The Big Picture by J.T. Korkow: Bright lights, black cows, and washboards | TSLN.com

The Big Picture by J.T. Korkow: Bright lights, black cows, and washboards

We all have our limits when it comes to things that really get our goat. We hear of incidences of road rage in the more populated areas of the country, where there is bumper to bumper traffic traveling 80 mph in 6 lanes of traffic and some fool thinks he is in the Grand Prix and tries to outrun the rest. He causes all kinds of consternation with fellow drivers. I have been in traffic like that, and I understand the stress it causes. Country driving has its share of hazards, too, and if you asked my wife what it is my greatest pet peeve, she would be quick to tell you it is a road full of washboards. My Christian walk is really tested when driving on washboards. Have you ever wondered where wash boards come from? I asked that simple question of a few whom I thought may know, and have yet to get a consistent answer. Just how does a round wheel make jagged burrows so evenly and deeply spaced on country roads, anyway? Someone PLEASE give me the real scoop! Furthermore, there has to be someone out there that can teach our county road maintainers how to get rid of them once they manifest themselves. Washboards destroy suspension systems and are probably more to blame for causing single car accidents in the country than any other hazard. Seriously, I will take up a collection and pay the dear soul a reward if they would furnish the Powder River County road crew with a manual on how to eradicate washboards on country roads. The way I look at it, washboards on the road are much like man's sin……you can try to cover them up over and over, but they just keep coming showing up. The only way they can be dealt with is to cut them out completely!

While I am on my rant, here is another one that gets my goat. Is it just me, or do the rest of you feel like a spotlighted coyote when you meet another car on the road at night? What is with these super bright headlights on these new cars and trucks? If it isn't the bright television screen blinding you from the dash on the inside, it is the high intensity two million candlepower beam shining through your windshield from an oncoming car. I am witness to the number of dead deer from my approach to town that is evidence many people must not be able to see where they are going. Can it be that our night vision is distorted due to "too much light"? Someone should do a study on "causes of night blindness on the road" and save some deer lives and insurance claims! In pilot training, we are told bright white light will diminish and even temporarily eliminate one's night vision. That is why it is advised to use red lights within the cockpit while reading maps, etc, as red light will not cause this loss of night vision. Somehow this information did not get to the auto industry. By chance I learned that if you will turn down the brightness of your dash lights, you have much better vision in front of you at night. Try it sometime.

And finally, have you ever wondered why game animals think they have to stand on the asphalt in the middle of the night, anyway? Most of our roads are few and very far between, with literally thousands of acres of open range on either side. Yet, for no apparent reason, Bambi and his entire family, along with Thumper, will stand smack dab in the middle of the road in the dark, and dare you to hit them. But the one dreaded fear I hold in highest rank, is the black cow on the road at night……yes, we still have open range….and I was advised by our local sheriff it was against the law for me to honk at the poor bovine to shew her off the road……said it was "livestock harassment"! So where do dogs, horses, and 4 wheelers fit into this call of the law? Maybe we should think about sticking some reflective tape on her if we are going to feed along the road right of ways…….huh? I'm talking about exercising some good animal husbandry here before our friends at APHIS decide to expand the already expanded version of the Animal Welfare Act. OK, JT, so you have had your rant….so what is the message here in the "big picture?" Perhaps as in all of life, it is time to slow down and be alert.

On an unrelated note: Did you know St Valentines was martyred for ignoring the king's decree to forbid marriage of Christians?

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."