Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight
to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Traveling Thoughts

Is there a reason why Sheraton hotels charge for Internet access, and yet it is free at Super 8 and Motel 6 hotels? Is the Internet at the Sheratons that much spiffier?

Do they hand out medals for drivers in eastern Indiana who sit in the left-hand lane of I-70 and block traffic?

Is there an unwritten rule among truckers that when one truck passes another on a two-lane interstate highway, it does so at a relative speed of two furlongs per fortnight? Do they get extra points for doing it three-abreast on a three-lane highway?

Folks, if you have local plates and you need to zip across four lanes in order to make your exit, you obviously were driving with your head up your ass and your mind in neutral. May your genitalia spontaneously ignite.

British Petroleum, we know already that you are evil. But when virtually every other gas station puts black handles on their gasoline pumps and yellow handles on their diesel pumps, what twisted fucker at BP thought it a good idea to reverse the scheme on their pumps? (At least the person who had pumped gas into the tank of their diesel Passat at a BP station in Ohio recognized that before starting their car.)


Phil said...

Trust me, Comrade, the truckers aren't intentionally screwing with you; they're just obeying the laws of physics like everyone else. It's all about peak engine torque, peak r.p.m., maximum horsepower, power-to-weight ratios, vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, gear ratios, road surface, grade, weather conditions, wind speed, and wind direction. Oh, and don't forget to add in driver idiosyncrasies, as they, too, play a role. All of these conditions apply in all circumstances, although they don't always apply equally; sometimes, some things offset others under certain conditions.

Driver perspective matters, too. What you see as a slow truck (relative to your own speed) taking forever to pass a marginally slower truck, the trucker may very well see as the satisfactory conclusion of an hours-long endeavor. Depending on how all the possible variables line up, it's conceivable that two (or even several) trucks could change running order numerous times in the course of a day, each driver exploiting the physical and variable factors most favorable to his or her progress under prevailing conditions at any given point in time.

There is no conspiracy on the part of truckers to make life miserable for 4-wheeler drivers, so just chill and go with the flow. When eventually you find empty road in front of you and you pass that annoying truck, give the driver a friendly wave (not a one-finger salute) as you go by; he or she will appreciate it. Above all, don't try to get "even" with a slower moving truck (which may still be going fast enough to do some serious damage) by cutting in front of it and slamming on the brakes. That's a potential recipe for getting yourself or someone else killed.

Keep in mind, too, that truck driving is one of the few occupations that requires its workers to perform a disproportionate amount of their work while surrounded by total fucking idiots.

If you like capitalism, you've got to embrace all aspects of capitalism; truck transport of commercial goods is a huge part of that. Learn to live with it or help change the system to one that requires many fewer trucks.

Phil said...

Look at it this way, those big bad trucks are hauling up to one hundred thousand pounds behind them with a large in line six cylinder engine for power.

They have a maximum performance window between 1800 and red line at twenty three hundred RPM.

That's why they take so long to pass each other, some have up to a whopping five hundred horse power.

Five hundred horse power goes into a 100,000 pound payload, many times.

I will give you an insider tip, if you get passed by from one in the left lane, flash your lights after they get ten feet in front of you.
Decent drivers will then know they can get back over and flash their lights back at you and get back in the right lane.

Same goes for you, when getting ready to pass a big rig, get a little to the left, flash your brights a couple of times to let the guy know you are coming around.

It might not work every time but if you do this on a regular basis, you will see some of these guy's and Gal's aren't complete jerks.

Spud said...

Black handles, yellow handles...
What ever happened with reading labels ?
I agree that being consistent with all the rest is wise.
Yet at the same time, why is it that we always want to blame our ineptitude on others ?

Comrade Misfit said...

When the "three abreast" routine was going on, the leftmost trucker shifted gears, black smoke came out of his stack and he took off as though his ex-wife was chasing him down for child support.

I don't externally show irritation. Those guys are driving 40-ton rigs and I'm in a 1.5 ton car.

Reading labels is good. But still, if you are ever in a modern airplane, you'll notice that the prop, throttle and mixture controls each have different colored and shaped knobs. There is a good reason for that.

CenterPuke88 said...

Comrade...that particular bug-a-boo nailed me in the UK recently. Green is diesel in many Texas locations, and unleaded in the UK. I had an A6 diesel, and Hertz charges ~$500 to send a guy out to drain the system and refill with a bit of diesel. They say that the charge is for the replacement of the fuel filter after you return the vehicle.

The reading a label comment is correct; but in the early evening dark (February), cold, and rain in the Midlands, it is very easy to let habit take over.

wolfbitch said...

1. The wireless access at the Sheraton isn't spiffier, but they believe their whole hotel is spiffier, and by "spiffier," they mean "you're lucky we don't charge extra for toilet paper."

2. They do not give out medals for drivers in Indiana on I-70 who slow all the shit down. They hand out free blow jobs.

3. Truckers have been so well covered that I'll forego even trying to snark, lol.

4. Local drivers making a last-minute four-lane shift? Oh hell, that's Boston all over. We all know how to do that up here, and more importantly, we all know how to react when someone else does it and yes, it involves dual-hand one-finger waves.

5. British Petroleum is so evil that nothing they do surprises me.

Latitude 43 said...

People thought I was crazy when I described Indiana lefties. We would have fun by getting to the right of them, and making them speed up. They don't like to be passed. Something about that right lane they don't like. Who teaches them to drive like that?
As for the truckers, I understand the comments above, but I've driven I70 enough to witness many trucks riding abreast for at least 30 minutes, holding everyone up, and pissing a lot of people off. For what reason? The two nitwits were practically doing the same speed, and you'll most likely be looking at one another for the next 8 hrs, so why bother to pass? I have to say that most of the truck drivers were not like this, and were driving safely. My only wish would be to have a slower speed for trucks across all highways, and have it enforced. Sooner or later it will all be back on a train anyway, as the fuel prices go through the roof.

Unknown said...

Meh... this crap is not just I-70. I've made the Indy to Lafayette trip enough times to know that there are some truck drivers that are just jerks. Really, does it need to take 10 minutes to pass another truck?

There are no medals for people in the left lane slowing everybody down. Sometimes when I'm nice, I'll give them the signal that they're number 1.

Frank W. James said...

Terrant is so RIGHT about trucks on I-65. I drive it regularly north of Lafayette and many of them are taking forever to pass each other. I've labeled them 'moving chichanes' and sometimes wonder if they are playing a game to see how far they can back the traffic up in the passing lane before the 'passed' truck slows down and lets the other in the right lane?...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

w3ski said...

Hwy 5 Ca. up near Redding and RedBluff Ca. There is the "Bovine effect", understand how cows in a field will stay together in a loose herd, well there are so many rancher families out there that they drive like that. No cars around for 50 miles but all the locals drive in a herd and in both lanes. Once you can wake them up and herd them to the right you will have many a mile of traffic freeway all to yourself. Beware tho, some of the more Bovine steers and bulls will actively block your ability to pass the group.
Been There, done that