Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A.M.Stir

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A.M.Stir

Article excerpt

RISE AND WHINE

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HUH?

The Greater Jacksonville area turns into a Not-So-Great area at rush hour, and anyone who regularly plies the roads during those times has at least one trouble spot that just leaves them flummoxed, fuming and frustrated. Here's one nomination: Atlantic Boulevard eastbound at Kernan Boulevard during the evening rush hour.

It would be bad under any circumstances at that time. But here's what makes it worse: Cars turning north on Kernan clog up the left turn lane, then spill out into the left-most of the three lanes on Atlantic. That makes for a massive backup down Atlantic, especially as the middle lane also clogs up as people try to get over into the left one.

And here's what makes it even worse: You'd think that the northbound turn lane, at that time of day anyway, would get a left-only green arrow at Kernan before or even at the same time as the green light for eastbound traffic. That would relieve much of that backup, you'd think. But no: The left arrow turns green only after all the eastbound traffic has trickled through, with drivers heading east reduced to one or two lanes.

So the backups continue through the next left cycle . . . and the next . . . and the next. Doesn't seem to make sense to us.

BACKTALK

Have a commuting trouble spot of your own? Sure, you do. Send your nominations to backtalk@jacksonville.com.

ONE-LINERS

NOTABLE NONSENSE

A few great Steven Wright lines, courtesy of www. innocentenglish.com:

"Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now."

"I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize."

"If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?"

"Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow."

BULLIES, PART I

SIMON SAYS

Believe it or not, I prefer to write about things I know about. But now I'll venture into virtually unknown territory, for me: American Idol.

I know of many people who swear by it, but it's not to my taste: I can't get by the bullying. I hate bullies. And the few minutes I saw of it, a couple of years ago, consisted solely of the judges humiliating inept contestants (yeah, I know, nobody's forcing them to be on the show, etc., etc., etc.). That was enough for me: American Idol was not worth a single minute of my life, ever again. Hearing about Simon Cowell's new witticisms - mocking one contestant's weight, calling another a "bush baby" - made me feel even better about that decision.

I love his "apology:" "If he's offended, then I apologize. I might never call anyone a bush baby again." Classy, that.

BULLIES, PART II

BILL THE BULLY

A reader with a good memory e-mailed the other day wondering (perhaps with tongue-in-cheek) what I had against Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News bully whose "Christmas Under Siege" campaign I spoofed in this space last year.

Where to start? …

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