Monthly Archives: January 2008

Undercover Traffic Cop

Off and on over the years, but not very often recently, I’ve thought it would be nice to be a completely undercover traffic enforcement officer — someone in a totally unmarked and unremarkable car who could unexpected pull someone over and issue a ticket. Honestly, I haven’t thought it much recently, probably because I’ve become more relaxed as a driver. But yesterday I really wanted that power.

I was sitting in traffic on Meacham road across from Costco, when I noticed the driver-side door of the car in front of me open. But instead of the ice and water, or spit, I expected, the driver dropped the plastic package from something onto the ground. Right then I wished I had hidden lights so that I could pull them over and issue a littering ticket.

I also thought about just getting out, picking up the trash and knocking on their window to say “I think you dropped this,” but I knew it wouldn’t be safe given the traffic.

Instead, I just had to watch the trash blow off and add to the garbage on our streets.

Trip Report: Men’s Retreat — Part 2

Resuming where I left off yesterday.

Saturday morning

Trip Report: Men’s Retreat — Part 1

Last weekend, I attended my fourth Men’s Retreat sponsored by the Wheaton Bible Church Men’s Ministries. As was the case with the previous three, in addition to attending, I worked as part of the technical crew running (and providing) the computer that provided the graphics.

Set up Friday

I’m sure it wasn’t a dousing rod

Just a moment ago, I was walking back to my desk and looked out the window. Outside were three men standing around near some part of the fire system — A red pipe that sticks out of the ground near the street with a valve on it that has something to do with the sprinklers. I didn’t get a picture, but one of the men was holding a piece of L shaped wire with one end down, and one end pointing away from him towards the stand.

I’ll admit my first thought was along the lines of “why would someone be using a dousing rod to find the piping.” Given that I believe that most dousers control the rods themselves (either deliberately or subconsciously) I couldn’t believe that a maintainer would use such a tool

Off the wall query — New York Steam

I’m hoping that someone who sees this can answer this for me.

When I was a kid, I remember someone telling me that in New York City that steam for heating was provided by a utility — like water and electricity. This was the explanation of the steam vents that you see in the streets on cold days.

This morning, while driving in -4 degree (f) weather, I noticed that the storm sewer vents along County Farm were releasing condensed water vapor simply because there was warmish water down their.

So, now I wondering — are there parts of New York City where a utility provides steam for heating many adjacent buildings, and releases the excess through vents on the street and sidewalk, or is this just the same effect I observed this morning in the Chicago Suburbs?

Very Disturbing

This is a rather high score on this test for someone who doesn’t drink:

alcohol test below

Sometimes things are amusing

Just now, I glanced at the DuPage County Election Notice that was included in this weeks Bartlett Examiner for the upcoming primary election.

Just below the fold, it makes note of the colors of the ballots for the different parties. I was amused to learn that “the Democratic ballot will be green” yet “the Green Party ballot will be blue.” Somehow it would just make more sense to make the Green’s ballot the green one. Hopefully there won’t be any cases where someone asks for a “Green Ballot” and gets handed a green colored, Democratic ballot.

Comment Meem

From daddy_guido and jrittenhouse

Mostly since I have to at least preview to see it
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Geographical Trivia Query

In an odd series of thoughts that begin by reading an article in today’s Chicago Tribune about the TV series Law & Order I was struck by the following question:

Is there more than one place in the US where the municipality, county and state all share the same name. The one I know of is in Manhattan, where you are in the county, city and state of New York (the County of New York is smaller than the City of New York).

my speculation

Trip related follow-up

Last Wednesday, while we were having a “Frontier Roll” — the six-inch buttery sweet rolls available at The Frontier Restaurant across Central from the University of New Mexico, one of three or four place I’d recommend to any of my friends who happen to be passing through Albuquerque (see below) — I was struck with the fact that The Frontier would be just the kind of place that would make a good profile on the Food Network TV Show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. This afternoon, I went to the Food Network website and found the page for that show, and discovered that they have an e-mail address for offering suggestions. So, I made the suggestion. They also asked for contact information in case they take the suggestion and want to talk to you more (or make an appearance). Of course if they want me to appear, I’d have to fly to Albuquerque for it, but I might be able to swing that. If I do, I’ll let people know, of course.

For reference, Albuquerque Restaurants worth checking out