I just want a keyring.


I need a new keyring.  I haven’t ever been able to find one that meets my needs.  Perhaps my expectations are too high.  Perhaps there is no such thing as the perfect keyring.  Perhaps I need to spend more money on one.  Why is it so difficult?  Does anyone else have a keyring problem?

I guess I should explain myself.

I have a lot of keys.  I like to keep them all in one place.  I want a keyring where I can break-off my car keys & my wife’s car keys quickly & easily.  I recently bought a keyring that has a bunch of little carabiner-looking S-clips on it.  Let me show you:

Ridiculous Key Ring

Ridiculous Key Ring

Besides the fact that I have entirely too many keys, this keyring set up is juts not working out.  I want something that makes the vehicle keys quickly & easily removable.  I don’t want them to fall off on their own.  Arrow A shows one of the broken little S-clips that snags my pocket constantly.  These have also broken themselves free inside my pocket… or on the way out of my pocket.  I’ve dropped my house key on more than one occasion with this setup.  Then again, arrow B points to a traditional keyring provided by the dealer…  which has also come loose in my pocket.  I spent about 20 minutes looking for my keyless entry remote the other day after it loosened itself & ended up on the floor of my truck.

Apparently, when you pull keys out of your pocket, they help turn any loosened items into projectiles.  It’s just a matter if time until this happens over a storm drain or sewer grate.

There is the old-fashioned normal keyring, but I always seem to be able to only find weak ones… or ones that make it nearly impossible to just give the guys at the oil change place your truck keys and not some crazy giant bundle of chaos that might scatter my keys all over the place.

I’ve also tried those quick-release keyrings, but they eventually fail too when the spring dies.  Then there’s the “lucky line” kind, but it would throw some being easily removable out the window.  I’m at a loss as to what exactly the next step should be.

Keyrings

Keyrings

What do you do?  Do you have keyring problems?  Am I alone on this key-dropping crap?  Your advice would be welcomed.

I need something to put my junk in.


So, recently I’ve been thinking about getting some sort of messenger bag to keep some stuff in.  Let the jokes begin.  I know I have made fun of the vaunted murse before.  Hipsters everywhere would have admonished my belittling of their manbags.

Jim Dunlop Tortex Fin Pick 1.14mm (Purple)I just have too much stuff in my pockets.  Here’s an inventory for you right now…

I’ve also been carrying around my leather coat that’s like my own personal medicine cabinet.  It’s too hot to be carrying around a leather jacket, and the stuff is too bulky for hoodie pockets.  (It’ll be too hot to wear those soon, too.)  It usually has…

  • Daily stomach medicine
  • “Calm down if I need it” medicine

And right now some…

This is clearly getting out of hand.  I’m not sure what to do, but I need to do something.  There’s an old Dennis the Menace cartoon (or the TV show or a movie) where he empties his pockets and it’s a never-ending pile of stuff.  I feel like that, without the slingshot or overalls.

I joked with my wife one night that I needed a purse to keep all my stuff in.  Then I kept thinking that it might not be a bad idea to get a bookbag or something.  I have a nice backpack for the laptop… but I don’t have the need to carry the laptop anywhere daily.

I did take the discussion to Twitter, and gained encouragement from @allergicgirl, @VickysMama & @kyledine.

https://twitter.com/#!/kyledine/status/191867530833428481
https://twitter.com/#!/kyledine/status/190908291054977024
https://twitter.com/#!/allergicgirl/status/190866006305013760
https://twitter.com/#!/allergicgirl/status/191142565410635777

I feel like if I had a backpack, I’d be obligated to fill it with stuff.  I could fill a messenger bag with a bunch of stuff easily.  A multi-tool, an mp3 player, maybe a tablet & more pens.

I could get a small one, like Indiana Jones.  I fear I’d look more like Alan from The Hangover.  Big?  Small?  Leather?  Suede?  Canvas?  Nylon?  Patches?  No Patches?  (I could go the safety-pin, 1″ button, patch route.)  So many decisions.

Perception vs. Reality?

Perception vs. Reality?

My wife, Bethany, seems to think I won’t carry it, might lose it, or that the infatuation would quickly wear off.  Maybe she just doesn’t want  a husband that carries a purse?

I don’t see the fanny pack or those epi pen belt holders as an option.  Maybe a leg one?  And maybe a small pill box?

What do you think?

How to walk to your car in a parking lot: A public service announcement


There’s a problem I’ve noticed over the years since I first got my driver’s license.  It’s ridiculous, rampant, and totally uncalled for.  It doesn’t have as much to do with driving as it does walking, but I consider it a road-related  issue.

People don’t know how to walk in parking lots.  They have this “pedestrian has the right of way” mentality that has inexplicably warped into a strange sense of entitlement and devilish pleasure in making you the motorist yield to their ambling nonchalance.

Below, I have an illustration (thanks to Google Maps) of the new Market District parking lot in Robinson.  Please take a moment to study & understand before you move on to the next paragraph.

How to walk across a parking lot.
WALK IN A STRAIGHT LINE, NOT AT AN ANGLE.

I get worked up about this quite easily (obviously I guess), and my thoughts are all over the place…  so I’ll try to make my points concise with the aid of a bulleted list.  (I have blogged about this before too, if you find that you need further reading.) I really would like to start a discussion on this in the comments if you’re so inclined.

  • When there’s a cross-walk on the ground, use it. I understand that the crosswalk isn’t a magical safe-zone, and that jaywalking laws are rarely enforced in Southwestern PA… but it’s there for a reason;  So you can move across the road in an organized and quick fashion in a designated spot.   Yes, the parking lot is a potential mine-field of car vs. person vs. shopping cart accidents, but you can help minimize the danger by using cross-walks… and drivers will know exactly where and when to have a heightened awareness.
  • Walk in a 90° angle (or close to it if at all possible) when crossing the road. This may seem stupid, but if you look at my beautiful illustration above… you can see that a person walking a green path would move across the road much more quickly than the same person walking at the same speed using a red path.  Using the green path reduces wait time (and thus aggravation) for the driver trying to get into or out of the store.
  • Walk one one side or the other of each row. The beauty of this one is that you have a choice.  You can walk on the left or the right.  JUST. DON’T. WALK. DOWN. THE. MIDDLE. These are the  most annoying people.  There’s typically room for two cars to pass each other when moving in opposite directions, and a little extra walking room in most parking lots.  When you walk right down the middle of the aisle, you make all of this room disappear.

Focusing mostly on the middle-of-the-lane walkers, but also on the anglers, and the “too cool for the crosswalk”-ers, I’d just like to comment on the types of people that I believe they may be.

First, there are the truly oblivious.  I believe this to be the smallest sect of the parking lot meanderites.  I think some people are just really not all that aware of their surroundings, and have no comprehension of the havoc that they wreak around themselves.  (Arguably,  stopping time in a parking lot is not exactly “wreaking havoc”, but it sure bites my ass.) These people are just like Mr. Bean, and since Mr. Bean is somewhat of a lovable character, I can forgive these people.  If you know one of them, please tell them about parking lot urgency.  If you don’t know one of them… walk more quickly, in straight angles, in designated areas, and close to the cars in parking lots.  (Because you are one of them.)

Then we have category #2.  The entitled. They’re a pedestrian.  They always have the right of way, and that’s it.  In their minds, anyway.  I’d like these people to see what Pennsylvania law has to say

Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, contains the laws which govern the operation of vehicles on Pennsylvania roads.

Chapter 35: SPECIAL VEHICLES AND PEDESTRIANS
Subchapter C: Rights and Duties of Pedestrians

Section 3541. Obedience of pedestrians to traffic-control devices and regulations
(a) Traffic control devices.—A pedestrian shall obey the instructions of a police officer or other appropriately attired person authorized to direct, control or regulate traffic.

(b) Traffic and pedestrian-control signals.—Local authorities by ordinance may require pedestrians to obey traffic and pedestrian-control signals as provided in sections 3112 (relating to traffic-control signals) and 3113 (relating to pedestrian-control signals).

Section 3542. Right-of-way of pedestrians in crosswalks.
(a) General rule.—When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

(b) Exercise of care by pedestrian.—No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute a hazard.

and…

Section 3543. Pedestrians crossing at other than crosswalks.
(a) General rule.—Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a crosswalk at an intersection or any marked crosswalk shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(b) At pedestrian tunnel or overhead crossing.—Any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(c) Between controlled intersections in urban district.—Between adjacent intersections in urban districts at which traffic-control signals are in operation pedestrians shall not cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk.

(d) Crossing intersection diagonally.—No pedestrian shall cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic-control devices or at the discretion of a police officer or other appropriately attired person authorized to direct, control or regulate traffic. When authorized to cross diagonally, pedestrians shall cross only in accordance with the signal pertaining to the crossing movements.

And the best part…

Section 3552. Penalty for violation of subchapter.
Any pedestrian violating any provision of this subchapter is guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $5.

Interesting, no?  I’m not sure if these apply any differently in a parking lot, as it’s probably private property… but I’d love to see an officer out there passing out $5 tickets for every butthole who steps boldly out in front of a moving car with the incorrect assumption that “pedestrians always have the right of way”.  Why not?  I mean, they’re cracking down on parking in the South Side after years of chaos.  Is this any less ridiculous?

The third and last group?  The spiteful. They know you’re anxious to get by, but they don’t care.  They derive pleasure in knowing that you’re most likely impatiently waiting to move forward at a speed that actually registers on your speedometer, but that they alone have the power to prevent that from happening.  Maybe they had a bad day and want to pass along the crappy karma.  Maybe they have a controlling spouse, boss, or family member, and this is how they lash out.  This is the group that turns to look at you, but continues to walk down the middle of a driving lane instead of moving to one side so you can get by.  This is the woman that stops mid-stride and mid-lane to dig through her purse for her car keys while you idle and boil.  This is the group of teenage boys that walks 4 wide and dresses “hard” like they from the streets thanks to mom’s credit card and Journey’s or Hot Topic.  This is the wide-angle walker who sees you approaching, but instead of walking straight across the lane quickly looks straight ahead in their “5 rows over from where they started” path.  They’re also the ones who let you follow them down the echelon of filled  of parking spaces during the holiday shopping season, and cut over to the next row or put bags in their car and proceed to walk right back where they came from without giving you the courtesy wave-off or  the universally understood over-exaggerated mouthing of “I’m not leaving” while shaking their head and pointing or waving their arms.  I suspect that they’re also the people who double-dip, don’t flush public toilets, and kick puppies.

That should just about cover it.  So please, pass this along so we can all get on the same page.