In the summer, my pet peeve is bicyclists riding two abreast like they own the place, giving all road bicyclists a bad name. In winter, it's classic cross country skiers who eschew the track so carefully laid for their use and hog the groomed skate track. What's with these people? Is it endemic for pampered elite recreationists to have no idea they have to share this planet with anyone else? Yours truly, a bicyclist and skate skier who's not going to take it anymore.
Cluelessness is not limited to serial athletes.
Boorish behavior is everywhere, such as the four-wheel crowds who brutally trample tundra with all-terrain vehicles and uppity earth muffins who don't think their dogs need to be on a leash on the Animas River Trail.
Heck, even nonrecreationists don't know how to share the planet. Think of how many people run a red light or stop sign.
After nearly getting sideswiped - again - at the four-way stop at East Third Avenue and Eighth Street, even Mrs. Action Line also had to mutter, "What's wrong with these people?"
Only there was a certain adjective used between the words "these" and "people."
Let's be honest. Our community needs to work on road- and trail-sharing skills.
"Courtesy is the key," reminds Mary Monroe, executive director of Trails 2000, our esteemed local trail-advocacy group which stresses sharing trails.
Those skiers may not know the difference between parallel classic tracks and a groomed skate-ski trail.
Respectfully inform the interlopers they are in the incorrect place, and thereby interfering with other people's skiing.
If they continue to ignore etiquette, go around them and have pity - because not only have they proved themselves to be clueless, they have just established that they are, in fact, morons.
Take a deep breath and hold it. Visualize world peace, along with ski trails filled with nonidiots and county roads with single-file bikers. Now exhale. See? Life's better already.
I work outside, so I'm particularly interested in the weather forecast. Earlier this month, our local prognosticator has been so far off it's ludicrous! We've seen predicted 8, actual -2, then predicted 13, actual -1, then predicted 16, actual 0. Is the expert just throwing darts at a board? I understand that weather prediction isn't an exact science, but these discrepancies are amazing. - B. Newmyer
Blame it on "the albedo effect," said Accuweather meteorologist Kate Walters from the company's headquarters in State College, Penn.
Accuweather is a trusted provider of local forecasts to business, government, institutions and the media, including The Durango Herald. More than 100 meteorologists such as Kate work at Accuweather, the greatest number of forecast meteorologists in one location anywhere in the world.
Albedo is not a something lacking skin pigment, like rocker Edgar Winter or whale Moby-Dick. That's albino.
Albedo measures the reflection of light and energy. Snow, being white, has a high albedo, reflecting up to 90 percent of solar energy.
As everyone is well aware, the area was covered in snow, then we had cloudless nights.
What little solar energy absorbed in the day escaped into space after dark, thus our colder-than-predicted temperatures.
"When forecasters get burned on cold temperatures, they usually don't take into account the reflection of the sun's energy," Walters said.
Burned on cold temperatures? Hmm.
Anyway, all this is very scientific, but Action Line thinks the real reason for the recent cold is the frozen credit markets. Our economic problems have begun to affect the weather.
So let's do our part to thaw things around here. Go out and splurge at a locally owned retailer. It may not change the weather, but it will make our community a warmer place.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you just remember that in less than two months, the first crocus will appear.