Thursday, August 28, 2008

An Even Shorter Ramble

I'll be rushing a bit this morning to get all the Thursday chores done before we head for Delaware at around 10:30. I should say I've already been rushing, doing some odd stuff before settling down at the computer to take care of more odd stuff and fit this into the rest of my computer time.

Labor Day weekend is upon us, the last big blast of summer, so there should be crowds at the beach and many, many jet skis on the water, disturbing the peace and scaring way the ducks and herons. Of special interest this trip is the condition of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the 4-mile span which is the only practical route for anyone on this side of the Bay to get to the other side, and thence to the Delaware and Maryland beach towns. (Unless you want to drive north three hours out of your way and then retrace your way south for another three hours, going around the Chesapeake instead of across it. But who would want to stretch a 2.5-hour trip into 6 hours?)

The bridge is actually two spans, one older, eastbound and with only two lanes, and the other a new three-lane span for westbound travelers. Sometimes, usually at off-peak hours, there is roadwork being done on the wider span and traffic is diverted to its narrower, two-lane counterpart, making it one lane each way, with opposing lanes coming at each other. People with height and space problems don't like the bridge under the best of circumstances; those occasional opposing one-way conditions make it even worse for them.

A few weeks ago those peoples' worst nightmares came true: somebody going east fell asleep at the wheel at 4 AM and veered into the opposing lane, causing a semi tractor-trailer to cross into the wrong lane, break through the bridge barrier and fall into the water, killing the truck driver. This catastrophic accident was bad enough, but now the integrity of the rest of the barrier wall is under investigation. Wouldn't you know a need for emergency repairs has been discovered, and those repairs will take place this very holiday weekend, one of two times in a year (Memorial Day is the other) when the bridge carries its heaviest load of traffic. Gargantuan tie-ups are contemplated--the cleanup for the tractor trailer incident caused backups of 16 miles in each direction. We're hoping getting an earlier than usual start will inoculate us against the worst, but a friend who was thinking of driving down to see us on Friday has tentatively cancelled. That's a huge disappointment because we see this friend too seldom as it is, but we'd probably do the same thing if we were in his shoes.

We'd go, of course, come hell or high water, and this weekend will be an important one: we will be signing a contract with the builder we've been dealing with; the contract will enable us to shop the building plans around to other builders searching for a possible lower price. (We like the guy we're dealing with but owe ourselves that due diligence.) We'll also be personally submitting papers to the county requesting a zoning variance so we can build a full deck on the waterfront side of the house.

I'll post my songs and leave you for now. I hope you Yank buddies have a get holiday weekend!

P.S. I broke down and watched as much of the convention as I could last night. Caught Bill's speech. You go, guy! He "loves" Biden and merely respects Barack, but heck--looks like maybe all the Dems will be on the same page after all! Love, respect, all adds up to unity. I heard a bit about the Republican platform this morning on the radio. They're still seem to want to divide the country, still haven't learned the lessons of the last 8 years. I'm fired up! (Have to be careful about that!)

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