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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
July 31, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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July 31, 1997

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10 Thursday, July 31, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Danger! Construction Zone! There's quite a story to be told along U.S. Highway 95 between Tonopah and Beatty. There is a 15-mile construction zone that starts just south of Goldfield. As you approach the zone there are quite a number of signs. The first sign reads "Construc- tion Zone Ahead." It's a big blaze orange sign that can't be missed. Just beyond that another reads, "30 Minute Delay Possible." Further down the road, "Your Tax Dollars at Work," with a description of the work being done. As you continue down the road you'll pass many other signs off to the right, "Uneven Pavement," "Bump," "Prepare to Stop," "Flagman Ahead." The very same signs will be found for northbound travelers about five miles south of the Cottontail Ranch. One evening, around 7:00 p.m., I was driving north to Tonopah and came across the signs. Somewhat surprised the crew was still working (they're usually wrapped up for the day by then) I slowed down and stopped at the "flagman's" point. I was the first car to be stopped so I rolled down the window and began a pleasant conversa- tion with the lady who had been standing out on the pavement for over 12-hours. Just chit-chat. After a few minutes a 18-wheeler pulled up behind me and a rather "robust" young lady hopped out of the cab and stormed up to the flagman. "What the hell is the problem here!?" the truck driving lady demanded. "It's a construc- tion zone," replied the flag lady. "How #*?+@ long is this going to take!?" the driver screamed. "About 15-minutes, mare," was the reply. "Hmph!" the driver snorted and turned back to her truck. After she had gotten back into the cab of her truck the flagman looked at me and said, "Wonder what she thought all those signs meant?" I busted out laughing and we started our conversation where we had left off. Traffic began piling up behind me and within a few NORTHERN EXPOSURE by Dave Downing --- Hign way 95 experiences to intervene. When he couldn't handle the situation she finally came back to the driver giving them trouble and flat told him to, "pack his bags and get the heck outta here." On another occasion she was working the road crew near Alamo when a brand new fancy sports car approached. The driver stopped, hopped out of his car and approached her. He was wearing a fancy suit and, she was to learn, was heading for McCarran Airport to catch a flight. "He was the most obnoxious person I've ever met," she said. This guy called her every name in the book and it all started with four-letter words. Finally he demanded to know if there was a route around the construction zone. "Yes sir, there is," she responded to him. She told him to go back north about a mile or so, turn left and follow the "Y" to the left. At the next stop sign, turn left. At the next stop sign, make another left and he'd be around the con- struction zone and on his way to Las Vegas again. The guy got back in his super-dooper sports car, turned around, headed north and she never saw him again. She had routed him through Rachael to Warm Springs, left to Tonopah and left to Vegas. About an eight-hour trip. "He asked for a route around the zone, he didn't ask me how long it would take," she snickered. We never did exchange names, I wouldn't give hers to you anyway. It's a rare experience when you're able to be polite, professional, and answer the questions of a posi- tively obnoxious person -- and get even at the same time. I was in laughter all the way back to Tonopah. The construction crew will be there until sometime in September. Next time you drive through, why not give 'em a little toot on the horn and a wave? minutes a fellow I would guess to be in his 30s came up to the flagman and asked, "How long is this going to take?" The flagman replied, "About another 10-15 minutes sir." Well, this fellow looked around then shook his head and said, "I guess that'll be all right." After he left I questioned, "what if it wasn't all right? Would he go back, wherever 'back' might be?" Again we picked up our pleasant conversation. Again we were inter- rupted. A car some ways back did things differently. A kid about 10-years-old was sent to the flagman to find out how long this was going to take. After learning it would be another 10-minutes he said something to the effect that his father wasn't going to like this. "Good gosh," I said tO the flagman. "Is this normal? How much of this do you take?" This nice lady began to tell me some of her experiences "on the line." She's been cussed at, spit at, yelled at and darn near into fights. On one occasion a line supervisor had More bad science on the smoking scene by Richard Reul The headline on the Associated Press article read, " Parental smoking blamed for 6200 child deaths per year." The story relates to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The breakdown given is as follows: Low Birth Weight Babies 2,800 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome 2,000 Respiratory Disease 1,100 Asthma 14 Burns and Fires 250 Low birth weight babies are admittedly frail and vul- nerable to many ills, but there is nothing to link such offspring to smoking by a pregnant mother. Fetal alcohol syndrome and/or poor nutrition of the mother are far more reasonable to blame. The cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome remains a mystery. To my knowledge, no other studies have attributed it to the nicotine content of the mother's blood. An extensive study by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) found no increased risk of lung cancer associated with childhood passive smoke exposure. The secondary smoke was so diluted that it was roughly equivalent to inhaling less than 1/100 of a cigarette per day. Further, the unstable compounds in the original smoke had changed into ones far less harmful. Respiratory disease from sidestream smoke is therefore most unlikely. Asthma is an allergic reaction. A few, very rare individuals are allergic to tobacco smoke. Moreover asthma, while debilitating, sel- Changing Patterns ii,!00!iiii ii!:ii:'ili00iZi00::i00i00i0000i:' ....... dom kills. It is true that some careless cigarette smokers cause fires. This comes under the heading of human stupidity and should not be the subject of a scientific study. It is possible that the details of this study will substanti- ate the conclusions. However, on the basis of the published data, it appears to be another attempt to politicize data and fuel the anti-smoking hysteria. In the AP article, a related study published in the Ar- chives of General Psychiatry is also quoted. This relates to a syndrome called "Conduct Disorder." Apparently it ap- plies to "boys" who frequently and persistently lie, set fires, steal, vandalize property and/or exhibit physical cruelty and sexual aggression. It allegedly begins much earlier than "normal" juvenile delinquency and is much more severe. A team of psychiatrists studied 177 boys, age 7-12, who had been referred to clinics in Pennsylvania and Georgia. Of these, 105 were "diagnosed" with the disorder..The mothers were divided into three groups, those who had smoked a half pack or more of cigarettes per day during pregnancy, those who had smoked less than a half pack per day, and the nonsmokers. Of the 42 mothers in the first group, 80 percent of their sons had the disorder. Of the 23 mothers in the second group, 70 percent of their sons were afflicted. In the final group of 112 moms, 50 percent of their sons had the disorder. The errors in this study should be painfully clear. "Conduct Disorder" is an invented syndrome and a "diag- nosis" is meaningless. All 177 boys in the sample exhib- ited similar characteristics and 63-percent were born to nonsmoking mothers. They were in no way representative of the total population of boys in that age group. Both of these studies illustrate the lengths to which the anti, smoking militants will go to "prove" their case. Be aware! When you compliment someone. ..be careful I guess I ain't never gonna learn to keep my mouth shut or at least think about what I was going to say. But I guess that in this case I'm like a lot of others. What brought up this bit of self-confession was that a while back I wrote about the fact that after a certain age, which some will never admit to, the average woman could expect to gain a few pounds. Anyway, not thinking I called Ditto, [he brides attention to this article. She read it and kinda got a funny look on her face. So here's where I goofed. Without thinking, I blurted out "That's all right, honey, you're way above average." This happened quite awhile ago. But I still notice that whenever I use the word average in one of our rare conversations she still gets a strained look. An elephant's supposedly long memory isn't anything compared to the average females and they weigh a lot more, or at least some of them do. What got me in trouble this time, was a common expres- sion most people have probably used in describing the efforts they have expended in the course of performing some of what they thought was labor. The saying goes, with Slim Sez by Slim Sirnes some minor changes, words some- thing to the effect that the author is bushed, beat, wore out, etc, as they have worked their off. Fill in the blank with the word or words you have used in describing the body part in- volved. So what happened Was, Ditto came in from the yard- garden where she had been pending time doing various things with all the labor-saving devices I keep buying for her and uttered the afore mentioned comment in ladylike terms. I shoulda kept my mouth shut or ifI did open it shoulda just said, "You're doing a wonderful job dear. The Yard is certainly looking great!" Maybe, "You certainly look beautiful and sexy in them tight designer bib overalls." But no, I had to come out with, "Gosh dear, you must have amazing regenerative powers as the body part you are referring to is just as big as ever and maybe even bigger." Maybe someday a scientist will write a paper on size reduction through activity. Right now I would be interested on a paper on, "Why people say the dumb things they say." You know, consid- ering the circumstances I think this might be a good time to get out of the house for a few hours or maybe even days. Have a good one. D