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Archive for the category “Weirdness”

Laziness and Safety

I regularly drive through Woburn, and at least a couple of times a week I’m amazed at how lazy people are, even when it comes to their own safety.

In the case of Woburn, there are two zebra crossings within a very short stretch of road. There are good reasons for this – the road is usually busy, and fairly fast. But people still cross away from the crossings, where it’s apparently “more convenient” rather than walking a tiny way to the crossing where cars *have* to stop for pedestrians…

The first one looks like this…

image (C) Google Streetmap

This is where most people cross – and you can see the markings for the zebra crossing at the top of the photo (the zig-zags, for non-UK readers) Note also that this is just after a busy crossroads, so has any number of vehicles coming round corners and paying far more attention to other vehicles than to pedestrians. I measured it on Google Maps – it’s 30 metres from here to the crossing. Not even a minute’s walk.  (I’ll also note that all the people avoiding the crossing are able-bodied, so it’s not like they can’t walk that distance.)

The second one (slightly further up the road from here, after a tight choke-point and just round the corner so out of view from this one) looks like this

image (C) Google Streetmap

This one is a bit harder to see – it’s a bit further, at 45m from where people actually cross – but it’s still there, with markings visible across the road.  Here, people cross from the pub to the hotel and back – and again, with parked cars on the right, an extremely tight road with drivers focusing on squeezing through rather than on pedestrians, people trying to park (or turn into the various lanes and archways along this bit) rather than walking that 45m to be able to do so safely.

I know people in general are lazy bastards and so on, but really, it utterly amazes me just how many (and even more so at school times, as there’s a school just back from where this shot is taken) are prepared to ‘save’ time waiting for a space in traffic and then risk their all to cross the road, rather than walking that tiny distance to do so safely (and actually usually more quickly than waiting for that gap!)

I don’t know if they don’t see the crossing, that they’re blinkered to just going straight across the road instead, or if they’re all just fuckwit examples of Darwinism waiting to happen.  Either way, it is (to me) a gobsmacking way to live.

Fall Down

One of the interesting (well, to me) things about Milton Keynes is that because it was all done at the same time, there are only about three types of tree (in general) lining all the roads.

The fun side of this is that everything happens all at once – in spring, all the trees are suddenly in leaf.  And of course, come autumn, all those leaves fall in the space of a couple of days.

I suppose it makes things more manageable (so long as the council is organised, which is a bit of a leap, but there we go) in that the street cleaning service has a nightmare week of cleaning all the leaves up, rather than spreading it over a month or so.

Anyway, I only write this because from the look of it, this weekend will be those days.  It’s started to happen already, but I reckon by Monday the trees on all the roads will be back to bare branches.

Winter is coming…

An Unholy Clusterfuck

It seems at the moment like there’s a massive conspiracy going on that makes access from my area to Milton Keynes into an absolute nightmare.

Last month, the Highways Agency started work on the M1 from J13 to 16, installing “smart motorways” stuff, and shoving in a dirty long 50mph speed limit, enforced by average speed cameras. (And there’ll be a post on those some other time)   That work is going on ’til March 2022.

Next month, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes councils are starting the second phase of their joint project to make the A421 dual-carriageway between J13 of the M1 and Milton Keynes.  That’s going to have a 40mph limit on it, and will be in place ’til the end of 2020.

So for the next 18 months minimum, the two primary routes into Milton Keynes will be speed-limited and being worked on at the same time.

And then just to top things off, one half of the other primary route (on the other side of Milton Keynes) is undergoing resurfacing work for the next couple of months – which means that my only other primary route is going to be handling all the traffic that should be on that one.

Like I said, it’s all just seeming like either a sinister plot, or a massive organisational clusterfuck.  Both of which have the same results, when all’s said and done.

Satisfaction

Yesterday, I had a (non-urgent, outpatients) appointment at my local hospital.  All went well, and I’ll be returning occasionally over the next few months.  Which is all as expected.

What was less expected was a text message today from the hospital, containing a “Patient Satisfaction” survey.

The first question? “Would you recommend this hospital to your friends and family?“, and a set of five options for the likelihood of doing such a thing.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I really don’t recommend that my friends or family visit a hospital. Certainly when none of them are even in that hospital’s catchment area.

What kind of cretin comes up with this shit? Even more relevantly, what kind of cretin approves this shit?

And if I’d been – for example – visiting the Oncology department (I wasn’t) for treatment, I wonder if I would have received the same survey?

The Thermal Properties of Coke

In the UK, we’re in the middle of a heatwave.  Other countries would absolutely laugh at how crap we are at dealing with heat (and in their eyes, it’s “only” 30° C, after all) but for the UK it’s more than enough. As with snow, we’re a nation of mid-range and changeable weather, so we’ve never had any need to invest in infrastructure to deal with more ‘extreme’ (and again, that’s in the context of our weather, not other places in the world!) temperatures. We generally don’t have air-conditioning in houses and offices by default, nor the stuff for dealing with snow, winds, rain or anything.

Anyway, for us, it’s hot.  And every time it’s hot like this, I’m remembered that Cola (whether diet or full-fat) is a strange, strange beast.

Obviously Cola is best drunk cold – as cold as possible. But it’s crap at staying cold.  Leave it for ten to fifteen minutes and it’ll be warm.

On the other end of the scale, leave it in a car to get hot, and it’ll stay hot for hours.  The full-fat sugary one is the worst for it, but even the diet ones do this, so I don’t think it’s a facet of the sugar content.

There’s no real point to this – I just find it interesting that it’s a liquid/substance whose thermal properties are different according to whether it’s hot or cold.

Yes, I need to get out more.

 

Friendship Gap

Something odd occurred to me the other day, and it’s been bouncing round my skull a bit since.

Basically, it’s pretty simple – I realised that I don’t have any real friends or connections still in my life from the time I was with Herself, or her successor. Nothing. It’s like there’s this eight year hiatus, from 2004 through to 2012.

Plenty from before 2004, plenty from after 2012.  Just a complete blind-spot over those years.  In some ways it’s like they simply never happened.

I find I feel like that with a lot of the stuff that went on – a lot happened, a lot changed, and by the end of it, there were very few positive memories at all.

Of course, hindsight has shown that period proved to have some massive mistakes in it – but at the same time, it looks now like I sort of knew that even while they were going on, even while they were good (or at least OK) I wasn’t leaving any anchors or connections to it all.

What annoys me most is that I don’t quite know why or how that happened.

Illumination

On Friday morning, while it was still dark, I started the car to go to the client office – and one of the headlight bulbs blew.

Bollocks.

I’m not a fan of driving with one bulb out, but in this case it was going to have to happen, so off I went, a bit more carefully than usual, as a bigger swathe of the road than usual was in darkness.

On the way home though, I dropped in to one of the local(ish) Halfords, and got a new bulb sorted and fitted. Yeah, in theory I could fit it myself – but seeing the struggle the lad had with getting to it (the space was extremely tight/narrow) I’d have had issues, so it makes sense to get them to do it. (Also, when he opened the packaging for the first bulb and dropped the bulb through the engine block, he just went to get a replacement – that wouldn’t have happened if it’d been me doing it!)

From start to finish, it took less than half an hour – even with the difficulties the lad had. And all for less than £20.

I really don’t get why so many people seem to have problems with getting bulbs replaced. Some people I see in the village have had the same bulb out for weeks, if not months. I understand that sometimes you just get used to the problem existing, rather than fixing it – but at the same time, working headlights are a pretty basic requirement, I’d have said.

And besides, if it’s only £20 all-in to fix it, really, I don’t get the point of not bothering. but maybe I’m missing something. Wouldn’t be the first time, after all.

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