20 Things to Avoid to be a Conscientious Driver Part 3

I am writing this intro very shortly after experiencing a few of the most grievous violations of this law.  It puts it fresh in my mind as to why it is important.  When you witness an old, red Dodge Durango almost flatten a small group of elementary school children, because she was speeding through a school zone, it puts an infuriating taste in my mouth.  Of the many different topics on this list, this one rings pretty strongly for me.

3. Not following speed limits, or the flow of traffic


You might jump right into assuming I speak directly about speeders here. However, that isn't true. I direct this to both over speeders and "slow drivers". Both pose near equal hazard on the road. This section is less about the letter of the law, but more about using the intelligent side of your brain on the road.

I will cover the easy one. If you feel you need to go over 10MPH faster than the speed limit on any given road, do the world a favor and cut your license up, sell your car, and slap yourself as hard as you can twenty times. There is no reason, aside from life threatening emergencies, that you should ever need to go that fast.  This is especially true in school zones, by parks, libraries, and hospitals.  Places where there are people, and children, that may not have the senses yet to avoid walking out into traffic.  I doubt any sane person has ever thought about what it would feel like to murder someone, but speeding through a school zone and killing a child would be exactly that.  It may not be premeditated murder, sure, but it damn well is murder.  Children, by nature, are chaotic.  They make extreme and, a lot of times, irrational decisions.  When to cross the road?  Well now of course!  People will argue that high schools shouldn't apply to the "school zoned" areas.  While I agree, kids that age should be smart enough to know better, they are teenagers after all, they're still morons more often than not.  They know just enough about the law to know that you have to stop for them, but not enough about pain and physics to understand that, if that car hits them, they will learn a whole new realm of pain, and likely die.  Don't be the cause of someone's death, slow it down, speeding in no way gets you there so much faster that it's worth risking people's lives over.

Slow drivers? You're also doing it wrong, and causing a danger to those of us who drive correctly. Take the words speed limit from the signs, and take off the word limit (which a lot of states have actually done so), because that number posted on the sign is the speed you had better be going. Everyone else is going the correct speed, and you're just selfishly slowing everyone down. Not only is there that blatant inconvenience to others around you, that you have decided you have the right to impose on others, but you are also a huge hazard. If I am behind a big truck, who's profile blocks a bit of that lane, time for me to switch lanes. Well, just so happens you were putting around under the speed limit and I didn't see the big truck passing you and now I'm rear ending you and it's your fault. Wait, did you read that right? Did I just say it was your fault for me rear ending you? Yes, you certainly did. You are going slower than the flow of traffic, and that is incorrect. Period. Now, of course, there are situations here that would warrant a slow down, if you were in the motions to turn and was slowing down for that. However, if a big rig is passing you, and you're not turning, you're going too slow.

So, slow it down, or speed it up, don't take it to one extreme or the other.  Neither way is any bit safer than the other.  Safe driving is a lot cooler than being paralyzed or dead.  No one looks cool after dying in a fiery car wreck.  Not a single person.

<-Part Two

WARNING: INCOMING RANT's Week In for May 3rd - 9th


Via Joystiq

Via Destructoid

In other news, EA and DICE have created an environment for players to do their jobs for them...I mean "better receive player feedback" in their Community Test Environment for Battlefield 4 and NBC proves yet again that TV executives are completely out of touch by the changes they wanted made to the script of The Walking Dead show when Robert Kirkman and Frank Darabont originally pitched it to them.


WARNING: INCOMING RANT; The Reasons Why "Nice" Weather Sucks

As unpopular as the opinion may be, I can't stand the Spring and Summer seasons. While everyone is talking about barbecues and fishing and camping, I am lamenting the loss of comfort and happiness. Below, you will find the reasons that "nice" weather is actually a big load of ass. It may not be tech related but I believe we all relate on some level to these following points.

  • The Heat

It pretty much goes without saying but every problem that I have with "nice" weather stems from this first bullet. I HATE hot weather. It's uncomfortable and it makes the general populace a bunch of assholes because they are all overheated, dehydrated and miserable.

Everyone always gives stupid advice like "wear shorts" or "go to the lake/pool". That would be all well and good, provided it actually did something to alleviate the effects of that large star a few million light years away.

If you go to the beach you are removing protective layers of clothing that shield you from the Sun's ultraviolet rays so you can swim in large bodies of chemical filled/water that fish fuck in. Many would counter this argument with "well, wear sunscreen then." Again, if this actually helped, it would be good advice. I don't think they make any SPFs high enough to fully prevent a sunburn in the least.

The "wear less clothes" argument always falls flat on it's ass as well because you can be naked as the day you were born and still be sweating your ever-loving ass off. At least in the winter time you can put on more layers to stay warm. If it's 113 degrees outside, nudity isn't going to help you and it'll just sunburn your naughty bits if you're at the beach like that.

Beyond that point, once you get a sunburn you'll be miserable and not want anyone to touch you in any way, shape, form or fashion. You can be sitting under a fan with aloe vera all over your body and still be miserable.

  • The Insects

Once the weather is above 60 degrees for more than two days, all manner of hibernating arachnids and insects begin to awaken. It's a big problem for me because I live near a forested area, so we get all sorts of gnarly ass bugs that most people don't see in the city like wasps and bald-faced hornets. Have you ever seen a June Bug? You aren't missing out if you haven't.

Even still, for those who don't have to deal with baseball-sized nests that you have to go around and take down like Rambo every year, any time you have a barbecue or outdoor get together with any sort of food or drink involved, you're likely to have these unwelcome asshole visitors coming around and bugging you. This is especially unfortunate for people who are scared of them (like myself) or people will allergies to their stings.

Scoff at me if you will for being scared of bees/wasps, I know many people, male and female, who are afraid of spiders. Once again, I get pretty gnarly ones out here but I guarantee that anyone who has any kind of storage or does any yard work will always have to deal with these slippery little assholes every year. My wife and I have already killed 4 spiders and 2 wasps that somehow got in to our house. We've had nice weather for, what? A couple weeks now?

  • Summer Stank

I didn't have a term for this until the other day but I have dubbed the phenomenon "summer stank". Every human being has a natural pheromone. A smell that is fully unique to you that only you smell like. This smell gets tainted in the spring/summer time by pollen clinging to your skin and dry sweat.

It's an unpleasant smell on anyone. You might not think you have it but you do. Everyone does. Your personal hygiene can be impeccable and you'll still get this smell on you. It's not your fault and it's not as offensive or readily noticeable as body odor but it is there.

And this isn't even comparable to the smell of people's feet. Yes, this is the time of year where people start wearing open-toed shoes, sandals and flip-flops. I personally don't do it to avoid the terrible foot odor and road tar grime that build up on one's feet all day after wearing flip flops.

  • It Gets Light Earlier and Stays Light Later

Before the birth of my daughter this was just a minor inconvenience. I just prefer to be up at night. Now that I have an infant daughter, the sun is going to be the bane of my existence for the next 5 & 1/2 months or so.

Just a few short months ago, I would wake up for my day job. I'd get up and get ready for work and hit the road. It would be dark out with next to noone on the road at all.

Now as I hit the highway, the sun is rearing it's ugly head on the horizon an hour earlier (thanks Daylight Savings Time. Probably another reason people are shitty for losing that hour of sleep.) and it seems like there are a hell of a lot more people clogging up my commute in the morning.

Once I get back home, I take care of my infant daughter until I put her to bed at around 7-7:30 P.M. This used to be easy because it was dark outside. Now, there is full daylight bloom coming in her windows at that hour and if she hasn't skipped a nap during the daytime so she is exhausted at night, I have an hour long battle on my hands to try to get her to go to sleep and stay asleep.

I plan on investing in blackout curtains for her room and this pisses me off even more. Now "nice" weather is costing me money!

  • Pollen

I don't exactly know the specifics of how many people have allergies but I'd imagine it's a pretty high amount what with the plethora of over-the-counter antihistamines. Which in and of itself is a bummer.

See, for people without allergies, you are the chosen few. Every year once the snow melts and the weeds and flowers start growing, we allergy ridden folk "get sick" as I say for short. Every once in a while you'll see one of us reach up to our face and begin scratching our nose or eyes with the fervor of a meth-head thinking they have bugs crawling out of their skin. Shortly thereafter, every orifice on the front of our head begins to leak. Lather, rinse and repeat for about 6 months.

Which brings me back to the point about antihistamines. They work but they also knock you unconscious. Any non-drowsy antihistamine I've ever taken has been a waste of money as it has not worked. I don't particularly care to walk around looking like Dr. Ned for six months.

So, in short, I can't wait for September. The days will be shorter, the weather will be more manageable and the beer will be best it'll be all year.