Monday, March 31, 2008

Never Again

Last December I passed up a free ticket to any Alaska Airline destination. They called and called and called for a volunteer to give up their seat. But I did not want to inconvenience Mr. and Mrs. Gawpo who would have had to drive through darkness at a late hour to pick me up here at Sacramento International. Yes, I said here. Typing is not easy from the iTouch. But I have some time because when they called for that volunteer to give up a seat, I was all over it, having sworn back in December NEVER AGAIN to pass up such an opportunity. I called my friend, Amy and adjusted the pickup time. Got 16 bucks in meal money. Now I have to decide where to go. They do fly to Mexico. Hmmm...

Please feel free: Where would YOU go?





Cindy at the counter thanked me for giving up my seat. She extended her hand to indicate the girl whose life I had saved. (some inconvenience.) The young lady smiled her appreciation. Her father shook my hand. I felt great. Got a free ticket, after all. Helped a young teen. So there I was with time to kill. And kill I did. Got talking with a very nice couple about picturers because guess what I was doing the whole time ? Got some great shots of a jackrabbit out on the taxiway, even. Yeah. Cool, huh? Even got some great shots of my jet taking off. Yes. MY jet. Without me ON it. So here I sit. The first flight was at 1:15. The flight I missed, 2:40. The next flight ( the LAST) is at 7:28. And it is overbooked....

Stand by for some stand by.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Piazza del Duomo Florence, Italy

My first attempt at uploading directly to Blogger:



Friday, March 07, 2008

A Color Kiss

Somewhere Joe says that he's all about the color. And that once in a while an angel hands him a good one.

The Ken Trueman Center is an alcohol and recovery treatment center. Now that right there makes this right here an angel swoop if ever there was one.

When I saw the red pickup coming, I got nervous; I pooched it, sacrificing some focus for the bird in the hand. Oh well. It's still a kiss. Just a bit of a sloppy one. And that ain't bad.

Sorry so sloppy......Joe. (Good gawd, I'm funny.)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Journey To The Center Of A Dying Star

I had to get off the gripe. I like a good gripe. Especially when it is founded in fact. I have this saying, though. And it has served me with a tolerance of injustice (my biggest complaint in life). It goes like this:

"It's not so much that they are unkind; it's that they are just kind of un."

There is so much more beauty than injustice in this world. In beauty there is honesty. Death begets life. And so it goes.

So I give you this:

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Taking Care Of Business: My Rant

811.425 Failure of slower driver to yield to overtaking vehicle; penalty. (1) A person commits the offense of failure of a slower driver to yield to overtaking vehicle if the person is driving a vehicle and the person fails to move the person’s vehicle off the main traveled portion of the highway into an area sufficient for safe turnout when:

(a) The driver of the overtaken vehicle is proceeding at a speed less than a speed established in ORS 811.105 as prima facie evidence of violation of the basic speed rule;

(b) The driver of the overtaking vehicle is proceeding at a speed in conformity with ORS 811.105;

(c) The highway is a two directional, two-lane highway; and

(d) There is no clear lane for passing available to the driver of the overtaking vehicle.

(2) This section does not apply to the driver of a vehicle in a funeral procession.

(3) The offense described in this section, failure of a slower driver to yield to overtaking vehicle, is a Class B traffic violation. [1983 c.338 §640; 1991 c.482 §16; 1995 c.383 §68; 2001 c.104 §307; 2003 c.819 §15]

What I am about to disclose is quite embarrassing. It's a character flaw. No doubt part genetic predispositon, part Neanderthal. But it is truly the case. So here it is, plain and simple: I detest slow drivers.

I'm a nut case in the driving world. Not only that, but I believe that slow drivers are responsible for more crashes than most speeders. Let me qualify. What I am saying is, if someone is exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph, there's a very good chance that, if detected, they will receive a citation. That's one form of speeding. Then there's the ridiculous speeding which, for some unknown reason, does not result in a crash. Those people need to be removed from the show completely. With regard to the former, I don't worry. And here's why.

You figure that, at 60 miles per hour, a car travels at 88 feet per second. That's a nice chunk of geography exchange. But it is reasonable. And in this state, we have a thing called "The Basic Speed Rule." What that boils down to is this: If I can explain to the judge that, given the conditions, my going 84 mph to overtake and pass that car in front of me was not unreasonable, I can be found not guilty. And guess what. That actually happened. Not by me, but by a smart attorney who got popped out on Highway 18, going through the Van Duzer Corridor. But this is not about speed. It is about the lack thereof. And it's about doing the right thing. It's about justice.

In this state, you will notice that there is no rule about having a minimum of three or four or five of six cars stacked up behind you. If you are driving less than the posted (or presumed) speed and you have even a single vehicle behind you, you are required by 811.425 to, as I like to put it: P.T.F.O. If you do not P.T.F.O., then you are not only in violation of the law, you are probably pissing off as many people as are occupying as many cars as are behind you. And when tempers rise, this cannot be anything but bad for driving. Sad to say, people are more likely to take chances, pass in less-than-ideal stretches of the road, and that's when "mierda pasa."

Here is why I believe that slow drivers cause more crashes than speeders:

811.425 is a B violation. The highest is A, the lowest is D. Not stopping at a stop sign or running a red light---B violation. Not wearing your seatbelt, a D violation. Not taking it upon yourself to P.T.F.O. is considered rather serious. Yet this law is rarely enforced. By the time the line of 18 cars and trucks go by, it's a bit difficult to work your way up to the front of the line in the patrol car to overtake (i.e., catch up to) the offender. In this language, the word "overtake" means that you were going the speed limit and you would be continuing on your journey except for the person who had decided that they are the only person in the world who matters. YOU don't matter. You weren't there, then you were there. But you don't matter. And that is just wrong.

Here's how I used to explain it to the slower driver after I did work my way up through the line of cars they were forcing to go 42 in a 55: "Look, here's how the law works. You have the right to drive any speed you want. But you don't have the right to make me drive any speed you want. If you don't feel comfortable driving 55, then all you have to do is pull over and let me drive the speed limit. Then you can pull back onto the travel portion of the roadway and do your 42 miles per hour for as long as you like until the next person appears in your rearview mirror. Kuh-PEESH?" Well, it didn't exactly go like that, but it was close.

When I teach the new reserves in their academy, I always point out that you can take any law in any state and trace it back to one thing: Love of others. All the laws are about love. They are not just about not hitting and not killing and not stealing. Those are easy. Those are Ten-Commandment-easy. But the Golden Rule kind of love requires more. It means waving someone through when it's safe to do so. It means being vigilant for pedestrians who are poised on the sidewalk at the crosswalk. It means stopping for the yellow light when you really can. It means putting your signal on to let someone know what your intentions are before they come to your intersection. It means pulling into the next lane to let someone onto the highway. It means pulling over so that those who caught up to you can continue at the posted speed. All you blogger peeps know what is nice. I don't have to tell you folks what nice is. Right here is where nice reigns.

But I do hate to drive. It's why I fly wherever I can. No cops. No speed limit. No slow fliers. It's also why, when in a car and when possible, I let someone else drive.

Here are a few tips to help you in a traffic stop situation. Hopefully, if you are stopped, it's not because you were holding people hostage to your slower-than-the-limit speed. Because if you are, then the next time you glance in your mirror, you may be seeing this. Next, you'll be looking at this. And if you get caught doing it again, then this. And if you lip off, then it's THIS.

Drive careful out there. And just please P.T.F.O.