Saturday, April 21, 2012

Notes from the road

--Every road in the country is under construction. There is in fact so much construction that it has ceased to be construction.

Behold a nation-wide interactive installation (think artspeak).

My favorite permutation in this grand orchestration is the one-lane barrel maze that closes a completely serviceable portion of the road and takes traffic down to 13 MPH for 20 miles. When you finally get to the "action," it's just four guys leaning on a truck. (1)

--Dear New York: What's with the sequentially numbered exits? Everyone else has changed their exit numbers to correspond to the coordinating mileage. Ramp the hell up.

--I understand that the assertion FALLING ROCK is not an idle threat. But can someone please give me the follow-up directive? When the 10-ton boulder crashes through the sunroof on the Mini Cooper, do I use my last ever-lovin' breath to murmur .... sign ... was ... right ...?

--There is something profoundly wrong with the concept of a motorcycle trailer.

--Spied at a rest stop: A sign indicating that all vending proceeds go to the blind and handicapped hanging on a wall over a bench upon which a man with one prosthetic leg was seated. He had removed said leg and was filling his prosthesis with coins given to him by a woman who was emptying the vending machine change receptacles. Talk about your literal interpretations.

Happy trails, dear readership.

Love, Erin

(1) Cue conservative contingent re: how's them tax dollars workin' for 'ya now, huh?

*  *  *


26 comments:

DogsDontPurr said...

In Los Angeles, you'll go for miles with one lane closed off for construction...only to find nothing at the end. We don't even get four guys leaning on a truck!

Also, there used to be a section of highway near Lake Shasta that was ALWAYS under construction....for like 20 years or more. We used to joke that it wasn't really under construction, it was just the area that they used to *train* highway construction workers. Therefore it would *never* be finished! LOL

And yes, I too have pondered those "Falling Rock" signs. For some reason, I've never found them all that helpful. Hmmm.....

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Tax dollars work for me? Sure glad they spent that $500 mil on Solyndra. I mean, I got so much out of that.

And before Erin opines about the amount of money we spent in Afghanistan, Iraq, and God only knows where else, let me just say this - there hasn't been a major terrorist attack with the attendant loss of life since 9-11. Yes, I know money has been wasted, not used properly, etc. But to me, even with all that, it is money well spent. Better than Solyndra (a bankrupt company from which we will never recoup the loss). In the case of spending on Iraq/Afghanistan, we've already reaped the benefits of the investment (Obama's term for spending, BTW).

Here in NC, they're looking at putting toll booths on I-95. More money to pay for something our tax dollars should already cover via gasoline and other taxes. But it's never enough for the government, is it?

Motorcycles on trailers? Only if they're vintage ones on the way to a show.

Al
TRAG

contraryguy said...

Both the falling rock signs and barrels were in force the last time I drove to FL and back. Both were needed. LOTS of new rock falls along I 75, including a few that will do in the Mini, extra fencing was a welcome sight. As for one-lane fever, in TN they have a section of southbound merged w/ northbound. Why? Wweeeeelll, the other side looks like it is starting to break apart and slide down the mountain.

But all this beats flying.

Erin O'Brien said...

Al, go to your room.

Cleveland Bob said...

Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and Cheney's endless wars and a horribly managed solar company are nearly the same thing.

Got it...

Drive safely out there, Erin.

John Venlet said...

Welcome back, Erin.

Anonymous said...

The crumbling American infrastructure is part of the War on Terror. Confines the enemy combatants to the airports. And once the riff raff are no longer able to travel in their '87 F-150's the rich will turn the old roads into Greenways on which to ride their Polo Ponies. I suspect they'll also be armed and able to shoot some stragler that wanders into their territory. The Castle Doctrine writ large. BTW, I submit Solyndra did exactly what the free marketeers advocate. China just low balled the market and crushed the competition. Slave labor does great things for corporations. Just ask Walmart.

RJ

Anonymous said...

OK, "sign... was... right" literally made me LOL. Which I had to stifle because my wife is still asleep ; )

Anonymous said...

Solyndra was caught in a market-forces shitstorm. They were developing solar panels using a technology that didn't require silica at a time when silica prices were at an all-time high. The silica market crashed at the same time that government-subsidized Chinese manufacturers were reverse-engineering Solyndra's technological breakthroughs.

I am flabbergasted that thoughtful, knowledgeable people still conflate Iraq (and its attendant cost in treasure and lives)with 9-11 and the justifiable need to go after bin Laden in Afghanistan. Gobsmacked. To then further compare Iraq's cost of trillions in treasure and thousands of our finest young men and women dead of maimed with a lost $500 mil loan guarantee is surreal.

MR

PS-Yeah, ODOT sucks canal water.

Anonymous said...

"or" maimed, not "of" maimed.

I hate typos.
MR

wv-"orish" 'Irish' after too many pints o' stout...

Anonymous said...

@MR-

Or:

"MAME" (an acronym of Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) is an emulator application designed to recreate the hardware of arcade game systems in software on modern personal computers and other platforms.

I think we should have some sort of alliteration contest using conservatives memes. I'll start.
Solyndra
Socialism
Shoot to Kill...

RJ

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Hey, RJ, how about this?

Bush's fault.
Big mess we inherited.
Blame others for our incompetence.
Ballooning debt.
Bush's fault.

As for the Solyndra/Iraq comparison, I've noted that money was wasted in Iraq (and elsewhere for that matter). I'm on record here and in other places as questioning the motives of the Bush administration for going in in the first place. I'm also on record as stating that unfortunately, we (the citizenry) usually don't have much of a say as to when, where, why, how and for how long our military is deployed, whether a Republican or Democrat is sitting in the White House. The decision was made by the President, and off the military went. Only time will tell if it was the right thing to do, and whether it was worth the cost in dollars and lives (for those who lost loved ones, the cost is never worth it).

One thing, however, is certain - the world is a much better place with Saddam gone. Having been there, I am convinced of that fact. Again, only time will tell whether our presence there was successful and worth the terrible cost.

As for Solyndra, I would have taken a harder look at the "market-forces shitstorm" before plunking down that kind of loan guarantee. It was a huge waste of our money. However, it wasn't the first time, and it certainly won't be the last.

Going back to my room now.

Al
TRAG

Kirk said...

Hmm...Looks like there's been some Information Highway construction as well. Erin's post took a detour through the comment section to Iraq and Solyndra.

Bill said...

Falling Rock was first reported missing about 30 years ago. They're still searching for him.

Kirk said...

OK, I have to back off my previous comment some. I see Erin did open the door a bit for politics in that little bit of italics right at the end.

I have less time at the computer on weekends, and zip through these things faster than I should.

Anonymous said...

Solyndra
Socialism
Shoot to Kill...
VS
Bush's fault.
Big mess we inherited.
Blame others for our incompetence.
Ballooning debt.
Bush's fault.

There is a way to resolve this debate. Data. If I stipulate that Solyndra was a mistake then I will wait patiently for evidence Obama has done anything remotely resembling Socialism and/or diminishing 2nd Amendment Protections. Now you go on your list. Please use empirical evidence to demonstrate that the current state of the economy has nothing to do with economic events occuring not only in the Bush years but having their genesis as far back as the supply side fantasies of the iconic Ronald Reagan. Caveat: The serial liar Arthur Laffer is not a credible witness.

RJ

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Resembling socialism - Obamacare. Government run/sponsored/subsidized healthcare is a feature in Europe, where socialism is a prominent part of their governments.

As far as the economic mess, sure, it started way before Obama got into office - I don't think any reasonable person would deny that. But I learned one thing in the Army - leaders don't blame others for the current situation. It doesn't solve the problem(s), and more importantly, shows very, very weak leadership.

When I was a company commander, there were no training records to speak of - I was being asked, for example, for current rifle qualification scores by our S3, and I couldn't find any. Rather than blame my predecessor, I gave the S3 what I had, and promised that from now on, he'd get current data based off scorecards maintained in my Company Orderly Room. I made no mention of my predecessor or his policies - I kept that to myself because blaming him would make me look weak and ineffective as a commander.

Obama hasn't done anything remotely like that - I can't count how many times I've heard things like "we inherited this," or "going back to the previous administration" or other such utterances of the same ilk. Leaders don't point fingers - they solve problems. And yes, I'll stipulate that politicians on both sides of the aisle are guilty of the same thing. The difference is Obama was supposed to be the great uniter, the giver of "hope and change." He was going to be above such things and fix all our problems, or so the hype went 4 years ago (I wonder if Chris Matthews still feels that tingle going up his leg today?). What did we get? Someone who takes a lot of golf outings. Supplication towards places like Iran ("oh, if I only talk to them, they'll listen....." ... yeah, right). Leading from behind, whatever that is. Fast and Furious. Bills that we have to pass so we can see what's in them. A President who lectures the Supreme Court during the State of the Union Address. A man who once counseled a guy with a lot of kids to go out and buy a hybrid van (of course, he never asked if the guy could afford it or not). A guy who laughed when pressed on the Stimulus, saying "some of those projects weren't as shovel ready as we thought." Ha, ha, ha.

There should be a statute of limitations on Presidents blaming their predecessors. This goes for both parties. I don't want to hear about what happened - we pretty much know that already. I want to know what the course of action is to fix it.

I will say this - I have never seen our country so divided in my 50 years on this earth until now. With Obama as the "leader" of our country, this should come as a surprise to no one.

On the Second Amendment, here's a link to what Obama has said/done in the past as regards gun ownership:

http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/President/US/Barack_Obama/Views/The_Second_Amendment/

Do I think there is an "assault" on the Second Amendment? Not yet, anyway. If he wins re-election (God help us all in that case), my guess is he'll push for some type of gun control as his stance in the past indicates that he is for such a law/statute/modification of existing laws. But it's not really about gun control, IMHO. It's about the power of the government to tell us what we can or have to do or not do. Kind of like making people buy health insurance or pay a "penalty" collected by the IRS.

We now take you back to your featured thread ....

@ Erin: hop over to my Facebook page and check out the Chicken Ballotine I made this evening.

Al
TRAG

Anonymous said...

@RJ-Two books if you haven't read them:
"The Big Con"by Jonathon Chait
"Shock Doctrine" Naomi Watts or Naomi Klein-I can never remember her last name.
MR

Anonymous said...

@MR-
I know the Shock Doctrine and Klein MR. However since seeing "Mulholland Drive" Naomi Watts has been a regular participant in my nocturnal fantasies. (Que our hostess asking for more explicit details)

In re: the former. It is old news but I found it quite interesting that the first "private" oil field lease in Iraq post hostilities went to...China. You can lead a commie to Marx but you can't make him drink. (or something like that)

RJ

Erin O'Brien said...

Got home last night after a 500 mile ride (which was actually pretty cool). We'll read all of this properly after I get a few balls rolling around here.

twinklysparkles said...

balls rolling, I love it.

Were you in NY? That is close to us, you know. We are 590 miles from NE Ohio. Were you on I-90 or somewhere else in the huge state of NY?

Hope you had a good break in any case, twinkly

Anonymous said...

RJ Edit to most recent post-

Cue instead of Que. que? Synapses not holding hands.

Lest there be any misunderstanding as we move ahead in this silly season I will not be voting for Obama's reelection. He's not liberal enough for me. I, like many on the "Left"was hoping he was all the things the "Right" continues to claim he is. I think of him more as a Rockefeller Republican or in the current vernacular "Neo-Liberal." However I also want to say this rebellion is hardly an act of political courage. I live in Tennessee and the likelihood that Obama/Romney will come down to my vote as a tiebreaker is none and none.

Peace.

RJ

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

@ RJ - It's OK. I won't be voting for him either. But you knew that already.

Al
TRAG

Bill said...

12% will vote for him because he's black and they're black. Another 15% will vote for him because they're progressive. Another 20% because they're dems. I'm hoping there are lots of people like RJ. #fingerscrossed

alphadog said...

Damn, I'm in the same boat as RJ. While I certainly won't be voting for our current poor excuse, I won't be voting for Romney either. I'm tired of being spoon fed the same shit from the GOP over and over and expected to like it. Not one more vote for the "most electable" candidate simply because he's less an ass than his opponent, he's still an ass.

Anonymous said...

@alph

Seems we have a poverty of asses.


RJ