Sunday, February 11, 2018

So there we were, driving along

When all of a sudden...

Except I don't like that all of a sudden thing. For a while I was in a job where I had to read incident reports and plug them into a database. While I didn't have formal root cause analysis training, the essence of it is to keep asking why something happened, and why the events leading up to that happened, and you keep doing that at least 5 times. One investigator said the major clue for him was the word "suddenly". It meant that the poor sod involved had not been paying attention to the task at hand, and it got away from them. So then you have to think about why their attention was drifting.

It's almost never just one thing anymore. Our world is sufficiently complex that people have already built systems and mechanisms to cope with a thing going wrong. Think about all the safety interlocks on power tools, for example. In modern cars you can't put it in gear unless your foot is on the brake. There are many examples, but there is an old saying in the auto industry; "the most dangerous part is the nut behind the wheel." Great article here, btw.

So there we were, driving along, looking for nice landscapes. We found some, but we also found something else. It's been snowing a lot here lately, and one of the side effects is people demonstrating their incompetence at driving a motor vehicle. They had to close Deerfoot Trail a week ago because of the number of collision. A few days after that Stoney trail was closed because about 40 cars were involved in a pile up. We saw several cars sitting forlornly in the ditch, awaiting the tow truck. Some mangled, some not.

Now, keep in mind that we don't build roads slap-dash make it up as we go along. It's not like you drive along and there is a 90 degree curve cambered the wrong way. Modern roads are highly engineered, with standards that describe exactly how to build them to be safe. There are fleets of equipment and people to maintain the roads. Yes, weather happens. But it rarely happens "suddenly." Weather forecasting is remarkably accurate in the short term. It's not like winter driving conditions are a surprise to anyone in much of Canada. We know it could be slippery. The first thing that gets said on the news and weather after an announcement of snow, is to take your time and leave lots of space between you and the car in front.

And yet, what I said about the nut behind the wheel? Yeah. Don't get me started.

We were headed to Red Deer via a scenic route, and while the light wasn't the best, it was pretty darned good. I got a number of photos that I'm pleased with, in a white on white austere sort of way, but some nice mountainous landscapes as well, especially once I removed the power lines. I couldn't believe how much better they were with the lines gone. Here's a few of them, all shot quite closely together.

Here is Sean hard at work having discovered a photogenic little shed. I was mainly looking at the mountains, but visited the shed later.

The mountains are a bit of a tricky subject, trying to get nice light on them, and making them look their real size. All too often in photos they are a bumpy line across the middle of the photo.

I mentioned earlier I liked the play of the sun and shadows on snow.

Here's the shed. I was quite enchanted by this scene, with the texture in the snow, and how the wood is weathered, and the shadows.

In other news, I'm not missing Facebook at all. I read somewhere a stat that world wide, there was umpteen bazillion person-hours/days/weeks/whatever of useful human time wasted on Facebook on an hourly basis. Some of those interactions are perfectly nice, such as families and friends staying in touch. Some of them are like my buddy Jayne, who shares things I find interesting, and is likely to be the thing I miss most. There are several photo-related groups I enjoy.

There are cat videos, of course, which provide amusement and comic relief for brutal lives, but one need not get them through Facebook. Then it quickly slides into shite, advertising, trolls posting hateful and stupid crap, those damned stupid which bucket will fill first quizzes, copy and share if you x, and all sorts of other annoying stuff like the Olympics. That was the particular trigger for this vacation, and it also means I'm skipping my usual news sources; they are all polluted just now. Don't even get me started on the Facebook games, but I've trained my system to ignore the very mention of them. I can feel my blood pressure going up just writing about it. Enough.

My solution for whenever I feel tempted to check Facebook, is to think of what else I could be doing at any random moment at home. Those things include:

  • Getting back to work on my novels.
  • Capturing more photos.
  • Editing those photos.
  • Writing blog.
  • Reading the current book on the go, which happens to be Leviathan Awakes, by James S. A. Corry, which is the first book in The Expanse series. Loving it so far.
  • Going for a walk, or a run if the footing is good, or doing some core/stretching/spin workout.
  • Cat cuddling/combing/affection.
  • A nap. Naps are good. People don't do enough naps, and I might try to bring up the average.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the last shot especially. How come you hate all the Olympic coverage? I have serious issues with the IOC but can't resist cheering on the athletes who've worked so hard to be there. Goooooooo, Canada!


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