North Carolina Spring 2011 Notes

The trip down was fairly uneventful. That is, until Keyron’s cell phone rings. It’s our sister in law Michelle first asking where we were (NYC) and telling us that my Keyron’s mom’s husband had died.

Knowing my Keyron’s Mom’s history my first thought was “Oh shit, did she do it?” Much to our relief, it was a myocardial infarction that killed him.

It was clear sailing all the way down until we got near Richmond, VA, where the torrential thunderstorms started. I have driven in blizzards and hurricanes but the torrential nature of storms once one gets past the mid-Atlantic is interesting and something I wish NOT to drive through. Imagine someone dumping bathtubs worth of water on your windshield every few seconds and then you have an idea.

Because of the storm I went from doing about 90MPH all the way down to about 35MPH because even at high speed the windshield wipers were useless and as a result you could not see more than a few feet in front of you, maybe to the end of the hood of the car. All I could see in the distance were the weak tail lights of a the vehicle in front of me and used that as a guide.

It was an interesting this week. There have been people in and out of the house offering condolences to my Keyron’s Mom. And I got to meet most of the family members I’ve heard Keyron talk about.

And true to form, I got to be in the car alone with my two nieces and my nephew. My nephew is just about 3 years old and a cutie, and his personality is emerging and he’s a definite character. The girls are around 7 years old and twins and they too have their character shining through.

We were waiting in the car for Keyron’s Mom to pick the flowers for the funeral. I wanted to just chill out, leave the AC running and listen to some music but the kids were fussing.

So I did something that runs counter to my general permissiveness when it comes to kids. I implemented the policy of be quiet, chill out and listen to the music. I just told them I was being serious, and to sit quietly, not touching each other, hands by their sides. To my surprise, it was applied to great effect.

But once again we were talking and the question of the relationship between Keyron and I came up. First one was do you live together. I answered in the affirmative. The next was if we slept together and my affirmative response elicited an “Ewwww” from both girls.

I then had to explain to them that humans bond in different patterns, men with men, women with women, men with women. That there was nothing icky about it.

This is the second time in a little less than six months that I’ve had this conversation with the twins.

This caused some consternation on the part of my Keyron’s Mom, not because I spoke to the girls about it, but that they asked about it again and had the “Ewwww” response.

You see my sister in law’s mom is probably putting the Jebus in the girls heads. And I know Keyron’s mother is going to have a little talk with the kids mother about all this.

But here’s the thing, these girls now know that gay people exist. And despite the religious indoctrination, they’ll know that the demonization of LGBT folks is nothing but bovine effluent.

On Thursday morning we had to take Keyron’s Mom for her biopsy. Big production btw, even if they did do it via endoscope. Had to get up at 5AM to get her to the hospital for 7AM and I knew nothing would happen until the surgeon and anesthesiologist got there and the surgery/biopsy started at around 10AM. So we didn’t get out of there until after lunch time. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that doctors know how to waste your time.

Another interesting thing is gas stations around here. I went to an Exxon station where it said “Pay inside”. So I go in and the girl says “Oh the pump is on, just pump your gas then pay.”

The pump itself is a basic old style pump. You extract the nozzle and have to tip the pump enable to the right then you can pump the gas.

The nozzles themselves have no vapor recovery systems on them. And I note the proportion of ethanol here in lower than it is in the northeast.

And here we are the Friday before our day of departure. The original intent was to leave early Saturday morning so we’d get back to Providence around between 4PM and 6MP on Saturday. But the funeral is at 1PM on Saturday so the earliest we’ll get out of here is probably 2 or 3PM. That means a 2AM to 3AM arrival.

In fact I already told Keyron before we leave for the funeral we have to have EVERYTHING packed and ready to go.

The funeral was interesting. Relatively short service at the church and I have some recordings of the preachers ‘eulogy’ and the choir doing the recessional that I need to transfer off my phone and onto the net. Because the preacher was supposedly a friend of he deceased but the sermon he preached was odd. He chose to focus on the free will but God is watching theme. Yeah, god has five billion sets of eyes to keep watch on all of us.

The internment was just a quick blessing and off we went.

We ended up leaving Columbia, NC (Tyrell County) at 3:10PM. Got gas and we were off. Three tank-ups totaling $90 wasn’t bad even with gas that averaged $4 per gallon.

During the trip as we got to 18:00 EDT (22:00 UTC) I noted the rapture hadn’t started. 19:00 rolled around, 20:00 rolled around then past midnight and the rapture hadn’t happened. I guess Harold Camping go it wrong again, same as he was in 1994 when he predicted the end of the rold and the rapture.

Now all we need is to get solidly into 2013 and we can debunk the Mayan crap too.

But we got into Providence at just before 4AM. Would have gotten here an hour and a half earlier had it not been for the damned George Washington bridge in NYC. First of all the toll is $8. I can traverse the state of NJ for $9.25 but to go over one bridge it’s $8? What didn’t help was having only TWO cash lanes open and at the same time watching the trucks and other cars fly by in the left lanes because of EZ-PASS.

So I had an idea. EZ-PASS is nothing but an RFID transponder. The scanner sends a power up pulse to the transponder and it transmits and ID that the agency then uses to charge the owner of the car.

I see a hack potential. You could for instance install the master reader on a car and have it poll other cars for the EZ-PASS info then setup a device that lets you collect the ID’s and use them when your vehicle is ‘scanned’ or a transponder. You get my drift right? Highly unethical But it is a hole in the EZ-PASS system.

But for $8 they should be able to have EVERY booth staffed and accept cash. Not only that the bridge should be plated in solid gold. Maybe offer concierge evacuation servies. They could devote a lane for a roving bathroom. Quick in and out. Maybe water and food services. You know, if you’re going to be there for an HOUR AND A HALF it might becomes necessary to use the facilities, or maybe you’re a spot hungry. Think of the additional revenue they could raise, then they really could plate that fucking bridge in gold.

So got home, unpacked the car, and got about 6.5 hours of sleep. I can function on that. It’s when the count slips below 5 hours that I’m in trouble.

3 thoughts on “North Carolina Spring 2011 Notes

  1. Those trips to the Carolinas can be interesting/harrowing/depressing; we do it at least once each year and usually return home to kiss the New England soil.

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