Getting Moist

If you stopped by Rivrdog’s place on Saturday you saw his maps of the rain storm his abode was being assaulted by this last weekend. He had gotten four inches of rain from Thursday until then.

It took us a couple days to get the hit, but in the state to his north, where I live, we got four-plus inches of rain in 18 hours yesterday. But it didn’t stop there; as I write this it is still raining, although a bit lighter.

Rivrdog’s locale continued to get heavy precipitation as well, so that the entirety of the PacNW is now waterlogged and if something isn’t damp, then it hasn’t tried hard enough.

As I was flipping through the local morning newsjockys yesterday, the traffic guy on the Fox affiliate stated very bluntly that, and I paraphrase, “Traffic is atrocious. Just a quick tip, you may want to forget about those five or six cups of coffee and the bran muffin, because you’ll be in your car for a while.”

Most cities have bad traffic, and Seattle is no different. If a bad traffic day in Seattle could be considered a nine or ten, then yesterday went to eleven. Thirty minute commutes went into the region of two hours as the citizenry tried to remember how to drive in a torrent and got to see just how badly their respective cities had managed the street water drainage systems. And with that, I went to sleep in preparation for Monday night at work.

When I awoke in the afternoon it was to news reports of heavy flooding, declared disasters and evacuations, which left me with only one alternative: Grimm. Let me just say that it was a successful first test of his readiness to deal with adverse conditions.

I left around 30 minutes earlier than usual in case of traffic diffculties. I don’t like taking Grimm on the interstate because of his weight and lengthy stopping distance, so I opted for surface streets before even pulling out of the driveway.

Not that my decision amounted to much, The surface streets were still clogged from the morning. In what I had decided was the “safe route” I encountered a 50ft stretch of road that was covered in water up to two feet deep.

Not that it was a problem for Grimm; he’s got 30 inches of clearance from the ground to the floorboards. What was a problem though was “the other people”. I had to come to a stop in around 18 inches of water while some dipshit yuppie broad in a Honda Element stopped halfway through the water obstacle, made a three point turn, and went back the way she came.

When will yuppies learn that 4WD/AWD does not automatically make their vehicle an all-terrain ride? My guess is that she got water in the cabin and freaked out.

After that, I had only to worry about the spots where the water had gone from yard to street, covering the sidewalk and curb. In the dark, with rain coming down faster than my wipers can get rid of it, these jump out and surprise not only you, but the people driving along side you.

Luckily, with Grimm’s weight finally on my side of the equation, I didn’t get either the “pushed into next lane” or “sucked into the maple tree between the road and the sidewalk” action. Though I’m sure the guy in that minivan next-to-and-just-behind me had to clean his drawers after I sent something near 50 gallons of water into his windshield with Grimm’s 13in wide tires.

The rain is supposed continue steadily until Thursday with the high winds subsiding this morning. Which leads me to wonder how it will effect today’s election.

After this test, I have determined that Grimm needs better headlights. Luckily, there is a conversion hit for HID lamps. He could also use a better (read: sealed) air filter can. I spent half the night worrying about water coming into the carb from all the splashing about. Also, the Pro Comp All Terrain tires that came with Grimm do not do so well in the rain. I will probably switch them out for the Pro Comp Mud Terrain style, or something close.

Don Ward at Sound Politics points to study that Dems stay home on rainy days and has called for a raindance.

Unfortunately for Rivrdog, his whole state votes by mail, so there is no doubt that the local elections officials have round-filed his ballot and now eagerly await those of his neighbors.

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4 Responses to Getting Moist

  1. Rivrdog says:

    Mr. Rivrdog would not take kindly to having his ballot round-filed.

    Mr. Rivrdog has leaped into the military present, in order to be able to properly react to societal breakdowns such as that.

    See the blog, post entitled “Major Domo II”

  2. CAshane says:

    When you decide to replace those tires have a look at Cooper’s. I recently bought the Cooper Discoverer S/T for my Cherokee and have been very happy with the performance on and off road, although I must admit, in San Diego we don’t get rain in that volume…
    When shopping I narrowed my choices to Pro-Comp’s, Cooper’s and Dunlops’s. Both Pro-Comp and Cooper are made in the USA by Cooper Tires, so the decision was further narrowed there, ultimately decided by price.

  3. Erik says:

    The lights at LMC are not HID; they only look like it. Genuine HID kits are usually several hundred dollars. HID uses transformers to produce a high voltage. I don’t have any experience w/ this company, but a quick Froogle search (H4 HID) turned up:

    http://shop.vendio.com/ArtisanDeco/item/899825719/?s=1162897201

    The HID conversion kit is Low beam only.

    You would still need the conversion lenses. I would go with Hella or comparable H4 conversion lenses.

    With my wallet, I would skip the HID and install Sylvania Silverstar H4 lamps. WalMart sells H4 sets of Silverstars, about $38 a pair; much cheaper than Checker.

    Good lighting source:
    http://www.rallylights.com/hella/7in.asp

    Also, maybe consider installing a new wiring harness and associated relays to feed power directly from the alternator to the headlights.

    hth,

    Erik.

  4. Erik says:

    Doh!
    Hit their other items and they listed HiLo’s.

    http://shop.vendio.com/ArtisanDeco/item/902959758/index.html

    They claim it is made by Philips; from the packaging, I’d say Asia.

    Aerostich has a good rep in the motorcycle world:
    http://www.aerostich.com/product.php?productid=18322&cat=335&page=1

    I’d suggest you start with conversion lenses and SilverStars. See if you are still unhappy before ponying up the remaining $ for real HID.

    Erik.

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