Saturday, February 7, 2009

OK, I could have prevented this. But...

Driving home tonight, as I made the transition from city to country, an SUV zoomed up behind me and tailgated me for a bit. I was going at or maybe a shade over the speed limit (55), which anyone who knows the area would know is, if anything, too fast to drive at night with so many deer around.

After a very short while, the driver zipped out into the other lane and gunned it, passing me as we rounded a curve - gentle curve, but still a curve. Idiot, I thought. Now, when I'm driving out at night and somebody passes me, I generally wait maybe 10 seconds before turning my high beams back on, to give them some distance. If they tailgate me and drive like morons, I might wait only 5 seconds - I'll give them a little distance, but I won't go the extra mile. That's what I did tonight. In retrospect, kind of a mistake.

As soon as I put the high beams on, the SUV - by now maybe a tenth of a mile ahead - braked. Big time. I hit the brakes. The SUV started going. I slowly started going. Then he braked again and came to a dead stop. I wasn't going fast, but I had to brake hard and swerve onto the shoulder. He swerved onto the shoulder in front of me. I swerved back on to the road. He swerved back on to the road. At some point in this, he had a shot at bashing me on the passenger side and I thought he was going to (his SUV was an old beater; I say "he" but I didn't get a look at the driver), but it didn't happen. Also at some point in this, I did turn off my brights. The SUV started going down the road again.

I followed - giving plenty of distance. OK, this was really dumb, but after giving that driver the normal amount of time - he was way down the road - I turned my brights back on. The SUV's brake lights went on again. I pulled over and called 911. The SUV kept going, passing someone up ahead while going up a hill.

I had his plate number, and I gave it to the dispatcher along with a description of the SUV and its direction of travel. She said if any squads were in the area, they'd look for it. About a mile down the road, I saw a sheriff's SUV in a bar parking lot. As I passed, its lights (regular, not emergency) went on and it started pulling out. I turned and kept going on my way down a different road. I'd like to think they tracked the guy down.

I'm fine. My car's fine. As the title of this post says, I could have prevented this. But...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My dog has sinned

Remember from the last post that Jehovah's Witnesses booklet that my dog knocked in back of the TV stand. Well....
That's the shredded remains of the first few pages. I'm on the fifth day of leaving my dog alone, out of her crate, for a full shift while I'm at work. When I got home tonight, I discovered that she extracted the booklet and gave it some good chewing attention while I was gone.

I found the rest of the booklet upstairs and relatively intact; she apparently carried it up there at some point during the evening.

I don't consider this a major breach of rules on the dog's part, so she gets a passing grade for the night. The only major incident so far was on the first day, when she pulled a Ziploc bag of dog food off the kitchen counter (I had forgotten it was there), tore into it and ate it while I was at work. Aside from that, I've discovered a few things (a boot, a glove) moved around to different parts of the house, but nothing - other than the Jehovah's Witnesses booklet - destroyed.

If they come back, I guess I can legitimately say, "My dog ate it."