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First U.S. case of mad cow disease in WA?

Today’s traffic wonkery

On my way to work this morning I was behind a MacDonald-Miller van whose driver seemed... uncertain, shall we say, about where he was going.

I stopped at Tully’s in Canyon Park for muffin and cuppa. Since I was on 228th St SE already, I headed east and turned right on Fitzgerald Rd, which runs along I-405 for a ways before turning east and becoming 240th St SE, exactly where I needed to be.

The MacDonald-Miller van was ahead of me on 228th and turned right onto Fitzgerald Rd ahead of me as well, and crawled along at 15-20mph, signaling at every curve in the road. At first I thought he wasn’t sure where to turn—there are several residential streets turning east off Fitzgerald—but he was signalling both left and right, every time there was any curve at all in the road.

He did this the entire way down Fitzgerald, including the last curve when it becomes 240th, as a line of cars about 10 deep piled up behind him. Finally he actually did turn right at 35th Ave SE, where I continued straight.

I’ve been lost in this metropolitan area before. It’s damned confusing when you come from a city like Salt Lake, where the addresses are based on a straightforward grid system, to the Seattle area’s system of which is also grid-based but refers to the directions differently, the NE and SW and E and so on. Especially right in this area where the Seattle metro address area meets with the Everett metro address area (in fact, the lab is only a few hundred feet south of the King-Snohomish county line).

But damn, man. Signaling every curve on a road? That’s just silly, to say nothing of dangerous! Pull over if you don’t know where you’re going!

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As an aside, I long for a return to the days when people sold things other than “solutions” (see the MacDonald-Miller web page linked above).

These days it’s “commerce solutions” or “copier solutions” or “health solutions” or whatever.

Open letter to marketing persons:

You overuse a word like “solution” and people stop paying attention to it. It becomes a buzzword and eventually a late-night TV joke.

Kinda like “system” a few years ago. Everything became a “system”: Gillette marketed “shaving systems” instead of razors and blades, Mr. Coffee started selling “brewing systems,” blah blah blah.

Now, I hear the word “system” and I glaze over instantly.

“System solutions” or “solution systems,” anyone? ::fall into coma::

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