Monday, January 26, 2009

Fog Lights?

Well, given the dismal number of comments from the last one I can see I'm probably the only person in the universe interested in video games, at least in the small universe of people that ever read this thing. I think Deanna summed it all up when she told me last week, "I'm so glad all the stuff about video games is over!"

But I said I wasn't going to talk about video games, didn't I? All right, all right already. Most people that know me would say, at least I hope they would say, that I am not one that spends a great deal of time complaining. Deanna would probably disagree, but if you can't complain to your wife, who can you complain too? I really do try to make a conscious effort to not gripe about things. Sometimes I fail miserably, but I think there is merit in having tried. I just don't see any benefit that ever comes of complaining about things. Yes, complaining does serve a small purpose in allowing one to blow off steam so to speak. This does come in useful at times. Keeping things bottled up like a pressure cooker is no good either. But it has been my experience that complaining about things most of the time does very little to improve the situation. More often it just makes you (and unfortunately, everyone listening to you) more miserable.

And who wants that? So, it is for the reasons above that I really do try hard not to complain about things, especially when they are not within my power to change.

All that being said, please allow me to complain for a moment. I did say I fail miserably at times. But after reading my tedious words, maybe someone will be able to at least explain this to me so my griping will have served some vague educational purpose. I have a problem with fog lights. Our van is equipped with these beacons of brightness, and I must say, they really do work well...... In a fog! When you are driving in poor visibility conditions those lights shining close to the road surface do improve ones ability to see in front of you. We've made use of these lights on several occasions and enjoy this feature immensely. I don't have a problem with people using these lights in foggy conditions. I have a problem with the people that use them all the time. Even when the nights are crystal clear.

Maybe with these newer vehicles, people just don't have a choice, like the headlights that shine during the day. Everything is on some sort of light sensor which controls the lamps outside the vehicle. Our van is a 2001 model and has a switch that allows us to turn the fog lights off. When its foggy, we make use of the beams. When it's clear, we give other drivers the courtesy of shutting them off.

I simply do not understand the purpose of using fog lights in conditions with good visibility. The only reason I can see is that they do blind the driver in front of you. In my opinion, these are worse than high-beams. They are especially bad in these monster trucks that are jacked up to the 2nd floor. Making them appear to smaller vehicles such as mine, like a 747 coming up behind you on final approach. The problem is made even worse, by yet another peeve of mine, tail-gaters. Hey, if I'm going to complain I'm going to do it right! Now you have not 2, but 4 monster lights coming at you just like 4 lighthouses sitting in your back seat!

Tail-gaters can make me even angrier than fog-lighters. Just a suggestion to any tail-gaters out there. This will make me slow down even more because I would hate to have to stop suddenly at a high speed and wind up having an SUV drive over the top of me. Other tail-gate opponents I've talked to will do the same tactic, so I'm just saying to those of you who follow too closely, you may not be improving your situation.

But the topic at hand is the fog lights. Thankfully, I have a lever on the rear-view mirror that directs the halogen towards the roof of my car, thereby cutting off the glare. The devious side of me always hopes that I'm shining the glare right back at the perpetrator, but that probably is very wishful thinking. Given the huge number of people that use these lights, I'm pretty sure they just don't realize or even care how annoying they are to the people who find themselves in the light of their affection.

There. I'm done. I feel much better. Ranting does allow one to clear the air a bit. Hopefully someone reading this will be able to explain why so many people these days like to use the extra lighting in front of their vehicles.

12 comments:

Steve at Random said...

Unbelievable...I wanted to write about working out on the family Wii, and I get foglights, a subject I know nothing about. However, I did see the movie "Paul Blart - Mall Cop" over the weekend. It get's my thumbs up because it was funny and didn't have any swear words in it. I like movies like that...put me in mind of one of my favorites "Support your local sheriff" from the 1970s. For the last couple of weeks, Paul Blart has been number one at the theaters. Do you think someone in Hollywood would get the drift...people like movies where you are not offended by the language and it's simple enough that you don't need to bring your shrink along to interpret the symbolism for you. As for foglights, wasn't that the name of a bank about 20 years ago?

Steve at Random said...

Whoops...I meant band not bank. Sorry. However, since we're griping I got a gripe about a "modern" cliche that already is worn out and tasteless. The cliche is "that dog won't hunt." It has to do with people who put forth an idea and someone - generally the office naysayer - speaks up and adds the gem "That dog won't hunt." Still don't know anything about foglights or foghats.

randymeiss said...

At least I can't complain about the lack of comments. Thank you Steve. Thanks for the movie review. I'm not familiar with "that dog won't hunt" but after hearing it once, it's already worn out IMHO. Yes FogHAT was a band in the 70's, you're dating yourself my friend. That was before my time. Let's see was that 8 tracks, vinyl records, or were you still using the Victrola with the record cylinders?

Steve at Random said...

What's up with your picture or lack of picture. On my computer, you, my friend, are a big X. Must be the pro-foglighters after you.

randymeiss said...

Maybe you need to refresh or clear your cache? My handsome face shows up just fine on my 'puter. I especially like the comment screens where both our pictures are on the same page. You can tell my face looks so many years younger.

Steve at Random said...

Agreed...I'm much older and wiser than you...but even my youngest son couldn't help me get the X out and your face back in. I'm puzzled. Anyone getting an X instead of Randy. Maybe you're part of the X generation.

TTOCS said...

I get both of your pictures on my computer.

Ar Vee said...

For awhile I had the X and now the picture of the road rage warrior is back.Just teasing,Randy.Steve doesn't understand lights in the rear view mirror because I think,quit frankly,he drives faster than we do and no-one catches him.I could be wrong about that,but I thought some banked curves wouldn't hurt your highways any.But I understand, and for you I say,It can be worse.I have cataracts and when bright lights hit my eyes everything gets hazey.So that compounds my frustration.The same thing happens when a driver forgets to dim the headlights.I'm so used to it by now, driving in fog is no problem for me.Thats when I'm the fastest guy on the road.I would like to get a Fog hat it couldn't hurt,Fog sunglasses too.Hey now there's a catchy name for a band."Ladies and gentlemen "FOG-SUNGLASSES" and their latest song,(I can't see you anymore)".In Montana there is a growing number of people that stop at stop signs and then pull out on the highway no matter if a car is coming or not.It's epidemic,but if a car does the same thing to the driver that made you slow down.It's total war!The you and me forget those folks OWN,(or at least think they do),the roads and just let us out there due to some easement.I totally agree with assesment.That cliche you speak of came from Linsay Graham during the Clinton impeachment.He said there's a saying in South Carolina-Bla-bla Bla--hunt.Anyway up north It means "I can't buy that"or"that just don't wash" no matter how many times it comes around.Talking about lies told.

randymeiss said...

Thanks ArVee, these precious insights into the VanDyke family are most illuminating. (pun intended)

AZJim said...

I agree 100%. It is also one of my pet peeves. I was driving to work one day in Boulder, CO and I had an SUV behind me with his fog lights on. I switched my rear view mirror so they didn't bother me so much and then I notice we met a cop. The cop did a U-turn and stopped the guy behind me. I am sure he got stopped for running with his fog lights on. Hate to wish bad on anyone but I have to admit I kind of chuckled to myself.

Steve at Random said...

RV - I think RM was talking about your remark about cataracts because I stick to the speed limit. Especially in ND where we don't have curves...just one long highway that leads from Fargo to Beach. I drove from Bismarck to McClusky the other day -- including going by some rather big cities -- Wilton and Mercer. Made it just in time to see another class before mine arrived.

BismarckMandanBlog said...

Fog lights don't just shine low, they also shine wide. If you're driving at night they may help as a deer deterrent. They've got a greater success potential than those stupid whistles people stick on their bumpers, which are neither loud enough or tuned to a frequency that deer are capable of hearing. Maybe some of those offenders are driving with their fog lamps on with this in mind.

No vehicle forces the fog lights on as far as I know. In fact, even though the DRL (Daytime Running Lights) on most cars are technically the high beams, they're run at a lower intensity. On every car I've ever driven, the factory installed fog lights turn OFF when the high beams are selected.

In many urban parts of Japan, headlights are illegal at night! As you may have seen on TV, a Japanese city has a lot of light flying around already, so cars and motorcycles in Japan are equipped with "City Lights" that are used in such areas instead of headlights. I don't believe they're included on American versions of Japanese cars, but they do appear on American versions many Japanese motorcycles.

I rarely find myself taking too much light from behind in my truck, because I have tinted windows in my topper and the back of the cab. If someone is blasting light into my side view mirrors, however, I simply aim them back so I'm focusing the beam squarely in the offender's eyes. That usually results in them backing off and/or ditching the high beams.