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52 seaview | Main | the trekkie calls the LARPer geek

February 18, 2004

it never rains under my umbrella

We are on full-on STORMWATCH!!!11 here in Los Angeles, which is perfect because today was the first day in ages when I actually had to drive down into Hollywood during rush hour.

All those jokes about how bad people drive when it rains in LA? They're funny because they're true. I'd just like to take a moment, and give "The Finger" to the entire city.

. . .

Okay. I feel much better. Thank you. :)

Posted by wil at February 18, 2004 04:53 PM
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» This Just In: Los Angelenos Don't Melt in the Rain from Sundown
Is a little break in the monotony of baking in the sun under a greenish-brown sky such a terrible thing? [Read More]

Tracked on February 19, 2004 03:50 AM

Give "The Finger" to the entire city... I'll keep that in mind. I'll try it out the next time it rains in Freiburg... :)

Posted by: Carsten at February 18, 2004 04:57 PM

people are the same way here in Vegas- they drive like they have never seen water fall from the sky before! (course they drive pretty terribly the rest of the time too)So since we are in the STORM!!!!!path after you guys....here's a big preemptive finger for Vegas drivers too!!!!

Wow- I DO feel better!

Posted by: samalee at February 18, 2004 04:58 PM

Hi, I'm originally from Florida, so the first time I experienced rain in LA - instigating a Storm Watch! - I thought I'd entered some bizarre parallel universe. I kept thinking, it must be raining really hard somewhere nearby... I mean, you can actually see out the car windows when it rains here... what on earth is the problem? :)

Posted by: Liz at February 18, 2004 05:07 PM

I know what you mean, my commute to and from downtown LA takes twice as long when it rains.
I'll give the city the finger as I leave

Posted by: Chris at February 18, 2004 05:11 PM

Wil, I second your feeling. I remember well one rainy night in 1978; riding my motorcycle on the freeway through the valley and then dropping down to Hollywood through Coldwater Canyon in an attempt to escape the rest of the freeway. I was almost run over a number of times. My two years in LA were interesting but I'm glad to be back in Pensacola, Florida where the drivers are only insane when it snows, and the last time for that was 1973, thank God. Anyway, good luck with the rain and the LA freeways. As for me I'm back to fighting StarOffice running under Turbo Linux. I'm about two seconds from buying Mandrake 9.2 so I can get some relief. Later, Joel

Posted by: Joel Dunaway at February 18, 2004 05:11 PM

"My God! Water is falling from the sky!"

As someone who had to drive to and from school in Irvine (motto: "You WILL be assimilated"), where the surface street speed limits are 50mph and the rice rockets run free, I heartily second your Finger and extend it to all of Orange County as well.

Posted by: Dragonblink at February 18, 2004 05:18 PM

Drivers are no better up in San Jose when it rains...

Posted by: =^) at February 18, 2004 05:30 PM

"'d just like to take a moment, and give "The Finger" to the entire city."

LOL~! Priceless! :)

Posted by: mcfoo at February 18, 2004 05:31 PM

It's because California natives are made of sugar, and therefore dissolve when they get wet.

...or at least that's the only HALFWAY logical reason *I* could come up with. o.O

Posted by: Aeire at February 18, 2004 05:37 PM

Amen Wil! Driving down the Sepulveda pass in a windowless Jeep gave me much the same feeling today. I'd like to third (or fourth) your finger with a special shout out to the 405 and every self-important, Mercedes-driving executive on it.

Posted by: Cynthia at February 18, 2004 05:40 PM

So is this like how people in the South can't drive in the snow? The natives haven't seen it enough to really learn how and the transplanted Yankees think they know how and learn too late that we only have two snowplows and three salt trucks to cover all the roads...

Belated "Finger" to our whole state after the last two weeks of snow and sleet.

Hey, that does work!

Posted by: Shannon S at February 18, 2004 05:59 PM

That reminds me of a girl I knew who moved here to Oregon from Atlanta and was shocked that we just go outside when it is raining as if it were no big deal. We had to explain to her that the alternative was staying indoors for 5 or 6 months. It doesn't rain hard here anyways, just a constant drizzle. Native Oregonians don't even own umbrellas. I wonder if she moved back to Atlanta.

Posted by: phriedom at February 18, 2004 06:05 PM

Eh. People drive like that EVERYWHERE when it rains. What I find funny, are those people that PANIC and drive totally SLOW when a few rain drops hit the windshield, but don't even think twice about doing 90MPH when there is a half-inch of snow on the road surface...

It is a fact that during a heavy snow storm (Excluding places that get tons of snow on a regular basis, such as Alaska, high Aspen, high elevations in general, etc) you will see more 4x4 vehicles wrecked or stuck in the median on the interstate that any other type of vehicle...

Posted by: WebNuT! at February 18, 2004 06:13 PM

Having just moved here from Pennsylvania back in September, I have to ask the question, "You call this rain?"

I join you in your finger giving... now my hand bleeds.

Posted by: Michael at February 18, 2004 06:19 PM

that's funny because just as i got stuck on the 101 i suddenly get this sinking feeling that someone was giving me the finger.

Posted by: christy at February 18, 2004 06:19 PM

Try commuting from Long Beach to Culver City...every goddamn day. Add the rain...and you've got one pissed off little lady!

Posted by: Amanda at February 18, 2004 06:26 PM

if you could really do that...give the finger to the entire city...what a large finger you would have!...it would be a tourist attraction...come see WIL WHEATON'S giant F. U. finger!...take the elevator to the top of WIL WHEATON'S giant F.U. finger...see 7 states!

Posted by: d. burr at February 18, 2004 07:32 PM

It's understandable that people in LA have a hard time driving in the rain, as your really don't get much of it. But I haven't quite figured out why people in my hometown of Vancouver BC can't drive in the rain, and it rains at least 5 days a week!

Go figure.

Posted by: Rick at February 18, 2004 07:38 PM

Well, Wil, excuse me while I gloat; it was 70 degrees here in Denver today. 70 degrees! In February!

Of course, in a couple of days, I'm going to be eating those words...the storm that is causing you guys to go on STORMWATCH!!! will be delivering rain and possibly-heavy snow to the Front Range. February and March are the snowiest months here, after all...

And people don't drive all that well here in Denver during heavy weather, either. Probably too many transplaned Californians. (I say this as a transplanted Californian myself...)

Posted by: Erbo at February 18, 2004 07:41 PM

People in Arizona drive funny too in the rain. It's like our IQ points plummet as soon as we see a rain cloud. Do people in LA only drive gigantic SUVs too?

Posted by: emily at February 18, 2004 07:45 PM

Okay, it's bad if I immediately thought of the drama over cover text on March's issue of the comic book "Stormwatch," isn't it? *hunts down self on geek hierarchy*

Posted by: Tinderblast at February 18, 2004 07:52 PM

I can relate. Here in Atlanta people can't even drive when the weather is fine. Through some rain or even sunshine in the mix & you can count on several accidents.

In the rain people either drive so slow you want to get out & push their cars to make them move faster or they drive like 100 mph. One extreme or the other around here. And the sun. It's like they've never heard of sun glasses! They hit people because it is too sunny! It's insane.

But really, what do you expect from a state that up until a year ago gave the driver's test in a parking lot with no other cars nearby. A monkey can drive in a parking lot.

Posted by: Amber at February 18, 2004 09:05 PM

I give the finger to the entire city rain or shine here...

People really can't drive in LA *or* Orange County at ALL...

I'd find a basement or bombshelter if it ever snowed here.

Posted by: Rainmaker at February 18, 2004 10:00 PM

I was not aware that it rained in LA. When I was in that huge city, it never rained. My family and friends say it never rains in LA. Well, I guess you can learn something new everyday. I can't complain about the driving, in LA, because they are not the worst. I will not mention any of those cities but they know who they are.


Posted by: Fabian at February 18, 2004 10:07 PM

Oh lord...it's not even really proper rain in LA that sends people into fits of bad driving (I should know, I'm a transplant from LA to Humboldt Cty- where it's not rain unless it's up to your ankles!). Just a little spit-spit-spit on the windsheild sends people a-swerving

Posted by: ronnie at February 18, 2004 11:19 PM

HAHAHAHAHA!!! So the storm has travelled down your way. We were pounded by that yesterday here in San Francisco.

Posted by: Lizette at February 18, 2004 11:23 PM

where is that

repulsar beam

when you need it!?

Posted by: Wade at February 18, 2004 11:26 PM

That's one of the reasons I left LA. Up here in Santa Cruz, people only drive insane on Hwy 17.

Posted by: Mike Sperry at February 19, 2004 12:57 AM


I *love* Stormwatch season!

Truly, it's the funniest blogging time of year.


Posted by: EnglishBen at February 19, 2004 01:50 AM

i'm thankful for wil's STORM WATCH 11 coverage...i know once wil puts out the STORM WATCH that all of us in illinois have about 2 days to gets our affairs in order before the storm hits here...STORM WATCH 11 AT WWdN...it's the storm coverage i need...from a source i trust!

Posted by: d. burr at February 19, 2004 03:19 AM

It's so true. It's horrifically true. I remember when it rained in November, and I was on the 405 northbound, and people were driving 35 mph. It was terribly distressing to this nearly-native Oregonian. I was practically screaming "COME ON. DRIVE. IT AIN'T THAT HARD." Practically.

I heard a very funny thing on KIIS (which I know you disdain) - the DJ was raggin' on ABC's Doppler 7000+, making a big deal over the plus, like it distinguished ABC's Doppler from everybody else's Doppler. One man's Doppler is another man's dross, says I.

It best clear up soon, is alls I says.

Posted by: Jessa at February 19, 2004 03:31 AM

The first snow of the year in Minnesota is very frustrating because drivers act like we have never had snow. I will say after about two days of practice people get into the groove and return to driving 70-90 mph in blizzard conditions (especially the SUV drivers). Fortunately driving in the rain isn't a problem until visibility drops to about 50 feet.

I would like to give the finger to all drivers ahead of me who are on northbound 35E around 5 PM. I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU HAVE TO GO FROM 70 TO 45 MPH AT THE 110 EXIT! JUST KEEP GOING FOR GOD'S SAKE!

Is it the merging traffic from 110? Is it the view of the Mississppi river? Dear "driver in front of everyone", JUST DRIVE!!!!!

(Thanks, I needed that.)

Posted by: Jessica at February 19, 2004 07:16 AM

You guys are on Stormwatch? Yeesh, I'd watch out if I were you. That Henry Bendix is a crazy sonova. Looks like Capt. Picard with a bad case of metallic ear, and is about as charming as an angry tasmanian devil.

And if anyone got that, they're a fellow geek too.

Posted by: Charmlessman at February 19, 2004 12:35 PM

I live in England and when it rains here it rains. I was driving last week in really heavy rain and some people were driving really slowly and some were driving way too fast. I guess it happens everywhere but it really annoyed me because it seems whenever we have bad weather people drive like idiots. They do anyway but more so in bad weather. I'll try and remember the finger thing for next time.

Posted by: Alison at February 19, 2004 01:31 PM

AAAGH!! Stormwatch! We learned about it on Channel 4's "low-carb" (according to Fritz Coleman) Doppler radar.

Damn, people! It's just water from the sky. You're not water-soluble, Californians! Sheesh!

Wil, can I Worf-slap some of these people who panic over rain?


Posted by: Ariel in the South Bay at February 19, 2004 02:37 PM

As someone else living in Los Angeles, I find it extremely ridiculous how they treat the rain. They had some guy reporting yesterday who was standing in a parking lot and they were teasing the upcoming segment with him saying...

"I'm standing in the valley and it has been raining for the last 90 minutes, but it's now stopped. We can only imagine what will happen next!"

(Da da dum!)

With the way they overplay the rain, you'd think they'd have rescue copters on ready alert in case someone, you know, got wet or something.

Posted by: Pauly D at February 19, 2004 03:03 PM


Check this out. This is a storm. Happy trails.


Posted by: JC at February 19, 2004 06:14 PM

STORMWATCH! 11...just in time for neilsen sweeps.

Posted by: d. burr at February 19, 2004 07:29 PM

Let me just say be glad you don't live in the land of the rain--Seattle.
People can't drive here anyways and when it rains it just gets worse 1000 fold.
The urban planners here sucked big time. When one goes to urban planning school they should come here and learn what not to do.
When I read your blog it reminds me of my home because I am from Long Beach but hung out a lot in LA...
Go Angels...

Posted by: KAT at February 23, 2004 10:33 AM
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