Traffic. Part 1.

May 1st, 2008 1 Comment »
I was going to do this as one huge blog, but in the interests of my sanity (and yours) I have decided to break it up. Besides, I just don’t have the time to sit and do it in one hit, but spreading it over a few days makes more likely to happen. 

The freeways are concrete.  ‘Big deal’ you say, ‘how is that blog fodder’?
Well, it gives rise to some interesting effects….. In no real order here are some that I have noticed.

* It makes a funny noise. Because of the fact that its poured in slabs you get rhythmic clack-thumps, but because of what ever reason, often the slabs are not the same lengths, so you get a pretty weird syncopated beat cruising through your car.
* Adding to the noise is the rain groves they cut in them. Often the rain groves are not exactly in parallel with the direction of travel, so you get these weird humming  / buzzing noises that also wiggle through the car (it goes through because the front and back wheels make different noises, as do the left and and right tires, its often like being in the middle of a quadraphonic stereo gone bad).
* The rain groves make motor bikes look down right scary. The bikes ‘thin’ tires are constantly fighting against the groves and so they wobble all over the shop, some bikes are worse than others.
* Where the concrete is repaired (or not), or joins other different surfaces you get some pretty big ugly pot holes or ledges. This just adds to the noise and movement of the cars.
* Due to the above, you will often get lanes or entire off/on ramps shut for ‘grinding’. When said ledge gets bad enough they close the road and bring in the big machine that grinds the last 3-4 inches off it. You get then a little ramp that drops you (or lifts you, depending on the flavor of the last earthquake) to the next slab, which just adds to point one, the funny sounds.
* Every now and then you will get normal suburban roads made out of the stuff as well. Its not as exciting because you are not going as fast over it. I have seen a lot of asphalt suburban roads have small sections repaired in concrete as well.

I’m pretty sure they use it for two reasons. 1. It wares pretty good, better than asphalt from what I have seen of roads that use both and 2. It stands up better in the heat. (Which we have not had any of, but heaps of people have warned us about).
Its important that you pick something that wares well in this place because you really don’t want to have to go back and fix it.

On a totally different topic. I was trying to take a  photo of the humming bird in the tree outside the apartment when it flew off the tree and hovered about 1/4 a meter away from Freddy and I and took a quick drink out of her feeder. I had the camera in my hand, but did not want to move it. At this stage we are being very careful on the deck till they get to know the feeder is there and gain some confidence in drinking out of it. While it was really cool to have the little guy (girl?) hover so close to us, the best thing was Freddys reaction once it was gone, she was just about busting with excitement, I have never seen her so over the moon, she was just about crying with excitement. You have to remember (or need to know) that she has been mad over humming birds since our first trip in 2003. She has had little glass ones hug all over the house for all these years and has been looking at photos of them on the net and in general been dreaming about that exact moment for years. It was great to be there with her. I wish I had been able to video it some how.
I’m looking forward to getting a camera set up. I might need two, I want one outside anyway, but it would be neat to set one up just on the feeder that had some movement actuated recording software so we could just watch footage of them feeding…….Where is Gary when you need him?? (Oh, thats right, he’s sitting at home sipping good port while resting his arm on his digital video recorder……)