Sunday, January 24, 2010

Inconsiderate stores

One side effect of having an ambiguous relationship with automobiles is that you spend more time getting around by other methods--including your feet. On a routine short walk to the local bookstore I saw evidence of the increasing car-centrism of our society.

As I walk past the Marriott hotel I see that the path from the street to the from door is immaculately cleared, as is the carpark in its entirety. The footpath along the road, however, is snow covered and has been for days. In fact it is easier to walk along the outside edge of the carpark then on the path (although if you do so while walking your dog, a security guard will evict you from the grounds).

As I cross the overpass I see that the roadway is in perfect condition. The pavement, however, is completely covered in slick ice. The Wildberry eatery has also not shoveled the public pavement directly outside their building, although the pathway from the carpark to their front door is carefully cleared.

I suppose the logic is that, on some basis, pedestrian traffic does not count. We are not numerous enough, rich enough, or afforded enough alternatives. We aren't customers worth considering or caring for. But pedestrian, especially pedestrains with long memories and cold feet can be very contrary. Marriot and Wildberry go on my list of places not to shop.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


One of the weird things I had always thought was part of having a driving phobia is my driving nightmares. The exact appearance of the dream varies but I am in a car and driving. Then somehow I either lose the ability to break, or the car starts to accelerate beyond my control. I try desperately to make turns and stay on the road, but inevitably crash, and wake with a start.

But a recent XKCD comic made me wonder whether having dreams like this is really pretty normal, whether you have driving anxiety or not.