Last November, the city resurfaced the already-well-surfaced 32nd Street. I'm guessing a consultant came up with the
idea of using inlaid arrows for the left turn lane instead of using a can of paint. Here we are a scant four months
later, and the arrows are deteriorating to the point that the street is littered with little white pebbles. The mosaics
at Pompeii survived a volcanic eruption, and 2,000 years later, they aren't this bad. What gives? - Arnold Caesar
It's one thing to be covered in volcanic ash undisturbed for many hundreds of years and quite another to be pummeled by
traffic and brutal weather.
Nevertheless, 32nd Street's pavement marking shouldn't be disappearing, and the city is well aware of the defect.
Gwen Eberhart, an engineer with the Public Works Department, said the original contractor would reapply the
thermoplastic inlay markings - that's what the stuff is called - in a couple of weeks when it's a bit warmer.
The repair is covered under warranty, too.
We used inlay because it normally lasts a lot longer than paint," she said. We'll have it fixed as soon as
Barring any local volcanic activity, of course.
But, hey, if you're itching for a spectacular eruption, get some Mentos mints and a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke.
Open the bottle and set it on the ground outside. Quickly drop four candies at the same time into the Diet Coke. Then
In a jiff, you will have a localized version of Mount Vesuvius that spews brown foam.
It's a sticky diversion from the doldrums of Durango's mud season.
It's a stunning new record for The Mea Culpa Mailbag. Hubcaps are hot, hot, hot.
Last week's column about small hubcaps on police cruisers provoked double the normal correspondence, with e-mails
coming from exotic locales such as Old Mexico and New Jersey.
If there's an Old Mexico and a New Mexico, where is the Old" Jersey to complement New Jersey? Anyway ...
Dennis Pierce correctly points out that the snazzy 2010 Police Interceptor is based on the Ford Taurus and
not the Crown Victoria. The small hubcaps," Pierce adds, are known as 'dog dishes' because they could be
used to feed and water police dogs on duty."
From his boat at San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico, we hear from Dr. John Griffiths, who distinguishes hubcaps from
wheel covers. The little things on police cruisers are hubcaps," whose purpose is to keep mud and other
stuff out of the wheel bearings," he writes. Civilian cars have larger wheel covers," which protect the bearings
but mostly are for show. Now that the Big Two automakers are taking police fleet business seriously, what
with Homeland Security buying 14 million tactical units with armor and cup holders, we'll be seeing more and better
police cruisers. But no wheel covers, just hubcaps," he adds.
Reader Don Klotz concurs that small hubcaps are attached in the area of least wheel flex; thus, they stay on
better during high-speed cornering or hitting the inevitable potholes. But there is another possible reason
police prefer small hubcaps: Small hubcaps give more of a military appearance that implies a state of readiness
Lee Rehorn points out that small hubcaps were standard on cars from the '40s through the '70s. It is
ironic that these (small) 'hubcaps' are no longer available in civilian models and, in fact, may cost more for a
civilian (not that many would want them) due to this exclusivity."
Ron Jones, a Crown Vic aficionado from New Jersey, says small hubcaps allow the brakes to cool off much quicker.
Cooler brakes stop better."
And finally, local wag Jon maintains that small hubcaps give Durango squad cars the appearance that their wheels
are going faster.
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