Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday at the office --

Finally back to work.  Feels like it's been months since I was in here.  There's hardly anyone around, actually.  Jeanne (who normally only works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) is here for a while, but hardly anyone else on our hall.  My other boss is out of town at a dog show again.  Our secretary is off preparing for a 50th anniversary party for her family (her parents, I guess?).  That probably will be a challenge -- she'll have to get set up AFTER clearing the hurricane storage items out of their house.  But hey - she's young and strong so it probably won't be a problem, I'm sure!

I sent a note to the Semper Fi tree folks to ask them to come back and saw that tree off our fence when they get a chance.  Haven't heard back from them but that's no surprise.  I'm sure they're out doing their thing somewhere.  I wouldn't be surprised if it's a while before they can do something as unimportant as saw up a tree that's NOT leaning on a house. 

Things are almost entirely back to "normal" for us, but there are all kinds of flooding problems all around us caused by various rivers coming up past flood levels.  And there's an earthen dam nearby that's about to wash out.  They've opened part of it and are trying to drain enough that it won't break.  But there are a lot of people evacuated in the meantime. 

And just to maintain traffic problems at the general high level, a semi has fallen over blocking access to the bridge out of Baton Rouge west over the Mississippi.  

I say "general" high level because it seems like there's always something -- there has been construction along both interstates slowing traffic to about 20 mph - if that - for months now.  And there was another truck problem over on the interstate between Baton Rouge and New Orleans that closed down that highway COMPLETELY in BOTH directions for a day and a half just a few days ago.

One thing Mark and I have never been able to understand is why Baton Rouge has no loop.  It is probably the ONLY decent-sized city we are aware of that has absolutely NO loop or beltway.  The highways come in from the East and up from the South (New Orleans) and become a single highway (I-10) that goes right through the middle of the city and across the Mississippi River bridge.   Look at this. 

Trucks can avoid New Orleans completely by driving above Lake Pontchartrain, or they can go straight across the city and not down through it, but when they get to Baton Rouge their only choice is to go THROUGH the city and cross the river on the I-10 bridge . . . IF it's open.  There is one other bridge on the north side of the city - a very old, narrow one - but getting to it is ridiculously difficult as well.  And then you have to figure out how to get back over to the interstate because that one doesn't merge into it automatically.

There have been repeated "studies" over the 30 or so years that I've lived down here concerning a bypass or loop around Baton Rouge.  But it just never happens.  Why, I'll never know.  This is the ONLY city of its size that I'm aware of that has no loop of any sort.    So it's always a real pain to try and get anywhere at all here from say 7 to 9 AM, 11 to 1 PM and 4 to 7 PM . . .

OR, whenever there's been a wreck . . . 

OR, whenever they're working on the highway anywhere at all . . .

OR, whenever the weather isn't good. 

Okay.  I'm climbing down off my soapbox.  In fact, I better calm down and get back to work.    It's pouring down rain outside AGAIN and Jeanne has gone home, so I think I'll finish what I'm working on and go home early myself.

No comments: