At least learn to merge…

I know, another driving rant. What can I say? I spend a minimum of 1.5 hours per day on the road and drivers here are some of the worst I have ever seen. My driving day started off behind a little old man who was going 40 km an hour in Maple Ridge. Very. Freaking. Frustrating. I was running late trying to get to a dental appointment. Finally, I passed him. Old men in hats are almost always a problem.

After I left the dentist office I got stuck behind another convey. As I was passing htat car, I looked at the driver and lo and behold he was talking on his cell phone. I will admit that I speed but seriously I would never talk on my handheld phone (I have a Bluetooth!). Once I got to the highway, I was treated to the usual no signal lane changes, being cut off and/or being stuck behind some yahoo.

Just as I was almost at First Ave, some idiot didn’t merge properly. Like dominos, the little lemmings who were behind him wouldn’t/couldn’t merge around him. Then the minivan in front of me decided to stop, on the highway, to let the three of them merge. So now we had a comedy of errors involving four people who don’t know what to do for a merge and the possibility of collisions happening. Thankfully I am mostly not a distracted driver and I leave more than adequate following distance.

As I was driving away from the merge morons, I flashed back to the merge instruction signs they use to move around in Calgary. First of all the signs would point out the merge lane, then tell the merging traffic to speed up or slow down to use a gap in the traffic. Then there were instructions for the traffic on the highway to move over or make a gap. I loved those signs! I wish we had them here.

On another note, I noticed the complete lack of reporting about SNOWmaggedon today on the news. Does anyone know if it happened? I am guessing the mayhem was nowhere near what was predicted. Or maybe someone just realized that SNOW in February in Canada is not news!


Listening to the newscasts today you would think that the world is about to end because, wait for it, gasp, it is going to SNOW!! Apparently, it is going to SNOW a lot. To listen to the news reporters if the sun comes up on Thursday, after SNOWmaggedon, it will be a miracle. Yes, really, a miracle!

The SNOW storm, the likes of which we haven’t “seen since 2008,”[1] is due to hit eastern North America on February 2, 2011.[2] Now, the last time I checked we were in the Northern hemisphere and it is still winter in February. So one is left to wonder why SNOWmaggedon is even news?  Another well-known weather fact will also come into effect tomorrow: lake effect SNOW. What this means, is that people who live near the great lakes will get more SNOW. Is any of this new? No!!!

So why is it news? Clearly the media did not bother to read my PSA posted in January about SNOW and reporting it. In fact, I would argue it has gotten worse. You see, I live on the west coast. I do not live anywhere near Eastern North America yet I have been inundated all day today with reports of SNOWmaggedon. I have heard predictions of SNOW days and rush hour mayhem, which will then turn into bedlam.

I have a theory here. I think the media are focusing so much on reporting the weather because everything else is too difficult. In a world where dictators, terror alerts and protests not to mention political ‘leaders’ who encourage violence are the order of the day, reporting about weather must seem like an easy pass. Political stalemates, on both sides of the border, along with negative political advertisements means there is even less for real journalists to report. Neither the Canadian Parliament nor the US Congress is really ‘working’ in any productive way. Given that this is not likely to change in any meaningful way for the foreseeable future, I look forward to more weather related news. I am sure we will have the hottest temperatures this summer since 2007 and a plague of locusts this summer. Get ready for LOCUSTS leave LA!!

[1] Opined one meteorologist from the US.

[2] I am wondering now if they are going to find a way to bring Groundhog Day into SNOWmaggedon.

Dispatches from the Swamp – the ‘have I been living under a rock?’ edition

  • First up, this member of the Swamp would like to thank the media for scaring most everyone off the roads today. I left home at 10:20 am and there was literally no traffic. I got to the on-ramp to the #1 westbound and there was no line-up whatsoever. It was clear sailing all the way to the doctor’s office. Even going home was great! Bring on the snow.
  • Clearly, I have been living under a rock. I did not know about Sarah Palin’s[1] website that had the Democrat congress people with cross hairs over their names. My mother told me about it yesterday. I then heard about it today on CBC. What the fuck is this woman thinking? Then her speech today was completely over the top and only incites more hatred. When are the Americans who support going to wake up and smell the hatred?
  • Deb took Sawyer, the youngest of the Swamp-rats to get licensed today. We weren’t sure where his neuter certificate was so she plopped up on the counter and said, “Look, he is neutered.” They still called the vet’s office.
  • We got a fair bit of snow last night but it did not really impact things here. The dogs love the snow. They love to go and frolic through the snow. Kiefer looked so cute when he came in all covered in snow.

[1] I am not linking to her site. I would not want to be guilty of driving traffic to her website.

PSA for the Media: Snow Scare #317

Ok, I know snow is a big deal. I know it makes the lattes cold and you can’t wear your flop-flips without risking frostbite (and maybe ridicule). You have to plan a little more and you may even have to clean your car off. It complicates driving a great deal for most people.  But for the love of all things holy can you all please knock of the snow scaremongering that goes on in this city.

Snow is big news here on the Left Coast. I know we live in a rainforest. Occasionally, something happens and we get colder air that causes the little raindrops to turn into white flakes. This does not mean that the world, as we know it, is about to end. It does not mean that there will be bedlam on the roads.[1]

Please, I implore you, if there is snow in the forecast, report it. Just like you would sunshine or rain or fog or whatever else it might do. Keep your thoughts of doom and gloom to yourself.

If not, I am sure Starbucks can build something to keep your latte cup warm in the winter. It will retail for $12.95 no doubt.

[1] Although, I must say, your warnings today were bad enough that lots of people didn’t drive. It made my commute home ever so much better!

Snow in Metro Vancouver

Ok, we got some snow and we whine, loud and long, about the snow. There is a reason why we hate snow here and it has nothing to do with the snow but rather the response to it by most municipalities. As we don’t get snow very often most cities do not budget appropriate amounts for snow removal. In fact, one good snow dump will exhaust the snow removal budget. In short – we are all on the rain snow removal plan. What this means is we count on the rain coming and melting the snow away. Very little is done in the way of snow removal which means residents of Metro Vancouver have a much more difficult time when there is snow on the ground for any length of time.