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.

Lane closure

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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.

Again, traffic…

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Well, I am late again today. I guess maybe I need to do a better job planning ahead and get some blog posts ready on the weekend.

Anyway, there was a huge accident on the highway this morning and blocked all southbound lanes. Unfortunately, I found out about it too late and ended up getting on the highway at a stretch behind the backup where there was no way to get off the highway for about miles…so traffic crawled for an hour before I could exit and go around.

It looked pretty bad. Heard there was one fatality.

People were impatient and even blocking the shoulder this morning, making it tough for emergency vehicles to get to the scene.

Come on people. Drive safely and stop being stupid. It really isn’t worth it.

Hey, I’m driving here!

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I sure hope you aren’t one of these people. I hope you aren’t a rude slow poke.

I’ll venture a guess you have experienced this though…

You enter a parking lot and proceed to look for a parking space. In the time that you are slowly driving around looking for a space, you inevitably encounter people who have exited the store, or perhaps are even headed into the store, and are walking right down the middle of the “road.” Thus, blocking you from moving any further as you wait for them to move.

Sometimes there are multiple people, walking shoulder to shoulder, creating a line across the roadway and preventing you from passing. They are oblivious to others around them, just walking and talking, taking their sweet time as your crawl at a snail’s pace, if you can move at all.

Rude? You bet! Frustrating? Of course. Wanna run over them? OK, keep that one to yourself as sometimes silence is the best policy…

GET.OUT.OF.THE.WAY!

Really, it’s not like I am in a hurry. In most cases, I am patient and can wait. But it is the principle of the thing – let’s not just be concerned with ourselves, shall we?


What are your parking lot pet peeves? Do you have bad habits you are can admit?

There she goes

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Strange things have been happening around here. My little one has turned 16 and a new form of freedom is upon us both.

I love it!

I hate it…

It feels very weird. I mean really weird.

Yesterday, after having her license for three whole days, was the first time she got in a car and drove away by herself. There was no one in the car…except her…

After 16 years, it is time to do a little letting go and I have to admit it is scary. I mean, I love watching my daughter grow and mature and become her own person, but inside the pride is mixed with hurt. Not the kind of hurt that is caused by someone that has done something to you, but a hurt that just aches because you know the “little girl” is gone.

It was surreal watching her drive away. Away to a place of her choosing. She has many more destinations ahead of her and I am not going to be able to protect her as she goes.

Man, growing old is tough. These new adventures my daughter is taking me on are tough.

There she goes…

Snow day telecommute

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Well, the snow came just as they predicted and it hasn’t let up yet. This is somewhat unusual for the Pacific Northwest and there was a collective “YES!” across the region as schools are mostly closed today.

As you may recall from earlier posts, I drive about an hour to work every day. Weather like this makes it a challenge, to say the least, so I have decided to telecommute today. That makes work much easier and less stressful that trying to battle the roads and elements.

Quite frankly, I didn’t want to drive today. NOT because of the weather. I can handle that and have enough experience to handle what the roads may throw at me.

However, what I can’t account for are the other idiots on the road! I gotta tell ya, for a region that does a lot of driving in less than ideal weather, people are freaking stupid when it comes to this stuff. I see more four-wheel drive vehicles on the side of the road, in the ditch, upside down than I see any other vehicles. Guys (and I do mean that literally), just because you have a four-wheeled vehicle doesn’t mean you are invincible. You still need to use your brain, and a little less of that lead foot.

So, playing it safe from the other drivers today. And, if you live in the NW like I do, take it easy if you have to go out. The object is to get there. It isn’t about how fast you got there.

 

I can almost see clearly

Anyone else hate driving with windshield wipers? Yeah, me too. Which is a problems since I live in the northwest where liquid falls from the sky more than it doesn’t.

I want my windshield to act as though it has that RainX stuff on it all the time. I don’t like to apply the stuff because it takes time and effort, so why can’t the glass technology just be that way? Why can’t I just not have to drive with windshield wipers permanently?

If that were the case, I could see clearly all the time, even when liquid falls from the sky in a torrential kind of way.

Get to it glass people!