Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Bug Spraying

One benefit of Dayton's four weather seasons, and particularly some of our really cold winter nights, is the relative lack of bugs.  Sure, we're swatting at flies and lighting citronella candles at the worst of times, or being a kid again and chasing lightning bugs around the yard.  But compared to some "nice to live" areas like parts of the southeast and southwest United States, we get off pretty easy.  When you have regularly scheduled aerial bug bomb attacks to keep the hoards somewhat under control, like detailed for San Diego at the link below, you can just imagine how much worse these areas can be.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Snow Poles

The first time I saw the snow poles shown below, I was on a state route in the state of Maine and had to ask what they were.  A Mainer explained they marked the sides of the road so snowplow drivers knew where to plow.  Then one time in Green Bay, Wisconsin I remarked how well-shoveled people kept their driveways, and a local had to explain that if they doddled, the snow would quickly pile up and shoveling would then become a real chore.  In both cases, that's way more snow than I care to deal with.

Perhaps you lived through the Dayton "Blizzard of 1978" and its three feet of snowfall and much higher drifts, but most winters we get much less than that all winter, usually in under 4-inch increments, making snow poles non-existent and shoveling driveways optional.  Snow is beautiful, but I'll take mine in our smaller quantities.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Attendants Pumping Gas

I've pumped my own gasoline since I began to drive in 1971, so I would expect that's the way it's done everywhere, but not so.  If you need to fill up in New Jersey and most of Oregon, stay away from the pump to avoid violating their laws (and yelled at by their state-mandated attendants). 

In the Garden State, it began with the Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act of 1949 and in the Beaver State with the adoption of Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) Section 480.330 in 1951, with the stated intent to protect consumers and owners from serious accidents.  A list of the current reasons in Oregon, and a good chuckle, can be found at the link below.  Last year Oregon relaxed their laws by allowing self-service in rural counties.  That the remaining 96% of the United States safely pumps their own gas doesn't seem to matter as much as "saving jobs". 

So just stay in your car and enjoy the nostalgia of paying a few cents more and taking a little more time before you're on your way.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

HOV Lane

If you're in another city and you see a highway lane, typically the leftmost, that's not very crowded, it makes total sense to slide over to it.  But if it's marked as an HOV (High-Occupancy Vehicle) lane, make sure you comply with its rules, usually that you have at least one passenger aboard, but read closely, as an expensive ticket awaits rule-breakers.  While a baby counts as an occupant, it's unlikely that police officer will be able to see them tucked in the back seat of your car before you're pulled over and your travel interrupted.  But watching other folks fly by while you're in a traffic lane just poking along is really frustrating.  Don't fall for the temptation.

So why don't we have them in Dayton?  Because we don't have that special kind of crazy traffic, of course.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Moose Warning Signs

Standing over six feet tall and weighing an average 800 pounds, moose are a much bigger threat (literally) than any deer, dog or other animal you're likely to encounter while driving around Dayton.  Most deaths in collisions with animals occur when vehicles run off the road, so staying steady and keeping control is way more important than avoiding striking most animals.  Moose is one of my exceptions, since you're car can hit their legs and their upper body can strike your windshield, which in some cases can result in an injured and upset moose in the front seat of your car with you.  So if you see a moose warning sign in your travels, take it seriously, but fortunately I've never seen one around here.

For a demonstration of just how big moose are, this YouTube video provides an closeup experience.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Western Edge Of The Time Zone

Even during the shortest daylight days in early December, we Daytonians commute to work as the skies brighten and get home as the sun fades, but that's not the case for many cities that do not enjoy being located at the western edge of their time zone.  As shown below for some major U.S. cities, those unfortunate folks don't even leave work until it's totally dark.  Yes, they have more light in the morning, but really, what good is that?





Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Toll Booths

We don't have these anywhere near Dayton, and not only do they slow down your trip on the open road, but have you pay a quarter, a dollar or more to continue your journey for a few more miles.  Certain exits accept only exact change, which if you don't have will result in the extra annoyance of paying later online or via postal mail.  You can avoid some of this headache by prepaying for an electronic pass and only having to slow down as you continue to pay for a road that was paid off years ago.  But when did government ever stop taxing you after they got that ball rolling?

This Wikipedia article can help you plan out your next vacation route and get you prepared.

Bug Spraying

One benefit of Dayton's four weather seasons, and particularly some of our really cold winter nights, is the relative lack of bugs.  Sur...