18 November 2011

...Or the one.

After reading the preceding post, I had to chime in with my own.

I am one of the many. I am underwater - not due to a mortgage, but due to my house literally collapsing.

I live on government assistance not because I like doing so, not because of laziness, but because I have to. It makes me sick to my stomach that I've had to go to a food bank the last couple of months. I would love to be able to go earn a paycheck. I'd love to go do something with my life other than sit around all day wondering how I'm going to pay the bills, repair something that's fallen apart or put food on the table.

There are no jobs out there for me. I am one of fewer among the many. I'm mentally ill and have little work experience. Everything I am capable of doing, I have had to teach myself because I cannot cope in a traditional instructional setting. I didn't need school to figure out how to repair a vehicle, to put together a computer or build a website. I have passions and talents that simply cannot be taught. Sadly, that doesn't count for shit anymore. Merit and ability are irrelevant. It's all about cronyism, nepotism and money now. Who do you know? Who are you related to? Is there any incentive you can offer that makes you worth giving a chance to?

I don't know anyone important.

Even if I spoke to my family, none of them are important enough to get me into any kind of job.

I'm broke, so there goes money talking as an option. I cannot grease any palms.

Where am I left?

The saddest thing is that the bar is being raised higher with each passing day - not just for me but for the many... for all of us. Some have probably heard the stories of doctors working at fast food restaurants or people barely staying afloat due to unemployment benefits. Most of those unemployed have put in thousands of applications, and none get any response - but they keep trying. Even with no hope, they keep trying. Even as Big Business continues to downsize, they keep trying!

Those situations are becoming more and more common with each passing day. The jobs are drying up even as CEOs can continue to run companies into the ground and float away on their golden parachutes into a life of luxury. Companies are raking in record profits as they slash away at their job numbers and the profiteers and speculators rejoice.

If the continued plunder of the nation at the hands of the wealthiest continues, the many will grow. More will find themselves in the situation I am in. More will become like me.

Look down at my plight, that's certainly your right. I'll keep trying, even though there is nothing out there for me. The only help I want is a chance to make a living for myself. Don't pull me out of the hole, don't even throw me a rope - throw me a shovel so I can dig myself out. Do not speak for me, I will make myself heard.

But realize that if you stand by and do nothing, or worse take the side of the uncaring wealthy overlords, you will stand in my shoes soon enough. Then who will be left to speak for you?

There are still options. There is still time, even though it dwindles. Everyone has a voice. Everyone has a vote. Some of us still have some money - speak with your wallets. Some have stock in these businesses that continue to take and take - you can use that to speak as well!

Speak for yourselves, America... before it is too late.

17 November 2011

The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many?

I am sure by now everyone has heard about this Occupy Wall Street Movement. First off cool your jets, I am not going to condemn anyone. The news does a good enough job of that without me.

I will say this though. Perhaps It would be of everyone's best interest to stop, shut up, and listen to what these people are saying. I know its a stretch for most people and the fact that some girl on the internet said to shut up is enough to cause the rant to end all rants and to condemn me to hell for all eternity. But since I have your attention for this particular moment consider this.

Look back.

Way back.

Back to the 1700's.

The USA didn't exist yet. We were little more then Colonies under the rule of nations clear across the Atlantic Ocean. We were being taxed to no end. We were taxed on our pay and then taxed again when we bought the products we were making to get paid in the first place. We were heavily taxed. The rich were getting richer and the poor... Well the poor were looked at as the lowest form of life.

Damn, this sounds familiar.

Those being taxed and Financially oppressed were not being listened to. They tried over and over to get the Government's and the powers that be's attention. No one listened. So it escalated. They protested. They did something to protest that would shake things up wildly. They took a ship full of tea and dumped it in Boston Harbor. THIS WAS PEACEFUL!!! They dressed as the natives, another group who had no respect, and it escalated.

Wow this is horribly familiar...

The British sent in the Military to Police and control any "uprisings". It escalated into the Revolutionary War!!!


Now Fast Forward 200+ years later. We have been brainwashed! Look at what it has taken to get us to this point. We have been lied to, ignored, tossed aside, and given the false impression that things are getting better when our nation has been left in a toilet by crooked politicians and flushed down without us ever knowing. Now HISTORY IS REPEATING ITSELF!!! Instead of 1 tyrant 1000 miles away, we have 1% of the population who are the tyrants and the other 99% of us are being severely oppressed financially and excessively taxed. The 99% have begun to protest in a way that is getting the attention of the 1%! It's escalated. Now there are police attempting to control any "uprisings".

There are 2 ways this can go.

Listen and be the difference needed to make this country as great as every person who calls themselves an American believes it to be.

Or Listen and ignore this 'rabble'. As the British found out in the late 1700's, there is nothing more dangerous then a man defending his home.

Ours are being taken from us.

Do the needs of the few truly outweigh the needs of the many?

(Edited to be less wall-of-text-ish and for grammar. Content is entirely Melody's - T.)

27 September 2011

New design

Yeah, I got bored, so I redesigned the blog again. I'll have to recenter the BGS banner, I know...

Maybe someone could put it on a little sign bridge for me? Pretty please? Bonus points if you put some old-school lighting on said gantry. (The sign's retroreflective, by the way.)

...And yes, I know that's a Cali-style exit tab with a Louisiana highway shield! I happen to like the California exit tabs, thank you very much!

Epic... just epic.

I'm almost tempted to add "Ponies" to the blog's BGS. This is win.

09 September 2011

Say hello to a new contributor...

...may she survive the experience.

For the longest time, the staff around here has just been myself and a psychotic cat. Since the cat doesn't post, that means it's been only me. That changes today, as we welcome a new contributor.

You can call her Melody. She's my roommate for a year, and while she's not as much of a roadgeek as me, she is more than capable of making her voice heard about the other things this blog's about. She'll also add a lighter, funnier side to the blog. Sometimes.

Cats and Dogs... The Political side.

Hiya all!, I am a shiny new contributor to the blog! All shall love me and Despair! JK!

Today I was playing around on a game and I received a little message from a friend. Upon reading it I was rather disturbed...

It's just dawned on me !!

My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day.
He has his food prepared for him. He can eat whenever he wants.
His meals are provided at no cost to him.
He visits the Dr. once a year for his checkup, and again during the year if any medical needs arise.
For this he pays nothing, and nothing is required of him.
He lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep.
If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up.
He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep.
He receives these accommodations absolutely free.
He is living like a King, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.
All of his costs are picked up by others who go out and earn a living every day.
I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick .......
I think my dog is a Democrat!

To this I promptly replied...

my cat demands everything be done for him. He steps on everyone, treats everyone like they are his slaves and I think he is paid off by big animals outside the house to spill trash on everything... I think my Cat is Republican.

I am curious though... If cats are Republicans and Dogs are Democrats... What would the Independent Party be??? I mean I figure a 3 toed sloth would be the Green Party. I suppose it would be something elusive... Like a Bigfoot or something.

That's Louisiana for you, folks!

State to restripe I-10 bridge exit (source: The Advocate)

For the longest time, I-10's Exit 153 (LA 1) westbound was striped as a right lane exit-only, center lane exit-optional setup. And it worked well enough.

So apparently someone at DoTD had the bright idea to get rid of the middle-lane optional and force all exiting traffic to use the right lane. (My guess is that they got stuck in the middle lane in rush hour.) And it SUCKED for exiting traffic.

Now they're changing it back to right lane exit-only, middle lane exit optional.

Moral of the story? Don't mess with a good thing if you have no idea what the hell you're doing.

This is problematic, though. All along, it should have been four lanes - two for westbound I-10 to continue on, two for exiting onto LA 1. No optional lane. Room enough for breakdown lanes, too. The problem is, we've only built to current capacity at the time an upgrade or new construction effort began, and at the time, three travel lanes and no shoulders seemed to be enough. With a surface route or a short bridge, that's less of an issue, but something the scale of the Horace Wilkerson Bridge? I think it should have been four lanes plus full shoulders each way all along, even if one of those lanes went unused for several years.

Now we can't. The bridge is too important to Baton Rouge's traffic flow. The only solution is going to require an upgrade. Perhaps it's time to start looking into realigning I-10.

07 September 2011

Twin Spans Update

No pics from me on this one yet, as gas still costs too much.

The new I-10 Twin Spans are slated to be opened completely on Friday, September 9. Mark that day in your calendars - that's the day six lanes are open continuously across the lake.

It's long overdue.

Heads up, travelers!

Road work will impact I-12/I-59 interchange at Slidell Thursday (source: Times-Picayune)

This is what I live for...

Here's the gist of it - Thursday, September 8, 2011:
  • I-12 EAST: Right lane closed at mile marker 85.5 - Left lane open but expect delays
  • I-59 SOUTH: The ramp to I-10 eastbound will be CLOSED.
If you want to get to eastbound I-10 from I-59, the best way is to take the exit to I-10 WEST and turn around at one of the Slidell interchanges. I suggest Exit 265, Business US 190 - it's not quite as congested as Gause (US 190).

Closures start at 9 am and are expected to last til 2 pm.

This is ridiculous.

There's a reason that my tag for gasoline is "It Just Keeps Going Higher."

Labor Day's come and gone. Shouldn't prices be dropping?

$3.559/gallon at the place we've been using lately, and I only went there because a local supermarket promotion was cutting off (in my case) 20 cents a gallon. Cheapest gas in Mandeville at the moment is $3.529. Just a couple miles up the road, it's $3.389 in Covington. (That's ridiculous enough by itself.)

$3.359 a gallon is still RAPE!

I doubt I could afford to fill the tank these days if I still had my Festiva. (For those not in the know, the Ford Festiva only had an eight-gallon gas tank and got about 40 mpg.) Of course, we now have a Ford Explorer with a twenty gallon tank and (at the moment) a quarter of the fuel economy. I'm paying so much for gas that we can't even afford to do a tune-up!

Probably need the tune-up because of the damned ethanol they're mixing with the gas nowadays... and now they're increasing the mixture? Thanks for killing my lawnmowers, you bastards. When the Zoning Board decides to bitch about the overgrown yard, I'm forwarding the summons your way.

To hell with the world economy, OPEC, corn-state lobbyists and Tea Partiers. Ban oil speculation. I want fucking price controls. And get your goddamned ethanol out of my gasoline!

You know, I think I'll label this a Just Plain Wrong as well.

02 September 2011

Walkabout UPD*TE

Tropical depression possibly coming ashore. Camera dies, so I gotta get a new one. Feet are killing me. One of the pictures is on the Interstate itself and I went on foot.

Does that make me dedicated, hardcore or insane? You be the judge.

First, some new signage:

These signs appear to be going up on every Interstate in Louisiana - at the least, I saw them on I-12 between Exits 63 and 83, and apparently they're on I-10 between the I-12/I-59 split and the Louisiana/Mississippi state line.

Damn, my feet hurt. Owww.


LA 1088: Three new shots eastbound near the new interchange with I-12. Two new shots westbound, same area. Updated a lot of the captions to reflect the new interchange's existence.
I-12: The shot above, plus one more close to Exit 68.

More coming as soon as I'm not in so much pain. Where's the ice?

01 September 2011

It's just... gone.

I-680 is obliterated... gone.

Truly, it's a sad, sad sight. I have no words.

Hopefully, they can start work quickly to replace the roadway.

FAQ 2011

Because I feel the need, that's why.

Q: What is the purpose of this blog?

A: In general, this blog is where I let my roadgeek side out to play. Less often, I'll blog about another passion of mine, computers. Of course, human stupidity is a sad constant, and some of that will be highlighted here as well.

Q: There's never anything but still shots in the posts here. Don't you do video?

A: Not at this time. There are a few good reasons for this. One, I don't even own a video camera. B, I have trouble keeping the gas tank full for necessary trips these days, much less the kind of dedicated trips that make for good video. (Seriously, do you want to see a YouTube video of me driving to the shrink?) And finally iii, I'm a perfectionist. If I did have a setup for video and a gas tank that magically filled itself, I'd still have to make about twenty trips and drive about 300 total miles just for a ten minute video that'd fit my standards. (Hence the shrink visits.)

Q: What's your Facebook?

A: (Error 404 - not found)

Seriously, I don't have one. I never have, I never will. Same will probably go for a Google+ page if they ever open registration. I am a strong supporter of anonymity on the Internet, and flat refuse to use any service where I can't just get by with a nickname, pen name or nom de guerre.

Q: There are no girls on the Internet.

A: Silly anon, that wasn't a question... and if that's the case then how am I posting?

Q: What do you drive?

A: The problem with being poor is that it's often cheaper to pick up another junker than to fix the one you have. (Of which there are three broken down in the yard.) The current vehicle I'm using is a 1996 Ford Explorer. The gas mileage sucks. I'm hoping to have the Civic, the Sentra or the Regal back on the road by year's end. (Hopefully the Civic with the way gas prices are going lately.)

Q: What kind of camera do you use?

A: Doesn't it say in the image info in Picasa? ...Ok, yeah, I'm lazy too. I understand completely. It's a cheap 3.2 MP Argus that I picked up a few years back for $50. The battery door is falling off, but it still does the job.

(Edit - Sept 2, 2011: I finally upgraded to a 5.1 MP Vivitar ViviCam 5118. Cost me $30, worth every penny. Use the zoom at your own risk.)

Q: I found out something you may want to know. How do I get in touch with you?

A: I'm on the AARoads forum as Darkangel. I have a Jabber - the info is in my Blogger profile, I think. (You can use that info with Google Talk, too.) I'm also tdarkchylde on AIM, but unless I know you, I likely won't respond. I don't post my email publicly - if you're in the roadgeek community, you probably have it already anyway.

Q: So, what do you do when you're not driving?

A: I'm likely either gaming or watching ponies. Deal with it.

31 August 2011

Long-awaited (full) UPD*TE

Ok, that's done. Looks like I was only able to salvage a few pictures from last year's Idaho trip, and an entire camera is still missing with many more of the I-84 shots, along with the I-15/84 multiplex shots. Damn, damn, damn. I hope it's around here, because I don't envision myself heading back that way during my lifetime.


I-84 (western): 56 shots eastbound from just west of Boise, Idaho to the eastern terminus in Echo, UT


I-10: Added 13 shots along eastbound in and near Baton Rouge

Long-awaited (teaser) UPD*TE!

Finally. I'm in the process of salvaging the pictures from my camera. Here's one album to whet your appetite til I get done:

Clinched (during the trip these pics were from):

Highways: I-184, both directions (pics westbound), I-270 (Colorado) eastbound (sadly no pics)
Counties: Several in Colorado, Utah, Idaho - will have to figure out which later on


I-184: Yes, that I-184. Westbound coverage between Exit 2 and the western terminus, circa late May 2010.

It's been a while, hasn't it?

As of this post... wow, 22 months since the last post!

First off, stop worrying. I'm not dead. I've just had massive equipment failures both of the computer and automotive variety. I'm only just getting back on my feet here.

With gasoline prices being what they are, I can't afford to travel (and therefore get pictures) anymore, especially with the only running vehicle here being a SUV. Yes, one of those things I swore I'd never ever own. (Technically I still don't own one - it belongs to my roommate.)

Hopefully things will start to look up soonish. If things go right, my income situation should improve soon, the Deathmachine will be back on the road, and I'll hopefully get some new pics of the area... before I move.

Yeah, the Louisiana Roadgeek Girl will hopefully be moving by year's end.

In the meantime, I've found my old camera, which should have some pics from (of all places) Idaho, Utah, possibly Colorado and Texas as well.

So keep the faith.