Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If you can't be a good example, be a horrible warning. Vol. 1.

I met the nicest man last week. When I drove my car into his car.

I was stopped at a four-way stop, and was trying to read the street sign as I was unfamiliar with the area I was driving through. I stopped and then I drove forward while looking sideways at the street sign and right into the side of the man who was turning left. He was incredibly nice about it considering it was all my fault and to top it off, it was his 60th birthday and he was on his way home to his wife for dinner. Do I know how to make a day special or what? Sigh.

Crap. One minute of inattention at the wheel = lots of headaches. Not actual headaches, we're all fine, but dealing with insurance and worrying that my car will be a write off, not because the accident was bad, both cars were traveling at about 10 km/hr, but because my car is 13 years old, and oh the painful irony of spending $700 in front-end repairs a week before wrecking the front end of the car.  *face palm* 

I'm still waiting to hear from the insurance company and the body shop. In the meantime, I'm tooling around in a sleek silver Malibu rental that Rachel has christened "Renty", as in "Can we go out shopping in Renty?"

So today I am presenting myself as a horrible warning for what happens when you don't pay attention while driving. 

Pay attention, dammit!!

You're welcome.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Dave Brown Traffic Report Drinking Game

My apologies to the  legions of  many six readers of this blog who live outside Ottawa, but this post will only make sense to people living in or around the nation's capital....if they listen to CBC Radio One on their way to work.

Drinking games are a long and honoured tradition.  From back at university when we'd watch Cheers and swig beer whenever anyone in the bar yelled "Norm!" to Facebook memes like this one:

I think we need a new one.

I have a radio crush on Dave Brown, who does the traffic reports for CBC Radio One in the mornings. Dave has fun with the traffic report.  I can't wait to hear the new ways he'll describe how traffic is moving. Or not, as the case may be.

So here it is:

The Dave Brown Traffic Report Drinking Game

Fill up your travel mug with a Timmie's double double, a Starbucks chai latte, a Bridgehead fair-trade Americano, or just the plain old coffee that comes out of your Procter-Silex, get in your car and get ready to play.  Turn your dial to 91.5 FM and make sure your mug is handy when the traffic report comes on.

Take a swig whenever he says:

- It's a tough sled on all the bridges.

- There's a collision on the go. (But really, Dave, we need to talk about this one -- it's an oxymoron.  When there's a collision, it's definitely on the stop.)

- And that's where the magic happens.

- 417 westbound is clogging up.

- Whenever he calls 'the Split' 'the Merge'.

- Eastbound 417 is packed to the gills.

- Keep your head on a swivel.

- Patience is a virtue. (while describing the bridges)

Take a large gulp whenever his prose gets extra-descriptive.  You know what I mean.  Examples of gulp-worthy lines:

- Highway 50 strikes a pose at Montée Paiement and vogues all the way down to la Vérendrye.

- The 417 westbound dashes from Boundary to Innes.

- Carling is all tangled up with pockets of congestion.

- The 174 is only a slight headache this morning, you'll only need one Advil or Tylenol.

- The 416 northbound is a tableau.  Not much go, but lots of stop.

- The 417 eastbound Usain Bolts out of Kanata.

- The 174 is in need of some flaxseed oil: it's backed up from Blair to the Split.

- Volume builds up through Kanata, reaches an apex at Bayshore, then deconstructs by Woodroffe.

- The 417 westbound is as thick as a bowl of chili coming up to Scotiabank Place.

- The Queensway stuffs up at Place d'Orleans, but you'll get relief by Innes.

- The 174 is in leather pants mode: tight as it approaches the Split.

You might need a bigger travel mug than usual.  I'm usually out of coffee before I get to Carling and Maitland. :)


If this catches on, we might need a return-commute All in a Day drinking game.  Beverage of your choice.

Sip every time:

- Alan Neal says he's posting something to Twitter.

- Laurence Wall says 'People's Republic of Nepean'.

- Kate Macnamara says 'at the minute'.

You get the idea. :)