down

When traveling long distances one of the key factors to arriving at your destination in a timely manner is traveling at a consistent speed. Our interstate system for the most part allows for that. A lot of interstate corridors have now raised their speed limits to 70 MPH or are at least studying that as a top speed.

Most vehicles on our roads are capable of driving at high rates of speed with improved breaking and suspension systems. I will also point out that in the event of an accident your survive-ability rate is significantly higher. However, all the technology in the world cannot make up for ones owns driving skills…..or lack there of.

Most vehicles are also more fuel efficient at higher rates of speed so traveling slower to maintain better fuel efficiency is no longer valid. To be clear I am not condoning speeding, just don’t be the guy slowing things down for the rest of that want to get to our destination in a timely manner. Good rule of thumb is that most cops won’t chase if you exceed the speed limit less than 5 MPH over the posted limit. i.e. Posted limit is 50 MPH then your speed should be between 50 and 55 MPH. Be warned though all bets are off on targeted enforcement days and aircraft enforcement always tags everyone.

If you are not confident in your driving skills please stick to city, country, and side road driving. The rest of us appreciate your cooperation.