Get out of my lane, Miami!

I am, what most would call a good driver.  In my 16 years of driving, I've been pulled over about 5 times and ticketed about twice.  I've wrecked twice.  One completely my fault where I was late for work, driving too fast, and tapped the lady in front of me at about 5 mph.  (Of course this did not stop her from trying to get $10,000 from my insurance company for damages to her person and her car.  Just for future reference, lady, they take pictures of the cars.  My car didn't have as much as a scratch on it and neither did yours so quit trying to SCAM!)  The second wreck involved only me, my car, a rainy day, and a freshly oiled stretch of pavement.  (Yes, in PA, they OIL the roads.  Oil + water = skid, slide, BANG!)

Last month, I got a ticket for failing to come to a complete stop before making a right on red.  Again, I was in a hurry.  So much of a hurry that I completely missed seeing the cop.  Oh well.  I took it like a man.  Or at least as much of a man that's possible as I'm not a man.  Did I aggravate the officer?  Probably.  Did his question, the ever popular, "Do you know why I pulled you over?" deserve to be answered with "Because I cut you off?", probably not.  At least he didn't nail me for not having my seat belt on. 

This was my first ticket in FL and lucky for me (NOT), the most expensive one outside of speeding.  DON'T RUN A RED IN FLORIDA PEOPLE!  Anyways, $200 later, I figure I'd better take the traffic class so that the points aren't added to my license and therefore jacking up my insurance rate.  As I've been going through this class online, I finally came to a part that everyone who gets on the ramp to 836 east off of NW 27th Ave northbound between 7:20 and 7:30 am should know about:

Drivers should be advised that highway on-ramps are for entrance to and preparation for highway driving. Drivers must no longer travel at the drastically reduced speeds suitable for city driving. Drivers are called upon to increase speeds to that of the highway traffic and use the on-ramp and subsequent merging lanes as a means to get into the flow of highway traffic. The driver is called on to signal, increase speed, and merge safely into traffic.

Do you understand what this means, people?  Just in case you don't, let me break it down for you.  We have a few hundred feet of space to get up to the SAME speed as everyone else that is late for work.  Said late folks are NOT going to slow down so that you can creep, grandma-style into traffic.  You are going to cause a major accident.  In case that wasn't clear enough, let me elaborate.  Everyone else is going between 65 and 150 mph.  I use this ramp to have my Ricky Bobby moment for the day, wherein I blow out all the dirt that's hanging out in my injectors by redlining it in first through about third till I get up to speed.  Now, what do you think happens when you, turtle shell, are in front of me?

    1. I am deprived of my Ricky Bobby moment for the day.
    2. My baby Honda must choke on dirt for an extra day.
    3. You PISS OFF everyone within a half mile radius of your car.
    4. Quite often, you cause an accident.

You may not think that numbers one and two are important, but ask any 6 year old how important number one and number two are, and even they will know the answer. 

So please, Mr/Ms. Honey-I'm-So-Scared-To-Drive-Here-Because-Everyone-Is-Going-So-Fast, either get on the track or stay in the pit!

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The countdown is on.

A mere 43 days remain until our long-awaited vacation, and yes, we are counting.  As you can tell from the picture, we're headed north to the snow.  Preparations have been ongoing for months now with everything from booking (and then changing, and changing again) our cabin, dealing with the airlines that seem to want to change our flights every time we decide where we want to sit, and clothing the masses.  By the way, here's where we're going.

So this trip is exciting on so many levels.  First, it is our first family vacation, (an ex-roommate and his girlfriend count as family, right?), myself, my daughter and my boyfriend.  I'm so stoked that everyone gets along and we can go on this trip.  Second, it's my boyfriend's first time to see real live snow!  I'm glad that I get to share this first with him.  Third, it is the first time for everyone on the trip, excluding myself, to go skiing or snowboarding.  I'm no pro, don't worry, I won't get too far ahead of them, but I like to think that I have a clue.  Fourth, it's VACATION!!  One entire week of sleeping in, staying up late, and in general relaxation.

All of our ducks are in a row and they are waiting to glide down the mountain.  Is it the end of December yet?!?!

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QotD: My Dream Career

What's your dream career? 
Submitted by Something.

If I had the funds readily available, I would be a professional student.  There are so many things that I want to learn, that I could make a career out of it!  Subjects to study include:

  • Landscape architecture
  • Archtiectural engineering
  • Interior design
  • Journalism

There are more, but I won't bore you. 🙂

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QotD: My Dream Address

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?  Why? 
Submitted by abcdefg81.

Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, circa 1970-1990.

I grew up in this wonderful place.  By today's real estate standards, it's still a gem and has much to offer.

  • Location, location, location – only 20 minutes from downtown Pittsbugh, within a 30 minute drive of 5 major malls, a small hometown grocery story within 2 miles (where they know you by name and will charge it if you don't have enough), and not a long drive to several major universities (Pitt, IUP, WVU, Penn State branch campuses).
  • Crime rate – back in the day, it was pretty much nil.  We left our cars unlocked with the keys in them and the doors unlocked overnight.  It was safe to trick-or-treat, go caroling, and just let your kids run around and play hide-and-go-freeze at night.
  • School district – one of the best around.  My graduating class had a bunch of damn near geniuses in it (myself NOT included) as well as athletes.  Several went to the NFL and many now have prosperous careers.  Wonderful buildings housing our educators and students as well as the most kick-ass football stadium around.  Superb faculty and great opportunities for the students.
  • Weather – yes, it rains, often.  But you take the good with the bad.  The first day warm enough to wear shorts (and after a long winter, that's the first day that breaks 50 degrees), summer days hot enough to go to the waterpark, SWEATER WEATHER!, the beauty of untouched snow in the back yard, changing of the leaves, crickets chirping at night, beautiful starry skies with no light pollution.
  • People – everyone knows everyone, but they still kept their nose out of your business.  I knew I could always count on any of our neighbors if I needed a hand.

If you're passing through Pittsburgh, take a drive straight down Route 51 and check it out.

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