Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why Just the Stan Smiths?

Hello everyone, sorry for the long time between posts. I was shocked to see it was getting close to two weeks since the last one. The dog days of summer I guess. Hard to be annoyed when the sun is shining and there's plenty to do. Unless you want to buy a pair of running shoes. Then there can be a problem.

A lot of the running shoes out there today are definitely not middle-age guy running shoes. In my case I like to wear cross trainers, since I am such a multi-sport athlete. In fact in one recent 24 hour period I used my cross trainers to play ping-pong, golf, and tennis. Beat that! But I digress. The point of this blog is to do with the buying of shoes and not my athletic prowess. There are hundreds of different cross-trainer models out there, but as I said, only some of them will do for the middle-aged guy. As in not too flashy, hip or space-age looking.

Over the years when I have found a model that I like and my current pair starts to wear out I'll go back and buy the same shoes again. I have found two annoying things about this process. First of all is that the shoe companies, apparently in an effort to keep the retail prices up by limiting competition, have pulled the following little sneaky trick. They only give certain models to certain retailers. So I can't shop the sales for my model, I just have to buy it at the regular price from the one store that carries it or wait for that retailer to put it on sale. Secondly, and most importantly, shoe companies in an apparent effort to stay current or something, discontinue models of shoes all the time. Unless your favourite is the Stan Smith, you can be out of luck the next time you go to buy a pair of runners. And that my friends is annoying.

Who the heck was this Stan Smith guy anyway? I'm going to have to look that up.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Everyone Stay Focussed Until We Get to the Other Side

Today as I was driving along I had the radio tuned to a station from the nearby big city. The inevitable big city traffic report came on and there were accidents on two of the city's bridges. One of my faithful Bloglodites had recently mentioned how annoying the phenomenon of rush hour bridge accidents is. He couldn't understand how this seemed to happen so frequently. It does make one wonder.

Are there really more accidents on the bridges during rush hour than other places during rush hour or is it just that it's more noticeable because it messes things up so bad? Also, why are there accidents on a bridge during rush hour? Isn't everybody just basically following the person in front of them? I don't personally drive in the big city rush hour, so I don't know what's going on for sure, but let me speculate. People aren't paying attention and they are running into the back end of the person in front of them or maybe... wait for it... maybe they are TAILGATING. And to clarify, I mean they are driving really close to the car in front of them and not that they are partying on the bridge. The only other reason I can think of is perhaps they have accidents when changing lanes. Likely changing lanes to try to gain some small time advantage.

Basically these bridge accidents in a lot of cases must be the result of undue care and attention and/or impatience. You people out there getting into accidents on the bridge need to try to be more team players. Let's get everybody safely over the bridge so we don't mess up the traffic for everybody. Stay focussed people! until you get to the other side. Then you can get into your accident.

I have one anecdote about a bridge accident. One time while traveling along the Pacific Coast of Washington State with the family we decided to cross the Columbia River to make a quick visit to Astoria on the Oregon side of the river. This required using a rather long bridge over the mouth of the Columbia. We were heading across the bridge and saw that traffic was backed up ahead (because of an accident it turned out). We decided we would turn around rather than wait. The kids were disappointed as they had hoped to say they had been to Oregon if only for a short visit. Before turning around I noticed that just ahead was the welcome to Oregon sign, so I drove under the sign before turning around and heading back to Washington. The kids got to cross Oregon off the list of states they had visited after all.

Friday, August 7, 2009

One More Use for Arrowroot Cookies

Tailgating annoys me. It annoys me a lot. Mostly because it is unnecessary and it is dangerous. Like many bad driving habits the problem is that it can be done without consequence thousands of times, but if something unexpected happens then look out!

Some of you out there might be tailgaters. Do you tailgate with the hope of intimidating the person to speed up or move out of the way? If so, I suppose that might explain it. Otherwise it's pretty damn stupid since you can't get there any faster just be being right up close to somebody. In my experience though there are a lot of tailgaters who don't actually seem to be in a hurry, they just drive that way. Up close and personal. I don't like it.

One time the Missus and I were traveling down the highway and this guy was right on our tail. It was only a two lane highway, so there was no passing lane. The Missus was driving and our infant son was in the back seat. I was feeling annoyed and protective, so I took one of our son's Arrowroot cookies and held it on the roof of our car. Then I let go. I didn't throw the cookie, I just let it go. The guy was so close behind us the cookie either hit or narrowly missed hitting the front of his car. If he'd been more than 30 feet behind us it would have fallen harmlessly to the pavement, but no, it was right in his grill.

He got even at us by passing us when we came to a two lane section and giving us the finger. And that's the way the cookie crumbles.