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May 16, 2005   01:29 AM PDT
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May 13, 2005   05:52 AM PDT
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May 12, 2005   02:37 PM PDT
May 12, 2005   02:33 PM PDT
people of chicago, I'll slap in a complaint box in my blog and direct that to my boss. Happy?

zo: lift? No such luck biddu. Need to move to Delhi ASAP or get a face lift.
May 12, 2005   02:28 PM PDT
Hi alpha :-) Just read a TOI article now. In Delhi, it looks like you would have been offered 240 lifts in the 24 hours you were at the intersection. Any luck here ?
May 12, 2005   09:18 AM PDT
Alpha: Okie.. Late December to early March, I travelled like a 100 times along 290-90-IL53(and IL etc. from UIC campus/downtown to the Vernon Hills. And on the way from IL53 to Townline Road, there are atleast 2 instances of this 4 way intersections where u turn left or right to stay on the same highway!
May 12, 2005   04:54 AM PDT
some job. ha!
May 12, 2005   04:53 AM PDT
Ah, so this is where ppl come to crib about the state of Chicago roads. And I thought you had your hands full with them violent parents. All the best! :D
Wish there was someplace I could go and crib about Lagos roads now. Sigh.
May 11, 2005   10:38 PM PDT
May 11, 2005   10:37 PM PDT
Chicago is like, 1000% better than Boston or many of the eastern/western cities. There is a saying that someone followed a drunken cow and designed the roads in Boston.

The only crap thing in Chicago is rt-83. Also, you have a dozen old rand rds.

anti:The circular stuff that you are talking about was an experiment and it failed miserably. That was started in europe and caught on(in europe), after a little while. I, personally think that circular road junctions are verrrrry impractical.

alpha: I will give you 100 times 5 bucks if 53 is within 1/4 mile from my place...:-)

Let me stop before I make this comment section too boringggg.
May 11, 2005   10:36 PM PDT
LOL.Twin,look at the positive side.Courtesy that trait,even today I do not need a calculator to do some quick calculations..LOL.:)
May 11, 2005   09:20 PM PDT
Anti, enlighten me regarding four way junctions. Need to add term in our manuals. Chicago isn't that bad. They have a pretty good system except ofcourse some of the older Sheridan..keeps winding. Anyway enuf of that..I get lost all the time inspite of supposedly being an expert in roads and maps. I dont know north from south.
May 11, 2005   08:51 PM PDT
I-53 N is one stupid peice of planning! It seems to go round and round in a loop!

And Illinois seems to be one of the few places where in a four way junction, you might have to take a right or a left to keep going on the same road! Noticed that on two different intersections close to Vernon Hills and promptly got lost!

These road planners are crazy man!
May 11, 2005   07:11 PM PDT
sb: no free food, wine, car!

Chakri: That is the controvertial clue when it will be built. Very politically driven. That insight just cost you 5 dollars.
May 11, 2005   03:44 PM PDT

When is I-53 (N) going to be extended? So, that would mean further than east lake cook road.

The proposal has been there for so many years.

The one from army trail to elgin-o'hare is towards the south side.
May 11, 2005   02:10 PM PDT

I guess someone already counted the cars! :) And no, I'm positive I was in a cab and not in the auto show coz the cab driver would not stop talking to me.. that always calms my nerves.. NOT! :)
May 11, 2005   11:52 AM PDT
Thens: Now Iím scared to go up to my parking lot, go to restaurants, walk up to the flowers and smell themÖ*sniff* smelling artificial flowers in my cube.

AmitL: I knew it..if there is anyone crazier than me, it has to be you. Divisible by 4? What a nerd. 4 a lucky number? You just are not capable of diving things by 7, say that!
If I spent even a fraction of my time seeing whatís going on inside the car, I could miss 10 cars in the process.

Shub: everything is statistics.. I even count vowels in your comments.
Ramana: Helicopter? You are watching too many movies man.

Anumita: Good thing your nephew decided he was not a surgeon. Iím sure he might have had access to knives. I have poked people.. not when they are sleeping. I like your nephew.

Rhyncus! You had me worried buddy. Was wondering if you drowned in spilt milk. Where the heck is your blog? papad, beady eyes? I think you still havenít gotten over your crow postÖ

Get compensation? For what? For chilling out? Travel allowance maybe.. I donít do this more than once a year.. itís only on need basis. These days they send the younger folks to do this. :( Iím glad you donít drive around here or I might have got some seriously dirty looks.

J: Thanks, Delhi eh? I need to check out the scene there. Prof supervising? Haha. We ( a Mexican, Turkish and me-Indian) almost got into trouble as students when we were setting a video equipment to count cars on one electric pole in the Campus. As usual a cop came by and inquired if it was a bomb. I thought he was kidding and smiled and said Ďyeah..hehehí. Our prof had to bail us out. To think of it, my school has more sophisticated equipment.

Vinod: Thanks for dropping by. Man, are you a priest or something? Thatís a lot of stuff in your blog to digest starting with the photo.

Sb: Not moving? I thought I single handedly took care of that in this area. Did you check if you were in a cab or in a car at the auto show? er..why do u need tunnels if I may ask? Any shady activities you be involved with, let me know.
May 11, 2005   09:59 AM PDT
You're more than welcome to come stay at my place, eat my food, drink my wine, drive my car, and take me to work.. as long as you promise to build a couple of more bridges/ tunnels here.
Although, Chicago gives me a mini heart attack too everytime trying to get to O'Hare sitting in the cab and NOT moving.
Vinod Isaac
May 11, 2005   09:18 AM PDT

I am in Chicago and never saw you sitting in a car by the road side.

Well may be I was concentrating too hard on the traffic ahead of me. LOL

Good to see a blog from Indian who is in Chicago.

Vinod Isaac

Visit my blog at
Vinod Isaac
May 11, 2005   09:18 AM PDT

I am in Chicago and never saw you sitting in a car by the road side.

Well may be I was concentrating too hard on the traffic ahead of me. LOL

Good to see a blog from Indian who is in Chicago.

Vinod Isaac

Visit my blog at
May 11, 2005   06:25 AM PDT
hey.. really cute post...makes me very curious about transportation engineers all over...i have a fren who did that on a delhi signal with about three others .. I believe there too they were counting Maruti cars.. and with a professor to supervise them (i assume to make sure they would not get run over)... a veritable picnic i see...
May 11, 2005   06:09 AM PDT
Am sure counting cars was more interesting than guarding papads (even if you are the surrogate papad your partner has to guard). But seriously, don't they give you a hardship allowance or some such during those days??
And I thought a stationary person at an intersection would also be looked upon as a suspected sniper, no? Especially if they are watching each passing vehicle with beady eyes.
May 11, 2005   01:21 AM PDT
Lovely post! So you poked people with compasses at the bus stop!! My nephew once pushed half a compass needle into my butt when I was sleeping and yelled "INJECTION!" I needed more medical injections on the butt to cut out any septic!
May 11, 2005   12:05 AM PDT
Next time, ask your company to send you in a chopper. That way, you'll have the dual advantage of having counted all cars in bulk and also playing 'night-cop' for a while. :)

*dented sheep, sheep pointing finger at other sheep* ROTFL..
May 10, 2005   11:17 PM PDT
and now shez countin 'em comments! :-)
May 10, 2005   11:15 PM PDT
LOL..Twin,u used to count cars?I used to(and still do,sometimes)total up the digits on the numberplates,and see if they were multiples of four..Crazy,but,then,four's always been a lucky number for me.:)
I wish someone'd give me such a stress-free job for a day...counting cars..heh heh...I'm surprised u didn't recount any unusual incident occurring inside some of the cars..:)
May 10, 2005   10:19 PM PDT
Alphs, I am a data repository or a data warehouse if you will. Anyway I am happy to do my "kainkaryam" of planting this in your mind (yaaraavadu nallaa irundaa thaan namakku pidikkave pidikkaathey :-))
May 10, 2005   10:11 PM PDT
thens: Too much of unwanted database you have. No I agree that their job is dangerous..mine is you have planted the 'sniper' seed in my mind. *shudder* Here I was happily giving dirty looks to drivers.

sb: Thanks so much. For that compliment, I'll not only move to NY.. I'll stay at your place and eat your food and drink you wine too. How many cars are we talking here? *I'm getting a high now*

Trixy: What you are talking, we do have hi-tech equipment. We send doves to poop on the cars and then send out survey forms to people. The we count how many drivers have bird crap on their cars. Actually counting is fun...unlike counting planes take off which can be rather dull..not head spinning types.
May 10, 2005   09:42 PM PDT
Counting cars manually still? I thought transportation engineering had been influenced by technology long ago. Guess your co.still doesn't trust it. But funny as usual. Gosh! trust you to make counting cars seem like fun too. This should go in the Annual Report to lure more people to count cars next time.
May 10, 2005   09:03 PM PDT
Having sat in traffic for 3 hours for a drive that according to Mapquest should've only taken me an hour.. I couldn't resist asking if you wanted to move to NY.. we really need you here! I promise you'll have more cars to count :)

Great blog.. love every post!
May 10, 2005   05:11 PM PDT
Alpha, I guess you are not aware that in a survey of the ten most dangerous professions in the world, fishermen rank right near the top (of course people easily think of firemen but remember what happened to the Andrea Gail which led to the famous movie "Perfect Storm").
May 10, 2005   04:27 PM PDT
*curses myself for giving such song ideas* Anti, wah much talent floating around. Javed Akhtar just decided to fall under a car and merge with the tar. wonder why?
May 10, 2005   04:12 PM PDT
*decides to do what Thennavan did not!

Ek Do Tiin, Chaar Paa.Nch Chhai Saat Aath Nau, Das Gyaarah Barah Terah
Ek Do Tiin, Chaar Paa.Nch Chhai Saat Aath Nau, Das Gyaarah Barah Terah,
Tera Karuu.N, Tera Karuu.N Din Gin Gin Ke I.Ntazaar,
Aajaa PRIUS Aaii Bahaar
Chaudah Ko Tera SENTRA Aya,
Pandrah Ko Aau.Ngaa Ye Kahalaayaa
Chaudah Ko Aayaa Na Pandrah Ko Tu, Ta.Dapaake Mujhako Tune Kya Paaya
Solah Ko Bhi......
Solah Ko Bhi Solah Kiye The Si.Ngaar, Aajaa Piyaa Aayii Bahaar
Tera Karuu.N, Tera Karuu.N Din Gin Gin Ke I.Ntazaar, Aajaa PASSAT Aaye Bahaar...

How was that? Javed Akhtar must be proud of me!

And you know what, a close friend of mine used to work on a Ohio Department of Transportation project. Now I know what she was doing alongside OH-50 through the day, at least once a couple of week! Have sent her the link to this post too!
May 10, 2005   04:05 PM PDT
oh well, thanks for the's pretty safe. I have done this so far twice or maybe thrice. If the need ever arises. the newbies are usually sent. but seriously, fisherman?
May 10, 2005   03:59 PM PDT
Alpha, what you "say" may not necessarily match with what you "mean". The implicit must always have greater weight in your statements than the explicit or that's at least how I see it :-)
May 10, 2005   03:44 PM PDT
colours: yes, good idea..i'll take them to the middle of the road and say- Go kiddos..count for your life!

thennavan: Fisherman? I'm parents are proud now.
Dude, I was expecting a song from Ek do teen...but you are tho..completely messed up. In my last post, I clearly state that I was given death threats and curses and you wanted to trade I'm saying that I get paid to blissfully count cars all day..and you get scared?!tsk tsk..
May 10, 2005   03:32 PM PDT

Washington DC



Dear Alpha,

Ref: My previous comment on your previous post that started with words like "I would love to trade places".

I would like to recall my previous offer to trade places. Jeez, I must be crazy to work in one of "the most dangerous professions in the world" (man, this is worse than a fisherman or a fireman's job) - "sitting in a car on a lonely road with cops stopping occasionally or other "friendly" people offering to help? No way. I might as well call this assignment "dance with death" what with the possibility of some looney with a shot-gun suddenly deciding to do "target-practice" on me, a poor transportation engineer just out to do his work and becoming a sitting duck in the process.

So, please no hard feelings. I am happy tinkering with computers in an executive office suite.

Yours truly,
"The Enlightened One".


Alpha, seriously, don't you feel threatened sitting like this on some street with god-knows-what-kind-of-people-driving-by (especially so after this DC sniper incident)?
May 10, 2005   03:23 PM PDT
I can imagine how you are going to teach your children to count.
May 10, 2005   03:13 PM PDT
ok lemme explain..usually when u wear the orange vest that can be seen from Canada, people dont bother you with questions. they know. I was in the car remember. Ideally I shud have been outside freezing my butt off.
May 10, 2005   02:48 PM PDT
Star: maybe you shud work for the goodle team..they got stuck with my earthday post and ever since they've been doing public service ads. Treat car counters with respect..efficient or not.
May 10, 2005   02:40 PM PDT
Ahh .... but you couldnt be very efficient if you were busy answering on-looker questions rather than counting, could ya?

<Since im tired of your google adsense, Im creating my own ads>

Counting, counting & recounting = mind numbing

Weird stares from passer-bys = ego hurting

Being arrested for being 'suspicious looking' = birth defect

Realizing you're not as efficient as you thought = priceless.
May 10, 2005   02:11 PM PDT how they ward off crows from eating those papads laid out in the terrace? are you calling me a scare-crow? usually we are paired up but each of us takes up a differnt location..for effiencieny we do this alone. I have another story now...hmm..
May 10, 2005   01:54 PM PDT
Do you have colleagues you are paired up with so they share the work? That way, you can ward off these curious onlookers while he/she takes up the counting? Of course they should SHARE the work..

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