Showing posts with label Columbus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Columbus. Show all posts

The Top 10 Causes of Traffic Jams in Columbus

Traffic in Columbus isn't bad, but it is the only traffic we have and so we need to make the best/worst of it. Here are the Top 10 traffic jam causing elements in Columbus.

10. The Bramble Trailer
There is some money to be made in Columbus by hauling branches in a rickety, old two-wheeled trailer that looks to be made of twigs itself. In going from the location where the branches were picked up to the inevitable illegal dumping location where they were supposed to end, the two-wheel trailer becomes a one-wheeled trailer and winds up alone in the road. This will cause traffic to stop as people stop to admire how well the sticks were packed into the one-wheel trailer.

9. Red, White, and Boom
There will never be a traffic jam before Columbus’ annual 4th of July event because people will start arriving two months ahead of time to stake out property. Fortunately, Columbus outlawed barbed wire in 1998. But after the event… it’s like taking three Polaris Amphitheater traffic jams (Polaris Amphitheater traffic jams were #11 on the list) and cramming them into very large bagpipe and sitting on it, slowly. The easiest way to get out of Red, White, and Boom is to fake a heart attack and get Life-Flighted out.

8. Dead X on road
Columbus has dead things on the road. Usually one every thirty feet. They range from small dead things to really big dead things. Sometimes they are not dead things, but are soon after you hit them. The reaction to a dead thing in the road, by of a small percentage of Columbus drivers, is to come to a complete stop, put on their blinker, and wait for rush hour traffic to clear up so they can change lanes and go around the dead X.

7. and 6. Ohio State Football Games (tie)
These get you coming and going. Going early doesn’t help. Leaving early doesn’t help. Taking an Uber is very unhelpful in either direction. You can only avoid this by walking there and then stumbling home. Another good work around is to fake a heart attack in Dublin and have them Life Flight you to the OSU Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital and as they roll you in, say you need to step out for a smoke.

5. Not a pothole
Columbus drivers are familiar with driving over potholes. When they come to a stretch of road without a pothole, then panic and swerve. This will cause accidents and traffic jams.

4. Nothing
Columbus is well known for the traffic jams that cause all lanes to come to a halt. For traffic to surge a few times and come back to a halt. Then right when you expect to see a bramble trailer or dead x, it opens up and traffic goes back up to the normal 45 – 87mph.

3. Rubber Necking
C is for cookie. It’s also for curious. People in Columbus are a curious folk. If they see a flashing light, or pulled over car, or even another traffic jam, we need to slow down and investigate: “Is that someone I know? What car were they driving? I bet they were texting.” And because we can’t do two things at once, Columbus drivers have to slow down to be curious. I hear tell of a rubber necking traffic jam in 2014 that had a domino effect all the way around 270, both directions. In the end, a group of construction workers had to lift one car up and out and throw it over the 270 Dublin bridge to create space so that all the other cars could get by.

2. Rain
Someday, we will learn to drive in the rain and Columbus will be as popular as Chicago or Miami. Until then, when it rains, we drive poor.

1. Everyone Else
Everyone else in Columbus is a bad driver but you. No one else knows how to drive in Columbus but you. Everyone either drives too fast or too slow and that when you go over the speed limit it is just the right amount. You pay the exact right attention and you don’t look at your phone for too long like other people do. And on the day that you do get into an accident and cause a traffic job, it most certainly will not be your fault.


The Last Bolt

For years, I have kept a backlog of stories and anecdotes in the steel reinforced folds of the back of my brain. It is the place where my beliefs and certain truths hang out along with the fog of bad memories that can’t or shouldn’t be forgotten. Many of these sayings were put there by my father. Whenever I come upon and instance that cannot be undone or a tough problem that needs solved, I reach back there and pull one out to explain the situation away or to get me working on the task. Sayings like, “You can’t get all the oil out of an oil can,” and “Make potato salad chunky so that people can pick out what they don’t like.”

One of these certain truths is “It’s the last bolt that always sticks.” It is a saying that is part Murphy’s Law and part Bad Luck that has cursed my family for years. Or at least it did until a few weeks ago.

The summer break before my junior year of college had me living at home, roofing during the weekdays and going out just about every night. On this particular Saturday morning, I woke up from four hours of sleep with a bit of a hangover. Dad was calling for me to get dressed and ready to go. Sitting mostly up in bed, I remembered that Dad’s 1987 Reliant wagon had broken down on the 270 outer belt in Columbus and we needed to go up and fix it. I was needed as monkey boy and to drive the second car back.

As we drove up to Columbus, Dad explained that the alternator had been going out and it finally gave up on his way home from work on Friday afternoon. After he called mom to pick him up, he called the Columbus City Police to tell them he’d be back up the next morning to get the station wagon. They said they would not tow it.

To get to the station wagon, we had to drive past it on the opposite side of the road and loop back around at an exit. We parked and got the tools out. I stood around and half listened as Dad spoke of car engines in Korea and how back in World War 2 “the Japanese were awful bastards” and “they were smaller and would shoot you in the knees.” It was then that the family curse snuck up on us again. There were four bolts that held the alternator in place. And just like the last bolt or last screw or the last nut from times before, the last bolt was stuck. Dad applied force and more force. He Liquid Wrenched and tapped. He bruised the back of his hands and split his knuckles open. He pleaded and cursed. He went so far as to have me try to remove it. The last bolt was stuck. So we stood on the side of the road, taking turns at giving it one more try with dad lamenting, “Why does it always have to be the last bolt?”

And then, with a crack , Dad freed the stubborn last bolt.

And in that split second, the world was good and everything was going to be all right.

We took the part to a dealership and Dad asked how much a replacement would be. He laughed at the lady though the window, “You’ve got to be kidding?” The dealership cost was four times what it cost at the parts store in Lancaster. Dad was outraged! Dad was also not in a place to bargain. He paid for it and we left. In the car he said that he would install the new alternator, go back to Lancaster and buy a cheaper replacement and then return the expensive one back to the dealership. Clever!

As we drove past the broken down car for the second time that day, we couldn’t help but notice that this time the car’s front end was elevated and attached to a City of Columbus tow truck. Dad tried to roll down the window and yell, “No! No! No!” but at 65 mph it was impossible. We zoomed up and over the exit with dad’s incredulous mutterings filling the car with rage. By the time we reached the spot, all of the tow truck and most the station wagon were gone. We had left the nuts, bolts and tools sitting on top of the engine and some escaped through the bottom of the engine with the help of gravity when the tow truck pulled away. The parts lie there on the side of the road like a police outline of a dead body. The others were probably leaving a trail, like bread crumbs, around 270 and to the impound lot.

Dad was so enraged that he could not speak or yell. I didn’t say anything for fear of giving his anger purchase. Without a word he drove to a phone booth and called the police. They said there was nothing they could do, pick your car up from the impound lot and have a nice day.

We drove to the impound lot and paid for the car’s release and several fees. Dad mentioned that we needed to put a part in the car and the lady said that no work was allowed to be done on the lot and that we would have to pay to have the car towed off the lot and to the side of the road. Dad said, “Oh… no thanks. We’ll just drive it off and repair it.” As we walked out, I said that couldn’t drive it without repairing it. Dad flatly smiled, “We’ll see about that.”

Dad marched alone into the lot with a wrench and the new alternator, his pockets clunking with the escaped nuts and bolts.

And somehow, in less than eight minutes, he drove the mostly functional station wagon around to the parking lot. By some means, using the remaining parts and tools that had remained in cracks and crevices of the engine, he got the alternator partially installed, slapped on the belt and tightened it enough to get to the lot.

He spent a few minutes tightening the existing bolts and re-adjusting the belt. “That will be enough to get us home. Follow me.” And then we drove off separately together.

Fast forward (or go back in time) to three weeks ago. In a conversation with my sister concerning the welfare of my father and the deteriorating state of the home we grew up in, I had a revelation. The fourth bolt is NOT the one that always sticks. Sure it’s got a 1 in 4 chance of being the stickiest, but it’s usually not. What happens is that when I come upon something that creates a road block, I save it for last and do the easy things first. It might be subconscious, but in this case, if the first bolt sticks, I’d move on to the second. When I get back around to the first bolt, it is no longer the sticky first, but The Last Bolt.

And the curse was lifted.

There will still be sticky bolts in my future, but I cannot allow myself to think that it’s The Last Bolt or there by fate. When I come upon something difficult, I need to face it head on instead of moving on to the easier tasks.

These writings are not a backlash upon my father or his faults. He has taught us valuable lessons and shared with us endless stories (not all of them involving war and death) that have crafted me into the person I am today. But he has faults and it is time that I started to recognize these. By recognizing them, I can see them in myself and correct them before my children become engrained with them. From this story alone, there are several instances:

If you know a car part is going bad, don’t wait until it breaks before you fix it. The same goes for teeth and internal organs.

Get all the necessary parts together before you start a project. If you don’t know what parts, ask.

Be patient and follow directions. (That can of Liquid Wrench said to wait twenty minutes to allow it to work. Just about the same amount of time we hopelessly worked on the bolt.)

Cockamamie schemes cost time and money (Dad never returned to the dealership to return the high priced alternator.)

So before you leave these writings with a heavy heart, let me remind you that Dad never gave up. As much as it is a fault, he wanted to take care of his problems himself. When he was told he couldn’t work on the car at the impound lot, he bucked the system and fixed it. Proud and stubborn are strengths as much as they are flaws.

I still keep a backlog of sayings. My new one is, “Do your difficult homework first,” which I will impress upon my son and daughter through word and by deed. It sits right in front of “Last Bolt” which has since been un-fogged and reclassified as a good memory.

Columbus, OH - Main Street Bridge - video and fun facts

I've received a few e-mails for details on the bridge:
1.7 miles in length
3200 feet above the river
Only single arch, wire suspension bridge in the tri-county area
First "living" bridge; interior is wheat, grasses and microbes for strength
The bridge lifts 75 feet to allow the heavy boat traffic to pass
Once open, the toll will only be $1.00 heading west and $5.00 east
Bono, from U2, described the bridge as "A 22nd century accomplishment; I dig the dangle."
The bridge can hold over 18 cargo containers of mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip.)
The Bridge is named after Sylvia T. Main, a Columbus inventor and markswoman

HoleyBoard Rules (Columbus Version 1.5)

I just got an invite from Mike to his 11th annual HoleyBoard tournament. Thought this might be a good time to post the Columbus Rules (Version 1.5)


(Columbus Version 1.5)

HoleyBoard is a game of skill and luck and will test your debating abilities when arguments about the rules inevitability flare up. I hope that the number of incidents will be lowered by writing these rules down. Rules vary by region and you need to ensure all parties are playing by the same rules before the game begins.

Object of the Game

Two persons or two, two person teams can play HoleyBoard at one time. The object of HoleyBoard is to score exactly 21 points before your opponent does.


The HoleyBoards should be measured approximately eight feet apart or two board lengths. Competitors throw from the same side and alternate sides between rounds. During a doubles match, teammates spilt up to either side and do not switch sides between rounds. Standing on top of one HoleyBoard, each competitor has three washers that he/she pitches, one at a time, into the holes of the other HoleyBoard. The first Player up throws all three of their washers before the second Player throws their washers. The Player or Team that scores last or causes a washer to go in, goes first the next round.

Example: Player A throws first and lands a washer on the board that does not go in. Player B throws second. During her turn, Player B knocks Player A’s washer in, Player A receives the points, but Player B has to throw first the next round.

Scoring Points

Points are scored when a washer goes in and stays in a hole. Each hole has a point value: the first hole closest to the person pitching the washers is worth 1 point, the second/middle hole is worth 3, and the third hole is worth 5 points. Players score points when they throw their washer in, hits their own washer already on the board in, or when an opponent knocks one of their washers in.

Example: Player A pitches all three washers and all three land on the board without going in. Player B pitches his washers and knocks in one of Player A’s washers into the 3 hole. Player A scores 3 points.

Competitors can cancel each other out, but only during the same turn and in the same hole.

Example: If Player A pitches a 5, then Player B can cancel those points by also pitching a 5. A 5 cannot be cancelled by throwing a 3 and two 1’s. If Player B would hit a 3 and two 1’s, then the score would be 5 – 5.

Players can score points on top of a canceling throw.

Example: Player A throws two 5s. Player B throws three 5s. Player A would score 0 points. Player B would score 5 points.

Winning the Game

A Player must score exactly 21 points to win and they must win on their own third throw by either getting exactly 21 with the third throw or by Sticking the Victory with the third washer. A Player can only win with their own third throw. An opponent cannot knock an opposing Player’s washer in for a win.

When a Player has successfully scored exactly 21 points and still has one or two washer left, they must, if necessary, throw off the second washer and the last washer he/she pitches has to stick and stay on top of the board without falling off or landing in a hole (this is otherwise known as STICKING THE VICTORY or Sticking the Vic). If the Player is unsuccessful in their attempt, then they go back to the score they had at the beginning of the round.

A competitor can win without sticking the Vic if he/she reaches 21 on the last throw or causes another of their own washers to fall in giving the thrower exactly 21.

Example: Player B goes second and has 18 points On the second throw he/she leaves the washer very close to the 3 point hole. With the third throw, the third washer knocks the second washer in the 3 point hole and then the third washer goes flying off the board. Player B has 21 and wins the game because the third washer caused the win.

A competitor cannot win if an opponent causes them to have exactly 21 points. A player who is given 21 points (either by knocking points in or by being cancelled backwards to 21 points) will have their score returned to what it was at the beginning of the round.

Example: Player A goes first with 18 points. Player A lands his first washer near the 3 point hole and misses his/her last two throws. Player B knocks Player A’s washer in the 3 point hole. Player A does not get the three points and would go back to 18 points.

Voiding a Win

A player can void an opponent’s win in one of thee ways: canceling points, knocking in opponent’s washers causing them to go over or by knocking their Stick the Vic off the board.

Skunking your Opponent for the Win

11- 0 is a skunk. The Player must win the normal way by scoring exactly 11 on the third throw or by Sticking the Vic.

Example: Player A has 11 and sticks last washer. Player B misses all three throws and Player A wins the game.

Example: Player A has 11 but does not stick the last washer; he/she still has 11 and must play to 21.

Example: If Player A does not stick last washer but Player B cancels the 1, then Player A has 10 and still has a chance to skunk.

A skunk is over as soon as the opponent scores any points by the end of the round.

Example: Player A throws a five and two threes during the first round for a possible skunk. Player B throws a one and avoids the skunk. The score is now 11-1.

Can There Be a Tie?

There are no ties. A Player must cancel the opponent’s win first before attempting their own win. If Player A scores 21 on third throw or Sticks the Vic, Player B must terminate the win by canceling Players A’s points or by knocking off the Stick the Vic washer before attempting to go for their own win.

Example: Player A has 18 points; he throws in three ones for the possible win. Player B has 15 points and throws a 1; canceling A’s victory and follows it up with two 3’s for the win.

Going Over Twenty-One

The goal of HoleyBoard is to score EXACTLY 21. Inevitably, someone will score more than 21 points. If a Player does go over 21, their score is determined by taking the total number of points scored that round and subtracting that from their score at the beginning of the round.

Example: Player A has 15 points. Player A throws two 3’s and accidentally throws a 1 for a total of 7 points. Player A’s score starting score (15) would be reduced by the total points scored that round (7) giving them their new score (15-7=8.)

If Player B were to then cancel out any of Player A’s points and reduce the score of Player A below 21 then Player A receives the new, under 21 score. If Player B cancels out points and leaves Player A with exactly 21, then Player A’s score will return to the points they had at the beginning of the round. (Note: the opponent cannot win for you. You must go out on the third throw or Stick the Vic on your own turn to win.)

Example: Player A has 15 points. Player A throws two 3’s and accidentally throws a 1. Player B throws a 3 and cancels Player A’s 3. Player A’s score would be 19 (15 + 4 =19.)

Example: Player A has 15 points. Player A throws two 3’s and accidentally throws a 1. Player B throws a 1 and cancels Player A’s 1. Player A would go back to his original score from that round (15), as if he had attempted to win and missed.

If a Player goes over with the first washer, each throw after that continues to push their score backwards. In other words, once a Player goes over 21 they cannot score positive points on that same turn.

Example: Player A has 20 and hits a 5, he/she will drop to 15. He/she continues to throw on that same turn and hits another 5, knocking them back five more points to 10.


A player cannot go below 0 points.

Washers must be thrown one at a time. You may not throw two or three washers at the same time.

Remember: There is no score until all washers are thrown. Once all washers are thrown by both players, the score for that round can be tallied.

No overhand throws.

Players can stand anywhere on the board in any stance, but can not leave board surface (i.e. jumping towards other board.)

Any throw that hits the floor outside of the board first and bounces on the board does not count and should be removed from the hole or playing surface. Any action caused by an outside bounced washer should be reset to its original position.

Any throw that goes in a hole and bounces out does not count for points, but any action it caused does count. The in-hole bounced washer can be knocked back in the hole for a score. An in-hole bounced washer can also count as a Stick the Vic.

It is a very good idea to mark both sets of washers with identifying marks before playing. Both sets should be marked with the same medium to ensure an even match. (i.e. both marked with Sharpie or both painted with same type, but different color of paint.)

This is a gentleperson’s game and any washer accidentally dropped is allowed to be picked up and thrown. Any miss-throw (i.e. any washer toss while arm is in motion) does count. Tough luck.

Vocabulary Time!

THROWING OFF is when a Player intentionally throws one, two, or all three washers to the ground as to not score any points or to set themselves up for a final throw win. If you have 20 points and only need a one to win, you can THROW OFF the first two washers and aim the third for the one hole, avoiding the need for Sticking the Vic. You can also THROW OFF in strategic situations to avoid canceling an opponent’s points if they have gone over 21 or to avoid knocking in an opponent’s washer that is about fall in a hole that might give them points.

A FIRST ROUND SKUNK happens when a Player gets an 11-0 score in the first round without it being cancelled by the other Player. This is a very desirable win cause for great celebration.

Are you a douche?

Are you a douche? Let's find out!

Question 1: Were you at the My Morning Jacket show in Columbus, OH on May 2nd?

Question 2: Did you shove and push your way through the crowd twenty minutes into the show to get closer to the stage?

Question 3: When asked to move did you smugly turn around and laugh.



Bonus points to the chick in the Ohio State University jacket that literally shoved the fuckers sideways to help them move on.

(I highly suggest reading the comments below... Levi has a real good one.)

Outland Reopens... Again

The Outland is reopening for the third time since I started going back in 1999. Check out this article in Columbus Alive.

The Outland is a wonderful goth bar with dancing, torture and a rum and coke that will kill cancer. It's open until 4:00am and offers some of the best people watching in town. Though the best part is that you can dance as poorly as I do and no one gives a shit. I love that place.

One of my favorite Outland stories involves my brother Steve and Johnny Two-Sack. It was in 2001 and Steve and I spent the afternoon in Athens, OH watching Toledo beat OU in football. We drove back to Columbus and partied at Shorty's house for a few hours. While drinking, we told my brother a bit about the Outland and how great it was. He said, "Detroit, baby. Let's go."

So John drove us over close to the club and we all got out of the car. Steve was wearing a trench coat and a Toledo Rockets jersey and a t-shirt underneath. I took a look at his sports apparel and said, "You can't wear that shirt in there."

Steve looked at me and removed his jacket. Then he took off his jersey. And his tee-shirt. Bare chested, he put his trench coat back on.

John perked up at this point. "Steve, I can't let you go in like that." And John took off his leather jacket, removed his shirts and then put his jacket back on. "OK, now we can go in."

On the inside, we drank and I stood off to the side and watched as John and my brother danced with the goths and the punks. I bumped into a guy from work. We chatted a bit and he pointed out my brother on the dance floor. "Look at that guy." I said, "That's my brother." Friend said, "Is he a regular?"

I hope to see you there tomorrow. I'll be the one with a rum and diet, dancing like a fool. Dancing like a regular. Hopefully I will have a shirt on.

I am from Columbus

Don’t do it. You always do. I did too, but as of today, I am quitting.

Columbus is a big boy now. Bigger and better than Cleveland or Cincinnati (no offense.) Our pro teams might suck and we all might be a little over the top for Ohio State, but Columbus has a lot of character and we’ve made a name for ourselves as a growing technology Mecca. We’ve got awesome restaurants, an interesting art community, fantastic museums and CD 101, one of the best radio stations in the country.

So why is it that most of you (including me) feel like you have to say Ohio right after you say Columbus? No one says Los Angeles, California unless they are the governor of said state or New York, New York unless they are singing. Columbus is a city unto itself and needs no additional explanation. If you are from Springfield, you might want to tack on an OH afterward. If you are from Lancaster, you’ll get blank stares until you elaborate with the state. By my count, there are 18 other Columbuses in the United States and none of them even come close to being as profound as Columbus.

From this point on, Columbus is Columbus. If the person you are speaking with asks “which Columbus?” you should curtly reply with one of the following suggested phrases:

- Is there another Columbus?
- You are kidding, right?
- Don’t even say you think I’m talking about Columbus, New Jersey
- Christopher Columbus, jerky
- (stare at them until they walk away or if it is over the phone, let out an extended “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh,” until they hang up)

The only way this will work is if we all stand up and make our voices (or lack of voice) be heard (or not heard when choosing not to say Ohio.) Where are you from? Columbus!

I am from Columbus. And now, so are you.