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.

Medical Tourism

So while watching the new season of Morgan Spurlocks Inside Man the one episode was about medical tourism. I know that it has existed for quit some time now, but didn’t know much about it. Without getting into the fine points of it I will try and sum everything up.

In term of cost and efficiency these hospitals and medical centers abroad beat the current US medical system by leaps and bounds. Now I’m sure that the best was rolled out and portrayed for the sake of the show, so I did some of my own research because my curiosity was peaked after the first 5 minutes.

Indeed, just based on the cost analysis between what I could expect to shell out for my out of pocket expense with insurance (here) v. without (abroad) there is what I would term a catastrophic difference. So with that in mind I have two final thoughts. First out healthcare system is in need of an overhaul. Second if somewhere down the line I require some major treatment I will consider going abroad for healthcare. Get myself taken care of at better price and have a vacation as well.

Convience Fee’s

These are just an excuse for a business to charge you extra money. You can tell me that its to help cover the cost of insurance for an event or the transportation of an item that isn’t found in the area readily available at the end of the day its still bullshit. I could see charging an extra buck maybe two on top of the normal retail price to help cover some of the extra overhead but some of the prices being charged under the guise of an added convenience fee it bullshit.

My first example is the local outdoor concert venue was charging 11.00 for a domestic can of beer. I’m not talking about the tall boy cans either I am speaking of the standard 12 ounce cans that you can pick a sixer for around 9 dollars. Upon further investigation I found out that part of the 11 dollars was a pouring fee. BULLSHIT! Hand me the can and cup I am a god damn adult I can do it myself. This is just one of many reasons I stopped going to concerts at this particular venue.

Another example of convince fees being charged is the up-pricing of food in transportation centers. Why does anyone think that its ok to charge an extra 3 or more dollars for mediocre fried food in an airport. Your not providing better food or service and in a lot of instances it actually worse. I will happily pack my own food, leave the terminal and find something, or suck it up till I get to my destination. My only exception here is when I am traveling on the company dime then Ill go top shelf everything.

I may just be howling into the wind on this one people, but I hate price gouging. I’ve fought against my own company hierarchy a couple of times.

Go Speed Racer Go!

Most main roads have two lanes in both traveling directions. The right hand lane being for general travel.  The left hand lane is for passing, moving into the middle turning lane when available, and oh yeah…..FASTER MOVING VEHICLES.

One of the things that annoys me the most are turtle racers. (People who stay in the fast moving/ passing lane.) Although debatable I will say they are causing a safety issue. More so is the inconvenience they are causing not only to me, but to every other motorist on the road. Seriously, get the hell out of the way. Everyone wants to get from point A to B in a timely manner.

Some of these people will normally take a hint when you come up on them quick and move over. However, there are still a great enough number of these entitled assholes whom refuse to move over. I have developed a standard procedure on how to deal with these people.

1. Give it a five Mississippi. This should be enough time for the offending driver to realize they are holding up progress and at least declare a merge.

2. If the previously mentioned time frame has passed flash the lights.

3. If the visual queue with the lights doesn’t work. Give a single honk.

4. In the instance of a failure to acknowledge the audio queue flash lights again and double honk.

5. If the offending driver has failed to acknowledge the need for them to move at all at this point I would consider the game to be on. Use discretion with high beams. No sense in causing an accident. However, judicious use of your horn I don’t see being a problem. If you happen to be lucky enough like myself and have a diesel train horn installed in your vehicle have at it.

***Please note that a few moments pause between each step should be given so that the driver holding things up can respond appropriately.***

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.