Friday, October 30, 2009

Traffic: My thoughts #2

I received a couple of notes this morning from people who empathize with me on traffic. It would be safe to argue that the overwhelming majority of people do not like traffic, but it wouldn’t be safe to say, however, that the overwhelming majority of people despise traffic like I do. Not to mention, my opinion on traffic is credible, if I do say so myself: I’ve grown up in a congested metropolitan area my whole life; I eat, breathe and sleep traffic. I am traffic.

Sorry. Ok. This is a good one: rubberneckers.

I don’t understand you people. What do you mean ‘you people?’ I mean you folks who turn gridlock into single file lines of drivers waiting their turn to see absolutely nothing. Actually, I take that back. While bumper to bumper I definitely wait anxiously to see a police officer issuing a citation to a motorist. The way those cops tear that paper, along with their brilliant penmanship, is something I undoubtedly look forward to seeing and inevitably hit the break and gaze while passing by. Seriously, though, what is it? Is it those trippy traffic flare sticks, or the pretty flashing lights coming off of the ambulance or cop car?

I understand humans are naturally drawn to look at destruction. I watched for days as bulldozers tore down a building on my college campus while on my way to class (and was consequently tardy more than once). But I didn’t have hundreds of people behind me. And let’s also face the fact that 9 times out of 10, rubberneckers are looking at something not 1/100th as cool as a bulldozer crushing cement. No, they’re looking at nothing, and in the process, making traffic that much worse. Rubberneckers take the rubbernecking too far when they’re stalling traffic due to a situation that’s not even on their side of the highway. That’s just absolute idiocy.

All this rubbernecking would be understandable if accidents were actually break dancers on I-35E. Or instead of the officer writing a ticket, it’s Cirque du Solei dudes doing crazy flips through burning hoops. But until then…

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Traffic: My thoughts #1

Anytime there’s a traffic jam due to an accident do people think like I do? Doubt it. Here’s what I think:

I’m sitting here in traffic because some moron made an error. There was a lapse in human judgment, performance, whatever and ultimately a human being made a mistake.

Allow me to digress. Listen, I understand that ‘accidents happen.’ The other night it was pouring down rain. I backed out of my driveway as I do every day but this time I experienced a lapse in concentration and forgot that we put our recycling bins by the alley on this day. Due to the pouring down rain and it being dark outside (this depressing time of year when the earth sits on its axis all messed up) I bumped – literally, bumped – our big, blue plastic bin and knocked it over. It broke my rear tail light. So again, I understand that there are such things in life called accidents, and that they undoubtedly occur.

But when you’re driving 65 miles per hour maybe people ought to not text on their cell phone, maybe not even talk on it. Perhaps you should turn the subs down just a smidge. Because inevitably, if everyone actually drove the way you’re supposed to drive: signal, check your blind spots, be defensive, use the mirrors, etc. these accidents should not happen. And in turn, sitting in hours worth of traffic, which equates to cumulated weeks in a person’s life, should…not…happen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Obama's Nobel Peace Prize...

Democrat or Republican, it truly doesn't matter. You simply can't dispute the fact that the decision to award President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize was a not an award based on any merit or actual accomplishment. The committee has undoubtedly caused irreparable harm to the credibility of this honor, especially considering:

KABUL – Roadside bombs — the biggest killer of U.S. soldiers — claimed eight more American lives Tuesday, driving the U.S. death toll to a record level for the third time in four months as President Barack Obama nears a decision on a new strategy for the troubled war.

A prayer in my cubicle...

Below is a prayer I have up in my cube at work. Hope you enjoy...

We love your kingdom, O God, with its promise of justice, its feeling of compassion, its dimensions of joy and hope, its sense of eternity. In our times of darkest despair, it encourages us. In our moments of deepest exhaustion with life it bids us stand and go forward. Therefore we pray for those this morning who have come here tired and discouraged for any reason, that they may remember that your kingdom is both now and forever, and that the seeds of belief and trust may be reawakened in their lives, to bring them once more to a harvest of love and excitement in living. Help us to voice to you our most intimate thoughts, and, having done so, to find healing and support for our entire existence. Amen.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vending machines are mean.

This is why I hate vending machines:

Ultimately one of two things happens when you get something from a vending machine: either you get your item, or you don't. If you don't get your item, the machine takes your money and is essentially stealing from you. If you do get your item, the machine drops it on a hard surface for you to bend down and pick up. It's like paying for an item, but only before handing the item nicely to you, the cashier abruptly Donovan McNabb’s it: one giant spike to the ground, shattering your food into pieces. “Here you go, vending machine, take my money in exchange for that food item, and oh, if you wouldn’t mind, could you please give me my Nature Valley granola bar crushed into hundreds of crumbs?”

Let’s face it, any time you go to a vending machine, chances are that you’re pretty starving. Vending machines are placed in their respective locations as a convenient snack-dispensing apparatus for the nutrient-depleted folks who weren’t disciplined enough to plan ahead and bring their own [often better and cheaper] snack. So after the starving person locates a vending machine, their ‘oasis in the desert,’ the vending machine – being the mean, cruel thing that it is – precedes to torture you by not accepting your $1 bill. You spend five minutes feverishly attempting to de-wrinkle your dollar until finally the machine takes it, and then breaks your candy bar right in front of your hungry face.

Sometimes you get lucky though, and get an 'extra' surprise item that falls out accidentally... and I'm sure if the machine could talk, he'd tell you that you got lucky, because vending machines are mean.