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 just disappeared from the blog. Sorry!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zoom Zoom


We have returned from our little jaunt to Biloxi. Unscathed, I might add. Much to my surprise, I must admit. Traffic wasn't heavy on the way out but it was a little wacky and, in some places, a little heavy on the way back. I don't like heavy traffic. I like it much better when there are relatively few cars on the road with me. That was once the norm for lengthy trips, mind you. In my youth, you only saw a lot of traffic if you passed through a city. And, back then, you could avoid cities of any size by choosing rural highways.

That was, of course, before the Interstate system was up and running.  You can still choose those rural highways but you had best be very good at reading and interpreting maps. And you'd best not be in any kind of hurry. You will run into traffic, you will be hit with lower speed limits, and you will have to deal with a lot of traffic lights. Even if the interstate highway goes way out of the way, it is likely to get you there faster than the rural highways.

There is a story I heard many times while I was in the Navy and living much of the time in Long Beach, California; The Pasadena Freeway was designed to handle 50,000 cars an hour. When it was finished and opened to the public, the traffic rate was 150,000 per hour at "rush hour."

The California freeways were where I began observing the various odd driving habits. It was where I first noticed "clustering", "clingers", and "zoomers." I have mentioned the first two before but the term "zoomers" may be new to you. Zoomers are people who flit about the lanes of the freeways moving from cluster to cluster and wending their way through the cluster in order to zoom up to the next one. They are, to be sure, speeders. But aren't we all now? I drive 4-5 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. And, in general, this what I call the "effective speed limit." I find that, even though I am passed often, I can maintain this speed in between clusters and never fall back into one or run into the next one very often.

This makes me quite aware of the zoomers. After all, they are the ones in a big hurry to get to the next cluster and must pass me to get there. I catch up to the next cluster somewhat later than the zoomer does. It is while I wend my way through the cluster that must be very wary of the zoomer. He (or she, they are of both genders but mostly male) is the driver who grabs that vacant space to your right or left that you wanted to use to pass the slowpoke (one who drives the speed limit or lower) just as you throw on your clicker. He is likely to be going much faster than you and is, therefore, quite dangerous.

It's a scary world out there.


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