Current Event Friday #61

Maybe don’t follow David Lee Roth’s advice and Jump!

♪ Just the good ol’ boys
Never meanin’ no harm
Beats all you never saw ♫

No, today’s #CurrentEventFriday isn’t about news that the Dukes of Hazard is returning to syndication or streaming service, but about two unrelated events about some wannabe Duke boys and the trouble they’ve found themselves in this last week.

 

Image result for dukes of hazzard general lee jump

Full disclosure, I’m tempted to echo sentiments about flag burning from Pres. Bartlet from The West Wing, “Is there an epidemic of [car jumping stunts] going on that I’m not aware of?” I can’t say that there’s necessarily correlation between the two events, just that people are daring and willfully ignore warnings on television not to replicate stunts in real life.

First, out of Lake Charles, Louisiana is the story of Alejandro Cazares and Roberto Alejandro Moreno of Texas. The pair attempted to cross the Black Bayou Bridge — a drawbridge South of the town. The stunt occurred early on 25 May 2019. The driver put the car in reverse in order to have distance to pick up speed. The driver then sped up to try to “jump” the ramp of the bridge. Unfortunately for both men, the vehicle fell into the water and sank to the bottom. Cazares couldn’t escape the car and police found Moreno’s body nearby. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Officials have not yet determined whether alcohol or drugs played a factor. An investigation is still ongoing into the accident.

Second, comes from Indianapolis. Police officers entered into a high=speed chase with a reckless driver Sunday night. The driver had refused a traffic stop and sped towards Shadeland Avenue where there is a bridge out, ignoring signs and warnings and attempted to drive across the bridge, but the vehicle’s trajectory was altered after striking the exposed beams of the bridge. Fortunately, in this story the driver and passenger survived. The driver fled from the car and is still at large. The passenger was arrested. Police reported that the passenger had violated house arrest by being in the car and removing his house arrest monitors. Police hope to find the driver who left behind his prosthetic leg when he fled on foot 🥁(ba-dum-tish).

I saw the first story on my Twitter feed comparing the Texas men to the Dukes of Hazard earlier in this week and mentioned it to my parents the next day. I was expecting the local news to report it the next day so we could get more information and it included the second story. Which is why I felt like it’s a Current Event worth mentioning since there’s multiple stories about folks that think they can be as good as Bo and Luke or even Coy and Vance. A simple Google search would tell you that the car jumping stunts won’t work. The seven-year run of The Dukes of Hazard saw somewhere between 256 and 321 Dodge Chargers that were labeled as the General Lee. A similar scene in Road Trip shows that even with physics on your side, car jumping rarely works in real life. Yes, good ol’ boys and girls love hill hoppin’ while driving around here in the Hoosier Hills of Southern Indiana, but most aren’t foolish enough to think they’ll be the next Duke boys. Remember, most of what you see on fictional television shows doesn’t work well in real life and shouldn’t be replicated.

Have you ever pretended your car was the General Lee?

Poetry Wednesday 55

Today we include “Pretty in Pink”
(SPOILER ALERT: It’s not about Molly Ringwold).

“Pretty in Pink”

What a creature you are; your color it does tickle

Me, I could not pull it off, nor your head and neck the shape of a sickle

Clothed in bright covering of pink, bright as the color at sunset flaming

O, hoping with such fine array, towards others you will be shaming

 

I am talking to you with long slender legs, your tall sleek neck drooping and bending

Across your expanded breast; with arms ever so slightly extending

Finding all you can eat shrimp for your diet

Ascending with other birds of a feather, your flock will fly it

 

Wishing you were here along with Floyd, you’re exotic like spice

Can you tell the difference between despair from paradise

Beauty never missed with these eyes before— Victoria, it’s no secret

Hiding your head underwater, often hard to see it

 

You like being on display, it’s a wonder you’re not so vain

Take shelter, for you aren’t the ibis and ruler of the hurricane

Make me happier, make me joyful O darting bird

Behold the pink flamingo, O world!

 

© Ryan Stroud 2019

A Brisket, a Basket

Don’t risk it by missing out on the cut of beef that is celebrated today.

Hope everyone enjoyed Memorial Day weekend. Maybe you gathered the family for a cookout, maybe you attended a parade, maybe you decorated the graves of deceased military veterans, or maybe a combination of all of the above. Whatever you chose to do, I’m sure it was spent with family and memories were recalled while new memories were made.

For those of you who chose to cookout, maybe you should have included brisket on the menu. If you didn’t include brisket, maybe partake of some today since it’s National Brisket Day. I will admit I had brisket Sunday evening for dinner at the local barbecue restaurant in my hometown with mom. I also had brisket for lunch yesterday with dad as we attended the annual Memorial Day Car Show also in my hometown.

beef-cuts-missouri-grass-fed-beef

For those of you who didn’t graduate from butcher school, the brisket is the cow’s breast or sternum area. Beef breast isn’t all that appealing of a term thus the term brisket. If you think about the fat in our breast areas it explains why cows have a fatty and tender area at the brisket.

Brisket benefits from slow cooking more than other barbecue cuts and is usually served in slices that allows the fatty cut to not overwhelm when being eaten. Although, the brisket sandwich I had yesterday for lunch was chopped and it was still good. It also echoed a preparation of brisket with pastrami as it included a hefty dose of black pepper.

Image result for corned beef

While I enjoy brisket when barbecued to be sure as I’ve mentioned, pastrami and corned beef are also favorite preparations. Corned beef or pastrami preparations of brisket are especially good when paired with Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and sauerkraut on griddled rye bread on a Reuben. The local barbecue restaurant in my hometown combines the barbecue and pastrami prep for their Reuben to be the best of both worlds.

I’ve also taken leftover brisket from barbecue restaurants and included it on mini flour tortillas for street tacos. Topping the leftover brisket with sauce that can add sour and/or spicy flavors works well for the street tacos.

One of my regrets from our vacation to Texas was that we didn’t try any Texas barbecue restaurants in the Texas Hill Country. The Salt Lick, Black’s Barbecue, and Franklin Barbecue between Austin and San Antonio are some of the most well-known joints for Texas Brisket. Next time I visit Texas, I am making sure to include their barbecue on the itinerary.

At least in the meantime I can get my brisket fix at local barbecue restaurants and sampling Reubens at restaurants usually doesn’t disappoint. So, I can get good brisket even around my neck of the woods.

What’s your favorite brisket preparation?

History Monday #56

The opening of the Span Francisco Treat

While last week’s #HistoryMonday was about an important event in San Francisco, today’s entry made even more of an impact for San Francisco. Fittingly, last week’s entry bridges to today’s entry. See what I did there? That should clue you in about today’s #HistoryMonday.

On this date in 1937, pedestrians were allowed to walk on the Golden Gate Bridge. The next day, the bridge was opened for vehicular traffic. The two-day opening events marked a decade-long effort to span the Golden Gate Strait.

Image result for golden-gate-bridge

A bridge spanning the area was proposed as early as 1872, but it took until the 1920’s before public opinion popularized the idea of constructing a bridge. Coincidentally as Levi’s jeans were popularized by Levi Strauss, the impetus for building the bridge needed was proposed by an engineer named Joseph Strauss. Strauss combined elements of suspension and cantilever bridges. The bridge eventually would be 4,200 feet long and spanned the Golden Gate Strait connecting San Francisco and Marin County

Construction was begun on January 5, 1933. The workers had to overcome difficulties that included: strong tides, frequent storms, fog, and installing earthquake-proof foundations under the water.

fast forward

The Golden Gate Bridge at the time was the longest bridge in the world until the completion Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City built and opened in 1964. Today, the Golden Gate Bridge remains one of the world’s most recognizable architectural structures. The bridge has been incorporated as part of skyline logos for San Francisco-based organizations. The bridge also has become a popular tourist attraction in the city.

Bridge engineering after the Golden Gate bridge also spurred construction efforts that included form in addition to function. Cities with large bridges crossing bodies of water have now become photographed and painted creations. Such examples of this include the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on the Tampa Bay, the Lincoln Bridge that joins Louisville, KY and crosses the Ohio River, or the Mackinac Bridge joining the Upper and Lower Peninsulas of Michigan.

Have you ever crossed the Golden Gate Bridge?

Current Event Friday #60

Highways have potholes to be sure, but a sinkhole? It happens

I’ve got a sinking feeling. Well, maybe not me but several drivers this week had that feeling during their morning commute. The impact this event had on drivers is the focus of today’s #CurrentEventFriday.

Image result for i 265 sinkhole
Repairs for a sinkhole on Interstate 265

Early Wednesday morning, a sinkhole opened up on Interstate 265 near the Floyd & Clark County lines in Indiana. The I-265 highway connects I-64 & I-65 highways and is traveled heavily most days by commuters during rush hour times and for shoppers heading to the commercial centers at the several exits on the highway.

As the sinkhole opened further at the heart of rush hour, several cars were involved in what would prove to be a fatal accident. Law enforcement worked to clear the crash and divert traffic to surface streets and avoid the sinkhole. Unfortunately, these efforts failed to prevent the accident referenced above. At the point of repair to the sinkhole, the dimensions of it had reached 30’ wide by 24’ long and 15’ deep. Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) officials did make necessary repairs to the area around the sinkhole later that day.

Southern Indiana and surrounding areas in Kentucky are defined by limestone below the soil that can lead to these instances. A sinkhole shut down the Louisville Zoo in March. The limestone deposits create a karst topography as subterranean rock material becomes soluble in liquids seeping from above the surface. While the karst topography offers opportunities for professional and amateur spelunkers wanting to explore caves, sinkholes often form nearby. In fact, many entrances to the caves open for tourists were discovered by entering sinkholes.

Local humor about the sinkhole on I-265 also added to other jokes about Indiana road conditions. While nearby roads are undergoing maintenance or repairs, the surface of I-265 may have already needed repair from potholes. Now with the sinkhole, surveys by INDOT may be needed. The area has also been inundated with record rainfall which has caused groundwater problems that contribute to the karst topography that seeps through the limestone.

The presence of sinkholes in the Ohio River Valley also is of concern to homeowners that may have to worry about the karst topography with their foundations. Settling of foundations and basements will often happen to buildings and houses and repairs are needed as fractures and the settling gets worse.

So, with two sinkholes opening up in the area in less than 3 months’ time, geologists and emergency officials will no doubt be monitoring and surveying our area to hopefully predict and prevent further disasters. Seemingly, the region has been spared by tectonic problems with earthquakes.

Are sinkholes a problem in your area?

Poetry Wednesday 54

Finding “Success” with another original poem

“Success”

S-U-C-C-E-S-S that’s the way you spell success

I’m doing well for myself I guess

Always been a pretty good man, and getting better

Striving and aiming higher, from my ankle drops the fetter

 

Dreaming of a day that seems so far and lasting so long

Now I’m getting smarter and ever so strong

Some day I’ll wake up where I want to be

Warmed by other’s good thoughts that shall shine on to me

 

My attempts and my work build me up to size

Learning and improving, becoming wise

Rising into something more certain

Gone are the clouds that hide me like a curtain

 

Life, nowhere near semi-charmed; it’s improving

Still smiling with everything I’ve ever gone through

Can’t hear the haters, I’m making progress while I keep on moving

 

© Ryan Stroud 2019

Take a Photo, It’ll Last Longer

Who’s behind the camera? Hopefully it’s me

♪ Look at this photograph ♫

While these lyrics and an accompanying screencap of the music video for this song have become a viral meme, photographs are prized for being visual memories of momentous events.

Leafing through photo albums my mother put together as I grew up, my likeness appears in many of the photos therein. As my brother came along, he is featured in many photos with me, but rarely any of his own. That’s the youngest child curse. Eventually, though I grew to dislike my photo since it looked like me. In early blog posts I’ve mentioned that most of my teenage years and adulthood that I don’t particularly care for my appearance. I’ve learned that if you are the photographer you can avoid being featured in photos. So, whenever possible, I try to be the photographer to remain out of the photos.

As I have volunteered to photograph loved ones, I have had to learn how to take better pictures and that I enjoy being a photographer. I’m nowhere near professional or even a well-trained amateur, but I have some aspirations.

Luckily, I have several friends on social media that are professional photographers or at least well-trained amateurs. I need to prevail upon them to help me learn how to take better photographs. Of course, I know that owning a Digital Single-Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera is an important first step. If I can save up the money to purchase one, that will help. Finding an affordable model that’s easy to learn would also be helpful.

If I can gain proficiency with this interest, I also know that featuring my works will gain notoriety and affirmation, so Instagram’s focus on visual works would be helpful in achieving that. So, be paying attention to my social media to see the portfolio I hope to create.

Do you like taking photos and/or appearing in them?

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