Sunday, December 2, 2012

An Update on Charmaine, Apple Maps, and Xmas Shopping

I drove to Washington Hospital Center today to check in on Charmaine, my bike commuter friend who was hit by a pick up truck while biking to work last week. I bought her a small flower arrangement which tried desperately to escape the front seat of the Millennium Falcon. It managed to topple over several times soaking the passenger seat.

As it turns out, Charmaine was discharged from the hospital and sent home. I plugged her address into the mapping software on my iPhone. The software guided me to take a right on North Capitol Street. Since there are two rights I had to guess which one. (I guessed correctly.)

Later it told me to take a right on Ager Rd, which was not possible since there was a traffic island in the way. I kept going without turning and it kept telling me to take a u-turn on a busy six-lane road. Ultimately it decided to re-route me entirely. It directed me to take East-West Highway east. Near a park, it told me to pull over, park on the side of the road, and WALK to the destination!  I nearly stopped to see if Allan Funt was in the back seat! No wonder that Apple executive was fired.

After resorting to looking at the map and remembering landmarks from when I biked to her house, I found my way through the confusing streets of West Hyattsville. Charmaine was home with her friend Nancy, who happens to be a nurse,by her side. (Way to plan ahead, Charmaine!) Many of Charmaine's cuts have already healed. She still has a nasty scrape between her nose and upper lip and, of course, her right arm is still broken, but she's in good spirits and has surprising amounts of energy. She's taking Tylenol for the pain which pretty much proves she's made of high grade amazonium.

During my stay, I learned that Charmaine was issued a $5 traffic citation for "failing to maintain position in lane." This sounds pretty bogus to me. Of course, the citation was written without any input from Charmaine (she had a concussion). I wonder if the ticketing officer even saw the incident. Or did he rely on the word of the driver of the pick up truck, thereby helping his defense in the event of insurance or legal issues? I can't think of any other reason to issue a ticket for $5 other than to demonstrate an astonishing degree of insensitivity.

I stayed only a few minutes. Nancy and Charmaine were off to a police station to retrieve her bike. They have no idea what shape it's in.

On the way home, I drove to a Barnes and Noble which has the word Booksellers on its sign. I walked in and saw that about 1/5 of the store was taken up with displays for various versions of its Nook tablet.  Another big chunk of the store displayed toys and games. The book I was looking for was not in stock. It was published two months ago in hardcover. I used to enjoy going to bookstores but what's the point if they don't have any damned books. The only bookstore withing 10 miles of my house is now a pathetic retail mess. The other two have long ago been converted into a CVS and a bar.

Life's not fair, is it?


  1. Tell her to challenge the ticket! That could be important to any civil cause of action or insurance settlement. Make the witness show up in court (who is the witness - as you speculate - did the officer even see it - the truck driver is impeached as biased)

  2. Hopefully this ticket does not screw up Charmaine's changes for compensation through a tort case. DC is a contributory negligence jurisdiction.

  3. Unbelievable that bicyclists get a ticket, but drivers caught on speed cameras exceeding the posted limit get apologies and speed limit increases. Makes sense!

  4. I'm so glad to read that Charmaine is home and healing.

  5. GRRR! I cannot believe they gave her a ticket, particularly given the fact that she could not advocate for herself. On the other hand, yes, I can believe it because I've heard far too many stories like this. Hopefully she heals quickly and that the bike can be repaired.

  6. Replies
    1. Nothing new to report. I imagine she's busy shuttling back and forth between doctors.