DJB

Finding Adventure...

Interstate 40 Detour

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So by now, most people who read this space and who might be traveling on Interstate 40 from points east of Winston-Salem into Tennessee should know about the big rock slide that has I-40 blocked and detoured. Why am I posting about it then? Because the DOT detour is REALLY BAD for anyone coming from anywhere further east than Winston-Salem. Their detour is an extra 53 miles. It makes a certain amount of sense to publish this as the official detour since there could be a lot of people coming from in between Winston-Salem and Asheville, but for everyone else there is a better way.

Check out this map:


View Larger Map

This detour is 13 miles further than just staying on I-40 would have been. It's also the way I go almost exclusively because it's an easier and safer drive. Going up Fancy Gap is much preferred to me over going up the mountain near Asheville. It's a wider and safer road. The speed limit is higher on most of this route and the traffic is usually better, resulting in the extra distance not actually causing any extra time. To summarize it:
  • I-40 West to Highway 52 North
  • Highway 52 North to I-74 West
  • I-74 West to I-77 North
  • I-77 North to I-81 South
  • I-81 South to I-40 West
(If towing, use the above. If driving a car and it's not rush-hour, you might consider taking I-40 West to Business I-40 West and then to Highway 52 North. But know that the ramp from Business 40 to 52N is VERY short and a potential problem in a tow vehicle.)

It's driving me nuts that the only published detour by the news outlets is the official one, even though I pointed out to WRAL that their entire viewing area is east of Winston-Salem and thus they were being irresponsible by posting only the DOT detour. For almost all of their viewers my detour is better. And it will save fuel and time. So it's greener. WRAL did respond to me, but ignored my request to add the better detour.
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The physics of dishes.

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I like breakfast cereal, but I have this thing about milk. It must be whole milk and it must be cold. I don't enjoy it nearly as much if it's just in the fridge from the store or something (but we're talking breakfast here, so that's rarely an issue). One thing I've noticed is that thick porcelain dishes have a pretty large ability to transfer heat. It only makes sense that thinner ones or non-porcelain dishes (like plastic) transfer less heat.

I found this out because we only have thinner bowls in the mountain house, but only thicker at home. When I have cereal, I typically have two bowls. What I noticed was when I added milk and cereal for the SECOND bowl, I noticed my milk was much colder on that first bite than it was in the last bite of the first bowl. And thus it "tasted" much better to me. That's with the thick bowl at home. With the thinner bowl at the mountains, the difference wasn't NEARLY as pronounced. So I definitely prefer thinner bowls for cereal now.

I've noticed this same phenomenon with salad. I don't like my salad as much when it's right-out-of-the-fridge cold. I like it closer to room temperature. Put it in our thicker porcelain bowls and it gets warmer faster since it wicks heat out of the bowl. I often actually save my salad for the last part of the meal for this reason (when it's not the entire meal, anyway).

Why do I mention this? Well, because if you're temperature sensitive with some items like me, you might choose your dishes differently. Surely a few of you are as weird as me. Okay, maybe not. Humor me, then.

On a related note, if you like your cereal crispy, check out this contraption. Seems kind of neat. Not sure I'll try one, but let me know if you do! It's pictured above, too.
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Did you know?

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In the past 12 months, more US Marines were killed in motorcycle accidents than in the war in Iraq. This doesn't trivialize the war or the need to end it, but it is shockingly significant. I'm certainly in favor of having the freedom to ride a motorcycle if one desires, but there's clearly a problem here.

(That logo you see is for the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club.)
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Online Shopping Tip

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Many online retailers offer promotions and the way to get them when you place an order is to fill in a "promotion code" or similar box during your checkout. I've recently found that any time I encounter one of these, I go to Google and search for the retailer name along with "promotion code" or "online coupon" or whatever that particular retailer calls it. Often you find forums or sites where people have posted promotion codes that are still valid. Even if they're not, it never hurts to try as usually these are nationally advertised promotions (like 10% off one item, etc) and you're just as entitled to use them even though you never actually saw the advertisement. Give it a try, it's worked several times for me! One time in particular saved me nearly $300!
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Did you know?

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Did you know the same person who wrote Sam & Dave's "Soul Man" was also the voice of "Chef" on the popular (and adult themed) "South Park" on Comedy Central? That was Isaac Hayes, who died today at the age of 65. Rest in peace, Chef. You will be missed on many levels. Your body of work speaks for itself.
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Did you know?

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A fun fact that few people seem to know...bamboo is really a grass. A fast growing and awfully tall grass, but a grass just the same.
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Did you know?

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Okay, this is a new category of my blog. I'll start it off with an interesting statistic. Apparently there are about one billion cars on the planet. But cars still have a long way to go to pass cows, of which we apparently have about 1.4 billion.
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