Snow day telecommute

black vehicle traveling on road near person walker

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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.

 

Noisy road

brown asphalt road beside lake

                                 If only my commute was this nice to look at.                                         Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

You probably don’t think about it much because you are driving and paying attention to the other drivers around you, which you should be. However, there is probably one thing you don’t notice you’re doing as a result of a noisy road.

The surface of the roadway is kind of an important thing when it comes to highways. I mean, it gets thousands and thousands of cars driving over it every day/week/month/year. It has to be durable, but also something that withstands heat, cold, weight, collisions, rain, etc. So, I am sure there is science behind why they do what they do when they make roads. But, really, I don’t care.

I just want a road that is smooth and quiet. Road noise should be a low hum that you really don’t notice unless something is wrong with the car. Instead, half of half of my commute is across 40+ year old concrete that has been worn down to the pebbles used to make it and it sounds like a jet engine starting up as you drive over it as high speeds.

Thus, I have to listen to the radio really loud. All to hear the traffic report. And if there is another person in the car, well, you just have to yell, even if they are just sitting right next to you. That is annoying.

What small things do you notice as you drive the same route and sit in the car for hours each day? Anything only you would notice and have to point out to others when they ride along with you?

Don’t mind me, trying to get anywhere…

closed construction road road sign

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Passable roads are nice. Summer is nice. So do we have to ruin one to make the other possible?

Summer is apparently the only time road construction can get done. Added to that, it also can only be done during the day and not at night, which is weird considering we have this cool technology called “lights”. So, with technology available to do construction at night while traffic volumes are reduced significantly, why are we still doing it during the day while traffic volume is at it’s highest?

I suppose someone (or maybe just LIFE in general) is out there conspiring against me and all the other people that have to get somewhere…

 

I wonder if it really makes a difference

smartphone car technology phone

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On any given work day, I have nearly two hours of commute (round trip) time. Yeah, I can feel your groans. I do it too. To be honest, the commute is the worst part of my job and if I could not do it and make the same income I would change in a heartbeat. But, it is what it is.

So, I have been using the Waze app to see if it can help alleviate the commute time a little. Supposedly it is “real time” traffic routing based on user reports. It is owned by Google, so all it does it take the traffic reports and move it to a different app instead of the regular Google Maps app. Anyway, I am not sure it is helping.

Why is it not helping? Or at least, why do I not think it is helping? Well, it takes me just as long to get home when I use it and when I don’t use it. By time it routes be down some obscure neighborhood road, or through every traffic light in town, it has taken me roughly the same amount of time to get to the exact same choke point at just going the most direct route, via the highway where all the other cars are sitting in traffic. Maybe it is just the nature of the necessary route to get home (there are literally only two ways to get home via two choke points). But, one would think that you could at least get to the choke point a little faster using the app. Not so.

Anyone else have a similar experience?

#trafficiskillingme #smh

Motorcycle riders are the worst

man riding boxer motorcycle on road

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Ever been so irritated at something that you just want to scream? Yeah, me too.

Motorcycle riders are the worst. They are the worst because the constantly break the law. They break the law because they feel they are entitled to. That must be the case or they wouldn’t do it.

I commute 88 miles to and from work five days a week, so I am on the roads a lot. I was also a driver’s ed instructor for 6 years and a state license tester for 5 of those years (those were my side gig). So, I think I have a pretty good idea of the law. And let me tell you, motorcycle riders break the law on a regular basis. I am sure, if you drive a vehicle, you are well aware of this already so maybe I am preaching to the choir here…

Motorcycle riders routinely roll through stop signs, because putting your feet down to actually come to a complete stop is apparently to big an inconvenience. Of course, they exceed the speed limit, but not at the same level you are exceeding the speed limit because they have to go faster. They weave in and out of traffic, cutting people off as they go. They lane split (ride between cars on the white line). They ride on the shoulder in traffic jams. They tailgate you when you are too slow, but actually doing the speed limit. They park their bikes in places that aren’t parking spots. I could do on, but I think you get the picture (and you probably already knew all this).

When you ask (or confront) a motorcycle rider about it they almost always come up with the excuse, “It is safer for me if I do it that way.” Oh, ok, so you are more important than everyone else? I get it.

If you are a motorcycle rider, the rest of the commuting world is tired AF of you. You aren’t special. Obey the damn law!

*Yes, I realize some of the things mentioned are legal in some states – all of the things mentioned are NOT in my state.

Commuting Chaos

car side mirror showing heavy traffic

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I commute just under 90 miles every day. If that isn’t enough to drive someone nuts, according to surveys and studies, I also commute in the worst traffic in the country. Here’s the thing, it probably really doesn’t have to be.

I’ll just come right out and say it, I commute with a lot of stupid people, which is weird since a lot of them should be smart considering the whole population of Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, and other tech industry companies in the area. Because I commute the at the same time each day, in both directions, I see the same people/cars (mostly) everyday. And, because they are doing the same thing as me each day, you would think that they would know better. Thus, they are stupid. This can be the only explanation.

Why are they stupid? Because they are the ones causing the problem. Yes, the roadway is packed with cars. Yes, the traffic moves much slower than the speed limit. BUT, when they drive stupidly and have little to no patience, they are the ones causing the problem. For example: cutting people off, not letting people merge, tailgating, driving distracted, weaving in and out of traffic trying to get ahead…etc, bashing into others, etc…You know the people. You have seen them, but hopefully you aren’t one of them.

Studies also show that when you drive with patience and courteously, traffic moves more smoothly and everyone gets to where they are going more quickly. So, let’s do that people!

PLEASE, STOP BEING STUPID.