Or why we find some conventions harder than others to get to…
Chattacon is as far as Atlanta, when you’re considering driving from where we are, in Spokane…and there aren’t roads between Here and some of There.
We’re going to be looking at Kansas City, which is not much closer, but maybe easier to reach. We’re not sure.
And of course my brother has moved back to OKC, where we have a lot of friends. OKC is easier than Dallas, where he was.
Curiously enough, it’s a fast trip from here to San Diego, but not so much so to Chattanooga or Atlanta or even Oklahoma City. It has to do with the dearth of good highways and resources.
If we go from here to San Diego, it’s an easy overnight in Winnemucca, Nevada, and on down behind the Sierra, in a day. If we go from here east, we’re good and easy going to Chicago via I-90, but there are a lot of right-angle turns instead of diagonals, which adds time and miles, and I-80, while an amazing trip during bird migration season (it’s on the Flyway) is not an easy route, lacking good stops at the points we need them, outside of staying in cities, which we don’t like to do: in one case we had an indication there was a motel, but you had to ask at the gas station up on I-80, and then somebody there would leave the gas station, and guide you to the motel some distance off-route, check you in, take your money, wishing you a good night, and there you are, no amenities, no telly, no supper, no breakfast, and no prospect of any in the vicinity: you sleep, you get up and move on, and there’s still no breakfast…that sort of lack of facilities.
So we know if you’re going that route, pack food, or plan to spend city prices.
And when you do get over to what should be I-35 south, it isn’t—in a dispute with the feds, Kansas has built its own extension, but it’s not quite what you expect at all times, in the way you can drive the federal system and kind of know what you can hope to have. Not so on this one. The last time we did it, they’d built barriers between us and any facilities we wanted in Wichita KS, and it was a heckuva long trek past Wichita to Stillwater OK, where we ended up staying, well off I-35. We were blind tired from that one.
There should be another interstate going down from I-90 to I-80 and down to I-40…hell, there OUGHT to be an I-70, and there is—it is, in fact, the oldest of the interstates, but in need—at least the last time we drove it—of some fixing. It heads the right direction, but flat and straight—not so much and facilities, again, we didn’t find at the times we needed them: maybe they work better if you start from KC or St Louis. And from the south, if you’d really like to drive to Joplin, say, and up to KC, instead of to St. Louis, the roads at least 10 years ago, the last time we tried it, will shake your teeth out, and there’s another long stretch of no-facilities. Same if you go south toward Arkansas, until you run into the complex around the country music center, and all of a sudden you’ve got roads, and mega-resorts and things clearly designed to part you from your money…
There are some black holes if you look at the interstate system: Texas has one, and the American West has some, where it regards mountains and deserts. And heaven knows whether they’ve EVER gotten that construction near Tupelo finished. It looked promising as a route to the south off 40. But as our interstates stand, there are great big holes, not always of transport, but real gaps in service, and detouring around them is a pita.
You get the same problem of connections trying to navigate between 40 and 80 in the west, or, Heaven help you, trying to get from below Dallas up to 40— Carlsbad, south of Roswell, is in the middle of a highway Bermuda Triangle.
And heaven help you if you need to get from the Grand Canyon up to 80. We tried that in the dark, ended up in a spur of a road in the pitch dark at the edge of a cliff in Cedar Breaks National Monument, and had to backtrack when we were tired and still motel-less. http://www.nps.gov/cebr/index.htm was the cliff. This was pre-GPS. So we haven’t done that again.
Colorado is really two states, one on one side of the Rockies, the other hard to reach from there—which you would kind of expect; and Utah has a central valley, getting into which can be interesting. There are routes through from Colorado, and the northern one ends up in Vernal, UT, where there are dinosaurs in reach. But once you’re in Vernal, you have to do some maneuvering to avoid going back to where you’ve been, if you’re trying to get to points north or south.
That’s generally the same trouble on the southern crossing of the Divide. There are wonderful things to see, but there’s often a quandary of how far do we have to backtrack, and, Can we do this as a loop?
Driving is great. If you’ve never seen Meteor Crater, you should. Carlsbad. Marvel Cave. Mammoth. Great Sand Dunes. Bryce Canyon. The Redwoods. Yellowstone. And the Rockies and the Uinta range…
If any of you are planning a driving trip in the West, we are full of information…we have generally been there or contemplated being there. We love doing it, but we have our favorite routes…and our less favorite ones.
I have not seen me in Levi’s 14 slimcut jeans since the 1980′s. Jane is also making progress.
That is all.
Which is a relief. And fewer killed than they feared: people just kept turning in new paperwork, apparently, and they kept adding instead of realizing it was the same unfortunates.
Weather rolled in here while we were at the gym—turned right cold all of a sudden! And strong wind.
Tomorrow we get the kittehs to the vet for shots. This is going to be interesting. Ever since puberty, Shu has been a terror…we are going to give him kitteh vet-issued tranquilizer for tomorrow so he’s a bit more sedate…please God!
And meanwhile one or the other of us has to be here to receive—yes! my new computer!
My poor bewildered brother called me to ask why a mutual friend believes I live in South Africa, namely in Kwazulu Natal…
I change my residence weekly to interesting places on FB…I am so put out with their endless marketing of info, I just figure, hey, let them have something more colorful than Spokane…I think my current Location is Beijing. At one point it was Ulan Bator, which is an interesting city, capital of Mongolia…
It gets people to look up these interesting places and learn things!
They’ve been hit again by a terrible, massive tornado.
Jane and I were in OKC for the 1999 outbreak, and this one followed almost the identical track, except that it missed Tinker. This is a terrible mess.
Thinking of you, friends and relations in OKlahoma.
I don’t always outline quite as tightly as this, but seeing spring looming with conventions (Miscon in Montana, Soonercon in Oklahoma, plus a visit with: my brother, and Lynn, and seeing old friends–) there’s ample room for distraction. I also volunteered us to get my brother’s new koi pond into shape…
So I decided I’d better go that extra step; and I’m also using another technique which can be helpful in getting moving: since the Foreigner books are written with two viewpoints, I’m writing from only Bren’s view on the startup, and then on the edit, filling in Cajeiri’s. This means a re-edit to get the two pulled into harmony. But a re-edit is nothing, compared to struggling with a shifting mindset when you’re on the road a great deal.
And an outline is a good thing.
This is one of the prettiest seasons…the front yard is irises, lots of irises….we’re going to be digging up large yellow and purple clumps and setting them out on the roadside with Free on them so we have room to plant some of our other colors as they multiply.
And the red and white tree peonies have done their thing and are shedding petals, and now the pink tree peony is blooming, with the bush peonies coming close behind…
Azaleas and rhodies are in bloom: we have sunset colors, plus one red, and one pink… The magnolias have done their bloom, but the dogwood is out, such as it is: a very young tree.
Not forgetting the red hawthorne, which stand about 20 feet tall and arches over our fence: this is how it blooms.
I now get quite a few from China.
Loving the software that now ties them in a bundle for me. Makes it so much easier. Every morning, from 5 to 15, just bundled up and waiting.
If you are a legitimate user who has found difficulty registering, do write to me. I can make mistakes, because this requires a glance-over; but generally someone whose screen name is appiaiuoqtoose is really, really suspect.
Our own is doing right well.
This would be a sad thing…though they’ve already gained years of data.
We need another, more potent Kepler. ASAP.
I don’t need quite the workhorse Jane does, because mine doesn’t do graphics so often, and words ARE mostly what I do. But the one thing I MUST have above any other consideration is my trackpoint mouse, that little button that sits between GH and B, and with which I can perform anything anybody can do with a mouse except scroll. It’s so automatic, so -keystroke- oriented that were I to lose it, I’d been months learning how to cope with a mouse or touchpad; and alas, since childhood I’ve had a tremor in my right hand that increases in measure as I attempt to fine down a point. Curiously enough I fence and do archery righthanded and have no trouble aiming; I can shoot righthanded or with both hands (shotgun). I do righthanded cursive. And I can model clay or any such thing. It’s purely targeting a mouse that drives me bananas.
I suspect its a neurological defect matched to the neurological problem with my right eye’s tracking—same side, same issue: my world curves like a space station when I look to the far edge, if I don’t struggle to control it. And the right hand does exactly the same thing: it goes where it thinks the target is, but my personal space warps visually, and the hand shakes. Ptui. It’s a bi-otch. I had one surgery, aged 10, trying to sort it out, but it didn’t correct the problem. I’m used to it. But no way in hades do I want to change pointing devices and cope with that problem every time I use a mouse, because the company decided to phase out the trackpoint.
Its usage has been getting sparser at Dell, and Dell and IBM are the only two that offer same. I’ve been with Dell over 15 years, and know how to get good service out of them if it comes to that.
So…I’ll have another Latitude, a machine that’s the son of the current model, only with twice the hard drive (500 gig: Jane calls that scarily small)—ha! not for me!, an Intel i5 instead of 2, and enough room for memory to exceed 4 gig if I someday need to; with the usual stuff, a decent 15.5 screen, a keyboard I’m way used to, in my sleep, plus an HDMI jack so Jane and I can both display on the big screen and discuss stuff. This can come in handy.
It’ll arrive end-of-May-ish. And then I’ll have to bite the bullet and install 10,000 programs. The good news is—we have Carbonite backup, so data movement is not going to be that bad. And this current machine is still working, which will let me take it where I don’t want to take the other. Won’t look any different…except I may splurge and get a ‘skin’ for it, something anime and outrageous.