Friday, January 27, 2006

What is UP with Oregon drivers?

As you may know, Bill & I moved here to Portland from S. California just over a year ago. Now, LA drivers are nuts. As a general rule, people in the slow lane are driving at least 5 mph over the speed limit. In the fast lane, you'd better be going at least 80 or you're going to have people riding your bumper. I've always been a bit of a speeder, but after 2-1/2 years on LA freeways, I developed a serious lead foot. Perhaps it's because Angelinos spend so much time stuck in traffic that when the freeway is clear, they feel the need to make up for lost time.

Here in Oregon, it is a completely different story. Bill tells me it is because the fines for speeding are so high. That makes perfect sense, but what makes people feel the need to regularly drive 5-10 mph BELOW the speed limit? The freeways in town have a speed limit of 55, but people often toodle along at 50, 45, 40... There's no bad weather, there's no traffic in front of them. Do they just enjoy driving so much that they want to stretch it out as long as possible? And even in the fast lane I rarely see people driving over 60.

In a way, it's kind of nice. If I just want to chill out and not worry about driving like I'm in Daytona, I can. However, when I'm running late, and I'm supposed to be picking Sydney up from preschool in five minutes, people driving 30 in a 40 mph zone really baffle me.

The other thing that really boggles the mind is people who put studded snow tires on their cars as soon as the season starts and keep them on until the very last day. In the city. There are nice grooves in all of the roads around here caused by people driving around with their studs. They're not supposed to drive on dry roads with them, but if you have studs in the city, it's impossible not to. The really sad thing is that Portland will have a snow/ice storm maybe once or twice a winter. Yes, if you get stuck away from home in the snow, it's a hassle. But does that really justify tearing up the roads all season, just so you can get home in the off chance the you get stuck in the rare storm? I'll forgive you if actually live up on Mt. Hood or in the gorge somewhere where you do get snow regularly. But people in Portland with their studs - it's just wrong.

Okay, am I becoming too judgemental lately? Speaking of which, I'm looking at the picture for today in my 365 pattern stitches calendar, and there's a big boo-boo in the swatch (an extra hole between the 2nd and 3rd repeat from the bottom). What is up with that? Wouldn't you think they'd take 1/2 an hour and reknit that swatch? I suppose after knitting 364 other swatches, they might be a bit tired of swatching. But it's so glaring!

On that note, let's get on to some socks.

Choomon knit some lovely twisted socks for her daughter. I was wondering how this yarn knit up, since I have some, and I think it looks great (esp. for little girl socks)! These are some brownie point socks.

Quikeye has some brownie-point socks, too - a loverly pair of Wyverns that she knit with some Kool-aid dyed yarn. I love the color, and the pattern is fantastic! Great job!

We have a new knit-alonger, Virtuella from Norway, who knit up a wonderful little two-colored baby sock. It doesn't get any credit for the KAL, but it's so cute I wanted to share it with all of you.

We currently have 103 knit-alongers (if my count is correct)! Thanks for making this such a fun event. Keep those January socks coming, and if you look at the sidebar you will notice that I've added little *s for those of you who have brownie point socks. I don't give you a star for your lettered sock, but any extra socks that you make, you can get a brownie point star for! Quikeye gets the props for the most brownie points so far!


Blogger Kathy said...

I just found out about the sock-a-month KAL... and I wanna play too!! I'm bummed I can't count my January socks... my first FO of 2006. Oh well... on to February! (In case it doesn't show up anywhere... my blog address is

11:36 AM  
Anonymous jillian said...

Hey - I DO NOT have a lead foot. Well maybe a little :) That would drive me nuts too, at least get out of the left lane if you're going to go slow.

I cracked up too at the snow studs thing. I grew up in Northern Indiana, where there was several feet of snow for months. I have never used snow tires or chains IN MY LIFE. You just have to learn to drive in it. It is silly to destroy City streets when they don't really even need them, and I would be peeved about it as well.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Tina in Wonderland said...

Cool idea to give out those cute little brownie point **s! I'll be trying for one of those next month!

2:55 PM  
Blogger lexa said...

I have a lead foot, too. I really must watch it. One of the girls at work got a ticket on Monday at $215! (Canadian funds) I think that ticket also may bring a one week suspension. Maybe the cop waved that, or she may get a letter in the mail stating it's between certain dates in the future.

Soon time to earn that "F" for February! I must say that this is a very fun KAL. I've been cruising everyone's blogs and checking all the sock updates. Everyone is so talented!

3:19 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Hi Chrissy! I finished my January socks. Come take a

3:19 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

I finished a second pair of socks a few days ago...pic on my blog. I hope they'll give me a brownie point :o) I did them up for my 2 1/2 year old nephew and he seems to love them!

5:04 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Is it too late to join? I just finished my first pair of socks for the year, and I'm on to the second! I so badly want a pair of wool socks for every day of the week - this is excellent motivation!

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Renata said...

My thoughts on PDX drivers goes something like this:

right lane: old people, old people, trailors, semis and old people.
center lane: minivans, old people, semis, random plumbing vans, random expensive european sports car
left lane: teenagers (myself included), leadfeet, expensive european sports cars, random old chrylser town cars filled with shady people, random semi that thinks it's not a semi

8:58 AM  
Blogger keohinani said...

the jaywalkers are done. finally. yay!

12:01 PM  
Blogger fig said...

I'd be glad to live where people don't speed--especially through our neighborhood. I'm glad to hear the whole world is not on automatic superspeed! They seem to be here in the South Sound area! I have a bumper sticker on my car that says "What's the Rush?" Sorry--my favorite soapbox!
(Can't wait for tomorrow--Sock Sunday!)

10:44 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

Isn't it funny how driving norms change from state to state? I used to commute to grad school from nothern Indiana to southwest Michigan. Crossing the state line was like going from pit row into traffic at the Indy 500. Vrooom!

I've never used chains or spikes either. We have less snow now, but when I started driving the roads would be packed snow by about mid-December and stay that way until spring.

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm, native Oregonian here who lives in Portland and visits Minnesota often: I enjoy reading your blog, but when you start generalizing about my city and state when you are from the most dangerous place I've ever driven, it does start to make my blood boil. I'm not talking about California, either. I can't count how many times I've almost gotten killed on a Minnesota freeway because of the insane drivers over there. Have they ever heard of the concept of yielding? Everyone is "Minnesota nice" in the grocery store, but when they get behind the wheel of a car all bets are off. And the yellow light means "prepare to stop" not "let's see if I can get through that light from 250 feet away going 75 miles per hour"! Why else do you think the morning newscasts start off with "the first accident of the day is here..."
And there are no policemen to be found anywhere!
LA drivers are fast, it's true, but at least they yield.
And you having small children, I'm surprised that you're complaining about slow drivers.
For the record, I usually drive 5-7 mph over the speed limit, which is what a police officer friend told me would not get me pulled over to get a very expensive speeding ticket.
Portland is not the land of 10,000 Volvos either. Toyotas maybe.
I do know this is a blog and just your opinion, but you're putting something out there in the public internet domain for all to read. I'm very proud of my city and state, and tend to get defensive when non-natives start dissing on it, especially over safer vs. dangerous driving.

11:53 AM  

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