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Tog
2011-Sep-02, 02:50 PM
My each way commute is about 50 miles. about 47 of that is freeway, and you need to stay between 70 and 75 mph here or you get run over. I've had cops I didn't see behind me pass me when I was doing 75 before. The speed limit is 65.

Our freeway is 4 lanes wide for most of my drive. Today, I was in the fast side of the middle two when what should appear before me, hovering in the air at windshield height, but (what I think was) a beer bottle.

How's that for proof of extra dimensional portals? That's the only explanation, right? I mean, no responsible, adult, human-multiplying-being would actually toss a beer bottle out of a moving car in the middle of a 4 lane freeway at 70 MPH in morning traffic.

The only sort of up side is that I procrastinate. My registration is due at the end of (last) August and I needed to get a new windshield any way. If I would have done it on time, it would be the new windshield shattered into about 2 dozen shards rather than the one that was coming out anyway.

I guess that sort of like a kid getting a cavity in a baby tooth. Glad I wasn't on a motor cycle.

Swift
2011-Sep-02, 02:59 PM
Glad you are OK Tog (since you are posting I assume you are OK). Yes, must have been a portal because no human could have been that stupid (OK, yes I know they obviously can be, but then I moderate the CT forum).

Every once in a while there is a case where kids have been dropping rocks off of bridges on to freeways, to "see what happens". There was a woman killed around here maybe 10 years ago or so, when a rock came through her windshield and landed in her lap at 60 mph. IIRC, it was actually the internal injuries from the rock, not from the crash, that killed her.

Fazor
2011-Sep-02, 04:01 PM
It's acts like that that make me wish guys like me could get a rocket launcher installed in the front of my car, James Bond style.

Then you could have even said somthing Bond'ish, like "Didn't anyone ever tell you not to bring a beer bottle to a rocket fight?"

Tog
2011-Sep-02, 04:19 PM
I've got a Scion. the back blast from a rocket launch would blow me back three exits. Besides, I'm not sure where it game from. From the angle and distance, the only good suspect had his window up. I also think it would have come from the passenger side of lane 2 while I was in lane 3. I wouldn't know who to target. Also I'm afraid my one liner would be more John McClain or Major Winchester (even I don't know til I say it out loud) than James Bond.

I actually wonder about a "time delay self defense" erm, defense. "If he did it once, he'll do it again, I ran him off the road to save a future life."

And yes, I'm fine, it only cracked the outside layer of glass. We had a spell here where people dropped rock off bridges not to see what it would do, but how often they could get it to happen. I think it was 3 or 4 over a fairly short span.

swampyankee
2011-Sep-02, 05:00 PM
Yeah, we had the morons dropping rocks and bowling balls off overpasses, about 30 years ago. My wife's car received one of these. Luckily, it landed on the passenger side and she was alone. The bowling ball took the seat's back off.

nosbig5
2011-Sep-02, 05:05 PM
No rock-dropping incidents around here that I recall, but there are lots of kids who like to pee over the side of the bridge.

swampyankee
2011-Sep-02, 05:09 PM
No rock-dropping incidents around here that I recall, but there are lots of kids who like to pee over the side of the bridge.

Glad I don't have a convertible ;)

nosbig5
2011-Sep-02, 05:23 PM
Right! That would make for a very bad day.

swampyankee
2011-Sep-02, 06:19 PM
Right! That would make for a very bad day.

"Is it raining?"

jlhredshift
2011-Sep-02, 06:27 PM
Well, when I was a kid we would drop water balloons off of a railroad trestle until the guy in a convertible slammed on the brakes and came after us. [Wow, that was 52 years ago.]

Swift
2011-Sep-02, 06:52 PM
Well, when I was a kid we would drop water balloons off of a railroad trestle until the guy in a convertible slammed on the brakes and came after us. [Wow, that was 52 years ago.]
IT WAS YOU!!!!! (Swift chases after jhredshift). ;)

jlhredshift
2011-Sep-02, 06:56 PM
IT WAS YOU!!!!! (Swift chases after jhredshift). ;)

And what were you doing in Illinois driving when you were a kid and whose car was it?

Swift
2011-Sep-02, 06:58 PM
And what were you doing in Illinois driving when you were a kid and whose car was it?
Even more shocking, exactly 52 years ago today I was about minus four months old. :)

jlhredshift
2011-Sep-02, 07:37 PM
Even more shocking, exactly 52 years ago today I was about minus four months old. :)

Well, then with my advanced years I am willing to offer you guidance as you proceed through your youth.

Fazor
2011-Sep-02, 07:39 PM
Even more shocking, exactly 52 years ago today I was about minus four months old. :)

Read that again thread?

Luckmeister
2011-Sep-02, 11:43 PM
Our freeway is 4 lanes wide for most of my drive. Today, I was in the fast side of the middle two when what should appear before me, hovering in the air at windshield height, but (what I think was) a beer bottle.

How's that for proof of extra dimensional portals? That's the only explanation, right? I mean, no responsible, adult, human-multiplying-being would actually toss a beer bottle out of a moving car in the middle of a 4 lane freeway at 70 MPH in morning traffic.


Looks like it's time to get an armored vehicle for commuting. I wonder if I could get the Stormchasers' TIV-2 (http://home.comcast.net/~mcluster/TIV_2.jpg) when they're through with it.

Githyanki
2011-Sep-03, 12:04 AM
I work at five-am usually; though my commute is only 10 miles, I do have people going 70+ at 4:45am in the morning. There's even a CHP officer that always passes me on his motorcycle as he heads to the local CHP station.

Githyanki
2011-Sep-03, 12:05 AM
Also, remember that time in High School you wished you had a beer? Well, be careful what you wish for.

Tog
2011-Sep-03, 04:02 AM
Actually, I never wished I had a beer. I was brought up with unrestricted access to them but never got past the first sip. It just doesn't taste good to me. And I'd love an armored vehicle for the drive. I go through a windshield a year in that thing, but it's usually rocks that do it.

TJMac
2011-Sep-03, 10:17 AM
Just a thought, because Ive seen it done, the car to your left, where you cannot see the drivers window well, arm comes out, makes a hookshot over the car with whatever object is being hurled. Much tougher to see who the offending party is when that happens.

I used to wish for the whole rocket launching capability, until it dawned on me there are much better possibilities. First, blasting anyone in front of you is just going to leave a lot of debris to drive through, which is a little undesirable. But maybe some sort of EMP device that you can aim, and ZAP... The offending car just coasts to the side of the road, with a confused driver, who now has all sorts of happy car problems. :shifty:

TJ

Solfe
2011-Sep-03, 11:28 AM
Being a New Yorker who has driven all over Ontario, I have this theory about Canadian drivers: They have excellent beer and great music; unfortunately they drive like they are partaking in both. Driving in and around Toronto is something like a cross between racing in the Indianapolis 500 and a Blue Angels exhibition. I like driving fast, but any road around Toronto makes me sweat.

In the city of Buffalo, we have the Rt. 33 that causes drivers to behave like crazed race car drivers, too. The 33 might be the poorest designed road in NY. Oddly the Canadian drivers don't show off their driving skills when over here. It seems the locals get aggressive on home turf.

This theory was invented of to harass my sister who is both a motorhead and Canadian.

ravens_cry
2011-Sep-05, 08:39 PM
Old grannies, and grandpas, with no peripheral vision, driving big SUV when you are in a bike that barely comes up to the top of the hood, are just scary.

BigDon
2011-Sep-06, 05:35 PM
Hi Tog!

Beer bottle huh? That really sucks.

My last road trip we were headed north towards ABR. country but still south of Sacramento when an Army flatbed who was speeding like the rest of us hit that rise in the freeway that caused the truck to "loft" a bit and part of its load bounced out of the truck right in front of my brother and I.

One of those big cable-spool sized rolls of concertina wire.

The whole bundle survived the first impact with the road right in front of us then as it bounced high my brother accelerated underneath it and the whole thing shattled and unspooled behind us.


Which wasn't nearly as exciting as what happened a mile from where I lived. This guy in a Toyota two-door who was following close behind an equipment hauler at 4:30 AM who not only was seriously speeding but his company neglected to scope out all the overhead heights on the way to his destination. Didn't even have the outriding pick up trucks with the wide load signs and flashing lights. They were LATE.

The top of the blade of the D-9 hit the overpass while the carrier was moving so fast the whole bulldozer broke loose at once from its tie downs and went airborne. Several witnesses reported seeing the Toyota drive underneath it before it hit the ground. The Toyota driver even managed to avoid the carrier itself.


My mother always used to laugh when I'd end a story like that with:

"That and a cup of coffee will wake you up in the morning!"

Moose
2011-Sep-06, 06:51 PM
One of my former co-workers (briefly my supervisor - not my cow-orker, she was the real deal, a rarity) was following a big-rig. Which loses it's grille. Which flew up, over the truck, and straight through the (thankfully) passenger side of her windshield and into the seat. There was other damage from going into the ditch because of the impact. She, thankfully, wasn't hurt. The trucker (not what I want to call him) never stopped.



"That and a cup of coffee will wake you up in the morning!"

Bet he didn't have any issues with dietary fiber that day, either.

SeanF
2011-Sep-06, 07:01 PM
One of my former co-workers (briefly my supervisor - not my cow-orker, she was the real deal, a rarity) was following a big-rig. Which loses it's grille. Which flew up, over the truck, and straight through the (thankfully) passenger side of her windshield and into the seat. There was other damage from going into the ditch because of the impact. She, thankfully, wasn't hurt. The trucker (not what I want to call him) never stopped.
I was behind a flatbed truck hauling some old cars on the Interstate one day. I was just getting ready to pass him when the hood on one of the cars flipped up, over, and went flying off into the air. It ended up landing on the road right in front me and I drove right over the top of it.

When I got stopped, it turned out to not have been the actual hood that had come off, but just a foam-and-cardboard layer of insulation from under the hood, so there was luckily no damage. I didn't know that when I was trying to safely stop my vehicle while at the same time keeping an eye on this thing flying through the air, though.

The truck driver had no idea what had happened and never stopped.

Glom
2011-Sep-06, 07:12 PM
Yes, other drivers suck.

Rockets in the face of bottle throwers, tiger tail crossers, cutter-inners and middle laners. The morons who insist on flooring it to the next red light deserve pitiable contempt too. But with the price of petrol, they will pay for their folly.

On the bright side, I made good choices of lane on the M25 today. The second from outside is the best when it's rammed back to junction 14.

pzkpfw
2011-Sep-06, 08:56 PM
Get a motorcycle. Bigger chance of ending up in a mess, but every time you don't - oh goodness it's so much better than being in a car.

I arrive at work with a smile.

"Sport commuting".

jlhredshift
2011-Sep-06, 09:13 PM
Even more fun is when you see a red brick stuck between the dual rear tires of a semi trailer that you are stuck behind in bumper-to-bumper rolling traffic.

Trebuchet
2011-Sep-06, 11:34 PM
I had a large wooden block, about 8x8x30, come off a flatbed truck in front of me one time. Couldn't avoid it. I stopped and looked for damage while the truck went on. I didn't see anything. Next morning on the way from Tacoma to the Univ. of WA (summer school), I noticed that the car was pulling to one side. Not too surprising, I guess, that the alignment would be knocked out of whack. The bigger surprise was when I turned the wheels hard over to back out of a parking space and there was a POP! The car stopped moving. I got out and discovered the front wheels pointing in opposite directions. The guy at the shop I had it towed to said "I guess THAT didn't happen at 60 on the freeway".

I've got several other stories of stuff loose on the road. Perhaps another later.

Donnie B.
2011-Sep-06, 11:37 PM
I have a story, and it happened this very day.

I'm having my kitchen remodeled. Today was the first day of actual work (not preparation) so I took the day off to see the demolition get underway. The workmen needed to get into and out of the driveway, so I parked on the street (which I normally never do).

I bet you know what's coming -- somebody drove by and sideswiped me, right?

Wrong. Instead, my across-the-street neighbor backed out of her driveway and right into my fender. Crunch.

The kicker is, she had noticed my car there when she drove INTO her driveway earlier, then forgot all about it when she backed out later.

swampyankee
2011-Sep-07, 12:06 AM
Have any of you noticed that nobody (except possibly me, and I'm not consistent) cleans the ice off the roof of their cars? I've gotten to see far too many large sheets of ice heading for my windshield....

Solfe
2011-Sep-07, 01:42 AM
A few years ago, I was passed on the expressway by a pick-up truck full of all kinds of furnishings. About a mile in front me, a weight bench flipped out of the bed of the truck and landed upright on the road. The bench slid to a stop in the lane next me. My wife turned to me and asked "Did you see that too?" It was very late at night and no one else was on the road.

Another time my wife and I were driving down a road that was being rebuilt. The four lane road was reduced to two lanes and the other two weren't simply torn up, but actual removed to a depth of 4 or 5 feet. Being about 4:00 am (closing time for bars here) I was annoyed to be stuck at very long red light.

After a minute or two sitting, we hear a voice: "Hey!" It took us a moment to figure out there was a car down in the construction area next to us. They had apparently driven the whole length of the site and could not continue as they were several feet below the surface of the intersection. I was about to ask how they got down there when one of the guys shouted up "Hey! How did you get up there?!?!?"

I decided to take a right on red.

DoggerDan
2011-Sep-07, 01:44 AM
It's acts like that that make me wish guys like me could get a rocket launcher installed in the front of my car, James Bond style.

I've got a very loud PA system. Haven't used it much, but when I do, I'm noticed.

Glom
2011-Sep-07, 07:20 AM
Have any of you noticed that nobody (except possibly me, and I'm not consistent) cleans the ice off the roof of their cars? I've gotten to see far too many large sheets of ice heading for my windshield....

But that's hilarious.

Oh ice. Hmm maybe that is different.

Snow on the other hand is funny to watch as it ablates on the motorway.

Fazor
2011-Sep-07, 04:06 PM
Have any of you noticed that nobody (except possibly me, and I'm not consistent) cleans the ice off the roof of their cars? I've gotten to see far too many large sheets of ice heading for my windshield....

I clean the ice/snow from the top of mine. 1) I don't think it's fair to blind the person behind me because I'm too lazy to take a couple swipes with my snow brush. 2) if I don't clear it, it will drift down and quickly obscure my rear window. I have this weird need to actually be able to see when I'm driving. Crazy, I know.

closetgeek
2011-Sep-07, 04:38 PM
I clean the ice/snow from the top of mine. 1) I don't think it's fair to blind the person behind me because I'm too lazy to take a couple swipes with my snow brush. 2) if I don't clear it, it will drift down and quickly obscure my rear window. I have this weird need to actually be able to see when I'm driving. Crazy, I know.

Eh, if you've seen one road, you've seen them all.

I no longer live in a climate that requires cleaning ice sheets off the car but when I did, I learned that lesson the hard way. My cousin and I were already on the highway when the hood of her car heated up enough to free the sheet of ice we ignored. I am sure my memory isn't exaggerating it at all but I swear it levitated for a moment before it smashed to bits on her windshield.

swampyankee
2011-Sep-07, 08:23 PM
I clean the ice/snow from the top of mine. 1) I don't think it's fair to blind the person behind me because I'm too lazy to take a couple swipes with my snow brush. 2) if I don't clear it, it will drift down and quickly obscure my rear window. I have this weird need to actually be able to see when I'm driving. Crazy, I know.

I usually do clean the snow and ice off my car's roof, hood, and trunk lid. I also have this bizarre need to actually see around me. One of the best sights I ever saw was somebody who a police officer had stopped, and made him scrape the ice off all his windows, as opposed to the little slit (about 4 inches high and a third of the windshield wide) he had cleared in his car's windshield.

grapes
2011-Sep-07, 08:51 PM
The top of the blade of the D-9 hit the overpass while the carrier was moving so fast the whole bulldozer broke loose at once from its tie downs and went airborne. Several witnesses reported seeing the Toyota drive underneath it before it hit the ground. The Toyota driver even managed to avoid the carrier itself.The top of the blade. That's some serious miscalculation. :)

I was driving straight up the backside of the continental divide in Colorado a couple decades ago, on a narrow rode behind a pickup truck filled a winter's supply of sawn but not split logs. It was so precarious, that I backed off--and soon an avalanche of them were bounding down the road towards us, I had to slalom in between them, trying to guess which way they were going to bounce next. Exciting!

Fazor
2011-Sep-07, 09:05 PM
I have to admit, I curse at people with ill-secured loads all the time. Then a few weeks ago when I had to clear brush from my yard, I happily threw it all in the back of a borrowed pick-up and headed down the highway. :) I didn't lose any of it though. I was pretty sure it would stay put under it's own weight and I was right, but it was just a guess.

swampyankee
2011-Sep-07, 09:07 PM
The top of the blade. That's some serious miscalculation. :)

I was driving straight up the backside of the continental divide in Colorado a couple decades ago, on a narrow rode behind a pickup truck filled a winter's supply of sawn but not split logs. It was so precarious, that I backed off--and soon an avalanche of them were bounding down the road towards us, I had to slalom in between them, trying to guess which way they were going to bounce next. Exciting!

A "couple of decades" after the event, I might use the term "exciting." After successfully dodging the logs (which I hope you managed), I'd probably be gibbering for a while, then using the type of language that is only appropriate when an anvil has been dropped on your foot.

Trebuchet
2011-Sep-08, 03:29 AM
Stuff on the road, part 2:

We were driving into Tacoma -- same bit of road where my tie rod got broken, come to think of it -- and noticed an old station wagon over in the right lane. Someone was moving. All their worldly possessions were stuffed into and stacked on top of, and tied to the back of, the car. They were driving pretty fast, and passed us. Next thing I knew there was a TV doing about 50mph in the lane in front of me, gradually slowing down. It was sitting perfectly upright and looked quite intact. As it was still moving to the left, I moved right and passed it. There was quite a bit of other furniture and stuff had gotten liberated as well.

May as well go ahead with part 3:
We were driving through Seattle when brake lights started coming on ahead and cars started swerving around. We slowed, saw the obstruction, and moved around it as well. As we passed my wife and I glanced over at what we'd slowed for then looked at each other and simultaneously said "Meat??!!". Pretty soon there was another large chunk, then another. A truck for a rendering plant had failed to latch its tailgate (OK, the driver failed) and was dumping large hunks of dead cow all over I5. One of my more memorable drives.

swampyankee
2011-Sep-08, 11:15 AM
Other than a couple of small rocks flung up by truck tires (cracked windshield, broken headlight, scratched paint on my car's roof), gravel blown out of dump trucks (that's why dump trucks are supposed to have their loads covered with tarps), parts shed by cars (usually mufflers ;)), and metal, glass, and plastic remnants of traffic accidents (the people involved or the tow truck drivers are supposed to clean up the bits of car; the ambulance crews are very good about picking up the body parts), my problem with road debris seems to be aggressive bolts and nails that attack my tires. Of course, when I'm behind a vehicle which is carrying a badly secured load, stay well behind the guy who is sure to be tailgating it.

Tailgaters are a whole 'nother kind of debris. There are days I want a caltrop (http://www.historynet.com/weaponry-the-caltrop.htm) dispenser on my car....

NEOWatcher
2011-Sep-08, 05:13 PM
Of course, when I'm behind a vehicle which is carrying a badly secured load, stay well behind the guy who is sure to be tailgating it.
Pass it if you can.

I was once travelling down the highway, and ahead of me was some guy with a couple of sheets of plywood on his roof held down with bungee cords. Of course, they were stretching and the boards were bouncing up and down as they caught the air.
As I passed, I saw a bungee shoot past my windshield.
The car that got hit was going to the same destination I was. He told me the guy stopped, picked up the now "halved" pieces of plywood and left.

Tailgaters are a whole 'nother kind of debris. There are days I want a caltrop (http://www.historynet.com/weaponry-the-caltrop.htm) dispenser on my car....[/QUOTE]

profloater
2011-Sep-08, 06:42 PM
Just recently we picked up a classic convertible Saab and on the drive back, roof down, were overtaken by a speeding car with two surf boards. Just like the plywood they were bungeed and just as they passed us they flew off and up and just missed us otherwise I would not be around to post any more. More's the pity some will say, but a close shave and all in a couple of seconds. Surf boards make quite good aerofoils at speed. But then some years ago I tied a table to my roof rack, it was well tied down but when I drove into the car port I forgot the legs and converted the table to a kind of wooden surf board. What goes around comes around especially when bungees are used!!!

speedfreek
2011-Sep-08, 06:54 PM
It's always tyres with me, but not usually my own!

Once I was doing around 80 mph on the motorway, in the lane nearest the central reservation, and there was a truck ahead of me in the next lane, which took that opportunity to have a blow out. Suddenly I had what seemed to be the whole outside wall of a large tyre bouncing up the centre of the carriageway towards me. I was overtaking cars to the left of me, had the central barrier to the right, and a 3 - 4 foot high chunk of rubber heading towards me. I moved to the right as much as I could and held on for dear life as the tyre glanced off my left front wing, leaving a long indentation and rubber mark on it.

Another time I was driving in town and came upon one of those wide flat bed trucks with a cage on the sides and top, open at the back, and full of used tyres which were not secured. As he drove along, every time he hit a bump another tyre would fall out and bounce along the road, which I had to avoid. We were going the same way, and I tried to attract his attention by flashing my lights and hooting, but he just kept on going, leaving a trail of used tyres in his wake, some of which ended up on the bonnets of parked cars etc.

BigDon
2011-Sep-14, 07:53 PM
Other than a couple of small rocks flung up by truck tires (cracked windshield, broken headlight, scratched paint on my car's roof), gravel blown out of dump trucks (that's why dump trucks are supposed to have their loads covered with tarps), parts shed by cars (usually mufflers ;)), and metal, glass, and plastic remnants of traffic accidents (the people involved or the tow truck drivers are supposed to clean up the bits of car; the ambulance crews are very good about picking up the body parts), my problem with road debris seems to be aggressive bolts and nails that attack my tires. Of course, when I'm behind a vehicle which is carrying a badly secured load, stay well behind the guy who is sure to be tailgating it.

Tailgaters are a whole 'nother kind of debris. There are days I want a caltrop (http://www.historynet.com/weaponry-the-caltrop.htm) dispenser on my car....

Since the advent of kevlar tires caltops aren't nearly as effective as they used to be. Go with the mine dispenser. The Spear 1000 uses a photocell (and a self-forging warhead) to take out the persueing vehicle. Doesn't have to hit it with his tire.

profloater
2011-Sep-14, 08:14 PM
Since the advent of kevlar tires caltops aren't nearly as effective as they used to be. Go with the mine dispenser. The Spear 1000 uses a photocell (and a self-forging warhead) to take out the persueing vehicle. Doesn't have to hit it with his tire.

How do I go about getting one of those? Does it deal with tailgaters?

Fazor
2011-Sep-14, 08:44 PM
How do I go about getting one of those? Does it deal with tailgaters?

Heh, I was going to post "And just where would one find some of those?" . . . but I resisted because I thought if anyone would actually know where to find something like that, it would be BigDon. (And the answer would probably be "Hey, I have a few sitting here in my apartment.")

GeorgeLeRoyTirebiter
2011-Sep-14, 09:05 PM
You can probably get those from Uncle Albert's Auto Stop & Gunnery Shop.

BigDon
2011-Sep-14, 09:32 PM
How do I go about getting one of those? Does it deal with tailgaters?

"Uncle Al the Duelist's Pal" $1200 installed. First magazine load is free.

If you want to claim "non-hostility" get the bumper triggers. Drops a mine if somebody rear-ends you or hits you with a larger caliber round.

Car Wars, circa 1984, Jackson Games.

I was on the full auto-dueling circuit and a member of the AADA (American Autoduel Asociation.) (They got sued by AAA for using that name first.) back in 2030 after the War and the Food Riots. I got too old for that after I saw the famous Edgar J. Weeze burn my brother down with a vehicular laser after my brother had conceded the round and had left his vehicle.

Weeze was mad because my brother had just killed his long time team mate and girl friend. (She was stalled against the side of the arena wall and he rammed her driver's side door with a reenforced front end with a ram plate at about 80 mph. (She hadn't ceded so it was technically a fair shot.)

After that I drove a busnaught on the Detroit/Houston/San Francisco route. The busnaught dealt with tailgaters, mutants and road crazies using a rear roof mounted autoloading 120 mm smoothbore with a 180 degree field of fire.

Aww good times.

NEOWatcher
2011-Sep-15, 01:19 PM
How do I go about getting one of those? Does it deal with tailgaters?
You don't need to hurt them, just scare them.
Decades ago, I had a v6 with a dead cylinder. All I had to do is a quick punch on the accelerator and release. A little(?) backfire happens, and the tailgater gets smaller in my mirror.

Gillianren
2011-Sep-15, 04:00 PM
Get a motorcycle. Bigger chance of ending up in a mess, but every time you don't - oh goodness it's so much better than being in a car.

Thank you no. For one thing, not in this climate. For another thing, not with my back. For a third, I almost never go anywhere alone.

Jim
2011-Sep-15, 04:36 PM
How do I go about getting one of those? Does it deal with tailgaters?

When I was in high school, we found a way to handle tailgaters.

It takes some coordination, but, during daylight hours, if you turn on your lights and have everyone in your car lurch forward and then back real hard and fast, it looks to the tailgater as if you hit your brakes. As this usually leads to a panic stop by the 'gater, it's best not to try it in heavy traffic.

Come to think, I did something similar to a guy just a few years ago. Worked great.

Trebuchet
2011-Sep-17, 01:34 AM
I had a car with a seriously loud brakelight switch. This enabled me to press the pedal just enough to hear the click, but not enough to slow down. It was an excellent tool for tailgaters.

Solfe
2011-Sep-17, 02:18 AM
I used to tape junk to the windscreen of my motorcycle to drop if a tailgaters got too close for comfort. (Note - this is illegal in every locality I can think of, your mileage will not vary if you are caught... I was young and stupid.)

Super balls were the most fun but least effective, you just can't aim them over the shoulder. Smarties (a candy) were very effective as they come in a roll; they must make a nasty noise on impact but disintegrate completely.

As you can tell, I liked Car Wars when I was younger.

TJMac
2011-Sep-17, 02:17 PM
I used to tape junk to the windscreen of my motorcycle to drop if a tailgaters got too close for comfort. (Note - this is illegal in every locality I can think of, your mileage will not vary if you are caught... I was young and stupid.)

Super balls were the most fun but least effective, you just can't aim them over the shoulder. Smarties (a candy) were very effective as they come in a roll; they must make a nasty noise on impact but disintegrate completely.


As you can tell, I liked Car Wars when I was younger.

As a guy who has ridden motorcycles for years, I have always had an issue with this idea. Mainly because I know that my first reaction to someone throwing stuff at me is going to be to tap my accelerator, not my brake. (yeah, Im not the nicest guy)

On a cycle, you have maneuverability on your side. I have every other advantage in a cage. (any enclosed vehicle) I dont tailgate, at least on purpose, but I would take it as an act of open hostility if things started ponking off my windshield.

TJ

Solfe
2011-Sep-20, 01:07 AM
Most of my hostility towards tailgaters was born when I was rear end at near highway speeds. I nearly lost my passenger, she was "nudged" on to what felt like my shoulders and neck. I was in rough shape, every joint from the hips up haven't been the same since. Oddly she wasn't hurt at all.

Of course, with 20 years of retrospection, two wrongs don't make a right.

swampyankee
2011-Sep-22, 02:00 AM
Get a motorcycle. Bigger chance of ending up in a mess, but every time you don't - oh goodness it's so much better than being in a car.

I arrive at work with a smile.

"Sport commuting".

I know too many people who work in hospital emergency departments, where they call them "donorcycles."

TJMac
2011-Sep-24, 04:51 PM
This is going horribly off topic...

But quite honestly, careful bikers who wear protective gear, tend to do quite well. Kids on sportbikes, wearing flipflops, shorts and tshirts, tend to be donors.

When I started riding, some of my coworkers started pointing out every bike accident. They quit when I started pointing out every car accident that ended in a fatality. I had much more ammo, mainly because of simple numbers.

Back on topic...

My commute home yesterday makes me think that traffic is the main cause of sociopath tendencies. How does a three lane highway get slowed down to barely 20 mph, when there are no accidents, and no on ramps to slow things down? I long ago mastered the idea of not getting angry at traffic because it does no good, but Really? How does that come about?

TJ

Solfe
2011-Sep-24, 05:09 PM
I know too many people who work in hospital emergency departments, where they call them "donorcycles."

My wife is a nurse, so I have heard that one dozens of time. What baffles me is when other medical type people are present, this statement provokes all of the them show burn scars and share harrowing personal stories about being passengers on motorcycles.

Jim
2011-Sep-24, 05:30 PM
... How does a three lane highway get slowed down to barely 20 mph, when there are no accidents, and no on ramps to slow things down? I long ago mastered the idea of not getting angry at traffic because it does no good, but Really? How does that come about?

TJ

I read a synopsis of a study some time back about this phenomenon that confirmed my thoughts. All it takes is one driver slowing down for any reason, and it spreads from there.

Driver Zero needs to take a cell call and slows down while talking, or needs to change lanes and slows down looking for an opening, or sees something off-highway and slows down to get a better look, or ... the list is endless.

When Zero slows down, the driver behind is forced to slow down. But, because of reaction times, that driver slows more and longer, as does the driver behind him, and the driver behind him, and ...

The drivers in the other lanes see traffic slowing and they slow down in response because there could be a serious reason.

Frustrating.

Luckmeister
2011-Sep-24, 06:02 PM
The drivers in the other lanes see traffic slowing and they slow down in response because there could be a serious reason.

That's giving them too much credit. Usually it's more out of curiosity.

Gillianren
2011-Sep-24, 07:04 PM
When I started riding, some of my coworkers started pointing out every bike accident. They quit when I started pointing out every car accident that ended in a fatality. I had much more ammo, mainly because of simple numbers.

Which is why that's a fallacious argument. What's important is percentages, not raw numbers.

BigDon
2011-Sep-24, 08:46 PM
My father, who was a policeman in the sixties and seventies, called them "murdercycles". Didn't stop him from riding one though. (Though he said he wouldn't be caught dead as a motorcycle cop. Their backs go out real fast riding a motorcylce eight hours a day, everyday, as your job.)

Dad like big bikes. When the KZ1000 first hit the market as the biggest production bike for it's time, Dad had one on pre-order.

My oldest foster son laid down his bike at 80 mph on the freeway early in the morning before the main commute, took the exit sans motorcycle, which was still following him, didn't make the turn in the deceleration lane, (duh!) and ended up in the ice plants with nobody seeing him do it.

Fortunately...

He was wearing $1200 dollars in kevlar clothing that encluded titanium braces that keep the limb joints from hyperextending at the elbows and knees.

He got up, went to work and saw a doctor that afternoon. Because his girlfriend made him.

So if you can afford a bike and 1200 bucks, it's on you.

Some of the old timers who have been harley freaks since the sixties really smirked at the "1200 dollars in kevlar clothing" nasty like until I pointed to one of them and said:

"I remember back in '74 you laid your bike down doing 40 on rough graveled asphalt, (not loose!) near Barstow and ended up with a "road rash" that ate the flesh off your back down to bone in several places. How much did that cost?"

And that was all I needed to say. Everybody present remember that one.

Edit to add, I saw a another man in the same get up as my foster son's get run over, as in steamrollered, by a camero on the freeway after getting rear ended by another car.

He got up and sat on the guard rail.

The down side is most of these kevlar survival suits look like..."flamboyant" spacesuits.

TJMac
2011-Sep-25, 01:37 AM
Which is why that's a fallacious argument. What's important is percentages, not raw numbers.

Oh, absolutely, and I understand that. It was just amusing to toss the ball back to them. Kind of like, hey, you are alive, and really bad stuff can happen to you no matter what you do.

We can add immense risk to our lives, or live as cautiously as mice. Depending on who you ask, one way is truly 'living', while the other is just existing. YMMV

TJ

Gillianren
2011-Sep-25, 02:13 AM
False dichotomy. We can add moderate risk to our lives--"immense" isn't required.

TJMac
2011-Sep-25, 12:00 PM
True, we can add as much as we like. I was trying to cover the whole spectrum, we choose personally how much risk we want. I know a guy who skydives a lot. That is acceptable risk for him. Many people find that to be more risk than they like. Some people ride motorcycles, some don't care for that much risk. The same can be said for horses, skateboards, snowboards and so on. There are limits to the risks I am willing to take, but I don't impose my limits on anyone else because everyone picks their own limit, based on their own situation.

TJ

Gillianren
2011-Sep-25, 04:50 PM
Oh, there are some things I don't think you get to choose for yourself. Certainly I don't think you get to choose certain risks for your child--for example, you don't get to choose that you'll risk not vaccinating them, so far as I am concerned.

Jim
2011-Sep-25, 06:26 PM
That's giving them too much credit. Usually it's more out of curiosity.

I don't think you understand what constitutes a "serious reason" in Houston traffic.

swampyankee
2011-Sep-25, 10:31 PM
Traffic flow is modeled using the same differential equations as compressible flow (I do not know what value they pick for γ), where there is a maximum possible flow rate for a section of road. Try to exceed that, and you'll get something resembling choking.

pzkpfw
2011-Sep-26, 01:13 AM
Traffic flow is modeled using the same differential equations as compressible flow (I do not know what value they pick for γ), where there is a maximum possible flow rate for a section of road. Try to exceed that, and you'll get something resembling choking.

Or if something lowers the maximum rate. I've seen (been in) huge hold-ups caused by the local city council guy mowing the grass beside the motorway.

Traffic flowing well up to a certain point, then stacking up with a tail growing back. After that point, traffic flowing freely. But in the middle, a choke point; because someone sees the flashing warning lights on the tractor, slows down a little, forces other people to slow down a little. Pretty soon it's like a feedback loop. After all, someone coming from behind can't decide by themselves to not slow down (and drive right through the choke point). So the choke point doesn't clear until "rush hour" is over and cars stop arriving at the choke faster than they are leaving it.

Another reason to be on a bike...

BigDon
2011-Sep-26, 03:20 PM
Oh, there are some things I don't think you get to choose for yourself. Certainly I don't think you get to choose certain risks for your child--for example, you don't get to choose that you'll risk not vaccinating them, so far as I am concerned.

Gillian, I know a recently retired special forces guy who taught his kids survival training and most adults are struck speechless when they see a seven year old girl and a five year old boy do a running Austrailian repel off of a fifty foot cliff. (Australian repel is when you jump face first off the cliff and then use tension on the rope and caribiner to break your descent. Often without even touching the cliff face.)

Two kids I'll flat admit make a "kitty-cat" out of me!

Gillianren
2011-Sep-26, 04:09 PM
Rappel, possibly? I'm not sure I'm okay with the kids' doing that. I will say that, if they get injured, their parents should not be allowed to refuse modern medicine for them.

BigDon
2011-Sep-26, 04:13 PM
Rappel, possibly? I'm not sure I'm okay with the kids' doing that. I will say that, if they get injured, their parents should not be allowed to refuse modern medicine for them.

Considering who and what their father is, that isn't likely. :)

Jim
2011-Sep-27, 01:14 AM
Or if something lowers the maximum rate. I've seen (been in) huge hold-ups caused by the local city council guy mowing the grass beside the motorway. ...

Like I said, a "serious reason."

Jim
2011-Sep-27, 12:10 PM
Some years back, TXDOT put up electronic message boards at various spots along the Houston freeways. They were dark for several weeks, the came to life and displayed something like, "THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE." The novelty of it was too much. Traffic slowed approaching each and every sign.

Now the signs display travel info... "MAJOR ACCIDENT AT ...", "TRAVEL TIME TO DOWNTOWN 8 MINUTES AT 5:57.", "CONSTRUCTION AHEAD. LEFT LANE CLOSED.", actually some useful stuff. Sometimes though they get, well...

"HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE. MAKE PREPARATIONS." If you've lived in Houston for any length of time and don't when hurricane season starts and that you need to be prepared, a sign won't help. If you're new to town, the sign means nothing.

korjik
2011-Sep-27, 04:13 PM
Some years back, TXDOT put up electronic message boards at various spots along the Houston freeways. They were dark for several weeks, the came to life and displayed something like, "THIS IS A TEST MESSAGE." The novelty of it was too much. Traffic slowed approaching each and every sign.

Now the signs display travel info... "MAJOR ACCIDENT AT ...", "TRAVEL TIME TO DOWNTOWN 8 MINUTES AT 5:57.", "CONSTRUCTION AHEAD. LEFT LANE CLOSED.", actually some useful stuff. Sometimes though they get, well...

"HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE. MAKE PREPARATIONS." If you've lived in Houston for any length of time and don't when hurricane season starts and that you need to be prepared, a sign won't help. If you're new to town, the sign means nothing.

Hurricane season is here!?! Why didnt anyone tell me!!! Now I have to slam on my brakes for no apparent reason.

:D

pzkpfw
2011-Sep-27, 06:18 PM
... "HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE. MAKE PREPARATIONS." If you've lived in Houston for any length of time and don't when hurricane season starts and that you need to be prepared, a sign won't help. If you're new to town, the sign means nothing.

Like our signs that say "Queues in gorge, slow down" (it's "rush hour", when will there not be queues in Ngauranga gorge?).

Or "Accident ahead, expect delays" (dude, I've been doing 4 km/h in bumper to bumper traffic for 40 minutes. Thanks for the warning.)

Jim
2011-Sep-28, 12:13 PM
The travel times are actually very helpful if you're familiar with the freeway. I can tell when traffic ahead is flowing well and when it's time to find an alternate route. And I have some neat little work-arounds for the Gulf Freeway.

What rankles me is when they drop the traffic info to tell me how to get to the Boat Show at Reliant Park. The show opens at 10:00am; I'm in the 6:00am rush*. C'mon!

I also like the sign on 59S at the I45 exit. It usually gives the travel time to I610. However, from that point, I can choose any of four routes, all of which take me to I610 (The Loop). Which one do they mean?

*"Rush" being a generalized and not necessarily descriptive phrase.

NEOWatcher
2011-Sep-28, 12:58 PM
*"Rush" being a generalized and not necessarily descriptive phrase.
I just think of that title as being the goal rather than the outcome.

BigDon
2011-Sep-29, 02:01 PM
So it's the crack o' dawn and me and my move crew are racing down the causeway leading to Foster City in a empty eight ton truck. We have to start early because it's a huge house and we want to knock it out in a day. The house was sinking but still enterable and we were the guys who moved the nice lady into the place four months earlier. (Who drove a 200 thousand dollar car and tipped us all 50 bucks for being professional.) House certifiers had gotten in trouble and everything.

Up ahead I see a skein of mallairds flying from one body of water to the other. At least 30 feet up off the water.

Trouble is, the causeway is 25 feet high and we're on an intercept course. I saw it first as I was sitting astride the gear shift, there being five of us in a cab made for three. And I said a long quiet, "Ohhhhhh *poooooop.*"

With enough meaning that the driver, who was focused intently on the road, snapped out of the hunchedbacked maniacal driver position with a startled, "What! What! What!"

As far as annoying flying creatures that bounce off of your windshield go mallairds top:

Cicadas

Dragonflies

Cabbage butterfly emergences

even:

Bee swarms

But aren't as bad as:

Taxi-launched bike messingers. (Parts of downtown San Francisco bike messengers are a common form of precipitation.)

And we only got one of the mallairds!

An adult female. We came together at the left headlight as they crossed from left to right. (This being the U.S., it was on the driver's side.) Blew viscera clear up the windshield.

Now while looking distressed, the driver was holding it together pretty well. Considering we were exceeding the speed limit by 25 mph I don't know what possesed me to say,

"Hmmmm, looks just like Spaghetti-O's."

And the driver "lost his gorge". In between rounds of "nausea" he was calling me the vilest of names while trying to bring the truck to a stop without putting us in the water.

And I was the only one calm. I've gone 10 miles in heavy seas in a 50 foot motor whale boat with 200 drunken sailors on it. Twice.

Pshaw.