Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"Damaged Pavement"

One of the differences in driving between California and Florida (in fact, between California and most of the rest of the country that I've seen), is that in California, you take your chances with the road. The assumption is made that you're paying attention to the road and can see that the pavement changes ahead. Or that you can see the pothole that might swallow your car. But in other parts of the country, the DOT folks are kind enough to place signs that warn you of imminent car swallowing sections of road, or that there might be a slight bump in the road.

Here in Florida, though, while driving north on I-95 I saw a sign that said Damaged Pavement Ahead. I spent miles waiting to see a section of damaged pavement. I think I was in another county by the time I realized they were probably referring to this very slight section of cracked pavement that I'd passed way back when that I barely noticed. Now, in California, cracked sections of pavement don't merit whole entire signs, so I was quite curious to see what they meant by damaged pavement, and wondered if I was going to have to detour or something. But no, they were just being kind and considerate, and letting drivers know that up ahead, the feel of the pavement was going to change slightly and that it wasn't anything to be concerned about.

Keyless Cars

Fortunately (or unfortunately depending upon your perspective) I get to drive rental cars for work every now and then, which gives me an opportunity to test drive new cars. Based on my purely unscientific observations, American made cars are gas guzzlers. It takes me a whole tank of gas to get to Orlando in an American made car. But the Nissan Altima I got to drive the other day took only half a tank of gas to go all the way to Orlando and beyond AND back.

Not only that, the car was keyless. And if you haven't used a keyless car before, it definitely takes some getting used to. I'm completely conditioned to using a key to start my car. It's a habit. Anyway, this particular keyless car has a key ring type thing that you use to unlock and lock the car. And you MUST keep this key ring thing with you to start the car. One of the nice things about a car key is that you place the key in the ignition, which provides a handy place to put the key. With a keyless car, there's no convenient place to place the key ring thing. I was very worried that I was going to lose the key ring thing IN the car.

Despite the weirdness of a keyless car, I really enjoyed driving the Altima.

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

It is dumping water outside at the moment. It's raining so hard that were I to sit in my car at this particular time, it would seem as if I was going through a car wash -- even though the car isn't moving. It's actually been raining pretty steadily, which doesn't seem to happen very regularly when it rains here. Usually when it rains, there are pockets of car wash type dumping mixed in with lighter rain drops with large areas of very clear blue sky visible. Sometimes it will look nice and sunny outside the window, yet if I walk outside, it's pouring rain.

This is also different from the summer rains. Summer rains come in the afternoon/evening, and follow a standard pattern with some parts of Jacksonville getting dumped on and others bone dry with thunder and lightning. This is consistently dumping rain on both sides of the river and for a long period of time.

Anyway, I love listening to the rain, I'm just hoping that by the time I have to go to work tomorrow, that it will have stopped.