Today’s the last TMQ of the season!
No more “cosmic thoughts”!
The readers will cheer and the blogger will shout!
And we’ll all feel happy after the last TMQ of the year…
Archive for the ‘Roads’ Category
Today’s the last TMQ of the season!
Likewise, the A/V Club is operating on holiday time: they did publish a nice obit for Jack Klugman, but have not gotten around to Charles Durning yet. (Edited to add: the A/V Club’s obit for Durning is up now.)
On the night after Christmas 40 years ago, two buses carved a thin line across the vast blackness of the New Mexico plains. They carried 58 young people and seven chaperones from Woodlawn Baptist Church in South Austin, the passengers still reveling in the merry holiday glow, en route to a religious retreat and skiing in the eastern New Mexico mountains.
19 people were killed when one of the buses crashed. 16 of them were teenagers. This is one of those bits of Austin history that I was previously unaware of; I commend the Statesman story (and the sidebar about how horrible the highway bridge was) to your attention.
Paging Andrew! Andrew to the white courtesy phone, please!
At least 90% of the time (if not more), when someone tells me “you shouldn’t burn bridges”, that person has just finished pouring gasoline all over the structure in question, and is now standing in the middle of the bridge flicking their Zippo.
I wouldn’t ordinarily make note of the five guys arrested for conspiring to blow up a bridge in Ohio. Terrorist plots are a dime a dozen these days, and it seems that many of them turn out to be a bunch of losers who couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery without help from undercover FBI agents.
But I’ve noted before that I have family in the Cleveland area. Some of them live in Sagamore Hills, and I’ve driven over the Ohio 82 bridge many times while visiting them.
Here’s what that bridge looks like in Google Maps satellite view:
And here’s your Google Image Search results for the Ohio 82 bridge. It is a nice looking bridge, I have to admit.
The guardrail bore no scars from the S.U.V., for there was no impact; police investigators said the driver had lost control, and the vehicle first struck a Jersey barrier at the center median, and then veered sharply to the right, hitting a curb that propelled it directly over the guardrail.
Jesus, Joseph, and Mary. Those poor people.
Frankly, yeah, I can see eating tiger shrimp. The Asian Carp…well, it makes me think of the old joke about how to prepare carp. (Nail it to a board, prop it in front of a fire until one side turns black, turn the board over and wait until the other side turns black, then throw the fish away and eat the board.) I’m not a big chili fan, but nutria bourguignon could be interesting. And as for feral hogs, let me just say two words: feral bacon.
This one goes out to Andrew: how to replace a bridge in a weekend, instead of months.
The lawsuit is asking a judge to order that everybody who bought the books be refunded. Whatever money is left over would go to a humanitarian organization selected by the plaintiffs’ attorneys and approved by the court.
Would it shock you to learn that one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs was also involved in the James Frey lawsuit?
First of all, a couple more obits: Lana Peters. You might know her better as “Svetlana Stalina”, Josef Stalin’s daughter.
I missed this over the weekend (I’ve been distracted, working on my final project for school) but Tom Wicker, noted NYT journalist, passed away on Friday.
Speaking of municipal budget cuts, Lourdes Garcia, one of Robert “Ratso” Rizzo’s employees, has lost her job with the city of Bell.
She was making $422, 000 a year until last year, when her salary was cut to $165,000.
We haven’t had a “Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark” update recently. How are things going?
In an interview to mark the Monday anniversary of the production’s first, fumbling preview performance, the producers of “Spider-Man” said they were considering new plans for recouping the show’s record-setting $75 million capitalization. The most unusual idea: adding new scenes and perhaps a new musical number to the New York “Spider-Man” every year, making it akin to a new comic book edition, and then urging the show’s fans to buy tickets again.
The producers also say that they’re not planning on mounting touring companies, but instead want to concentrate on making the Broadway production successful. And this decision has nothing to do with Julie Taymor’s lawsuit. Nothing at all.
Weekly running costs alone for “Spider-Man” total $1 million or more, by far the highest amount on Broadway, while its net income has ranged recently from $100,000 to $300,000 a week. At that rate the show would need to play on Broadway at least five more years — and possibly quite a bit longer — to pay off debts, a run very few shows achieve. In other words, it would need to turn into a hit on par with “Wicked” or “The Lion King” (the latter directed by Ms. Taymor), which after lengthy runs still regularly sit atop the weekly Broadway box office charts.
Up until about five years ago, I drove Loop 360 every day. I still have to drive it from time to time, so I was quite interested in the Statesman‘s coverage of plans to improve traffic flow. The biggest change involves implementing “Michigan left turns”: instead of left turn arrows at the lights, drivers will have to turn right, go down to a median cut, and do a U-turn.
I had plans: if I was ever diagnosed with a terminal illness, I’d go out late one night and blow up all the pointless traffic lights on Loop 360. The “Michigan left” plan doesn’t go quite that far, but I think it is a good step, if properly implemented. However, the plan doesn’t address the other major problem I used to see: traffic backs up horribly at the Loop 360/Mopac (Loop 1) intersection. That area badly needs a massive intersection redesign.
The Texas Department of Transportation is closing the ramp from northbound 183 to southbound Loop 1 this coming weekend. The closure is supposed to start at 9 PM Friday, and run until 5 AM Monday.
TXDOT does have a pretty good reason for the closure; they’re repairing a section of the highway damaged in a horrible tanker truck accident/explosion last fall.
The Texas Department of Transportation has been building a couple of additional “flyover” connections down south of town; specifically, at the intersection of Loop 1 (also known locally as “MoPac”) and U.S. Highway 290.
Unfortunately, TXDOT contracted with Wiser Construction, a company based in Nevada. (The Statesman says Wiser is based in Las Vegas, but all the business addresses I found for them are in Moapa, which is about 55 miles away according to Google Maps.)
Why is that unfortunate? Because Wiser Construction declared bankruptcy last week and walked off the job, leaving the flyovers uncompleted. (A search of the two Las Vegas newspapers turned up nothing about this bankruptcy.)
Edited to add 7/19: Here’s a link to another Statesman story. If you look at both that story, and the blog post I linked to yesterday, neither one currently contains any mention of bankruptcy. (The Statesman blog post appears to have been revised sometime after my original post.)
A bond insurance company informed TxDOT’s Austin office Monday in a letter that Wiser Construction Co. would not complete the $8.4 million job, said Tim Weight, TxDOT’s Austin district director of construction. The letter did not explain why the Las Vegas company was quitting the project, Weight said.
Because I live for his happiness.
- The 75 MPH speed limit bill has passed both houses and is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. (Previously, and not 100% related.)
- Dennis Kucinich is losing his district due to redistricting, and is considering making a run for a seat in Washington State. This is not at all a transparent attempt to justify linking to this post. Not at all. We have standards here.
- Kelly Clarkson will be performing live at the new Microsoft store in the Houston Galleria on June 25th. This actually doesn’t have a damn thing to do with anything Lawrence cares about, except possibly the phrases “epic failure” and “you’re doing it wrong”.