Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where To Start?

I was on my way to the dump today, when "The Ride Of The Valkyries" began to blare over my cell phone. I never answer my phone when I'm driving, so when I got to the dump, I tried to pull up the number, to see who it was from. A missed called had registered, but unlike all missed calls in the past, there was no information about who called. Not even the number of the caller. Hmmm............strange!

Of course my very first concern, was that my 90 year old mother had fallen and broken her hip again. She's already done that twice, and because she is both unsteady on her feet, and a tad scatterbrained, my greatest fear is getting a call saying she has fallen, and been hospitalized. She has recovered from past broken femurs with flying colors, but her last was nearly ten years ago, and I'm afraid she won't fair so well, if it happens again. It was a fall from a kitchen step stool, while reaching for a can of peanuts on an upper shelf, that sent my grandfather to the hospital for the last time in his life. He was in his late eighties, and the broken hip he suffered was just too much for his old body to handle.

Once I had thrown my bags of trash into the compactor, I dialed Mom's number. After a nervous five rings, she answered. Whew! It wasn't her, so who was it??? They never called back, so I haven't a clue!

Another major coastal storm is brewing, and it's scheduled to arrive by Monday night, or Tuesday morning. As usual, no one knows just how much accumulation we will have until it gets here. I needed various and sundry provisions for the upcoming week, but I didn't want to risk waiting until my usual grocery store trip after Monday night supper at my mother's, so off to the grocery store I flew after dumping my trash.

It really felt like winter today. The temperature climbed no higher than 31° F/-0.5° C, and the sky was filled with those low dark gray clouds, that look like their bottoms were dropping out; remnants of the overnight snow that dumped about an inch and a half on us last night. The weather report only called for flurries, but by 8:00 PM the deck was blanketed in white. By this morning, another inch or more was added. Fortunately most of it was melted by the time I took to the road today.

As I drove down the Interstate, I went through several interchanges, where cars were entering the highway via the on ramps. Apparently many people are unaware that the traffic on the highway, has the right of way over oncoming traffic, because they rush down the on ramp until they are parallel with you, and then just hang there, expecting you to either slow down to let them on, or move over into the inside lane. When you ignore them, and stay in your lane and maintain your speed, they eventually run out of on ramp, and have to slow down and pull in behind you. That really seems to tick many of them off, because they will invariably power on around you, and then pull in front of you and slow down, just to let you know how unhappy they were that you didn't yield your right of way to them, before stepping on the gas and figuratively leaving you in a cloud of dust!

Would you like to try some fashion fun? Go to this link, and see how good you are at matching accessories with various outfits. It's all very subjective of course, so don't feel bad if it takes several guesses to get them right. I tried it and did OK, but would have done better if I had stuck with my initial instincts, instead of second guessing myself. Let me know how you did!

Melissa XX


Halle said...

That was fun! Thanks for the challenge.

It is interesting how driving expectations vary. In Canada on our highways that are like your interstates, there is no expectation that you give way to the ramp people, but most will either move to the next lane if they can, or make some accommodation.

I drove in England on their M series for about a week a few years back, and quickly realized that they always give way, and really appreciated it. Another thing they never do is sit in the middle lane or the 'fast' lane and block it up, as we see so frequently here.

Have a great week Melissa.


Two Auntees said...

yea, they need to put up signs on the left side with small lettering that says something like; "If you can read this you are going too slow MOVE OVER NOW!"

Lisa Maria said...

Halle is right. The norm here is to let the traffic join the system if possible. If not and they stop completely waiting for a gap long enough for them to join it can be dangerous. Quite interesting how the norms vary. Most people here wave a thanks when you let them out as well.
I have lots of calls from people who withhold numbers. Usually they are from companies trying to sell u something.


Caroline said...

Halle we have loads who sit in the centre lane and switch their brains off for the journey!

Melissa, my friend has a ring just for his mother, the theme to "mission impossible"!

Caroline xxx

Melissa said...

On US Interstate Highways, the law clearly states that traffic already on the highway has the right of way. Those wishing to enter are obligated by law, to yield right of way to oncoming traffic. In fact some on ramps even have YIELD signs. There are times when several cars are trying to merge onto the highway at once, that I will slow down, or even change lanes if possible to allow them to enter the highway, but when there is plenty of room for a single car entering the highway to adjust their speed and merge properly, I hold my ground. Usually I use cruise control, and I don't like to have to drop out of cruise control to slow down for someone who doesn't want to yield the right of way. Whenever possible, a car entering a highway should never cause the existing traffic to have to brake or change lanes. Sometimes the traffic is so heavy that that is not possible. In those cases you just have to go with the flow to avoid an accident.

I agree that slower traffic should ride to the right. I usually drive at 65 MPH, and leave the left lane to the speed deamons. :-)

Melissa XX

Anonymous said...

If there's no voicemail, especially if no number shows up, I'd consider it a junk call. You know your mother's number. I figure if I don't know the number and someone really wants to reach me, they'll either call back or leave voicemail.

I played the InStyle game for a bit (we actually subscribe -- rather like that magazine), and did well sometimes, hated their choices other times, and it got too long so I bailed. :) Fun though.

Anonymous said...

I agree that those on the on ramp are supposed to yield. I'm usually fairly accommodating though. If it's kind of a toss-up and I can shift left easily, I do so. It all makes things move more smoothly. As Lisa said, yield technically means stop if you can't merge, but that's really not very good on a superhighway. Really they probably need longer merge lanes.

Melissa said...

One of my pet peeves about those who fail to yield, is that they often pull out directly in front of you, forcing you to move left to keep a safe distance, but then they never accelerate to put distance between themselves and you, leaving you stuck in the left lane with faster traffic approaching from behind. You then either have to step on the gas and pass them, or brake to pull in behind them, which of course angers the faster moving traffic behind you in the left lane. This happens quit often, and I am always left amazed at how they can be so totally oblivious to everyone around them.

Caroline said...

Average human not so bright, often wonder how much they had to bribe to get the licence.

Caroline xxx

Halle said...

"Watch out for the other guy" used to be the radio 'sign off' for a very popular host in Toronto. We still say it around here.

I agree with Caroline.

Jenny said...

What happens when these drivers join the road alongside a Peterbilt with a double trailer of cement?

I should point out that Lisa is up in the Midlands and Caroline's in Scotland, they work at a slower pace of life up there. Down here in the Sarf East it's dog eat dog! :)

Melissa said...

@ Jenny

The Peterbilt slams on brakes and shifts to the inside lane, and all vehicles behind, slam on brakes too! It's just crazy!

Melissa XX