April 14, 2007

Trevose, Pa.

Earl and I are spending the night with family outside of Philadelphia. Last night we arrived around 10:30 and hung out with Rick and Helen, Earl’s step-brother and his fiancee. They are getting married in Ireland in October and Earl and I are going to be the witnesses at their wedding, if Earl manages to get his passport before October.

This morning I was up bright and early to jump on the internet for class registration for my fall semester. I am happy to say that I am ready to go this fall, aside from one class that I have to go through paper registration for. I find it fascinating that I can be sitting 300 miles away from the college and still be able to fight my way to the front of the line for registration.

We spend most of the day visiting with family and relaxing. The weather has been a lovely change of pace, with lots of sunshine and highs near 60.

Tomorrow morning we are heading back home, where the weatherman says we’re going to have a interesting ride in hurricane like winds, to be greeted with a nor’easter snow storm.

I’m looking forward to this being the last storm of the season.

The Fast Lane.

I am typing this blog entry as Earl and I are on our way to suburban Philadelphia to visit his family. He’s driving, I’m blogging.

One of the things that I’ve noticed over the past ten years or so is that people have developed the habit of sticking in the left lane of the interstate for no reason at all. Even though signs clearly proclaim “Keep Right Except To Pass” and “Keep Right – Pass Left”, there they are, seemingly clueless drivers hanging out in the left lane, oblivious to those behind them wishing to pass. The guilty are usually yakking illegally on their cell phone as well.

I blame this trend of left lane lingering on that song that goes “life in the fast lane.” Like first class seating on an airplane, where it’s well known that the meals are better, the flight attendants are friendlier and the oxygen is more rich, those left lane huggers think that life is better in the left lane.

As an aspiring transportation engineer, I’ve had fascinating discussions with those that hang out in the left lane. “Why I just get on the freeway and move all the way over, it’s just easier.” What people don’t realize is that they’re essentially clogging up the road, creating traffic snarls behind them, all because they perceive that they’re living life in the fast lane.

It’s not the fast lane. It’s the passing lane. If you’re not passing the car next to, you do not belong in that lane.

We could save a lot of time, money and energy and devote all of this to maintaining our current infrastructure instead of building more “fast lanes” for people to hog.

I guess “Life In The Passing Lane” doesn’t sound as sexy.