The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Tag: travel

We’ve Got Pebbles!

I was in the car for 14 of 36 hours this past weekend (took a jaunt to Philly and back for my son to do an audition). I talk a lot in the car, because I like to entertain myself that way, keep the driver alert, and drive everyone else in the car crazy. 

We should have recorded the conversations – I’d have 75% of a podcast. 

Here, in no particular order, are things we discussed. I didn’t start this until Sunday so missed the stuff from Saturday I couldn’t remember.

– Why the person who called “not it” for driving through NY got stuck driving through NY both ways. That would be me, for the record. I declare the lower level of the George Washington Bridge a big disappointment because it felt more like a tunnel than a bridge. 

– New Jersey drivers were worse than any other group on the road. I have never seen so many crazy speeding lane-changers. Like violent swipes from one to another inches away from other cars. 

– If you owned a bus company would you only hire drivers willing to wear catheters so they could do the Boston to NYC route without stopping?

– Is a Lamborghini a practical car? (That was Michael’s claim. I don’t know how he defines practical but he couldn’t answer my “what if you are grocery shopping” question. We said the get good gas mileage. Google doesn’t confirm the claim unless you think 12mpg city is “good.” If you forget how to spell Lamborghini use “Lamb or ghini” as a hint. I don’t know if ghini is a thing.

– Made Tom Google the surgery-free weight loss balloon we saw advertised on a billboard. It’s a big balloon filled with saline. I can’t figure out how to insert a bug saline filled balloon without surgery. Tom says the fill it in you. “How do they tie it?” Secretly, I now want to try this method of weight loss, but instead of a saline balloon maybe one with smuggled diamonds. Also, can I just swallow balloons from the toy store to save money?

– The My Brother My Brother and Me podcast makes a joke about Gallagher 1 and 2 and references G1 being a dick. Tom hadn’t heard this (!) so we Google “Why is Gallagher a dick” but then have to exclude Oasis brothers (also dicks) and Dick Gallagher, a piano player who is probably a dick “because his mom liked the name” to get to the stories about angry racist Watermelon Gallagher. 

– Made Tom Google and read me the wiki for the Scarsdale Diet doctor murder. Also made him Google Molly Pitcher to verify our guesses about why they named a rest area after her. I had the correct era, and Michael actually knew a surprising amount about her. 

– We discussed  story from the audition. Michael had told people in line around him that you can suck on gummy bears to soothe your throat. Apparently the people behind him told him they’d Googled it because they thought he might be trying to sabotage the line by spreading a myth. We try to decide what he would have gained by knocking them out with bad advice when they weren’t directly auditioning against each other. Michael said to me, “Go ahead, Google ‘sucking on a gummy bear’.” Me: “I don’t have safe search on.” 

– Tom and Michael declare the Grover Cleveland rest area on the NJ turnpike honors a Muppet. We ponder if there are human/muppet porn movies but do not search for any because there must be some. It takes at least 20 more miles before I realize they meant Grover the blue Monster and not a humanoid Muppet named Grover Cleveland. Wasn’t there a boy Muppet similarly named?

– What is Peter Pan doing in the picture on the back of Peter Pan busses? Michael proposes Flamenco dancing and I think a magic trick with a quick “look over there!” redirect. Would you know it was a picture of Peter Pan if it wasn’t on a Peter Pan bus? “It’s young Robin Hood!” We didn’t look up the history, but it isn’t clear why Peter Pan = bus transportation. I also wonder what they had to pay JM Barrie for the rights, and if it was worth it (as opposed to just making up a new, non-intellectual property name.)

– We grew to hate the car’s GPS. Her alternate route suggestions to avoid traffic generally add time. She also says “Traffic jam ahead” when there is either no traffic jam ahead, or when we are already in the middle of it. WE KNOW.  I named the GPS lady Suzy because the car is a Subaru. A frequent response to her announcements is “Shut the hell up, Suzy!” The biggest flaw is that she seems to treat many highway exits like anti-turns, especially when there is an exit-only lane. I understand you don’t want people in a turn-only lane if they aren’t turning, but that feels like a thing we can just assume the driver will handle. If you tell me to drive 30 miles to my next exit, I will spend thirty miles NOT taking every exit that comes along.

– How difficult would it be for a kitten to play ragtime on an upright piano? The song “Kitten on the Keys” feels misleading in this respect. I don’t think a kitten has the body mass to depress the keys that quickly. Tom realizes it’s a player piano or nickelodeon, not a piano. So it’s a REALLY misleading song title.

– Discuss the relative merits of Peter Tork as a singer.

– If you trip and fall and rip your arm open on a cruise ship mini golf course, how much is it your fault for not being able to lift your leg high enough to step over the edge of sides of the hole?  

– Changed the rules for Spotify Search Roulette. Have to use Gong Show guidelines of 30 seconds per song, then anyone can say “skip” but each rider gets two vetoes. You can one use one skip veto per song (so if there is a second Skip request after you veto the first one, you have to skip.) while the songs are awful, the search term “auntie” results in the most interesting song titles and band names I’ve ever seen while playing this game. 

14 hours driving to and from Philly plus an hour each way to see a concert Saturday night means we are all car seat-shaped and spent too much time in rest area bathrooms. But it was a good trip and I’d do it again tomorrow if I had to. (Unfortunately/fortunately, we won’t have to, at least not this time.)

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Maybe I’ll Live Elsewhere

I was thinking it might be nice to have a house on a mountaintop, but then I would have to hire a guy to run the lift to get to my fancy palace.

Attitash Summit Skyride

Which wouldn’t be too bad except during the winter we’d have all these pesky people hanging around trying to ski down my front lawn.

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I’d Rather Be in New Zealand

I was looking at my iGoogle page, to see what depressing weather forecast they had for me. The odd thing is that I saw “Marlboro” listed twice. The background on Marlboro is that is where I used to work, in Massachusetts, until my company moved my department down to the Smithfield, Rhode Island campus. It’s an awesome building, and I love it. It’s just not in Marlboro. (Trust me, I’ve done all the testing to verify it.)

I don’t know how my iGoogle weather gadget came to have Marlboro listed twice. More importantly, I don’t know how it came to have Marlboro listed twice with two entirely different forecasts on it. One of them, specifically labeled Massachusetts, says it’s 48 degrees right now, and that it is raining (it is) and that it will be raining tomorrow, and that it will only be about 58 degrees. Yay.

The other Marlboro says it’s currently 68 and sunny. Well, that is odd because it’s not sunny at all here right now. It’s quite dark, given that it’s 9:30pm. And it says it’s already Wednesday. Hmmm.

Clicking the link to Mystery Marlboro opens up a map that I do not recognize. I don’t know any of the place names. I have to back out to see more of the map to realize it’s an island (Oh, how I WISH I WAS ON AN ISLAND IN THE SUN ENJOYING 68 DEGREES!)

Marlboro is a region in NZ that covers mountains down to the pacific ocean. There are apparently a lot of wineries in this area. I’m thinking Marlboro NZ kicks Marlboro Massachusetts’ ass. They have an aviation museum and a sheep sheering attraction. I’m pretty sure Marlboro MA doesn’t have that.

So New Zealand, you have won this round. But our summer is coming and yours is leaving, so I’ll be checking in again in a few months.

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Jody’s Exciting Life Part 2

So I was asked to leave a NorthEast Airlines flight yesterday because my outfit was too revealing. I know that normally I do wear pants, but it was pretty hot yesterday, and plus, I got tar all over them after I finished my shift on the road crew repaving Harvard Street.

I didn’t think anyone would mind because I had pulled my shirt down, but the flight attendant, the pilot, two passengers and the guy who wears headphones and holds those red sticks to tell the plan when to stop all asked me to leave the plane and put on something more decent. They did offer to give me a stapler and a pile of luggage tags to see if I could fashion something myself without having to leave the gate area, but I ran out of staples and the little strings on the tags were tickling me.

So I missed my flight, which was going to the Arctic Circle. I’m really bummed, because I was going to try to take some photos. I haven’t really added much to my flickr album lately.

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Is It Wednesday Yet?

Sheesh, this is taking forever! I’ll be good, though.

Hey, that book I talk about below? The author really really hates Disney. Like, REALLY hates them. So now I’m sort of on the fence about recommending the book. Okay, I’m still enjoying the book but I think Mr. Anti-Disney (“Too bad that inferno is now burning up the whole Sunshine State” – said in reference to the spark that ignited Disney’s theme park flame.)

So the point I’d like to make to the author is that if it weren’t for the major attractions in Orlando, most of these roadside oddities would suffer from a large lack of visitors. Instead, people like me planning a trip down to see the mouse will buy his book to look for other places to visit while I’m down there. Do you really think a family from Massachusetts would plan an entire trip to see the Indian River Citrus Museum?

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