Sunday, January 16, 2011


I've never been to a monster truck raly, but around Christmas I heard the Monster Jam was going to be at Anaheim Stadium in January. I jumped at the chance to take my son cause he loves big trucks and loud noises.

Neither one of us were dissapointed. He had a blast and I had an even better time watching him love it. The big air was great. The racing was fun. It's a little like pro wrestling without the bad guys.

Here are a couple photos and a short video:

Monster Jam 2011

Monster Jam 2011

Monster Jam 2011

It gets good around 00:40

View more photos

Monday, January 10, 2011

Left turns.

In 1996 I got a speeding ticket. I was going 56 mph in a 45 mph zone. The issuing officer was a familiar face to those in the SCV, Officer Banks. Instead of taking a point on my DMV record and almost guaranteeing a raise in my auto insurance I chose to go to traffic school. During that grueling 8 hour class I learned two things:
1) A ton of people get pulled over by cops on bicycles.

2) People have no damn clue who has the right of way when turning left

Although I still ponder the mechanics of the first lesson from time to time, the second seams to rear its ugly head almost daily. Just this morning I saw no less than 6 cars turn left while a vehicle waiting to turn right sat and waited for them to clear the intersection. These cars did not have a protected green left turn arrow. The car turning right did not have a red light. It was a regular, non-protected intersection.

Now, if the cross section of people reading this blog is anything like that traffic school class I was in, more than half of you assume that the cars turning left had the right of way...and you would be WRONG!

Remember that little test you had to take to allow you to hurl thousands of pounds of metal at high speeds across the streets and highways of this great nation? Here's what is says:
When you turn left, give the right of way to all vehicles approaching that are close enough to be dangerous. Also, look for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. When you turn right, be sure to check for pedestrians crossing the street and bicyclists coming up behind you on the right.

If that isn't clear, here is another explanation from the website Driving in the USA and Canada:

If the left turn signal is a green circle, or if there is no separate left turn signal, then traffic in the opposite direction is not stopped. This is known as permissive mode in US highway traffic engineering terminology since vehicles turning left have to wait until a break in the flow of traffic in the opposite direction permits them to turn.

If the left turn signal is a green arrow then traffic in the opposite direction is stopped by red lights. This is known as protected mode in US highway traffic engineering terminology, since turning vehicles are protected from traffic in the opposing direction by red lights. In this mode pedestrians are also presented with "Don't Walk" signs across the relevant crosswalks while traffic is turning left.

What did we learn here today? Don't turn left if there is opposing traffic and you don't have a protected green (arrow) light.