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Random thoughts from a road trip (#1158)

Topics/tags: Miscellaneous

Yesterday and today, Michelle and I drove back from our vacation south of Virginia Beach. I think the total distance was about nineteen hours; we drove eleven or so hours the first day and seven or eight the second day. In the old days, we would have driven straight through. Before the heart attack, I might have tried to do so this time, too. However, I need more sleep these days than I used to, and I get tired much more easily. I did all the driving and Michelle did the navigating. She offered to drive, but I like to drive.

Various signs and such along the way got me thinking about too many things. None are significant, but my muse suggests I should write about them. Here goes.

On I-64 West in Virginia, I saw a lot of signs that said something like Tractor-Trailers going 70 mph or less should use the right lane. Well, I guess one or two used 65 mph, but the concept was the same. I don’t understand. The speed limit was 70 miles per hour (or 65). Shouldn’t everyone have been going 70 mph or less? And does the sign implicitly acknowledge that most people treat speed limits as lower limits?

I-70 was closed near Indianapolis. That got me wondering. I thought US Interstates were built to ensure that we could transport missiles and move our military around. Don’t closed Interstates make that more difficult?

Then I thought about other aspects of the Interstates that would seem to make transport harder. That sharp right on I-80 in Cleveland where the speed drops to 25 mph or so. Toll booths, although those are being replaced by I-Pass lanes. The many, many places along the Interstates where things go down to one lane for construction.

Don’t the one-line highway sections violate the purpose of the Interstates? I think missile transports are wider than the average truck. What would happen if we had a military emergency?

I was driving my new used car and eventually figured out how to use the FM-radio scan system. It took surprisingly long to figure that out. Anyway, I ended up on 88.1 somewhere in Illinois or Indiana. I’m not sure where. I think it was outside of Indianapolis, but I find myself questioning that. They were playing some kind of Klezmer music. I listened for a bit, and then they said,

It’s 9:42; it time for bagpipes.

Isn’t that awesome? I love the chaos of independent radio stations

Burma Shave is long gone. At least I think it is. But some people still put up Burma-Shave-like series of signs. I saw a strange and discomforting one this trip. It went something like this.

When things attack

And you can’t run

You’ll be glad

You have a gun

Inspiring, isn’t it?

Today was a great day to drive. There was almost no traffic. Who would’ve thought that a big holiday would create less traffic?

The holiday weekend inspired the road message designers. The first one I recall is from Virginia.

You’re not a firework. Don’t drive lit.

If I had written it, it would be closer to

You may be a firework, but it’s dangerous to drive lit.

I think the next one in Virginia (or maybe Ohio) was

You may be barbequing, but you shouldn’t drive lit.

Illinois had a boring one.

Don’t speed. Get vaccinated. Be Safe.

Or something like that.

And yes, these fall into my normal bucket of signs that could have been better.

Remember those Virginia I-64 signs? They got me thinking about the different things signs say about the right lane.

Slower traffic keep right

Trucks must use right lane

Keep right except for passing

I wish people followed the last one. That is, drivers should be in the right lane unless they are passing someone in the right lane. That would help eliminate the problem of annoying people who pass on the right. Or maybe not. I’ve watched people pass on the right on three-lane highways even when the left lane is available.

Well, that’s all my muse can wring out of me right now. That last entry suggests that she wrung pretty hard.

Version 1.0 of 2021-07-04.