Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
According to a story from the Riverfront Times which discussed new statistics from State Farm, Missouri drivers rank 17th in the nation in car/deer crashes. It's deer mating season now that Fall has arrived and deer are wandering all over the place, too often along highways. Actually they're too often crossing highways in the early morning and early evening.
It's scary if you've ever had a close call with a deer or even hit one. From then on you're always on alert and nervous about these animals. The story says that the top states for the collisions are West Virginia, Montana, Pennsylvania, Iowa and South Dakota. I have no argument with West Virginia and Pennsylvania, we've driven out to DC along I-70 and the turnpike in Fall and seen the massive numbers of hit deer shoved over onto the shoulders of the interstate.
Last year the number was almost unbelievable in Pennsylvania, northern Maryland, West Virginia and even most of Ohio. Every mile there was a dead deer. Sometimes it is impossible to avoid hitting these animals as they zoom out of the grassy areas right onto the road. They can jump over the barriers too. Dale has hit at least 3 during the years we have been married and all have come out of no where and he is more than fearful during these weeks. He encountered one on the drive home from Macon Missouri yesterday morning but thankfully did not collide with it.
The weekend Post Dispatch had a story on Casey, Illinois, and how they've made their town a stop along I-70 for travelers. Casey has placed the "world's largest everything" all around the small town. These include a golf tee, wind chime, mailbox, rocking chair, dinner fork and many more things.
This is quite comical, but it does draw you in as you see the billboards while driving in eastern Illinois on I-70. And, truth be told, we did stop once on our way to DC just to see the World's biggest golf tee. We didn't take the time to look at the wind chime and had no idea all these other things were there too. But it was a fun stop.
If you're ever somewhere between Effingham and the Indiana border of Illinois, take time to check this out.
Far from the desert, a teenage driver collided with a camel on a Sardis, Alabama road, injuring the driver and animal.
The camel's owner was leading the animal across the road, saw the car coming and tried to get the driver's attention but it was too late. The camel crashed onto the hood, showering glass onto the driver, who was treated for minor injuries including cuts. The camel had to be euthanized.
Even drivers who are not teenagers would not have expected to come across a camel slowly crossing a road.
This morning saw a crash involving a couple of vehicles on the west end of the Poplar at the ramp to get onto 55/44. I've been monitoring this crash because Dale has to get back to St. Louis from Collinsville early this morning. This is a story which repeats itself often and just as often involves a semi trying to make that steep curve exiting the Poplar onto 55/44. And today is no different. A semi and a car and a traffic jam heading west from Illinois backed up to who knows where right now.
I had to take that exit last week, but in mid-afternoon and it is really a sharp curve which requires a big slow down and very careful steering. Not only that but there is still some sort of construction going on which requires a lot of traffic cones to manuver around on that exit. So many semi drivers do not exercise the caution needed to get those huge trucks through. It's amazing how fast they drive the Poplar after getting through the 55/64 merge and then come suddenly upon that curve.
And now, today, commuters from Illinois are sitting and sitting. Just now at 6:35 I read that the semi has finally been removed but it will take a while to get traffic moving.
Sunday we went to the Greek Fest which is on Forest Park Boulevard near Barnes Hospital. During those 3 days, the Fest goers are allowed to use the parking garage next to the church which is a great perk. You enter the garage from Laclede and you leave onto Laclede. When we left we were stopped at a red light at Laclede and Kingshighway. There were cars behind us and we waited for some time because this was a long red light. In my rear view mirror I noticed the suv behind us and as we were first in line, I kept my eye on the red light.
All of a sudden my truck was banged from behind and we wobbled. What the heck just happened we wondered. I checked the car behind us but it had not moved. What the heck? Then we saw a man in full cycling regalia hunched over in pain, holding his arm close to his chest and he stumbled to the building next to the street and fell down. We still did not know what had happened until the light turned green and we started to move. The cyclist had gotten up fast and ran to pick up and carry his bike from behind my truck to the sidewalk. So somehow he slammed into a non moving vehicle.
How did that happen? And why was he riding and cutting between cars anyway? As we got to another red light on Kingshighway, we talked to the people in the car which had been behind us originally. They said the cycle guy just rode right into the back of my truck, fell down and etc etc.
This is crazy biking, frankly. And I now have a deep slash on the middle of my tailgate which we have to have fixed or it will begin to rust out. He was obviously a serious bike person and should know better, but, many cyclists don't seem to know better either.
i was looking over my Twitter feed just now and saw KMOX's traffic copter reporter Rodger Brand's report of a crash on westbound 55/70 at the 64 split. My first reaction was how tricky that area is at any time of day what with lanes coming from several directions. Then I thought, "I'll bet a semi is involved." Sure enough, 3 minutes later I saw copter video of the crash area on Fox2 and there was an over turned semi.
While driving that section several times a week, I always see the big trucks roaring along as they approach that area, often sliding abruptly from lane to lane without slowing down.
STAY OFF YOUR PHONE. Every employee of any workplace, every family member everywhere, should emphasize to its members that any phone call or text while driving can wait til the car is parked. No item of business is important enough to get you or anyone else killed or injured. STAY OFF YOUR PHONE WHILE DRIVING
DON'T DRIVE WITH A MATTRESS HOOKED TO THE ROOF OF YOUR CAR. The total of mattresses which have hit St. Louis area highways this year is 120. PLEASE STOP DOING THIS FOR ALL OUR SAKES.
Driving home from Maryland yesterday we this just ahead of us in Indiana and it reminded me of Y98's Lance Hildebrand's traffic reporting. At last count he'd reported on 110 mattresses which have fallen off vehicles onto St Louis highways. Ever since I've taken note of the total rising by the week, I've wondered what it would be like to be driving near one of these cars or trucks. As amusing as it is to see the total of mattresses on the roadways rise, make no mistake, this can be very dangerous to surrounding vehicles. And so it was we decided right away to get around this guy.
for some reason my site insists on inserting the picture sideways, but as you can see there are a couple mattresses tied to the top of the car and in real time they were in motion, up and down or side to side. Easy to see why many fall.
People! People, if you have to move a mattress you really really have to know what you're doing. This morning during rush hour in St. Louis which saw rain and multiple crashes, there were two drivers in the midst of this who had mattresses fall off their vehicles and drop onto highways.
What on earth are all these people thinking? As of today 107 mattresses have fallen onto local highways. This means 107 people had no idea how to fasten down or otherwise travel with a mattress. These things are like sails, any kind of bump or wind will float them up and carry them off. And hauling them on a rooftop is just waiting for disaster. And, traveling with a mattress during rush hour is the worst.
Does anyone wonder who's job it is to get these things off a busy highway? I would advise giving a vehicle carrying a mattress a wide berth of you're nearby in your own car. Imagine having one of these hit your windshield.