Weird news from New Jersey

by Rhode

Weird News… from NJ this time (home of weird things…):

I don’t wanna be hamburger! Cow leaps onto I-80 from slaughterhouse-bound truck.

Cow ends up on Route 80 in Paterson (not known for its farm animals…). But the story gets better:

The cow that escaped the slaughterhouse gave birth, and her new baby is udderly adorable

She gave birth!

Anyone have a commuting “weird” story??

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52 thoughts on “Weird news from New Jersey

  1. My DH drives very aggressively and I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that happened with him. The Mass Pike with its toll plazas was the worst for road rage. Any better with electronic tolls ?

  2. Truck carrying tar overturns on a busy freeway during rush hour. I worked for organization with experts on oil and oil products. Local news called us to figure out how it would be cleaned up, etc. Our experts had no idea. (Tar is more of a byproduct) Referred to another organization, they referred them back to us. It was a bit awkward to handle the media relations on that one.

  3. L – YES! I saw that and was somewhere between laughing out loud and pure shock!

    Completely off topic – I get a very happy feeling when I get confirmation that both the doctor I need and the hospital are in network! The website gave me conflicting information – doctor yes, only certain departments of the hospital were a yes… very weird. Either way, when we go to schedule DS1’s surgery, we should be good to go!

  4. Louise, Tampa’s electronic tolls are really smooth. You don’t even really notice they’re there.

  5. Thanks Houston and RMS. I’m completely a year ahead of schedule, but I happened to be on our health insurance’s website looking something else up, so I thought I’d start to get my ducks in a row. Since our surgeon moved to MA, we knew this surgery was going to bring a logistical nightmare. We are choosing the surgeon over simplicity. Very much a first-world problem.

  6. This isn’t really a commute weirdness. But back in the 1960s, when my family went for our annual summer vacation to Santa Cruz, there was a roadside attraction called Lost World. You could see it from Highway 17 as you came “over the hill” (as we still say) from Silicon Valley to Santa Cruz. It was in Scotts Valley. It was a bunch of huge dinosaurs looming motionlessly along the side of the highway. I always looked for them anxiously, because they were cool, and because it meant we were getting close to Santa Cruz. There are some pix here on this web page — you have to scroll down a little.

    http://quirkyberkeley.com/giant-dinosaurs-only-quirky-need-apply/

    Now Scotts Valley is upscale and part of Silicon Valley and land is waaay too expensive for anything as silly as Lost World, or even Santa’s Village, which was right across the highway on the other side.

  7. I forgot to mention this during the open topic yesterday–lasagna was a hit! I used tomato sauce from a jar. Not my favorite, but it worked fine. Browned some meat then simmered it with half the sauce for his side. He wasn’t a fan of the part of his that I put extra Parmesan on top of (yes, I know–weird tastes), but liked the rest. So thanks, everyone who commented on that question!
    Two of us eating two different types of lasagna in one pan mean I made a half of one recipe and a quarter of the other. Seems like it’d be less work to make full recipes of the layers, then freeze or refrigerate part and use part. So now I have another question; can I freeze the browned chuck in tomato sauce, or would it be better to freeze just the browned meat (which actually isn’t chuck–meat counter had ground meat that was a mix of beef and sausage) and simmer it with the tomato sauce after it thaws?

  8. I love this weird story! Cow escapes with her unborn calf in Patterson!

    @SM – You can absolutely freeze meat sauce with the tomato sauce mixed in. There is no discernible difference between frozen & thawed and fresh. It’s very flexible.

    Lasagna (fully cooked) freezes well too, if you wanted to make a big pan of each, bake it, and then freeze individual portions, that works well too. I do that all the time – put the squares in a small container & bring to work for lunch.

  9. Thanks for sharing the Lost World pictures RMS. I love quirky roadside attractions like that.

  10. Kerri – I just got a deck of cards with 59 “weird” or unique places to visit in RI. I’d be happy to share when you decide when you’re coming. There’s a great monastery (now a library) with miles of walking trails, including one to a war monument (9 Men’s Misery, from King Philip’s War (during Colonial times)).

  11. Lucy the elephant! When we lived in Philly when I was young we went to Margate every summer. That is one of my few clear memories of that place (along with bratwurst at one restaurant and Tastycakes). When gambling was legalized my dad wanted to leave Oklahoma and move back and buy the hotel we used to stay at, but that never happened. Thanks whoever posted that – I hadn’t thought of that in years.

  12. Rhode – I recently read a kids’ book that touched on King Phillip’s war. Really interesting. If I recall the name I’ll post it.

  13. I went to a Flintstones Bedrock City in South Dakota. I think it was near Mt Rushmore or Badlands.

  14. DS was talking to me about colleges yesterday and made a comment that made me think of the “touches” tracking and demonstrated interest discussion. He said so far Arizona is the only school that he has emailed that has had a real person reply to him. Demonstrated interest goes both ways – it’s moving back up his list simply because someone spent 10 minutes answering his questions.

  15. I didn’t watch the Super Bowl but I spent a few minutes this morning watching some commercials. My favorite is the Hyundai:

    Although I’m more of a Ford gal, I also liked the Dodge Ram commercial:

  16. DD – that’s a good point. I chose the school I went to in the US because of their prompt response. I later found that the administrative staff was very good in spite of it having a new international students program. I became very familiar with the staff over the time I was there.

  17. I’m probably the only person in New England who did not watch the Super Bowl. We ate junk food and watched more of the original Dark Shadow series…. (we watched 8 episodes and found out that (a) it’s only been ~3 days since the beginning of the series and (b) all 8 of these episodes happen in a 12 hour period…. it’s like the original 24! Ha!

    Oh and I think I may have found Rhett… :)

    https://www.mongabay.com/rhett/

  18. Rhode, good luck.

    I feel like I’m in Florida today because it’s sunny and “warm” for Feb. it’s anazing how the weather can change a gloomy mood because I was so tired when my alarm went off earlier today. We didn’t go to a party because DD said she had to study for several big tests. It’s not as much fun to stay home, but I was able to get a lot done since the game was boring.

  19. I caught up on movies this weekend. When I saw First Man, I thought of Totebaggers in the sciences and engineering. Also, watching Bohemian Rhapsody and watched A Star is Born.

  20. Lauren – I emailed my tax paperwork to my preparer during the Super Bowl. She replied with an estimate later that night. Really boring game.

    ps. just like last year I owe a bunch in federal and get a bunch back (but less than what I owe the feds) from the state. It’s almost like the whole tax law change didn’t happen. I still have to send in some charitable stuff and one more 1099 so I’m still hoping the fed amount gets reduced somewhat.

  21. @Fred — LOL!

    @July — somehow I missed the Ram one. Love that one! Agree, the elevator was probably the best of a very, very poor crop this year.

    News: DH has a new car! The Volvo sedan hybrid — S90? Holy cow, what a car! It is like a modern version of an old-school luxury car. We checked out the trunk, because DH was very worried about luggage space (he had even brought two suitcases to check): he immediately pronounced it a “three-body trunk.” Thing is HUGE. Then sat in the back seat — masses of legroom. Seriously: I sat in the back, leaned against the backrest like we were driving, reached my arm forward, and could not touch the back of the driver’s seat. And he puts the driver’s seat pretty far back. I seriously think he could fit his 6’4″-6’5″ buddies in the back, easily. It has the most intuitive tech of any of the cars we drove — big integrated screen, and it’s a touch screen, so you don’t have to fiddle with little fiddly bits to make stuff happen. The only part that bugs me is that when you adjust your seat, the “seat adjustment” screen pops up to tell you what you’re doing, overriding whatever other screen you had up. Seats are nice, though — very comfy. Drive was also surprisingly good for a big car. Interestingly, the car only has a 4-cylinder turbo, but with the hybrid boost still gets 400 hp and over 450 lb-ft of torque. The thing that I really liked was that there was ZERO turbo lag — I tend to get carsick very easily, and that little delay between when you expect the car to move and when it actually moves, that sudden lurch, tends to set me off pretty quickly. But the hybrid assist means it gets going right off the line and accelerates very, very smoothly until the turbo takes over. Even DH, the king of the V-8 engine, was very impressed by the get-up-and-go. A little heavy on the steering (I think that’s when he could really tell it was a big car), but certainly tighter than the Buick. My only complaint (#firstworldproblems) is that we “only” got the heated seats, not the luxury package that also had massage seats. ;-) But we found a leftover 2018 that was a pretty great deal that had literally everything else we wanted and came with a massive and awesome stereo system that we’d never have sprung for if we’d ordered a new one and which was totally and completely worth it (OMG is that a sound system!).

    Personally, I liked the Panamera. ;-) Although the Volvo tech and sounds sytem beat it. I just love the way it drives — it feels like my car, and there is zero chance of carsickness at all the thing just hugs the road so tightly. But DH likes the bigger car/luxe feel (he used to drive a Grand Prix, after all. Voluntarily.). So I really couldn’t complain about paying half the price for a pretty awesome car. No other car was even close — even the Mercedes that I liked perfectly fine last week would have felt like settling after driving the Volvo. (Speaking of “sentences I never thought I’d say”).

  22. Oh: Minnesota is now off the table — they only came through with $5K/yr in scholarship (as compared to her cousin’s $25K/yr), and I was more interested in it than she was, so given that she has better options elsewhere, that one’s gone. Probably down to Olin (if she gets in) and IIT now; we haven’t heard from several others yet, but she really seems to be focusing in on IIT and happy with it as her second choice, and I’m certainly happy with the money and the location, so really, why bother too much? Although we’ll see how she likes Chicago winter. ;-)

    It goes very much to what DD said: IIT and Olin are making her feel wanted, actively recruiting her, staying in contact, etc. Whereas Wake and RPI are of the “we’ll let you know April 1” variety if you’re not willing to go binding early decision, so despite a very heavy press before the application deadline, they haven’t even sent her a decision yet. So someplace like IIT, which sent an acceptance and $$$ within 2 weeks, has a great opportunity to implant itself in her mind, giving her the chance to really think about/envision herself going there, with no mental competition from any of the other match/safety schools. As a result, it has very much become a frontrunner, to the point that Wake/RPI/Cal Poly are probably out before they’ve even decided whether to admit her. I might still make her visit again if she doesn’t get into Olin, but if she doesn’t want to, I’m not going to push very hard — and if she gets the full scholarship from IIT, I might not push at all. ;-)

  23. In real time the game was boring, but geekin’ it afterwards with the X’s and O’s it was a defensive masterpiece from Brion Flores (going to coach Dolphins) and Bill Belichick. And Josh McDanieks the offensive coordinator finally junked the game plan on the touchdown drive and had the players do some plays they had not practiced, but of course they are disciplined and smart enough to pull off. NFL would gave preferred Chiefs vs either Saints or Rams, Chiefs have poor defense and great offense, tons of points woukd have been scored, Audience is sick of the Pats, but tough noogies.

  24. Meme, my annoyance with the SB is that it was a great defensive performance and the offense barely did anything, but it’s still “Brady won another SB.” He didn’t win it, the defense did.

  25. LfB, congrats on the new car!

    “big integrated screen, and it’s a touch screen, so you don’t have to fiddle with little fiddly bits to make stuff happen.”

    I don’t like a touch screen on a car. I prefer knobs I can operate by feel, so I don’t have to look down, or look down as long as with a big touch screen, to do something. With our big touch screen, I feel like it’s a choice between waiting until I stop to do some things, or compromise safety.

    “we “only” got the heated seats, not the luxury package that also had massage seats.”

    Did the luxury package also include AC seats?

  26. @Finn: I’d also prefer knobs, but the Mercedes/Lexus had the screen you could control only with a controller down by the shifter, and both were hugely, hugely fidgety and difficult to manage. As in, I don’t know how you’d manage the Lexus while driving without running into something, other than sheer dumb luck.

    I believe the package we got has both heated and cooled seats; the luxury package would have added massage seats in front and heated seats in back.

    And yes, IIT is rolling admissions. What surprised me was the clunkiness of the application process elsewhere, at schools where I’d expect them to do it better. For ex., RPI sent all these emails making a big deal about a 2-week decision, but when you read the fine print, it’s only for early decision. They also offered to waive the application fee, but it turns out that applies only if you submit their own application through their own portal, and by the time DD had gone to the effort of doing everything for the Common App (like everyone else uses), starting from scratch on a different website was SO not going to happen. Generally, for a tech-focused school, I was incredibly unimpressed with the complete lack of user-friendliness; I mean, if you’re going to the effort of courting a kid with a “special” free application, you’d think they’d at least be able to do that through the Common App (like the distinctly non-techy small women’s liberal arts college did).

    The whole thing just left us feeling underwhelmed — sort of, gee, if they’re this non-user-friendly and inefficient when they’re trying to court you, how bad is it going to be if you actually decide to go? If she loved it there, sure, who cares? But it was definitely a lost opportunity to make a good impression with just a teensy bit more effort on their part — I mean, I’ve seen how positively DD has reacted to being actively recruited by IIT, so I know RPI could have done the same pretty easily.

  27. I clicked the link RMS posted, then clicked the “about” link on that page, and found this interesting:

    “*URM= African American, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaskan Native, two or more races, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander”

    In particular, the “two or more races” part was interesting. Tiger Mom’s kids would be, under this intepretation, URM. DS’ friend there would similarly be considered URM.

    I’m curious as to whether there are a lot of hapa kids there.

  28. All of the websites that my kid applied through were annoying. The absolute worst is CUNY, which kept dying when he went to submit. Keep in mind, though, that people who design beautiful sleek, user friendly websites are EXPENSIVE (I have a friend who does hotel booking site, and she makes a lot). If schools spend tons of money on sleek gorgeous websites, and armies of human admissions staff who do personal outreach to every applicant, that is money coming out of YOUR tuition.

  29. I am speaking to my friend that has the Volvo. The 90 and she is stuck in heavy traffic because she is driving home from work. She loves this car, and I hope your family also enjoys the car.

  30. @Mooshi: it’s not that it’s sleek/gorgeous. It’s basic things, like letting someone use an application fee waiver through the common app. If a non-techy liberal arts school could figure that out, I’d think a school that bills itself as one of the top tech schools in the country could manage that — and I’d certainly think it would be much more cost- and time-intensive to maintain your own separate application portal on your own website vs. just direct everyone to the common app!

    And I don’t mean armies of people chasing you down. Again, I mean basics, like a quick decision, being equally quick with the merit aid package (vs. MN, who gives you the admit decision right away and tells you to wait until 3/31 for the merit package), giving you a person to contact with questions and the like, and then periodic automated “come check this out!” emails. Really basic customer service stuff. It strikes me that the big boys are used to being the big boys and expecting people to come to them and deal with it, whereas the guys who are trying to move up the food chain are basically working a lot harder — and from what I’ve seen, that little bit of extra effort put into making the process seamless and easy and making people feel wanted is very effective.

  31. None of the schools that accepted DS actively recruited him in the way LfB suggests Olin and IIT are recruiting her DD.

    However, the local alumni groups for DS’ current school, and one other school that accepted him, hosted events here for DS and the other accepted students that were quite welcoming.

    Then the parents of one of DS’ classmates hosted the families of all the local kids heading to DS’ school.

  32. whereas the guys who are trying to move up the food chain are basically working a lot harder

    Avis is number two so they try harder :)

    DS isn’t the type of student that is going to be recruited, but it’s just basic courtesy to respond to someone asking a question. He wanted to know which science class he should take next year, and he really appreciated getting a personal reply rather than a link to the generic requirements list.

  33. “DS isn’t the type of student that is going to be recruited”

    My guess is he will be able to fill a pretty good sized box with all the recruiting material he receives, which will be in addition to all the recruiting emails he receives.

  34. But that’s nothing different than what everyone else is getting. I mean recruited in the sense that schools will see him as someone they want to make an extra effort to get.

  35. @DD — well, I don’t think (my) DD is being “specially” recruited; I just think IIT and Olin have pretty good systems for making kids feel wanted. I’m confident that there are many, many other kids getting the same emails. ;-)

    @Finn: Yes.

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