The seasonal high-pressure ridge that normally gives Bend warm, sunny summers finally has established itself over the Northwest, and even I can't find anything to bitch about in this month's weather.
So I'll bitch about Bend drivers. DAMN, they suck!
People in Bend like to complain about California drivers, and it's true that California drivers often are aggressive. On the plus side, though, they're also usually skillful.
Bend drivers appear to have gotten their licenses out of a bubble gum machine. And they normally drive with their thumbs up their asses ... unless they've got their heads stuck in there instead.
After moving here I discovered that Bend has the longest traffic lights in the world. I mean, you wait FOREVER for the damn things to change.
I soon figured out why Bend has the longest traffic lights in the world: It's because Bend has the pokiest drivers in the world, and they need about 40 minutes to drive through an intersection.
When the light turns green, the Bend driver does not interpret it as a signal to proceed through the intersection. He/she interprets it as a signal to look left, then right, then left again, then right again, then to take a sip of coffee, and then -- maybe -- to THINK about proceeding through the intersection.
And when Bend drivers finally make the momentous decision to proceed, they accelerate as if they were holding a raw egg between their foot and the gas pedal.
This is why, if you have three Bend drivers ahead of you at a traffic light, you can count on waiting through three signal changes before you can get across.
Bend drivers are hyper-courteous, which often makes them hyper-dangerous. They will STOP in the middle of a roundabout to let other drivers enter. I have even seen them STOP in the middle of the firggin' Bend Parkway to let other cars enter.
Of course when they're actually supposed to stop -- such as when they come to a STOP sign -- they often get confused and behave as if it was a YIELD sign.
Conversely, when they come to a YIELD sign they often act as if it was a STOP sign. The distinction between YIELD and STOP evidently is too subtle for many of them to grasp.
Now that summer is here there are even more displays of sucktacularly bad driving on our local streets and roads, because all the old farts who are too timid to drive in icy or snowy conditions have decided to fire up the '85 Oldsmobile and cruise around.
It's almost enough to make me wish winter would get here again ... but not quite.
ADDENDUM: On the Bend Parkway, a short stretch north of the Powers Road intersection, there is an UNSIGNALIZED PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK going across all four lanes of the road. It is Oregon law that drivers MUST stop for pedestrians entering a crosswalk -- which means that cars and trucks and semis barreling along the parkway at 45, 50 or 55 miles per hour are supposed to STOP if somebody decides to saunter across the roadway.
This, my friends, is a 20-car pileup just waiting to happen.
An unsignalized pedestrian crosswalk in the middle of a limited-access, four-lane, 45-mile-an-hour parkway.
Only in fucking Oregon.