Monday, July 18, 2011

Here's why America is in such trouble.

We were in Minneapolis over the weekend with the pickup and trailer to drop off the motorcycle for some work.  That is to say:  I drove up on Friday to do that, and it rained....a lot.  The rain didn't bother me a bit, except when my windshield fogged up, the A/C is not working...big deal.

On Saturday we were driving around looking at motorcycles, heading north to another dealer.  I saw a sign along the road, one of those fancy lit up wordy signs that said:  I35W closed at 694 due to flooding.

We drove 35W from the south end to nearly the north end, must have seen 5 of those signs.  We really wanted to take 35W to 694 and go west so we could go north the shortest way to the dealer....but I wasn't going to chance the flooded road!  We went quite a ways out of our way to avoid the flooded road.  Didn't exactly find a motorcycle, but made it to dinner on time, which is off topic.

Fast forward to Sunday news.  They had a story about the flooded road with a nice long camera shot of ALL the cars parked on the road whose drivers must not have seen the signs, read the signs and understood the message.  It's not like there were 10 cars sitting there....there were Hundreds....and they must have been there for hours.  I'm sure that most of them were sitting there saying:  "why didn't they put up some road closed signs or barricades?"  They did put up some signs.  Lots of signs.  I don't know why the state didn't put some blockage on the road at the last exit.....but I do know why.....the state gov't has shut down due to no budget.  No one is on duty to put up sawhorses.  Although, I do imagine that they could have called someone with the county.....

But!  the signs said!  ROAD CLOSED  How hard is that to understand???  The damn road is closed, so don't go there. 

So I can just hear all those people sitting there in the heat...whining about how it's not their fault that they are stuck there when they could have taken the same exit that I took...

Come on, smart...THINK.  Be observant!

Ok, so I remembered the rest of the story.  We were cruising up the freeway heading for hwy 95 to go west to the MC dealer.  I saw a sign that said:  road construction from 8 to 95, expect delays.  I don't know where 8 is, I don't know how far it is between the 2...I do know that when the road turned into a parking lot just beyond the exit....we took the exit!  I figgered:  this road must run west, right?  And so it did...took us where we needed to go.  Road closures and construction projects did not delay us for more than a minute.  The detour took some time and burned some extra gas....but it beat the crap out of sitting there for hours. 

When driving, do you ever look into a car to see if they're using a gps?  I do.  Of course, in a bus, I get a good look into the car where if you're in a small/short car you may not be able to see the window of the car next to you.  LOTS of people are using a gps ALL the time.  You'd think that pretty soon they'd know where they were going, right?  WRONG.  Depending on someone or something to give you directions, even if you print them off mapfinderquest or the equivalent, you will not learn the area.  The only way to really learn an area is to study a map and then go exploring.  Point is....all those people with the gps thing could have turned off the interstate, and it would have rerouted them...they have no valid excuses, they can not get lost.

Can you tell I'm feeling pretty smart about my navigating on Saturday?  At the time, I looked at no map, I use no gps, I just relied on my memory of the map I saw the day before and logic. 

Where's the funny?  On the news  they interviewed a state trooper, he says:  "don't drive into standing water, you don't know how deep it is!"  and then the news shows a state trooper driving his car thru standing water.  He made it thru, or it'd have been really funny.
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