Overnight Open Thread - TGIF Edition | Main | Saturday Morning Warbirds
April 03, 2010

"recovery" not visible during 3,000 miles of America

Late last Sunday night I had to blow out of town quick due to a sudden death in the family and drove up to New York state and rolled in late last night. The total trip was somewhat over 3,000 miles and this is what I saw.

- A lot of billboards are still empty. This was true on I95 as well as some of the alternate routes (like rt17 and various back roads through WV and VA I wandered off onto to avoid rolling into the D.C. vortex at 5pm rush hour. I guess out of business businesses aren't buying advertising.

- Many still existing painted billboards are quite faded and haven't seen fresh paint in a long time.

- At some exits, once thriving large truck stops doors are shuttered. This is usually when there's another competing one at the same exit.

- Many rest stops are closed. It looks like some states have taken to closing rest stops to save money (all the FL rest stops on I95 were still open).

- Observed McLame bumper stickers outnumbered Ogabe by 3:2. In 3,000 miles and seeing many thousands of cars, I saw exactly 3 McLame stickers versus exactly 2 for Ogabe. Actually, political bumper stickers of any sort were uncommonly scarce. I take this an ominous sign of growing widespread discontent.

- The Birchers were out of the closet with a "Had Enough Change Yet?" billboard just outside York PA.

- One of my friends in NY has been an over the road trucker all his life. He hasn't been able to get a load or run for over a year. This is a guy who's qualified to haul anything from apples to any hazardous placarded load, including nuclear weapons. Times are tough in the trucking business. The "bigs" like J.B. Hunt have canceled major fleet upgrade orders they had planned. They're hunkered down, hard.

- There seems to be an uptick in bogus "work zones" in some states to enhance the number of miles over which enhanced speeding fines apply. Toss out a few orange barrels, setup a work zone sign, even when there ain't a lick of work going on for 20 miles, and let the troopers do the dirty work. Slick. Sneaky.

- There seemed to be an uncommonly large number of cars from NJ/PA/NY loaded with household goods headed south for this time of year that did NOT contain spring breakers. I wonder if all that global warming this past winter is prompting a bunch of people to flee the northern states for good?


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posted by Purp at 11:07 AM

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