Saturday, September 24, 2005

Update 2

The final update. I was hoping to have all these progress reports of how things were coming along my journey. Well, I am home now. So let me fill you in on some of the highlights.

After my delay in Chicago, I arrived in Norfolk, VA. And only 7 hours late! BAH! Thankfully, the guy I was meeting was flexible and was able to pick me up at the airport. He and his wife took me to their townhouse in Norfolk, and there she was....the reason for the trip...the, no (actually used) xB. Yay. reality sets in. I am 1200 miles from home, I got a half a tank of gas, and I'm not wearing sunglasses. Hit it!

I took off to the north with only a car, a few clothes, a laptop, a pda, an atlas, my wallet, some mapquest maps (ok maybe I had a lot of stuff). My first fun experience was driving under what I think was Chesapeake bay. Yeah, there is a tunnle bridge (I think that's what they call it). Pretty neat.

From there, I drove up around Richmond, on by DC, and up into Pennsylvania. Ok. I must pause here and focus on Pennsylvania. I HATE Pennsylvania. I'm sure it's a beautiful state IN THE DAYTIME!!!! But the only two times I've driven through it, it has been night, and there has been construction. Needless to say, I found a nice rest area complex and parked the xB to catch some shut-eye. I think it was somewhere between 2:00 and 3:00 am...I'm not sure...I was feeling rather tired at the moment.

Fast forward. I wake up at 6:00 and look out the window...Burger King. Yes. Grab a bite to eat, and back on the road.

From here on out, it's nothing but drive and stop for gas/food, drive, stop for gas/food. Repeat that cycle for the next 14 hours. I arrived home around 8:00 pm. Safe and sound.

Update 1

My dad dropped me off at the airport and all was well. Besides a little post-flu queasiness, I was feeling pretty good.

Flight into Chicago was fine, arrived on time, plenty of time to make my connecting flight to Cleveland. In fact, the gate was just across from our arrival gate.

Flight to Cleveland boards on time, but then, it happens. All people please de-plane. Maintenance says that the aircraft has issues, we will update you in a half hour. Moans and groans can be heard throughout the plane cabin. But then, the startling news starts to cross my ears. "I've been trying to get to Cleveland since Tuesday", says one lady. Another group of passengers laments that they were supposed to fly out last night and that flight was cancelled too. This is not sounding good.

I deplane and wait in line at the ticket counter to find out what I'm supposed to do. If the plane leaves a half hour late, I can make my connection in Cleveland. If the flight cancels, not a chance. After listening to other people complain and take their frustrations out at the lady at the ticket counter, I feel pretty calm and explain to her my situation. She is more that willing to help me get to my destination. As I am talking to her, she gets news on her monitor that the flight is cancelled. She schedules me for a direct flight, bypassing Cleveland. However, that flight doesn't leave until 3:36 pm. And arrives at 6:46 pm. That's 5 and a half hours later than I was supposed to arrive. Oh well. What can you do? I am at the mercy of the airlines at this point. If, for some reason, the flight direct cancels, I'm not sure what I will do.

So, now I have 7 hours to hang out at Chicago O'hare. I don't have any DVD's, my cell battery is almost dead. So, maybe I will do some INSTE or play solitaire.

End Update.

updates to follow

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Road Trip

I'll be taking a road trip this weekend. Just me and the open road. I plan on taking my laptop with me so that I can highjack internet along the way to update my blog. We'll just have to see how well that goes.

It will be a long, lonely, and boring trip. But hey, at least no potty breaks every 15 minutes. LOL. I should be able to make good time, and I'm looking forward to calculating out the gas mileage on my PDA. (Does that make me a geek?)

The total trip distance is about 1200 miles. I figure if I can average 30 mpg, thats only 40 gallons of gas at an estimated $3/gal. $120. Not bad. Our van cost $90 the last time we filled it and we only get about 360 miles on a tank when we drive locally.

Time wise, if I can average 60 miles an hour (probably not possible), then I'll be looking at 1200 minutes of driving time or 20 hours. Ouch. But it should be fun. I'll get to see parts of America, that I normally wouldn't see. Get to experience the fun of spontaneous travel with all the unforseen issues that can arise. Who knows what people, places, and things lie ahead?

Anyway, this is just the opener to my Road Trip adventure. I'll blog an entry just before I fly out. Then, hopefully will follow with regular updates.

Friday, September 16, 2005

You have GOT to be kidding me...

In the news:

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian man built up a 40,000-volt charge of static electricity in his clothes as he walked, leaving a trail of scorched carpet and molten plastic and forcing firefighters to evacuate a building.

Frank Clewer, who was wearing a woolen shirt and a synthetic nylon jacket, was oblivious to the growing electrical current that was building up as his clothes rubbed together.

When he walked into a building in the country town of Warrnambool in the southern state of Victoria Thursday, the electrical charge ignited the carpet.

"It sounded almost like a firecracker," Clewer told Australian radio Friday.

"Within about five minutes, the carpet started to erupt."

Employees, unsure of the cause of the mysterious burning smell, telephoned firefighters who evacuated the building.

"There were several scorch marks in the carpet, and we could hear a cracking noise -- a bit like a whip -- both inside and outside the building," said fire official Henry Barton.

Firefighters cut electricity to the building thinking the burns might have been caused by a power surge.

Clewer, who after leaving the building discovered he had scorched a piece of plastic on the floor of his car, returned to seek help from the firefighters.

"We tested his clothes with a static electricity field meter and measured a current of 40,000 volts, which is one step shy of spontaneous combustion, where his clothes would have self-ignited," Barton said.

"I've been firefighting for over 35 years and I've never come across anything like this," he said.

Firefighters took possession of Clewer's jacket and stored it in the courtyard of the fire station, where it continued to give off a strong electrical current.

David Gosden, a senior lecturer in electrical engineering at Sydney University, told Reuters that for a static electricity charge to ignite a carpet, conditions had to be perfect.

"Static electricity is a similar mechanism to lightning, where you have clouds rubbing together and then a spark generated by very dry air above them," said Gosden.

Too funny. I can just picture some oblivious man walking around as stuff behind him starts igniting.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Crazy-Go-Nuts University

My wife had a fun day yesterday. You can read about it here.

Friday, September 09, 2005

When all is said and done.

Well, I didn't maintain my daily blog, to the disapproval of my wife. I can only say that I tried. Maybe next time I will go three days in a row.

"When all is said and done.
When all is gone and still just begun
I will be asked
What I did with my time and why
Can you be my alibi"

Love that song. Alibi, by Blindside.

But it does have so much truth to it. What do we do with our time? What really does matter when all is said and done?

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Daily Blog

My wife thinks that a blog has to be updated daily. This coming from one who doesn't have a blog of her own! Sheesh, the nerve.

Well, I am trying to fullfill her wishes. Problem is, I don't like to write if I don't have anything to write about. Like now...I'm writing about writing. Oi.

Let's see, I could launch into a detailed analysis of the physical, spiritual, and moral conditions that face folks in the aftermath of Katrina.

I could write a ditty about some spiritual or life lesson that I have been taught recently.

However, I think that I will opt for something


There you have it folks. Two days in a row. Go me.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Behemoth Burritos

You've got Chipotle's with their witty foil slogans.

You've got Pancheros with

And you've got Pablo's...the winner.

Pablo's is a local burrito shop that serves, as it's specialty, giant burritos. Today I had my standard Chicken burrito, rice, pinto beans, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo salsa, and specialty salsa. End weight: 2lbs 14oz. Or at least that's what it felt like when I carried it back to my cube. I only had to switch carrying arms twice. With a rest to catch my breath at the half way point.

But now that it resides in the bottom of my stomach, I'm gonna say it was an easy 3lbs. Minimum. I'd like to see how far I could run with this lump of Mexicana goodness digesting in my innards. I bet I will be comatose by afternoon break.

I don't think I need to eat for a good three days or so. We could use two or three of these to patch the broken levees in New Orleans. Who needs a 15000 pound sandbag, when you can just plop a Pablo's burrito or two in there?

My land. I need to start a Pablo's Burrito Anonymous organization. PBA. Nah, that would tick the Pro Bowler's Association off.

Anyway, one of these days, I'll have the discipline to not finish a Pablo's burrito.

Editor's Note: During the creation of the above blog entry, the author was approached by a fellow employee who, having malicious intent, was armed with a bucket of chocolate chip cookies. Upon hearing the author's plea to politely decline, and the unfortunate circumstances that the author now finds himself in, the perpetrator proceeded to say, and I quote, "Just take two then."