Random Acts of Linkage #64 & Road Report #4 (Final)

Storm Chasers We snapped this pic through the windshield of the car as we were leaving Kansas City northbound on I-29 this past Wednesday. I said to my wife as I pulled up alongside this guy, “It can’t be a good thing that we’re headed the same direction as he is, can it?” We passed him and forgot about it until we pulled in at Sioux Falls that evening, when as I alluded the other day, we discovered we had been in the neighbourhood of some tornadoes touching down. I think we must have passed through the general area in Iowa about an hour before they hit. We had a brief bout of heavy rain, but that was about it.

There’s No Place Like Home

noplacelikehome.jpg We’re finally home after our extensive trip from Winnipeg through Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, and points en route. We were quite close to some of the storms this week on our way home up I-29, but managed to keep clear of any mayhem or incident. We celebrated weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays, swam in the Atlantic Ocean, did the Disney trek and met the ‘toons, rode the rides, toured museums and aquariums, saw fireworks and laser shows, sampled great food and beverages, sat down at the edge of the Mississippi, visited notable grave sites, overnighted with relatives, in hotels, and in sharecroppers’ shacks, made pilgrimage on the trail of the blues. It’s the longest trip we can recall taking together, and we’re ready to be home, where we have finally landed safe and sound.

And there’s no place like home.

Random Acts of Linkage #63 & Road Trip Report #3

stone_mountain.jpg I’ve obviously not had a lot of time to read or blog this week, but I gathered a couple of items up to make some form of stab at my regular list o’ links.

Riddles, though… I’ve got some of those, and bad ones:

  • Where does a cat sleep? On a caterpillow.
  • How do snails settle an argument? They slug it out.
  • How does a ghost fix a rip in his sheet? With a pumpkin patch.
  • Why was King Tutankhamen the best-dressed pharaoh? Because he always showed up in cuneiform.
  • What do you call four matadors in quicksand? Quatro sinko.

Okay, with apologies for what you’ve read so far (if you’re still reading), on to the linkage.

Saved by an Armadillo

armadillo.jpg I had some trouble getting psyched up for the road trip we’re currently on, a point which is in no small way related to my recent disclosure about my present mental status. Noise is bothersome to me, and nonsensical noise or a general loud din is quite aggravating for me to endure. Sometimes I just slowly begin to feel my grasp on clear-mindedness slipping away, leaving me feeling dazed and confused, unable to answer a question. Whether or not this is an exaggeration, it describes the feeling accurately. My kids have been great about the long hours of driving, but everyone has their limits… and when everyone in the car reaches their limits, it’s not pretty. The kids get ornery and start bickering or they get giddy and emit no end of meaningless babble and sound effects, which waft from the back seat to my increasingly overloaded circuits. Bad combination, and on the road there’s no place to hide like there is at home. Sometimes they’re just being kids, after all.

East Bound and Down

Trip Map Well, this morning very early, we are off on a road trip of some 8,000KM from Winnipeg down to Florida where we’ll spend a day or two at a beach on the Atlantic Ocean before heading down to Disney World for a few more days. After that, we’re back to Gainesville, GA for a family wedding, which was the excuse to undertake this whole thing in the first place. After about a week with relatives, we’ll head for the Mississippi Delta and spend about a day and a half touring the birthplace of the blues before heading back home. Highway 61, the Blues Highway…

Packed & Ready!

suitcases.jpg My kids have been counting off the days for the past two months, and it seems like yesterday the number dropped into the single digits. This morning I was informed how many hours until our vacation… for which we leave at 5:00AM, just a few short hours from now. In fact, about 6 hours. I should be sleeping, but I’m doing the last bits of packing and tying off loose ends now, paying ahead bills that come due while we’re away, all that fun stuff. The car is about half loaded with our stuff, the wife and kids are packed and sleeping already — it’s just me that wasn’t quite organized days in advance. Oh well. I’m finally starting to look forward to being on the road and having a break. Don’t worry, there will still be fresh content here while I’m gone, and I’ll be checking in regularly. For now though, I’ve got to go and select some books to take along.

Open Thread: “Road Songs”

openroad.jpg Music is a powerful force, and a good clean source of fun. Yesterday afternoon I was listening to a couple of friends doing a jam-rehearsal while I recommended certain selections the could add to their repertoire for violin+guitar & one voice. One of the guys is somewhat (in)famous for rewriting song lyrics, and at my prompting the added his classic “With or Without Shoes” to their playlist, done to the tune of a certain well-known U2 song. This is also the guy fond of stand-up guitar comedy (or whatever one might call it) and has done a whole routine around an infomercial for the collection, “Dan Fogelberg sings every song ever written.” It’s a little scary when he gets going — but not quite so scary as what he produced spontaneously yesterday afternoon when I suggested a tribute to aging Boomers… AC/DC as elevator music.

Trips to the Mailbox

mcalpine_pccover.gif I was busy working on a whole different post (a CD review) when my wife showed up in my study with her hands behind her back, saying, “I have two pieces of good news, which do you want first? Pick a hand!” I chose my left, her right. A cheque (yes, that’s the correct spelling here in Canada!) for $106, a rebate on our annual auto insurance premium. Nice! See, we have this big road trip coming up, so we’ve got to set aside as much spare cash as we can to cover it, along with the anticipated activities along the way. Yesterday I paid a $1,260 car repair bill, and last week it was four new tires, over $400 installed despite the really good sale price we got. Oh, and then there’s the $200 fine we got for not licensing our dog this year or last. An animal control officer came right to the door and served us a summons… and if you’re talking to my wife, do not get her started on this one! We also have to get the dog his shots and pay for last year’s license plus this year. Bad timing for all these extra expenses, to be sure. Oh, and the house insurance bill is coming up. We met up with the in-laws after picking up the car at the garage yesterday, and over ice cream they presented each of my daughters with an American $100 bill for their trip… their faces lit up pretty brightly! There were two additional $100 bills for my wife and me as well, so that’s a really nice send-off.