Posts Tagged ‘driving’

I’m not getting much work done right now. On the best day, Houston’s traffic is heavy. It’s worse now after the storm because the traffic signals that are even there, the actual lights, are either blinking red in all four directions or swinging upside-down from their wires. Who knows where the missing lights were blown off to.

This has turned Houston into a busy city of nothing but four-way stops. There are a few working signals but not enough to even matter. If this were the only issue it wouldn’t be all that bad but it seems noone remembers what to do at a four-way stop anymore. They either just sit there waiting for hell to freeze over or go out of turn and sometimes two or three cars at a time. Military guys have a colorful expression used to describe such situations and geez, is it ever fitting right now.

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I am finally home from a very long week of driving. That’s practically all I’ve been doing for the last five days. I like that my job gets me around but I prefer to fly across the country rather than drive across Texas. Please don’t take this the wrong way; I have great, great love for this state. What I mean is that it is so huge that driving from one end of it to the other (East-West) without cruise control comes very close to ending all blood circulation to your ass and right leg and foot. That’s exactly what I did this week, and then some.

This wasn’t without reward though. I got a newer, bigger, better truck out if it. The main office of the company I work for is in Los Angeles. My Dad and I are the entire Houston branch. In the last two years the company bought two new company trucks. One was for me and the other for one of the guys in LA. I got a six cylinder Tundra which is fairly low to the ground and he got an eight cylinder Tundra which is very high off the ground. He’s not a very tall guy and complained daily about how hard it was to work out of it. In addition to that, he is known to take off from a traffic signal like a drag-racer and wears out brakes almost quarterly. Since I had the six-banger and he had the eight cylinder and that I don’t drive like he does and that gasoline is cheaper here in Houston than it is in LA it was decided that we would swap trucks.

And so we did this week. We met halfway between Los Angeles and Houston to make the swap. As I said before, Texas is enormous. Halfway to California is El Paso, Texas. That’s right at the state line and the border of Mexico. I had to stop in Austin for some other work first. After that I drove on to San Antonio so I could spend the night and catch I-10 in the morning. From San Antonio it took me nine hours to get to El Paso and that’s only because that right out of San Antonio the speed limit is 80 mph all the way to El Paso. Thank you TXDOT.

I have to say that this painfully long drive was a very scenic one. I drove through a combination of desert and mountain country. I had never been that far west in Texas. I was so impressed with the beauty of the landscape. I’ve lived most of my life on Padre Island and Houston and there is no such thing as a mountain in either of those places. Not even a hill. Although I’ve seen most of the U.S., seeing that part of my own state for the first time was sort of a thrill.

During my return drive back home I got a call from my Dad. He told me that one of our accounts needed a repair. It was in Corpus Christi which is three hours south of Houston. I wasn’t even halfway back to Houston when I got this call. Why does this shit only happen at times like this? Normally, I would have veered south at San Antonio. But no, since we were swapping trucks I had no tools or materials on the truck. I had no choice but to go all the way home to get one single little plastic fitting for the repair. I was basically just passing through town at this point. I managed to get a decent night’s sleep for the first time in four days before having to get back in the truck and drive another three hours for two minutes of work and then drive another three hours back.

I am so going to become one with my bed tonight.