THE RANT ARCHIVES
This page includes all rant entries from January-September 2006. Enjoy this look back at your favorite ramblings of the OKRoads webmaster as he took the West Texas Roadtrip and began a new job.
Written: 9/24/06 @ 10:54 pm
Tonight's topic: One door closes, another door opens
Good evening. Welcome to the 200th rant entry, and the first one I've ever not typed on my laptop. That's right, I'm typing this on my regular computer. Why, you may ask? Because on Tuesday night the monitor on my laptop decided to quit working properly. It stays on for a few seconds then quits. I'm still trying to get everything from the websites onto this computer. It kinda stinks not having a working laptop monitor, but I'm trying to make it work.
The good news (or the door that opens) is that starting tomorrow, I will (once again) be the group reservations coordinator at the downtown Courtyard by Marriott. This time though it's not as a fill-in. So my days as telephone operator are over! No more 7-3, now it's 9-5! That means I can stay up later!
My car hasn't been running the best the past few days. It makes some funky noises, and the brakes seem to be going out on it. Hopefully I can get it in the shop this week to get it fixed before it really screws up. My left front tire was flat this morning, but it wasn't because I ran over anything; that may have been part of the problem. I aired it up this afternoon and it's still fine. I have had the worst luck with tires this year it seems. And I've barely been out of state this year!
Well that's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 9/17/06 @ 10:32 pm
Tonight's topic: Life is crazy
Good evening. I am currently doing multitasking at its finest. I've got two messenger conversations going on, plus I'm trying to update the website. I guess I'm living la vida loca. No, it's what happens when you're popular like me. Just kidding.
Anyway, a lot of new OK 3 shields have sprung up along the mainlines of Interstates 44 and 240 in the past couple days. There is not one old OK 3 shield remaining along either direction of Interstate 240.
Gas price update: gas at my favorite 7-11 is $2.08/gallon tonight.
Bus route update: we had eight ride today in a pouring rainstorm. So all we have to do is have four ride next Sunday, and we will average double digits for the month! We haven't done that in a long time.
I don't have too much else to say tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 9/10/06 @ 9:46 pm
Tonight's topic: Some good news
Good evening. I have a job opportunity that may actually work out. It is at another hotel; this one is in Midwest City, a suburb of Oklahoma City. I would have basically the same hours, but I would be supervising. Plus, it would be more money. So I'm really hoping it works out and next week's rant will be about that.
More good news: unleaded gas is $2.18/gallon at the 7-11 by my house. I like it. At this rate, we'll be paying less than $2/gallon here by the end of the month!
Even more good news: we had 14 kids on the bus again today. That's two weeks in a row in double digits, and three out of the last four weeks! We may actually average in double digits this month for the first time since sometime last year!
Let the good news continue: I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance by switching to Geico! :)
More good news: Yesterday was a good day in the sports world, at least in my opinion. Oklahoma's football team won, Texas lost, and Tony Stewart won't be in the Chase for the Nextel Cup this year in NASCAR, yet Jeff Gordon will be. Ah, what a great day!! FYI - I don't really care about NASCAR too much anymore, but I just like Jeff Gordon and dislike Tony Stewart because my brother likes Tony Stewart and hates Jeff Gordon. It's always fun to rub it in, and you can believe that I will rub it in the next time I see him! :)
That's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely, and hopefully next week I'll have more positive words of encouragement.
Written: 9/3/06 @ 10:35 pm
Tonight's topic: I have to work tomorrow
Good evening. Last week was OK. It was just another week of answering the phones. Whoop-de-doo. I have to work tomorrow too. No rest for the weary, I guess. There's only two people in the front office scheduled to work tomorrow, and I am one of the chosen. Oh well at least I'll make some money.
At the 7-11 near my house, unleaded gas is $2.33 a gallon tonight. Yes, you read that right. One week ago I paid $2.59 a gallon for gas and that was a great thing. I don't think I've ever seen gas go down 26 cents in one week before. I'm not complaining though! I like it.
Another thing I like is that we had 14 kids ride the bus today. That's right, 14 kids! That breaks our record for the year. The previous record for the year was 12, set just two weeks ago. Things are looking up. Funny thing is, none of the 14 were visitors. I guess this is what happens when our regular riders all show up on the same day, and not all of them were there.
Well I've got to try to get some sleep tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 8/28/06 @ 4:58 pm
Tonight's topic: The job hunt isn't going so great
Good evening. In the past week, I have been denied a chance for new employment by three different companies. I have received two letters and was told once that I was not qualified for a job. So in that aspect, my life sucks. In other ways, however, my life is all right, well, besides the fact that my current job continues to suck more and more.
Yesterday on the bus we had eight, so that's four times above our July average. Saturday's trip to Longton, Kansas, for a family reunion went well. I took pictures of new highway shields for OK 10, 20, 123, and 99. The trip home was a bit scary, however, as we drove through a nice thunderstorm for a few miles.
I don't have anything else to say today. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 8/21/06 @ 4:16 pm
Today's topic: The job hunt continues but is improving
Good afternoon. I didn't write last night because I didn't feel like it. But yesterday was a good day. On the bus, we had 12. That's right, 12! That's the most we've had all year. It was a good day.
I had an interview last Friday for an accountant position, and have an interview tomorrow with Farmers Insurance. So my job search is getting better. My current job as telephone operator continues to be the low point of any day I have to work. But I think my days are numbered for that job, which is a wonderful thing.
The OK 152 shields have been replaced on the BGSs on both directions of Interstate 44 at the OK 152/Airport Rd. interchange. Pictures (at least, from eastbound) will be taken Friday on my way to the northwest part of the city for an activity. This Saturday, I will be going to Longton, Kansas, for a family reunion, and yes, I will be taking the camera for road sign photography purposes. I hope to see and photograph many new highway shields throughout the state.
That's all I have for today. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 8/13/06 @ 9:53 pm
Tonight's topic: Anyone want to hire someone with a college degree with food service and hotel experience?
Good evening. Last week at work sucked as much, if not more so, than I had feared. At one point, I had decided that I was going to quit on Friday. I had a one weeks' notice all typed up and ready to go (I was so mad that I didn't even want to give a two weeks' notice!) but ended up not quitting. Still, though, it sucks answering phones all day long. It also stinks that I have to wake up at 5:30 each morning! That's before the sun comes up! Confucius say, man should not rise that early. But anyway, I have put in my resume' at several more places, and have an interview with Farmers Insurance sometime this week. I'm not much of an insurance student, but hey, I'm willing to learn for the potential income I could be making and the fact that I could actually apply my degree! So we'll see how that works out. Either way, I believe it's time for a career change.
On a more positive note, It was another good day on the van today. We had seven this morning. That means we needed both hands to count them all! Hallelujah! It has been a long time since we've been able to do that. The one worker who has been a great blessing on there this summer will now be going back to school, so our old helper (who is basically my best friend), will be back next weekend to replace him and take his old spot back that he relinquished when he left for the summer.
Took a trip to northwest OKC yesterday. A couple of notes: there is a new advance sign on Interstate 44 East about 1/2 mile south of the OK 152 exit. The OK 152 shield is still the old style, however. Also, new pull-through BGSs are up on Interstate 44 East at the Lake Hefner Parkway, with brand new shields for OK 3 and OK 74. Also, OK 3A has been decommissioned; all OK 3A signs along the route have been removed. I saw one OK 3A shield on the ramp from OK 74 North to OK 3/3A, but that was it. The two or three assurance shields in each direction are gone, and so are the end signs. Bad news is, I didn't have my camera with me. Oh well. I think I'll be in that area again next week, so I'll make sure to take pictures.
I don't really have anything else to say tonight. I need to get some sleep tonight so I can have another wonderful day of work tomorrow! (sarcasm is intended) There was a front office meeting tonight at 6 that I did not go to because it's a church night. I called my boss this afternoon and told him that I had prior church commitments and he wasn't too happy, but, hey, with the way they've been treating me lately, they should be happy that I'm still there at all and I actually called in to say that I wouldn't be making it! Because I could very easily have not called at all and also have quit on Friday as I was about to do! I officially hate my job. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 8/6/06 @ 10:03 pm
Tonight's topic: Back on the job hunt again
Good evening. No, I didn't get fired from my job but I may as well be. Starting tomorrow, I'll be working from 7 am to 3 pm being the PBX telephone operator at the Courtyard. Now look, I did not go to college for 4 1/2 years to end up as a telephone operator, OK? I won't go into the other details surrounding this, but basically, it's a bad decision by management in my opinion and I am back on the job hunt. I have only applied for one job in the OKC area; the rest are in Tulsa and Nashville. Yes, Nashville, Tennessee. A Marriott in the Music City near Vanderbilt University has an opening for a Revenue Manager position, which I think I would be good at, so I've submitted my resume'. I think it'd be kinda neat to move to the Music City; there's a lot more neat scenery surrounding Nashville (they actually have mountains, whereas here in OKC, our mountains are our landfills!), and it's just, different. Plus, I'd be in a management position making hopefully about $30,000 a year, which is quite a steep increase from the $7.50/hour I'm making now! I would need all that money to pay for rent!
However, right now may not be a good time for me to leave - on our van route today (which is basically what my bus route has become), we were able to pick up three new people! A mom brought herself and her two kids. It allowed us to have five people ride the van today! We almost needed two hands to count all the people on the van. Well, technically, we had seven on the van, with the mom, her two kids, our two other riders, my helper, and myself. But, you see, workers, captains, and drivers don't go in the count. With school starting again in a couple weeks, we should start picking back up again. Whether I'm still here or not depends. Whatever happens, just be praying for me - I believe that it's not God's will for me to be a telephone operator. You see, friends, to discover the champion within, I must make at least my age in thousands of dollars each year. So now that I'm 23, I must have a job where I make at least $23,000 a year. OK, I'm just kidding on those last two sentences. :)
I don't really have much else to say tonight. I should be asleep by now but I'm not. I'm not used to waking up at 5:30 each morning like I'll have to do now starting tomorrow. Ugh! See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 7/30/06 @ 10:58 pm
Tonight's topic: A stressful week ends with a good roadtrip
Good evening. Last week was one of the most stressful weeks I have had in a long time. Yesterday, however, I was able to take a mini roadtrip through Logan, Lincoln, and Payne counties, along such highways as OK 33, OK 105, OK 108, OK 18, OK 51, OK 74, and OK 74C. Throughout this trip, I did not see very many circle state highway shields. Even BGSs in the Oklahoma City area have new OK 3 shields on them. The new OK 3 shields are on BGSs along Interstate 35, Interstate 44, and OK 74. Also, new OK 37, OK 74A, and OK 9 shields are on BGSs in the Moore and Norman areas. Pictures are on the website at http://www.okhighways.com/072906 . Just look through the photo directory; chances are, a picture you select will have a new state highway shield.
Hopefully this week will be a lot less stressful. I think it will be once it ends. I think tomorrow may be a bit crazy, but after that, I don't anticipate any more extra stress.
That's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 7/23/06 @ 9:48 pm
Tonight's topic: All the colors of the rainbow
Good evening. By looking at my title, you might have thought about something else besides what I mean by that. So let me first start out by saying this, I'm still straight, and will continue to be for the rest of my life! I just have to find the right woman. Anyway, this weekend in downtown, there are a lot of teenage girls from all over the country assembled who are part of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. It's some kind of Masonic club. My mom says she was a rainbow girl when she was younger. Anyway, they are all staying downtown, and so the hotel I work at has a bunch of these girls staying there. Well, as the in-house reservationist and groups guy, I made most of their reservations. Well, I'll just put it this way, there's a lot of little things surrounding this group that has made my work a bit challenging, and will become even more challenging tomorrow. Oh well, they check out Wednesday, so by the end of the week, I should be back to some kind of normalcy.
Well, I didn't have any jerks try to follow me home this past week, so that's good. They had a good Vacation Bible School at the church last week. Due to work, I couldn't help this year, and apparently, sometime early last week, there were 13 kids on the bus route that I usually captain. Now, we've averaged about one or two this summer, so I would kind of like to see photographic proof of that. Just kidding. I just think that the problem is me. Whenever I'm there, no kids come, yet when I'm not there, bring them in! It makes me wonder...
Well I've got to go to work earlier than usual tomorrow morning because of the rainbow girls. So see y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 7/16/06 @ 10:49 pm
Tonight's topic: Getting old and alone
Good evening. On Wednesday, I celebrated my 23rd birthday by, well, going to work, and then soon after, going to church. After church, some guy in a silver Nissan truck decided to run a red light a few blocks ahead of me, so I blared my horn in case there was any oncoming traffic that may not be aware of this truck running the red light. Well, to make a long story short, the guy in the Nissan truck was not happy with me and attempted to follow me home (which I would not let him do), then traveled on my rear bumper or side-by-side with me for a bit and honked his horn, yelled at me, and flipped me off. Eventually, I called the cops on his (insert other term for donkey here), and he gave up eventually. What a jerk! It gave me quite a scare to end my birthday.
Anyway, the good news of the week is that because of the wonders of MySpace, I was able to reconnect with a couple of my high school friends last week. I was so different in high school than I am now. Back then, girls actually talked to me, and they seemed to enjoy my company. Now, it seems like I scare them away before they even give me a chance! How things change in five years - I think I've matured in five years (I hope so!), I think I'm slightly better looking now than I was back then, and I have more money. I'm just missing the girl. Yet, it seems like everybody I know who is in my Sunday School class at church is engaged or in a relationship close to engagement. Except for me. What really gets me going is the fact that a few from my church who just graduated high school in 2005 are already married! And yet, here I sit, graduated from college, and I took an extra semester, and it's been seven months since I graduated, and yet, I stand alone, with no young ladies that are even good prospects. Yeesh! It's like I'm cursed or something!
I feel better now that that's off my chest. Joel Osteen just came on the television, so now I'll have a positive attitude listening to his faith-filled positive words of faith! Now it's time for his lame joke that he starts off each sermon with. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 7/9/06 @ 9:15 pm
Tonight's topic: Same time, one week later
Good evening. I just realized when I typed the written line above that I am writing this at the exact same time I did last week - 9:15 pm. That's weird.
Anyway, it has been an all right week. I got to spend some time with relatives who came to visit, and who are coming to visit again tomorrow before leaving for good on Tuesday. It's a good thing they came down here to visit us; I don't know if I'll ever get out of Oklahoma ever again at this point!
My 23rd birthday is coming up Wednesday, so I will now provide a recap of my 22nd year on this planet:
July 12 - I turned 22 years old and celebrated with Day Eight of the Summer 2005 Roadtrip. I drove from Bloomington, Illinois, to Rochester, Minnesota, via Milwaukee. The day started wet, as the remnants of Hurricane Dennis were moving over northern Illinois and southeast Wisconsin on this day. But by the time I got past Madison, the skies cleared up, and were mostly clear by the time I made it to Rochester. As it turned out, there were three more days in that trip after this one, and it didn't rain any of those days.
August - I started my final semester of college.
October - I took the St. Louis/Fall Foliage Roadtrip across Missouri and Arkansas. I also drove in Illinois for a little bit.
November - Took a trip to Joplin for Thanksgiving.
December - Graduated from college with my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration.
January - The possibility of a new job came up. However, it would've moved me to northwest Oklahoma. It didn't work out, so I'm still in OKC.
April - Took the West Texas Roadtrip from April 5-7, which took me through, well, west Texas, and also New Mexico. I also started my new job at the downtown Courtyard by Marriott, "downtown Oklahoma City's most exciting hotel!"
July - Relatives from Kansas come down to visit. I turn 23 years old on Wednesday.
So it's been an OK year, I guess. At least nobody in my family has died. It could've been a better year, but it could've been a lot worse. My goals during my 23rd year of life are the same as they have been for a while; make good money, meet a good woman to marry, and make some new friends.
See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 7/2/06 @ 9:15 pm
Tonight's topic: The three F's of success: Family, friends, and food! Plus, the first press coverage of my websites
Good evening and welcome to the first rant entry of July 2006. I want to write tonight about what I believe are the three F's of success.
Family - Tomorrow, I have three relatives coming down to visit us from the great state of Kansas. It will my first time to see them in over a year. Two of my relatives will be here for three days total, while the other relative will be here for a week. This is the first time we've had family come down here and stay with us in a long time.
Friends - I just want to say that I am thankful for the friends I have, both at church and at work. At least, I think the people I work with could be considered friends. To have friends, one must show themselves friendly, and with God's help, I am doing that.
Food - To be a good Baptist, you have to love to eat! And I love to eat, even though my body's skin-and-bones frame doesn't reflect that. With my relatives arriving tomorrow, there will be some good times of food and fellowship ahead in the very near future. There's another F of success - fellowship! Food and fellowship are two necessary things in a Baptist's life.
You may be thinking; is this guy ever going to talk about roads tonight? Well, the answer is no, because no big road news happened last week, other than the 50-year anniversary of the beginning of the interstate highway system. But I do have one thing to mention - I discovered this past week that OKHighways.com was featured in a newspaper article in the Stillwater News-Press on June 14. Every once in a while, I do Google searches for my name and also for the websites just to check and see what is out there, and I came across this article about OKHighways that I never even knew was being written. It only took four years for one of my websites to be mentioned in some newspaper article! But seriously, I was surprised and thrilled at the same time to see the press coverage. Of course, checking the site statistics for OKHighways, May was actually a better month for page views than June was, even with the article. If the site had been mentioned in, say, USA Today, then I would think the numbers would skyrocket a lot more. But that's not what it's about with me; I just provide the information about the highways of Oklahoma (and 40 other states) and provide photographic proof of the signs and sights along the way. And it's an honor to be able to provide that service.
That's all I have for tonight's rant, so join us next Sunday when I will type my final rant entry as a 22 year old. I may provide a recap of my time as a 22-year-old. I don't know yet though. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 6/25/06 @ 9:56 pm
Tonight's topic: Continued progress on the freeway of my life.
Good evening. Yesterday afternoon, I took a trip along Interstate 44 and OK 74 north of OKC. The sign replacement project on Interstate 44 in southwest OKC is almost 100% complete. Only a couple of signs had not been replaced. I also saw new OK 74 shields along some of the Lake Hefner Parkway's intersecting streets. From the Kilpatrick Turnpike north to OK 33. almost all OK 74 shields are new. Only one (the shield on northbound OK 74 just past the current end of the Lake Hefner Parkway) shield in that stretch had not been replaced. From Interstate 44 to the Kilpatrick, I saw just one new shield on the mainline, and that is the one on southbound near the N.W. 50th Street exit. The OK 33 shields have also been replaced from OK 74F to OK 74, as have the OK 74F shields. I still have yet to see any new state highway shields on any BGSs in OKC. I've been sent several pictures of new shields on signs along Interstate 40 and the Muskogee Turnpike in eastern Oklahoma, but I have yet to see one in person.
In 2 1/2 weeks, I will be 23 years old. It looks like I'll make it through another year on the singles circuit. I still have yet to find someone who loves road signs as much as I do. :) Actually, I don't really care if she likes road signs or not; as long as she loves me and God and is a good young lady, I could care less about her opinion of road signs.
That's all I have to say tonight, so see y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 6/18/06 @ 9:35 pm
Tonight's topic: Things are getting better, I think
Good evening. Last week started out a bit on the down side. With my job confusion plus the ten-year "anniversary" of my dad's death, it was not the best start I've had to a week. By the end of the week, things got better, and today was a pretty good day. So I think that my life is getting a little better.
I may take a roadtrip this Saturday to somewhere in Oklahoma besides Oklahoma City. I don't know where I'll go, but it'll be somewhere I haven't been in a while.
I drove on OK 3A in northwest OKC yesterday; still no new shields along the entire highway. Actually, it was a bit of a slow week for new state highway shield sightings.
I don't have much else to say this week, except see y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 6/11/06 @ 10:00 pm
Tonight's topic: I've got questions, who has answers? Plus, memories of dad.
Good evening. It is very hot in OKC. Yesterday's high temperature was 102. Today it was 99. Both were record highs. It's not even summer yet! I should've known it would be this hot when it was 75 degrees on January 1. I just saw the current temperatures - it's still 90 degrees in a few spots in western Oklahoma! At 10 pm!
Tuesday will mark the 10-year anniversary of my father's death. He passed away due to cancer on June 13, 1996, just 11 days after my grandmother passed away from, you guessed it, cancer. It was my dad who put the love of roadtrips in me. Since his family is from Michigan, we would take a roadtrip each summer to Michigan from Oklahoma City. We'd always take I-44 East to I-270/I-255 to bypass St. Louis, then I-70 East to Effingham, Illinois, where we would spend the night. The next day, we would continue on I-70 East to I-465 on the west side of Indianapolis, and took that to I-69 North. From there, we took I-94 East to M-14 and I-96 East to my grandparents' house. I remember trips around Michigan that we took. Frankenmuth was our most common destination in Michigan, but one year we took a trip to Frankfort and Traverse City. Good times. Man I miss him. But if it wasn't for that 11-day period in June 1996, I may have never known that I needed to be saved by the Lord Jesus Christ.
I don't think anyone else I know has become engaged this past week. Hallelujah. I don't need any more reminders of my singleness, m'kay?
As for my job, the 1/2 day thing lasted for, well, a couple days. Right now I don't know what they're going to do with me. I've heard rumors that I'll be doing anything from management to janitorial work. OK, so maybe not janitorial work, but it's up in the air right now. I just hope it doesn't entail overnights on weekends again. Mark my words, if a job makes me work overnights on weekends again, I am immediately putting in my 2 weeks notice, m'kay? I am not going through that again. I love remembering what goes on at church. (OK, so before I had this job I remembered what went on at church on Sundays; I would show up and sleep through the services!)
Well that's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 6/4/06 @ 10:08 pm
Tonight's topic: New page design on OKHighways
Good evening. I have finally started updating OKHighways.com again by adding pictures I've taken in the past year to the pages. In the process, I am also redesigning the pages. I hope to officially launch the new home page this Thursday. To see a preview, go to http://www.okhighways.com/newindex.html. I've already redesigned the state highways index page and two state highway guides, OK 24 and OK 39.
On Monday I took a mini-trip down U.S. 377 and U.S. 177 south of Interstate 40. The only new state highway shields I saw were for OK 99A (only the northern OK 99A had them; the southern 99A still had the old shields), OK 99C, and OK 199. Then I took a sidetrip to Norman and saw that the OK 77H shields at its southern terminus have been replaced, and also the OK 74A shields along the entire route have been replaced. It was different from just 16 days prior, when the 77H and 74A shields were still the old circle/oval design. After this trip, I have now clinched all of U.S. 177's mileage, and all of U.S. 377 within Oklahoma.
This Saturday after bus visitation, I may take a trip along U.S. 75 and U.S. 69 south of Interstate 40. This will complete U.S. 75's mileage within Oklahoma.
My job is still going great. I guess I did well enough during my fill-in period (which ended Friday) that I get to do the same job half the day now since the person I had been filling in for is coming back tomorrow. I get to keep the same hours (Hallelujah!) and still have weekends off.
Well the dust biting continues. A friend of mine who is about 10 years older than me and who everybody thought would never get married is, guess what? Getting married later this year. I tell ya, it's getting depressing. Even the people who I never thought would "bite the dust" (my term for getting married) are biting the dust. I'm in like the best place in the world to meet a good Independent, Fundamental, Bible-believing Baptist young lady to marry (with the Bible college here) and I've been through my college years (even squeezed a 4-year program into 4 1/2 years!) and nothing has happened, and nothing's even close to happening, because all the ones I've ever liked get snatched up by normal-looking people, instead of dorks like me. ;) So again I ask the question that Ron White asks; "Are you lonely?" Yep. And it's not getting better, I fear.
OK, enough pity party for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 5/28/06 @ 11:40 pm
Tonight's topic: Tomorrow's mini-trip preview
Good evening. Tomorrow I have a day off work for Memorial Day, so guess what that means? Roadtrip! The plan is to drive all of U.S. 177 and U.S. 377 in Oklahoma that is south of Interstate 40. This will allow me to clinch all mileage of U.S. 177. It looks like the weather will cooperate somewhat, and temperatures will be warm, but not as hot as they have been.
Tonight while in the area of Interstate 240 and Sooner Road (OK 77H), I noticed that the first southbound assurance shield south of Interstate 240 has now been replaced with a new shield. This is different from the way it was two weeks ago. Since it was at about 11 pm, I didn't take a picture, plus, I didn't have the camera with me to take a picture if I had so desired. Still no new OK 3 shields on Western (except for the pair I've mentioned previously), Penn, or May.
For the second straight week, we had four kids ride the bus this morning to church. Better than zero.
I have nothing else to say and it's past my bedtime, so see y'all later and drive safely.
Written: 5/21/06 @ 10:11 pm
Tonight's topic: Going through the ritual
Good evening. Last week was just another week. Not the best week I've had, and definitely not the worst. It was pretty normal. Nothing really to write home about.
The OK 3 shields still have not been replaced around the I-240 & Western interchange (except for one pair that have been). I don't know the status of new OK 3 shields on I-240/U.S. 62/OK 3 from Western to I-44.
Next Monday is Memorial Day and I get the day off work, so that means roadtrip! I plan on driving along all of U.S. 177 and U.S. 377 in Oklahoma that is south of Interstate 40. Hopefully I'll see some new state highway shields.
That's really all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 5/14/06 @ 10:15 pm
Tonight's topic: Recap of OKC area roadtrip yesterday
Good evening. Yesterday after bus visitation (and even a bit during visitation), I drove all around the Oklahoma City area taking pictures of signs. And here are the verdicts I came up with:
The Interstate 35 sign replacement project in northeast OKC and Edmond is almost 100% complete. The signage on northbound at N.E. 50th Street has still not been replaced, but besides that, everything else has. There are still two places where Hefner Road is signed Exit 135 instead of Exit 136, and even one place where Memorial Road is signed as Exit 137 instead of Exit 138D. Also, the northbound signage at Memorial Road still has the old button copy exit tab, but the main part of the sign is new. Unfortunately, the southbound Interstate 35 assurance shields in Edmond at mile markers 139 and 140 still have U.S. 77 shields attached, even though U.S. 77 exits off the freeway at Exit 141.
The Interstate 44 sign replacement project in southwest OKC and Newcastle is progressing very well. About half of the signs along both sides of the interstate have been replaced, and poles are up for new signs to be erected.
Also snapped some pictures of the progress being made on the OK 152 realignment/Airport Road extension. Currently, westbound traffic must exit at southbound MacArthur and take that south to S.W. 44th Street, which is then taken west to Council Road. Also spotted and photographed new OK 152 shields along Airport Road, S.W. 44th Street, and Council Road.
Speaking of new state highway shields, that was the main purpose of this trip. I've had several reports of new shields and so I took this trip to snap pictures of the new signs. Here's what I found from each state highway I took and in the order I took them:
OK 37: New shields are posted from Interstate 44 Exit 110 to eastern terminus.
OK 77H: Most of the OK 77H shields have been replaced near Interstate 240. South of Interstate 240, however, none have been replaced yet.
OK 74A: No new shields along the route yet.
OK 9: Two new shields near the Interstate 35/OK 9 West interchange (Exit 106), but otherwise old ones are still in place both near Interstate 35 and along U.S. 77 in Norman. Also, old OK 9 shields are still in Blanchard.
OK 74 (S): No new shields yet between OK 24 and Interstate 35.
OK 74B: New shields are up along the entire route and at each terminus. It's a bit weird to be traveling on OK 74 (and OK 76) and see an old OK 74/76 shield next to a new OK 74B shield. It provided some interesting pictures!
OK 24: No new shields yet between its northern junction with OK 74 and OK 39.
OK 39: No new shields yet from OK 39 to OK 76.
OK 59: No new shields yet around the OK 39 junction.
OK 76: No new shields yet from OK 39 to OK 130.
OK 130: New shields posted along entire route.
OK 152: New shields posted from Interstate 44 to OK 92, with a few exceptions.
OK 4: New shields posted along OK 152 duplex. Also, new shields posted from OK 66 northward to Piedmont.
OK 92 (N): New shields posted along entire route.
OK 66: New shields from OK 92 to OK 4. Also a new shield east of Interstate 35 in Edmond.
OK 3: New shields from OK 4 to OK 74.
OK 74 (N): Saw & photographed one new shield along OK 3. Otherwise, old OK 74 shields remain at that junction.
OK 3A: Old shields still posted throughout route in both directions.
Whew, I think that's it! Later this week, I hope to create a checklist of sorts and post it on OKHighways.com. It will show whether a new shield for a particular state route has been photographed and/or seen and reported to me by the public. That way, the public can see what progress is being made, and I (hopefully) won't get bombarded with e-mails about shields that I already know about. It's not that I don't like getting e-mails about things I already know, it's just that the checklist can be used as a tool. This trip brings my count of new state highways that I have seen and photographed new shields for up to 15, from the six that I had before yesterday.
That's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 5/7/06 @ 10:05 pm
Tonight's topic: Signs are being replaced like crazy
Good evening. I have received a couple of e-mails this week and have witnessed several new state highway shields. From Walker to at least Bryant, all OK 3 shields along Interstate 240 (and along the intersecting streets) have been replaced with the new state highway shield. I also spotted a new OK 37 shield at the Interstate 35 junction in Moore. Also, from e-mails I have received, shields along OK's 9, 59B, and 74B have been replaced. Finally, I noticed today while driving on Interstate 44 in southwest OKC that a sign replacement project there is well underway. Several gore point signs have been replaced, and a couple exit signs (including on eastbound at S.W. 89th) have been replaced. I'm willing to bet that the very old signs at the OK 37 East junction (with the peeled Interstate 44 shields) are now gone. Good thing I got pictures of those signs last year.
It was another decent day on the bus. Not as many kids, but still a great energy level on the bus for not only the kids, but workers as well.
I am continuing to learn the basics of my new job, and it appears that things are going well. At least, that's what I'm hearing so far.
It's the bittersweet time of year again. The time of year that is Graduation Fellowship week for Heartland Baptist Bible College. Which means that there will be people I haven't seen for a while who will be in town this week, and it will be nice to see them again, but at week's end, not only will they be going back home, but the people who are graduating or going home for the summer will be gone, and I'll be quoting that comedy skit again: "Are you lonely? Yeah!" I have successfully gone through yet another school year as a single man. Although school years aren't necessarily the primary measure of time for me anymore, it's still humbling to know that it's happened again, and I am still patiently waiting for that moment. But what a day that will be!
I will close for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 4/30/06 @ 10:33 pm
Tonight's topic: A great day
Good evening. Today was the annual Bus Sunday at the church and I tell you, I had a blast today. We had 11 kids on Bus 1, which is more than we've had all year. I had more fun on the bus today than I've had in a long time. I tell you, it is such a blessing from the Lord to not work overnights on weekends anymore. I've realized the past three weekends how much I missed, and wonder why I worked those hours that long. The Lord brought me through, and I am thankful for that.
The new job is going fine. I don't think I've angered my bosses yet. I'm beginning to get a grip on the main parts of the job and am feeling more comfortable doing the tasks of the job. I even have my own voice mail message now on my direct phone line, and my work e-mail will hopefully be set up this week. I must admit, right now, it's kinda cool to say that I work in a downtown office with my own direct work line and work e-mail address. Even got to go to the OKC Arts Festival with some coworkers during my lunch break on Friday.
A fellow OKC resident informed me of new OK 74 signs along Britton Road at the Hefner Parkway. So it's good to see that some new shields are going up in OKC. They just need to get down here to the south side and replace the OK 3 shields along Interstate 240. My guess is they'll be some of the last ones to be replaced, as all the signs along Interstate 240 (including OK 3 shields) have been replaced in the past two years. But we shall see.
That is all I have to say about that, so see y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 4/23/06 @ 11:10 pm
Tonight's topic: Job #3, Week #2
Good evening. After one week at my new position at the Courtyard, I still have a job there. So that's a good thing. So far I think it's going all right. I sure am tired by the time I get home at 5:30, though, but it's kinda nice to be off of work for the day while the sun is still up!
I did absolutely nothing last week on any webpages or pictures on the sites. The only updates I did were the pictures of the week. I hope to do at least something this week, now that I'm getting used to this new schedule.
I need to get some sleep, so see y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 4/16/06 @ 10:25 pm
Tonight's topic: A new beginning
Good evening. Tomorrow is my first official day of work at the Downtown Oklahoma City Courtyard by Marriott. I am looking forward to it. I have enjoyed having this weekend off, and my work schedule is such that I will now be off weekends, so this is something that I will be getting used to. That is fine with me; I realized this weekend that I missed a lot by working overnights on weekends and trying to be involved in church at the same time.
I didn't do any website work last week, but I did go through the rest of the St. Louis/Fall Foliage Roadtrip pictures and renamed them. I haven't updated the actual files yet, but have at least written down all the new file names so I hope to change them starting this week.
I don't have too much to say tonight, so I will close. Anyway, I need to get some sleep; I go into work at 8 am tomorrow. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 4/10/06 @ 12:31 am
This morning's topic: I am now unemployed. Sort of.
Good morning. I'm getting a late start on this rant but that's OK. Anyway it appears I have likely worked my final night at the Holiday Inn Express. So I am without a job; until next Monday, that is, when I start at the Courtyard. It can't come soon enough; I got my Sunday morning nap again; in Primary Church, which is the church for 1st and 2nd graders that I help in on the 2nd Sunday of the month. I am so glad that this phase of my life is over, and I hope I never have to work overnights on weekends again.
Y'all would probably like a trip review of the West Texas Roadtrip, huh? Well, OK, I'll give it to you straight. It was very windy for the entire trip, and I drove through some of the most desolate landscape in the country. But I did clinch hidden Interstate 110 in El Paso, which means I have now driven all interstate mileage in the state of Texas. The Lone Star State has more interstate miles than any other state, so I think this is quite an accomplishment. I also drove some of Interstate 25 in New Mexico that I had previously not driven before, and I don't think I missed too much exciting scenery. To clinch highways, though, you have to drive through some desolate stretches of roadway. I also drove all of Interstate 27 on Friday, so now I have digital pictures of all of northbound Interstate 27.
Wednesday, I drove 708 miles from Oklahoma City to El Paso, mostly along U.S. 62. I arrived in El Paso at about 5:45 Mountain Time, which was about one hour before church started. A friend of mine is a youth pastor at a church there, so I went and visited him. At least I gave him an hour's warning of my visit; when I visited another friend of mine in Omaha during last summer's roadtrip, I gave him no warning whatsoever and basically just showed up. ;) It was so windy and dusty in El Paso that the sky was red. Thankfully, when I left Thursday morning, it was clear. I started the day Thursday by driving Interstate 110, then took U.S. 54 North (East) to Loop 375, where I took the Transmountain Highway across the Franklin Mountains to Interstate 10, headed north on Interstate 10 West to Las Cruces, where I picked up Interstate 25. I drove Interstate 25 for 341 miles before exiting onto U.S. 84 South near Las Vegas, then took U.S. 84 southeast through Clovis to Lubbock, where I spent Thursday night at a Comfort Inn. Friday, I began the day by driving around the southern terminus of Interstate 27, taking numerous pictures to replace the pictures I took in 2002 with a regular film camera. From there, I took Interstate 27 North to Amarillo, got several pictures of Interstate 27's northern terminus, then headed east on U.S. 60 to Texas 152, which then turns into Oklahoma 152. I drove Oklahoma 152 to Oklahoma 6 to Elk City, where I picked up Interstate 40 and took that to Oklahoma City. For about the final 80 miles of the trip, it rained. I think this is the first time it has ever rained when I arrived home from a major roadtrip, and this was the 17th major roadtrip I have done. But that's how it goes sometimes.
Along Interstate 27 between Lubbock and Amarillo is a town called Happy. Happy, Texas. Isn't that a bit of an oxymoron? How can someone be happy in Texas?! ;) Lord, I apologize for poking fun of Texans again, and please be with the starving pygmies in New Guinea. Amen.
Well since I have such a busy work schedule this week (sarcasm intended), I hope to get some website work done during the week before I start my new job next week.
That's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 4/2/06 @ 11:08 pm
Tonight's topic: The most newsworthy rant in a long time
Good evening. The first question I have tonight is where do I begin? The past few days have had many noteworthy moments, so let me start with the biggest one of all:
Starting two weeks from tomorrow, I will be employed at the Downtown Oklahoma City Courtyard by Marriott! I have accepted a position where I will be coordinating group reservations. It's a little less $$, but the hours are fantastic: 8 am - 4 pm Monday-Friday, with benefits. That means I will now have weekends off! Praise the Lord, my weekends of little rest are almost over! That is good, because I got my normal Sunday morning nap today; during church service. That ain't good right there.
Big announcement #2: I will be taking a roadtrip this Wednesday through Friday. That's right; I have been given an extra day off this week (not related to the fact that I am leaving my current job), and so I will be taking the West Texas Roadtrip. The trip has been planned for a few months now; I just didn't know if I would ever be able to take it. The plan is to drive to El Paso on Wednesday via Lawton, Lubbock, Hobbs, and Carlsbad, then head north on Interstate 25 to Las Vegas (New Mexico, that is) and southeast on U.S. 84 to at least Clovis on Thursday, then on Friday, drive to Lubbock, head north on Interstate 27, then east on U.S. 60 to Interstate 35 South. As of right now, the weather looks good for Thursday and Friday, with a slight chance of rain Wednesday in Oklahoma and north Texas. This may be the last major roadtrip I am able to take for a while (I hope I get to take a vacation this year with the new job), so I plan to enjoy it very much. After I drive the 0.92-mile hidden Interstate 110, I will have driven all interstate mileage in the state of Texas, and after I drive Interstate 27, I will have all of Texas' interstate mileage photographed with a digital camera. I drove all of Interstate 27 in July 2002, but that was before I went digital. New interstate mileage on this trip will be along hidden Interstate 110 in El Paso and Interstate 25 from Interstate 10 to Interstate 40.
Announcement #3: I did not take my Wednesday trip due to cloudy skies, but did take the Friday trip as planned along U.S. 177/U.S. 77 and U.S. 75 north of Interstate 40. Along the U.S. 75 corridor between Tulsa and Okmulgee, I saw several new state highway shields! I think I saw about 18 of them, mostly along OK 16. I got pictures of a new OK 117 West assurance shield just west of U.S. 75 (although the other OK 117 shields I saw in that area were still the tired old circle), several new OK 16 shields, the new OK 52 shields at its northern segment's northern terminus (the U.S. 52 sign goof there has been corrected, by the way), and new OK 56 shields along both Loop 56 and mainline OK 56 in Okmulgee.
During the trip, I missed a picture of a U.S. 75 shield near Bartlesville and attempted to delete it. I somehow accidentally changed the picture size to the next larger size. So about 30 pictures from that day have both normal 640x480 and 1280x960 picture sizes. They will be reflected on the highway guides whenever I get around to them, which may now be never because of my new job. But I will definitely try.
I have completed all of the Summer 2005 Roadtrip pages from highways outside of the state of Oklahoma. As for the St. Louis/Fall Foliage Roadtrip pictures, I have only gone through the first two days' pictures and renamed them on paper, but have yet to rename the pictures on the website. When will it get done? Who knows.
I've got one more piece of good news: I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance by switching to Geico. OK, I'm just kidding about that one.
I believe that is all I have to say this week. See y'all later, drive safely, and stay tuned to OKRoads later this week for trip updates from the West Texas Roadtrip that may have more mileage in New Mexico than Texas!
Written: 3/26/06 @ 10:32 pm
Tonight's topic: Almost done with roadtrip pages! Plus, a potential answer to one of my two biggest life questions
Good evening. This morning, I completed the first of two southbound Interstate 135 Kansas pages. This means that the pages related to Day Ten of the Summer 2005 Roadtrip are almost complete. Which leaves just one day left, and that was when I went from Wichita to Oklahoma City. In other words, it looks like I should be finished with Summer 2005 Roadtrip pages sometime this week! Which is just in time, because...
There was a nice development on the job search front in the past week. I had one interview on Wednesday, and I am going back for another one with the same place tomorrow. Things are looking good, and it looks like my days of working overnights on weekends may be numbered. I hope so, because I am tired of falling asleep in church on Sunday morning because I am so tired from being awake all night long. I won't give out too many details right now, but I will say that it is at another hotel doing basically the same thing I am doing now, but at a much better property and with benefits.
I did a roadtrip on Friday along U.S. 81 and U.S. 77/U.S. 177 north of Interstate 40. I have now driven all of U.S. 81 in Oklahoma and most of U.S. 77, except for the part from U.S. 60 to the Kansas state line. Lord willing, that will be taken care of on Friday. On Wednesday, weather permitting, I will take a trip along U.S. 177 and U.S. 377 south of Interstate 40. I still have yet to see any new state highway shields personally, but on Friday, the first new shields in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas were installed, so they should become more commonplace soon. Speaking of new signs, I was on Interstate 35 on Friday, and some signs in Edmond have been replaced. A couple of other signs closer to downtown have also been replaced. However, there are still no signs in the 1/4 mile before the N.E. 50th interchange on northbound. It has been that was since last September or October, when I was driving Interstate 35 five days a week.
I have officially jumped on the George Mason bandwagon. I was so glad to see them beat UConn this afternoon in the NCAA basketball championships. I sacrificed most of my normal Sunday afternoon nap to watch the Patriots win. Since OU lost in the 1st round, I started pulling for the underdogs in all the games. So far, it looks good, as no #1 seeds are in the Final Four, and Texas is out of the tournament, hallelujah! It's enough of a nightmare to have Texas as the baseball and football national champions; a basketball championship by them would've made me go crazy.
It snowed three inches here last Wednesday night. By the end of the day Thursday, it was all gone, except for little patches here and there. I must admit; it was a bit weird to see green leafy trees and snow on the ground at the same time. Don't you just love Oklahoma weather?
For the 2nd straight week, we took a church van today instead of a bus. Today, I was the only worker on the van, as all of my other workers were gone for Spring Break. And we ended up having the most kids we've had in a while; nine. We filled the van up! It made me thankful for the workers I do have, though!
That is all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 3/19/06 @ 9:50 pm
Tonight's topic: Rain
Good evening. The past couple days we have finally got some rain in Oklahoma. It has been extremely dry here and thousands of acres have burned in wildfires in the past few months. This week is supposed to bring cool temperatures. The rain is supposed to end tomorrow or early Tuesday.
Hopefully the rain will end in time for my next roadtrip planned Wednesday. This will generally take me along U.S. 81 and U.S. 77 north of Interstate 40. From Tonkawa north to the Kansas State Line, I will actually drive U.S. 177, since it is in the position that U.S. 77 is in south of Tonkawa. I will drive U.S. 77 north of Ponca City when I drive the rest of U.S. 177 in a couple of weeks.
On Summer 2005 Roadtrip pages, I am almost done with Day Nine. I just have one page left to complete (Interstate 680 Nebraska) and one page to start on (Interstate 80 Nebraska Westbound) before Day Nine is complete. Day Ten will begin with the completion of the westbound Interstate 80 Nebraska guide, followed by guides for Interstate 180 Nebraska, U.S. 81 Nebraska, U.S. 81 Kansas, and Interstate 135 Kansas. That is all to do for Day Ten. The only thing to do for Day Eleven is the Interstate 35 Kansas guide, because Interstate 35 Oklahoma will be covered on OKHighways. As I mentioned last week, after the completion of the Summer 2005 Roadtrip pages, I will be working on OKHighways for a while. Updates have been sporadic on OKHighways in the past year or so, but all that will change. I may get to the St. Louis/Fall Foliage Roadtrip pages. Maybe...
From reports I have seen and pictures I have had sent to me (including the OKHighways picture of the week), the new state highway shields have been put up in the Tulsa and Muskogee areas. I hope to see some on Wednesday in north-central Oklahoma. If not, I will be in Tulsa in a few weeks.
It was a bit strange to have been at home all last week. It was Spring Break in Oklahoma, but of course, I don't get Spring Break anymore, so no Spring Break roadtrip this year for the first time since 2000.
I don't have anything else to say tonight. See y'all later, drive safely, and GIT-R-DONE!
Written: 3/12/06 @ 10:13 pm
Tonight's topic: Trip review
Good evening. On Wednesday, I took a 416-mile roadtrip that was mostly along U.S. 77 and U.S. 81 south of Interstate 40. I also drove on parts of OK's 32, 76, 89, and 96, and retook terminus pictures of those highways. I did not see any new state highway shields unfortunately, but I did see several new yellow diamond reduced speed ahead signs. Oklahoma's versions use an unusual font for the speed limit sign inside the diamond. Whenever I get to post those pictures in about five years (OK, maybe not that long; hopefully it will only be a few weeks before I do that, more on that later) you will see what I mean. The skies were cloudy on Wednesday with a few raindrops at some points, but it wasn't too bad. The cloudy skies did blur some of my pictures, however. :( The next trip, along U.S. 77 and U.S. 81 north of Interstate 40, is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, March 22. It won't be this Wednesday because I have an appointment to get my taxes done; yippie. There's a possibility I may do it Friday, but likely won't because I would be awake from early Friday morning until the middle of the afternoon on Saturday without much, if any, sleep. That's why I'm doing these trips on Wednesdays; just have to worry about getting back on time for church.
I made great progress on Summer 2005 Roadtrip pages last week. I have now made it to Interstate 29 in South Dakota, which means I will basically be updating the existing Interstate 29 South Dakota and Iowa pages with new pictures until I reach Omaha. Then it will be back to creating new pages from scratch, but that's OK, because there's not that much left to go. I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel of getting these pages complete, nearly a year after I took the trip. After I complete the Summer 2005 Roadtrip pages, I will be working on OKHighways for a while, updating that site with new pictures I have taken in the past year but haven't posted on pages yet. Then I will work on the pages from the St. Louis/Fall Foliage Roadtrip.
I have a feeling that something positive will happen with my job search this week. Tune in next week. For now, I am done. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 3/5/06 @ 10:07 pm
Tonight's topic: Another year, another great missions conference
Good evening. The 2006 Southwest Baptist Church Missions Conference was a blessing for all who attended. This year I was able to attend almost every service, and only missed the Thursday night service due to work. It was a blessing to be reminded of the "mission field" where I serve on the bus route, and to not give up. One of the missionaries at the conference this week was someone who I was able to visit at their mission work in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in the summer of 2000. Tonight, he talked about how much of a blessing that we were to that church there and some people that we reached are continuing to grow in the Lord nearly six years later. Praise the Lord! It was very encouraging to me as someone who thought about quitting the bus route last year after we had zero bus riders two weeks in a row. Just be faithful, and God will provide.
Before the Missions Conference, I took a trip around the Oklahoma City area on Wednesday afternoon. The sign replacement project on Interstate 35 is progressing slowly. Some new signs have been put up, unfortunately, there are still many more to do. No more signs have been replaced from the turnpikes to 2nd Street in Edmond. Plus, one sign on each side of the interstate mislabel Hefner Road as Exit 135, when it is actually Exit 136. Crews were in the process of erecting the 3/4 mile advance sign on southbound Interstate 35 for the real Exit 135 (Britton Road) when I drove by.
After driving on Interstate 35, I headed to southwest Oklahoma City to check up on the OK 152 realignment project/Airport Road extension. Much work has been done since the last time I was in the area. Now I can actually tell where the lanes are going to go, and figured out a few things. First, the new OK 152 will not directly connect to S.W. 44th Street. Rather, traffic will need to use the southbound MacArthur exit to get to S.W. 44th Street. Second, Rockwell does not meet the future OK 152 either. From the south, once it reaches OK 152, Rockwell heads to the northeast parallel to OK 152 and intersects S.W. 44th Street at the point where OK 152 will travel overhead. Finally, traffic on OK 152 travels over railroad tracks about 1/4 mile west of Rockwell, which means that OK 152 will be freeway from Council Road to Interstate 44. Someday, I will post the pictures I took of the construction. I envision a new interstate designation on the newly extended freeway: Interstate 144. This new interstate would have Exit 1 at Council Road, Exits 2A-B at MacArthur, Exits 3A-B at Meridian, and Exits 4A-B at Interstate 44. And OK 152 would end at Council Road where Interstate 144 begins. I don't see this happening, but I think it would be cool. I see a future SignMaker project that I'll get to in the year 2008 at the current rate I am going on webpages.
On that note, I got a couple of pages done last week. I have now made it to the Interstate 90/94 at Interstate 39 interchange near Portage, Wisconsin, which means I have cleared the rain and clouds for the rest of the trip pages. I still hope to finish the remaining pages from Day Eight of the Summer 2005 Roadtrip by March 15, which is next Wednesday. This week doesn't look nearly as busy at work, so it will hopefully happen.
The trees are beginning to bloom already. The high temperature in Oklahoma City on Wednesday was 92 degrees! It was very warm during my mini trip. Depending on how the weather is, I will likely take the U.S. 77/U.S. 81 trip I wrote about last week this Wednesday. Spring is springing in Oklahoma early this year. I still have yet to see any new Oklahoma state highway shields. Maybe I'll see some Wednesday...
That is all I have to say this evening. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 2/26/06 @ 11:06 pm
Tonight's topic: La dee da
Good evening. I have made it to Milwaukee on the Summer 2005 Roadtrip pages. This means I have completed guides for Interstate 39 Illinois, Interstate 39 Wisconsin, the first Interstate 90 Wisconsin guide, and the Interstate 43 Wisconsin guide. Next are guides for Interstate 894 (basically a copy & paste job from the last part of the Interstate 43 guide), Interstate 94 Wisconsin, and Interstate 794/Wisconsin 794.
I may start taking roadtrips on Wednesdays soon. I haven't covered Oklahoma highways very well the past couple years since I finished the terminus gallery, and I think with the new state highway shields supposedly being installed, it is a good time to start some Oklahoma roadtrips again. Since I have driven all the miles of all interstates in Oklahoma, I think it's time to drive all miles of all U.S. highways in Oklahoma. So the first trip is planned to be along U.S. 77 and U.S. 81 south of Interstate 40, and anything else I feel like doing. The first trip may happen as soon as this Wednesday, but we will see. I figure now is also a good time because I may have a different job soon (actually, I hope to), and my hours will hopefully be more normal, which in turn will give me potentially less time to do a roadtrip.
The 2006 Missions Conference starts Wednesday at the church. It is a highlight of the year. With the way my life is now, it looks like I shouldn't miss too much of the conference. According to my calculations, I should only miss one service out of the seven scheduled, and that is due to work.
I was reminded again today by someone that I need to get married. It seems like ever since I graduated college in December, every week at least one person challenges me to find a wife and "bite the dust"! And in response, I say "I KNOW!" Unfortunately, I feel that I am worse off now in that aspect of my life than I was at this time last year, but I believe the time may come soon. Sometime before I turn 60...
We had three kids on the bus today. That's three more than we had last week...
Well folks, I am going to close this broadcast. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 2/19/06 @ 10:08 pm
Tonight's topic: More of the same
Good evening from icy Oklahoma City. The weather the past couple days has been filled with freezing rain, sleet, and a little bit of snow, making for not-so-great driving conditions. Thankfully, I am still in one piece, and the car is still in one piece. This after driving in these conditions to and from work the past couple overnights and driving to church today and tonight. We had zero kids ride the church bus today, but then again, all the buses had zero because they did not run due to the weather. First time in ten years that the Southwest Baptist Church buses did not run on a Sunday morning.
Besides that, my life is as boring as usual. I got more webpages done. I have just one page left to write picture descriptions for and Day Seven will be complete. Day Eight, Day Nine, Day Ten, and Day Eleven hopefully won't take too long, since I didn't drive too many miles on the last four days of the Summer 2005 Roadtrip. Goal is to be finished with Day Eight pages by March 15, Day Nine by March 30, Day Ten by April 10, and Day Eleven by April 15. After that, my focus will shift to the roadtrips around Oklahoma I took during 2005, which weren't very many, then the plan is to start on pages from the St. Louis/Fall Foliage Roadtrip around May 1, which is seven months after I did the trip. And who knows, I may throw in another trip between now and then, which will give me something else to do. Oh well, it's fun, and it gives me something to do besides eat, sleep, go to church, go to work, and unsuccessfully job hunt and prospective-wife hunt. ;)
I was reminded by a friend of mine this morning that in May it will be five years since I graduated high school. This makes me feel old. At least I'm through with college; this person still has another year left.
I still have not seen any state highway shields in the field yet. I may take a trip this week in the surrounding area to photograph new signs on Interstate 35 in northeast Oklahoma City and Edmond and may add some other roads in the trip as well to see if I can find a new state highway shield.
There is nothing else to say, so I shall move on to my next project. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 2/12/06 @ 10:12 pm
Tonight's topic: Another year, another S.A.D.
Good evening. Tonight I am thankful for many things. One thing I am thankful for is that February 14 is almost here, so it can be gone for another year. To some, February 14 is known as V-Day. For me, it is known as a sad day. Literally. A friend of mine told me once that for single people, February 14 is S.A.D., or Single Awareness Day. I'm reminded of the first part of the Ron White comedy routine where he impersonates televangelist Robert Tilton, and Ron does quite a good job of it:
Are you lonely? Yeah! Have you wasted half of your life in bars pursuing sins of the flesh? Are you sitting in a bean bag chair naked eating cheetos? Do you feel the urge to get up and send me $1000?!
The answer to the first question is yeah, I am sort of lonely. But I am reminded of a hymn that is titled "No, Never Alone" and I am thankful for that. Still I am hoping that next year will not be yet another "S.A.D." day. Of course, that's what I've said the past several years, but now that I'm out of college, I will hopefully be able to change that part about my life soon.
Enough pity party, let's talk roads! I completed some more webpages last week, and am now working on the Interstate 275 guides for the beltway around Cincinnati. Looks like I should be able to reach my goal of completing the Ohio guides by the end of this week, since I have just three Ohio guides left, and Interstate 275 is the longest of the three. The other two are Interstate 75 and Interstate 74.
I am still employed at the Holiday Inn Express and will be until further notice. Right now is not necessarily the best time to be looking for a good job, considering that the General Motors plant in OKC will be closing in the next week or so. That will add many people to the job hunt. Oklahoma's not necessarily new employment heaven either.
I have nothing else to say, so see y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 2/5/06 @ 10:43 pm
Tonight's topic: Potential developments on the job front
Good evening. The past week has been more eventful then just about any other week this year. I went in for a job interview on Tuesday at a regular Holiday Inn in north OKC for their guest service manager position. I should find out tomorrow if it may go further. However, another potential job opportunity has come up, and it is better than the one I went in for an interview for. I won't disclose too much details right now, but I will say that I would basically be getting paid to do a "roadtrip" from March to August. No, I'm not becoming a truck driver. Stay tuned for more details...
After my interview Tuesday morning, I went for a little drive around western Oklahoma County, eastern Canadian County, and northeast Grady County. Highways covered included OK 37, OK 92, and OK 152. Officially, the northern OK 92's northern terminus was truncated southward a couple years ago from OK 66 to Interstate 40, but I drove the stretch on Tuesday, and nothing has changed. Well, except for a sign goof at the OK 66 intersection, where the direction arrow pointing to OK 66 West was pointing east. I did not see any new state highway shields, and have not seen one yet.
On the website, I finished pages from Day Six and am now on Day Seven. I have reached Columbus, Ohio, on the pages. I hope to finish the remaining Ohio guides by the end of next week. That is the goal.
That's all I have to report tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 1/27/06 @ 10:04 pm
Tonight's topic: Webpage progress
Good evening. In the past week, I have completed most of the Interstate 90 New York pages, the Interstate 787 guide, the Interstate 87 guide, and both Interstate 190 guides. Next up are guides for the Robert Moses State Parkway and Interstate 290, and the final Interstate 90 New York guide. After that, I will add westbound pictures and descriptions to the Interstate 90 Pennsylvania guide and create the Interstate 90 Ohio guides, which will basically complete Day Six guides.
No announcement tonight either. Hopefully there will be one of some kind soon, because my life is kind of boring right now.
See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 1/20/06 @ 9:24 pm
Tonight's topic: No announcement yet
Good evening. There is still the possibility of the big announcement I mentioned two weeks ago. Albeit, it is appearing to be less and less of a possibility, but it is still there. Until then, y'all will just have to wait, just like me!
Webpage progress continues, slowly but surely. I have just one more page to do from Day Five of the Summer 2005 Roadtrip, and that is the first page for Interstate 90 New York from the Massachusetts state line to Albany.
I don't have much else to say tonight, except that I have yet to see a new state highway shield in the field. Then again, the announcement was just made two weeks ago, and I haven't been to very many places since then.
See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 1/14/06 @ 11:32 pm
Tonight's topic: A big announcement, but not the one I thought I would be making tonight
Good evening. The big news of the week is that the state highway shields in Oklahoma are changing very soon. During the monthly meeting of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation on Monday, ODOT approved a change to the state highway shield. Instead of the number inside the circle, the number will be partially on top of an outline of the state of Oklahoma. Personally, looking at the sample I have seen, I think it looks a bit weird, but anything's an improvement over the circle, and this will give me a large project to do; getting pictures of all the new state highway shields for each state highway! This isn't quite the life-changing announcement I thought I might be giving in this rant, but that's still to be determined. There's still a slight possibility that that announcement will become necessary in the next two rant entries. So stay tuned.
I got a few webpages completed. I completed Interstate 84 guides for New York and Connecticut and completed the Interstate 91 Connecticut guide. This week's projects will be finishing the Interstate 91 guides for Massachusetts and Vermont and doing the Interstate 89 guides from the short time I spent on that highway back on July 9, 2005.
I did take some pictures of new signs on Interstate 35. Unfortunately, the only new signs I saw were between Interstate 40 and Interstate 44 West. Along the Interstate 44 duplex, probably over half of the sign bridges on southbound were taken down. Between the Kilpatrick Turnpike and 2nd Street, nothing has been done since I graduated 29 days ago. From 2nd Street north to the Logan County line, all the signs have been replaced, so I did photograph those. My southbound pictures turned out terrible, but that's due to the bad sun glare at this time of year. I will try again when the sun angle is better and all the signs are replaced.
Well, the first week of the spring semester is complete at UCO, and I don't care. And it feels great. I still kept busy this week by going to a church planting conference that was put on by the church I attend and the Bible college that it supports. I heard a lot of preaching but it was good, and I needed it. With the potential decision I may be making soon, I needed to be preached to to make sure I make the right decision and follow the will of God.
Went bowling tonight for the first time in a couple years. Bowled a 72 in my only game. I started out terrible, with one pin knocked down on the first two frames combined, but I ended it with a spare and then six more pins during the 10th frame. Oh well, I had fun either way you slice it.
I don't have anything else to say tonight, so see y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 1/7/06 @ 10:10 pm
Tonight's topic: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes?!
Good evening. I am live from work right now where for the first time in my life I missed church tonight because I had to work. (I've missed Sunday night services before, but never because of work) I was kind of between a rock and a hard place so I didn't get to have the church experience tonight. So now I am 1-for-2 in Sunday night church attendance this year.
The past couple days and the next week or weeks may prove to be very dramatic in my life. The reason? I'm getting married! OK, not quite. But there is a big change that may happen in my life. It is still in the very early stages, so I'm not going to go into detail right now. I'll just say that my life as I have known it will be drastically changed, but in a positive way.
I did work on some webpages this past week. I finally finished pages from Day Four of the Summer Trip and am now on Day Five. I have completed webpages up to the New York-Pennsylvania state line on Interstate 84. I have started the webpage for Interstate 84 New York and hope to get that done tomorrow night. Depending on how the week goes, I hope to get some pages done from Connecticut also (Interstate 84 and Interstate 91).
This week I may try to take pictures of the new signs on Interstate 35 between Interstate 40 and the Logan County line. Also, I may try to photograph the new signs on Interstate 240 east of Interstate 35.
I don't have too much else to say right now without giving away too much of something that may not happen at all. So see y'all later, drive safely, and who knows; next week may bring life-changing news.
Written: 1/1/06 @ 10:05 pm
Tonight's topic: Year in review
Good evening. Happy New Year from all of us at OKRoads. OK, so in summary, Happy New Year from yours truly.
Anyway, I hope everybody has had a great year so far. Mine has been all right. We had eight kids on the bus this morning, which is 4x more than last week. It was also free choir night at the church, which meant that I, an infamously horrible singer, was in the choir for one night. It was great. Free choir night doesn't happen too often, so I made sure to take advantage.
I was able to drive Interstate 35 between N.E. 63rd and Interstate 40 yesterday and discovered that almost every BGS in both directions has been replaced in the last two weeks! The only ones that were not replaced yet were on northbound approaching N.E. 23rd, at N.E. 50th, and at Interstate 44 West; and on southbound, at N.E. 50th and N.E. 23rd. Needless to say I was impressed with the progress that has finally been made. It figures that they would get to work on the sign replacement now that I'm not driving the interstate five days a week anymore. Oh well. I noticed one goof of sorts; on southbound, the one-half mile advance sign for N.E. 23rd Street fails to mention U.S. 62 East. The sign at the interchange had not been replaced yet, so we will see if the federal highway is mentioned there or not. Knowing my luck, they will replace the advance sign with one that includes U.S. 62 before I get up there to photograph the signs.
Now it is time for the OKRoads year in review. Overall I think it was a good year. I was able to do three major roadtrips. So now I will do a month-by-month summary of the year 2005:
January - This month was spent creating the current OKRoads format of webpages. A year later, we are still not complete, and maybe never will be complete. But it sure is fun to try!
February - Spent this month creating new webpages. Also, I bought a new Sony CyberShot DSC-P100 5.1 megapixel digital camera. Picture quality has gone up tremendously since purchasing the camera.
March - From the 16th through the 18th, I took South Texas Roadtrip Part 2. This trip took me through Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, much like the original South Texas Roadtrip did. This trip allowed me to drive the George Bush Turnpike, the Central Expressway, the Hardy Toll Road, and the Sam Houston Parkway/Tollway. Also, I clinched Interstate 10 in Texas, and realized just how boring Interstate 10 west of San Antonio is.
April - More webpage creation. Sign replacement project on Interstate 35 begins.
May - Finished Spring 2005 semester. Drove to Lawrence, Kansas, to see cousin graduate from University of Kansas. Took many sign pictures around Kansas City.
June - The webpage creation continues. I got most of the South Texas Part 2 pages done during this month.
July - During this month, I took the largest roadtrip I have ever taken, and it was a great time. The Summer 2005 Roadtrip took me 6,609 miles through 23 states in 11 days. I drove in five new states, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire, which takes the total number of states I have driven in up to 41. It was a great trip and loved it. And I am still making pages from this trip, and will be for a long time. I'm only on Day Four in Erie, Pennsylvania. That is, the first time I was in Erie; I went through there again during Day Six, but I'm not quite that far yet. Oh yeah, I clinched Interstate 40 on Day Two of this trip.
August - Created pages from May trip to Kansas and Missouri. Started my final semester of college.
September - Started process of creating pages from the summer trip. Got about 1/3 of the way through Day One. Also did my Joel Osteen impersonation at a church banquet to much laughter and applause.
October - Webpage creation continues. Got through all of Day One and a little bit of Day Two from the summer trip. Took the St. Louis/Fall Foliage Roadtrip, which took me through Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas. It was the cloudiest roadtrip I have ever done, yet it did not rain at all while I was driving. Figure that out.
November - More webpage creation. Went to Joplin, Missouri, for Thanksgiving, and photographed Route 66 between Joplin and Oklahoma City.
December - Graduated college on the 17th!!! Got a 3.75 GPA my last semester, the best GPA I had in any semester at college. Webpage creation is now accelerated with no more college to worry about.
And that, my friends, is a quick synopsis of the year 2005 in the life of E.T. Stuve, B.B.A. My goals for the year 2006 are to take trips to Lubbock and El Paso during the first half of the year to photograph the only Texas interstates not covered by my digital camera (Hint Hint); to take the Summer 2006 Roadtrip as planned to the Pacific Northwest; to find a job that will pay me good money and that has good vacation time; and to meet the love of my life and end the year 2006 by sliding an engagement ring on her finger. OK, so that last one has been a goal of mine every year this millennium. Well, now that I'm out of college, I actually have some time that I could dedicate to a young lady. Or maybe I'll just dedicate it to road signs and getting these webpages done! To be honest, I don't know if I'll ever get all the webpages done on this site. But I will do my best to get as close to completion as possible. Tomorrow, I plan to start creating the first highway guide from the state of New York. Progress is being made, slowly but surely. "I am serious, and stop calling me Shirley."
Well that is all I have to say this evening. So see y'all later, and drive safely. And please don't throw cigarettes out the window onto the grass right now in Oklahoma. The whole state's going to be burnt up when all is said and done at the rate things are going.
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Page created: June 11, 2007
Last updated: June 11, 2007