Archive for the ‘Rainy Day Musings’ Category

Rainy Day Musings
April 24, 2007

We had a little rain last week. Not much, just a “spritz”, as Bob Dale used to call it.
Not even enough to settle that dusty verbal slam that’s always hurled against us. It’s an old wheeze that goes something like this: “San Diego people don’t know how to drive in the rain”.
Well, I’m not so sure. Is that true? Has anyone ever really examined it with a critical eye?
There are certainly plenty of rainy-day accidents, hundreds of them sometimes. And CHP and Police will always say that the main cause is drivers following too close, and not figuring for greater stopping distance. Fair enough.
But I’ve noticed something and maybe you have too. If we get two days of rain, or three or four, the number of accidents drops dramatically with each successive day. Gosh, if San Diegans don’t know how to drive in the rain, we’re sure quick learners. During El Nino years when San Diego’s rainfall has rivaled, oh say, Portland, do we have more per-capita accidents than they? Also, since most of us came from someplace else, it’s a safe bet a lot of us learned our rainy-day motoring skills there, not here. Did we somehow forget to turn into a skid once we dropped below Latitude 33?
It’s my guess what San Diegans are not very good at, and neither is anybody else for that matter, is driving on oil. When you go weeks, and often months, without a street wash, the blacktop becomes coated with a kind of greasy goo made up of crankcase droppings, exhaust residue, and Michelin bits. If it’s been a dry season, the first rain is going to make everything slicker than butter on a doorknob. On such days we should probably all be carefully inching along at about 10 miles an hour. But then, some tailgater from Toledo would say we don’t know how to drive in the rain.

I’m going to admit something here. I get lost a lot. Hopelessly turned around on Genesee. I mix up Ruffin and Ruffner. If there’s somebody in the car, I’m going to hear about it. “Wait a minute! How can you be lost? Don’t you know everything About San Diego?” Well, not by a long shot. Stories, yes. Some history, sure. Love the place and always have, but I still get lost, and sometimes it’s downright embarrassing.
Last week, for instance, I was attending a presentation at National University. And there I ran into my colleague Peggy Pico. Great! “Let’s grab a quick bite” at an all-night diner known to be “somewhere nearby”. It’s decided she will follow me. Huge mistake! After snaking through residential neighborhoods, past darkened, gated industrial complexes, and what I think may have been a graveyard, we arrived at the diner, which turned out to be only a few hundred yards from our starting point. “Wait a minute”, she said. “Don’t you know everything “Abou…….”.
* * * * * In Other News * * * * * *
Hello to the students at Colegio Ingles in Tijuana who watch “About San Diego!”
On our story about Lanoitan Street in National City. (Lanoitan is National spelled backward), we got an e-mail pointing us to a web page devoted to Lanoitan…cats!

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