Saturday, August 30, 2014
|Our roads and highways have become the playground for just about everyone. And when you are out for the big trip you become the witness of all kind of strange behavior from your fellow players. Doing about 4000km a week I feel like I have already seen the most. But of course that isn’t true. There will always be more.|
What I did notice is that there are certain categories of drivers (players) which you will see again and again.
Living in the big city the most obvious is THE ZAPPER. Zappers distinguish themselves by “zapping” from lane to lane as they think the lane they are in is moving too slow. ZAPPERS have a genuine interest of being first to their goal, whatever their goal is. Zappers are also the reason for most in-city traffic accidents. Before they zapp from lane to lane they neglect to look into their mirrors, which eventually will lead to a collision. They also ignore pedestrians and occasional red lights. That is when it really gets dangerous. Except for their irrational behavior you can often detect them by looking at their vehicles BEFORE they commit their crime. Fancy colours, souped-up exteriors and rear spoilers are a sure sign.
What else is there? Well, outside the city we often see the ROAD-HOG thriving in a glad solitude in front of a long line of vehicles. The ROAD-HOG drives 10-20km UNDER the speed limit engaging in a nice conversation with their fellow travelers and enjoying the surrounding scenery. They are very dangerous as they make every driver behind them loosing his patience, thus causing risky overtake maneuvers. Some of these people are actually RVers with no experience of how to drive with a trailer on the hitch. An under-category are those who slow down to a crawl because they are actually ON THE PHONE with their mother-in-law. They can often be seen veering back and forth between the yellow and the white line trying to avoid either landing in the ditch or hitting the oncoming traffic. Oh my….
The straight opposite of the ROAD-HOG is the RACER. RACERS also thrive out on the highways but they do not enjoy the nice scenery and presumably they are alone in their vehicles. You will hardly have a chance to make out their vehicle brand as they are passing you. They are too fast. Before they overtake you they are hanging on your rear bumper for a while. But don’t worry about vehicle brands. Rather look out for the accident scene a few miles down the road when they have ended theirs and other people’s life. Problem with RACERS is they fail to control their vehicle at the chosen high speed.
Many motor bikers are notorious racers. Just 2 days ago one of them was passing my bus at an approx. 100miles/h speed. 10 miles later he was face down and dead in the ditch. Though luckily he failed to kill anybody else. Yesterday I saw another one of the same breed.
Several times I have noticed the “LOOK-AT-ME” type of drivers. Those are almost entirely testosterone-driven young males in pickup trucks or pseudo-sports cars. When they take off from the gas station they depress the accelerator to the floor for just to hit the screaming brakes 20feet later before they screech out into traffic. You encounter them often in small towns where cops are having a much better time with doughnuts and coffee.
Whoa….. look at me! They bought their drivers license at Walmart….on sale!
If you doubt my words….just get out there and have a good look yourself….or simply turn on the morning news-whatever is left of it.
Have a great safe day at play!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Thursday, August 21, 2014
|I had all my papers, my pens and and my daily lunch package including hot coffee in a thermos packed and stowed in my van, when I halted, looking at my watch. It showed 7:40am. What the heck was I doing outside? It was an entire hour too early to drive to town to begin another day behind the wheel. Now, is that good or is it a troubling sign of beginning dementia?|
Good thing I noticed my mistake before heading down the road.
Alberta weather has cooled down a lot and temps are now down to 17C. That means a light jacket is the order of the day. It also means that we are heading closer to the colder fall season. In Alberta that means temps below the freezing mark are coming soon.
Oh well…it’s soon time to be heading off to Cold Lake. See ya down the road!
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
|I’m having a day off and I’m watching the morning news. Whether it comes from CBC, CTV, or any other non-descript TV-channel doesn’t really matter. The main characteristics are the same. There are 2 or more “anchors” who try to talk into each other’s mouth producing nothing but rubbish.|
What we knew as the morning news has long since migrated into being a silly entertainment show where celebrity gossip and food recipes have taken priority over the real deal – the news.
Has our society grown into an entertainment-consuming monster? Don’t we care over what’s going on in reality anymore? In politics? Do we need to dig into every celebrity’s private or semi-public life in order have a full-filling day?
Real news has the potential to engage us, while a silly morning show may transform us into a passively watching public trying to forget our own little problems. It’s like a drug you take to slip away from every-day’s reality. I mean come on, there is a reason for computer games being so incredibly popular. People are getting addicted to them. And I really think that we are getting addicted to silly morning shows.
Or is there a bigger plan behind all this? Was it the Roman emperor Caesar who said “Give the people food and games and you can control them?” Or was it Nero? I don’t remember and it doesn’t really matter. But it is as truthful as it ever was. Our lives are being controlled by media. And who controls the media?
Whatever the commercial blows into our minds we go and buy the next day. Whatever the Hollywood star says, does and wears we are ready to copy.
But back to my morning news. I have turned them off, because it turns me off to watch this bull.
How about YOU?
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
|While I was driving north yesterday I noticed that some trees have started to show the first signs of yellow leaves. OK, that IS quite far north, but hey….it’s just barely the middle of August. Guess we have been spoiled rotten by living along the 45th parallel for some years. Nature sure plays a different melody up here in northern Alberta.|
Thinking of the change of seasons another “coming-up” occupies my mind. In about 6 weeks we are looking into October and while there has never before been a question of where and how we spend the winter, this year it’s quite different. We have already made the decision to keep working through a tough Canadian winter, but that sure poses the question of where are we going to stay. Bea will be coming over first thing in October. After that we are all together again. Bea, Molly and me.
It is definitely not an option to keep on doing camping in a trailer which never was made to withstand wintry conditions. So we are looking into more solid housing.
Shall we rent a place or buy something? Could there be an Alberta snowbird who is looking for reliable house sitters in the Edmonton area?
Lots of questions and no answers yet. The bus company is looking into moving their bus parking farther out to the west like to the Spruce Grove area. That would be just fine with us as accommodations are somewhat cheaper out there. They are also starting a new bus route on Monday. The new daily departure goes between Edmonton and Jasper. That means more driving for me. And I love that.
Bea might be looking into a hotel job again. Just on my work route into the city I have counted 10 big hotels. Plenty of work offers there.
We have always been ending up in a nice place and I have my unshakable confidence that something will pop up this time too.
Thanks for dropping by.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
|I call them challenges rather than problems, even though challenges CAN turn into real problems. (and they nearly did today) |
I had a run to Cold Lake,AB and back, and the bus was starting to run behind schedule due to a late passenger arrival and an irregular passenger drop-off along the route. It doesn’t really take much to delay a bus along its route.
Yet, I had made good of much of the delay when arriving in the City of Cold Lake.
Between my passengers back to Edmonton was a mentally and physically challenged lady. On top of that she was extremely obese. I helped her on board, as she had huge problems climbing the steps into the bus.
Leaving the oil city we had only 15 minutes delay and went over to Bonnyville, where we arrived 40 minutes later. Checking at the KFC for new passengers without finding any at or around the fast-food joint, we on, thus saving another 10 minutes of the drive back. (big mistake)
Next stop was St.Paul, but before we got there my phone went off. I hate to answer my phone while driving, but we were just standing at a left turn waiting for oncoming traffic to clear. One of the company’s managers informed me that a lady in Bonnyville had missed the bus by less than a minute. I suggested to put her on a cab and we would be waiting for her in St.Paul. Our company has made a promise that nobody will be left behind.
So there we sat waiting with the bus on high idle to keep the AC running. It was just another hot day in Alberta.
Now, while we were waiting, the obese lady had been shouting all the time that we should go and where we were going. It went on and on and I just had to tell her again and again
After 45 minutes a car pulled up and out came one of the most beautiful girls I have ever laid my eyes on. She had a HUGE and heavy 6ft long electronic piano board with her and a back-back which I could barely lift. It turned out she was from Argentina and on her way home. BANG!
Our next stop was Smoky Lake,AB. By now we had accumulated a tight layer of bugs on the windshield and I needed to get that off. While I was cleaning the windshield I saw the obese lady walking to the front of the bus. A moment later I heard a commotion and she had fallen backwards out of the passenger door and banged her head on the pavement. I was with her in an instant and so was another passenger. I was wildly afraid that she had cracked her head, but no blood was visible and she was still very much conscious. After a few moments we managed to get her back on her feet, which was no easy task, and she went back into the bus. After that she was quiet for the longest time and I had begun to be afraid something was wrong with her. In fact I was on the verge to stop the bus to look after her. But then she started shouting again and even came to the front again asking where we were going. Gosh was I relieved to hear her again.
But more challenges came our way today. We were back in the big city and rolling the last quarter mile to the Continental Inn when we were overtaken by a passenger car wildly using the horn with the driver shaking his fist at me.
What the heck did he want?
After stopping at the hotel entrance he was right there using his worst language telling that his car had almost been hit by a chunk of our exhaust pipe. And how could we……Oh dear….
I encouraged him to file a complaint but he just blew it off and left us in a fury. Most passengers were just watching in awe.
And then there was this female police officer at the curb asking me questions whether we had picked up passengers after leaving Bonnyville. Well, other than the Argentina girl there was none and that was obviously not the person of interest.
And if you now think this was really enough for one day, I’ll be with you on that one.
Thanks for ridin’ along.