Wet behind the years : Is White van man going international?

My fellow Roamans. Apologies for what Caligula posted earlier about the Canadian van driver intentionally swerving to splashing the pedestrians in Ottawa. Caligula is rather special and I see why he only lasted four years in the purple before the Praetorian’s dispatched him.  The video has been seen by over 800,000 people now and majority of comments are negative to the driver.

While it is technically not a traffic offence in Ontario, the Police public posted that they could face a mischief charge.

Faced with public embarrassment of their company van being the offending splasher, the company fired the driver.

We apologize to everyone impacted by the recent incident in Ottawa of unacceptable driving by one of our van drivers….

Posted by Black & McDonald Limited on Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ottawa’s police later tweeted that firing was good enough for them and they wouldn’t take any further action

So what is the law for this? In Ottawa, we mentioned that there does not seem to be one. I looked for ones in the US and didn’t see any either. However, in Britain they do appear to have such a law. According the the Daily Express article “Drivers BEWARE – Splashing a pedestrian with your car can cost you £5,000” and claims it could potentially get you 9 penalty points as well. While Express can be a bit of drama queen in it’s stories, the offence would fall under the category of driving without reasonable consideration.

One thing that struck me when I watched the video: the color of the van. Did you notice it. It was White.

In Britainnia,  “White van man” is a stereotype typically perceived as a selfish, inconsiderate driver who is often aggressive. Cambridge dictionary defines it as “a man who is thought to be typical of drivers of white vans by being rude, not well educated, and having very strong, often unpleasant opinions”. So it perhaps no surprise to see White man van is going international.

On a darker side of this, there is a potential problem to drivers swerving into water like this: loosing control of a vehicle. In 2007, Terri Perdew of Denison ,Texas killed a child by intentionally driving her car though water to splash local kids. From KTEN who covered the story:

There are new developments in the death of a 14-month-old boy, who was killed when he was hit by a car in Denison.  KTEN’s Kristi Branam has the update.

14 Month-old Zachary Duncan was sitting on the street curb just before seven o’clock last night, when he was hit by a car.  But, it was the car’s second trip up the street that caused the accident.

Denison Police Lt. Mike Eppler said, “Evidently, when the car went by, the car turned around, driver came back with the intention of splashing the children again.”

Except this time, the car hydroplaned and struck 14 month-old Zachary Duncan and his mother.

In 2008,  Perdew was sentenced to 1 year with no parole.

Trajan.

 

Splash and Dash

If you’ve not seen this you got to watch this video. What a boss ! I counted 4 people he splashed while driving.Hilarious.

Unfortunately, he was driving his company van and some snitch, contacted the boss’ proper boss and he got fired.

Oi Mate. If you need a job, I could always do with a driver like this. We could have hours of schadenfreude entertainment. Hours.

Cali.

When an Apple fine is rotten to the core

Go on. What harm could one apple do?

There’s the law and then there’s the law.

Some of you may have followed the headline of Crystal Tadlock who was busted by United States Customs and Border Protection for the incorrigible crime of bringing in illegal agricultural produce. You could assume that since she was coming from Paris, it was secret stash of some French onions but nope, it was an apple given to her by Delta still wrapped in the plastic with the Delta logo on it.

From ABC News:

Tadlock said she was going through Customs when she said her bag was randomly searched by an agent who found the apple inside the plastic bag it was originally handed out in that included the Delta log.

According to Tadlock, the agent asked if her trip to France was expensive, and she replied yes.

“It’s about to get a whole lot more expensive after I charge you $500,” the agent then allegedly said to Tadlock, she told KDVR.

She said she was then fined $500 and lost her global entry status.

In a statement to ABC News, Delta said, “We encourage our customers to follow U.S. Customs and Border Protection protocols.”

Furthermore:

In a statement to ABC News, CBP said “Privacy policy prohibits CBP from discussing the details of any individuals specific inspection, however all agriculture items must be declared. Prohibited items that are not declared by a passenger are confiscated and disposed of by CBP. More importantly, civil penalties may be assessed for failure to declare prohibited agricultural products and may range up to $1,000 per first-time offense for noncommercial quantities. If the items are determined to be for commercial use, violations will be assessed at a much higher rate.”

According to the CBP website, travelers must declare fruits, vegetables, plants and animal products.

At the time, Ms Tadlock said she would fight it in court.

Fast forward two months and the headline in SF Gate ” Delta passenger wins battle over a $500 apple” suggests she did indeed win in court. Except that the subline gives it away that it was her state Colorado Congressman,  Ed Perlmutter, who intervened with Customs and the Department of Agriculture to get them to revoke the fine and reinstate her global entry status. It’s nice to have friend in low places.

So does this this merit a “Feed them to the lions” judgement? If this was a pattern, then I’d say yes but this sounds like an individual being overzealous. The officer should have had better judgement.

Shell shock: Woman jailed for 15 days for Conch poaching in Key West

Officer John Martino with the great Queen Conch Heist (Copyright : Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

She sells seashells by the seashore.
The shells she sells are surely seashells.
So if she sells shells on the seashore,
I’m sure she sells seashore shells go

I’m sure she picks seashells by the seashore that are actually live Queen Conch AND that seashore is Key West, Florida, you are in big trouble. Which is exactly what happened to Dianna Fiscal-Gonzalez, 30, a Dallas mother who got 15 days in Jail for being busted in possession of 40 Queen Conches hiding away in their seashells.

TV stations WFFA of Dallas has a bit more to the story where it interviews the brother of mollusk moll. According to the bro, Diana didn’t actually take any of the shells but took the hit for her kids.

So what is this law then? From the US fish and wildlife website:

“Queen conch was once found in high numbers in the Florida Keys but, due to a collapse in conch fisheries in the 1970s, it is now illegal to commercially or recreationally harvest queen conch in that state. The United States is responsible for the consumption of 80% of the world’s internationally traded queen conch.”

If  just shells, it is ok to pick but not if they contain live Queen Conches as this makes it poaching. Got it plebs?

Back when I wore the purple in the original Rome, I once declared war on Poseidon, god of the sea, instead of invading Britain. Being the brilliant general that I am, I ordered my Legions to throw their spears into the sea. After a glorious victory, my brave soldiers collected seashells as war booty.

And what happened to me for this event? Did I get 15 days in Jail? No. I got assassinated. Blood e’ll. She got off lightly.

Cali.

Papa don’t preach : “Immature” Senior exec daughter of KAL fired by Dad

Korean Air Lines workers show their love of the Cho family [Lee Jin-Man/Associated Press]

Dahlings, Remember from 2014 nutrage woman, Senior Vp Heather Cho, who got jailed and fired for blowing up over macadamia nuts who turned around the aircraft in order to kick off the offender? If not read this CON AIR: KAL EXECUTIVE GETS 1 YEAR IN JAIL OVER “NUTRAGE” INCIDENT.]

This time her younger sister Cho Hyun-min (Emily), has caused a stink by throwing a glass of water in a man’s face at a business meeting. The Chairman of the company, Cho Yang-ho, who just happens to be her dad had to fire her. [Guardian “‘Nut rage’: Korean Air boss apologises as daughters resign]

“As chairman of Korean Air, as well as a father, I feel terrible about the immature actions of my daughters,” Cho said in a statement. “Everything is my fault and my wrongdoing. I apologise to the people.”

Cho said his two daughters would immediately step down from all positions in the company.

Seoul police said last week that they were launching a formal investigation into the younger Cho, based on the testimonies of people at the meeting.

Following the incident, the 34-year-old issued an email apology to everyone she had worked with for her behaviour, although she has denied throwing water in anyone’s face.

Dad is back in the limelight again with prosecutors seeking an arrest warrant for tax fraud [Straighttimes]. It is interesting to read that mom Lee Myung Hee, was interviewed by the police over allegations of assaulting household staff and construction workers renovating her home.

“I am sorry for causing trouble,” a bespectacled Lee said with her head lowered as she walked past throngs of journalists before entering a Seoul police office.

Lee is accused of assaulting drivers and housekeepers from her personal staff as well as construction workers renovating her home and building a Korean Air-affiliated hotel.

The alleged abuses range from cursing and screaming at employees to kicking, slapping and even throwing a pair of scissors at them.

A video that emerged last month showed a woman, reportedly Lee, shoving a female construction worker and throwing a pile of documents on the ground.

Oh dear. With all these apologies, I think I need now to apologize when I accused Emily of being the white sheep of the family by having no scandal [SEOUL AND FIRE (D) : KOREAN AIRLINE FIRES SENIOR VP OVER NUTRAGE ABUSE ].  Way to go Emily, glad to see you are living down to the bad behavior standards of your family!

Ciao (or I say Cho) for now,
Cleo.

GDPR at SPQR

Roam’s secret code to life

For our European readers out there, our privacy policy of  Roads-2-Roam has been upgraded from ‘mild apathy’ to ‘complete apathy’.

What this means is that we don’t care enough about you to even want to track you plebs.

Water, Water everywhere, nor any drop to drink

Hurricane Harvey hits Roam

Hurricane Harvey put a literal damper on our travel plans for September. The Labor weekend bizcation to the Bay Area was cancelled as we couldn’t get out even if we wanted to. Hobby airport was closed.

The flights were automatically refunded by Southwest and hotels were well within the cancellation window. The one item that left us about $500 out of pocket was for one family trip around San Francisco that Mrs C had booked with her debit card. Even though we had notified them of our situation they said they were non-refundable in any circumstance but they would talk to the manager. We did not get a return call after this and since we had other things to worry about, we kind of forgot about it. Probably if we had used the appropriate credit card, it could have invoked travel insurance.

The flood also totaled both of our cars. I had seen the streets outside our houses start to flood so I moved them to higher ground but ‘higher’ was only relatively higher. My insurance company Progressive, took at least two weeks to get back for me after I filed a claim. One friend who had USAA got his check in 3 days. While I appreciate Progressive were busy they could at least have sent a periodic email that I was in the queue and not forgotten. People in customer service could not give any insight into when the inspector would come. In the end, they didn’t. I just had to submit photographic evidence with the Progressive App so not sure why they couldn’t tell me that earlier.

Getting a car rental was interesting. When I first checked for any rental cars, there was none available in the area. I thought it strange that AVIS were not showing up and when I checked, it didn’t show the local depot as being open on any day. I tried again a few days later and wow, not only was it open but it had a selection of cars. I went for simple regular car and put in a noon pick up time.  When I got the store, it had lines going out the door. I was dismayed to find out that it was a 2 hour queue just to get the paperwork counter and then 1 hour wait to retrieve the car. Avis Preferred counted for nothing as they had manual sign in system. When I eventually get called the front, I hand over my licence and credit card and hear the rep saying my class of car is not available. Since I’d also heard them tell someone over the phone that they were all out of cars, I piped up with “Give me anything with four wheels” as I just needed transport. This flexibility and the fact that I had been friendly to them earlier during the sign off, got me a serious upgrade. “Would a RAM 1500 be ok?”

A pick up truck was the best thing they could have said since the area was still flooded ! Not only that but it was ready outside the office so I avoided another line. Moral of this is to be yourself (unless you are naturally a dick) and be flexible in situations like this. Having a hissy fit about a wait that is clearly beyond the control of the local staff or bitching about their particular car type that they normally get, was not helping people. I had the truck for a month and was pleased to find out I was only billed the rate of a cheaper model even after I had extended the time of return twice. I got it for about 1/3rd of the price of if I had explicitly booked that vehicle class.

One thing I didn’t check was the CDW insurance. Amex covers it when I book with my card however, it excludes certain types of cars – full size SUVs, trucks and luxury cars. I wonder if it would have been covered since I did not request that type of car and AVIS gave me that truck. Anyhow, I was pleased to find out I never needed to find out that answer.

What else? The car buying experience but that is for a future post.

The Summer of our discount tent

This about sums up our summer

This summer ended up being as Caligula would put it, ‘a complete horrible anus’. It stated going south in June when Mrs Caesar had jewelry and her laptop pilfered after Delta forced her to check it in her hand luggage at the gate at Milwaukee airport. Mrs C was travelling First Class with her dog (which she had paid quite a bit extra for) and had done the MKE to IAH route with the pampered pooch many times. This time however, the gate agent insisted that the dog in its carry bag counted as one piece of hand luggage and with her purse, she had used up her allowance. Even though the dog obviously wasn’t going to go in the overhead, it still didn’t matter. Her backpack needed to be checked in despite vigorous protestations about it containing valuables. “Don’t worry. It will be safe” the agent said.

But it wasn’t. The flight was a connecting flight and with weather delays, the luggage sat for a very long time in Atlanta. At the IAH carousel, it was obvious all  her luggage including those checked, had be disturbed. While lost luggage clerk was somewhat sympathic with a now visibly upset Mrs Caesar, the later Delta customer service agents that she delta with were far from it. After many hours dealing with Delta’s online reporting system which would go down mid-entry, the claim as I expected, was denied. “We do not cover jewelry or electronics” in checked luggage even if we forced you to check then in.  But still Mrs C flies with them despite my advice to ‘F’em: fly Southwest’. For this,  I will give Delta a “Feed them to the Lions” classification due to their lack of concern about baggage theft in their operation in their main hub of Atlanta airport. They don’t care. I very much doubt it was MKE or IAH end as there bags were mainly on the plane.

The other big event of the summer, impacted all of Southwest Texas : Hurricane Harvey. In late July we moved house. In late August, we were flooded with  18 inches of water and lost both cars. We are temporarily displaced and staying in Mrs Caesar’s sister’s villa. The Palace is being repaired but Roam lost our main computers which held my software, passwords and information. Our backup drive also got flooded.

Some things in life are bad, they can really make you sad. Other things just make you swear and curse. When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble, give a whistle. And this’ll help things turn out for the best…and..

Augustus.

End of the road for Travis

It was a sad to hear about Travis Kalanick’s mom passing away in an accident but we thought Uber’s statement was that he was taking a leave of absence a cop out. We nevertheless gave an Emperor thumbs up when they later upgraded that to a full firing along with a few others of his cronies.

We thought Travis was a prize dickhead and wrong person to lead a company.

However, we’ve wondered if his firing was not because because of social justice pressure with him being a dick, but was it the fact that Uber was loosing a ton of money and the Venture capitalists wanting some fiscal discipline. Uber is loosing a ton of money.

However, the gossip about getting Melissa Meyer in from Yahoo is in our opinion, a mistake. Just because someone had lucked up in riding the coat tails of success with google, doesn’t mean it means you are any good as a leader. Sometimes people are just lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

On the other hand, an ex-google person may help to de-escalate the lawsuits on Uber for stealing Google IP on driverless cars. [see Waymo scandal]. We don’t think Travis is crying too much either as he has a lot of controlling stock and maybe his replacement can actually take it to a successful IPO now.

Btw, we also noticed that you can finally tip inside the Uber app. This was a ridiculous shortcoming and a source of discontentment from the riders and passengers alike.

 

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