Solving Problems With Problems

Departure Time: 7:16
Arrival Time: 7:59
Weather as I call it: Bright sunshine! I was glad I had my shades on.
Paper Guy: Blue polo shirt and his shades...looking as glorious as the sun.
Shady Gas Price: $2.97
Yelled at other drivers: Eh...
Feared for my life: No


Lots of things to type about...

First off, Don't even think about raising tolls!

And now, my trip:

In town, there is a left turn I have to take. It's at a traffic light, which does not have a "green arrow" but a "delayed green light" for those of us turning left. Now, it's not posted that it is a delayed greeen light...you just have to learn from watching others, I guess...

That's the Massachusetts way. If you aren't totally familar with the roadway, you don't belong on the roadway.

Today, I was waiting for the light to turn green so I could take a left turn. There were 3 cars ahead of me, so I knew that by the time I entered the intersection...the opposite side's light would turn green and I would have to yield to oncoming traffic. I paused, seeing a blue Toyota starting off and going straight through. I did see that there were about 6 cars lined up on the other side, so I knew my wait wouldn't be long. As I was patiently waiting, I noticed that the fifth car wasn't paying attention...and she hesitated. Because she hesitated, she left me with about 4 car lengths of space/time to turn left...I saw the opportunity and took it. When she saw me making my move...she FLOORED it. I didn't yell at her, but I did wave my index finger at her and spoke aloud.

"You hesitated." I said.

I think she sped up so that no one else would cut in front of her...I know that feeling...but she shouldn't be driving to endanger because she made a mistake.

The state cop presence at Leverett Circle has been building the past few weeks. Not sure if they are making things better, since I think most people are weary about what they are doing there. See this post to learn more.

I saw some guy doing a little dusting using a white rag on his dashboard and a woman was doing a little dusting of her face with a blush brush.

A good start to the week...


Justin Case

Departure Time: 7:00
Arrival Time: 7:44
Weather as I call it: Thin clouds...warm
Paper Guy: Definitely wearing the same shirt as yesterday
Shady Gas Price: $2.97
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


I got an early start, but decided to use Memorial Drive this morning. I just didn't feel like waiting in the crawl to get on to Storrow...

I probably added about 5 minutes to my trip. Oh well.

Here's something that some of us wished we have to help us in our morning commute.

Trunk Monkey

Back in the day, I knew guys who kept a baseball bat in their trunk...and they gave that bat a name: "Justin".

Justin Case.


So You Can Rest Medicine

Departure Time: 7:15
Arrival Time: 7:57
Weather as I call it: Sunny and humid
Paper Guy: I think he has a number of green polo shirts...although the color is similar, they are different shirts
Shady Gas Price: $2.97
Yelled at other drivers: Not really
Feared for my life: No


I feel there is a increased level of animosity and stress on the roadways lately...I get the sense that people are ruder on the road than normal...not cooperating with their fellow driver.

Maybe it's the heat, maybe it's the latest traffic woes, maybe it's the unrest in the Middle East.

Maybe it's just me...I have been under the weather the past few days...taking NyQuil before bed isn't helping my morning happiness...and probably blurring my view on the world.

I'm just sensitive right now.


Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

Departure Time: 7:19
Arrival Time: 8:06
Weather as I call it: Hazy sunshine...it's hotter today
Paper Guy: I think he likes that green shirt...he was smiling from ear to ear when I passed him.
Shady Gas Price: $2.99
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Always be sure you look in your mirrors before you change lanes...I saw an exchange of middle fingers between a green Ford Explorer and a tan Chevy Cavalier right outside Wellington Circle...I don't know who was at fault, but they had an equal amount of disdain for each other.


Don't Forget To Get His License Plate Number

Departure Time: 7:11
Arrival Time: 7:54
Weather as I call it: Mostly sunny
Paper Guy: Wearing the same shirt as yesterday
Shady Gas Price: $2.99
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


There was an accident on Storrow today...three cars involved and it made getting onto "The Drive" a bit slow...everyone got around the scene pretty easily. It looked like a kid in a BMW with a large "Boston University" sticker in the back window rearended an older woman in a newer model Altima. Looked like they were exchanging paper when I rolled by them.


Summertime and the Livin's Easy

Departure Time: 7:10
Arrival Time: 7:47
Weather as I call it: Humidity gone...clear skies here...60s...not too bad
Paper Guy: Green polo shirt...looking snappy.
Shady Gas Price: $2.97
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


What can you say? Not a bad day for driving...even though the weekend was full of clouds and stickiness...and threats of showers and car stealing (went to a party in Southie)...you can't complain about today.

Even the Globe is saying the traffic hasn't been as bad as expected from the tunnel closures...Me? I have to agree...but my commute would not be affected anyway.


Aftermath of Beryl

Departure Time: 7:20
Arrival Time: 8:01
Weather as I call it: Cloudy...remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl
Paper Guy: Light blue polo shirt
Shady Gas Price: $2.95
Yelled at other drivers: No...well, I said something
Feared for my life: No


I didn't go to work yesterday...due to a family emergency...so as you may have noticed...there was no post.

A woman driving a white Honda Civic hesitated in traffic while I was behind her...so I got a little frustrated. She had this pink"Hello Kitty" throw pillow pressed against her back window...so I said, "C'mon Hello Kitty..." and I laughed a bit as she got it together.

On Storrow Drive, they decided it was a good idea to "weed wack" at 7:47 in the morning...they shut down a whole lane of traffic...but it didn't befront me none...just as long as I got to work this Friday.


Just Add Water

Departure Time: 7:28
Arrival Time: 8:08
Weather as I call it: Thin layer of clouds...hazy sunshine
Paper Guy: Same outfit as yesterday
Shady Gas Price: $2.95
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


So, there was a water main break last night and it messed up traffic this morning...Coupled with the tunnel shutdown, it looked like a big headache for people using 93. I have been lucky...I have not been troubled with these issues....but bad things come in 3s...

I am not one to predict doom and gloom, but if a sink hole suddenly appears in the middle of Storrow Drive...don't say I didn't warn you.


I Just Act 57 Years Old

Departure Time: 7;17
Arrival Time: 8:02
Weather as I call it: Pretty hot this morning...hazy
Paper Guy: Polo shirt today...
Shady Gas Price: $2.95
Yelled at other drivers: Ish
Feared for my life: No


I took the day off yesterday...but I am back today.

Pretty good drive today. I saw a few bold moves like the guy who used a left turn only lane to pass about four cars...Incredibly, he drove pretty normally afterward. Usually, if you pull a bold move like that you are announcing to the world that you are really in a hurry...and then you proceed to drive erratically towards your destination. I think this guy just had a momentary lapse of sensibility and then went back to a state of control.

Some clueless bunch of teens (I am such an old man) made me shout out a bit...it really wasn't a shout...it was at a normal conversation volume...but I did say to them, "What are you doing?" as they took a right turn with their left blinker on.


And A Starbucks On Every Corner

Departure Time: 7:21
Arrival Time: 8:05
Weather as I call it: Sunny...warm...the radio said it was 70 degrees
Paper Guy: Same outfit as yesterday...he looked a little sweaty today.
Shady Gas Price: $2.95
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


There is this new land development that looks to be near completion. I drive by this place every day...ok, most days....and I have been tracking its progression.

The development is called Station Landing and it has been growing pretty steadily for as long as I can remember (August 2004 or so...that's as far back as I can remember).

If you go to the site, you will see that they use the @ symbol in their branding...which I am guessing was a decision made in 1994 and they stuck to it. I would rather they went with this slogan "Come live at Station Landing.com, where the com is short for community!" Meh.

In this new development, there is a Starbucks...Although it located at a very busy intersection, it is very hard to get to since the two major routes that meet here are divided highways...I think there will be a lot of commuters pawing at their windows trying to figure out how they can turn their car around and pull into the lot to get their mochachinos.


World Keeps On Turning

Departure Time: 7:07
Arrival Time: 7:46
Weather as I call it: Cloudy...Muggy...and 77 degrees if I believe the liquor store sign
Paper Guy: Long sleeved shirt today...the shades were back on.
Shady Gas Price: Holding steady at $2.99
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: Meh


Granted I left earlier than usual today, but my commute was pretty light. I am still hearing about back-ups on 93 coming from the North....but if you are cutting across from East to West on the minor routes, things have been, well, rather normal.

When I merged onto Storrow Drive this morning, some guy in a black Accord got close to sideswiping me...I didn't exactly fear for my life but it certainly got my blood pumping. I should examine that first Storrow merge right before the MGH/Charles St. exit. As my father would say, "That one's a beaut."

I had to toot my horn at a minivan today. She wasn't going to take the opportunity to "turn right on red". After I alerted her to the fact that there was no "No Turn On Red" sign posted through a simple horn beep, she proceeded to look both ways and roll down the street. You could hear the people behind me clapping since they all wanted to do the same thing.


Still Down - Still Closed

Departure Time: 7:12
Arrival Time: 7:56
Weather as I call it: Overcast...hazy
Paper Guy: He had his glasses on...long sleeved shirt
Shady Gas Price: $2.99
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Maybe it was the gloomy skies today that added to my forlornness on the drive...but there was no mistaking that Monday night's tunnel collapse has affected me. The more I think about it, the more it angers me. I know I typed some incendiary things yesterday, but I couldn't stop myself.

I tried to stay a fan of this project...but now I have a hard time defending the Big Dig. Was it a big mistake? I don't know....but certainly the project's mismanagement was.

My commute wasn't affected much at all today. Co-workers are telling me stories of long drives from the North and South...

Like an old friend told me once: "Things have to get a lot worse before they get any better." Well, I think it's a lot worse now.


Big Dig Tunnel Section Collapse

Departure Time: 7:21
Arrival Time: 8:09
Weather as I call it: Hazy sunshine...humid.
Paper Guy: He is wearing a polo shirt...and shades.
Shady Gas Price: I didn't see it today.
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Traffic was bad today...I wasn't affected much...but for anyone driving the Pike or Route 93 it looked to be a nightmare. Last night, there was an accident in one of the Big Dig tunnels. It happened in the eastbound (going to Logan Airport) tunnel that connects the Ted Williams Tunnel and Route 93 North. A huge piece of the ceiling collapsed and crushed a car driving underneath it. The driver of the vehicle was able to get out, but his female passenger was killed.

The highway was closed this morning...which made for major tie ups. The Callahan has regained its title as the only tunnel to Logan Airport...

I altered my commute slightly...since Leverett Circle was a mess because many drivers were taking Storrow Drive east to 93 South to the Callahan tunnel as an alternative to the Mass Pike. I took Memorial Drive West and embraced each and every red light.

Many drivers cut into my lane without any acknowledgement throughout my trip...I just let it go. Today is a bad day for the city. It marks another realization that this project cost way too much money for the job to be finished cheaply. Where did that 14+ billion go? It's apparent now that they did not put it into the materials nor quality inspections. I hope whomever got rich off the Big Dig feels a little remorse for taking money off the top.

More of the Tunnel Tragedy can be read on Boston.com.


What Is The Name of Maple Tree Seeds?

Departure Time: 7:13
Arrival Time: 7:51
Weather as I call it: Partly Sunny...warm...
Paper Guy: Wearing a polo shirt...not exactly sure, but definitely a shirt of the short sleeve variety.
Shady Gas Price: $2.99
Yelled at other drivers: Nope
Feared for my life: No


I had a few Samaras stuck on my window wipers which I thought would blow off as I drove today...not so much.

I guess it really isn't summer around here until Paper guy starts rocking the shortsleeves.

Good drive this Monday...I was taking it slow because there were many state cops around. I didn't want to get pulled over for driving normally.


But The Sun Is Eclipsed By The Moon

Departure Time: 7:15
Arrival Time: 7:54
Weather as I call it: Clear and sunny
Paper Guy: Ready for the weekend
Shady Gas Price: $2.99...wah.
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: Yeah


I fixed my driver side window...I had some trouble with replacing the power window master switch (which cost me $91 with tax)...but once I figured out how to disconnect the wiring, it was a snap, crackle, pop job. Now, I can get some breezes going through the car.

Some dude decided to switch lanes on me on Storrow...of course...made me freak out a bit...had to toot the horn..but I didn't yell.

Saw a state cop with not a radar gun...but a radar rifle...it looked like it had a scope on it. Once I saw him, I slammed on the brakes...but I guess I wasn't going too fast. It kinda ticked me off since I was jamming to Pink Floyd's Brain Damage/Eclipse at the time.

"And all that you eat...and everyone you meet...(everyone you meeeeeeet!)"


Sometime Rain Will Surprise You

Departure Time: 7:20
Arrival Time: 8:04
Weather as I call it: Rain I did not expect this...
Paper Guy: No shades...looking like he was not expecting the rain either.
Shady Gas Price: $2.95
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


I had to get gas today...so I think the duration of my commute was extended by 5 minutes at least. Total gas bill today: $41.50. Sheesh.

Plus, with the rain, I was driving a little more cautiously...especially on Storrow Drive. They are still cleaning up from the 4th...making travel a little hectic...but not awful.


Happy July 5th Booo!

Departure Time: 7:16
Arrival Time: 7:52
Weather as I call it: Hazy sun
Paper Guy: The summertime outfit is: the buttondown shirt and shades
Shady Gas Price: $2.95
Yelled at other drivers: No
Feared for my life: No


Hey, welcome back. The commute was easy like Sunday Moooorning.

I saw some guy driving a spray painted black Honda CRX with a fire extinguisher that was mounted between his driver side door and his windshield. I wonder what that is for? He may have been afraid of spontaneous combustion.

My gas light came on within 5 minutes of my drive...thankfully, I took a few left turns and it extinguished. No gas light on...no problem.

Honda CRX