Share Your Thoughts

I noticed today that when I decided to make a comment on G+, the heading for the page was “Share your thoughts”. So that’s what I’m going to do.

Happy Thoughts:
This morning, I woke up with a tiny puppy snuggled up on my pillow. Super cute, right? I mean, yeah, my head was still on the pillow, and yeah, the tiny puppy weighs 17 pounds, and yeah, the tiny puppy was snuggled up on my head. But still… Super Cute! And she was snoring. It gets no better, friends.

I arrived at work this morning, carrying my backpack and about 30 pounds of old bills, paycheck stubs, a few credit cards, and unknown amounts of printed pieces of what-not. Why? It was Shred-Time. I went to it. I stuffed the Secure-Shred box to capacity, and passed those old cards through the power-shred-master (it chewed them up like a wolf with a piece of fillet mignon). So my morning started with great satisfaction.

My breakfast was a chai tea, non-fat milk, no extra pumps (I’m trying to be good, and all those extra pumps is just extra sugar.), and a muffin my wife made. I have to admit – it was the lightest, fluffiest muffin I’ve ever had. Very well done!

Not So Happy Thoughts:
Yesterday, some asshole on a motorcycle reminded me just exactly why it is so many assholes on motorcycles become organ donors, posthumously. Traffic was mostly stop, no ‘go’ included, and this jerk thought that since he was on something only 2 feet wide, it was perfectly ok to ride down the line between lanes of cars. If I wasn’t in my shiny new Lexus, I would have rammed him. Why do motorcyclists bitch and complain about how nobodies pays attention to them on the road, or treats them like real vehicles, when they are so willing to ignore basic fucking laws?

Later, still on my way home, another motor cycle pulled up beside me at a light. Now, that wouldn’t be so bad, except that I was in the right hand lane… and he pulled up on my right side. And when the light changed, he STAYED in that space, and drove along, ignoring traffic, laws, and general personal safety.

If it were only motorcyclists who were so brazenly dumb, I might find a way to ignore it and blissfully continue on. But it’s also bicyclists.

One of my main routes home, once I get off I-90, is to drive along Marginal Way on the waterfront. It takes me over the ‘Short Bridge’ to West Seattle, and I can avoid I-5, which is always a plus. Now, along this route, there is a cycle lane – a three foot wide strip along the right side of the driving lane where cycles can be. I love it. They get a lane, they can ride as slow as they want, and there’s no interruption of traffic. Awesome.

On this route home, there are a couple of traffic lights. Invariably, at the first one, some cyclist will always pull one of my favorite moves: While all of us vehicles are stopped, waiting for the Red light to turn Green, the cyclist will come whizzing along and just shoot right on through, like the light wasn’t there. The same cyclists who bitch and complain about how they want to be treated fairly, and how vehicles should remember that cycles are ‘vehicles’ too, and how cycles also belong on the road… These same cyclists apparently have decided that the pretty lights at intersections must be decorative. Or suggestions. Or invisible.

Come to Jesus Moment:
We very much seem to live in a “do it your own way, and to hell with everyone else” society. A society so bent on ‘freedom’ that we take it to extremes, picking and choosing which parts of common law we will abide by, and which are just annoyance, and to be ignored. And if you think this statement doesn’t apply to you, I ask:

When you pull up behind someone who is stopped at a right-turn-with-a-stop-sign, and they drive forward… Do you pull up and STOP at the stop-sign, or do you drive right on behind them, figuring you already stopped? (No, not you, Mr. Third or Fourth in line. – I’m talking to Mr. Second Place.)

When you’re in one of our great industrial parks, such as the MS Redmond complex, or the Factoria T-Mobile hill, and there are little intersections with stop-signs… If there are no pedestrians, and no cross-traffic… Do you Stop?

When you’re in a mall or grocery store or outdoor shopping center or Home Depot parking lot, do you STOP at those thick white stop lines at the end of the parking lines? Or do you use the “ain’t nobody comin’. Time to git.” methodology?

If you are the person who doesn’t stop any of those situations, Then, Yes, Billy. I’m talking to you. You’re not special. You’re not above. You’re not a law unto yourself. All these little rules apply to you just as well as the big rules (You know – don’t kill your neighbor because his Chihuahua pissed on your rose-bushes and left little piles of poo all over your lawn… Those sort of big rules.)

And if you don’t think I’m talking to you, then next time you’re out and about, count up all your ‘minor moving violations’, keep tally, and be honest. Do you use our blinkers not only for turning corners, but for changing lanes? Do you use them to turn in parking lots? Are you one of those awesome double-parkers (It’s NEVER legal, people, unless you’re an official emergency vehicle. Even if you use your Hazard Lights.)? Do you drive even as little as 5 miles over the speed limit everywhere you go? Do you drive 5-10mph in parking lots? Do you step on the gas when the light turns yellow (Guilty! I do it all the damned time!)?

We all break laws we’re fully aware of, all the time. Every one of us. Police included. What are our justifications for thinking the rules don’t apply to us? I’m sure there’s a study, and if there isn’t, then there ought to be.

Back to Happy Thoughts:
At home are two fuzzy beasts who love absolutely, and without reservation, non-stop. Mokey and Ziggy, I’ll be home in about 8 hours. Check my blog, and you’ll know this. (Note to self: I should install a tiny speaker and LCD in the crate, and a little web cam, so the dogs and I can talk during the day. Or is that going too far?)

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