When Should I Be Courteous To Other Drivers?

     In the last year, my commute has changed drastically. It went from 5-7min to a 45-50min. Before my new job in Sacramento, I rarely used highways, but now they are a necessity for speedy travels to and from work. Besides the considerable amount of extra time I’ve acquired, which I have filled with audio messages, music, or some daily prayer, I have become extremely annoyed with other drivers.

I’m sure I didn’t draw out a gasp from anyone. This is hardly a new frustration for anyone with a drivers license. First, I’ll admit that though I would like to award myself with the “World’s Best Driver” trophy, I am far from that position of honor. I, however, have never been in an accident (while I’ve been in control of the vehicle) and though I’m still bitter as tohow I received my first speeding ticket, it was recently removed from my record. But I’m not here to talk about the past. I’m here to talk about an epidemic that is sweeping the nation:

Slow Drivers in the Fast Lane. 

     I know I am not the first person to encounter this phenomenon. How do you get past them? Do you ride their rear just a little closer, hoping they get the picture to move over? What if they are not paying attention? Do you flash your lights or honk your horn?

Now you have all recalled all the times you have been in this situation and are frustrated, let me turn the tables on you. What if you were that slow driver, what would you do? Do you let them pass or stay and let them go around you?

I tend to find myself in this situation more often than not. I hate to dwell in the past, but I must share the story of my first speeding ticket to set this up (and don’t pretend like you weren’t curious).

It was in September of 2007, when my wife and I were engaged and planning our wedding. We were looking for venues and decided to check out a friend’s house outside of Plymouth, CA. We were on Highway 16 heading up to the foothills. The posted speed limit was 65 mph and, like a normal person, I was driving over 70mph. Suddenly, the speed limit dropped to 55 mph and to my dismay, a highway patrol car was waiting for me. I haven’t been perfect, but ever since then I’ve done my best to not exceed the speed limit. Which brings us back to our topic.

If the average speed limit for highways in California is 65 mph, then why am I considered the “slow driver” if I am legally going the fastest I can in the far left lane?

California, along with most of the States, has a rule that slow drivers are to stay in the right lines and let faster cars pass on the left. Why do I have to concede to the jack[wagon] who is deliberately breaking the law by driving faster than the posted speed limit?

I understand safety laws and rules of the road and how it is safer for cars to pass on the left, but is it really safe to drive at 90+ mph? I feel that by the very act of moving over for these lawbreakers enables this kind of behavior. I feel like I’m holding the door open for a bank robber or looking the other way when I see a crime being committed.

The rule for slow traffic to keep right is for the consideration of others. How can one honestly deny the inconvenience of moving out of the way for someone who is clearly being reckless?

The far left lane is not a “speeding lane,” but it is a “passing lane.” If I drive the legal limit then I should be driving as fast, if not faster than everyone. So in theory, I should not need to defer to a faster driver, rather I’m the one passing everyone.

Is the posted speed limit the real speed limit?

     One fascinating idea came up as I searched this topic. The phrase “Reasonable and Prudent” was thrown around a lot, but many do not know where it comes from. I found many States, including California, use this idea of “reasonable and prudent” to determine the proper speed limit for a road or highway. It is called the Basic Speed Law.

Many have used this law to justify driving faster than the speed limit. The problem is that the state has determined the speed limit based off of that law already. If you try to use this law with a highway patrol do defend your speeding, then you would be telling him/her that you do not agree with California Interstate Laws and that you are a better judge than the officer who just pulled you over. That takes a lot of gumption or stupidity to do that.

What do you think?

    Am I the only one who feels this way? What are your thoughts? Is it unreasonable for me to drive the legal speed limit in the far left lane? Is this something that I need to suck up and comply with no matter how inconvenient it is?

Posted in Life, Random Posts | 1 Comment

Who’s to blame for Global Warming?

Blaming the atmosphere for heating up the earth, is like blaming the windshield for making your leather seats hot.

Maybe we should look at the increasing amounts of road, buildings, cement and asphalt we’re laying across the surface of the earth?[1] Is the earth really heating up? Today the average temperature is 15°C, only 400 years ago the average temp was 16°C-17°C.[2] Many scientists say the earth goes through cycles and we are actually at the tipping point of sliding back into another ice age.[3] How accurate has temperature been recorded over the years? How can scientists really collect enough data to say there is a global average temperature? In many mountain ranges, temperatures can differ every 100ft in elevation.[4] Are we really the cause of some kind of temperature increase or are we limited on our data and extrapolating what we know too far without accounting for alternative variables? What are your thoughts?

Answers to come….

 

Posted in Bible & Science | 1 Comment

My Successfully, Unproductive Day

Today, I gave myself a To-do list of errands and tasks to complete. I’ve been putting off a lot of things and since my wife would be gone most of the day in Napa for a wedding shower I thought I would get these things done. Here was my list

  • Call Comcast and see if they would lower our monthly payment or we were going to switch to another internet carrier.
  • Call Clear Internet (“other carrier”) to set up service with them if Comcast could not lower their price.
  • Add 2 quarts of Oil to my car
  • Go to ShaneCo, to get my wedding band resized. It’s been pretty tight over the last year, even more the last couple months.
  • Get an appointment with Les Shwab for an alignment
  • Go back to church and grab my laptop’s power cord I left in the youth room the night before.
  • Grab Lunch
  • Anything else I had time for

I had to drop some friends off at the airport early this morning, so I took the opportunity of being up early, to start on my list. On my way back from the airport, I went to and bought some oil. I did not want to add oil to a warm engine so I came home and while waiting for the engine to cool I started making my phone calls.

I called Les Shwab to get a price estimate and make an appointment. After calling a few locations I found that I was kicking myself for not calling earlier. Each shop was fully booked for the next 2 days. Finally, I called my 4th or 5th store in the area and secured a 2 o’clock slot. Awesome. Now onto my internet issue.

I checked out Clear Internet’s website and found that they offered internet for around $35/month. That’s less than half of what we’re paying Comcast for the same service. I called Comcast and told them I was looking to saving some money and wanted to hear if they had any deals. I also told them what Clear’s prices were and if they could offer anything similar. They lady said that if I bundled internet with TV or Telephone it will lower my internet bill. “Great,” I said, “If I did that what will my total monthly bill be?”

“$99.[something] per month, Sir,” she answered.

“I’m sorry,” I replied, “I don’t mean to sound rude, but I called to save money on my monthly bill, not to add a service and pay more. Is there anything else that you could offer me that will lower my monthly cost?”

“No, Sir. I can not offer anything else.”

“That’s too bad. Once I get an install date from Clear Internet, I’ll call you guys back to cancel my service. Thanks anyways.”

“Ok, bye,” she said and quickly hung up on me.

Well, now that I know that Comcast doesn’t care if I stay or go, I gave Clear a call to get an install date. The Clear representative was nice and friendly when I told him I wanted to switch from Comcast to Clear. I gave him my address to check for availability in my area. After a few minutes of him asking questions and telling about their product he informs me that they currently do not service our apartment complex yet. He said to check in a few months. After hanging up, it struck me that we would be with Comcast slightly longer than expected. This would be my first unsuccessful task of the day. My car should be cooled down by now.

After satisfying my car’s thirst for oil, I headed off to get my ring resized. I walked into ShaneCo and found a salesman to explain that my wedding ring doesn’t fit anymore. (aka, I’ve grown fat and I have sausage fingers, not really.) After seeing my ring he asked if it was Tungsten? “Yes,” I replied.

“We don’t carry Tungsten rings anymore,” he said, “but we would be able to give you a credit for the amount you paid for your ring and apply it to a new one.”

I hadn’t thought about getting a new ring before. At first I was resistant to the idea, but after looking at their selection it grew on me. I chose my top two rings and wrote their product number down so I could bring my wife back to check them out as well. Dependent upon the ring I choose I might be spending more than originally planned. Now I have to come back another day to get this done. Second unsuccessful task of the day.

Now with my stomach telling me it was almost lunch time, I quickly swung by the church. I saw a few cars in the parking lot and thought, good that means the building will be open. I headed up to the front door and to my quickly dwindling luck, the door was locked. I knew people were there so I knocked on the door for a while, but no one heard despite my efforts to get someone to notice. Plan B – lunch, come back later.

There was a local pizzeria between the church and Les Shwab, that I haven’t gone to in a while and in a Kevin McAllister moment I thought, I’ll give it a whirl. Not as good as I remembered it to be. Third unsuccessful task. While eating, I saw the breaking news about the bombing on Libya. They didn’t offer many detail so it’s hard to comment on if this is going to go anywhere or if this will be quickly forgotten. We’ll see.

I still had a few minutes before my 2 o’clock appointment so I stopped by my old Starbucks store to grab a drink and say “hi.” Unfortunately, my old manager was there. If you don’t know the story, it was because of her that I left Starbucks. After an awkward few minutes catching up I left. This wasn’t on my list, but an unsuccessful task none the less.

I arrived at Les Shwab a few minutes early and set up in the waiting room with my laptop and headphones to pass the next hour quickly. Barely 5 minutes later I had a mechanic approach me. Part of me wished he was going to tell me that my car was in perfect shape and didn’t need an alignment, but that was not the case. He told me that I needed to replace a piece that holds the wheel. Until I do that they can not align my car as this piece is loose and is causing the wobble I feel when I drive. Fifth unsuccessful task of the day.

Determined to have something go right today, I headed back to the church to see if anyone was there. I was locked out again. I was about to leave when someone arrived and opened the door for me. Finally, I got something done today. But it was hard to feel completely triumphant because the only reason I had to do this was because I forgot to take the cord with me last night.

So in a last stitch effort to feel accomplished I decided to go buy some shoes. I know that sounds like I need to give up my Man Card, but I needed a new pair of chucks. I went back to the place I bought them previously. I walked in and the lady behind the counter informed me that they do not carry the low tops in their stores anymore. That’s it, I’m going home!

To top this entire day off, it has been raining all day with some steady winds. It was definitely not the most ideal day to be driving anywhere and getting in and out of the car. Despite, my epically failed day to be productive, I’m still glad that I took the time to try and get this stuff done. Now, I have time to share with you about my day and watch the developing story of the attack on Libya. I pray the situation gets resolved quickly with the least amount of casualties as possible.

Posted in Life | 3 Comments