Dec 31, 2006

Blogging posts before the 2007 deadline

There really is no deadline, but mentally, I can't procrastinate too long before a blog idea becomes stale. I actually intended to post about my drive down to LA from Seattle sometime in August. You might have realized that many moons have past since then. If I didn't post today, I would have forgone this post...

On the way down from Seattle, I was driving by myself because we needed our car in LA roughly at the same time that Elana was still finishing her chaplaincy internship. She had no break between the summer and her fall classes.

I made the drive solo and in order to pass the time, I bought my first book on CD. It was a Clive Cussler book about the real story of Troy and an evil plot by a cultish group of women who want to take over the world. Fine literature it was not.

A further time passage device was the use of my new cellphone to record oddities. You may have noticed in my past posts a picture of a hippie-ish VW minivan that I took on the road in Oregon. This was one of my only visual recordings from the drive down. I also discovered that I could use my cellphone as a recording device.

I made a series of recordings to remind me of weird things I saw along the way. They have since been digitally transferred around and I no longer know the proper order to put them in. I also don't care to quote myself verbatim since I am not always the most eloquent while driving at 65 mph. So, paraphrased and in no particular order:

●At some point during the drive, I was swerving my car in order to dodge tomatoes falling from a truck.

●I passed a bunch of lumber being watered. Giant sprinklers set up on mountains of logs. I presumed it was to keep the wood from drying out in the sun. It seemed quite odd to me and at first I thought it my be some sort of farm...until I saw from a better angle that it was just lumber.

●I saw a billboard for life jackets along interstate 5 in the middle of nowhere. There may have been a lake nearby, but it seemed quite odd at the time.

●I passed through a valley of dustdevils. For about 15 miles, I passed by dozens and dozens of dustdevils in fields. Many of the dustdevils were large enough to swallow one or two cars at their base. I hope the local landowners don't have to live with that all the time.

●Near the WA/OR border, I stopped at a Taco Bell for a soda and a bean burrito. The place was filled with women who looked Amish. I don't know if they were Amish or another Christian group, but I felt weird being in a fast food place with them.

●Later, in the same town, I stopped at a surprisingly packed outlet mall. Where did all the people come from? There was no big town for many miles in any direction. Everyone seemed VERY Christian. They were not the same types as the women in the Taco Bell, but there were a lot of crosses and people wearing t-shirts that implied a strong Christian connection (e.g. "Bible Camp 2004", etc...). Usually, I only feel this surrounded by Christians during Christmas season. For some reason, the fact that I heard at least 8 or 9 different languages being spoken seemed odd to me. Maybe because I associate metropolitan and multicultural locales to be more moderate in their religiosity. I ended up buying a shirt at the Eddie Bauer outlet. It cost $19.99 and I got one cent change. Then I realized why it was so multicultural. These shoppers were all Washingtonians from various areas who had driven to Oregon to do outlet shopping without sales tax!

●I passed a car in which a miniature pug puppy was sitting on the driver's armrest in such a way that for a second it looked like the pug was the driver.

●I passed an official Los Angeles Fire Department vehicle near Redding, CA. It was little out of its jurisdiction, I think.

●I've passed houses on trailers and boat on trailers, but rarely do you see houseboats on trailers. Very cool.

●The book on tape was set on August 15, 2006...basically the same day my trip started. This has happened to me 2 other times where the story I'm listening/seeing is set at the exact date of my viewing/listening. The first was many years ago while watching a Buck Rogers rerun in 1987. The intro to the show said that Buck Rogers was lost in space in 1987...I forget the exact date, but I remember saying out loud, "That's today!!"
More recently, I saw Twelve Monkeys, the Bruce Willis time travel film in which he tries to stop a plague that kills almost the entire world's population. When I saw the film in a Herlziya movie theatre in Israel with Ori Neidich, the date we saw it was the date that the movie states was the day that the virus started spreading. It added extra tension to the film.

●There is a sign at the OR/CA border that says "$1000 fine for animal abandonment". What kind of person drives across state lines to abandon their puppies? Is this really a problem?

●It was really cool seeing lumber trucks driving to their destinations filled with lumber and from their destination with the trailers folded on. I think that the truck trailers are folded so that the trucks are not nearly as long... I looked for a picture on the internet, but I could not find one to show you what I am talking about.

1 comment:

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Though our activities are most closely aligned with (and within) the City of Los Angeles, there are indeed official matters that require the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department to travel, especially within The Golden State.

Most often these distant travel needs arise from training, legislative or investigative matters by the members of our Department who work in specialty assignments such as Arson Investigation, Air Operations, Homeland Security matters, etc.

Sometimes, especially with 'last minute' arrangements, the intrastate driving option for required travel is seen as being most cost effective (if at times tedious).

That much said, there are not too many destinations that take our staff in marked cars so close to the Oregon border, so we'd love to learn more about what you saw.

Often, such sightings are explained by movie cars (prop vehicles used for filming), as well as the many former LAFD vehicles that are retired and then later returned to *nearly* response capable condition by their new private owners.

Yes, more questions than answers, and if it strikes your fancy or remains a concern, we welcome you to inquire or make us aware of your further observations by calling LAFD Headquarters at (213) 485-5971.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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