August 26th, 2010

#2249: Tuesday's power failure

While running errands Wednesday I found the source of Tuesday's power failure.

Down by the viaduct on Route 1 there's a ComEd truck holding up a broken telephone pole. Looks to me as if someone did something stupid, ran off the road, and into the pole. It's shown by the red dot in the following image:

This explains the 45-minute power failure and (unfortunately) the sirens immediately after its commencement.

Union Avenue intersects with Route 1 right at the viaduct, and it's a pretty shitty intersection. Southbound traffic on Union Avenue has a stop sign, and you have to creep forward and lean forward in your seat to get as much of Route 1 into view as possible; then--even if it's clear--you have to gun it just in case someone is coming around the corner.

Problem #1: people go around that curve like it's turn 4 at Indy with the checkered flag out. It's a 30 zone. Steger cops used to be legendary for ticketing anyone going 5 over the limit; now I routinely get tailgated for going "only" 35 through that zone because everyone else seems to think that "SPEED LIMIT 30"="SPEED LIMIT 40". (At least when there are no police around.)

Problem #2: an ever-increasing number of people think that if there are no cars in the intersection (and no police around) "STOP"="SLOW DOWN BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO STOP".

Problem #3: Starting about 300-400 feet south of the viaduct on Route 1--about where the red line is--is a 40 MPH zone, but people coming out from under the viaduct seem to think that the 40 zone starts as soon as you've passed it. Depending on the capability of their cars they may be going 40 before they even start the turn.

...combine these and it's pretty easy to see how there can be accidents at that intersection.

All that had to happen is for Idiot 1 to come screaming around the turn at mach nine while Idiot 2, thinking the intersection would remain empty forever, doesn't bother to stop for the stop sign. Idiot 2 runs into Idiot 1, whose car careens off the road and into the power pole.

The broken pole has already been replaced with a good one, so I have no idea why the broken one was still being propped up. Oh well.

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Man, it's actually chilly in here. Of course, in 2-3 months I'm going to be annoyed when it's only this warm....

#2250: What do you expect? It's Illinois.

More and more I am getting sick and tired of being in a blue state.

The Will County Fair has started. Friday is "Green Party Day". Saturday is "Democrat Day". Sunday (the shortest of all the days the fair runs) is "Republican Day". I was thinking I might go watch the demolition derby this year, but now I'm not so sure.

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The pro-AGW anointed over at Arse Technica say that all stem cell research is on hold because a federal court ruled against the Obama policy for funding embryonic stem cell research.

Embryonic stemm cell research has been taking place all over the world, parallel to adult stem cell research; and the latter has been from where most of the successes have come.

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From here I get this image:

Hot women of the Internet: your prayers have been answered.

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Only a liberal is capable of thinking that "The president says he's a Christian. I take him at his word. I don't think that's in dispute," means "PILE ON HIM HE'S A MUSLIM KILL HIM KILL HIM KILL HIM!!!!!"

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The opposite of FAIL. It's been around for a while and while looking for its beginning I got to page 44 before overloading.

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Last night, rather than play any computer games, I dumped eps 16-20 of Kimi ni Todoke to DVD and then watched more Haruhi. I don't remember when I started watching that again, but it's languished in the middle of Sigh of Haruhi Suzumyia for a time verging on months. So I finished Sigh, and that leaves a handful of episodes left, all from Season 1 if I'm not mistaken.

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In WoW the other day, Ormus got a respec. I wanted to put more points into Frost, because after 40 points you get "Summon Water Elemental" and I'm positive there's a glyph to extend its duration to "until killed or dispelled". Having a pet/minion to help you fight nasties is always helpful.

...I still think Blizzard ought to implement a "mercenary" pet--something you could buy which could be a pet for classes which don't have pets. (Make it exclusive: you can have the pet allowed by your class, or a mercenary; not both.) Of course the mercenary's level would scale with the player's.

Oh well.

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Og mentioned "distributor o-ring" as a possible source of the Escort's oil leak. The Escort hasn't got a distributor, but it got me to thinking; and what the Escort does have is a cam position sensor. And I removed said sensor when I was disassembling the cylinder head, so I could run it through the parts washer. And I didn't replace the o-ring on said sensor when I did.

That might be the source of my leak. Look: when I first got the Fiero, one of the first jobs I did was to replace the incredibly nasty pickup coil in the distributor:

...because they're prone to failure, which leaves you stuck by the road waiting for a tow truck. Replacing it requires that you remove the distributor. (That little ragged white band, that's the wrapping around the outside of the coil. That distributor had never been serviced before I bought the car. Cap and rotor, yes. Anything else, no.)

Anyway, I pulled the distributor, replaced the pickup coil, and put it back in...and then had a nasty oil leak from the distributor boss, because I hadn't replaced the O-ring and it--like the car--was 17 years old. (This was, as I said, 2002.)

So I got to pull the distributor again a few days later to replace the O-ring. It hadn't leaked a drop before I disturbed it, but once I had, that was it.

Anyway, it's a theory, and once I get my sleep schedule arranged into something that makes sense I intend to pull the Escort's cam position sensor and put a new O-ring on it. Then we'll see if my oil leak continues.

This little job is going to be part of the driveway puttering I do when I change the Jeep's oil. Whenever I get around to that.

Crap. I managed to get all those errands done yesterday, though, so at least I don't feel like a complete slug. *sigh*