I’m setting off for Boston, for the Boston Career Forum sponsored by CareerForum.net. I’ve decided to check it out and see what the job market for native English speakers who can speak Japanese is like. Granted, most of the 190 companies there are large-scale companies, and it’s probably more realistic to talk to smaller companies first, but it’s an opportunity.
Tonight I’m in Newark, Delaware, halfway to Boston on I-95. Today was challenging in its own way.
The day before yesterday, I dropped my car off at the dealership for an oil change and rotation, and asked them to take a look to make sure everything was running okay. It’s a long drive to Boston, so I don’t want anything falling off or breaking on the way.
I figured that everything would be fine.
I got packed up and hit the road today. By the time I was about 20 miles into Virginia on I-85, 3 yellow lights came on. The first two were about the VSC system, and the third was the Check Engine light.
So I pulled over at a truck stop and spent 15 minutes checking the owner’s manual to see what was up. Apparently, the skid control in the car isn’t working, and it stored a code in the computer. The car still ran fine, so I decided to try to ignore it as best I can.
When I got to Maryland, I decided to pull off at the welcome center on I-95 just north of the Beltway to figure out where I was going to stay tonight. The Welcome Center has free WiFi, so I tried surfing to hotels.com to see what the customers there thought of the hotels in Delaware. I found a good hotel, and then called them instead of messing with an open WiFi network. Not only are open networks not secure, this network was painfully slow.
Maryland has started doing something really tacky, IMO. They’re putting photo speed detectors in work zones. Now I’m not against speed enforcement, but I want to know who’s watching me. Also, I really dislike how the fines don’t change even if the zone is empty of people. If the fines are supposed to be a deterrent that saves the lives of workers, why are you trying to catch people at 9 p.m. in an empty zone? It’s not about safety, it’s a cash grab.
I like the approach they tried in Texas about 10 years ago. A group in Dallas wanted to sell speeding coupons for $5 each, and if you got caught by the police, you could just hand it over. That way, you’ve already paid your speed tax, and they get their ticket quotas. Sadly, the state legislature went nuts, even though most people in Dallas would have loved that kind of system, because they all drive like lunatics in Texas. (Well, to be honest, just about everywhere you go these days, everyone is driving like a lunatic, but in Texas it always seemed like everyone drove crazy fast.)
I think it’s more efficient to tax that sort of behavior up front, rather than playing cat-and-mouse with everyone. Everyone speeds, or if they don’t speed, they probably break some other traffic rules. For example, the left-lane vigilantes who drive slow in the left lane are breaking the traffic laws as well. Keep Right Except to Pass or Slower Traffic Keep Right are frequently seen on black-and-white rule signs, which makes them just as much of a scofflaw as the guy doing 70 in a 55 zone.
I wound up staying at the Holiday Inn Express just off of Exit 3B on the Delware Turnpike. It’s a great hotel. The rooms are a little pricey, but they’re clean, and it’s easy on/off the interstate.
One thing that has me slightly miffed– the cost of the drive so far in tolls. Just getting here has cost around $16, and I know it’s only going to get more expensive tomorrow.