PARKING GARAGE COURTESY

Parking garages are … an invention. Logically, I understand their purpose in cities where space is more coveted than followers. Let’s be honest, they are space savers. You can fit more cars in the same amount of land if you build vertically than you can on a ground level only surface. That’s just common sense. Taller equals more capacity. This is true for houses, ice cream cones, beer glasses, mohawks, the new Starbucks shipping freight container looking stores, anything really. Build up – it’s the future. They say shoot for the stars, so why not start closer to them?

Aside from the logical purpose of these structures, they suck. Basically the seventh level of Dante’s inferno. Never in my life have I been excited about the chance, or the requirement, to park in a garage. Where to even begin? The beautiful concrete architecture? Sure, because apparently we are still in the brutalist movement. They’re all giant striped rectangles made out of the world’s most bland material. Concrete. I’m sure there’s some structural reasoning behind that, but aesthetically? Bleh. You can never miss a parking garage, that’s for sure.

I’m going to give the architects the benefit of the doubt with the material they are limited with. Let’s move on to the next awful thing about the invention of the parking garage. Attendant booths. In other words, a way to charge you for parking. Why? Because how else would we pay for the cost to build the beautiful monstrosity? Does anyone look forward to paying for parking? I mean, you’re paying to leave your car somewhere. Somewhere that is not even responsible for what happens to your vehicle while you’re not in it. What kind of scheme is this?

Design and money are one thing. My main problem with parking garages, though, is how people choose to drive in them. Before driving up that ramp, I would like to know who keeps approving garages that are wide enough for anywhere between 1.25 – 1.5 cars in any given driveable path. If you are building a two way garage, why on Earth would you not make it wide enough for 2 entire vehicles? How is that helpful to anybody? Vehicles do not do well in confined spaces. They are not ninjas. They do not pivot well. They do not recover if bumped into. What is this madness? 

On that note, all garages with blind corners need mirrors. Not mirrors the size of a smartphone, either. Giant, clear, well placed mirrors so you can see oncoming vehicles that will not fit in the space designed for less than 2 cars. Otherwise, it’s just a hope and a prayer. Might as well close our eyes and have Jesus take the wheel all the way up. Up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up until eventually you find a spot in the one area that makes the potential benefit of using a garage disappear. Covered parking would be the one plus. Because, you know, birds have to poop too. But at the top, welp, so sorry you spent money to park in the elements.

I would also like to know why people think it’s ok to drive at city speeds through a garage where there are corners involved and not enough space. Where are you trying to go? There is one way up and one way down. Slow down. Think about your actions. Are you trying to steal the closest space? From who? While you’re at it, stop driving in the middle of the lane! It’s meant for two cars. You are not special. You do not get extra space. Be courteous. STAY IN YOUR LANE. And don’t give me a dirty look when you whip around a corner on my side of the garage and almost hit me. I’m following the rules and you, well nobody knows what you’re doing. Back your driver’s license all the way back to the DMV so you can get a lesson in two way traffic.

So, we’ve trusted our cars to the concrete jungle, spent way too much money to leave it there, successfully navigated the blind corners, dealt with all the questionably licensed drivers, and found a spot. Now, getting out on foot. Why is this always the most complicated thing in the world. Where are all the exits? Why are they so hard to find? Let me be free. But, first, better remember some combination of letters, numbers, colors, and / or symbols or you’ll never see your car again.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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WIPERS ON, LIGHTS ON … HOW HARD IS THAT?

Some things in life are a challenge. Figuring out which one of the hundred remotes turns on the cable box, remembering to not stand up during video calls (unless, of course, you have pants on), choosing the right size tortillas in the grocery store, trying to understand anything about taxes or insurance, using your self-control to only eat four Oreos in one sitting, COMMUNICATION, anything work related, folding fitted sheets, knowing when you have the right of way as a DRIVER OR PEDESTRIAN, etc.

Other things in life are so easy you do it without realizing. Binge watching sessions, multitasking during video calls, picking up the large box of Goldfish at the grocery store, trusting that the insurance agent has your best interest at hand, hiding your favorite candy in the pantry so no one else eats it, calling in sick to work, avoiding any type of real responsibility, putting off cleaning until it’s a problem, checking how many likes your latest flex post has, turning on your lights when your wipers are on … wait. Do people do that? No. Thus this post.

As a self-proclaimed traffic expert, and considerate driver, I think this is a concept that should just be obvious. But in case it’s not, it’s also a traffic law! How fun for us. Where do laws come from anyways? Stupid people. You don’t end up with a warning about hot contents on a coffee cup unless someone sues the company claiming they weren’t aware how steamy the hot, fresh coffee they ordered was. AKA stupid. I’m convinced this specific road rule stems from the same general pool of people. 

I find it interesting that people need to be convinced to turn their lights on when they help you see better. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s not like having to get glasses for your car, no one is calling you four-eyes for turning on your lights. You get to see things like people, other cars, deer, the lines … so you can STAY IN YOUR LANE. Granted, usually that’s most helpful when it’s dark. Or dusk. Or foggy. Or rainy. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Unless you’re younger than 15 and / or have never driven a car. 

Here’s a fun knowledge bomb about turning your lights on while driving and the outdoor weather isn’t perfectly sunny: the lights are not always for you. It’s a dual purpose system. Like noise cancelling headphones. You want studio quality and an excuse to not answer other people. Likewise, lights help you see and they help other people see you. Wow. What a concept. In other words, not turning your lights on is selfish. Don’t be selfish. It takes literally zero effort to turn the light knob from off to on. 

Daytime running lights are also not a viable excuse. Oh, you didn’t turn them on because they’re always on? That’s curious since the daytime running lights are on, but your light switch remains at off. That’s not a setting you implemented, my friend. No, that was factory designed and can’t be turned off. How do you even know they’re on unless you’re tailgating hard and can see your reflection in someone else’s bumper? While we’re on this excuse, daytime running lights only run on your headlights. So how would that help someone behind you? Where your taillights are still dead? Not a trick question – it doesn’t help them. 

Think about the last time you drove in the rain. Was it mainly behind other people? Were you more concerned with red lights or headlights? Well I would argue that it’s the red ones since everyone loses their mind when rain comes and decide that the speed limit is 10, regardless of what type of road you’re on. You’re trying not to hit the person in front of you. Sure, you see cars going the other way, but if you begin to become more concerned with oncoming traffic, I think you should evaluate your ability to stay on your half of the road. Just saying.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY? A PEDESTRIAN AND DRIVER QUESTIONNAIRE

Have you ever been driving and wondered if you had the right of way in your chosen course of action? Be it a left turn, a right turn, going straight, changing lanes, passing a crosswalk, etc. Actually, let’s back up. Have you ever been alive and wondered if you had the right of way in your chosen course of action? If your answer is no, I simply wonder what it’s like to live in the clouds. Oblivious to everything that is happening around you. I’m also very concerned for your general safety and the safety of those around you. 

But hey, I get it. Not everything in life is fun enough to be fully engaged in. Hello pretty much all of 2020. Just because it isn’t fun doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to tune out, though. We’re not children anymore, unfortunately. Last time I checked no one was making me dinner so another night of Goldfish it is! Specific activities require much more attention than others, too, so you have to stay on your game to make sure you’re not treating driving like Mario Kart. I’m all for an epic night of Mario Kart, flying down Rainbow Road like a mad person, but I also understand that Mario Kart and actual driving only have one thing in common: wheels.

Since not all of us have jumped on the self-driving car bandwagon yet, either, driving is still a very much need to be engaged task. Which means that anytime you choose to cross a street as a pedestrian, you too need to be engaged. Otherwise bad things could happen. You could almost hit a pedestrian and spill your coffee all over you. You could almost get hit by a car and drop your milkshake on the ground. Both scenarios are equally traumatizing. Think of all of the food and beverages that could be saved if people paid more attention. Smh. 

To help stop the spread of preventable food waste due to close calls involving vehicles, pedestrians, and roads of some kind (or anywhere a vehicle could go really), I’ve created a simple guide. This can be memorized, printed out and stuck on your bathroom mirror, taught in schools worldwide, set as the background of your phone – anything. Because it’s important. It’s simple. It’s common sense when you think about it. It can save lives. It, of course, is a questionnaire to determine if you have the right of way … in no particular order:

FOR DRIVERS

  • Am I at a red light trying to turn right? Well, is there someone coming down the road I’m trying to turn on? Yes? Then no. No? Then yes
  • Am I at a red light trying to go straight, or turn left? No, what? This is not even a way and also not how the most basic traffic laws work. Red means stop
  • Am I at a YIELD SIGN? Well, again, is there someone coming down the road I’m trying to turn on? Yes? Then no. No? Then yes
  • Am I in a free flowing right turn lane? Yes, and everyone expects you to keep going
  • Am I trying to merge into a free flowing right turn lane? Let’s review, check first and if no one is there then you have the right of way. If there is someone there you better check yourself
  • Am I at a stop sign? Is it all way and have you been there the longest? Yes, get moving! No? Wait your turn skippy! Is it a three way, two way, or singular way stop? If you still haven’t realized at this point that you need to check first I question how you obtained a license in the first place
  • Am I at a stop sign, trying to turn, with pedestrian crossings present? If there are pedestrians, then no. If not, then yes
  • Am I approaching a yellow light? Can you make it through safely without going at ridiculous speeds? Yes, by all means keep going. If you need to top 80 to make it, slow your roll speed racer and wait it out
  • Am I at a green light trying to go straight? YES! The easiest one to remember
  • Am I at a green light trying to turn right? Is there a pedestrian crossing? Better wait out grandma because she has the right of way. If not, shame on you for choosing a non pedestrian friendly city, but yes you do
  • Am I at a green light trying to turn left? Do you have a green turn arrow? Then yes. Otherwise, no wait for all the straight people to go
  • Am I at a flashing yellow turn light? This is the traffic light version of a yield sign so check yourself first before just jumping right out there
  • Am I trying to merge lanes? Kind of if you check your mirrors, check your blindspots, and check your mirrors again for other cars before proceeding
  • Am I trying to merge onto a highway? No. Nope, no one is obligated to let you in that is 100% on you. Assess your speed, assess the openings, and don’t wait until the end of the ramp to look around

FOR PEDESTRIANS

  • Am I at a random place on a random road with zero clearly marked pedestrian crossing zones? If you’re not at a crosswalk then whatever happens is on you. You only have the right of way in a crosswalk, or a pedestrian crossing zone. 
  • Am I at a crosswalk with a stop hand showing? No. Stop means stop no matter how you’re choosing to get from point A to point B
  • Am I at a crosswalk with a walk sign showing? YES! The easiest pedestrian answer
  • Am I at a crosswalk with no signage for go / no-go? Yes, but don’t start your adventure as a car flies through – wait until it’s clear.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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TRAFFIC LIGHTS SHOULDN’T BE A THING AFTER MIDNIGHT

I hate red lights, you hate red lights, we all hate red lights! Because they’re the worst. They’re a straight up vibe killer. You’re rolling down the road, minding your own business, jamming to your best carpool karaoke song, or gaining some knowledge from your favorite podcast, and simply don’t have time to hit the brakes. And yet, traffic lights don’t care. There’s never a fun time for a red light. Either you know it’s coming and have to go through the long, slow, demoralizing braking process, or you think you’re going to make it and then, at the last second, the yellow disappears in half a millisecond and you have to slam on the brakes since you’re too far to make it, but too close to be smooth about it. 

What do we do when that happens? I scream, you scream, we all scream for it to turn green! So we can literally move on with our lives. Green is just a better color than red anyways. It means go. It’s a symbol for money. It’s the color of nature. It’s what the inside of mint Oreos looks like. It’s 50% of the Christmas holiday color scheme. It’s great! Red, on the other hand, not so much. It means stop. It’s a symbol for anger. It’s the color of fire. It’s what the inside of a tomato looks like. It’s 33.3333% of the singles awareness holiday color scheme. It’s the worst!

Then there’s yellow. A perfectly mediocre color in every sense. In my, obviously correct, opinion, seeing a yellow light is worse than a red light. Have you ever wondered if you’ve had a LIFE CRISIS? Have you ever had to play the will I / won’t I make it game with a yellow light? Then yes, you’ve had a crisis. What a cruel world we live in where traffic lights are a tease. Because not all yellows are the same length of time. Which makes sense, I guess. If you live on the moon! What?! It’s either half a millisecond or ten seconds or somewhere in between. We don’t know.

So here we all are, playing traffic light roulette, and hoping not to get a brake sentence. As annoying as traffic lights are, though, they are important during traffic. Thus the traffic part of traffic lights. It’s a control method. Otherwise it would be a madhouse. Survival of the quickest and the fearless. Enter the eyes in the sky to make sure we all maintain some semblance of sanity during our drives. But it seems to me that they don’t make a lot of sense when there is no traffic.

Not, oh look there’s casually no traffic because it’s 10:52AM on a Tuesday morning. No. That’s a happy coincidence for you – thank the traffic gods and maybe buy a lottery ticket since you’re clearly getting some good luck in your corner. I’m talking about when it’s 3:27AM and you’re clearly making good choices with your life and trying to make it home before you fall asleep. When the rest of the world is asleep, well mostly. Other than cool kids like you and your friends.

If you live in a big city, disregard what I’m saying. But if you don’t live in a place that people fly into America just to visit, then read on! At a certain time, lights could turn to flashing yellows and everyone would be happier. Or, at the very least, turn off the timers and turn on the sensors! Don’t tempt me with a red light, a 30+ second crosswalk countdown, and not a soul in sight. When I’m tired. And it’s late at night, or very early in the morning. Situations like those don’t lead to smart, lawful decisions. As I roll up, so should the light color. Just a smooth beautiful transition where, at most, I take my foot off the gas and coast, but I don’t have to tap the brakes. Imagine what that world would be like where you get rewarded for not going to bed at a socially acceptable hour. 

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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DEAR MECHANICS: STOP ADJUSTING MY SEAT SETTINGS

Like most good things in life, even cars have their downside. Gas is not free. Traffic and other drivers are the worst (you can read all about my traffic thoughts in THESE POSTS). Any sort of service, or repair, is the most inconvenient thing I’ve ever had to do on multiple occasions. Car commercials set up FALSE EXPECTATIONS which is disappointing. And it takes a minute to get all the settings adjusted perfectly. Especially if you drive a newer model, it’s almost like setting up a computer. So many choices, so many buttons, so many console options, so many seat adjustment levers – ugh.  

Unlike some people, I enjoy driving. It’s thrilling. It’s always an experience. It’s a high risk situation that requires focus. I do not, however, enjoy riding. I’m a terrible passenger. There’s not anything to do but look out the window and judge how close the driver likes to ride the line. Car karaoke is fun, but there’s less pressure as the driver. If you suck, blame it on the fact that you’re paying attention to the road, not on your future singing career. As the passenger, though, you have zero excuse. If you’re not about to belt it out like Carrie Underwood, get out. Someone once asked me how I embodied the restless spirit and I told them to just drive me around. Are we there yet? I’m that passenger.

None of that is really relevant, but here we all are. Having read that paragraph just wondering how it relates to the rest of this post. It doesn’t. I probably won’t tie that loose end up. Not sorry. Anyways … let’s talk about the most annoying / frustrating / time-consuming / expensive (pick your adjective) part of having a car. Having to visit the mechanic. Zero part of that process is convenient. First, you have to schedule a time to either drop off, or wait, on your vehicle. All of the car dealers put baby computers in the cabin now, yet the schedule service form is from the first round of the Internet last century. Why?

After finally figuring out how things used to work and getting an appointment, then you actually have to go. Which is arguably worse. Wait, nope, it’s definitely worse. Your car, and your freedom, are indefinitely gone. If you’re waiting, well you just have to find something to do on your phone, or sit alone with your thoughts, in the service center. Indefinitely. If you drop it off, you need to find a second vehicle to accompany you so you can get back home. Then someone, maybe that same person, will have to take you back to the shop to pick your car up after waiting for it to be serviced. Indefinitely.

That’s a lot of time not knowing what kind of quote they’re going to hit you with. It’s a guessing game, not a fun one, but one nonetheless. Is it fine, or is it ready for the scrap yard? Will my multi-point inspection pass? I came in to get the tires rotated, but is the alignment all jacked up too? So many questions. No answers. It’s a fun time. Whatever it comes back as, I have yet to meet one single person who enjoys spending their money on car service. I most definitely do not. One oil change could get me a night at an AirBnb. Replacing the front brake pads are a couple of party kegs for the weekend rager. Having to get the bumper replaced because the texter behind me forgot they were driving doesn’t technically take my money, but mental energy wise I could have performed at a music festival. 

Then, just like that, you get your keys back! Oh, sweet glory! You are now free to roam anywhere your heart desires again. No road? No problem! Hop up in that 4×4 or risk it in your front wheel drive if you’re feeling a bit hellish. No one can stop you. You’re a lean, mean, driving machine! Except … oh, what’s this? Your seat is too far back, the AC is 10 degrees too cold, the console lighting is now on the opposite side of the color wheel, the seat warmers are turned off, the steering wheel has been lowered, your rearview mirror is no longer helpful, and your side mirrors currently show you the ground. 

How is it that the mechanic who had to make the super long drive from the shop to the front of the store where you were waiting felt it was appropriate to adjust everything? Who do you think you are? We’re not road tripping this thing. It’s not a delivery drop off. No one asked if it was acceptable for them to fix the functional part of my car but totally destroy the aesthetics and comfort parts. This, to me, is a bit rude. If someone trusts me with their vehicle, I wouldn’t even think to change everything so I could be temporarily at home. I would accept my brief time of discomfort so that the next time they got in, it would be ready to go. Besides, the transport time here has to be a minute max.

Imagine if you went to bank and while they deposited your money (after you figure out the PAPER MAZE) they also changed all of your account passwords and security questions for fun. Or if you went to a restaurant and while they made your food decided to come over and completely redesign the table layout and seating arrangements so everyone was eating alone. Or if you went to a tailgate (RIP fall sports) and while you were getting food someone got in your car and changed every single setting. Cause they were sitting in the trunk and didn’t like the mood lighting color choice. None of that would be acceptable and you would definitely not be tipping. So how is it allowed at the car dealers? I don’t know. We may never know. But it’s our harsh reality at the moment.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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MOST INCREDIBLE COVID HIGHWAY SIGNS: A COLLECTION

What’s the best part of driving down the highway? Not the traffic signs, that’s for sure. They’re usually just so bleh. Exit 386 towards city one, via route 19 towards city two, passing through city three, who wishes they were bigger like city 4, but they aren’t, isn’t it sad, and making a brief passing under an I40 bridge that leads to city 5. Mmkay, first of all there should never be more than 2 city options on a highway interchange. Frankly, two is usually one too many. Because my map lady is not a fast reader and she always comes on during my favorite song which is a major vibe killer. My carpool karaoke skills are obviously top notch but my voice rarely meshes with the non-existent beat of an automated map robot.

If it’s not just a standard, “where am I” sign, they’re announcing bad news and no one needs that when you’re on a straight road where the speed limit is 70 MPH, but you’re currently STOPPED. If there’s congestion for the next 20 miles, just throw a pixelated rendition of the poop emoji up. Feels more humane than knowing how far I have to go before I can begin using my gas pedal again. My least favorite highway signs are the exit food signs with zero options. Zero?! Why even make the blue sign? What is the purpose? Who are you helping by doing this? Not my emotions, that’s very clear. I guess that’s just one of the road crews OPTIMISTIC OUTLOOKS for the development of said rural exit.

Despite some ‘smack my head against the wall’ type of signs that have been the norm for pretty much ever, COVID has brought out all the clowns. And I’m here for it! A (very, very small) silver lining from the current worldly chaos. Let’s break down a few of the absolute gems, and also examine some non-COVID related, but general WUT signs for fun:

Drive Like Your Mother is Watching. Wear a Mask Like Your Mother is Watching

Let’s start strong! Attack every momma’s boy where it hurts, while his mother is watching. Yikes – clearly zero cares given here about feelings. Do it for mom!

Seat Belts Save Lives, So Do Masks

This one is fun, because it’s factual. Who doesn’t love a good fact smack as they’re driving at high speeds? Follow the k-nowledge of this one.

Outside With No Mask? Fuhgeddaboutit

Clearly a New England sign, but still a classic nonetheless. Anything that incorporates the phrase fuhgeddaboudit, and does so in a way that is both humorous and makes sense, will convince me. That’s why I don’t do drugs – once saw a sign that said ‘Thinking about trying crystal meth? Fuhgeddaboutit!

Honk If You’re Wearing a Mask

Here we take an interesting turn in the signage. This feels dumb. Why honk? Why wear a mask inside the car, first of all? It’s your car – what are you doing in it? Also, the last thing we need is more HONKERS. They’re the worst.

Less Is More, Avoid Gatherings

Hmmm, what gatherings are happening on the highway? A traffic jam? Don’t mind if I do! Does this give us legal right to report traffic jams as a crime? A lot of different interpretations of what to avoid here.

Stay Safe, Stay Home

Well, it’s clearly a little late for that considering I’m on the road. Thank you, from future me?

Feel Sick? Stay Home

Another fun stay home sign that feels better suited for a television commercial than a roadway, but clearly I’m not in charge.

COVID-19 Testing

Who? What? When? Where? Why? This provides no details and we all know what happens when you let humans make their own decisions with zero guidance? Yep, you guessed it, COVID.

State Law: No Driving While Impaired

I love this sign so much because an impaired person probably isn’t able to read said sign. Also, this is like the basic law of driving – who is unaware?

You’re Not a Firework, Don’t Drive Lit

Lulz, what savages! I was told I could grow up to be anything I wanted, how dare you crush my dream of being an explosive. But on a more serious note, lit people are looking at the sky and interpreting cosmic signs in the form of clouds, not at this sign.

Don’t Be a Knucklehead

What more is there to say here? Straight to the point – don’t be a knucklehead!

Baby Yoda Uses a Car Seat. Stay Safe, He Will

Well, you had me at Baby Yoda! What if I don’t fit in a car seat? Who is this targeted to? Children? Who can’t really read? Because they’re in a car seat? So many questions, but fun nonetheless!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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YES, YOU CAN MAKE A TURN WITHOUT COMING TO A COMPLETE STOP

If bad drivers are my pet peeve, slow turners aggravate me to no end. We live in a society that puts high value on fast – fast food, fast service, fast relief, fast workouts, etc. Yet, for some reason, a significant portion of people don’t believe the fast mindset should apply to turning. Sure, high speed turns are probably not the safest option, but make a normal paced one at the very least. Why do certain people come to an almost complete stop before going through the full motion? What is happening here? Turns are not stops. They are simply a way to change the direction your front bumper is facing. 

Is it a turn radius issue? Because I believe that even older cars are still fully capable of making a regular turn with some sort of speed on the wheels. If, however, you opt to only partially turn the wheel then yes, that certainly is a turn radius issue, but a user generated one and not a mechanical oversight. If you turn the wheel all the way, though, it’s fascinating how efficiently your car will pivot without you having to stop and readjust the wheel alignment somewhere else. Once moving, simply remove your foot from the gas pedal, turn the wheel (not partially, get that crap out of here), and accelerate into the turn. Otherwise you’re holding up traffic and making people angry. Horn angry in a lot of cases. 

There’s three main issues with slow turners:

  1. They feel a need to basically stop completely at each turn – this is rarely necessary
  2. They don’t give into the turn radius – your car can handle it, it’s been well tested
  3. They finally complete a turn and fail to pick up any sort of speed out of it

Needless to say, slow turners are not destined for any sort of vehicle sport. Legal or otherwise. As previously mentioned, knowing the difference between a Stop sign and a Yield sign should be part of the driving test. They are NOT the same thing. Likewise, a turn is not always at a Stop sign. And when it’s not, drivers behind you are not expecting a stop, or anything under 10 MPH honestly. Half the speed limit sure. But half of that?! No. Get out. If it happens to be a Stop sign, please refer to my lesson on handling those HERE.

I think another key miss on turns is the acceleration portion of it. As much as slow turners test my patience, there are cases when it’s necessary. If it’s a narrow driveway and there’s a car waiting to come out. If there’s a steep curb. If the angle is 90 degrees, or less. If there is an animal crossing, or a pedestrian. That’s pretty much it, though. Those do not occur 100% of the time. Anyways, once we have finally turned, it’s important to then add speed to make up for what was lost when attempting a safe turn. And I don’t mean a tap on the gas pedal. Hit it like you’re trying to merge onto a highway. Get up to speed! How are you going to turn like someone who doesn’t have power steering capabilities, then maintain that tragically slow turn speed for the next mile?! Oh my … don’t even get me started on speed limits. Not a suggestion. Not really the maximum. If we’re being transparent, speed limits are a minimum limit between the law and what police will comfortably allow you to get away with.

Long story short, successful turns happen around 50% of the speed limit, maximizing the car’s turn radius (that was something you looked at when purchasing it after all, surely), and then accelerating. Is that so hard? No. It’s three things. You remember three things all the time without realizing it probably. For example, you remembered to like this post, subscribe to the blog, and follow TRP on Twitter.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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SIDEWALK RULES: WALK RIGHT, PASS LEFT

In case anyone forgot, it’s 2020. That means it’s been 150 years since the first sidewalk was paved in America. Why is there not a centennial golden jubilee celebration planned anywhere for this?! I’m a bit disappointed honestly. Whatever, it’s fine. I will move on with my life. Maybe I’ll go outside and draw a chalk cake on the ground. But with the candles that just have the numbers on them – you know, the cheater candles. The product invented so someone didn’t have to math before a party. That’s why your cake just has two candles to spell out your age and not one for each year. Take it personally. If they really cared about you they would have taken the time to count out each year you’ve been alive.

Sidewalks probably don’t have feelings like humans do. They probably don’t feel sad when someone forgets their birthday. Someone who uses them constantly and never acknowledges their worth. Just stomps all over them without so much as a thank you. *Probably*. We don’t know. Supposedly plants have feelings, so why can’t concrete? Or brick? Or pavement? I, for one, care about the sensitive side of our sidewalks. Specifically where they may be caving in a bit so I know where not to step and blow something small into a big issue. I don’t need to twist an ankle and miss a week of adult soccer. My whole social life would be in disarray. 

Kind of like the confusion that happens when a sidewalk abuser doesn’t follow the one rule necessary to participate on said piece of concrete. Surely, you know what rule this is. It’s the same rule that is in place on pavement all over the country. One that everyone can (mostly) follow while operating a motorized vehicle. Frustratingly, though, when you take someone out of a machine and have them use their own legs, or some sort of leg powered transportation method, all chaos breaks loose. Walk right, pass left.

WALK RIGHT, PASS LEFT! This should not be new information. And yet, it still seems to confuse people. A lot like when you try driving the wrong way down a one way street, but with less judgement, or consequences. Which is a shame. I think I should be able to file an insurance claim if you come at me, when I’m on the right side and you’re walking on the left, and I spill my smoothie because we both refuse to move.

While that is obviously the golden rule, it is not the only rule. Like pretty much everything else in life. Another good one, almost as important, is not to take up the entire space when walking in a group. Just because you have friends, and want to flaunt it to nature, or the road, doesn’t mean you get priority. Since sidewalk width is variable, you are allowed to take up the following amount of space:

(Sidewalk Width / Number of People in Group) * 0 + 1

One. You get one human sized space. What if the sidewalk is popular? What if it’s foot traffic rush hour? What if there’s non foot traffic present? So many things that make taking up too much space downright dangerous. If you wanted to talk to someone, do it somewhere safer. And with less rules. Like a bench maybe. Or a couch. Or a table at a restaurant. Or on your phone. The one exception to this overpopulation rule is clearly dogs. Not cats. If there is a cat on a leash it better be in your people bubble.

Dogs can account for an extra two human sized spaces. Since they have hearts sized twice as big as one human. Simple math. Simple logic. These should be carved in stone at every possible entrance to every sidewalk, and trail, in the world. A manageable task really. If we can’t get walking right, where does that really leave us on more challenging tasks? Like driving. In a constant chicken with our heads cut off state. Perpetual deer in the headlights confusion. Don’t be that person. Imagine you’re driving yourself down the sidewalk. And for goodness sake look before you swerve out into the middle to pass someone.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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PSA: YIELD SIGNS AND STOP SIGNS ARE NOT THE SAME

There is nothing that irks me more than bad drivers. I can’t stress that sentence enough: bad drivers are my pet peeve! The reason I scream at my windshield and take my hands off the wheel to throw them up in frustration. The reason I usually show up at work stressed out (ok, this may be somewhat related to other circumstances … like the fact that I’m driving to work), but you get the point. I’m always amazed at how the overall quality of driving seems to decrease overnight. Every. Freaking. Night. Has the driving test gotten easier to pass? Is it now a pay-to-drive scheme where you just have to show up with cash and the person at the DMV is like ‘OK, let’s take your picture – you have 3 hours for that right?’.

I’m not going to say how many years it has been since I took the driving test, but for fun let’s say enough for my parent’s car insurance to drop down and they no longer have to sell their souls so I can drive. I almost failed my driving test before I left the parking lot because the radio was on and that is “distracting”. Literally turned the car on and the employee gave me this how dare you look and said ‘Really?! That’s how you want to start this test?!’. Being the clueless, snarky, idiot that I was, I replied, ‘Well, it’s hard to drive without turning the car on’. Which technically, is very true, but I should have known better and just brown-nosed it because my freedom (from having to be driven everywhere) was now in this (angry) employee’s hands. As you can imagine, it was a stressful drive and my every move was criticized. At one point when turning left, I looked left first, then right … is that incorrect? Not sure, but apparently it was that day.

Anyways, I digress. I have a lot of thoughts on the stupid things some drivers do, however, today I want to just put it out to the world that yield signs and stop signs are not the same thing. At all. In fact, they serve very different purposes. Let’s start with the obvious, one is an octagon that says STOP and the other is a triangle that says YIELD. That alone should be enough, but unfortunately, it is not so let’s go a little deeper.

The STOP sign (with 8 sides, remember from up there?) is where you have to come to a complete stop – wheels aren’t moving. You can safely look both ways and then proceed from 0 MPH as you please. Funny how people usually forget the one action item here, which, of course is to STOP! As much as I enjoy that moment of panic when I’m driving by a stop sign and the other car decides to read stop as roll (this isn’t a fire drill – it’s just stop, there is no drop, and there is definitely no roll), I much prefer the relief that comes with someone fully stopped and not moving at all. What does it say about drivers, though, that I now expect people to roll and get pleasantly surprised when someone doesn’t? I mean, in their defense, stop and roll both have four letters and both have an o in the middle(ish) of the word. So, yes, I guess I could see how that would be super confusing. If only the sign was clearer.

Now that we are through the complicatedness that is a stop sign, prepare yourself, because we are about to look at the YIELD sign. Unlike the stop sign, you do not have to stop at a yield sign if no one is coming. There’s a lot to break down here, so let’s start with part numero uno. I realize that the sign is red (like a stop sign) and has a similar shape being a triangle (almost like an octagon, just with 5 fewer sides), but you do not have to stop! In fact, people aren’t expecting you to stop, so when you do, someone has to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting your selfish rear-end. Look at it this way, stopping at a yield sign is basically the same thing as deciding to stop in the middle of the freaking road. Which is not safe driving!

But wait, there’s more to this epidemic: you don’t have to stop, IF NO ONE IS COMING. In other words, if someone is coming, you do not have the right of way and you have to stop. I realize this is very confusing for people – maybe that’s why they stop at all of them? Fewer things to remember. Keeping it simple, stupid as that is. Deciding to merge full speed into traffic is rarely a good idea and I do not recommend it. Especially if I am the driver with the right of way. Those people are the reason I have to constantly know who’s in the lane next to me, who’s behind me, etc. so I can know if I have an escape swerve option or not. Them and also the safe rules of driving.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If someone you know is suffering from stopield confusion then, by all means, share this post with them and help get them back to leading a normal, safe driving lifestyle. Thanks for reading!


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THE OPTIMISM OF ROAD CONSTRUCTION CREWS

I’m all for optimism – it makes life so much more fun! Don’t agree? Alright, you pessimistic son of gun, clearly you need a hug and some CHEWY CHIPS AHOY (because they are everything that’s right in this world). Then you probably need to be slapped because no one else needs your negativity. Keep that mess to yourself.

Anyways, I digress, like a turn lane with no road to turn onto. Have you ever noticed how many turn lanes lead, well, nowhere? Who put them there? More importantly, what higher up approved the paving of said turn lane? And of course, who pitched the idea? Who woke up one morning and thought ‘This new road is going to be great, but if we put some random turn lanes in the public will think we plan to come back and maintain the road for future development’? Because that is what you think, right? Oh, clearly they are going to build something there, otherwise why put a turn lane in? And if they’re building something new they will want to make sure the road stays in decent shape to attract all the young, hip people to make this town a global hot spot for the yuppies .

The funniest part is you never see one of these stag turn lanes that have been freshly paved. They’re all slightly faded, the paint is cracking – clearly it’s been there for awhile and still it leads into the always desirable wooded area where a serial killer is probably waiting for you to wander in like the curious being you are. Or it goes to a swamp which is most intriguing because what on earth is being built there?! A water park?! A pool?! Last I checked solid structures on a liquid foundation don’t work…outside of Venice of course, which should be a wonder of the world.

I wish I could have the same optimistic outlook on potential future endeavors in my job. If I could go to my manager and say ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be great if I spent three months working on a project that will do NOTHING for our business currently, but if we decide one day down the road that it might be feasible for us to explore possibilities in that direction, I’d have laid the very first step by creating a Google Doc, putting a title on it, and formatting it to perfection…but nothing more’. What would the response be? Well, probably a drug test for starters, then some variation of ‘hell no, get back to work’!

So clearly my job doesn’t follow the optimism model that road construction companies do and what a shame that is. At the end of the day, those workers probably go home satisfied and feeling like a true team player. They set another crew up for success after all…at some point, maybe, in the future. Not only did they do their job, oh no! They went above and beyond and added turn lanes everywhere. Like Oprah. YOU GET A TURN LANE AND YOU GET A TURN LANE AND YOU GET A TURN LANE! EVERYBODY GETS A TURN LANE!

It could be worse though. There could be NO turn lanes. Then the whole country would be like Atlanta and everyone’s Google Maps would be purple during rush hour. Purple?! Yes, purple. I didn’t realize there could be traffic worse than the deep maroon color, but leave it to hotlanta to give us a new level of stoppage. They don’t even use the traffic lights because no one would move – there are traffic cops that man EVERY INTERSECTION to shut down the drivers who think that as long as they are in the act of turning it’s fine regardless of the impact it has on traffic going the other way. That’s a topic for ANOTHER TIME though.

Moral of the story: more turn lanes are better than no turn lanes. If nothing else they allow you to imagine what might be coming. And, as Albert Einstein said, ‘The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.’ So these seemingly random turn lanes are making us smarter…wow are road construction crews thoughtful!

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who is frustrated about the never-ending road construction, share this with them so they stop complaining and start realizing that it’s all for their greater good. Thanks for reading!


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