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.
Someone on Twitter was ticked off by people who back into parking places, scolding with "What are you anticipating that you think you need to drive away quickly."
I've sort of seen this, but it's rare when the parking spaces are the diagonal type as opposed to squared off. What I try to do when in a parking lot with straight lines, not diagonal, is to find a spot where you can pull into one and keep going to face forward in the spot right in front of that one. If that makes sense. I do this especially when I have to go to the Brentwood Promenade because this place is always crowded and the spaces are small and the driving lanes between rows are narrow which makes it hard to leave.
Also, vehicles are so much bigger now, bigger than the parking lot spaces have been designed.
Also, McCausland Ave, near us, and which goes north and south from Clayton Skinker to Arsenal was never meant for the amount of traffic and most importantly, the size of vehicles which now travel it. It's a very nerve-wracking street to be on and it's necessary every now and then. It's 4 lanes, each narrower than you'd be comfortable with, and lanes right up against the curbs. It was constructed for a different time, not a time when drivers zoom from I-64 to 44 back and forth, mid town to south city and beyond.
It's amazing how much larger cars and trucks are now and how that affects streets and parking lots.
This morning we have to be out at Westport Plaza for a St. Louis Lutheran prayer breakfast which means leaving home at 6:30 to get there. It also means we'll get to be part of the morning traffic mess on 270 which we normally only hear about on traffic reports.
On Sunday I happened to look at what things were trending on Twitter and was surprised to see "Big Bend". Big Bend is kind of a funny name for a long long road which winds through a large part of the St. Louis area going north and south and east and west. It does have a big bend and many more bends than one. We can turn onto Big Bend at Clayton road just a couple of blocks from here...and we do...often.
Anyway the reason it was trending on Twitter was because of all the crashes that occur near the exit from 64/40 eastbound and sometimes westbound. This is a mean bit of interstate and it is not at all unusual for accidents to take place because the traffic going east has been coming from the west and meeting cars trying to merge onto 64/40 from Hanley. All of a sudden the right hand lane is exit only at Big Bend which means everyone in the right lane has to get over and the huge numbers of cars getting on at that point have to get over as well.
I find this more than tricky. People around here, and we too, often have to shop in the Promenade or the shops along Hanley and take the highway back home. Frankly it's gotten so bad I have given up most times and taken the side streets. This area of Big Bend and the interstate was made much worse after the Highway 64 re-do back in 2007. If you are unfamiliar with this lane ending and merging at Big Bend it causes all kinds of problems.
This is a very busy area what with all the popular Promenade, Galleria and other things. And too many exits for comfort beginning at Brentwood/170 then Hanley, Big Bend, McCausland, Hampton. All in close proximity to each other.
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.