Posts Tagged With: traffic

Why Go to Manhattan . . .

 

Yep, flying to New York City is costly. Staying in a hotel in downtown Manhattan remains prohibitively expensive. You’ll need to take out a second mortgage just to scrape up the funds. And Manhattan hotels don’t let its guests park their cars for free. No, no, no. Your nest egg just got a wee bit smaller.

Try Poway, California!

It’s right here. I mean it’s just outside my window. Rooms here are reasonable. You can park everywhere for free. Woo hoo!

AND

You get the same backed-up traffic as Manhattan.

You might be asking how does Poway, a town 1/200th the size of New York, manage to get the Big Apple’s traffic. Simple.

1)  Have really long red lights. Quite a lot of cars can accumulate during red lights that last four minutes.

2) Make people wait even longer than that for left turns.

3) Favor cars going a certain direction. In Poway the favored motorists are the ones going east-west. These directions have most of the businesses.

4) This means, of course, cars traveling north-south have significantly longer red lights. Quite a few cars going north-south accumulate at the intersection at this time. A favorite sports of these dammed-up drivers is counting the number of times they could have easily crossed during gaps occurring in east-west traffic. Yep, it’s fun letting a car that’s a half-mile away cross the intersection before you.

5) Try to turn left when you’re headed north-south. This will take you longer than the straight north-south crossing.

6) Try to turn left at an intersection that skips your left-turn signal repeatedly. Skips it seven or more times. These left-turn lanes would be a safe place to play table tennis. Get your exercise.

7) As an extra bonus. When a green light finally occurs, a tsunami of cars floods down the street, making it nearly impossible for the cars on cross streets to get through, particularly when all they have is a stop sign.

8) And any description of Powegian traffic would be woefully incomplete without mentioning the annual tearing up of its main arteries for repair or expansion of its underground pipes for new businesses. Why they don’t make an annual festival of their street tear ups is beyond me.

Poway, of course, has magnificent qualities, such as a low-crime rate, a first-class public schools, and many useful businesses. Just remember, you’ll have to drive your car to get to them.

 

Paul De Lancey, concerned citizen and Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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I Solve the Speeding Problem

People drive like bats out of Hell. They don’t care about the speed limit. They don’t care about the law. They don’t care about the injuries, and sometimes death, they inflict on other drive drivers.

Clearly these people are truly reprehensible, bad eggs even.

What can been done to stop these speed demons?

1) Have police issue speeding tickets. This is a good, partial deterrent. It’s main flaw is that are only so man traffic cops on the road. This leaves millions of miles of roads across our nation unpatrolled. True, a number of these cops lurk in speed traps instead of patrolling dangerous stretches of traffic. This is indeed a flaw with this deterrent, but it stills holds that there aren’t enough policemen patrolling our roads to deter the speed demons. An officer of the law who isn’t there can’t issue a speeding ticket.

2) Let the insurance companies take car of the speeders. Let them charge higher insurance rates for the lead-footed drivers. Pfft! Doesn’t work. The speeding drivers just don’t give a rip.

So, what can we do? What do the speeders care about? What will they obey?

The laws of physics.

No matter how fast you drive, no matter how determined you are, you can’t drive your car through the car or truck in front of you.

This means that if all the lanes in front of you are blocked by vehicles going slower than the speed limit, you can’t speed.

But how can we rein in the speeders?

I’m glad you asked. My solutions depend of two observations that are nearly as true as a the laws of physics.

1) A significant portion of drivers are unable to drive as fast as the speed limit if they are going uphill.

All we’d have to do is make roads that only go uphill. But this isn’t true anywhere. Phooey.

2) But there will always, always be one driver that tries to pass a slow truck. However, they will drive one mile per hour faster than the truck they are driving to overtake. Then lanes are blocked by vehicles going slower than the speed limit.

Hurrah! We are onto something here. Simply drive enough trucks everywhere to slow down all the traffic in all lanes of every single road in the country.

But how do we get enough trucks on the roads for this plan to work?

Buy them! It could be the government doing the purchasing. It could be you. Do your part!

Where do we get enough truck drivers?

Hire them! Hire the unemployed, Unemployment would fall to zero. It could be the government doing the hiring. It could be you. Do your part!

There you go. Another problem solved. You may sleep easily tonight.

 

Paul De Lancey, concerned citizen and Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Beef, Spinach, and Peanut Stew from South Sudan

South Sudanese Entree

BEEF, SPINACH, AND PEANUT STEW

INGREDIENTSSouthSudan-

1¼ pounds chuck steak or round steak
3 garlic cloves
2 medium onions
2½ tomatoes
2 bunches spinach (1 pound)
½ sweet potato
4 tablespoons unsalted, roasted peanuts (4 teaspoons more later)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 cups beef stock
½ tablespoon tomato paste
4 teaspoons unsalted, roasted peanuts
½ cup unsweetened peanut butter

SPECIAL UTENSIL

spice grinder
Dutch oven

Makes 6 bowls. Takes 1 hour 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Cut beef into 1″ cubes. Mince garlic. Dice onions and tomatoes. Remove stems from spinach, then shred. Cut sweet potato into ½” cubes. Use spice grinder to make a paste from 4 tablespoons peanuts.

Add peanut oil and beef cubes to Dutch oven. Cook at medium heat for 6 minutes or until beef browns. Stir occasionally. Add garlic and onion. Raise heat to medium-high and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion and garlic softens. Stir in beef stock and tomato paste. Bring to boil using high heat. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 50 minutes or until beef becomes tender and stock is reduced by ½. Stir occasionally. Add sweet potato and 4 teaspoons peanuts. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add peanut paste, and peanut butter. Simmer for 5 minutes or until peanut paste and peanut butter blends completely in. Stir frequently. Add spinach and tomato. Raise heat to low-medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until the oil from the peanut paste and peanut butter makes the stew shiny. Goes well with rice and flatbread.

TIDBITS

1) This entree is a stew. Stew is an anagram for west.

2) The Sun sets in the west.

3) Peanuts hate the Sun, because it’s bad for their complexion.

4) So, they dig into the ground to avoid the piercing rays of light.

5) Peanuts never get very far into the soil, though.

6) They don’t have opposable thumbs. You need opposable thumbs to hold hoes and shovels.

7) Nor do peanuts have any hands to speak of, really.

8) Which is why farmers never hire peanuts during harvest time, only humans.

9) Still, the Sun burns the little ground nuts.

10) The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

11) So, the peanuts migrate to the west in the morning and back east in the afternoon. They end up in the same place, which is why no one ever notices them moving.

12) Things get ugly, though, when herds of peanuts cross the same interstate freeway. Traffic halts. The traffic jam grows to includes connecting freeways and highways. The economy halts.

14) That’s not all. Giant herds of peanuts moving back and forth along the ground dislodge the Earth’s plates. Earthquakes result as in San Francisco in 1906

15) Indeed, peanut migrations have caused the Earth’s plates to shift. Before peanuts came on the scene there was only one continent, Pangaea.

16) Something had to be done and in 1939 all the nations gathered in Poway, California to discuss the looming peanutian threat.

17) Then, on September 1, Hitler invaded Poland and World War II broke out. Country after country uprooted their peanut fields to feed their rampaging armies. Fewer migrating peanuts meant fewer earthquakes during the war years. You can look it up.

18) The leaders of the major victorious powers: Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, knew it would be a matter of time before another Hitler would arise or peanuts would make their comeback. Perhaps, the next megalomanic dictator would even gather the peanuts of the world to his standard.

19) The United Nations was formed in 1945 to gather this very threat. An elite anti-peanut battalion was formed and peanut farming within 100 miles of fault lines was banned forever.

20) Something to think about when you have your next peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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