Lack of memory

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Rain.

We have it here in the Pacific Northwest about nine months of the year. Yeah, it’s probably less than that, but it sure feels that way at times. Anyway, it’s something we have a lot of and we spent a good portion of our year getting it.

So why, when summer ends and the rain returns, do NW drivers have such a hard time remembering how to drive in the stuff? It’s not like it’s a mystery and it isn’t a new skill that has to be obtained. This should be “old hat” by now!

Seriously, people, get a grip on that steering wheel and slow down. It won’t hurt you unless you’re stupid…

Maybe what little optimism I have is being too generous.

I keep hoping.

I’ll stop.

Really bugged

close up of raindrops on the windshield

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No indicator.

No indication something bad was about to happen.

Strangely odd in a modern car filled with tech and sensors.

On the way home during the latest road trip across the state, I was flying along the highway (in one of those sections that isn’t under construction) and bugs are splattering all over the windshield. One particularly messy bug (must have been a big, fat, juicy one!) messed up the windshield.

I went to clean the windshield and the washer fluid spurts a few times and then nothing. Nothing! So the wipers pretty much spread all that juiciness all of the windshield. Now my semi-obscured view of the roadway is worse than when I turned on the wipers.

That’s odd. I didn’t get a warning indicator on the dash or anything. How can I be out of wiper fluid? I thought to myself. As it turns out, this modern car that is only a year old has no such thing. NONE! As I filled up the fluid last night (a whole gallon) I took a look at the owner’s manual. Lot of dashboard indicators are shown and explained. None for wiper fluid. What??

I like my car. I did research and I feel like I got a good deal when I purchases it. But, this one feature sullies the otherwise good feelings I had about it. The 2018 Kia Niro has no windshield wiper fluid indicator. What was a five star car is now a three star car. I feel cheated. Scammed. I may have to trade the thing in now.


 

What feature on your car were you surprised it didn’t have, either before or after you bought it?

Air mattress

white wooden cabinet

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I am too old for this crap.

Sleeping on an air mattress just isn’t what it used to be, especially if you are going to a friend’s house who has the room for a guest bedroom but doesn’t use it that way.

What is it with air mattresses and the actual fact that they need to keep air in them? Are they made so cheaply that the materials just can’t hold up to more than a couple uses? I mean really??

The first night on the air mattress had me almost nearly on the floor by the time morning came. OK, well, maybe all the plugs and such weren’t screwed in tightly. I put more air in it before going to bed the second night. It was as full as it could be. It did better the second night, but still lost air and was rather squishy by morning.

My old body can’t handle being that close to the floor. I am now convinced of it.

So, going forward if you see me laying on the floor or ground or on an air mattress assume that I am in distress and call an ambulance. I will be avoiding ground level from now on.


 

Road trip

arizona asphalt beautiful blue sky

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I’ve got a half day of work today and then I am taking a road trip across the state. It’s for pleasure, but I am starting to wonder why I did this to myself.

This will be the third weekend in a row where I hit the road and cross the mountains to the other side of the state. If you have have been following along, the state of our roads is constant road construction right now…so I just know I am asking for more abuse on the road with traffic and travel time.

Thus, I will try to put on my “patience pants” and not get road rage.

OK, I probably won’t and you’ll be subjected to yet another blog about the perils of travel on the road and the stupidity of Washingtonian drivers.

Sorry, not sorry.

Lane closure

low angle photography of orange excavator under white clouds

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I have said it in the past but I am going to say it again. Sorry if it sounds like I am a broken record, but WADOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) seriously has to do a better job – not just them, but the contractors they hire as well.

It was another painful travel weekend. It think it was three weeks ago I mentioned the reduction of lanes on a major interstate highway (it’s actually I-5, a federal highway) and how badly it affected the traffic on a Friday night. Well, this last Friday was no different. Miles and miles and miles of lane closures and not a soul in sight doing any work! While progress may be getting done, it surely doesn’t appear like it and they are in no hurry to get it done. It’s kind of ridiculous really.

So, yesterday (Sunday for those of you keeping track), a major north/south highway had ALL of the northbound lanes closed. That’s right, I-405 was closed with only one lane (a collector/distributor lane) getting by. That means five lanes diverted to one. To top it off, they didn’t close on-ramps that directly affected that one diverted lane, so merging traffic and diverted traffic had to fight for the same space. Ultimately, that mean five lanes got bottle-necked and didn’t have a steady flow. Kind of a CF if you ask me!

Look, I get that construction needs to get done. I am fully aware of the condition of the roadways. But, let’s be honest here. These days, there is never a good time to close highways and there is never a good time to avoid the hassle.

BUT, what doesn’t appear to be happening is that WADOT isn’t requiring construction crews to complete the work in the fastest time possible (overnight work, 24/7, until it is done). Traffic volumes are much lower at night and it affects for fewer people/travelers when work is done then. And, let’s face it, with the technology that is available these days there is no reason work can’t be done at night.

Get it together WADOT! You are costing people money and time.

Seat for one

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It has been a summer of doing stuff on my own. Mostly traveling to different extended family events in other parts of the state. Back forth I go!

Once again, I am off on my own this weekend. The family is going in many different directions and when the kids get to be of the age where they have cars and jobs, they have to start making choices between participation and doing this “adult-ish.”

So, once again, I have reserved a seat for one at a family gathering.

I am not sure if I am complaining or bragging. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t that way, but at other times I don’t mind it because I don’t have to be accountable to or worry about anyone but me. There is freedom in that. I can eat when I want. I can stop on the way there when I want. I can take my time and get there when I want.

OK, I guess I am not really complaining on this when I look at it that way.


 

Do you value your time alone when you are traveling or would you prefer to do it with others?

Can’t get no service

hotel sign neon letters

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Hotel restaurant – you are the weakest link.

Last year, the food took a long time and the missed one order for someone in the party. Didn’t even get the order put into the kitchen. So someone didn’t even get to eat.

This year, the waitress took forever. The orders came out wrong. Some people had to wait to order after others had already ordered. The kitchen was taking forever and people who were already done had to wait 30 minutes for their bill.

Um, can you say fail? What’s worse it that for two years in a row it has been poor service. Glad I didn’t choose to eat here, but I feel bad for my co-workers did.

The rooms are OK, but the service in parts of the hotel leave a bit to be desired.