Sunday, April 22, 2007

T is for turn

While sick and running some needed errands Sunday, I was stopped in the left lane, on the stop line, at the light where South Huntington Ave. meets Route 9 at a sort of t-shaped intersection, about to turn left into Route 9. Left blinker flashing.

A Green Line trolley was heading up the hill towards Heath St. The driver, stops, blows his horn and insists that I move back. I politely go back as far as I (and the people behind me) can. There's only so much room we all, including the trolley, have. He then opens his window and asks why I can't just turn right onto Route 9/Huntington St. (Keep in mind that my left turn signal is blinking at him.)

Me: I'm going left.
Him: Why can't you just go right?
Me: I'm not headed that way.
Him: Why not?
Me: That's not where I'm going. It's the wrong direction.

Eventually he gave up arguing and had scooted the trolley up the hill. It's not my fault that some idiot designed that intersection poorly, leaving tight space for all. Meanwhile, he made all those passengers wait while he argued with me about directions.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

At what cost?

I think that what happened at VA Tech is horrible. But I do wonder if all the media attention being paid to this crime is, in a way, giving the perpetrator the attention or notoriety that he craved. To some people even post-mortem 'fame' is better than none.

I used to work for a TV station that did not cover bomb threats at area schools because they did not want to give possibly disturbed students the (negative) attention that they desired. They also did not want to encourage any copycats who might also seek their 15 minutes of fame.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Perfect day for a duck

Along Route 109
Millis, MA

Usually this is more marsh than lake.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bad 'Carma' Continues...

Yesterday, the Volvo died on a small rotary in Norfolk. Just died. Thank goodness I was able to pilot it (minus power steering, or much else for that matter) into the parking lot of a gas station right before the Norfolk train station. The gas station was a preferable landing spot to the RR tracks. The nice guys who work there got it ruining well enough for me to drive back home to Boston, but recommended I take it to the Volvo place, as they couldn't quite figure out why the engine was making that horrible stuttering noise.

Anyway, I drop it off at the Volvo place in Dedham and now I've got yet another rental car- this time it's a Nissan Altima. Which is very nice. However, someone at Enterprise forgot to tell me something important about the car. I pulled out of the parking lot and wondered why the engine sounded so loud and then noticed that it was red lining, with RPMs around 6 and 7. I stopped at a light. Noise subsided. A number on the electronic display went from 3 to 1. Huh? Now I know very little about driving stick, but I do know that it involves RPMs. I look at the gearshift. It seems to have some plus and minus signs. I experiment and tap the gearshift. The car sounds a bit better. I tried again. Yep. That seemed to do the trick. For now.

I pull over into a parking lot to check out what the driver's manual has to say. I reached into the glove compartment and pull out... a DVD. Yep, the owner's manual is a DVD, which is not very helpful when driving down Route 1.

I made it to work, playing around with the shifter the whole time, and check out the Nissan website. Turns out the car is a a half-assed standard, not a true automatic. I also managed to find a non-DVD version of the user's manual. This was helpful, allowing me to figure out how to keep the car from sliding out of automatic and into standard (which seems to have been the problem this morning).

On a similar note, I swear my Volvo is it's own anti-theft device. No one in my neighborhood would want to steal it, since it would probably just break. (Not that a Volvo has the street value of a Lexus or Honda.)