Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Meetings, Alberta drivers and things with HEMI on them

I'm sorry. Did the title make you defensive? Don't be so touchy.

Meetings. I had a million other things to do and a million other things I would rather do, but this week, or rather tomorrow, will be consumed with meetings.

This is the electronic age. Meetings should be a thing of the past.... unless there's a money transfer involved and that means banks and that means, even though I'm not borrowing a penny, having to provide more information than anyone is entitled to. Because there is a bank involved. And somehow, this will defeat the terraists. It's all very confusing to someone who saved, (remember those bank ads about teaching your kids how to save their allowance?), and invested conservatively, (note the small "c"), paid off the mortgage early and spent months (cumulative years) away from home. Not to mention the fiscally conservative partner who kept a set of pristine books that would make Diefenbaker envious, who squeezed more out of a dime than Harper can get out of a million bucks and can still look at the world and say, "We're the luckiest people on the planet."

Still, meetings. And that meant driving to them... over the mountains.... again.

It's not a bad drive. It's August. The same route in January is a nightmare of ice, avalanches and truckers who are working on the same "just on time" delivery schedule as they are when the roads are dry and the only impediment to continuous 110 km/h travel is a young summer employee with a traffic control sign and an unpoliced section of highway where, apparently, traffic fines double in work zones. Which brings me to the next point.

Alberta drivers get a bad rap on BC roads. They're accused of being notorious speeders. Let's clear that up.

They are. At least some of them are.

But they're not alone. They were accompanied today by at least an equal number of BC drivers. The truth is, three out of every ten vehicles on the highway were driving dangerously. The overwhelmingly obvious ones had an inuksuk on the license plate. Go figure. Alberta plates are rather artless in that regard. (You're not off the hook yet.)

There is one maneouvre, however, that seemed to be exclusive to that barren white and red plate: failure to signal a lane change. Is that a big deal? No... not really... unless you're going to tear off my front license plate as you pull in front of me and that was almost habitual today. The worst part is that I was using cruise control set exactly for the speed limit. Silly me!

And then there was the pick-up that zoomed by. No big deal, but before he pulled into one of the other two lanes (three lanes each way) the driver decided to inspect the small flaw in my rear bumper. He then pulled in front of me and slowed enough to allow me to reciprocate, although I was occupied with an emergency braking at the time.

Once he had slowed to 60 km/h (in a 110 zone) I decided to pass. Loved his dashboard decorations! You could return most of them to a recycle depot for a nickel apiece and pocket a few dollars. After I passed, he took another close look at my bumper, then pulled the same maneouvre, giving me a good long look at the HEMI sign on the side of his highway machine (it would get dirty if he really took it off-road) and a clear view of his license plate.

I have a new love for cell-phones.

"Hi! I'm at (location) southbound, and I've got a vehicle driving.... erratically." (A few details)

Thank you, Sir!

Y'know, that same silver-grey truck with the HEMI symbol looked so much better bathed in the loom of red and blue strobe lights.

I'll save the story of my latest trip on BC Ferries for another time. I'm still trying to absorb it myself.

Until then, I have meetings. Thank the FSM, I have Bloggerpalooza II to make it all better.

Oh yeah, mellow out.

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