1. On 2 overpasses to I-80, there were groups of protesters with signs calling attention to the Obama scandals: Benghazi, IRS, Fast & Furious. I saw at least one Gadsden flag.
2. "The corn and soybean crops looked really good. I didn't see any poor crops at all." So says Meade when I ask him about the highlights of the drive. Some people driving from Nebraska to Madison might say "Ugh, corn. Too much corn. When will we get past all this corn?" But Meade is not one of those people. His father was in the popcorn seed business.
3. Mostly looking for coffee, we got off the interstate in Williamsburg, Iowa, where there's a big outlet store shopping center. Meade wanted to go into Lids to get some baseball hats, so I went into the Coach store and was checking out with a book bag and at the next cash register, there was a woman who was quickly replaced by a man who said she didn't speak English. The older woman behind the counter plied him with cheerful questions including "Where are you from?" He said "Iraq," but he said it in his Iraqi accent, which is nothing like eye-RACK or even eee-ROCK. It was more eee-RAHqqq. The woman said she wasn't familiar with that country, and the man repeated the name, perhaps wondering whether this woman had not heard of the events of the last 10 years. I didn't want to intrude. I cast a glance at her and then at him, as they kept going back and forth, and it was obvious she was never going to hear the word he was saying as "Iraq." Finally, I said to her, "He's saying eee-ROCK," and of course, she knew Iraq. To him, I said, sympathetically, "It was the way you said it."
4. Meade's team the Cincinnati Reds were playing the Milwaukee Brewers, so Meade listened to the whole game on the satellite radio as he drove, and Meade didn't see that I'd put in the earbuds and was listening to an audiobook (which happened to be "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim"). I laughed and he said "I wonder if they cooked up sushi?" because he thought I'd laughed at the baseball announcer who'd just said that the people coming to the Miller Park were tailgating and "cooking up every kind of food imaginable." Apparently, my laugh was perfectly synchronized. Meade's reference to sushi harkened back to lunch, wherein I ate this: