Two posts in as many days!?!Yeah, I made it around to another post tonight, just as promised.
I'm not feeling completely verbose tonight, so it'll likely not be as elaborate as it might have been. I don't imagine I'll hear any complaints, though.
the original trip in 1999.
Basically, I needed to make a 'day trip' to a client of ours in a city West of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Trusty Mapquest referred to the drive as about 6.5 hours one way. It was likely to be a very long day.
So, after finally getting to bed around 12:30-1am the night before, I arose at 5:30 and got ready to leave for Canada. I packed a lunch and got some other things ready (including an overnight bag, just in case), and left the house at exactly 7am. It had lightly snowed (about a half inch or so) the night before, but I was driving out of the snow area, so the first half-hour of the trip was kinda slow. But, I've certainly driven in worse, and the ice wasn't too bad.
Anyway, my first stop was in Grand Forks, ND, after about 200 miles or so of driving. I stopped to fill up with gas (just because I wanted to avoid buying gas in Canada due to the increased price) and stretched. I continued North and reached the border crossing at Pembina, ND at 11:06. After a brief stint at the border, they finally thought I had enough information to let me into Canada. Before I left the border, I stopped to eat a sandwich and whatnot...and then continued towards Winnipeg.
Once I reached Winnipeg, I headed West and reached my destination about 1:15pm -- not too bad time.
The guys I dealt with there were quite nice and the whole thing went well (which was good, due to the problem I had to fix). Without going to great detail about the day's activities, I left their office around 9:30pm and was determined to get as far as I could before I stopped for the night or took a nap. I reached the border crossing (again at Pembina) at 11:26pm. I ate another sandwich, then proceeded to a gas station to get enough gas to make it to Grand Forks (which is where I found the cheapest gas on the entire trip).
By the time I got to Grand Forks, it was about 12:30am, and the fresh (cold) air really helped to keep me awake. By this time, I'd started to crank up the CD's and kept the vehicle temperature pretty cool (I drove without my jacket on and had it somewhat cool). I stopped again outside of Moorhead, MN around 1:45am or so to do another 'Chinese Fire Drill.' It's amazing how well that works when the outside temperature is only like 19F.
My last drill was just outside of Fergus Falls, MN, around 2:45 or so. I was doing surprisingly well for as little sleep as I'd had the night before. I was expecting that I'd need to stop and take a short nap just to keep going, but I was doing well, so I kept on going.
Once I got south of Elbow Lake, I was followed by a cop for a stretch of road about 15 miles in length. I can't say that I blame the officer -- I mean, who else (aside from shady people and truck drivers) is out at 3am on a Thursday night/Friday morning? I couldn't have been driving that poorly, though, since after a while he turned around and headed back.
So anyway, I arrived back home at about 3:35am, Friday morning. I had at this point in time been up for over 22 hours on about 4.5 hours of sleep -- definitely outside my normal pattern.
By the time I got things unloaded and settled, it was about 4am by the time I got to bed. I slept in for a while, but I was still up by 10am and made it back to work by about 11:30 that (Friday) morning.
Why would I do this? Because I had an impending deadline to meet and the trip to Canada kinda bit into that. Not exactly my idea of a great time, but since the destination in Canada was to fix a problem for some really good guys, it made it worthwhile.
So, here again, I was only in Canada for about 12 hours (just like the last time). One of these days I'm planning on staying and maybe actually doing something in Canada, rather than just driving to and fro.
Some neat things I saw on this trip:
- A BEER Vending Machine -- just like a Pepsi/Coke Machine, except for beer (in Canada)
- A huge area (on the order of 80 acres) filled with nothing but rows of large square bales of straw (in Canada)
- An interesting billboard suggesting to 'Visit Wonderful Flin Flon' on the road south of Winnipeg (Flin Flon is on the other side of Manitoba) -- reminds me of all those 'Wall Drug' billboards you see.
- The de-construction of the 19th Avenue North bridge in Fargo, ND, at 1:30am. It was quite cool to see them cutting the beams out in the middle of the night -- you could see the sparks for over a mile.
It was nice to be able to take some time and get things straightened up outside. It won't be long before we'll have to be outside a lot for lawnmowing and all the other fun stuff.
yesterday's post) to look into my long-ignored CD collection.
I started the project sometime in December, but didn't do anything further until last weekend. I've got quite a collection of music, and many things on CD that I've not listened to for a long time (namely due to the fact that it's not in a very functional format for me). So, I started ripping the CD's into my digital collection. I was amazed to listen to some of the stuff again, because I had in some cases completely forgotten about some of the stuff I've got. It was cool, and I've been working on a few CD's per night since. At this rate, within a few weeks I should have the remainder of the stuff done, and then I can just have it shuffle a playlist and never really forget about any of the music that I've had in my collection for many, many years.
Brief disclaimer, though -- none of this music is illegal. I have just only listened to most of it in the car (when/if I remember to bring any of it along) for the last eight years or so.
The book has many quite graphic images of death, destruction, and other oddities that may make some people shudder. In particular, the brief section about the strange deaths of children is probably the hardest to look at. But, the book isn't focused on that kind of shock content...
After going through it, I've come to the conclusion that it's really almost an anthropologic collection of what made news 'back in the day' when news photographers had incredible access to crime scenes (in particular). These are the type of pictures which would make the front page of a paper, but you'd never see released today until all investigations were complete.
The core of the book is really geared toward the amazing quality images of the particular camera. There are many sections about normal happenings, too (it's not all gruesome). Overall, I was really pleased with the purchase. It's not the kind of thing you look at very often, but it's really neat to be able to look at some of the actual images that were literally front-page news of 40-60 years ago. In an odd way, you can almost link some of the more gruesome stuff of the 1950's to what you'd see on some (non-news-related) cable TV channels of today. Not much has really changed in regards to the images depicted (if you take out the news factor -- you don't generally see that graphic stuff on the news anymore -- and replace it with general TV series, etc.), merely the medium on which they're depicted.
With the forthcoming Easter holiday weekend, I'm not sure when my next post will be. But until next time...
This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/29/07