July 28, 2006

Notes from the road.

• Finally, a day without driving! Someone in the comments to the previous post said those last 200 miles must have been hard. Indeed. Not only had I been driving for more than 12 hours and not only is the highway busy and confusing, but it was dark and the streetlights were dimmed and the signs unlit. I know California has an energy problem, but is this where you want to cut corners?

• Another commenter wanted to know what was the highest gas total I got. I don't know. I really ignore the gas price problem at the personal level. I mean, it is what it is. I've already made my decision to drive, and I've got to fill the tank. I think the highest price I saw was $3.17. I paid $3.14 at a gas station at a remote spot on Route 50 where there hadn't been any gas station in -- I don't know -- a hundred miles. Where's the next gas station? You stop there and fill up if you're only half empty. The price isn't going to affect your decision, just like the condition of the bathroom isn't going to keep you from using it. Inside, the woman at the counter was strangely beautiful and well made-up and lots of people were quietly playing slot machines. The only people outside were four middle aged guys and a woman with huge Harleys. One of them came over to me and said, referring to my car: "Does that thing go vroom vroom?" I said it did. He said it was a nice car, so I said he had a nice bike. Is "bike" the wrong word? I'm picturing Bruce Willis correcting me: "It's a chopper, baby."

• Another commenter wrote: "the San Jose Grand Prix is set to happen this weekend in downtown SJ." Is that the vroom vroom I'm hearing from my hotel room? Oh, here's the track map. I guess my preference for a posh downtown hotel over the convention Hyatt has put me in a bizarre situation. How do I get out of here? Isn't this one of the least sympathy-inducing problems you've ever read about? Hell, I'm a blogger. The question is: Can I get some good pictures? Is this a trip about the BlogHer convention or a trip about driving? So far it's been a driving fest. I thought these next two days would be respite from driving, but the god Serendipity has other plans. The driving fest enters a new phase.

• I see that there was some kind of freak rainstorm back home in Madison. That link is to the local paper. Here's the story told by a blogger.


Laura Reynolds said...

Those of us from the west are used to the long drives, you really have no choice if you want to get places without taking forever. At least for the most part its easy driving. The Interstate System did a good job of avoiding scenic areas for the most part but it seems you reached a good compromise.

Dale B said...

"Is "bike" the wrong word?"

Bike is the right word, at least among most people who ride.

A chopper is a particular style of customized bike. It usually has a Harley engine with a heavily modified stock frame or, more commonly today, a full custom frame. The most prominent feature is a significantly extended front end.

Choppers are not very practical motorcycles. They are uncomfortable and the extended front end makes them harder to control. They are essentially self propelled sculpture in the form of a motorcycle.

Dwight said...

If you want to get anywhere this weekend, I recommend getting out of downtown San Jose now. Last year everything was messed up very badly, and even though officials hopefully learned from their mistakes it will still be a mess.

I can't recommend a place since I don't know where all you will be heading during the weekend, but there are nice places in Saunnyvale, Santa Clara, etc. as well as San Jose outside of downtown. Good luck!

Michael McNeil said...

Have a nice time in San Jose. Check out the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum while you're there. And there are some extremely nice redwood forests and beaches just over the Santa Cruz Mountains to the southwest....

Ann Althouse said...

The solution to the problem of driving to the other hotel.... light rail!

Blondie said...

A student took some great photos of the water at its worst here ... cars almost completely submerged.

I stayed dry by taking a longer lunch break at Union South and read the Isthmus and Onion until the "Madison Monsoon" let up to a drizzle for a quick sprint back to the office. I did have to jump some rivers rushing down Randall St. though.

Maxine Weiss said...

You got hit on by a guy on a Harley?

You could do a lot worse!

Peace, Maxine