September 16, 2007: Driving Home

I was up at eight this morning. I showered, dressed and packed before Dominica got up. She got up just after nine when I headed down car to pack up as much as I could. Dad was already in the lobby when I got down there with my luggage and we ran into my Aunt Gayle as we were heading out to the BMW to pack it up. I transfered the SunFire V100 over to dad and he gave me a pile of my mail to sort through. By the time that we got all of that done it was perfect timing for them to run over to Bob Evan’s and get in line for a seat while I went up to help Dominica and Oreo get out of the hotel and finish loading up the car.

Min and I got to Bob Evan’s just as dad and Aunt Gayle had been seated. Min has never eaten at a Bob Evan’s before which I found surprising but since we have been vegetarians (technically ovo-lacto-vegaquarian) their selection of food for us has declined sharply and since their specialty is sausage the draw isn’t that strong. They had a good selection of stuff for us today, though, and I wonder if their menu hasn’t changed a bit over the last few years to serve vegetarians better – especially the ovo-lacto-vegetarians who tend to be so fond of breakfast foods.

We had a really nice breakfast although it did take forever and a mix up with Dominica’s food meant that she didn’t get to eat with the rest of us. It was eleven thirty when Dominica and I piled into the BMW again and began the long journey back again across Pennsylvania on Interstate 80. It is depressing to have to drive about one hour through Ohio, the entire width (the long way) of Pennsylvania and the entire width (the short way) of New Jersey ending just a few miles short of New York! More than two states pass beneath our tires on the road home.

The weather was perfect for driving today. We had to stop for fuel twice and made a few “pit stops” once giving Oreo a nice long walk to stretch his legs. We then stopped again at the Panera Bread on PA 33 and got our dinner meal there (we skipped lunch.) We had to backtrack down PA33 and across on Interstate 78 across New Jersey because my Mazda PR5 was still parked at the office in Warren, NJ and we had to pick that up so that I would have it to drive to work tomorrow.

We got to Warren and went to pick up the PR5 and discovered that the front passenger tire was all but flat. Maybe 5 psi at best. 🙁 This is the same tire that was a little soft after we had returned from Montreal a couple week previous. Dominica followed me as I crept the car up the street to the gas station that I know has an air compressor and we filled up the tire there. The tire had so little pressure that it wouldn’t register on the gauge! We got it filled and drove it back to Newark with Dominica following me the whole way but the pressure appears to have held. I am going to need to get some flat tire goop to put into it. That will probably stop whatever slow leak is going on. I hope.

It was seven when we pulled into Eleven 80 in Newark. We were tired of driving but we weren’t “tired”. It is surprising that we were able to do fourteen hours of driving this weekend without having the horrible long trip “drowsies” that are normally such a problem but everything went very smoothly. Traveling during the normal day hours and getting earlier starts that usual helped a lot. This trip was long enough that we were planning ahead and being much more proactive than normal and taking more breaks to keep the blood flowing.

Dominica had to spend the remaining evening working on homework for her classes as Empire State. She is doing two two credit classes this semester and this is the first that she has had things to turn in. I worked on getting the second SunFire V100 prepped with its new hard drives so that I can get to work on it straight away. My hope (I always say this so take it with a grain of salt) is to have it built soon and maybe ready to take out to Scranton this week. Getting machines out of my house is a top priority – the house is filling up with them.

Dominica was very excited to learn that one of her classmates works on the KC-135R for the New York National Guard. Refueling airplanes is very cool. Another class mate works on the Hercules C-130 (my favourite propeller driven aircraft – if one can have a favourite of that sort of thing as a casual pedestrian – but, you know, if I was to win any prop driven aircraft of my choice in a lotto drawing this is the one that I would choose) and is living in Antarctica – right now while doing the class! That is pretty cool.

I spent most of the evening getting caught up on SGL. Believe it or not it really does take a while to write all of this stuff. Doing one entry per day isn’t bad but catching up for an entire weekend including Friday is a lot of work. But it has to be done. My public is waiting!

Tomorrow morning at eight thirty I have to return to Newark’s traffic court at 31 Green Street in room 108. This is my second trip to the court which didn’t need to happen had I been aware of the process last week. New York does things differently and it hadn’t occurred to me that New Jersey would have been willing to have wrapped up the entire thing on my first appearance. Oh well. At least now I know how it works and I know exactly what to do tomorrow and it is very low key. Last week was a little stressful just because there were a lot of unknowns. But tomorrow will be nothin’.

Next weekend Dominica and I are planning on staying put here in New Jersey. We have a baby shower to attend locally down near Edison, NJ on Friday night and will just be staying in Newark over the weekend (with a slight chance that I might need to leave for Toronto on Sunday but I doubt it as that has not been scheduled yet officially.)

I got paged out at ten thirty tonight.  I didn’t have to work for too long but it kept me up a little later than I had hoped.

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