Posts Tagged ‘traffic’

Snow: not threatening enough

February 11th, 2011 No comments

We’ve had a more interesting winter than usual here in New England this year. Average snowfall in Boston is around 40 inches per year, and we’ve had nearly 70 this year (as of January) spread across 10 or so snowfalls. So I’ve had some time to watch how people react to snow (whether I like it or not). I’ve noticed something this winter about the driving habits of the unwashed public. I’m sure its always been this way but for whatever reason I haven’t really noticed till now. It’s going to sound obvious, but it’s a newish perspective for me.

I’ve noticed a trend that drivers could care less about how much snow there is on the roads. Don’t get me wrong… the smallest amount of snow in the air turns most people into either terrified retards barely capable of breathing, or into trailblazing juggernauts of fury who drive where they want when they want (ATTN: Every SUV driver – this is not you: clicky). What I mean is that the decision of whether or not to stay home from work due to snowy conditions seems to have nothing to do with how much snow there is outside. It has only to do with how much hype the storm received before it hit. You’d think the sequence would go something like “get up, look outside, become terrified of conditions (or not), call into work (or not)”. But no. If a storm was heralded as a Ragnarok-like event scheduled to end all life, everyone stays home regardless of actual conditions. “The news said it was gonna suck, so it’s ok if I call in”. If the storm was predicted to fizzle out but ends up dumping 6-10 inches on us by morning, people look outside and say “Ha ha holy fuck, that is a TON of snow… fuck me, this commute is gonna suck”. Every time the news predicted the second coming of Snow Christ, my commute was great. Terrible road conditions, but no drivers around to cause trouble. Any time we got a crap-ton of snow we didn’t expect, nobody seemed to pay attention to the tundra outside. Refer to the following scientific analytic analysis chart:

As you can see, so long as a huge deal has been made about the storm during the week prior, an inch or so is all it takes to keep mere mortals cowering indoors. But without this hype, the number only gradually goes up, mostly due to people actually being physically incapable of getting their cars out of their driveways. This “Fusion of Conditioning and Timing Arising in Responsibility Degradation” (or the “FUCTARD effect”) makes even lesser storms complete hell to drive in if nobody makes a buzz about it. I blame the internet. No, really. Everyone’s so used to information being shoved in their faces that they really can’t recognize a poor condition outside their own doors unless their iPhone or Weatherbug or Weatherbug on their iPhone tells them “hey bro, you better watch out lol!”

Floating around on the internet is a rant about the naming of hurricanes:

“Who the fuck is the one naming hurricanes? They somehow manage to give them the least threatening names ever. If I turned on the news and heard that Hurricane Erin was coming I’d think to myself, “Erin? I could take that slut.” If I turned on the news and heard that Hurricane Dicksmasher was approaching, I’d grab all the money in the house, shove it in my pockets, and get the fuck out of there.”

Every time I’ve seen it it’s looked like copypasta, so I can’t credit the original author. But I’d like to see snowstorms get this treatment. I know if it was Snowstorm “Assured Fatality”, Blizzard “Blood Orgy”, or “Icefest the Great Deductible Nightmare”, I would really assess the situation before getting on the road.

Snow. Snow never changes.

December 9th, 2009 No comments

I posted the following entry in my LJ blog back in 2004 (before it was the haven of emo ranting that it’s become). Normally I don’t like to recycle material, but this may become an annual post since it never seems to become any less true. I love snow… but like many things in life, it’s ruined by other people.


Snow. Snow is funny stuff.

Snow appears harmless enough when blanketing the scenery in peaceful whiteness. Its very nature is almost “kind”. Light… fluffy… delicate. BUT… Something darker lurks beneath the surface. The docile exterior of ice belies an ethereal core of absolute stupidity.

The snowflake is a complex object. The crystal husk is merely a carrier vessel for a small portal to another sort of supersymmetrical dimension. The true quintessence of snow lies in this ethereal form. The particles from this dimension exist partially in our realm and partially in the supersymmetrical realm. The component of these particles that exists in our dimension is very small. These “fingers” into our “heavy space”, known as an LSSP (lightest super-stupid particle) is what snowflakes seed upon.

The mechanism by which snow “works” upon humans is even more interesting. Snow would normally float about in the upper atmosphere since snow clearly floats. Throw a snowball into water and you’ll see what I mean. But this superdimensional seed of stupidity adds just enough mass for the snowflakes to fall slowly and gently to the ground. Upon reaching the ground, the LSSP is released from the snow, and rises to the upper atmosphere to seed another flake. While in these states, snow is harmless. It could even fall on your head and it wouldn’t matter… there’s simply not enough force to drive the LSSP into your head. After alighting on your head, it floats back into the atmosphere like normal. However, a curious thing happens when snow is hit by a car. The crystal is hit with such force that the payload of stupidity is ripped from the core of the snowflake, and travels through the windshield of the car, leaving its icy prison behind. The LSSP is driven into the driver’s brain, where it is pulled the rest of the way into our dimension. It expands to its full size and darkles the driver’s mind, impeding neural activity and impairing the subject’s higher functions.

Normally, one such incursion into the human brain has little effect (especially in the state of Massachusetts, where the drivers give the LSSP very little to impair on in the first place)… but during a snowstorm, the drivers are pelted with countless vessels of crystalline stupidity. They are reduced to a near inanimate state (except in Massachusetts, where they become only slightly less intelligent than normal).

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

At least he wasn’t speeding

April 17th, 2009 2 comments

From link below:

“PFLUGERVILLE, Texas – A Pflugerville man is arrested for driving home a piece of construction equipment, police say while intoxicated. FOX 7 News first reported this in October, now Pflugerville Police are releasing the video.”

Full story (with video): Clicky

A steam roller would have been bad enough, this thing looks more like a road crushing juggernaut. I realize it doesn’t go fast, but can you imagine what would happen if a person or car got in the way of that death machine and he didn’t notice or stop?

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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Lil fluffy

March 2nd, 2009 2 comments

Driving on days like today make me very thankful for having gone through a few seasons of ice racing and training at Tim O’Neil‘s rally school. Not because I’m sliding all over the place 100% of the time, but because it gives me the confidence and knowledge to not drive like a complete asshat. The drivers out there were so bad that they were slowing down the snowplows. If you’re driving slower than the plows, keeping them from moving, you probably shouldn’t be on the road yet.

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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Mmm, steak

December 20th, 2007 12 comments

So I got t-boned last night. Some delightful fellow smashed into my driver’s side, towards the rear (picture their drivers side headlight would have hit right where I was. Most of the damage is to the rear of the car though. I was most of the way through the intersection and this guy either flew through the stop sign or couldn’t stop. Either way he didn’t stick around. I don’t think I have rental coverage, so I guess I get to burn some vacation time on a xmas vacation. This must be my “happy holidays” message from the powers that be.

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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December 13th, 2007 3 comments

Apparently the sky is falling. In discrete packets of snow. A lot of it. Luckily work is treating it like the second coming and putting everyone up in a local hotel if they don’t feel like driving home. After carefully weighing the benefits of driving home in traffic that’s literally backed up a couple dozen carlengths into the parking lot against staying in a hotel that has an irish bar that brews their own beer, I decided to stay. My boss pointed out there is Baileys’ in his drawer for just this kind of emergency situation, and that drinking at work from this point forward is to be strictly enforced. You know, to keep the troops happy. If you have to drive home today, drive safe New Englandahs.

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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No need for blinker fluid

September 6th, 2007 No comments

On the way home, I saw someone actually using hand signals in their car instead of their blinkers. At first I thought “what a goon! Fix your lights, scrub!” Then I thought how few people even bother with their regular turn signals, and how this guy is guy is going so far as to stick his arm out the window every time he even changes lanes. That’s a lot more effort than most drivers bother to pur forward. Props to you, hand-signal-guy. props to you.

Originally published at The IggBlog. You can comment here or there.

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