To All Of You Slow Ass Drivers Out There…

I don’t know why you drive slow. Maybe you are old and rickety with bad reaction times, maybe the car you are driving is old and rickety with bad reaction times, maybe you can’t see three feet past the hood of your car, or maybe you just don’t give a damn. Whatever the reason, it is your business I suppose to drive how you see fit.

But… There is something you should know. You are creating a situation that inspires other people to react to, many times their reactions being bad decisions.

One of my boys is in high school. He is a senior this year with just a few months left on his sentence. A guy he knows fairly well, they talk cars and guy stuff, he doesn’t come over and hang out or spend the night or anything, they are just school buddies.

This kid and his girlfriend got behind some slow ass the other day. There were two other cars stuck behind Mr. Slow Ass. For whatever reason this kid decides to pass all three cars at once. He hit an oncoming vehicle head on in the other lane killing his girfriend instantly, and he passed shortly after his helicopter ride to Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville. The driver of the other vehicle survived. My boy attended a memorial service at the high school today. Right now he is in his room, very quiet.

Now I will be the first to say this terrible incident (I refuse to use the word accident except in rare cases) was not the fault of our slow ass driver. This kid took his chances when he made the pass, as we all do when it is time to pass a slow ass. Nope it was not the slow asses fault. but this slow ass and all of his slow ass buddies need to know that they create dangerous scenarios like this every single day. The thing that really ticks me off is, after a terrible incident such as this, they probably walk around oblivious to their part in the tragedy.

Not thirty minutes ago I was on my way home from picking up the wife at work. We got behind a slow ass. There were five cars behind this slow ass. Four were bunched up right behind him, the fifth was holding back leaving a couple of car lengths between him and the slow train. Well a passing zone presented itself and four of the five cars got around the slow ass. Leaving the slow ass, the content guy stuck behing the slow ass (he did not bother passing the slow ass even though there was plenty of clear straightaway) and me. There was a hill coming up, and I knew I could not get around them both safely, so I decided to pass Mr. Content, then get around the slow ass with the next opportunity.

Just as I got abreast of Mr. Content, the slow ass slowed, then flashed his signal indicating a left turn, with me quickly gaining on him. If it weren’t for the fact that Mr. Content had some decent following distance this could have turned out badly. As it is I owe Mr. Content an apology, as well as a thank you. I have had much closer calls than this, but this was a little too close for comfort.

And I will bet you a cheap cup of coffee and a donut that the slow ass probably doesn’t even have a freakin clue how close he was to being involved in an incident.

Every day I am out on the highways. Every day I see slow asses. Every day I pass some slow ass. Every day I see the situations setup by slow asses. Almost every day I see people making bad decisions and many times I see close calls that could have been really bad incidents because of some slow ass.

I just want to take a moment and tell you slow asses that you are not entirely innocent when bad things happen. You are not as benign as you think you are. You are the chaos factor, floating around without a clue, setting up bad scenarios every time you hit the highway. Dense, thick headed and oblivious, I fail to see the entitlement you recieve to act the way you do. Every day that goes by I see you more and more as the threat to everyones safety that you really are.

Let me state clearly that I am not the kind of driver that has to get everywhere in a damned hurry. No, I am content to do 60 – 63 in a 55 zone, I know my chances of getting a ticket increase as I approach 10 mph over the limit. I have no desire to drive fast, I just have no wish to be held hostage by some sum bitch doing 40-45 in a 55. And half of them can’t even be consistent at that. Oh no, it will be 45, then 40, then down to 35, then back up to 45. It is maddening when you get behind these people. It is no wonder other drivers make the bad choices they do when faced with being stuck behind these slow asses.

I have come to the opinion that people that drive should be subjected to some sort of test that checks for vision, reaction times, and competency (well beyond memorizing the traffic laws). This test should be mandatory for getting a license to drive and then taken every 5 years after you hit 50 years of age. I would be the first in line to take my test, and gladly hand over my right to drive if and when I fail this test.

It will never happen though. I know that a slow ass has a certain freedom in this country to be a slow ass. I also know there is no law against being a slow ass. But I do wonder, how many head on collisions or other incidents and near misses are the result of a scenario setup by a slow ass? I would bet a 5 dollar cup of coffee that this statistic, if it were kept, would be staggering. I have a hunch it is a scary number.

Now I have to fight the urge to knock on this slow asses door tomorrow morning and tell him what I think of his driving. Writing this, I can tell the fire has dwindled a bit. But next time you see a slow ass, think of this post. Take a good look at what you see happening, and please come back and tell me what you see. Or if you have a tale I’d love to hear it.

Quote Of The Month

Back to the founding father quotes this month. This time I have one from Ben Franklin. Franklin an admitted deist, which was common for the day, at least among the more enlightened minds of the time. In this day and age I would liken the deist to the type that figure that a god was responsible for the creation of the universe and such, but has left it unattended to fend for itself, no longer active in the comings and goings of man. I guess that would suffice for Franklins time as well.

I have nothing against a deist, I am happily married to one. I figure deism a step along the path to being able to fully discard the notions of gods eventually. After all tossing the mainstream beliefs of the major religions aside is a huge first step, and one to commend. The mind takes time to free itself of influenced beliefs. These beliefs have to be dealt with in ones own way, and in ones own time frame. With enough time, and enough proper investigation, the notion of gods becomes a silly notion to maintain. There is no valuable evidence to suggest otherwise. Atheism is the last stop on the minds ride to freedom.

Our quote:

“If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both here (England) and in New England.”

A fitting quote this month, especially if you are familiar with the “Ark Park” saga at the hands of Ken Ham. Them silly Christians, persecution is apparently a feature they just can’t do without. Neither here in our time, or throughout history.

The Ark Park saga detailed here:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2014/12/ark-encounter-t.html

My source for the founding father quotes here:

http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

So, Have You Seen The Sun Today?

I was going through my favorite list of links to visit just now, and I went here:

http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/images/latest.html

…to get my current picture of the sun fix. There are a couple of companies that manufacture Ha solar telescopes and I want one badly, so I looked at the Ha pic first, it is pretty good:

latest_aia_304

You can see all kinds of activity including a few enormous bursts, 8/9 and 11 o clock (roughly) And no doubt about the cool, or should I say hot of this picture. Then I clicked on the Fe IX/X filtered view and was just floored:

latest_aia_171

This filter shows you the magnetic loops in great detail. And there is a lot to look at. I was just blown away by these pics, and wanted to share. That link I posted is a great link to add to a browser, if you are inclined, I don’t want to twist any arms…

Some Recommended Reading

I have followed Panda’s Thumb for a long time now. For those of you not familiar with it, this site is front and center to the fight against creationism pseudoscience. The players there are way above my pay grade and education. You have real scientists there who actually know, understand, and do real science, and they have particularly keen insights to the inner workings of the creation science (oxymoron alert!) field of chicanery.

There is an ongoing thread there now:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2014/11/ham-handed-atta.html

…which I found very entertaining. The comment section is well worth digging into if you are so inclined. If you check it out, let me know if it was worth the trip :)  The good stuff starts late in page 2 of the comments with Mike Elzinga.

 

 

If You Dig Into A Pile Of Dung…

You find…anyone? Yes, dung! You remember that site I brought to your attention a few days back? I went in for another look, I was well prepared with ample means to retain my sanity. I fashioned myself a bullshit deflector. Basically it works the same way as that wonderful invention many people wear to keep the government from reading their minds. Yes a tinfoil hat! Believe it or not it helps keep you sane when you visit internet crazyland. You see the insane protons that try to invade your mind are reflected by the foil! Bet you didn’t know that did ya?

So, with my new tinfoil hat I went in. I found a seemingly innocuous post:

http://crev.info/2014/11/strange-large-mammals/

After some reading on the initial facts which were fairly interesting but not all that far out. In fact the real facts in the story weren’t all that special really in my opinion, I got the feeling the author just needed a couple of facts to to precede his desire to spout creationist canards later. Sure enough, we are then treated to to some real live creationist…what’s the word I’m looking for? Misconceptions will do. Here is the quote in its entirety:

“The adaptation of animals to their environments is striking.  Creationists allow for a fair amount of variability within created kinds, believing that genetic adaptations are built in to the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of each kind.  Today’s mammals probably do not resemble the original created kinds, or even those before the Flood.  The sorting out of traits between species adapted to specialized environments does not represent an increase in genetic information required by the evolutionary theory.  It’s actually a loss of information as each species retains only the genes and gene networks needed for its habitat.  The variations among dog and cat kinds are good examples.  Both evolutionists and creationists believe they descended from common ancestors of their own kinds (e.g., domestic dogs, dingoes and coyotes from an original wolf-like animal), but creationists deny that the huge increase in genetic innovation required to turn a mouse into a cat is possible or supported by evidence.  Many variations went extinct in the severely-altered habitat after the Flood.   Nevertheless, each species is a marvel of engineering design and warrants praise to its Creator and protection.”  (end quote)

The first sentence is off to a good start. Yes indeed the way animals adapt to environments is very impressive. But in sentence two we go completely off the rails with the “kinds” business. Most of the guys and gals I know who follow my little blog, I am sure already know that “kinds” is the standard creationist way of lumping creatures together by shared traits (that is outward appearances and nothing to do with real biology). We also know that no real scientist or science inclined individual will find the “kinds” classifications in any way compelling.

Then it goes from “kinds” to the friggin flud. No scientist worth his weight in pillow feathers believes the flud tale. No honest geologist with a degree on the wall will tell you there is any evidence whatsoever of any worldwide flood disaster either, and no archeologist will tell you that fossils were sorted by the flud. It is all creationist hoo haw from top to bottom and all bullshit in between.

Then we get into the ID canard of “no new information.” At this point I would call this piling on. We already have an incredible heap of dung, and why stop now? Let’s keep digging!

Where were we? Oh yes, no new information. If a bacteria evolves a mutation that makes it more resistant to antibiotics, is that not beneficial for the bacteria? I think they must have missed the memo. Or perhaps it was “misplaced” somehwere?

Then our author goes on to say that both creationists and scientists (oh I’m sorry he/she used the term evolutionist, as if fact based reality is a religion) believe that cats and dogs are descendents from common ancestors. Oh really? Since when? When creationists realised they were curmudgeonly old sticks in the mud? When they understood that they have no legs to stand on and need to start imitating scientists and pretending that they know all the answers to keep up with the times? Because more and more, every day that goes by their mythology is being left in the dust of modern investigation? One thing I know for sure, when I was a kid growing up no creationist anywhere would admit ANY kind of evolution was or had been going on and all creatures as well as man were created as told in the fairy tale of Genesis. Now after a few decades of being trampled by all fields of science they have decided to adopt the parts of evolution they feel like they can deal with and deny the rest.

Much like their own damn book of fables, the bible. Must be nice to be able to bumble through life just believing what you want to believe and ignoring everything that you may find offensive. It sure as hell is not an option for those interested in living in a world they actually understand. Wishful thinking, delusional fantasies with no observational support, assertions with no evidence, this is the world of creationism. I prefer (yep I’m gonna do it) Evidence Based Reality.

 

 

 

Just A Thanksgiving Musing

When you are married to a nurse you learn to take the holidays when you can. Doesn’t have to be what the calendar says, just have your holiday when you get the time, and the wife gets the day off. Wife had to work today, we are planning our turkey day tomorrow.

It was on the way home when I noticed that a couple of bars we have to drive by, were doing great business. I had to wonder why is it, on a day notorious for the celebration of family, would a lot of people prefer to get shit faced at a bar instead? I suppose some family dynamics are better than others…

Then the wife remembered that we need a couple of pie crusts for well…pies. So we dodged the bypass around one of the towns on the way home to seek out said pie crusts. Pulled into the Wal Mart and the place was packed. I mean parking in the grass, cops with blue lights flashing, it was a nightmare. I did a U-turn and got the hell out of there. Every other pie crust selling joint was of course closed (it being thanksgiving and all), and any options for supper were slim. Every fast food joint in town was closed (maybe they were at the Wal Mart?) except McDonalds, and I have a McDonalds rule, I will only eat there once a week max, and have already exceeded my limit. So onwards home to a bowl of leftover chili in the fridge that was supper a couple of days back. It was still pretty damn good.We will make up for it tomorrow.

Once or twice a year we always have a conversation that goes a lot like this “why is it we only have turkey on thanksgiving?” And the answer is usually something like this “I don’t know, lets pick up a turkey, put it in the freezer and we will have it on a day when we have the time” So, we picked up a nice sized frozen turkey breast a couple of months ago. Oddly enough that is the turkey we are having tomorrow. No matter how we try, or attempt to justify it, we only have turkey once a year. Oh well, we can shoot for it next year I suppose.

I don’t celebrate thanksgiving once a year really. I figure every day I get up and meet a new sunrise is a good day. Every day I get to hear my kids say “I love you dad” is a good day. Every day I get unsolicited hugs is a good day. I have many things to be thankful for every day, not just once a year. I might miss a day here or there, but I do try to take the time to appreciate living, and try to be thankful for the little things. I hope you do too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Oh My Gosh

I was looking at some pictures online of pre cambrian creatures for the heck of it, and I saw a picture that had some quote on it about evolution. It was obvious it was from some creationist site. Just for giggles I went there for a look see. I am still trying to wipe the stink of stupid from my computer screen. You know those kinds of places where seriously confused people pretend to be professionals. Where they have all the answers. Where real scientists are all engaged in some sort of global conspiracy to foist evolution upon the masses. Where projection and credential envy run rampant. This is one of those places.

I offer you:

http://www.creationsafaris.com/

Which is bad, but not head exploding bad, then I clicked a link that took me here:

http://crev.info/

Anyone who is likely to read this blog, I warn you to go here is putting everything you know and understand to the test of sanity. This place is like the Fox News of creationism. The black hole of buffoonery. The DI, the ICR, and AIG all rolled into one! I wanted to do a takedown on an article I saw there, but I am just too tired this afternoon to do so. If any of you are looking for blog material, this place is a jackpot!

Just leave some for me, ok?

Oh, whatever you do dear reader, do NOT click on the “baloney detector” link. Not unless you are a level 3 sceptic with super powers. I barely survived. It’s a good thing I left a trail of bread crumbs to follow back. Though I may be walking with a limp for a few days…