That Bites

This is a photo of a regular ol’ highway overpass. This particular overpass happens to be in the vicinity of San Pablo Dam road which is in Richmond, California and is, give or take, twenty miles north and east of San Francisco on Highway 80.

Highway 80 being sort of a main thoroughfare from the East Bay and points farther north and east, such as Sacramento, where I was today for a work meeting. And then drove back home to the Bay Area this afternoon.

In this photo, if your eyes travel along that line to the head of the red arrow, you’ll see what looks like a bite has been taken from the underside of the bridge.

Check it.

That is not normal wear and tear. That is where a big rig hauling a crane violated the laws of both geometry and physics and perhaps California.

The Good Man texted me about this little snafooie at ten o’clock this morning.

By four o’clock this afternoon, traffic was still snarled and I sat there for an hour watching the needle on my gas tank drop. At four dollars a gallon, that burning fuel took a nice bite out of my pocketbook.

All due to that damn bite taken from the bridge. And of course the resulting scattered debris on the other side of the overpass.

This after my spectacular morning when I dropped my iPhone and cracked the screen.

Take all of this and add it together and you have my Wednesday. Which simply bites.


May Thursday treat me less like gum on the bottom of its shoe.

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Image copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone4s with a cracked screen and the Camera+ app from a (slowly) moving automobile.

Born Under a Bad Sky

This was what the sky looked like yesterday evening as I left work for the day at my company’s Sacramento office.

Was it just the high winds as they blew across the Sacramento valley that caused this look? Is it simply the jet stream of late fall?

Either way, as I got into the Jeep, I was humming a little Creedence Clearwater Revival.

“There’s a bad moon on the rise….”

(click for full size)

Photo by Karen Fayeth and Copyright 2011.

This morning I drove home to the Bay Area where creepy dappled clouds are replaced by solid gray dripping clouds.

Welcome to a cold, rainy weekend.


Think the cat will let me squeeze onto a corner of the heater vent?

Photo taken with my iPhone4s and the Camera+ app. Photo subject to the Creative Commons license found in the far right column of this page.

Shortest Distance Between Two Points is a Little Black Jeep

This week I was back at my employer’s office location in the greater Sacramento area. I have such a mental block about making the drive up there because the first time I ever went to Sacramento almost ten years ago, I left on a Friday afternoon and it was an awful, hellacious drive.

And ever since, the drive just seems equally hellacious.

When people ask me how far away is Sacramento, I usually say “oh, about two hours.” But that’s not really true.

In the office this week, I was chatting with a coworker who lives there. He’d asked how the drive went, and I told him it was pretty bad. There were three different accidents in varied locations that had backed up traffic in all kinds of directions. So the trip took me three and a half hours.

My coworker replied, “Yeah, I always figure it’s going to be a three hour ride, no matter what.”

Three hours. Just. Ugh.

I can get from Albuquerque to Las Cruces in three hours, I thought to my little self.

Wait a minute.

What’s the distance from ABQ to LC? About 200 miles, right? According to the maps of Google, the distance from my old apartment in ABQ to my best friend’s home is 224 miles.

Then I looked up the distance from the mid-Peninsula to the Sacramento suburb where I was visiting.

125 miles.

Something’s not right here.

So I embarked on some math. It hurt my head and made me wobbly on my pins, but math was necessary.

So if I go 125 miles in three hours, which is 180 minutes, that means I go one mile every 1.44 minutes.

That means:

My average speed is 41.6 freaking miles per hour!

So if that’s an average, that means sometimes I’m going 65 mph, which is the posted speed limit…

And sometimes I’m going squappity mph because I’m at a standstill at Emeryville, moving real, real slow on the approach to the Bay Bridge, or stuck on that freaking causeway staring at the back of a semi-truck that’s belching black smoke and wondering WHY GOD WHY do I have to drive to Sacramento!?


41.6 freaking miles an hour. No wonder this drive is so tortured. To paraphrase that bard of modern times, Sammy Hagar, I can’t drive forty-one.

I like to drive and go. I don’t like stop and go. Go and go, that’s my motto.

I guess it’s a where-you-were-raised issue. In New Mexico, if I go 224 miles in three hours, that is one mile every 80 seconds which means my average speed is 75 miles per hour. Which is the posted speed limit.

Which means sometimes I’m slowing down to make way for other cars and sometimes the New Mexico State Highway Patrol doesn’t really need to know what I’m up to.

Ahem. Anyhow…..

If you listen close, you can hear the sound of all of those drivers pounding their heads on the steering wheel.

Image from The Sacramento Bee.