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.