We have dinner at my Aunt Carole’s house every third Sunday. It’s a chance for all the cousins and extended family in the area to get together and have FHE. The Romgi and I were the last remaining guests there this week, enjoying the company and delicious cookies, when my Uncle Ted pulled out his iPod to have me listed to the new Alison Krauss album (excellent) and another bluegrass artist he had just discovered. Then, since I liked those so much, he put in a dvd of a live performance by Tommy Emmanuel, an Australian guitarist.
I am hooked.
This guy is pretty freaking amazing. My favorite song is this arrangement he does of Saltwater, a song originally done by Julian Lennon.
Dear Utah Driver,
I have lived in your state for a few years now, and would like to attempt to explain a few rudimentary driving rules which, up to this point, seem to have escaped your grasp. Some of the things I talk about will be difficult for you to understand, but please try.
1. The fast lane
Are you aware that the freeway has a fast lane? In other places throughout America the slower traffic stays to the right, and the people that want to go faster stay in the left lanes. I realize that you are filled with a righteous desire to “sustain and honor the law,” but some of us have places to be. I don’t know how the driving test for Utah is, but in CA, they teach you that the the safest speed to go is the speed that everybody else is going at. The lane farthest to the left is not the lane for you if you want to go 55 miles per hour. If you are going 55 in the fast lane, do not be surprised when the people behind you get angry. They want to be going at least 75mph. If you want to go 55mph then go to the farthest lane to the right, and the big rigs will laugh as they pass you, thus making at least somebody happy. Nobody is happy when you stay in the fast lane.
2. the carpool or HOV lane
Yes, Utah has created a special lane for cars with 2 or more people in it. This does not mean that if you have more than two people in your car that you are legally required to go into this lane. If you have 2 people in your car, and you do not want to go faster than 55mph, then I suggest that you stay in the right lane. Even though you are not riding alone, I think that the “slower traffic keep right” signs on the freeway should apply to you. The HOV lane is also called the “Express Lane.” Look at the signs when you are on the freeway, I’m really not making that up. Express is defined as “Of, relating to, or appropriate for rapid travel.” “Rapid Travel” means fast. 55mph is not rapid, when taken in context of freeway travel. It is fast for a city street. The freeway is not a city street. If you are having difficulty with the idea of going fast on the freeway, please see the item titled “the fast lane” above.
3. The freeway on ramp
The on ramp is the place that you enter the freeway. 35mph is not an acceptable speed for entering the on ramp. I do not have a good car. I know that your Lexus can accelerate faster than my car, and yet you seem to have trouble gaining speed for the freeway. Again, maybe it is different in the Utah handbook that the DMV hands out for you to study, but in CA, it tells you to put your foot on the accelerator in order to reach and appropriate speed for entering the freeway. Going slowly onto the freeway does not make it easier OR safer to get onto the freeway. It makes it so that the rest of us have to swerve out of the right lane so that we do not hit you.
Now I sympathize with you, in that the government of Utah seems to be completely inept at building roads. In California we have shiny little markers that help you see where the lane is. Now, people here seem to think that this is impossible to do in Utah because of the snow. This may come as a shock to you, but it snows in California. The tallest peak in the lower 48 in in California. California has mountains with snow, but we still have decent lane markers. Regardless of how the lane is marked, you should be able to get the general idea that the dashed white line in the road is the border of your lane. Your car should not straddle this line. The line is not a suggested guideline. When you start to drift into my lane in your chevy suburban that is scary. I do not want to die, and I would appreciate if you could somehow figure out a way of paying attention to the road and your surroundings long enough to not kill me on the road.
See, was that too hard? Simple right? If you listen to this, then you will be able to make the rest of us very happy. Thank you for understanding!
– the Romgi