Today, I have reached the biggest milestone I have ever approached. I have lived to reach 40 years old! I survived one of the deadliest cancers a person can get. I can only give God credit for reaching this milestone, and I don't deserve it. I will be even more grateful when I reach another big age: 50. I will be at risk for other health problems and cancers for the rest of my life, so if I make it to 50, I will only praise Him more. I thank God everyday for my blessings, not the least of which is being able to get out of bed every morning. Every day of the year should be Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving should not focus on turkey or the pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock!
Someone wanted to know how I find the vintage road signs that I post on this blog. First, I look for decommissioned state roads using Google Streetview. I also know many back roads in Central Florida that were former state roads, so I've got experience in what to look for. To find old state roads and vintage signs for yourself, use these clues...
-Vintage state road shield signs still up at intersections with modern state roads. View an example here...
-Vintage green FDOT mileage signs still up at intersections with modern state roads and/or signs still up on county roads. View an example here...
-Google Streetview (mapview) shows some county roads as state roads with the highway number circled (county highway numbers are supposed to be within a rectangle.)
-Viewing the roads from above on Streetview, or actual driving, you can see concrete ditches along the road in hilly areas. That means it used to be a state road. Picture coming soon.
-If you look closely on the side of the road (being careful of course not to cause an accident!,) you can find small concrete markers sticking out of the ground labeled SRD R/W. This marks the right-of-way of an old or current state road. The SRD means State Road Department which is now FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation.) I'm not sure but these old markers may be 50 to 60 years old. Picture coming soon.
-Look at the poles that highway signs are attached to on county roads. Any round aluminum poles still up belonged to the SRD or FDOT when that road used to be a state road. It should be noted that Lake and Polk County both have started using new round poles on all roads, so finding old state road round poles in those counties is pretty much impossible now. Look at the Bushnell sign above and view the pole for an example.
Just read this article about the side effects of chemotherapy on the brain. To be honest, after reading this I said to myself, "Uh, oh." After receiving massive amounts of chemotherapy four years ago, including chemotherapy from sixteen spinal taps, I would be lying if I said my brain was normal. I don't concentrate like I used to. My reading comprehension is worse, I have to read sentences twice to grasp the main idea. I leave items laying around and forget where I've put them. In addition, my left arm still does not have 100% feeling after the MRSA incident in 2009. I believe I will be this way for the rest of my life. I just hope it doesn't get worse as I grow older. But, hey, I'm alive. I can take care of myself. I can work hard. And, I'm still very intelligent. All in all, I've made out out pretty well!
This article talks about a huge increase in potency of the chemo drugs vinblastine and vincristine. Unimproved vincristine is, in itself, extremely powerful. During my maintenance chemo, I used to get small doses by injection, and I would be out of commission for two days! I can't image what the new improved version can do. This is a HUGE milestone on the road to finding a cure to many forms of cancer! If you are a cancer patient in relapse, I would DEFINITELY talk to your doctor about this article! Click on the link to read it...
All the rave about energy efficiency today is forcing new homes to be well-insulated and airtight. Many people don't realize that this can be bad for your health. If a home is well-insulated and air tight, there's a good chance that harmful chemical aerosols can build up and cause a wide array of respiratory and other health issues, maybe even cancer. This is because an airtight house can not receive fresh air from the outside and vent out stale, contaminated air from the inside. Most people don't realize, also, that oxygen levels in an airtight house can get depleted. When this occurs, a person can get mild hypoxia and/or carbon dioxide poisoning. Think about how airtight a space shuttle or a submarine is! An airtight house is no different.
A combination of the two factors above can make a person ill, maybe seriously. Unexplained sicknesses can be attributed to airtight houses. Also, who knows what can happen when exposed to concentrated levels of chemical aerosols from cleaners, paint, new carpet, etc. Since I had leukemia, I am much more concerned!
I make it a standard practice to ventilate my home on a regular basis. Since it is summer now, it is impractical to open the windows, so I use both of my bathroom exhaust fans and slightly crack a window at night to change the air while I sleep. In the cooler months, I will, obviously, open a window, or I will pull in air from my attic during the day. This also helps heat the house and save money on my electric bill!
I recommend that if you do have an airtight house that you take steps to ensure regular air changes, especially if you are medically-confined or a shut-in. It can make you feel better and improve your health. Also, keep in mind that having a top-of-the-line air filter and/or houseplants is not good enough, you still need to replenish the oxygen in the house at high-volumes.
As a boy in the 1980's, I was fascinated with Florida's highways and railroads but even more fascinated with road signs. These included speed limit signs, green city mileage signs, and, of course, highway designation signs (county road, state road, interstate, and the colored U.S. highway signs.) I grew up in the Tampa area, and my grandparents lived near Ocala. Over the years, I have retained vivid memories of signs that stood out to me on road trips and wanted to share some particularly interesting ones. I have yet to find information on the internet about some of what I have written below and hope someone else can enjoy sharing these memories with me. I regret the fact that I was not a photographer back then. If so, I would have a treasure trove of images to put on the net and share. I, most likely, would have had the most popular collection of Florida road pics on the internet.
Now, here are some unique things I remember clearly about all the road trips I went on as a child and teenager:
-A C-579 keys shield was on Morris Bridge Rd south of S.R. 54.
-Around 1985, when S.R. 54 was downgraded to a county road between Land O' Lakes and Zephyrhills, "C" and "COUNTY" stickers were placed on the state road shields.
-New River used to be signed at the bridge that went over it on SR 54.
-A C-530 keys shield was on Otis Allen Road at Wire Road.
-Near the McDonalds, a two-lane overpass on U.S. 301 went over Fort King Rd. and a decommissioned railroad that was removed shortly after I was born.
-Where Fort King Rd. originally ended at U.S. 301, just north of 12th Ave., there were yellow U.S. 301 shields at the end of Fort King Rd. I remember a green mileage sign at 12th Ave. with Tampa 29 / Sarasota 80 on it.
-On 5th Ave., east of Gall Blvd, there was a yellow JCT 301 sign.
-A C-581 keys shield was on 30th St. (now Bruce B. Downs Blvd.) at S.R. 54 in Wesley Chapel. This intersection only had a stop sign with a blinking red light,and both roads were two-lane.
-A C-577 keys shield was on CR 577/Curly Rd. northbound at SR 54, and I remember another keys shield was in St. Joseph just north of St. Joe Rd.
-South of Dade City, a railroad crossed U.S. 98/301 at Morningside Drive for the Evans citrus packing plant.
-7th Street was signed U.S. 98/301 on Meridian Ave. (I remember the yellow 301 and black 98 JCT signs) and Old Lakeland Highway was signed U.S.98. This confused me because I didn't understand why U.S. 98 was split like that. It also confused me seeing a U.S. 301/ U.S. Bus 98 assurance sign on 7th St. just south of Lock St. Click here to view this sign: http://www.aaroads.com/shields/show.php?image=FL19640983
In the early 70's before the Dade City bypass was built, Meridian Ave. east of 7th St. was signed S-35A, and SR 52 ended at 7th St. In an old photograph of a parade I found on the internet, I saw an S-35A keys shield on Meridian Ave. just east of 7th St. in front of the courthouse.
-A C-35A keys shield used to be in front of Dick Jarrett Ford right off the 98 Bypass.
-North of Dade City at the Lykes Citrus Plant, a railroad diagonally crossed U.S.98/301.
-South of Lacoochee, there were two overpasses on U.S. 98/301, south of the U.S. 98 split, that crossed a railroad junction (one railroad it crossed is now the Withlacoochee State Trail)
-A State Road 585 keys shield used to be on Rowlett Park Dr. at Waters Ave.
-A C-585A keys shield used to be on McKinley Dr. at Fowler Ave.
-A C-598 keys shield used to be on Lambright St. just east of Dale Mabry Hwy.
-On I-275 north of Tampa, there were big green overhead signs with "Fla" and the state road number on them. For example, for Busch Blvd., the signs had "Fla 580" on them and Fowler Ave. had "Fla 582" on them. The overhead signs at the very left would have "Thru Traffic" on them. Also, Buffalo Ave. (now Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) did not have a state road designation that it does now (SR 574.)
-On westbound Busch Blvd. at North Blvd., there was a green FDOT directional sign with a left arrow and "Fairyland Zoo."
-In Belleview, state road 25 from 27/301/441 to SR 35 used to be a county road in the 80's. I remember seeing State Road 25 shields patched with a "C" and "COUNTY" stickers at the intersection with 27/301/441.
-I remember U.S. OLD 301 and U.S. OLD 441 north of Ocala (now C.R.200A and C.R.25A, respectively) and the yellow OLD 301 and brown OLD 441 signs.
-On US 301/441 north of Ocala, there were rectangular street signs with "SR 25/SR 200" on them at intersections . These signs confused me because I didn't know that in Florida U.S. highways are given a state road designation. Today some U.S. highways still have state road rectangular street signs. For example, in Chiefland, U.S. Alt 27 is signed SR 500 on a traffic light post, while U.S. 19/98 is signed SR 55.
-In the early 80's, I remember seeing a blue pentagon county road 301 sign where NE 160 Ave Rd begins at CR 316 east of Ft. McCoy. I thought it was funny that there were two different Hwy 301s in Marion County. Also, how can I forget the big bridge over the Oklawaha River on CR 316. After crossing the bridge, my parents had to pull over because I got sick to my stomach. The spelling of Oklawaha is correct for that time period, even though it was recently changed to Ocklawaha.
Last, but not least, I enjoyed all the colored U.S. highway signs that were up at that time. The only ones I ever saw personally were for U.S. 1, 17, 19, 27, 41, 90, 92, 192, 231, 301, 319, and 441. I only saw a U.S. 129 sign one time, at the intersection with I-75, and I barely could see it because it was night. I never saw any U.S. 29, U.S. 331, U.S. 221, and U.S. 23 signs, and I remembered being obsessive about what their colors were.
More "memories" will be posted as they come to mind. If you ever visited or lived in the areas above and would like to share your road memories, please post a comment. Also, visit my Flickr page and the sites in the "My Links" column to see some of the highway signs I enjoyed back then.
Click to read. This article is interesting because I received high doses of AraC or Cytarabine during my Hyper CVAD treatment. My remission was achieved quickly due to combinations and cycles of different drugs including the AraC. The article's focus is my leukemia, T-Cell ALL.
From reading my previous posts, you probably know that I liked Florida's colored U.S. highway signs that were discontinued in the early 90's. Finding these signs is now getting more and more difficult each year, even though there used to be thousands of them twenty years ago. Most of them can now be found at intersections with U.S. 98 and U.S. 90 in North Florida, with only a few left in peninsular Florida. These signs are all on county roads or decommissioned state roads. To help those wanting to find any of these remaining jewels, here are the U.S. highways that I am certain DO NOT have any signs left: 19, 23, 129, 192, 221, 331, and 441. All colored "Alternate" U.S. highway signs are gone as well. All colored "Business" signs, except a few Business 98s in the panhandle, are gone too.
Levy County used to be the one area in the state that had the most colored signs consisting of U.S. 19/98, U.S. 27, U.S. Alt 27, U.S. 41, and U.S. 129. That has now changed, as they have ALL been replaced with the standard black on white style. I found that out on a road trip last week. Google Streetview still shows some of these colored signs, mostly around Chiefland, so you can still take a look at them. 10/11/13: Google Streetview is starting to get updated in Levy County. The latest images are from June 2013. Enjoy what colored signs are left on there ASAP because the rest will be gone very soon!
I found a cool website that contains recent photographs of many remaining colored signs. You should note that ALL signs on this website that were photographed in Chiefland and the rest of Levy County have been replaced with black on white signs. The U.S. 301 sign in Sarasota has been replaced, also. Click to visit website: http://www.aaroads.com/forum_images/southeast/colored_shields.html