Friday, June 09, 2006

Signs, Real and Imaginary

Weekend Assignment #115: You'll find an online highway sign generator here. Go there, write your own highway sign, and post it in your Journal or Blog.

Extra Credit: What was the worst traffic jam you've ever been in?

All right. I'm going to do this little exercise as assigned, and then I'm going to play with it a bit.

On my recent trips to Sedona, Los Alamos and Phoenix, I spent a fair amount of time trying to deduce (or at least gamble on) which lanes of Phoenix highways were likely be be fastest and safest over the next half mile. This picture reminds me of the stretch near the airport where the problem was most acute.

Bored now. Everyone is using that photo. How conformist! How static! Hmm, let's see what other sign generators can reasonably be construed as a "highway sign." Here's one from the same website,

Don't quote those numbers as fact, okay? I just made them up.

This one looks like the road out of Sedona to me. I thought about something like, "Border Patrol Ahead. Quick! Try to look Anglo!" But maybe Border Patrol profiling is too regional and depressing for the satire to work, and people may think I'm making fun of the people in the cars rather than the people who make the policies. Besides, a sign warning about a Border Patrol highway stop would defeat the purpose of its existence.

One more sign generator, this one on I have to wonder what Escherian tricks one has to pull off to get from that particular Springfield to a place with more normal geography.

And finally, here's a real world sign that I don't think I've shown you before, from one of our recent Disneyland trips. Gila Bend, AZ is a town on the hybrid route from Tucson to Los Angeles. The Southen route is to go north on I-10 West (no, really!) to I-8 West, ride that to San Diego, and then take I-5 and/or I-15 up the coast. I'm not sure of the details on the San Diego to Los Angeles part, but you get the idea. The Northern Route is stay on I-10 until San Bernardino or so, and then get out the map. The Hybrid Route is to take I-8 for a little while, change your mind, get off in the middle of nowhere, drive north through Gila Bend, and end up on I-10 heading west. It sound like a nonsensical way to go, but it cuts Phoenix off the itinerary, thus saving some time. And Gila Bend is a quirky little place to visit, not just for this sign, but also (and mostly) for the Space Age Lodge.

Coincidentally, I got an update email from Roadside America tonight. The Space Age Lodge and Restaurant is enshrined there, along with a number of sights around Gila Bend (not to mention around Tucson). I do see some gaps, though, so I'll be submitting another tip or two to Roadside America in the near future.

I intended to start work on this entry five hours ago, but instead I got distracted with Wikipedia stuff, again. The Martin Milner entry is coming along nicely, the Route 66 one is nearly complete, thanks to several contributors, and the Barbara Bauer story has new plot twists seemingly every day. Today, Bauer herself (judging by Wiki handle as well as content) removed everything negative from her Wikipedia entry, replacing it with minute details about two books she supposedly did place with publishers, one from 1987 and one from circa 1991. She also added that she was on an episode of Sex and the City; but if so she didn't make the IMDb. Someone else reverted the entry to the way it had been, referring to the pro-Bauer version as a "whitewash," which I gather is the term Wikipedia uses for this sort of thing. But I do think that if Bauer's relationship with these two books can be confirmed, (and frankly it seems likely, given the level of detail in her "edit"), then they should be mentioned in the article for the sake of balance. even if it's all true, the fact remains that there's no evidence that she's placed a client's book with a paying market in the last several years.

And I won't even bother to tell you what the other guy I've been complaining about has been up to. He really is a trip and a half - all in the wrong direction. I've tried to give him a sign, but he refuses to read it.

Extra Credit: um, I don't hold onto grudges about particular traffic jams. Nothing sticks out in my memory, except for a couple of incidents that were more about weather problems than congested roads. I've been in stop-and-go traffic in Phoenix and Los Angeles, and even in Tucson; but nothing sticks ot as the "worst" one. Sorry.


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DesLily said...

is that place with the "3 old crabs" in NJ? I think I may be one of them! lol

julie said...

Heh. I notice the guy at the hosting service has "whitewashed" his own entry that Wikipedia links to.

Gotta remember to buy more popcorn at the store today... ;-)

Becky said...

I wonder if the 5 old crabs know the sign is talking about them. LOL

John Darrow said...

What a crack up. Thanks, Karen!