Sign 1: RM2222, Airport Blvd, and I-35 NB
US 290 becomes RM2222 at I-35. The first sign you’ll see tells you what lane you want to be in. This is far more descriptive than most of the road signs in Austin already, but the logic is still flawed. Go up a little and the I-35 northbound ramp branches off, but that particular lane continues. The next sign comes up.
Sign 2: Airport Blvd
Oh snap! If you were in the middle lane and you weren’t paying attention, you would have missed your exit. The middle lane was clearly not an “Exit Only” lane. The left two lanes actually continue to RM2222 which after the interchange becomes a 4-lane city street called Koenig (pronounced KAY-nig) Lane. If you missed the Airport Blvd exit, you will have a helluva time getting back unless you pull a U-Turn when the road becomes undivided. An overhead view shows that there is a rail line that runs parallel to Airport Blvd and there’s no way to cross it until you get to a major street. Good job, guys!
Google’s doodle and Fiat’s old logo
Is it weird that the first thing I saw from Google’s 2014 Winter Olympics logo was that it looked like the old Fiat logo? I don’t think it’s a coincidence. The winter olympics is being held in Sochi, which is in Russia. One of the most famous cars to come from Russia is the Lada. Ladas were a cheap, small car built to last in the harsh Russian weather and landscape. The funny thing about the Lada was it was really a rebadged Fiat 124. The world has come a full circle.
Use your lights
Since people aren’t turning on their lights at night, they also don’t turn on their lights in inclement weather. A neutral colored car in the fog or pouring rain is going to blend right in. Maybe if the car was a wild color such as ruby red or emerald green then it’d probably stand out. But using your headlights when it’s foggy, raining, or snowing makes you more visible to other motorists. Yeah, turn on the lights manually so the taillights are lit, too. I’ve come into some close encounters with some of these morons that aren’t turning on their lights. Automatic headlights should be a standard feature since it’s starting to become common in most cars. Since the lights are computer controlled, it can also be turned on with the wipers. Brilliant! Until then, flash your lights at these motorists that aren’t using common sense.
W5W bulb = Sylvania 2825
The license plate illumination bulbs in the Volvo burned out. You’d think it was a trivial exercise to get new bulbs, but apparently part changes happen and screw you up. Accessing the bulbs was no problem: two screws for each of the two lenses above the license plate. Easy enough. I head over to AutoZone to buy some bulbs. I would have thought they had a book with the bulb listing on there, but they didn’t have such book. Their system pulls up a round base bulb for the license plate illumination, but they are wrong! The 940 sedan uses a wedge base bulb while other Volvos of that era (240 and 740 sedans) used the round base bulbs. The owner’s manual (and the lens) indicated that the illumination bulb was a W5W. I really should have taken the bulb out and took it to the store in the first place.
I remember I bought W5W bulbs years ago, and I don’t remember these bulbs being hard to find. AutoZone didn’t have the bulbs and neither did Wal-Mart. This was not something I wanted to special order because I knew there had to be an alternative. It turns out W5W bulbs were relabeled as 2825 at some point and this bulb was available at any place that sold car parts (because this is a common light bulb for license plate illumination on foreign cars). Go figure.
Serves you right!
The other day I’m driving to work and I’m driving on a residential street that is pretty wide and has a double yellow line down the middle. As I approach an intersection I see a pickup truck (an early to mid ’90s Dodge Ram 2500) decide to make a U-turn in the middle of the street. Since the truck was pretty long, he had to make a K-turn. He was totally blocking the other lane and was about to reverse into my lane. I had zero fks to give that morning and decided to stay my course. I won. I figured if I hit him, I would say that he was making an illegal U-turn and sue the pants off for injuries. I mean, come on!
There was a church nearby that he could have driven into to make the turn around without blocking traffic. He could have also waited patiently for traffic to die down before attempting the illegal U-turn. But no, he decided he needed to make a U-turn NOW! Like I said, I just had zero fks to give and a $1500 beater with airbags. I have nothing to lose. Come at me bro.
The other night I was driving home when I was behind a Toyota Corolla. It was about 10:00 PM and this person didn’t have any taillights on. This means that the headlights aren’t on and they’re probably driving with the daytime running lights only. The driver stops at the red light at the MoPac frontage road. I assume the driver wants to go straight as the turn signal wasn’t on and the car wasn’t moving. After a few seconds I see the right-hand turn signal come on, but the driver still isn’t moving. Right-on-red is allowed at this intersection and there was no other traffic. The driver scoots up a little, but still doesn’t make the turn. I see on-coming traffic coming and a Jeep with it’s left-hand turn signal on. He has the right-of-way at this point, but what does the Corolla driver do? Drives out leisurely into the path of the Jeep that’s already turning. The Jeep driver hits the brakes and has to follow the pokey Corolla up the MoPac on-ramp. I follow suit to see this show. Nothing really happens other than another driver getting behind the Corolla and flashes his lights to indicate to the Corolla driver that the lights aren’t on. It must have been the Corolla driver’s first day driving ever with no clue what is happening. That has to explain it, right?
Thank you, car, for telling me it’s cold outside.
Ever since it’s gotten cold outside my car likes to tell me it’s cold outside every time I start the engine by flashing the temperature, a little snowflake icon, and dinging for a few seconds. It’s as if I couldn’t tell that it’s cold outside during my walk from my front door or from work to the car. It appears this feature is common on a lot of newer cars. I’m thinking, why? I already know it’s cold outside. I suppose new cars are so well insulated and contain many safety features to prevent sliding that people will get the illusion that nothing is wrong outside? That is a dumb reason, but I guess that’s why they call it an “idiot light”. I don’t mind having the temperature display on, but it really doesn’t need to ding and flash and be obnoxious every time it falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can’t park there!
The other day I went to a meetup and I parked at this corner (pictured above). There was an opening where the Jeep was parked and I was thinking to myself “Sweet! I’ll have an easy escape route when I leave!” After the event was over, I walked back to my car to see a car parked where the Camry was parked. Seriously? The “No parking” sign indicating no parking from the sign to the street corner wasn’t your first clue that you shouldn’t be parking there? Now my easy escape route has been foiled! I hate people.
The right and wrong way to handle railroad crossings.
Today I was stopped behind a car at an intersection near a railroad crossing. This genius stopped past the stop line right under the gate, but not quite on the track. The railroad crossing is for the commuter train that comes by every half hour to one hour. Since it was evening rush, there was a good chance that the train would come by at any time.
Well, Mr. Genius decides to creep forward and stops on the tracks because he thinks traffic is moving up ahead. Yep, I seriously hoped I witness Darwinism at work. He will only wipe himself off the face of the earth because a Honda Civic is no match for a commuter train. The train will rip through the Civic like tin foil. Fortunately for him, the train didn’t come by.
The left lane is known as the “fast lane”. It’s a generally accepted rule here in America. You should at least go the speed limit in the left lane. This one moron I encountered today must have missed the memo. This person obviously knew they were having car troubles because the hazards were on. The car was moving at 55 MPH, which isn’t too terribly slow for a disabled vehicle, but it’s still 10 MPH under the speed limit. Now I don’t know why the driver thought the left lane was the appropriate place to be driving because I wished a cop would issue a ticket for an unauthorized parade on a highway because of the backup. Now common sense would dictate that you don’t drive a disabled vehicle on the highway and if you do, stay in the right-hand lane! I don’t even comprehend how driving a disabled vehicle in the fast lane is a good idea.