Monday, January 30, 2006

Introduction to Wide, Wide World of Sports

Welcome to my first post. I have been encouraged by the success of my brothers blog, in that he gets alot of people to read what he has to say. So...where to begin. I have a college degree in marketing, which I am putting to good use with a desk job for a corporate bank (accounting). My least favorite business topic in school was accounting. The irony is killing me.
I live near the water and near Cape Cod for the time being, with my girlfriend. We have a dog in the house name Chew 'Chewy' Chewington. I prefer full names for dogs; I just think its appropriate.
The purpose of this blog is not to make you laugh, though it may happen.The main reason is that I have opinions, interests and beliefs I feel like putting out there. One day it could be something in the news; the next maybe I write about something personal. Usually I read/hear/see something during the course of a day that is worth sharing with the world. Alright enough of all that...let's move on. My first entry will be a little bit about gas prices, moving right into driving in traffic and moves you can use during a drive.

Exxon Mobil sets profit record
This was by far my favorite topic of the week. It seems that Exxon Mobil beat their forecasted 4th quarter income, making $10.7 billion. That brings its year-end total profit to $36.1 billion. Thats more than most countrys bring in over the course of a year. I'm gonna go ahead and do the math, and it seems that Exxon made roughly $1,146 profit PER SECOND in 2005. That means in one minute they made double my yearly salary. Let's look at this from my point of view.
I drive my 98' Emerald Green Chevy Lumina (which I had pinstriped by someone's keys at a concert) 50 miles each way to work. That's five hundred miles a week. I sat by and watched the gas prices rise from under $2.00 in the summer to damn near $3.00 by the end of the year. During the fall I accepted the fact that the political environment in the middle east, coupled with the fallout from Hurricane Katrina, led to this massive price increase. I figured that it was taking much more money for the oil companies to get their product to the market. Turns out I was wrong. Which makes me wonder: If a company can set a U.S. record for income during a year when people are putting hundreds of dollars worth of gas on their credit cards to get to and from work, what's really going on? Why did the price need to increase to an almost riot-inducing level? Just wondering if anyone out there has a good reason for this...
The Mobil situation leads me back to what causes me to worry about gas prices: my commute. I have been driving basically from Cape Cod to South Boston every day for since mid-June. Now where I'm from, in Rochester, there isn't such thing as traffic, and the surrounding areas do not provide adequate training for driving in traffic. Over the last 7 months, however, I have developed some driving strategies, some good and some not so good, to deal with any situation that may arise during a long drive.
The Double-Reverse Cut-Off
This occurs when someone cuts you off, and you respond by cutting them off in return. Usually what happens is while driving in the fast lane, a car from one of the other lanes decides the traffic in his lane isnt moving fast enough, so they break it outside. The speed at which they are travelling in their lane does not meet the standard of the speed in the outside lane. This leads to a brake-slam by the driver in the fast lane, in order for the new car to join the procession. Hey, people switch lanes; that is what they are for. But I take this as being rude, so I break it inside, move up past the car that cut me off, and reclaim my place in the fast lane. Sometimes they realize what is going on, sometimes they don't. What happens next depends on the person who just cut you off.

The Double-Reverse Cut-Off-to-Brake Tap Combo
One of my favorites. It is the same as the Double Reverse, except once you reclaim your spot in the fast lane, you hammer down on the brake. This emphasizes the fact that the person who originally cut you off made you angry. To make sure you got your point across, drastically reduce your speed once you get into the lane. You must do this is such a way that the person who originally cut you off knows what is going on and why it is happening. Once you get your point across, either resume driving speed or get in another lane. This move can often lead to retaliation from the driver who started the whole mess.

The Phantom Blinker
This is one I have recently developed. While driving in the fast lane, some people's idea of 'fast' is not the same as others. For instance, there are people who like to drive 90 mph on the way home from work. If I am on cruise control in the fast lane going 75, something has to give. If its nighttime, you get the light flash, indicating that you should move. I, for one, do not like to be told to move by someone I don't know, and just because they are going fast. Just because I'm in the fast lane doesn't mean thats the only lane that you can go fast in. The light flash is followed by the driver getting on your ass and trying to move you that way. It is at this moment I like to hit the left-hand turn signal. Now, out of all the directions you can go on the highway, this one is the toughest because of the median/wall/grass area in between the highways. I think everyone can agree that a stale blinker is possibly the most annoying thing on the road, so hitting someone who is on your ass with that will make them back off, and usually makes them angry.

The All-Up-In-That-Ass
A.K.A. I'm in Your Back Seat
This move won't win you many fans, and can be countered by the Phantom Blinker, among others, but is effective in the right situation. Sometimes people cut you off, or are just driving too slow. I don't think its unreasonable to expect a car to travel at least the speed limit. This does not always occur. If you want someone to get out of your way, simply accelerate the car until you are within 3 feet of the car in front of you. Make sure when you do this you are always watching the brake lights, as it makes people nervous and they could start tappin'. If performed right, you should have a clear path to easy driving in no time. If performed incorrectly, you could be looking at vehicular homicide. It's your choice, but if you are going to do it, commit 100%...don't back off until you reach your goal.

The Grandmother Morph

This one can be used on any road for someone in another car who you feel is being inconsiderate. Let's say someone gets right on your ass, and you are moving at a decent speed. You can't move over without hassling yourself, so you keep in your lane. The person behind you persists to beep their horn and/or flash their lights. Simply apply pressure to the break, and gradually reduce your speed down to an outrageous level. If you are on the highway, see if you can get below 50 mph before the person behind you goes off the deep end. By driving like a grandmother, not only do you not comply with the person behind you's lack of class and manners, you actually counteract what they are trying to do. I suggest moving over after you have proved your point, as prolonged exposure to the Grandmother Morph has been known to cause uncontrollable, violent cases of road rage

The Box Out
When you are in the left lane and see someone going ridiculous speeds to try and pass you on the right. However, by using the car in the righthand lane you can block this and piss off the road rager. Simply pull even with the car in the righthand lane, and go no faster than that car. The fast driver will become enraged, and swerve from lane to lane looking for an opening. Provide one when the driver has sufficiently learned his lesson


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