Sol Invictus == Saturnalia == Christmas, you get the idea here. Many names:
Here’s the log so far:
Day 1: 12/23/2010
The holiday trip to North Carolina went well. Only took about 12 hours to drive it which in my book is a highly doable trip.
When I picked the car up I did the old sweep of the FM dial and stopped at 91.3FM, WDOM. That’s the station I did three years at during the 1980’s. A very fun time in my life, even though I was making next to squat at the time. It was the people I worked with, and the friends I hung out with. Anyhow they were running a rather funny comedian. His language was pretty raw. It isn’t that I’m a prude but pissed because we could never say “Shit” or “Fuck” on the radio when I was there but this guy could.
We got all the way to Delaware without issue. Little Miss Navigator kept us true, avoided the George Washington bridge this time, even avoided the tour through NYC. Instead we got a brief tour through Baltimore around the U-MD Medical center. Very impressive, reminds me of the Lifespan group in Providence. The other tour was a slightly longer one through the less visitor friendly area of Washington, DC.
You’ll recall from above I said we got through without issue all the way to Delaware. But going through the DelMarVa area, once we got a little bit deeper into VA or Virginia, we hit a close to 25 mile long traffic jam whose cause when we finally crept the 25 miles in over 2 hours, closer to 2 hours and 23 minutes was determined to be a rather crumpled vehicle being loaded onto a flatbed.
If you’re the mathematical type, it calculates out to 5.72 minutes to the mile or 10MPH on average. The posted speed limit 65MPH signs were a cruel joke.
Speaking of speed limits I note parts of North Carolina route 17 are now posted at 70MPH! TO make up time I was doing about 85MPH. But the annoying thing is the communities around Hertford where they drop the limit down to 45MPH or so. No reason really, just because they can, and because it drives up ticket revenue.
Tolls were very reasonable, $9 in NJ, $3 and $4 and $2, so all total $18 coming down. I set Miss Navigator to avoid most tolls but it can’t avoid all.
The car was a 2009 Hyundai Sonata. Decent enough vehicle but rattled quite a bit. For a car about a year old and with 38K on the odometer I’d have expected better. It rattles in a peculiar way. And the Auxilliary port is hidden under the arm-rest. That one threw me, I saw the AUX button on the radio but couldn’t find the input. Something told me to open the arm-rest and sure enough in there I find a 12V port, a USB charing port, and the auxilliary input. One thing I will give Hyundai, they include satellite radio.
And on a mileage note, I burned a tank and a half of gas on the way down so it got 30MPG. I liked the Chevy Cobalt better, it got 37MPG but they’re phasing those out of the rental market.
We note the major development in the area seems to be the addition of a new prison and the current construction of a new Federal court house.
Prisons and justice seem to be the biggest growth industry in the United States right now, a statistic that really concerns me greatly. We’re already becoming enough of a police state that I have to worry about what I say sometimes.
But then the Italian side takes over and I’m going to say it anyway.
Day 2: 12/24/2010
In a way I kind of like this brief hiatus from the city. But I could not, I repeat, NOT live here on a full time basis. It’s a pretty area. Lots of open land, pretty pine trees, and it’s got that southern vibe to it. But I do not want to live here. It’s just nice to visit.
The biggest withdrawal is the lack of a net connectivity. Even my phone loses all 3G services like web, email, navigation, etc. It’s just voice and text down here. But it isn’t a complete lack; at least my brother and sister in law have a wifi net in their place.
That is how I’m posting this, on a borrowed net connection. And a little secret, I pre-composed this in a text editor. That way I can add all the details and then just copy/paste to post.
As to how I’m dealing with the net withdrawal, I preloaded my laptop with a number of E-Books from Cory Doctorow and all the episodes of “An Idiot Abroad” and “Great British Menu”
Christmas Eve was cool! It was myself, Keyron, my MIL, BIL, and SIL and the kids of the latter. My little nephew is a little over two and he’s a really sweet kid. When he sees me he puts his arms up and I picked him up. He is so adorable.
And I have admit, my nephew Kamorre is fascinated by me. Maybe it’s because I play with him, or I’ve been told he has a fascination with facial hair. But he’s cute as all hell and he has an infectious laugh. I hope he keeps that ability to laugh as he gets older.
And the night of Christmas day, the kids and the family returned to open gifts. Kamorre was captivated by the Mega Blocks we’d gotten for him, that is until he opened up the laughing monkey.
The laughing monkey is a cool toy. It laughs and rolls around on the floor at the slightest provocation. In reality the provocation is when it’s light sensor is interrupted.
The girls like the nail polish sets we got them but the books seem to have fallen flat. That’s ok, just having them might inspire them to read.
Day 3: 12/25/2010
Kamorre is a natural clown. He can amuse himself with a rubber bouncy ball that’s nearly as big as he is.
Snow is predicted. Snow! What the hell, I leave the northeast to avoid snow and have to contend with it here!
Day 4: 12/26/2010
Yeah, there’s snow on the ground, about 8 inches of the crap. We’re all bunked here because in North Carolina they don’t have a plethora of plows to go around and clear EVERYTHING. I’ll never complain about snow removal in my city again. Yeah right.
Got everyone here, Cory and Michelle (BIL/SIL) and their three kids Janiya, Janarria, and Kamorre. Then there’s my MIL and FIL.
Day 5: 12/27/2010
A little dash through the snow to get to the supermarket. It isn’t bad, US 17 is clear down to pavement. But I’ll say one thing, everybody is doing 10MPH. They just don’t know to handle snow.