Friday, January 22, 2010

Put that Stop Somewhere Else

A couple of posts back I was complaining about B.C. Transit. Well I'm back at it. B.C. Transit are you out there? Please think on this:

For some reason there seems to be a desire to strategically locate bus stops just past an intersection on four lane connector streets. This means that during busy times the bus stops just on the other side of the light and blocks one of the two lanes of traffic going that way. This means that some cars either have to wait on the other side of the intersection and miss the light or in the case of the more inattentive or oblivious drivers they end up stuck in the intersection behind the bus. Now they're stuck there blocking traffic when the light changes.

Now I understand that they are trying to locate the stop near major intersections where people are transferring from one bus to another. I also believe in having a good public transit system. I just don't see why the bus stop can't be another 40 metres from the corner, allowing the cars to at least get through the light before they have to wait behind the bus. Answer me that B.C. transit.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Circus

Little Jackie Showers recently joined a lawn bowling club. Yes it is true and you youngsters out there can stop chuckling. I didn't sign up because of an urge to lawn bowl, although I suspect I may try out the game next summer. I became a member because of croquet, which of course is no laughing matter.

The thing about a lawn bowling club is they are very protective of their grass. The rules require you to wear flat-soled shoes whether you are lawn bowling or playing croquet. And they mean flat. No heel and no tread. Being a rule follower since my earliest days I decided that I best go get me some flat shoes. I hoped for some Stan Smiths, but these proved to be elusive. I mean, I'm sure they were out there somewhere, but it was Christmas Eve and I needed these for a tournament on Boxing Day. I only had time for visiting one mall.

The sporty stores and the old people's walking shoe stores didn't have anything that fit the bill. Having no success I began to realize my options were dwindling. Desperate times...

Call for venturing into "Aldo". Now for those of you not familiar with "Aldo" it is a shoe store for cool people. I do not belong there. Sure, sometimes I'll tag along while the missus looks at shoes and one time I even went in there alone to buy her a pair of shoes she had pointed out on a previous trip. But go into "Aldo" alone for myself was like going into La Senza to browse. It wasn't right.

Of course I quickly sensed that my discomfort was matched by the young, attractive and clearly hip sales girl that approached me. You see, guys like me and the "Aldo" girls don't cross paths. Our worlds are far apart. This fact was as obvious to her as it was to me. I was wearing sweat pants after all.

As it turns out there were several flat-soled products to choose from so she dutifully went and got my size each time I asked to try a different one. She would bring me the box and then drift off about twenty feet to cooly watch me out of the corner of her eye as I tried on the different pairs. I must give her credit for maintaining a visage not unlike those guards outside of Buckingham palace. Not a grin or eye roll escaped. But inside that head I know there was a pretty good situation comedy going on.
This is the shoe.

I ended up shelling out way too much for the shoes and then, dammit, most of the other croquet players showed up in their sneakers.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where You Going Bus Driver?

Here's an annoyance with a solution. Anybody want to tell the people who matter?

Okay, so here's the deal. I don't know if this is specific to my hometown or not, but it seems unlikely. Here when a bus is on a street with two lanes going in its direction and is stopped at a bus stop blocking the right lane, the bus driver turns on the left signal when pulling out from the bus stop. The problem is that if you're coming up in the left lane you can't tell if the bus is just signaling it is pulling away from the curb to go down the right lane or if it is signaling that it is actually going to move into the left lane.

A bus signaling to move into the left lane makes sense, but signaling that it is pulling out from the curb seems unnecessary given that the bus is blocking the right lane and all it is doing is starting up and going down that same lane. The act of signaling this maneuver doesn't help anyone. It just causes confusion.

So here's my solution. When a bus pulls into the stop the driver should use the flashers. Everyone behind the bus will know the bus is stopping. When the driver wants to start again the flashers are turned off. Then we all know it is going to start moving. If the left signal then comes on we know it is going to move over one lane. No more guesswork, no more confusion, no more jamming on the breaks for no reason. Annoyance solved! Now if I can just get someone who matters to listen.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I'm Glad We Can Get Back to the Weather

Attention cashiers, yeah I'm talking to you again. Do we have to do the "have you finished all of your Christmas shopping" dance for the three weeks leading up to Christmas? This is only slightly less annoying than asking me what I'm doing for the weekend. Okay it is quite a bit less annoying than that, but still...

To be fair it is not just the cashiers, it might even be YOU! Do we have to treat Christmas shopping as if it is some horrendous task and all share our war stories. Oh the horror. I think you all know what I mean, even those of you who so innocently partake in this tradition of the festive season.

I like Christmas shopping. I don't see it as some chore that I'm dreading and can't wait to finish, but I usually don't start until real late. This makes the question "are you finished your Christmas shopping?", or its close cousin, "are you ready for Christmas?" rather amusing, especially when people start asking it two weeks before I even start to shop or get ready. I prefer the two day all out blitz just before Christmas. I go armed with my list and a wad of cash and get it done. And no, I don't want to be giving out no updates as I go.

My New Year's resolution is to do 52 blog posts this year. So keep me honest. Yikes, I just noticed that's how many I did last year. Here's to not backsliding.