If You Drive Like This, You STINK!

I was driving to work, about 55MPH in the #1 lane in a 55MPH zone 2-lane road, with traffic in front of me limiting my speed. I looked up in the mirror and noticed I was being tailgated within 4 meters of my rear bumper. So I slowed down. We had been passing slower traffic on the right but they began to pass us. Idiotbehind saw his chance and zipped into the #2 lane to pass. With the hazard behind me no longer behind me, I sped up again to the speed limit. Idiotbehind zipped behind me again, still tailgating.

And he started honking.

Alright, slower it is. As my exit came up, I slowed even more, and the honking went from intermittent to steady. I took my sweet time changing into the turning lane, waving a lazy circle with my finger in the air as Idiotbuddy tried his best to break his car’s horn. When enough space became available, Idiotbuddy zoomed around, still honking, and waving his finger in returned salute. Then he started to beckon me with his hand, that I should get back into the lane. “Come back behind me and I’ll show you what’s what!” Ooookay no.

Oh, and he was so intent on being a fool that he almost drove into the bar ditch beside the road and had to jerk his wheel to get back into his lane. Good job, Idiotbuddy. I hope your mama is proud.

Advertisements

This Isn’t Really That Hard

The street is narrow. Parking is allowed on one side and not on the other side. There are signs every few dozen feet very clearly stating parking is prohibited on the other side.

There was a fair at an elementary school today.  Cars everywhere and I’m just trying to drive past the school to get home. Cars were lined up along the curb on both sides of the street.  A woman was standing in the road. As I got slowly 😦 closer, I could tell that she was a Police woman, and she was waving people on past her.  People that somehow kept trying to park immediately beside a No Parking sign, in front of a police woman.  A couple of them drove away from their almost-a-sweet-parking-spot places on the curb as I got closer.  Cop keeps waving people on.

Then I could tell that she was walking down the road, slowly. Then I could tell that she had a ticket book in her hand.  She probably spent four hours pacing up and down the road, scratching out parking tickets to people who clearly have more cars than the sense to operate them properly.

Good.  I hope the City makes a mint off those people, and they learn to park where it’s both smart (which this wasn’t) and legal (which this also wasn’t).

If You Drive Like This, You STINK!

Driving protip: If you can’t see ANY oncoming traffic when trying to cross a 50MPH street, don’t zip out into the lanes at 30MPH.  Slowly ease the nose of your car forward until you can see what’s coming at you, or wait.  Don’t do with this jerk did to me this morning.

My little hot rod will usually come down from the top/right of this scene, then turn right onto the street heading to the top/left of the image.  Usually there is zero traffic here.  Today there was a concrete mixing truck and a concrete pumping truck trying to make my right turn, with a couple of cars behind them.  Decision: I’ll go straight and head on to the next place I can get around this block.  It’s going to be too slow to follow all these trucks and cars down the side street.  There was also a concrete mixing truck in the left-turning lane, also trying to go down this side street.

What I couldn’t see was there was a typical Central Texas driver sitting in the side street, wanting to make a left turn and go up and off the top/right of this picture.  Significantly, the driver of that car could not see ANY oncoming traffic in either direction.  Their view was entirely blocked by huge trucks and piles of stuff on the ground nearby.

So this genius decides to ZOOM across to the other side of the street.  A safe driver would inch out until they could see, or better yet make the right turn and go HALF a block down the road, and make a u-turn where there is a clear sight line.  No, they wanted to go by-god-right-now.  50MPH cross traffic be damned.

This is about where our cars were, the first time we saw each other.  And I’m going 50ish miles/hour here.  If I were much less attentive of a driver, this would have been a T-bone collision.  STRAIGHT into the driver’s door at 50MPH and they might well have died right there.  My whole day and car would both have been ruined.  I could give a [deleted] about killing someone when they deserve it, but I like my car.  They saw me and stopped IN the lane where I was going to be in half a moment. The truck waiting to turn left was farther away than the car suddenly blocking my lane, so I slammed on my brakes and cut left.  Physics declared I didn’t have enough room to stop, and the oncoming lanes were empty so I ditched left again.  I was ready to go up on the curb and empty sidewalk area across the street, but the lanes continued to be empty.

Suddenly, a wild car appears!  They were in the #2 lane or there would have been a nasty crash – me sideways with my passenger side, into the cement mixer to avoid the oncoming car.  But they were in the #2 lane.  I steered right and they steered right and nobody hit anyone.  Thank GOD.  The person who had been coming down the road behind me a couple of seconds ago was now stopped, waiting to see the movie-special-effects explosion of car parts.  As I was reversing into the left turning lane, they waved me into the lane where I had been a moment before.  Thanks, buddy!  Somebody with some courtesy around here yay!  Notably, the asshole who would have caused the collision had made their left turn and was gone.  Took off between the car that almost killed them and the one that almost rear-ended that one, and away like nothing happened.  Basterd.

Total elapsed time: probably 3 seconds.  Enough time for the airbags to deflate, if my car had airbags and I were as bad a driver as the other guy.  It seemed like it took a minute and a half, at the time.

Chronic Parking Violators in Austin

These are being submitted to the Austin Police Department via their online tip reporting system every couple of days.  I’ve put through three sets of pictures like this so far and intend to continue, and have received approved Police Reports for two of them.   If you are one of these drivers, shame on you.  I hope eventually APD gets caught up on their backlog and you catch a full $500 fine for every one of these illegal parking jobs.    If you know any of these people, tell them they suck as human beings, or perhaps mention that the Police are being sent pictures of their cars illegally parked.

At mykids’ school, I was just ignoring people parking on the red curb and in the handicapped zone .every.day, but this was the final straw.  Because this pisses me off.  This one finally got me making submissions to the Police.  A crippled old lady walking on a CANE past the lazy bitch who couldn’t be bothered to find one of the less-convenient available parking spots.

This green Mercedes SUV license plate number BR7Y374 is a fat female who I see park here at least every-other day (probably every day, and I just don’t always show up at the same time as her).  At least when she gets back to the car, she drives away.


This white Nissan Sentra has a temporary tag 86W2350, and this fat female apparently also parks in the same handicapped spot at least every-other day, maybe every day and I just don’t see it.  This morning the parking lot was half empty and she STILL parked in the handicapped spot … and then took a few minutes after dropping off her anklebiter to PUT ON HER MAKEUP! At least today she was parked inside one spot, instead of overlapping two like this:

The other day, this white van was driven by another fat female, slowly, through the parking lot.  When I went to grab my camera to shoot the green Mercedes, she was blocking my shot, stopped on the red zone, heads-down on her cell phone.  Having JUST driven past a Drivers – No Talking No Texting sign.  License tag CSF7146.

This morning I was running a couple minutes late so I got to see a different violator for a change.  A skinny Asian female driving a gold Toyota Sienna license number CR8V735 stopped where the Mercedes SUV had been, and she went in the back door to unbuckle her kids.

I don’t know why I should be surprised.  The local drivers are pretty terrible at driving as well as parking.  The general failure is “lack of consideration for fellow motorists” on the road, why expect them to give a damn about some hypothetical cripple with a good reserved parking spot?

This is probably happening all over Austin all day every day.  That’s what happens when your local police force is short by a couple of THOUSAND officers (but hey, you got a new $50M ESL program in the schools so… )

zOMG TOTAL FREAK-OUT CALL 911!

On the way out of the parking lot at the children’s school this morning, I got stuck at the exit lane.  Right in front of me was traffic zipping past at n miles per hour, until the light changed and traffic stacked up all the way to my exit, and beyond.  In front of me was a mid-level luxury sedan with a small family inside.  Mom, two kids.  One child in front, one in the back, leaning against the back of the front seat.

So?

So this is a luxury car.  The front seat is far from the back seat.  This kid was not only not in a 3-point seat belt, he wasn’t in a seat belt at all.  So what did I do?  a) call 911 and report them b) jump out and berate the woman driving c) play peek-a-boo with the child in the back seat

Hint: on fark.com the answer is always c).  I don’t think he was ready for it, so instead of full-on play, I just got a glimmer of not-bored from the child.  A few more moments of standstill traffic, and he would have been ducking behind his windowsill like I was ducking behind my dashboard.  Oh well.

Sure, it’s against the law.  She’ll either get ticketed enough times for it to reconsider, or she’ll have a tragic accident and the child will suffer.  Then again, I remember being extremely incredulous when the first mandatory seat belt-wear laws came into effect, when they said “oh NOOOooooo we’ll NEVER make this  a primary offense!  We’ll not stop you JUST for not wearing your belts!”.  Uh-huh.  The world is too sterilized for children these days.  Let this one (and his mom) flout the law while they can.  Lord knows, we did our share of lying down in the back window, curling up in the footwells, etc, without any notable harm.  Let him remember a little taste of liberty . . . if he lives long enough!

Special People

The sign they drove around, told them not to drive around it.  Every available policeman in town was already 1/2 mile down the road at the big wreck tying up traffic for us.  They broke the rule and could reasonably expect to never be caught.  Well I saw them, and God saw them.  And now you can see their car.  The camera couldn’t grab focus well enough to show you the driver’s face as they passed by, or I would have done that as well.

Rules for thee, not for me!

SpecialUTurn

Probably says no u-turn because a u-turn puts you against one-way traffic.  The Acura MDX in the above picture is where the red squiggle is in the below picture.  Note the arrow markings on the street coming from the top of the picture:

SpecialUTurn2

(image from Google Maps)

THEY’RE CONTROLLING YOUR MINDS!

Say it with me now: Contrails are not the same as chemtrails
DSC_3217s
I saw this overhead as I went out of my workplace the other day. Either somebody was having fun, or somebody almost crashed into somebody else and the FAA is investigating as we speak, I’m not sure which. But one thing is sure: if I had a jet airplane, it would look like this about 20% of the time after I passed through.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Austin Drivers Have SuperBrakes On Their Cars . . . ?

Every drivetime, the radio news calls out wreck after wreck on the traffic report.  Would you like an illustration of one of the main reasons there are so many crashes around here?

srslyppl

This is 70MPH traffic, full highway speed.  A safe following distance for most drivers is somewhere around 350 to 400 feet.  Here in the #1 lane we have ELEVEN cars in that same distance.  At this kind of spacing, the drivers not only do not have time to stop, nor even time to react, they have no time to register that something is happening in front of them before they have already crashed.  The cars about halfway through the stack will see that some crashing is going on, but they will still crash.  MAYBE the last car or three will be able to swerve, which will cause auxiliary crashes.

They can’t keep a safe distance, and they can’t be bothered to look before changing lanes, and they text while driving, and occasionally they will eat from a plate with a fork.  Spaghetti.  Cereal with milk.  So.

Plus, many of them also suck at “reading” traffic AND are impatient, bound-and-determined that they will go zooming past everybody, risking multiple deadly-dangerous close-quarters lane changes cutting people off to try to gain one place on the road race.  Out of frame to the left is a red BMW Z4 roadster, with the top up.  It passed me and joined the deadly procession in the “passing” lane shortly after I took this picture.  The maroon Nissan pickup with the twisted bed WAS behind the silver Honda, in front of said BMW.  The driver of the truck sucks at getting ahead in traffic.  Anyone should have been able to see, on this day, that the #3 lane was slower than #1 and #2, and everyone *should* realize that big trucks slow dramatically on big hills like this.  The driver of the pickup truck changed lanes at least a half-dozen times, typically of Austin without using a turn signal – and by the time I got off the highway, the red Z4 was still in line in the #1 lane and well ahead of the pickup.  I was also ahead of the pickup, and saw them (in my mirrors) cut across two lanes of traffic to make their exit.

The Special People

Today, after I dropped #3 off at school, as I went back out to my car, one of the Special people arrived.

The stage:DriverPark

  • They have JUST driven past a “get off the damn phone” sign
  • They have pulled up to a bright red curb marked NO PARKING
  • They stopped no-shit EXACTLY where they would have started the turn-in to park in an open space

Disgusted at this behavior, I watched as I walked up to the parking lot.  A FAT woman in orange and pink stripes got out the driver’s side, with a big “smart” phone with a PINK cover glued to her ear.  A fat little girl got out the passenger side.

  • They both walked away.
  • The car was left running.

I walked past this car as the woman was escorting her child to her classroom. I had to resist the urge to get in her car and park it in the nearby legal parking space. I refrained, probably preventing contamination with whoknows-what-all nastiness in that car.  Prepared to leave the bad driver to Divine Justice, I got in my car and headed for the exit.

She wasn’t out of her car for long, and she got in her car as I got into mine.  As we pulled out of the parking lot, she was ahead of me. In a 2-lane exit/entry driveway, she was blocking both lanes on her way out. She took off down the road and I had to wait for traffic to make my exit.  Out of sight, she dropped out of my consciousness once more.   A mile or so down the road, I pulled up to a red light to go straight. When the left-turn light went green the first car drove off and the second car sat there. Sat there long enough the third car tooted their horn. Go figure, the second (unmoving) car was the same gold colored car occupied by a Special person, probably STILL buried in their cell phone.

********

As I say, I didn’t get in and park their car, but I could imagine the followup if I had done so:

  • 911 Operator: nine-one-one, please state the nature of your emergency.
  • Fat Slobby Special Woman: POLICE! DEY STOWLE MAH CURR!
  • (fast-forward 1 hour)
  • Policeman getting out of patrol cruiser: What seems to be the problem here ma’am?
  • Fat Slobby Special Woman: DEY STOWLE MAH CURR!
  • Police: uh-huh. And where was your car when it was stolen?
  • FSSW: Ih wuss rah derr! (points to red curb)
  • Police: You were parked in a red zone?
  • FSSW: Wutchoo meen?
  • Police: The curb there is painted red. It’s a red zone. You can’t park there. Your car may have been towed.
  • FSSW: Ah inna seed no RAID zown!
  • Police: You see how the curb is painted red, and says “NO PARKING” in 4″ high letters?
  • FSSW: uh-huh. I inna seed dat.
  • Police: (calmly refrains from pulling a face) So ma’am, what sort of vee-hickle is your car?
  • FSSW: Issuh, gold, fordoor, wi tinnit windows.
  • Police: (looks around nearly-empty parking lot, then back at FSSW) Do you know what make and model it is, or what’s the license plate number?
  • FSSW: IDOHN NO! HOWLNDOWN! I havva picher ovvit heer on mah fone. (heads-down to the phone)
  • Police: (mumbles into radio and walks to car to get out his citation book)
  • FSSW: howldawn herr it eeis. (holds phone out to Officer Friendly)
  • Police: (looks at phone. looks at woman with blank expression. looks around parking lot, then back at phone.)
  • Police: Mmmm-hm. (holds out clipboard) sign this please.
  • FSSW: wuss deeis?
  • Police: You testified that you were illegally parked in a no-parking fire lane. This is a citation for parking on that red zone.
  • FSSW: (outraged) WUUUUUUUT!? I CAWLDYEW TO COME FINE MAH STOLED CURR AND YEW GIVVIN ME A TIKKIT!?
  • Police: I found your car. It’s right there. (points finger at her car in the parking spot)
  • FSSW: Well I aint sign’iss
  • Police: Did you, or did you not, park on this red zone?
  • FSSW: (light bulb goes off over her head) Oh. Uh. Naw. Uh. I jist fergut werr I pawrked et.
  • Police: Uh-huh. So no, you did not park here (points to red curb)
  • FSSW: Naw. Uh. I had pawrked over their. I had jist fergawt.
  • Police: Right. You have a nice day, ma’am (goes to patrol car to do paperwork)
  • FSSW: (finally goes about her way)

Special F*cking People

I went to Little Ceasars to grab some pizza for “nobody wants to cook” night, and when I came out there was a car parked on a red curb.  For the uninitiated, this is illegal and dangerous, as well as a pain in the butt to drive around, so it is generally agreed to be a thing only jerks do.

Why look, here’s one now!  They’re fooling around on the phone.  I blew out  the rest of the picture so you could see them more clearly in the second picture.  If you know this person, feel free to tell them they suck at parking.

jerk1

jerk0

I was parked in the first spot in the row of cars on the other side of the jerk in the following picture. There were a couple of empty spots behind me (in front of these jokers) as well as in a parking lot immediately adjacent to this one. They CHOSE to park on the fire lane, so they could deal with their facebook or text or whatever was so all-fire important. I backed out of the parking lot, and backed into the entrance of the next lot over to shoot an overall pic.

jerk2

They were standing in the exit lane of the L.C. drive through.  The car behind them, trying to exit the drive through, was apparently piloted by a Gamma also and the confusion of the person behind was apparent as they tried to figure out how to drive around a parked car.

 

jerk3
Here’s their license plate, if you are interested.

Having sat still long enough for me to buckle up, start my car, get out my camera, check the settings, shoot a picture, back out of my spot, take another picture, back farther into the next lot, and take another picture, they finally realized they were being photographed and started off after me.  They honked as we approached the parking lot exit.  I ignored them and took off.*

********

*when you suspect you are being followed by persons of unknown intent, first try to drive away from them at normal (legal) speed.  Make at least four turns around a random block, to make a full circle.  Make a circle around the parking lot if you’re at a big store.  There’s no reason for anyone to follow you in a circle.  Do it again.  If they are still behind you, head for the nearest police station if you know where it is and call 911 and report yourself being followed.  Unless you know what you are doing, you aren’t likely to outrun anyone if they know what they are doing –  but if it comes right down to it, try anyway.  Good luck!