Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Survived I-15

Never underestimate the power of mother nature. Over this past week we have enjoyed a little more snow than what Utah is used to getting. Utah received a one-two punch of snow to start the season off.

I had the pleasure to drive I-15 twice. One day after the storm hit and then a surprise storm when I was leaving Logan to come home.
The first storm ended up being a dud really. Provo didn't get more than an inch or two.
It was predicted that this storm was going to be really big with white-out conditions. Well for some reason the storm took one look at Provo, dumped all that it had north of us. Then moved over my lovely home. By the time it was able to make more snow it was well to the south of us and literally left us rather dry with a whole lot of cold.

Several days later it decided to snow on the day that I was coming home. I did not fret and knew that I would have to drive a little slower. I left the Logan around 3:30, and proceeded cautiously through Sardine Canyon. When i finally got on the interstate I figured there was not as much snow I can drive a little faster. Even though the speed limit was 75 mph I decided I better not push my luck and decided a nice speed of 60 mph would do just fine. Before I was two miles down I-15 I realized that I was still going to fast and needed to slow down a little more. I know you are asking how now how did he know that he was going to fast and what happened. I almost joined a statistic below. Nevertheless this is what happened:
(This silver Mitsubishi Outlander is an all-wheel drive vehicle)
I am no stranger to driving in slippery conditions in a rear-wheel drive vehicle. Usually it was the Mercury Cougar, but now I drive the Ranger. It takes a little longer to get up to speed and it is a little taller.. okay a lot taller... off the ground. As I came up onto a bridge everything seemed to be fine. Unfortunately in the fast lane on the far end of the bridge there was a bump with ice that sent me fish-tailing down the interstate at 60 mph. I have to admit I panicked and it felt like my stomach wrapped itself around my spine twice. At slower speeds... I would give it a little more gas and hold the slide like I was drifting a million dollar super car. Then let go of the drift and regain control by releasing the accelerator and let the wheel catch on their own. However at 60 mph in a vehicle that has a rather high center of gravity I freaked and tapped the brakes once to slow the truck down. I went from a driver side slide... to a passenger side slide... and then back to a driver side slide before I was able to straighten out on the interstate. It ended up that I never left my lane during this terrifying slide. Afterwards I felt like I recieved a double dose of adrenaline.
After straightening out the next thought that went through my mind was, "I think I should slow down just a little more." I think I was driving 45 to 50 mph for the majority of the way home after that. A trip that should have taken 2 hours became 3 hours. It didn't mind, I was listening to Book Six of TWOT series, The Lord of Chaos.

I was lucky. Below are the reported stats from UHP and KSL News for just Sunday driving.

The weather created terrible driving conditions when the storm first hit Sunday. The Utah Highway Patrol reported more than 300 slide-offs and crashes in 11 counties across the state.

UHP Lt. John Mitchell said, "If people would just slow down, take their time, give themselves enough time to get where they need to go, we could avoid these types of accidents."

Accidents were reported Sunday on I-15 in Bountiful, I-215 in north Salt Lake, I-80 between 7200 West and 9900 West, and at 600 North and I-15 in Salt Lake. Also, a truck jackknifed at 4700 South on I-215.
A single mother of three was killed in a wreck on I-15 in Riverdale. (I passed this accident less than 30 minutes after it happened.)

UHP reported crash totals for this storm through 6 a.m. Monday for Salt Lake and Utah counties alone are:

* 41 injury accidents
* 251 property damage reports
* 50 slide-offs

Friday, November 19, 2010

Maren's New Smile

Maren and I have been talking for a long time and had finally decided that it was time. So we finally bit the bullet and invested in a new(er) car. It is a 2004 Toyota Camry with 70k miles. Most people look at car and their reviews in making a decision about a car. I look at all the specifications.
This '04 Camry is practically the base model.

No fog lights.
No Sunroof.
No Spoiler.(I guess you can call me the spoiler for getting Maren such a nice car.)
Sound System is the basic model.
However it is Silver (which I like better) and it does have key-less entry which is a plus. Because the engine is a four cylinder that means fuel economy is hopefully going to be in the 32-34 range on the highway.

Minus a few scratches, this car is perfect for our needs. As of right now we only have 5K to pay for the next five years. Price of financing is going to be about $652 when we pay $94 per month. So we do what we normally do and round up to the nearest hundred and pay $100 dollars a month. $6x60months=$360 that we will end up paying early. If we drag it out that long.

Insurance said that the car was valued at 11,500. So we already have a ton of equity in the car. The next question is... Does anyone want to buy my old car?
Maren and I are both really happy about this car. She loves it, and I think it is going to be a great car for our family.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Addition

So this past week has be a rather eventful week in my family. My sister Janeen and her husband Joesph recently had a baby. They named Lilian Jewel, but she will go by Jewel. This naming a child and then making them go by a middle name is no strange occurrence to the Tucker Family. I myself go by my middle name and so does my son Evan (who just so happens to be throwing a tantrum at this moment... bless his little heart). Jewel was born Wednesday November 10, 2010 at 7:53am. She was six pounds 14 ounces and 18 inches long, and mommy did it without pain med. It was an quick two and a half hours of labor. I think she made it out easy. Maren was in labor for 12 hours.
I still haven't seen any pictures of little Jewel yet. Maybe when one is sent to everyone then I will add it to this blog post. Congratulations Janeen, Joesph and Jewel.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Endless questions

Evan is such a wonderful kid. Sometimes I question what is going through his mind. Recently even has started asking one question. What is it/this? And you have to tell him something. If you avoid answering him he will just continue to ask the question either pointing or trying to grab whatever it is he is asking about. After you answer what it is then he answers "oh" musically as if the answer was just barely on the tip of his tongue and now it all makes sense now. You can't help but love him and his love for cars. My yellow truck is not really mine, Evan has laid claim to it and I am just borrowing the truck until he can drive it. Last year I drove about 4500 miles, lets do the math.
The truck has 108k miles plus 4500 miles per year times 13.5 years = a little over 160k miles that the truck will have when Evan is ready to drive. As I was driving with him I said I would sell it to him for a $1000 and I laugh but he said okay. I don't think he understands what a $1000 is as of just yet. I sure by the time he is ready to drive we will have a different option then a truck that is twenty years old. Who can really tell.