🍏🍯🍎🍯 L’Shanah Tovah – Happy New Year – 5784

Apple in Honeyuserpic=tallitRosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts at sundown Friday night, September 15th. Thus, it’s time for my annual New Years message for my family, my real-life, Blog,  Facebook, Universeodon, Dreamwidth, Tumblr, Twitter/X, and AARoads friends (including all the new ones I have made this year), and all other readers of my journal:
(* Yes, it is an old picture. I still find it funny.)

L’Shana Tovah. Happy New Year 5784. May you be written and inscribed for a very happy, sweet, and healthy new year.

For those curious about Jewish customs at this time: There are a number of things you will see. The first is an abundance of sweet foods. Apples dipped in honey. Honey cakes. The sweet foods remind us of the sweet year to come. Apples in honey, specifically, express our hopes for a sweet and fruitful year. Apples were selected because in ancient times they became a symbol of the Jewish people in relationship to God. In Song of Songs, we read, “As the apple is rare and unique among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved [Israel] amongst the maidens [nations] of the world.” In medieval times, writes Patti Shosteck in A Lexicon of Jewish Cooking, apples were considered so special that individuals would use a sharp utensil or their nails to hand-carve their personal hopes and prayers into the apple skins before they were eaten. And the Zohar, a 13th-century Jewish mystical text, states that beauty – represented by God – “diffuses itself in the world as an apple.” With respect to the honey: honey – whether from dates, figs, or apiaries – was the most prevalent sweetener in the Jewish world and was the most available “sweet” for dipping purposes. And as for the biblical description of Israel as a land flowing with “milk and honey,” the Torah is alluding to a paste made from overripe dates, not honey from beehives. Still, enjoying honey at Rosh HaShanah reminds us of our historic connection with the Holy Land. Although the tradition is not in the Torah or Talmud, even as early as the 7th century, it was customary to wish someone, “Shana Tova Umetukah” (A Good and Sweet Year).
(Source: Reform Judaism Website)

Rosh Hashanah ImagesAnother traditional food is a round challah. Some say they it represents a crown that reflects our coronating God as the Ruler of the world. Others suggest that the circular shape points to the cyclical nature of the year. The Hebrew word for year is “shana,” which comes from the Hebrew word “repeat.” Perhaps the circle illustrates how the years just go round and round. But Rosh Hashana challahs are not really circles; they are spirals… The word “shana” has a double meaning as well. In addition to “repeat,” it also means “change”. As the year goes go round and round, repeating the same seasons and holidays as the year before, we are presented with a choice: Do we want this shana (year) to be a repetition, or do we want to make a change (shinui)? Hopefully, each year we make choices for change that are positive, and each year we will climb higher and higher, creating a spiritual spiral. The shape of the Rosh Hashana challah reminds us that this is the time of year to make those decisions. This is the time to engage in the creative spiritual process that lifts us out of the repetitive cycle, and directs our energies toward a higher end.
(Source: Aish Ha’Torah)

There are also apologies, for during the ten days starting Saturday evening, Jews examine their lives and see how they can do better. On Yom Kippur (starting the evening of September 24th), Jews apologize to G-d for their misdeeds during the past year. However, for an action against another person, one must apologize to that person.

So, in that spirit:

If I have offended any of you, in any way, shape, manner, or form, real or imagined, then I apologize and beg forgiveness. If I have done anything to hurt, demean, or otherwise injure you, I apologize and beg forgiveness. If I have done or said over the past year that has upset, or otherwise bothered you, I sincerely apologize, and will do my best to ensure it won’t happen again.

If you have done something in the above categories, don’t worry. I know it wasn’t intentional, and I would accept any apology you would make.

May all my blog readers and all my friends have a very happy, healthy, and meaningful new year. May you find in this year what you need to find in life.


🛣 Changes to the California Highway Website covering June – August 2023

Whew! The updates for June through August are done. Now to go back to writing scripts for the podcast. As always, “ready, set, discuss”.

This update covers June, July, and August 2023. Before we dive into the updates to the California Highways site, an update on the California Highways: Route by Route podcast. Episodes are regularly posted around the middle of the month. You can keep up with the show at the podcast’s forever home at https://www.caroutebyroute.org , the show’s page on Spotify for Podcasters, or you can subscribe through your favorite podcaster or via the RSS feeds (CARxRSpotify for Podcasters) . The following episodes have been posted since the last update:

Turning to the updates to the California Highways pages: Updates were made to the following highways, based on my reading of the (virtual) papers in June, July, and August 2023 (which are posted to the roadgeeking category at the “Observations Along The Road” and to the California Highways Facebook group) as well as any backed up email changes. I also reviewed the the AAroads forum (Ꜳ). This resulted in changes on the following routes, with credit as indicated [my research(ℱ), contributions of information or leads (via direct mail or ꜲRoads) from Concrete Bob(2), Tom Fearer (Max Rockatansky)(3), Cameron Kaiser (ClassicHasClass)(4)Occidental Tourist(5)Plutonic Panda(6)Skluth(7), Chris Sampang (TheStranger)(8), Joel Windmiller(9): Route 1(ℱ), Route 4(ℱ), I-5(ℱ,9), Route 7(3),  Route 11(ℱ), Route 12(ℱ),  Route 14(ℱ,3), Route 15(ℱ,3), Route 16(9), Sign Route 18(3), Route 20(ℱ), Route 22(5), Route 25(ℱ), Route 29(ℱ), Route 37(ℱ), I-40(6), US 40(9), Route 46(ℱ), Route 47(6), Route 49(3), US 50(9), Route 56(3,5), Route 57(ℱ,3), Route 58(ℱ,7), Route 60(ℱ), Route 68(ℱ,2), Route 70(ℱ), Route 72(3),  I-80(ℱ), Route 82(ℱ), Route 84(ℱ), Route 90(ℱ), US 91(3), Route 92(ℱ), US 95(ℱ,4,3),  Route 99(ℱ), US 101(ℱ,3), Route 115(3), Route 116(ℱ), Route 120(3), Route 145(3), Route 155(ℱ), Route 156(ℱ), Route 163(ℱ), LRN 166(ℱ), LRN 173(ℱ), Route 186(3), Route 188(3), I-210(3), Route 214(3), Route 221(ℱ), LRN 230(ℱ), Route 245(ℱ,3), Route 249(3), Route 252(ℱ), Route 262(ℱ), I-380 / I-280 / Southern Crossing(8), I-405(ℱ), US 466(3), I-580(ℱ), I-605(ℱ), I-680(ℱ), I-710(ℱ,3), County Sign Route E15(3), County Sign Route J40(3), County Sign Route N3(3).
(Source: private email through 9/10/2023, Highway headline posts through the August Headline post, AARoads through 9/10/2023)

Added a new link to the list of state highway websites, as AARoads has added a page for Alaska. As a reminder, if you have a highway page for a state, and its not on the list of regional highways, please let me know.

Added a reference to the Gribblenation Blog on the 1959 Era White shields to the California Numbering page.

Reviewed the Pending Legislation page, based on the California Legislature site, for bills through 2023-09-10. As usual, I recommend to every Californian that they visit the legislative website regularly and see what their legis-critters are doing. As many people are unfamiliar with how the legislature operates (and why there are so many “non-substantive changes” and “gut and amend” bills), I’ve added the legislative calendar to the end of the Pending Legislation page. Noted the passage (or veto) of the following bills and resolutions:

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🛣 Headlines About California Highways – August 2023

Two-thirds of the year is now past. This has been an … interesting August. We’ve had intense heat, and surprisingly, a tropical storm that has inundated our low-lying deserts and flooded roads. In the northern part of the state, we’ve had some intense brush fires. The impact of these should be showing up in future emergency road repair requests. Hopefully, everyone has been safe through all of this.

Work is continuing on the highway pages. I’ve gone through the June and July headlines; after this post is up, I’ll do the August headlines. I’ve also started working through the June and August CTC minutes. Also still to go is the review of the actions of the legislature, and the review of the posts since the last update on AARoads. Hopefully, I’ll have something to post by mid-September. I’m also working on writing the first few episodes of the next season of the podcast, so we can start recording them.

Roadtrips in July include a trip up and back to Davis, and a trip out to Las Vegas and back. Don’t care about the gambling. However, if you want to know some great restaurants in the area (off-strip), just ask.

Well, enough chit-chat. Here are the headlines that I found about California’s highways for August:


[Ħ Historical information |  Paywalls, $$ really obnoxious paywalls, and  other annoying restrictions. I’m no longer going to list the paper names, as I’m including them in the headlines now. Note: For paywalls, sometimes the only way is incognito mode, grabbing the text before the paywall shows, and pasting into an editor.]

California Highways: Route by Route Podcast

California Highways: Route by Route logoThe podcast is currently on a break between Season 1 and Season 2. Back episodes are available at the Podcast’s forever home, as well as on its Spotify for Podcasters home. The Spotify (nee Anchor.FM) link also has links to the podcast’s page on most major podcasting services.

Highway Headlines

  • Why the lights on freeway onramp can’t end traffic jams (Los Angeles Times). It’s hard to enter a highway in Los Angeles County without encountering a stoplight at the end of the entrance ramp — a pause that’s supposed to ease the crush of rush-hour traffic. But like many Angelenos, West Valley driver Liza Olson wonders what, exactly, those lights are accomplishing. “Have you ever sat at a freeway metering light that’s red while hardly any cars zip by? Have you ever driven through a freeway metering light that’s green only to join gridlock? What gives?” Olson asked in a recent email.
  • Work on Avenue J interchange begins (Antelope Valley Press). Crews will start work Monday to expand the Avenue J interchange at the Antelope Valley Freeway/State Route 14. The $28.8 million project includes widening the existing northbound on- and off-ramps. There will also be four new retaining walls and new on- and off-ramps on the south side of Avenue J. The project will be funded with Measure R funds by the city of Lancaster, Caltrans and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Lancaster received $65 million in Meas­ure R funds about 11 years ago to make major upgrades to the highway interchanges at avenues G, J, K and L and Columbia Way (Avenue M) over the next four years to improve traffic flow and safety.
  • The cost of convenience (BenitoLink). San Benito County is changing. And while it might feel like it’s sudden to some residents as they watch construction machinery and safety rails along Hwy 156 between Hollister and San Juan Bautista taking over agricultural land, it’s been over 20 years in the making. Two other transportation projects moving forward are the Hwy 25 widening, between San Felipe Road and the county line, which will eventually go to the Hwy 101/25 intersection and the new trade corridor, which is connecting Hwy 152 to Hwy 25 somewhere in the area of Shore Rd.
  • Work at Paul’s Slide on Highway 1 paused as crews assess recent slide activity (KSBY). Debris removal work at Paul’s Slide on Highway 1 has been paused as crews assess recent movement of the hillside, Caltrans announced Wednesday. Geological engineering (“Geotech”) crews studying measurements of recent slide activity will determine the specific next steps for repair efforts, which have prioritized — and will continue to prioritize — the safety of crew members who have been working “almost nonstop” since March to remove slide material and stabilize the hillside, according to Caltrans.
  • Recent slide activity along Hwy 1 in Big Sur could further delay reopening (KSBY). Recent slide activity along the Big Sur Coastal Highway could further delay reopening. Adam Oates, who is visiting the Central Coast from Bakersfield, originally planned to drive north with his family all the way to Monterey. But he says the road closure along the Big Sur Highway drastically reduced the distance of their trip. “Uh it cut it in half. It literally cut the distance in half,” said Oates. Though disappointed the trip would be cut short — his family still decided to visit the areas that are open. “It is what it is,” said Oates.
  • Caltrans adding ‘safety and beautification’ improvements along Highway 99 (Fox 40 Sacramento). If you’re driving along Highway 99 in South Sacramento, you may look out your windshield and notice some aesthetically pleasing visuals on your journey. Those visuals are courtesy of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which has begun implementing “safety and beautification” improvements to Highway 99. “Working with community groups, several ‘river-themed’ additions have been added to this 9-mile stretch of the highway,” the department said in a social media post. The accompanying image shows the bright blue river covering the wall of the underpass on Broadway and Florin Road. Another image shows a light brown wall with a black design that mimics the appearance of trees on the horizon.

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