Tonight, due to the Steeler's game, the first snowfall, and regular silly commuters, my trip home took an hour and 15 minutes, resulting in an average speed of 3.5 miles an hour.

The last mile and a half took 45 minutes.

I even saved a half an hour by calling Heather when I got close to our house, and got her to check whether there was any traffic coming down the one way street near our house, and I went down the wrong way to take a shortcut.

People don't grasp the concept that they really don't get anywhere any faster if they block the intersection.  And if your tires start spinning on the ice, the correct reaction is not press harder on the accelerator.  And blowing on your horn doesn't help when all of the traffic is stopped in both directions.  (Though it did influence a couple to move into the intersection to block it when the guy behind them sounded their horn).

I suppose the other interesting thing is that most of this trip is how I usually drive.  There was one small modification just after mile two, where I would normaly continue on to Bigelow Boulevard.  But, on the way to work, I do usually go over the hill like that.

I sort of got stuck in the left lane going over the bridge, since there were three lanes of traffic where there is normally two.  But, the right lane was stuck, so it ended up being a good thing.  I had to make one right hand turn from the left lane on Liberty Avenue, and didn't remember that Woolslayer doesn't go all the way through - the sign was there, but it was just a sidewalk.

I called Heather from the Bloomfield Bridge to say that I didn't think we should go to the Kuhns today, since I didn't think we would ever make it.  Heather called Alissa to say that she thought it would take an hour for us to get to their house, but it turned out to take me almost an hour to get home from the bridge.  I couldn't find a place to park, or I would have stopped.

Our car was also idling a little funny, and the check engine light came on at one point.  Hopefully, nothing serious. 

Posted by Jon Daley on December 7, 2006, 9:07 pm | Read 3037 times
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One of those days when you wish you had biked to work, no matter how cold the ride. :(

I like the map -- I hadn't seen Gmaps Pedometer before. I hope the rest of your evening was relaxing, and that there is nothing wrong with the car.

I suppose this is not the right place to complain about the bad weather (clouds) that caused travel problems here tonight (scrub of the shuttle launch).
Posted by SursumCorda on December 7, 2006, 10:28 pm

Oh, man, do I ever feel your pain.

I left at 4:30 p.m. with the girls to join Jason at his staff Christmas party in Ambridge. We arrived at 7 p.m! It was the longest trip from Swissvale to Ambridge, ever.

You're right--regular rush hour, Pennsylvanians who don't know how to drive in the snow (sorry, I know that was harsh, but I'm not feeling particularly gracious this evening), and the Steeler game combined to make a very, very, very slow drive. I thought about turning around many times, but I realized it would take me longer to get home than to just keep pluggin'. That, and there was no where to turn around.

You have my empathy.
Posted by serina on December 7, 2006, 10:45 pm

Hmm, seems like this was pretty typical tonight. My bus ride from Oakland to D'town (an average of 15 minutes per ride) took an hour. Was I ever glad to get on that trolley!
Posted by Laedelas on December 7, 2006, 11:05 pm

Hopefully your car is like ours - the check engine light is always on and no problems have been found in the past year. Now the e-brake light has joined the party - and I know for a fact that I am not driving with the ebrake on!
Posted by Jill on December 7, 2006, 11:05 pm

Yes - perhaps the service engine light was joining the "party" with our security light that came on when I must have jammed the key in at slightly the wrong angle, and broke the car-only-starts-with-exactly-this-key-and-not-a-copy. My mechanic thought it was pretty silly that the car could detect that the security was being bypassed, but still let us drive the car.
Posted by Jon Daley on December 8, 2006, 6:32 am

Turns out it is an expensive problem - or rather, my mechanic doesn't like looking at stuff unless he is going to replace it, so he probably replaces more things than is necessary.

A "random cylinder misfire" is what the computer reported; he hopes it will just be an old wire, and not something more difficult to diagnose. And in the process, he figures he might as well do a full tune up.

The funny thing is that I just asked him to check everything, and he said everything should be fine for another year. So maybe it doesn't work to try to do a pre-emptive check.
Posted by Jon Daley on December 13, 2006, 10:05 am

I tend to be overly cautious when it comes to cars that people I love are riding in. :) I also hate to have car trouble on a long trip. (Okay, I always hate to have car trouble, but especially when I'm out of town.)
Posted by SursumCorda on December 13, 2006, 10:34 am

Our security system has started to work...
Heather wasn't able to drive to women's bible study this morning, since it wouldn't let her start the car.
After reading a bunch of posts on the internet, the solution is to cut a wire or two inside the steering wheel and permanently add a resistor inside it. Unfortunately, Jonathan and I couldn't figure out how to get the steering wheel cover off - we got one little bit of it off, and I can see some wires, but not well enough to work on anything. The housing appears to be one solid piece, so I am not sure how it comes off.

I have been unable to find a technician's manual for this car, which would have instructions for all this.

It looks like Heather's key is more problematic than mine, hers has one little tiny dot where the resistor pokes through, where mine has a 1/4 inch or so to make contact.

So, we switched keys for now, and hopefully, I will be able to find the wires - it would also be nice to have a warmer day to work on it.

Posted by jondaley on January 30, 2007, 9:16 pm

Brrr! Car trouble should never happen in the winter. I did get a kick out of visualizing you and Jonathan working together on the car. I agree it's not a permanent solution, but if your key works, would it help to get a copy made?

Posted by SursumCorda on January 31, 2007, 6:19 am

My key isn't quite reliable either, it just works better than Heather's.

Posted by Jon Daley on January 31, 2007, 8:42 am

I forgot to update this conversation: I figured out the wiring diagrams for the car, so cut the wire and soldered in two resistors to replace the resistor in the key, and after 12 hours (not sure why it didn't work immediately - I did unplug the battery in order to allow the PassKey system time to reset) the security went off, and hasn't come on since, so I think it is fixed.
Posted by Jon Daley on February 12, 2007, 3:03 pm

Hooray! After all, the car has to last as long as the Venture's air conditioning does....

Posted by SursumCorda on February 12, 2007, 4:05 pm
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