Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sight lines

Friday must have been "road rage" day in St. Louis. Or maybe the heat has just melted every one's brain making it impossible to pay attention anymore. Whatever the reason there were more than the normal number of evasive actions required to make it safely from home to work to home to the marina. But it was the first of the day that sparked this muse.

I didn't swing out to the right to pass the big, black, SUV in the fast lane because he (or she) was going slow. It was going a good pace for the just-after-rush-hour traffic flowing along 64. Apparently the driver took it as a personal insult that I would go around in the middle lane, then pull in front of them while only going a couple of miles an hour faster than I had been. At least I think that's what happened as the SUV driver stomped on the gas to pull up right behind my little red motorcycle - giving the clear impression that they were unhappy and that putting my life at risk was the proper way for them to demonstrate their ire. Fortunately for me that same little red motorcycle puts about 180 HP on the back tire, so a simple flick of the wrist was all it took to put the SUV out of my harm's way.

The thing is the only reason I moved ahead was the SUV was too tall to look over, had a blacked out back window that I couldn't see through, and was too wide to see around. They were blocking my sight lines and thus shortening the time available to react to anything lying in wait down the road. I simply wanted to see what was coming a little better.

I like clear sight lines. In ye old jet we have radar and data up link weather so we can see as far ahead as we like. Even on our little lake Kintala has a old GPS so I can see where I am on the lake even on the darkest, overcast night. On the ZX or in the Z I routinely look down the road as far as can be seen, which is also useful in spotting speed traps.

I like clear sight lines.

Which may be why I feel like I'm struggling just a little with "The Retirement Project" at the moment, the view ahead is being blocked. The boat isn't ready to go. I have some idea of what it will take to get it ready to go, but the V-drive disaster made it clear that Kintala can blind side me whenever she likes. There are some big projects to be completed and who knows what lurks buried in the "to do" list, failing rigging, corroded chain plates, engine bearings about to give up the ghost? A life long mechanic, it doesn't take a lot of imagination for me to conjur up potential mechanical disaster. The housing market is dead, the government may decide to keep my Social Security so they can buy another aircraft carrier (or something), some smart Wall Street type may yet figure out a way to run off with the rest of my 401K ... or nothing interesting is coming. Maybe the boat is almost done, the house will sell when we need it to sell, the government will continue to bumble along as it has for my entire adult life, and Wall Street may decide that stealing all the money isn't actually a good business idea.

I wish my sight lines to big water were a little clearer. Then again, if we could all see what was coming we would all make better decisions.

Still, I'm going to go around the SUVs when ever it helps me see a little better.


Allan S said...

Great blog you have here. I can only encourage you to keep going. You CAN accomplish your dreams even if you have to go before you think your boat is ready, well, the V drive is a problem, I'll grant you that. Just reach inside and grab some of that American ingenuity:)

Latitude 43 said...

Good post! Everybody goes before they are ready.