Tag Archives: people

Driving In The Parking Lane

Driving in the parking lane

Driving in the parking lane

It’s such a problem that Google even caught it on Street View! It doesn’t matter how much signage or how thick the lines are, someone will think the parking lane is valid to drive in. It’s acceptable to use the parking lane to overtake a car that’s stopped to make a left turn (if it’s clear), but it’s not cool to be driving there. What if someone is riding their bike or pulling out from a side street with an obstructed view? Yeah, that’s real smart. Don’t drive in the parking lane.

A car with a story

She had a wonderful life.

She had a wonderful life.

I was reading this Road and Track article about how the author was interested in these humble, modest cars because the cars probably had a cool backstory to them. I feel the same way about every used car I’ve owned. All the used cars I’ve owned probably had the typical story of being owned by someone elderly and driven pretty softly (until I got my hands on them).

The two Fords I’ve owned started dying on my watch, and after they were traded in they ended up in the junkyard within six months. I was pretty distraught the first time since it was my first car, but the second time I didn’t care too much since I had already dealt with the emotion of losing the first car. The first car brought me through my formative years of high school and into college and introduced me to working on cars as a hobby. The second car took me through college with wild road trips to Vegas and starting the next chapter of my life in Austin, which has a bigger impact on my life, but I wasn’t as emotionally attached to it probably because it wasn’t as modifiable (less easily repairable) as the first car thus pushing it into the “appliance” realm. I guess the saying “You never forget your first” is true.

Now the Volvo probably has a more interesting story. It has complete records from the first ten years of ownership. The first owners who were a couple from Houston. Then the next ten years had no records until the the last two years from the second to last previous owner (which I have the history from the last owner). I can only imagine that during that ten year blank spot the Volvo was probably used for some Hollywood-style espionage story due to its unassuming appearance or it was used by some stoic blue-collar worker who used to get to a job he tolerates everyday or maybe it was some kid’s first car that was a hand-me-down and had some good times with buds. No one knows except the car and the car can’t talk. It’s unfortunate.

If you’re a gearhead, you’ll get the feels when you watch Susie the Little Blue Coupe which chronicles the life of a car. I’ll just leave this here just to remind you every car has a story to tell.

Turn on your lights in bad weather

Use your lights

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.

Come at me bro

Servers you right!

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.

You must be new at driving



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?

No parking

You can't park there!

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.

Why must you slow down?

MoPac between 360 and 71

MoPac between 360 and 71

The section of MoPac between TX360 and TX71 has to be a mini Bermuda Triangle. For some reason traffic just slows the hell down to 55 or 60 MPH from 65 MPH. The speed limit is still 65 MPH, but everyone just slows down. It’s just incredible every time I drive down this stretch of MoPac that the slowness happens. It’s not a very confusing area except for a left-hand exit, which is clearly marked way in advance (unlike other interchanges). It’s quite the mystery.

Natural selection

The right and wrong way to handle railroad crossings.

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 not a breakdown lane

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.

On-Ramp Speeds

Sixty miles an hour? It's too damn slow!

Sixty miles an hour? It’s too damn slow!

I don’t understand why people don’t get the concept of getting up to highway speeds by the end of the on-ramp. The inability of people matching traffic speeds is one of the causes traffic jams. By matching the speeds merging would be smoother and easier. Modern cars are fast enough to do that job fairly well so it’s obviously a driver issue. Fifty-five MPH is not a reasonable speed at the end of the off-ramp and if you pull into traffic that is moving at least 65 MPH, you’re now a rolling roadblock. Congrats on being a complete jerk to society. The other day some douche nozzle in a Toyota pick-up had the balls to hawk a loogie at me while I came up behind him AT THE SPEED LIMIT! Some people need to be the next Darwin Award recipient.