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Vegas Redux, Finale

Posted on June 23rd, 2017

Dave!Despite not having to get up early (my flight wasn't until 11:55am), I couldn't seem to get back asleep after waking up at 4:00am.

Oh well. It gave me time to iron so I didn't have to fly home wrinkled.

In regards to my Leaving Las Vegas... I love McCarran airport. Unlike the majority of US airports, it's very efficient and has been optimized to move people in and out as quickly as possible. TSA PreCheck line backed up? THEY OPEN ANOTHER PRECHECK LANE! WHAT A CONCEPT! And... ZOFG... plenty of gate seating! For all other airports I arrive 2 hours early because even with PreCheck you never know. With McCarran I am perfectly comfortable arriving 45 minutes before flight time knowing I'll be at the gate 15 minutes later and, not uncommonly, walking into the plane ten minutes after. I wouldn't hate travel so much if this was the normal at airports.

The flight home was great.

The drive home, however, was brutal.

True to form, WSDOT can’t concentrate their efforts into QUICKLY completing a single project... they have to sprinkle resources on several projects, which means they all drag on forever. On I-90 East, they have ripped out huge chunks of the highway and just left the holes there, meaning three lanes of traffic become one on a busy Friday where half of Seattle is headed over the mountains.

Which translated into 45 minutes added to my drive time home.

I'm guessing it's going to be left that way all weekend long. And I just don't get it. Light it up, double-shift that shit, and GET. IT. DONE!

How the hell is it that I am constantly seeing videos from other countries where they will replace an entire fucking bridge in two days... or replace an entire fucking intersection overnight that fell into a sinkhole... or rebuild a fucking washed out road in ten hours... WHEN EVERY DAMN PROJECT IN WASHINGTON STATE TAKES MONTHS TO YEARS TO COMPLETE?!?

It wouldn’t be so bad if they would focus on one project and GET. IT. DONE! But they don’t. New projects keep popping up all over the place while old projects sit incomplete. You don't stop for construction ONCE on your journey... you stop FOUR TIMES. I'm guessing I-90 is probably going to be fucked up for weeks... and apparently nobody at WSDOT gives a flying fuck that it’s summer vacation season and NOW is when the roads need to be fully operational. Why would they? It would seem there are -zero- consequences to having everything torn to shit all the time.

And speaking of never-ending construction...

When I pull into my driveway, I notice that my new ultrasonic mole repeller isn't doing the job.

On the contrary, the mole seems to be taunting me by DIGGING NEW HOLES RIGHT AROUND THE ULTRASONIC STAKE!

Kölsche

Ugh. No idea what my next step will be there.

And... apparently there was a power outage while I was gone.

The horrible part about it is not that all the clocks have to be set... but that the Litter Robot DOES NOT COME BACK ON WHEN THE POWER IS RESTORED. How fucking useless! I mean, seriously. WHY? They sell a battery back-up, but I always assumed that it was so your Litter Robot would run while the power was out. I don't care about that... but I care quite a LOT that it just stays off permanently if there's a power interruption.

And so... the Litter Robot was filled. The two back-up litter boxes were also filled. So nasty. And I feel terrible. Especially for Jenny. She is pretty particular about wanting to poop in a clean box. She will hold it and hold it until she can't anymore, and is forced to use it. I can't believe that she didn't poop on the floor. I would have. And so now I have to buy a $40 battery just to make sure Litter Robot works after an outage. This is on top of the already outrageous price for the unit and the accessories I had to buy that should already have come with it.

I ordered the battery so this won't happen again... but, wow. Still feel terrible. I should have been checking the security cameras to make sure it was running.

And with that... time to catch up on all I missed. Good thing I have a weekend coming up...

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Categories: Cats 2017, Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Trains in Absentia

Posted on May 30th, 2017

Dave!After an early two-and-a-half-hour drive over the mountains for work this morning, I came to the conclusion that the horrific condition of public transportation in this country (particularly on the West Coast) is something Americans should be terribly embarrassed over.

I mean, seriously. our options here are so bad they might as well not even exist. Which explains why our roads are so badly crowded... everybody is in their car, despite the high cost, because public transportation can't get them where they want to go. At least not easily.

Take for example my situation this morning.

If our train system was anything like what you'll find in European or Asian countries, I'd walk to a local train that would take me to the neighboring city of Wenatchee where I'd board a regional train to Seattle. I'd then find a local train that ran out of Downtown over to West Seattle. Done.

But, in reality, I can't catch a local train. The tracks run right thought town, but there are no local trains, thus no local stops. So I have to drive to Wenatchee and hop a train there. Except the ONE train that runs from the station each day boards at 5:35am and doesn't arrive Seattle until 10:25. That's nearly 5 hours for something I can drive in half the time. Even worse, there is no train from downtown to West Seattle. I'd have to find a bus, assuming one even exists.

And so I end up driving, because that's the only real option available to me.

There have, of course, been multiple attempts at adding high-speed rail systems to Washington State. Usually they focus on the Western corridor from Vancouver, BC to Seattle, WA to Portland, OR. But sometimes they study plans for a route that runs Spokane to Wenatchee to Seattle too. Whether or not these trains ever happen is anybody's guess. But it's just too good of an idea to pass up, so hopefully one day.

Spokane to Seattle in under two hours? Wenatchee to Seattle in under an hour?

Where do I sign up?

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Categories: Travel 2017Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Boys Who Drive Passes

Posted on December 20th, 2016

Dave!And... I'm home.

Except I almost wasn't, because when my plane landed one of the mountain passes was a complete disaster with chains required and the other was closed. This would have meant adding 1 to 1-1/2 hours to my trip... except the pass miraculously opened up ten minutes before I reached the turn-off.

While there are many ways to get in and out of Redneckistan, there are only two that really make sense when heading to the coast are the two main mountain pass routes.

Stevens Pass (2-1/2 hours) is usually very well maintained in the winter because there's a big ski resort at the summit and they want people to be able to get to it. You're deposited quite a bit north of Seattle, but it's a quicker run so you can usually arrive in a similar time-frame. The major downer is that Highway 2 is a 2-lane affair with not a lot of opportunities to pass slower traffic. Get behind a truck driving 10 miles per hour under the speed limit and you'll be stuck for a while...

Mountain Passes of Redneckistan

   
Blewett and Snoqualmie Passes (2-1/4 hours) create my preferred route to Seattle. Once over Blewett (a 2-lane highway), you merge onto I-90, which has a 4+ lanes of traffic and a speed limit of 70mph...

Mountain Passes of Redneckistan

   
Quincy/Vantage/Snoqualmie (3-1/2 hours) is an alternate route you can take when Blewett Pass is closed (which happens surprisingly often). This was the route I was going to take today... until Blewett opened back up at the last minute...

Mountain Passes of Redneckistan

   
Portland/Central Basin (7-1/2 hours) is the grueling route you take when all hope of getting over the mountain passes is lost. Yes, there are White Pass (5-1/2 hours) and Crystal Mountain (4-1/2 hours) routes you can take, but the odds are very good they'll be either closed (or more trouble than it's worth) if the main passes are closed. I'd rather just bite the bullet and drive home free and clear if it seems that's a better option than waiting out the weather (you can read about one of my times traveling this route right here)...

Mountain Passes of Redneckistan

   
You can, of course, always fly in/out of Wenatchee (assuming the airport isn't closed) if you don't mind having to abandon your car in Seattle until you can find a way back to it. I've done this at least twice, because sometimes not driving at all is the best option.

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Categories: Travel 2016Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Winter is Coming

Posted on November 16th, 2016

Dave!When I woke up this morning I immediately grabbed my laptop so I could take a look at the weather in the mountains. Last night the forecast was for snow, and I didn't know if this would affect my trip over the mountain passes.

The top of the pass webcam was completely obliterated by snow...

Stevens Pass Mountain Camera.

Fortunately, the drive over wasn't bad at all. The roads were bare and wet and no trouble to drive on...

Stevens Pass Road.

Stevens Pass Road.

Stevens Pass Road.

Stevens Pass Road.

Here's hoping I have this kind of luck for the drive back.

   

RoadRAGE

Posted on April 19th, 2016

Dave!Despite complaining about bad drivers like... ALL THE TIME... and getting angry a lot at people who choose to focus on texting or eating or video games or anything except driving when on the road... I'm usually able to let it go.

Not today, baby...

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Drives Angry

So there I was waiting to turn onto the street where my office is at. An old man was making his way across and I was waiting until he got all the way to the sidewalk so as not to scare him. And also... because it's the law! Any guesses as to what happened in this scenario?

DAVETOON: Lil' Dave Drives Angry

   
The fact that I used the "c-word" when I absolutely abhor the "c-word" should be your first clue...

   

Got your guess?

   

THAT'S RIGHT! The asshole decided to not wait until the old man reached the sidewalk... hell, she barely waited for him to clear the lane... instead she gunned it so she could cut in front of me (WHEN I HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY, MIND YOU!), cutting me off and scaring the shit out of the old man.

What a fucking cuntwaffle.

Things like this? Impossible for me to let go.

If I had a gun and didn't believe in non-violence as a precept, I would have run her down and shot her in the face.

IN THE FACE!

And so, yeah... road rage. I get that. And, in this case, totally justifiable on my part, I think.

On a side-note... anybody have any guesses as to why the old man crossed the road?

   

Bullet Sunday 443

Posted on July 26th, 2015

Dave!And... I have no internet. And... I'll be traveling for a week. So this very special HEAVILY DELAYED edition of Bullet Sunday starts... eventually...

   
• Sisko! I have been totally addicted to the feral rescue project from TinyKittens.com. They've taken in a young feral kitteh named Sisko whom is very, very pregnant. Feral kittehs are a particular challenge in that they have no trust in humans whatsoever and have to be handled delicately. When they're pregnant, it's doubly so. You can drop by and watch her live here. Or relive past videos like this one...

Not a very comfortable-looking momma, that's for sure.

   
• Asshole! Just in case you need lessons...

I meet at least a half-dozen professional asshole drivers every day!

   
• Biblical! A very interesting look at "Your Deeply Held Religious Beliefs."

   
• Electra Woman! This is really happening...

Flawless casting.

   
• Pointless. Can I be honest with you? When celebrities completely miss the point on something and go all sanctimonious with their bullshit, it drives me crazy...

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Harry Connick Jr. Doesn't Get It

Listen, Harry Connick Jr., that's not what people are saying at all. When somebody says "better get a shotgun" because your daughter is of dating age... this has absolutely nothing to do with your daughter, her self-esteem, or her judgement. It has everything to do with the fact that horny teenage boys are going to be busting down your door trying to plan and scheme to date your daughter... or, more likely, have sex with your daughter. Your misunderstanding here is that only guys "of a certain caliber" are going to be attracted to her when, in fact, every heterosexual boy on earth is going to be attracted to her. Especially in today's highly-sexualized society. The metaphorical shotgun is so that you can fend off the bastards so your daughter has the opportunity to attract the guys of the caliber she deserves. So climb off your high horse and calm down before your inane rant makes you look like an idiot or something.

   
And, I'm out. Here's hoping this gets posted before next Bullet Sunday comes around...

   

Commuter

Posted on May 7th, 2015

Dave!Realistically, there are three routes I can take to get home from my office. Two of them are in town and take about 5 minutes each on average. The last one involves jumping on the highway and takes about 7 minutes on average. So, all things considered, ridiculously easy commutes.

Except for yesterday.

I was already on the highway, so I took the "long" way home. Only to find that the route was blocked by a jackknifed semi on the bridge that crosses back across the river. This meant I had to cruise 15 minutes out of my way in order to get turned around so I could take Option No. 2.

Which was also blocked because a semi had tried making a U-turn (or something) and drove off the road. This time I took a photo because I could barely believe it myself...

Truck Driver Says Did I Err?

Police were redirecting traffic on both sides, so no joy there. This time it was ten minutes out of my way to get back to Option No. 3.

Which was also blocked.

Somebody backing their motorhome across both lanes of traffic and not truly understanding how to steer when moving in a direction that's not forward.

As I was sitting there waiting, my mind was trying to come up with yet another route that would get me home. But before I managed to wrap my brain around it, the motorhome driver miraculously figured out that left backs left and the road was open for business once again.

I left work at 5:05.

I pulled into my driveway at 5:32.

Which works out to twenty-seven minutes to drive 1.3 miles.

The next time somebody tells me that I'm "so lucky" to live in a small town where I don't have a difficult commute gets punched in the dick.

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Categories: DaveLife 2015Click To It: Permalink  2 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

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