I saw the Lights

Not that these were lights that you want to see…

Unless you’re in need, or being led through a situation by them…

These lights –

lightsNo, it’s not the traffic lights saying that while you try to go straight, you can’t; it’s the lights causing everyone to go into the right hand lane…the red & blue lights.

Yes. I have finally been pulled over by the police. Call it an inevitable experience or not…or just a silly thing that I did…

What did I do, exactly? I flashed my brights at the wrong car. I knew it was the wrong car immediately after flashing them (in the incorrect impression that their high-beam lights were on) because they had the sign of a cop car in Wisconsin – the brown plate with a star on it.

Oh shit…and then he slows and turns around, so I turn onto the side street that I was going to go on anyway, and pull off to the side as I knew he was pulling me over.

Upon stopping, I set my brake, placed the car in park, turned the radio off, rolled down the window and turned the engine off. I also took out my wallet in order to get two things – licence  & proof of insurance. After about a minute or so, the officer comes up to my window, and asks why I flashed my lights. I explained that I thought that he had his brights on.

He informed me that it is something that is unlawful to do* that as it can blind people, and he asks for my license, so I give it to him along with my insurance card.

His response?

“Since I see that you have a valid license, there will be no citation, just a warn and go, drive safely.”

And he walked away. He didn’t even give me a written warning, just the verbal advice 🙂

The moral of the story? Keep your nose clean, and if you ever do get pulled over, be pleasant, and you wind up learning new things and get an interesting experience.

Now, let’s hope this doesn’t make me a marked man around town…a known light flasher yano 😀

*So, of course, I had to check into the state statute when it comes to using high-beams, and this is an extract from Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 347.12

Whenever the operator of a vehicle equipped with multiple-beam headlamps approaches an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet, the operator shall dim, depress or tilt the vehicle’s headlights so that the glaring rays are not directed into the eyes of the operator of the other vehicle. This paragraph does not prohibit an operator from intermittently flashing the vehicle’s high-beam headlamps at an oncoming vehicle whose high-beam headlamps are lit.

Legally, I was well within my rights to flash my lights (which was maybe for a second at most, just a quick flash) as I had (mistakenly, as it turns out) thought the oncoming vehicle did have its high-beam headlights lit

Rules of the Gas Pump…

Sunoco Station

Clearly, the above is a gas station. There is something strange about this particular station, however.

It’s not necessarily that it is a Sunoco station in Wisconsin. That, in itself is a bit of an oddity, since I did not know that there were Sunoco stations in this state until I found it using my GasBuddy app while getting my car serviced.

No, it’s that there is no attached store.

All transactions are done at the pump – as the sign states, you can pay cash or credit at the pump. If it were me, I’d make well sure that it was a cash payment.

Why?

Many stations have signs on their pumps that say “If you don’t get a receipt, you didn’t pay.” Which has always brought up a question for me, and is why this is one of my rules –

What happens if you use the pay at the pump function at a station that has closed for the night and you do not receive a receipt? It’s never happened to me as, with possibly one or two exceptions, I’ve followed a rule of mine to never get gas at a station that is closed, to avoid this particular situation.

In fact, the only gas station that I will use that does not have a dedicated convenience store is the Costco Gas, but the reality is that so many times Costco is not cheaper than other gas stations that I go to.

Maybe that is why some gas stations decide to place a small hold onto people’s cards when they use pay-at-the-pump. Though I think this was taking it a bit overboard –

IMG_1708

What are your thoughts on paying for gas/petrol at the pump?

Car Luck…

The nice thing about having wordpress on my touchy is that I can write a post anywhere, including from the local service centre. Of course, if I am writing from there, and with a title like the one above, that can only mean nothing good…in this case, that means I’m sitting here waiting for a diagnosis on something.

Today when I started the car, I heard a wierd noise and the car immediately became difficult to steer, meaning a power steering problem, though I did think it may have been a tyre issue too. That is, until I got a little further along and the battery light came on. The manual indicated that it was something to check out right away, hence my sitting here waiting.

The problem turns out that there was a belt that came off and, as luck would have it, the belt is in good shape, which means that I can just have it reseated and I should be good to go…i’ll just be a bit late to work, and that isn’t an issue since I’ve called ahead and let them know 😉

I’ll update later and let y’all know how much it cost 🙂

Aww…I Have a Secret Admirer

Though, I bet the Admirer in this case doesn’t see much admiration in me.

First off, a little background: I have taken up some habits of "hypermiling" – you know, little things like not accelerating like a bat out of Hell, coasting to a red light, and turning the engine off when stopped for a longer time than about 30 seconds.

With these actions, I’ve managed to get my car’s fuel economy (estimated by the government originally at 18 MPG city, 26 Highway (21 combined) – revised under new methods to 16 city, 24 highway (19 combined)) up to around 25 miles per gallon (9.4 L/100km, 10.6 km/L, 15.1 L/100mi, 2.5 gal/100km, 0.000029 L/ft).

Anyway, I was driving to the store today, and I pulled out into traffic, with plenty of space behind me to the car behind me, but as I crested the hill, I noticed that the light at the end of the road was red, so I really didn’t accelerate to the speed limit (as it makes no sense to race to a stop, you know?).

I went straight and she went straight, but our paths diverged around when she went to the right to the gas station and I went left towards the grocery store. For most normal people it would have been the end of the story – I know for me it was.

However, the store was really busy (and there weren’t even samples out–bad form! 😉 ), so I walked around a bit and then checked out with my $18.14 in products, including the vinegar which I was dispatched to purchase. I walk out to the car and see this sight (full disclosure – this photo was taken after I got home cos my camera was hidden away in the car) –

I have your license plate # + I now know wherc you live

The note reads –

I have your license plate # + I now know wherc you live. Better learn how to drive fat ass Next time you pull out infront of me you’ll be sorry

How is it that a person can get so pissed off at another person’s driving that they take the time out of their day to sit down, write a note (and thereby taking out the first week in October – gee I hope something major has to happen that week for her, she won’t be able to write it in…too bad!), and then track down that person’s car to deliver the note?

Fair enough, flip me off and build the bridge, I’ll acknowledge your gesture with a friendly wave, cos I’m all about nice and that. But I think a special commendation needs to go to this woman who is clearly so dedicated to the cause of preaching aggressive driving that she took the time to write a note to me, tracked down my car and left a note for me in the front seat (I kept my windows open a crack for air circulation – if they hadn’t been, I’m sure it would have been left on the windshield).

I did think about sticking around and waiting to see if she came back out, but I did take the wise path and came home to have a good laugh about this.

And to the lady who wrote the note – if I ever do have the misfortune of being "infront" of you and you do anything to me – just remember that in a rear-end collision, the party trailing is at fault. Also, you threatened me, so maybe you might want to consider that if something were to happen.

I’ve heard whiplash is a tough thing to prove or disprove… 😈

I also look forward to you sending me more love notes since you know wherc I live and all that. 😉

A few moments of levity

While the tone of this week is predominantly sad, there have been a couple of occasions for me to laugh, generally at other people’s stupidity (or just silly things that had been said). So, here are 3 scenarios which I faced just in the course of this day (Tuesday, not Wednesday when this is being published 😉 ). However, one really isn’t totally funny, but involves me having a bit of a saving grace.

They Speak THAT there?

I was alerted to the fact that an episode of the PBS travel show Rick Steves’ Europe featuring London was on the Create channel today. During the show, he was explaining how the Tube works, and he actually uttered this line –

Lost? Don’t worry because most of the locals speak English.

Really? I always thought they spoke Swahili or Mandarin in Tube stations…this was a shocking revelation that I would have never expected. That being said, however, Rick Steves is really the best (American) authority there is when it comes to travelling in Europe. Normally he has rock-solid information, and if you look at it in this context, you don’t get much more rock solid than that. 😉

Gee…I wonder why he got stopped?

After work tonight, I went out to the south from my place of work in search of some less-expensive gas for my car (details of that in my next snippet). When you go to the south, you have to cross the freeway, and that involves a series of three stoplights (one is for a service road that leads to a hotel and restaurant complex, along with some banks and other services, the other two are for the freeway).

At the first of the freeway stoplights, traffic going south was stopped for the red light, and then, as they work, the light for traffic coming off of the freeway from the east was green. The first car in the line was a police car, marked and in black. Apparently the bright spark in the left lane didn’t notice this minor fact.

So what does he do? Go. While the light is still red. He didn’t even make it halfway across the freeway bridge before the cop had his lights on and getting ready to stop him, which he did just after the other stoplights. Wouldn’t you have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation? By the way, the fine for failing to obey a traffic signal is somewhere in the region of $150 and 3 points on your license.

Always pay attention to road signs, ok?

Yeah, I kinda didn’t… :blush:

As I was driving into the city that is past the gas station that I usually stop at (which was only 1 cent per gallon cheaper) in my search for cheap gas, I got to a point where I decided to turn around. This particular city is renowned for having confusing streets and you can get lost easily. I guess the good news is that I didn’t get lost, but the bad news could have been me either in a heap of trouble with the police or in a hospital.

That is, if it wasn’t for a guy in a truck yelling at me about the street. You see, I had gone to the end of what was a split set of one-way streets, and I had assumed that because it was a one-way street intersecting the other half of the one-way pair, that this street was also one-way. It didn’t click in my head that there were lights going both ways on the street, meaning that it is a 2-way street. And I wondered why there weren’t signs talking about left turns on red…

Anyway, the light turns green, and I do what I thought was right (and what would have been right if this were a one-way street) and turned into the lane closest to me. The guy behind me turns into the correct lane, which I thought was about 3 lanes too far over. He goes and passes me, yelling to me "This isn’t a one-way!" I promptly swerve into the correct lane behind him and his truck, and when we get to the next intersection that has lights, I went into the right lane and thanked him for letting me know. He said that he did it so that I didn’t get hurt. It goes to prove that there are good folks out there.

In fact, if it were one of those Miller commercials, he’d probably have been given a bottle of the product they’re selling because he was genuine.

Oh, and the gas? I wound up getting it at the station I went past in the first place after all – it was $4.169 per gallon (or $1.102 per liter) there – the highest I’ve paid so far. Sadly, I don’t think it’s going to come down appreciably at all, thanks to the speculators playing their games. 😐