I’ll Drink To That …

Last week I noticed a lot of traffic on my site directed to the bus related items (over there on the right) so it appears that some bus guys are wandering around the garden, grabbing the low hanging fruit and taking some of it home, which is okay, that is what it is there for.

It is a lot better reading than this tripe I discovered quite by accident on Craig’s List the other day.  A poorly written missive and a testament to the stupidity of bus drivers in this country.  This sadly is often read by the public and helps no one in particular.  

 Here is the cleaned up version.

Yesterday after reading that I got to thinking about how stupid bus people appear to be.  Right now there is a huge concentration of them in the desert out in Arizona, Quartzite, a little burg that no one ever heard of, but once a year swells to a population of well over 100,000 people.  The majority of them bus owners.  A rite of passage, some people never miss it, kind of like the “Burning Man” for the well equipped or resourceful, desert dwellers of the Stainless Steel variety.

All of them dry-camped in the desert, gathering around campfires at night, lying about how much money they paid for their bus, what good fuel mileage they get and flea market shopping under a huge tent during the day for the latest Chinese Junk.

Having just finished Arcadia, Florida (another famous once a year bus rally), they are all set for the Bureau of Land Management Experience.  Which I find somewhat amusing, sitting around in a dust bowl and doing mainly nothing.

 Here is another stupid thing bus people do.

 They all get on the Internet boards and announce essentially to the world “where they are, where they are going, and when they will return.”  Not very smart, very convenient if you are a bus person burglar, you have just told everyone you know (and quite a few that you do not know):

 YOU ARE NOT HOME … COME ON OVER AND GET MY STUFF.

Why people do this is a true mystery to me.  With the Internet it seems that there are no secrets left in society anymore …. full disclosure.  So in the spirit of the post … Here is a little more.

Another club we used to belong to would hold one or two meetings a year.  I found it somewhat curious that members from the East coast would show up with “fresh moonshine whiskey” and they would distribute it to a few members in attendance.  

Of course they never referred to it as “shine” or anything like that, it was always called “spring water” or some other misnomer.  Later on they regaled in announcing to the entire world on their respective blogs and websites their indulgence in a practice that is clearly illegal in most states and nationwide.  

 Bootlegging.  

A strange part of the bus culture, is that bus people also have this other quirky thing they do, they get on the internet and tell everyone how the trip home went, and announce to no one in particular that they are now safely back at the abode.  (They also comment on other buses on the road … calling these reports sightings … and wondering who it might be?)  Which brings us to this interesting fact, everyone seems oblivious to.

If you were a “government Revenue man” as they put it back in the hardwoods of Tennessee, Kentucky, and West – By – God – Virginia, it wouldn’t take long to figure out the members were indeed drinking shine, distributing it and transporting it all across state lines, tax free.  Which would raise up a red flag quickie pronto.  

 Someone of course “has to be making it” and that friends is a tad bit illegal.

You could be looking at a considerable jail time and fines, varying specifically by your state. But you are looking at a fine of $10,000 and up to five years in jail for only one offense of making moonshine (even if you don’t sell it). Doing a little research on the subject I found a GA man faced 35 years in prison for making and selling moonshine.  

 (Well, what else are you going to do while she is watching American Idol?)

The reason the fines are so steep is because the federal government strictly regulates the process, and gets over $2 worth of tax for every 750mL bottle of liquor, as opposed to 21 cents for a bottle of wine and 5 cents for a can of beer.  So do you really want to attend a meet, drink some shine with your buddies, and then go to jail?  

Not very smart, kind of makes me wonder if “membership is worth it” and is my attendance at some kind of function like this necessary or even considered a good idea?  Most of this simply does not apply in our case, as we gave up drinking a long time ago, because of alcohol sensitive prescription medicines.

Bottom line is I find it somewhat scary the whole idea.

As stupid as current government in this country seems to be here lately, I could be found guilty just by the mere fact that I am associated with this kind of nonsense.  So if you are new to the culture and you are looking around for a place to hang, might be a good idea to check out the people you are associated with at these things.

Don’t get me wrong, I freely leave you to draw your own conclusions.  Might also note that there are plenty of good bus groups out there, that operate just fine.  Just remember this … You lay down with a dog, you are going to come up smelling like one, and it makes no difference to the government.

They want your cash, your a**, your bus, and assets, you in turn, get bunk beds for the next five to ten.

Watch those right-handers

OOO

Highway 17 (Lifted from Craigslist)

Stumbled upon this the other day,  draw your own conclusions.

DS

First of all, I’d like to compliment you all on the quality and quantity of your middle fingers.  I realize I am widely despised and considered by many of you to be a selfish, clueless, dangerous [expletive] of a road hazard. I understand where you are coming from. Even if you are a greedy, spoiled, impatient piece of [expletive]. I understand.

Let me address a couple of specific issues. 

1. The fast lane, or as it is known in “the business,” the Number One Lane. 

Why in bloody [expletive], some of you wonder, would a [expletive] bus be using the fast lane southbound between 280 and Los Gatos, when it can’t travel much over 70 mph (MAX) on a downhill grade, and moves like a snail on the uphill? Well, it’s like this: I am trying to avoid the [expletive] merges that occur throughout that stretch. The road is full of really bad drivers, as you know… and while a passenger car might stand a chance of swerving or accelerating or braking out of trouble, not me. I need to stay out of the way of that [expletive]. If a merging idiot cuts me off and I have to decelerate on an even a slight uphill grade, there will be peace in the Middle East before I can get back up to the speed limit. I know you are [expletive] off that I am keeping you from speeding your [expletive] off for a few minutes, but if I get stuck in the Idiot Merge and have to slow down, then you will see some really serious traffic blockage while I hold the throttle pedal to the floor and wait for the bus to resume any forward motion. I know you don’t give a [expletive] about that because you can drive better than James Bond and would easily bust through the jam with amazing technique, but next time you might be a minute or two behind me… then you will taste some serious inconvenience and delay because some [expletive] such as yourself didn’t let me just keep up enough momentum to get out of the way as soon as possible.

2. Speaking of merging: 

Look here, the bus has basically two modes; floored and stopped. When floored, the actual speed depends entirely on grade and momentum. When I am coming down a ramp to merge onto the highway, I am [expletive] FLOORING IT, ok? I am trying to get as close to the flow of traffic as possible. Maybe you are in the right land and see me up ahead, preparing to merge and signaling left. You could do a couple of things. You could slow down and let me in, which I would appreciate but certainly not expect of you. Or, probably even better, you could put your [expletive] foot in it and blast cleanly around me and make good your escape. But either way, you gotta [expletive] or get off the pot. Please do not hover back there in my blind spot, spitting and cussing and wondering when I’m going to make my move. Guess what? You are already seeing my move. I am signaling left and standing on the throttle with my full weight. You’re the one in the vehicle that actually has a choice to go faster. I realize that sometimes I am getting in your way. Really, I’m sorry about that, but if you make me slow down because I can’t tell where you are … well, then we’re going to see how badly I can make traffic back up. The rule of thumb is this: Do what traffic expects you to do. That means do not come to a screeching halt on the freeway because you think I’ll cut in front of you, or because you are such a sweetheart that you are willing to [expletive] 5 miles of commuters behind you so that I can creep into traffic. Just drive. Do what traffic expects. If you can just carry on at your same speed and zip right past me than please do so. On the the other hand, if you see me a half mile up ahead, signaling left and waiting waiting waiting to get over, and no one will budge, and I am getting dangerously close to the point of no return… please do not floor it when I finally get a little gap and you are several hundred yards back. We want the same thing, you and me. You want to get the [expletive] away from me and I also want you to do that.

Oh, and northbound, after the curvy part of 17, just after the Cats restaurant, where the first Los Gatos onramp comes in… I always grab the left lane anywhere I can get it after Lexington Reservoir and the Cats. The traffic merging onto the freeway at Los Gatos is deadly. Deadly and slow. Plus, there is another merge nightmare shortly thereafter as people try and remember whether they want 85 or not… or start reading their map to see what 85 even is. I don’t want 85. I want to stay away from everyone who is wrapped up in the spiritual dilemma over whether to take it or not. That means one thing and one thing only: Left Lane. Please keep in mind… I am not trying to block your way. I just need to maintain my speed long enough to get around all that [expletive]. As usual, if I get caught in it, I’ll become a much bigger pain in the [expletive] while I try and get back up to speed over the next 20 minutes. 

3. Lane changes/passing other vehicles 

Same deal. Believe it or not, there are vehicles on the road even slower than the Hwy17 bus. Usually they are big rigs, construction trailers, out-of-town first-times (on this road) doing the White Knuckler… and sometimes they are just terrified little idiots who refuse to believe that the posted speed limit is to be trusted. If I get caught behind this stuff on the uphill… forget it. I’ll be slowing up the traffic for a long time If you see me on the downhill, signaling left, please let me get around them. I can do it going downhill, and I PROMISE to get the [expletive] back in the slow lane immediately.

I hope this clears up some confusion. It is a treacherous road, and can be unbearably frustrating when you are in a hurry. Please keep in mind that my bus is not the only thing out there jamming up traffic. In fact, I’ll jam it up less if given just a little room. At least I am aware of the situation and aware of the need to try and stay out of the way when I can’t go fast, and to keep things flowing when I can. 

Oh, and to the woman in the dirty Subaru Outback with the Montessori bumper sticker… you really need to quit biting your nail on that middle finger. Your Bird-Flippng technique is flawless, but that fingernail is disgusting. Next time I see it (probably tomorrow) I want to see it neatly trimmed. 

  • Location: HWY 17
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

1440 words that basically say nothing.  People who use language like this on the Internet or anywhere else, are moron’s … Plain and simple.  Those who find “humor in it” are sadly, just as bad.  A quick check around found it on several bus boards and great many bus guys found this amusing and/or interesting.  Some even stopped just short of calling it a literary masterpiece.

 This poorly written diatribe laced with excessive profanity, serves only one purpose (that I can see) and that is to remind me of ALL THE THINGS that should NOT be done when trying to convey a point or an idea.  It also serves as a reminder of why it was that I stopped writing and reading bus boards altogether.

 When you stop to consider that the face of America is rapidly changing, and soon 68% of our population will be of other races and orgins of other countries.  A great many of these folks are learning how to drive for the first time in their lives, the caliber of drivers on the highways of this country has changed in the past five years, and will continue to change in the near future.

Bottom line … Get used to it.

OOO

Related:  I’ll Drink To That