Monday, September 15, 2008

Whose Legacy is this highway anyways?

So last night I took the opportunity to take the new Legacy Highway up to Syracuse to my sisters for dinner. And let me tell you this, I dont get it. It was somewhere around 12 years ago that Governor Mike Levitt proposed this highway and it is now just opening. From what I read it was officially given the green light 10 years ago, 2 years after the initial proposal, but was held up time and time again in court due to environmentalist and angry citizens, mostly from West Bountiful. I do not pretend to know all of the ins and outs of each sides arguments but after driving up the 10 mile or so stretch I just dont get it. It is an ugly stretch of land, very ugly. All of the precious "wetlands" that the environmentalists were trying to protect, I couldnt find. There was a pond near the north end of the road, but that was the only wet thing I could find and that didnt even look like a natural pond to me. And as far as the arguments that the wonderful people of West Bountiful voiced, for the most part the road runs by absolutely nothing. A few neighborhoods here and there. But seriously, how can people argue over better transportation?
I will say this though, riding on a brand new, fresh paved road that has been open for less than 24 hours was nice. It was very smooth and quiet. It took me the exact same time to get to my sisters as it always had, but this of course was on a quiet Sunday evening. I imagine that the rush hour traffic is where the good people of Davis County will truly see the benefits.
In order for this road to be built there were several compromises that UDOT had to agree to. First they had to agree to make the road narrower than originally planned, which they did. But it is very obvious that is not what they see the future of the road to look like. They narrowed the road down to two lanes each way yet actually are taking up the same amount of space. They just left about 50 feet or so untouched in between the two directions. The bridges also are constructed in a way that they will easily be able to go in and add another lane each way in the future without having to rebuild the bridges much like along I-15. So is that really a compromise? The other compromises I dont see as being a real big deal for UDOT to deal with, big rigs are not allowed on the highway, they must stick to I-15, no big deal at all, and they had to agree to a bike/run trail that runs the length. That one was easy enough, just lay down some extra asphalt on the side and put a stripe down the middle of it. I did see several people taking advantage of this, but I cant see why, like I said, it is an ugly place and I imagine at certain times of the year it is bug infested.
The biggest draw back of the road to me is that the speed limit is 55 yet it is constructed just like a freeway. There are on and off ramps, no stop lights and no intersections. Oh, and dont try and speed down it. I saw 5 cops with people pulled over to the side last night. I think they realize that they can easily fill their quota on that road alone. This lower speed limit is really annoying to me, its like having a really nice juicy steak laid in front of you yet you cant eat it, you just have to stare at it and smell it. Not fair. Oh, one more note, and this might be one of those points that the environmentalist got right, I saw several dead animals on the road, I would say at least a dozen, and keep in mind it had only been open for 24 hours. This apparently was a foreseen problem because I saw a "Highway Animal Control" Vehicle out on clean up duty.
What would I rate the new Highway: 79. I will let you figure out the scale.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Bart Simpson, who the h3!! are you...

The above picture may not be clear enough to read, please click on it, I worked hard on it.

Ok, so I am still behind the times on this whole blog thing. I have found that I just dont have a whole lot of interesting things to say. I dont have one of those great jobs where 6 year olds give me constant blog material, I dont have any strong political views, except that I hate all politics, I dont have a family, at least not here with me, that I can write endlessly about, and I am not sure that you all want me to rant and rave about BYU football for week after week. But dont worry, I will get going eventually and give you all something to read while you are sitting at your desks when you should be working. Let me give you a sneak preview of whats to come sometime down the road. Mullets: A hisory. Tramp Stamps: Another history. People watching at the fair/demo derby (still in the works.) All sorts of top ten lists (one on hot female athletes, just to appease Stephanie.) And many more. Maybe I should take some sort of poll to get some ideas of what people out there want to hear about from me. But for now, I am going to take off a little bit from Jon's Chuck Norris blog and eventually get into a list.
One of my favorite shows growing up was "The Simpsons." I think this is pretty much a prerequisite for being a guy. My brothers and I were so serious about our love of the show that we told my only sister that any potential husband had to pass a series of questions. Within those questions was whether or not he was a Simpsons fan and how could he prove it. Luckily Dan passed the test and they now have two awesome kids. Watching the show as a kid was made difficult at times because my mother banned us from watching it from time to time. I always found a way though. Its funny to look back now and watch the early episodes, when Bart had a "really" foul mouth, and compare it to what is on TV today. If my mother knew then what she knows now she would have let us watch The Simpsons and only The Simpsons.
I could get into a list of my favorite episodes and why but that could get pretty big. I will say though that two of my all time favorite episodes are the "Tomacco" and the "Beer Baron" episodes. In the first Homer decides to become a farmer. In his vast inexperience he decides to plant a "little of everything" and fertilizes it with plutonium. The final product is "Tomacco," a tomato with a dried tobacco center that is instantly addictive. Bart gets addicted as well as the farm animals who go crazy and start tearing the farm apart demanding more tomacco through a new found speech they have developed. Classic. In the "Beer Baron" Homer turns to Bootlegging when a 200 year old prohibition law is enforced in Springfield. After Chief Wiggum fails to catch the "Beer Baron," Homers secret alias, Rex Banner is sent in from the United States Treasury Department to hunt him down. Once agian, just a classic episode, this one in particular has a few of my favorite lines. At one point Homer comes up from the basement where he has built his own distillery and Marge asks Homer what he is doing down there, Homers reponse is "Marge, I dont want to lie to you" and then he just walks away. Just good writing right there.
I could go on and on, showing that there truely is some form of geek in me. But like I said before, this is every guys calling, to be a Simpsons geek. If your man doesnt appreciate The Simpsons and quote them at every chance he gets, well, he might be gay, 70 years old, a women, or a gay 70 year old women.
One of the things I have always loved about the show for some reason is trying to catch what Bart is writing on the chalkboard during the opening credits. For those of you that dont know, it is different for every new episode. I can imagine that several of these came about because of real life situations that the writers were either part of or have heard of. I am telling you, teachers have the most interesting job sometimes, if you dont beleive me just ask Kristi. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite ones. They are as follows.

  • Organ transplants are best left to professionals
  • Five days is not too long to wait for a gun
  • They are laughing at me, not with me
  • I will not trade pants with others
  • I am not a 32 year old woman
  • I will not get very far with this attitude
  • I will not hide behind the Fifth Amendment
  • Hamsters cannot fly
  • I will not torment the emotionally frail
  • I will stop talking about the twelve inch pianist
  • the Pledge of Allegiance does not end with Hail Satan
  • Wedgies are unhealthy for children and other living things
  • I do not have power of attorney over first graders
  • I will not re-transmit without the express permission of Major League Baseball
  • I will not expose the ignorance of the faculty
  • I saw nothing unusual in the teachers lounge
  • I will not prescribe medication
  • I will not teach others to fly
  • I will not bring sheep to class
  • I will not yell "she's dead" at roll call
  • No one is interested in my underpants
  • I am not authorized to fire substitute teachers
  • My homework was not stolen by a one-armed man
And my personal favorites (try and imagine a kid actually saying or doing these)
  • I am not deliciously saucy
  • I will not instigate revolution
  • I do not have diplomatic immunity
  • Goldfish dont bounce
  • Ralph wont "morph" if you squeeze him hard enough
  • I will not call my teacher "Hot Cakes"