Category Archives for "Augustine Observations"

Taking you for a (park and) ride: Devil in the details in Central Parking signs

“Providence has nothing good or high in store for one who does not resolutely aim at something high or good. A purpose is the eternal condition of success.” Thomas Wilder.

20140603-084046.jpgExcept that we didn’t have such a positive impression of Providence aiming high or good. This is story number two on Sneaky bastards of Rhode Island. By co-incidence, it is story number two about a $11 rate.

We were driving in downtown Providence and looking for somewhere to park. Having driven past a few managed parking lots that said $11, we came across a multi-level parking garage with a sign outside. $11 seemed to be going rate and even if if we had to park on the roof, so be it.

Less that three hours later, we go to pay in the automatic machine: $14.80. Since there was no human around, we thought, Chiselers.

This bugged us so much we took the picture to complain and still we couldn’t see how we had gone wrong: We were out by easily by 6:00pm, we parked on the roof.

It wasn’t until 2 days later looking at the picture again, did we notice it in the small print: you must be in by 8am. Grr, You sneaky sneaky bastards. Who on earth can spot that from a car as you are driving past?

F’ you Central Parking

Who do you think you are kidding Mr. Hitler? Yorkshire town fights back against modern day Nazis

Wisdom from Corporal Jones of "Dad's Army" fame

Wisdom from Corporal Jones of “Dad’s Army” fame

Over my morning coffee, I read an article in Daily Telegraph titled War-themed festival mired in controversy over Nazi costumes

War-themed festival mired in controversy over Nazi costumes

In a nutshell, the town of  Haworth, West Yorkshire runs an annual 1940’s war themed festival. Being Britain, most people dress up as British Tommies or their better dressed GI’s. Afterall, this was the side the fathers or grandfathers fought for.

As usual in any party, there are always some who spoils it for others. In this case, their version of party happen to be the Nazi Party and a subset insist on turning up as SS soldiers.

On paper, UK is a modern democracy, so there is no law that prevents them doing this but this year the town in fighting back. They are refusing to serve those dressed as such by putting up signs that say “No Nazi or SS Uniforms or Insignia allowed on these premises”.

Cafe owner Jill Ross revealed she put up a sign warning people not to enter in Nazi or SS costumes as many visitors were left offended at a previous event.

Good on the fair burghers of Haworth we say. Envoking the fighting spirit of Churchill:

We shall fight in France Yorkshire, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the teashops, we shall fight in the pubs and in the streets, we shall fight in the trinket malls; we shall never surrender.

Under related articles on Telegraph site we read “Prince Harry to visit scene of the Battle of Monte Casino on 70th anniversary”.

Hmm. Is that related because Monte Casino was a terrible world war II battle ? Perhaps is it related to the Young Prince’s prior choice of  a certain Halloween outfit. You know that one with the funny symbol on an red armband. Not the red cross armband, the one that caused a bit of Storm (trooper) in a Teacup.

“Space Age. Road Rage. Fast Lane”: Driving in Houston

..So sang Cerys Matthews of Catatonia back in 1990’s in their hit song “Road Rage”. The song reached #5 in UK  charts. Little did we know that the Welsh Warbler would be a prophetess to the Space City of Houston being rated #1 city in US for Road Rage.

Houston displaced New York City as the city with the least courteous drivers in 2014, according to AutoVantage’s annual “Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey.

The article says this:

Houston was not in the top five last year, and moved up seven spots from the original survey in 2009. What catapulted “Space City” to “victory” this year? When compared to drivers in other cities, survey participants in Houston are:

• Most likely to see another driver cutting them off and most likely to admit performing this behavior
• Most likely to see someone else someone else slam on their brakes
• Most likely to admit talking on their phones while driving

Funnily enough, Augustus made a similar comment when visiting Houston one months ago. While driving around 610 near Galeria, he noticed how aggressive the drivers were around 10:15 at night. Augustus was easily driving the slowest (about 65 mph) on a 5 lane freeway while others cut in and out. For the record, Augustus lived in Houston for 12 years and visits for work, often.

Mrs Caesar had made prior independent observations especially the inattentive tossers who wait until last minute to swing from far left to cross multiple freeway lanes to make their exit.

Another observation about some of the worst drivers here: Breakdown truck drivers. We’ve witnessed one who pulled out from breakdown lane into far left fast lane without any attempt to pick up acceleration. We’ve witness ones who decided to turn from a committed right hand turn lane to turn across a traffic light intersection to go left. As you can gather, Not our favorite set of drivers. Houston cops are also up there in the texting while driving and their false use of emergency lights to bypass traffic.

Jumping to the other side of the survey: The winner of the most courteous driver category was Portland: We speculate that the availability of pot had something to do with it.

If so, Roads-2-Roam has pioneered a Driving Aggression spectrum: Space City one one side. Spaced out City on the other.

Back to Cerys.

But you and I know,
We all live in the space age, coming down with road rage,
Racing through the best days
It’s up to you boy you’re driving me crazy,
Thinking you may be losing your mind

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