The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Road Trippin'

This is Day 1 of The Trip.

I went a lot further than I thought I would. Which made it a long day. A Real Long Day. But almost 900 miles out of the way. Which means that I can take it easy and maybe do a little sightseeing along the way since I am not due into Corona until Wednesday evening. I only have 1600 more miles to go and three full days to do it. Since I haven't seen the Grand Canyon yet, I figure I might take a jaunt off to get a look at it.

Meanwhile, let's talk about traffic. I was reminded that I have an Idiot Magnet installed in my car. I first realized it when BMW X5 crawled up onto my rear bumper...then backed away... repeatedly. Then she (yes, it was a woman driver) moved into another lane and pulled alongside and then paced my car. And then backed away. And then another car did the same thing. And the BMW came back again, even though it had passed me a couple of lanes over some time before.

I was beginning to think there was blood seeping out from the corpse in the trunk. Seriously, I began to realize there were Idiot Magnets installed inside of every vehicle on the road, foreign and domestic. What else explains the clustering we see? You know what clustering is, don't you? That's where groups of cars assemble into small herds as they travel the highways. The Idiot Magnets attract each other, preventing the vehicles from speeding up or slowing down once they have reached the cluster.

I am trying to figure out just who it is that wants smaller, more efficient vehicles. A good 75% of the vehicles on the road were SUVs and pickups. Big pickups. And generally big SUVs. All driven by people with phones attached to their ears in some way. Either directly or through one of those Bluetooth ear thingies. What is all the conversation about anyway? We rarely spent this much time of the phone when they were wired into the walls. Unless we were teenagers and, even then, mostly female teenagers.

Only one traffic slowdown in all that time. A semi's trailer seemed to have caught fire. How the heck does that happen? Anyway, it was on the other side of the road, the eastbound side. Traffic on that side was backed up at least 5 miles. Cars and trucks trying to cross the median to go back the other way were getting stuck unless they were 4x4s. What a mess!

The final part of this day's trip included a ride across a swamp in Louisiana. The ride was 15-18 miles long. It was all bridge, mostly 15 feet above the water. There were trees growing in the water. How does that happen? How do they take root? The swamp had to be drained to bare ground during a drought, I suppose. Lots of trees. Cypress mostly. Odd. Sorry, no pics of that.

Back on the road tomorrow. Through Texas and into New Mexico and maybe Arizona.


Michael said...

Oh, how exciting. I'm very interested to know what you're eating on your trip. Do Floridian, Alabaman, Mississippian, Louisianian and Texan food differ greatly?

I wish I could see the Grand Canyon. I'm getting gradually more jealous as I linger in this comment box. I've always wanted to go on an all-American road trip, but I think it'll have to wait... sigh.

As far as I know, the family cars in Toronto have Idiot Magnets installed, too. But Canada is a lot more open, I don't recall the clustering when we drove to Vancouver and back. Meh.


Argentum Vulgaris said...

Idiot magnets, love it. Good theory Douglas.

@Michael, I believe McDs is the same wherever you go... Although Douglas' tastes may be a little more refined.


The Jules said...

Herds of idiot cars travelling together up the motorwway? Love it!

Remember to look at the local newspapers as you go. See what the most banal story you can find is.

Safe journey Douglas.

Brenda Bowers said...

When Lew and I started our eleven year"road trip" we set out some hard and fast rules and stuck with them consequently we were able to "smell" the wild flowers all over North America.
1. Never travel more than 250 miles in any one day and then stop for at least one week.

2. Never use Interstates unless there is absolutely no other viable choice. There is never anything to see along Interstates!

That is it. Just two rules that actually forced us to slow down and really "see" the country and talk with the people and "live" on the roads of America rather than take a rather extended vacation. I am so happy we had by some miracle made these decisions before we started. BB