Sunday, October 19, 2008

Open Thread #98

I'm still going to have the occasional open thread....probably on a weekly basis. I like readers to be able to create dialogue instead of just commenting on my posts. I also like the way that open threads can encourage interesting leads or tips.

20 comments:

Kim said...

Happy Monday Ya'll! Here's a lead...there is a new "store" in town. No sales tax on shoes or clothing. Check out my Friday at 5 contest. I know this is a shameless way to drum up business but it beats going door to door.

dale said...

Has anyone heard anything concrete on the rumour that AT&T will be taking over Alltel's North Dakota network to allow the Verizon/Alltel merger to go through? I'm a little aggravated that I'm writing an iPhone application, but can't test it on the stupid phone because AT&T isn't in ND outside of Bismarck.

ndborn said...

One thing I was surprised about moving to GF was how many accidents there are with sugar beet trucks. It seems like 3-5 fatalities and several injuries every fall. Is there no limit on how many hours in a row they can drive the trucks? I had several acquaintances who talked about being up for 36 straight hours driving the beet truck!?! It seems like every other day in the paper is a beet truck accident, what's going on here??? I grew up in a heavy grain harvesting area, so I know about lots of farm trucks on the road, but we almost never had accidents from them.

The Imaginary Blog said...

Is there going to be a fall clean-up date when we can put more things out for trash pick-up? Or did I miss it?

I see that EGF already did it. I mean GF.

bjmoney said...

The way the beet harvest is dragging on (though it feels like that every). The driver fatigue has been setting in, crews are just walking off of their sites, the accidents are unfortunately just going to be happening more and more until the harvest finished. Rain coming tonight/snow tomorrow in forecast.

dale said...

Is there going to be a fall clean-up date

If you mean putting stuff out like freezers and furniture, no, that's two weeks in the spring. Fall "cleanup" is leaves and clippings left on the berm and they come by and vacuum it up (literally -- it's kind of cool.)

However, just pile your junk up and call the city Sanitation department and they'll run by and pick it up, usually the same day if you call early enough. There is a fee, but the last time I did it, it was like $10 or something, not huge.

The Imaginary Blog said...

Thanks, Dale. I don't have anything huge, just lots of stuff (de-junking the storage areas). I've got more bags than will fit in the receptacle.

I'll give Sanitation a call.

I appreciate the advice!

C. Y. said...

ndborn, are the trucks the cause of the crashes or just participants? Being bigger, they usually win, but it may not be their fault.

ndborn said...

c.y., that's something I've been wondering about too. Whose fault are most of the accidents? Are the beet truck drivers the ones to blame due to driver fatigue, lack of focus on the road, etc., or are drivers in this area just really not paying attention to farm equipment, and if that's the case, then how come so many beet truck accidents instead of all the other farm equipment too.

I'm just wondering if there's anything in the whole equation that can be changed to make the roads safer at this time of year. I heard one guy in ND had an idea to make brake lights start glowing when trucks downshifted to loose speed, since they're not using brakes the brake lights aren't coming on, but people might not notice their speed dropping and rear end them. I'm not saying all accidents are rear-endings.

It's just all the fatalities and accidents got me thinking about why we assume that this is the way it's going to be at beet harvest time instead of hearing more talk about preventative measures, if there even are any.

JWGreen said...

About the beet harvest accidents, the increase compared to other harvests could be due to the amount of mud and the sheer number of trucks on the road all heading to centralized locations rather than back to their bins.

dale said...

I heard one guy in ND had an idea to make brake lights start glowing when trucks downshifted to loose speed

It's a really good idea, particularly if you can get your insurance company to help pay for it. See http://www.slowntell.com/. They were one of the winners of the Innovate ND entrepreneurial competition earlier this year.

Meest said...

The thing is that Downshifting isn't just on semi's and beet trucks. I drive a stick and I down shift quite often. I can tell when a car ahead of me is slowing, as the distance between us is growing less... are driver's that careless that they don't pay attention anymore?

Stick shifts and downshifting have been around years before and everyone seems to have gotten along fine. Does driving a stick shift suddenly pose a hazard to the people that aren't paying more attention while driving?

ndborn said...

meest,
I think the pathetic answer is "yes, drivers aren't paying attention anymore". Sometimes I'll count the percentage of drivers I see talking on cell phones or texting, it's downright scary, not to mention unbelievable that driving has become on a routine basis a multi-tasking activity. Totally not fair to those who drive stick shifts and downshift that they're being rear ended, but there are a lot of no-brainer things society has implemented to save the lives of the people who are careless, and I think the slow-n-tell is another great idea, at least until the whole "multi-tasking while driving" phenomenon has passed and/or is actively being discouraged.

JWGreen said...

I'd have to agree with ndborn. Its not the truck drivers causing the problems, but the other drivers on the roads. People just need to be more careful during harvest.

bjmoney said...

if you knew the number of hours these truck drivers were running, you may change your mind. Scale houses don't jump in front of beet trucks, and two were hit in the EGF district alone...

Matthew said...

It scares me how many people on mobiles I see while I'm riding around town. I try to take extra care to make eye contact with them, especially if they look like they want to roll through a stop sign.

I think the accidents are part everyone's fault: "regular" people assume that the beet drivers are awake and alert and beet drivers are working long hours.

JR said...

cool blog on life in grand forks
can you do a blog on my free grand forks job site. Really need some help
no sites to link to in GF
http://grandforksjobs.affnest.com

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