Monday, October 25, 2010

Weather Systems From Nothing, The Land of Enchantment.








October 25th, 2010

In the magical region known as the four corners of the American Southwest, the label given to the state of New Mexico – The Land of Enchantment – appears as an understatement. In addition to the many mystical national parks in this region where the four states of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado meet, it would appear that weather systems form from nearly nothing at all.

Maybe someday I will be afforded the opportunity to study the weather phenomena concerning the formation of weather systems in this region.

Adam Trotter / AVT


See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Corners

http://www.eosnap.com/image-of-the-day/mountains-of-the-four-corner-region-usa/

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Work Television-Show Productions: Downtown Los Angeles, California.






October 9th, 2010

This coming December, look for me on a new episode of the television show “CSI: New York.” Wherein, I get to play another iconic figure in American society: the holiday shopper. :) Look for me in the storefront holiday/Christmas window unveiling and pickpocket scene. This was an enjoyable production effort in which I enjoyed participating.

I had the opportunity to say hello to Mr. Gary Sinise, the star of the show. One might also remember him from his memorable role as “Lieutenant Dan” in the movie “Forest Gump.” He seemed to be a nice and likeable person.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Enjoy the Sunset: Redondo Beach, California





When you’re able to enjoy the dance…
Trust Redondo Beach to bolster your stance.

For nowhere does the sun set better…
While in this town you’re safe and unfettered.




Adam Trotter / AVT (October 9th, 2010)


See also:  The Dolphin-Front Apartment, http://adamvernontrotter.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-dolphin-front-apartment-draft-copy.html

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Whale Watch: Rancho Palos Verdes







September 25th, 2010


Should the krill be passing through,
Trust R.P.V. for a blue whale view.

You will see them surface and blow,
From land know this is tough to photo.



Adam Trotter / AVT




http://www.palosverdes.com/rpv/

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Back Road from Rancho Mirage.




High above the desert floor on this road you will glide.
High above the desert floor it’s a spectacular ride.
High above the desert floor one can see forevermore.
By this road find the glory where you locate the door.

But…, a hundred and twenty degree “F” is pretty darn hot.
And this place seems unforgiving for your head to pop.

So if you climb this road in the dead heat of summer,
Best ensure your cooling systems nots’to be a bummer.



Adam Trotter / AVT (Early September, 2010)
(Poem was inspired while traversing Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains Nat. Monument and San Bernadino Nat. Forest. See: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/palmsprings/santarosa.html)

(Also: http://poetrybyadamvernontrotter.blogspot.com/2010/09/back-road-from-rancho-mirage.html)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Automotive Transmission Problems? Call Hiro’s Transmissions of Gardena, CA.





August 31st, 2010

When it comes to repairing automobile transmissions, Hiro’s Transmissions of Gardena, California would seem to be true heroes. (www.hirostransmissions.com) The honesty of the staff at Hiro’s Transmissions has personally saved me thousands of dollars over the years in transmission-related repair costs. By preventing on-coming vehicle malfunctions and any possible and subsequent calamities such malfunctions could cause, the knowledge of the staff at Hiro’s Transmissions has likely saved my live.

The only thing I can think to add to this blog matter is to say that when it comes to transmission repair, I can always trust the forthright nature of Hiro’s Transmissions of Gardena and I hope to never have to take my vehicle anywhere else for transmission repairs. Not to say that this matter is mutually exclusive nor to say that one would not be able to find another honest and high-quality transmission repair shop elsewhere; just to say that having found Hiro’s Transmission, I hope that I never have to take my vehicle anywhere else for transmission repair. :)

Adam Trotter / AVT

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Chill-Out in Sedona, Arizona





August 7th, 2010

Arizona is full of interesting places, desert attractions, and rock formations that always make coming here worth the effort. One of these interesting spots is Sedona. With plenty of shopping, restaurants, hotels, and mystical scenery, Sedona is a nice place to stay and chill-out for a while. Also, within a relatively short drive from Sedona, one can seen many other interesting places and sights.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Friday, August 6, 2010

Picnic: Lincoln Trails State Park, Marshall, Illinois.






August 6th, 2010

When one is road-tripping and on the leg of their journey between the Cross-Roads of Indianapolis (Indiana) and the Gateway to the West of Saint Louis (Missouri), near the Illinois – Indiana state line they may find the quaint farm town of Marshall, Illinois. Just to the south of this town, nestled amongst the corn and soy bean fields is the Illinois state park called Lincoln Trails State Park. This is a pretty cool spot to get out of your car for a while and have a picnic. If you time your visit correctly, you may even be able to enjoy one of Marshall’s All-American celebrations as well. Watch out for the many farm tractors going up and down the road, though. :)

Adam Trotter / AVT

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sight See: Palisades Parkway NJ & NY






August 3rd, 2010

If you’re looking for a route to avoid traffic in the New York City area without going far out of your way or you are looking for another approach to the George Washington Bridge to get into the city, the Palisades Parkway if a nice and relaxing stretch of road with some cool sightseeing spots.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Sight see: Columbia, MD











August 3rd, 2010

Now-a-days, open spaces, tot-lot play areas, neighborhood public pools, and bike paths may not seem all that uncommon. However, circa 1970, when James Rouse started building the city of Columbia Maryland, these things were quite uncommon in residential areas. And, while the style of these houses may no longer seem uncommon, the modern era house was relatively uncommon back in those days too. As a testament to the modern vision of Rouse, originally the town of Columbia was reportedly slated to have a monorail transportation system. As another testament to his vision, the common-place imitation of the Columbia style of development is now widespread throughout the nation. This is the town where I grew-up, for the most part.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tube Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire.





July 23rd, 2010

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire is a fun place to vacation. Lots of water and water associated activities and also a nice place to get away. The local folks are friendly and plenty of interesting scenery and things to do as well.

As for tubing, try to get outside the wake of the boat and you can really pick up some speed.

AVT / Adam Trotter

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kudos to New Jersey – Actually Rebuilding a Long Stretch of Highway, Interstate 295.

June 25th, 2010

For the first time that I can remember since I was a child, I have actually seen a long stretch of highway being rebuilt / built. When I was a child, I remember seeing the older generations building interstates from the road bed up. Since that time, I have never seen any real highway construction in the United States that included actually building a road. However, leave it to the State of New Jersey to surprise me. Because, approximately twenty miles of the northern portion of Interstate 295 is totally torn-up and it appears a new road bed is being laid.

The only times that I can remember seeing any road beds being set in modern times would merely include very short replacement segments on the I-10 freeway near Palm Springs and maybe some very short segments of the I-405 freeway on the west side of Los Angeles, some (one) bridge surfaces on Belt Parkway (though, of late, maybe more now), some stretches of roadway in Mississippi, a major overpass near Riverside, and possibly some sections of the Staten Island expressway.

Its funny, because WPIX and Fox Channel 5 in New York just last week were airing reports that stated how most residents in New Jersey were becoming more and more disgusted with the roadway conditions in the state. Yet, only in New Jersey can one definitely see any significant amount of roadway actually being rebuilt from the roadbed up. I have not seen any long stretches of roadway being built anywhere else in the United States.

Due to the rebuilding of roads being such a rare occurrence, I had recently come to the assumption that the building road industries had also been shipped overseas to places like China and India. So I was quite pleased to see this section of I-295 being rebuilt – as it desperately needs it.

So, kudos to the State of New Jersey and whatever Federal entities might have been involved in this seemingly nouveau idea of actually rebuilding a road. Lets hope this sets a trend.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Taconic Parkway, New York State.





Blog to be filled in later. Just posting the photo.

Body Surf Atlantic City….






June 22nd, 2010


To get here, wait until the wave starts to pick you up as you swim with the wave – try and stay out in front of the wave, btw. When it picks you up, go to the right or to the left down the line of the wave – try to get up into any tube if present, depending on wave shape or if possible depending on your ability. When your ride appears to be over, use your momentum to exit out and back under the wave – if you can. Typically, don’t go straight away over the falls and look out for the face-plants, they can be a real day / neck breaker.

Seriously though….

Atlantic City, New Jersey (AC) is one of my favorite beaches on the east coast. For starters, it is easy to get to and there are no fees for entering the beach. There is plenty of parking, plenty of room on the beach, and plenty of well-air conditioned and nice establishments to duck into every now-and-then. What’s more, there is no required and mandated swimming area, like some of the more ‘lame’ beach areas. [Lame is, in my opinion, when the lifeguards are telling swimmers exactly where they have to swim and/or do not allow swimmers to swim out as far as the break – the lifeguards are generally this way because there are typically so many poor swimmers that may not understand the power of the wave / surf – but like I said, the lifeguards aren’t quite so ‘dorky’ in AC.]

On this particular day, while the water was warm (approx. 68 degrees F) and the sun was hot with the occasional passing cloud, the surf was unfortunately somewhat flat. Consequently, there were no excessive side currents or rip tides either; so the conditions were great for the children and the less-than-proficient swimmers among us.

Nevertheless, I managed to catch a few good rights and a few good lefts. As I said, the shape was poor but it was somewhat of a shore break with the occasional nice shore bounder. Though, on the east coast, I don’t think most are accustomed to seeing swimmers [such as I] wearing fins, a rash guard, and webbed-gloves – like I enjoy wearing; but hey, its kinda’ what I’m used to. :)

Adam Trotter / AVT


PS. To give credit where credit is due, however, it is my west coast friend that taught me how to actually body surf. Thanks, Saint Mike. :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pine Barrens / Pinelands National Reserve of Southern New Jersey






June 8th, 2010

One of my favorite rides is driving through the Pine Barrens / Pinelands of Southern New Jersey. The contrast with the suburban centers of New Jersey is quite stark compared to these hundreds [or thousands] of square miles that maintain only a minimal number of inhabitants [the Reserve covers ‘more than one million acres’].

This is the reported home – and birthplace - of the New Jersey Devil. It is said that long about 1680, in a village alongside one of these roads through the Pines, local folks took it upon themselves to burn a witch at the stake – I’m sure after some amount of due process of law and the witch’s day in court, of course. But as legend has it, the villagers must have been correct. Because, during the roasting the witch turned into a demon and flew away into the Pinelands forest.

The legend continues, in that if anyone ever meets or crosses paths with the ‘Jersey Devil,’ the unlucky individual never lives to speak of the encounter. I can’t verify this, however, as I have never seen the creature. :)

Nevertheless, as one drives through the Pinelands, take notice of the thickness of the pine forests that line the road. One can see that back in the seventeenth century, most likely many an explorer/trapper was forever lost in these woods - for whatever the reason. I surmise that as these explorers disappeared, their loss was attributed to the Jersey Devil. Also worth noting, there have even been reports of Big Foot type sightings in these woods as well.

So, driving from Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, or Atlantic City, head to towns with names like Chatsworth, Batsto, and New Gretna and try to detour on one of the sand dirt roads. Stop somewhere and get out for a walk to really experience the scenery. From that point, try to make it on to Long Beach Island, that’s another cool place for a afternoon’s ride and beach excursions.

But, whatever you do, don’t blame me if you encounter the Jersey Devil. After all, I did warn you. :)

Adam Trotter / AVT


See: http://www.nps.gov/pine/index.htm

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Southern New Jersey to Boston. I-295, New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, New York Thruway (I-87) to Newburgh. I-84, Mass. Pike, I-95 / 128

May 27th, 2010

This can be a really nice ride during nice weather. It can be not so fun if you encounter a lot of traffic, however. There is a lot of nice scenery when taking this route as opposed to the possibly quicker routes of I-95 through NYC or taking the Tappan Zee Bridge. As it happened when I recently made this drive, it was commuter rush hour. As I had originally intended to cross the Hudson at Newburgh, NY during this drive anyhow, it was even a better idea as there was a major traffic accident on the approach to the Tappan Zee Bridge that essentially had the roadway closed. Also, as a general rule, if you are not planning to go into the city, avoid driving anywhere close to New York City during rush hour. Because, as with much of the rest of the nation, the roadways in this region are severely under-designed and have no chance of supporting the amount of traffic to which these roads are subjected. However, along this driven route on this day, for the most part, the roads were in satisfactory or better condition – with some notable exceptions with some of these problems being addressed by construction. But, in light of these potential problems, if you have the time to take this ride, it can be a nice one. There are a lot of interesting sites along the way, several mountain ranges and varying terrain, generally friendly people, and mostly nice scenery along the entire route as well.

Adam Trotter / AVT


PS. However, I can not really post this blog in good faith without demanding that another bridge or tunnel be built to cross the Hudson River. See the following:
http://engineeringandcommerce.blogspot.com/2010/05/build-another-crossing-of-hudson-river.html

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Jersey to Long Island, I - 295, NJ Turnpike, NJ - 440, Outer Bridge Crossing, NY - 440, Staten Island Expressway, Belt Parkway, Southern State

April 22nd, 2010

Interesting, fun, memorable items worth noting: Parts of this ride are quite enjoyable. For example, the northern portion of I - 295 in New Jersey is interesting scenery (especially during fall foliage). New Jersey Turnpike is always interesting, but of course way under designed (see: http://theultimateroadtripamericac2c.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-jersey-and-new-jersey-turnpike.html ). 440 on both sides of the state line is cool because its leading you towards Gotham and Long Island, but it is in horrible condition, even in light of typical roads conditions these days. Outerbridge Crossing is cool for a view, but nearly nightmare-ish through the narrow portion (but still better than the Goethals Bridge). Verrazanno Narrows Bridge is impressive and onto the Belt Parkway one goes. Of course, the Belt Parkway, like most of the greater NYC roadways is also horribly under-designed. Southern State is a nice ride if traffic is not too fierce. And, when traffic is extremely bad during any portion of this journey, one can always people watch or look to say hello to others in the traffic jam with you - there typically will be many others .

Overall roadway conditions grade for this journey: 'D+'


I mean..., what's with our governments? They want no one to drive onto any of the islands in New York? Why not build a new bridge or tunnel or two? Why must we be dependent on these access routes that are nearly 60+ years old? Do the governments of our land not care? Apparently not, unfortunately.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Jersey, I-295

April 12th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: I-295 is a relaxing and free alternative to the southern portion of the New Jersey Turnpike. This road provides a good feel for the topography of South Jersey as well. I would suggest always taking I-295 for as long as possible to avoid the high tolls of the Turnpike.

Overall, I would give the road a grade of ‘B-’

Adam Trotter / AVT

Delaware, I-95, I-295

April 12th, 2010


Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: I-95 through Delaware is an interesting stretch of roadway. However, to really see the interesting parts of Delaware, one needs to get of I-95 and head down a side road. For example, New Castle is an interesting city to visit. However, the Delaware Memorial Bridge is an impressive engineering structure.

Overall, I would give the roads a grade of ‘B’

Adam Trotter / AVT

Maryland, US-340, I-70, I-695, I-95

April 12th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: Along this route in Maryland, one will encounter many interesting places should one have the time to enjoy them. From the Appalachian Trail and Blair Witch Project regions to the top of the Chesapeake Bay, this is also a nice ride. The ride is even better if one does not encounter any traffic jams through the region.

Overall, I would give the roads a grade of ‘B’

Adam Trotter / AVT

West Virginia, US-340

April 12th, 2010


Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: This is another ride that brings memories of my early years. This road through the eastern panhandle of West Virginia runs from Winchester, Virginia to Frederick, Maryland. There are some fantastic sites along this road as well; not the least of interest being the Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park. If you have the time, take a detour and ride alongside the Shenandoah River on one of West Virginia’s country roads.

Overall, I would give the roads a grade of ‘B’

Adam Trotter / AVT

Virginia, I-81, Va-7, US-340

April 11th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: As one of the states of my early childhood, I always enjoy rides through Virginia. Such rides often stir memories of my early years. Regardless, I-81 though Virginia allows for impressive mountain views and also provides a means to relieve one’s stress. Go out and see the Skyline Drive for yourself if you don’t believe me.

The overall road conditions: ‘B’

Adam Trotter / AVT

Why are the Pine Trees Dying?

April 11th, 2010


If one takes a ride nearly anywhere in our nation, they may notice the large numbers of pine trees apparently dying alongside the roadways. Someone in Colorado once told me why this is happening, but I can’t remember. Does anyone out there know why all the pines are dying along the interstates?

Adam Trotter / AVT



Afterword: August 2nd, 2011
I have since been in contact with several state agencies concerning what is happening to the trees alongside the roadways of our nation. I have been given several possibilities as to why the trees are undergoing such distress - parasites, roadway salts, harsh winters, drought, etc. I will return to update this as soon as some type of general consensus can be relayed.


Sept. 29, 2011
I believe I have zeroed in on the reason for all the pines (and other assorted) trees dying throughout our nation. I don't think many will be happy with what I have deduced! Please stay tuned until I have time to revisit this matter soon with an updated blog entry. Thanks.



March 31st, 2013
Some time ago, I posted a follow-on blog to this entry.  See:
Burning Ethanol Fuels Killing Trees? (Draft Copy)

Tennessee, I-59, I-75, I-24, I-81

April 11th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: Tennessee is always an impressive place with interesting scenery. I especially enjoy the ride through eastern Tennessee with the mountain scenery. I always seem to enjoy my time spent in Tennessee.

The overall road conditions: ‘B’

Adam Trotter / AVT

Georgia, I-59

April 11th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: Nice scenery. Nice ride. This must be a good year for the red bud trees. This part of northern Georgia looks like an interesting place for exploring.

The overall road conditions: ‘A’

Adam Trotter / AVT

Alabama, I-59, I-459

April 11th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: Nice roads. Nice trees. Nice ride. Alabama appears as though it would be an interesting place to spend some time. This must be a good year for the red bud trees.

The overall road conditions: ‘A’

Adam Trotter / AVT

Mississippi, I-59

Mississippi, I-59

April 11th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: Mississippi is another nice ride through the southern portion of our nation. The red bud trees and scenery can really make for an enjoyable trip. Mississippi strikes me as a nice place. The commonality of Mississippi township / city names in light of many other towns of the original thirteen colonies alludes to the similarity of the heritage of this region with that of the nation – in my opinion.

The overall road conditions: ‘A.’ Wherever there were any road condition problems, they were being addressed with construction. It would seem more states could follow Mississippi’s lead in this regard.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Louisiana, I-10, I-12, I-59

April 11th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: The ride through Louisiana was sort of a fantastic voyage. Lots of interesting scenery and mostly nice roads to make this an enjoyable ride. There seemed to be a lot of good radio for listening as well.

The overall road conditions: ‘B+’

Adam Trotter / AVT

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Texas: The I-10 Freeway

April 6th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: When driving from El Paso to the eastern border of Texas on the Interstate 10 Freeway, this is one of the longest drives in the U.S while remaining in a single state and while continuing in the same direction (approx 900 miles). This ride is full of some interesting and unique sites. I always enjoy watching the topography change from the western desert type of topography to the more humid Gulf of Mexico greenery. I always have immensely enjoyed my time in Texas.

Not so fun: Driving in through the hills to the east of San Antonio in the dark and with a light rain while driving on somewhat knobby tires. Also, don’t necessarily think you can delay buying gasoline until the next exit, you might regret such a decision.

Overall Road Quality Grade: ‘C+’

New Mexico: The I-10 Freeway, Dust Storms






April 6th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: Being in a dust storm with excessively high winds and zero-visibility dust clouds was a new, interesting, and unique experience for me. I couldn’t help but to think, maybe a big vacuum or air filter would help to increase visibility (on this day) through this state that is typically fun to visit. I had never heard of roads being closed due to dust prior to this drive. The big and fast moving tumbleweeds were pretty cool too.


Not so fun: Driving in a dust storm with excessively high winds and zero-visibility dust clouds – particularly so when the driver is already tired. Especially not fun when having to get out of the vehicle to pump gas and being pelted with blowing sand.


Overall Road Quality Grade: ‘C+’

Arizona: The I-10 Freeway

April 6th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: If you like desert, this stretch of road through Arizona is also a fun ride. The big saguarro cacti are quite impressive. Also, you can be sure, any place the has cholla cacti (also known as Teddy Bear Cacti) as big as I is one hot, hot place in the summer sun. I have never seen cholla cacti as big as I saw on this ride.

Not so fun: The road to the east of Tucson was in poor condition. Also, try to avoid Phoenix when its rush-hour traffic.

Overall Road Quality Grade: ‘B-’ (west of Tucson), ‘D+’ (east of Tucson)

California: The 405, 22, 91, and 10 Freeways.

April 6th, 2010

Interesting, fun, and memorable items worth noting: Driving the California freeways at night is always fun. Typically, during the night there is significantly less traffic on the roadways. Heading out into the low desert through Riverside always makes for found memories. Stopping to look at the windmills near Palm Springs as well as the magic in the air in the vicinity of the Joshua Tree National Park allows one to appreciate these special places.

Not so fun: Watch for construction on the 91 Freeway. I’m sure this route could cause serious grief with any construction delays. For now, it might be best to check for an alternate route.

Overall Road Quality Grade: ‘B-’ (but improving)

A Freeway / Highway / Interstate Request for Our Government

April 6th, 2010


You know, it seems like common sense to me that any interstate or major roadway in our nation should be a minimum of three lanes wide in both directions. Any freeway that is less than three lanes wide in both directions (at least in our more populated states) seems to represent a likely incompetence, lack of concern, and poor planning by our governments. Why is any interstate not three lanes wide - especially in these days of deteriorating infrastructure and massive unemployment? (I think this is a subject for my other blogs.)

Adam Trotter / AVT

Safety Note / Request for Fellow Drivers

April 6th, 2010


If you need to stop for any reason other than an emergency, don’t stop alongside the freeway / highway / expressway. Fyi, in many states stopping alongside a high speed, limited-access roadway is illegal. More to the point, stopping and standing on the shoulder of a major roadway is really extremely dangerous. If you aren’t smart enough to figure this out for yourself, I would hereby request that you get your dumb-ass totally off the freeway / highway / interstate if you need to stop unless you have absolutely no choice but to do otherwise.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Heading East Again

April 6th, 2010


I am now traveling east again. East coast here I come. I typically try to blog about anything interesting or noteworthy in every state through which I travel on these road trips. :)

Adam Trotter / AVT

Monday, March 29, 2010

California Night Rides with Celestial Guides

Palos Verdes under a Worm moon and Mars
Or The Ortega Highway with only Venus and stars.

Either route can make for an enjoyable ride
But be willing to let the heavens act as your guide.

AVT

Monday, February 15, 2010

Drive the Ortega Highway and Watch Sky Divers.

February 15, 2010

Another good drive in California is the Ortega Highway, California Route 74. The Ortega Highway stretch of Route 74 travels through the Cleveland National Forest beginning nearly from the ocean in San Juan Capistrano and traverses over the mountains to Lake Elsinore. This is a really fun mountain drive winding up and down through the peaks. However, watch out for the locals and commuters, they really like to drive on this road as fast as they possibly can, apparently. But before you descend down to Lake Elsinore (if heading east), stop at the last set of peaks and look for the adrenalin junkies jumping out of the planes high overhead of the lake. Some of those skydivers really free-fall a long, long way before they open their parachutes.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rebuild the Nation’s Water Mains and Sewer Systems and City Streets!

February 10th, 2010

During a heavy rainstorm the other day, I was surprised to notice the massive amount of water flowing out of a storm drain and back onto the rapidly flooding street. A little later, as I was driving through the small lakes and streams that are normally shoddy city streets, I again began to reflect on the state of the nation’s infrastructure. I started to ponder why more infrastructure projects have not been undertaken to rebuild the nation’s often ancient sewer and water main systems as well as the antique city streets. I understand the rationale to wait until these systems break to begin any repairs or rebuilding efforts. But, maybe the best ‘bang for the buck’ or return on investment would not be to wait until these infrastructure systems demand immediate attention when they fail. Nevertheless, given the fact that the nation can afford to spend probably a billion dollars a day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given the fact that the nation can afford to give trillions of dollars to our impoverished bankers and financial institutions, I found myself at a loss as to why the nation does not undertake the massive engineering and infrastructure projects required to rebuild the country’s water main and sewer systems before these systems catastrophically fail – with such failure likely only a matter of time. I mean…, we could create a lot of engineering-related jobs by investing more in our nation’s infrastructure.

Adam Trotter, P.E. / AVT


PS. Should such engineering endeavors ever be undertaken by the nation as a whole, we could probably use to replace some of the ancient bridges as well, if not build more bridges to supplement the over-crowded ones that exist now.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), Orange County, Under a Full Wolf Moon

January 31st, 2010

Always a good ride is the stretch of PCH between Long Beach and San Diego, California. I had the opportunity to make a part of this ride a couple of nights ago under the full Wolf Moon. Most people would probably prefer to make this ride during the day – for the restaurants, beaches, and the all the sites. However, for me, I prefer to make this ride at night when there is no traffic – particularly under a full moon whose light allows for many viewings of the ocean.

Adam Trotter / AVT

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Storms in California.







January 23rd, 2010

In California, even the winter storms are cool – assuming the storm is not lethal, of course!  (And no, by "cool," I am not referring to any temperature one way or the other.)

Adam Trotter / AVT


PS. The first photo is Palos Verdes. The second photo is Pacific Coast Highway, California State Route 1, at Point Magu.

Do You Know the Way to San Jose? Winter Storms in California.

January 23rd, 2010

Do you know the way to San Jose? What about when the State of California has been closing the main pass out of Los Angeles to the north due to severe and fast moving winter storms? What’s the best way to the Bay area then? Well, I can tell you, there is no way of knowing if it is better to detour and take the US-101 through Oxnard to avoid the Tejon / Grapevine Pass or go straight on through traveling the I-5 Freeway and take a chance on the State closing the road – in which case you may have to sit for hours in traffic or be forced to take another detour in the wrong direction, such as through Lancaster. This is a frustrating dilemma to the motorist.
Adam Trotter / AVT

Hey California, You Know You Could Use A Bit of Salt or De-icing agents to Keep the Freeways Open.

Jan 23rd, 2010

Most of us are aware that the majority of soil in California likely has a high salt content. Most are also aware of the environmental issues relevant to using salt as a de-icing agent on the roadways to melt snow and ice so that the roadway is safe for vehicular traffic. My friends tell me, however, that California does not allow or use salt on the roads. In light of these facts, nevertheless, it would seem that the California Department of Transportation should consider using some salt to melt snow and ice to keep the Interstate 5 Freeway (‘The Grapevine’) open through the Tejon Pass to therefore allow vehicles traveling to and from Los Angeles access to the rest of the state to the north. When The Grapevine is closed, one must detour for multiple hours to get to the north; or, if lucky, wait for a police escort through the pass. It is well known that severe storms can be lethal in the mountains of California. But I still often wonder if California closes the road / The Grapevine merely for dramatic effect, or something. I mean, in reality, how many days of the year would any salt be required for safe passage over The Grapevine? Ten days? Twenty days? It would seem in the better interest of the state to keep the road open even it such requires spreading some salt. As one who has driven in a lot of snow and ice, the salt does not just evaporate or wash away / run-off immediately, you know. This suggestion is just food for thought, I suppose.

AVT / Adam Trotter


After thought 1/31/2010. Okay. On second thought…. Well, there are a few lakes in the area of the Grapvine / Tejon pass. So, when the weather gets bad and it snows in the mountains, I suppose I can just take a four hour driving detour to avoid the mountain passes and whatever about the spreading of de-icing salt.