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Author Topic: A PeteRockian Milestone of Verbose Proportions...  (Read 4202 times)
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PeteRock
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« on: April 10, 2008, 06:21:40 PM »

While participating in various video game discussions over the past few days I came to an accidental realization while glancing at my avatar to the left of my posts.  I, PeteRock, was nearing the 1000-post-milestone mark.   icon_eek  While this type of milestone may not be any major feat for some of the more succinct posters here at GamingTrend, given the typical length of a PeteRock post, to have composed 1000 of these behemoths is quite the "accomplishment" (i.e. welcomed distraction from doing any actual work).  Yesterday afternoon I noticed I had reached a post count of 999 and I managed to force myself to avoid making any more posts while considering how I would commemorate reaching 1000.  A simple "Yay, 1000!" just wouldn't contain nearly enough words, but I was left wondering what would be enough.  And this morning I recalled a letter I wrote to family and friends detailing our 3000-mile journey across the country on our way to our new home, Phoenix, Arizona.  I treated the letter as a short story, working to include drama, humor, excitement, and suspense.  There was no need to create characters as the real world was kind enough to supply oddballs even my own crazy imagination could never come close to dreaming up, and in the process I developed a document that I could revisit from time to time to reminisce about one of the most life-changing adventures I've experienced to date. 

Many probably won't even consider reading such a story, but for those that do (who are most likely the same ones who actually take the time to read some of my other lengthy posts), thank you for taking time out of your day to read my excessively long and drawn-out ramblings, as they obviously take some work and attention on my part, and I compose them to make what I consider to be a meaningful contribution to the community, not merely to provide my fingers with ample typing exercise (although the excessive typing does help to make it sound like I am busy at work).  For those who are willing to dedicate the time and brainpower necessary to venture forward, I hope you enjoy my little anecdote about the longest trip of my life:
     
__________________________________________________

The Move

On the night of Thursday, June 16th, Jaime and I packed everything we own (along with as much office furniture as we could fit………and a pet fish) into the largest moving truck I had ever seen:  A 35-foot Penske monstrosity.  The truck was packed full from front to back, and from floor to ceiling.  We then attached a car carrier to the back of the truck, loaded our Hyundai onto the carrier, and then proceeded to load every one of Jaime’s houseplants into the car (approximately 47 plants, some rather large), converting it into a mobile greenhouse.  The car was completely full from floorboards to ceiling. 

The entire vehicular unit was approximately the same length as an 18-wheeler, and it wasn’t until this point in time that I came to a horrifying realization:  I actually have to drive this thing 3200 miles (yes, I know the United States is only approximately 3,000 miles from coast to coast, and I’m sure you noticed the mileage error, but you will understand the significance of this error later).

Friday morning is the beginning of our journey.  We decided to stop in Pittsburgh to see Jaime’s family before we begin the actual trip to Arizona.  So, on Friday morning Jaime and I climb into the truck, we set Jaime’s pet fish between us on the bench seat, Jaime gets comfortable with her book, I take a few deep breaths, disengage the parking break, close my eyes, and we headed toward the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Terrifying Challenge #1:  Guide this monster through the turnpike tollbooth.  With the truck placed perfectly in the center of the lane, there was no more than four inches of clearance on either side.  Not exactly a lot of room for error, but we made it.  Only 99,000 miles left to go (at least that is what it felt like).  However, after about an hour of driving I actually started to get comfortable with the truck.  Actually, I became comfortable with the insurance we got on the truck, not necessarily the driving of it.  You more or less press the accelerator to the floorboard, grab hold of the gigantic steering wheel, try not to hit anything, and have faith in your accident coverage.  That’s about it. 

Typically it takes us around 4 ˝ to 5 hours to get from our house to Pittsburgh.  In the truck it took us close to seven.  The first indication on just how long this trip was going to be.  We arrived at Jaime’s parents’ house around dinnertime (finding out along the way that her parents just happen to be out of town for the weekend  disgust), and decided to water the plants in Jaime’s car.  I pressed the keyless entry button, but nothing happened.  I tried again.  Nothing.  Jaime tried hers.  Nothing.  I’m sure you’re wondering why we just didn’t unlock the door with the key.  Because the key doesn’t disable the alarm.  That has to be done with the keyless entry.  Isn’t modern technology grand?  Unfortunately the keyless entry wasn’t working.  We thought that perhaps the batteries were dead in the keyless entry key chains and called Hyundai roadside assistance, but there wasn’t much they could assist with.  Opening the door with the key wasn’t an option because we didn’t want to set off the alarm, on our own car, in a small neighborhood, with plenty of onlookers, since we already managed to draw enough attention to ourselves with our 60 feet of moving truck nightmare.  I’m sure decorative china and picture frames were falling from walls all through town as I bucked the diesel behemoth down Jaime’s small street.  We weren’t exactly town favorites as it was.  Having to wait for the car battery to die in order for the alarm to stop probably wouldn’t have helped our standing with the local townspeople.  Perhaps I could disconnect the battery, but based on my luck already, I wasn’t about to press my luck with high voltage.     

I instead decided to head inside and enjoy a frosty beer to take some of the edge off of the long drive.  After about an hour (and five beers), I decided to go back out to the car.  For some reason beer causes men to think they are better equipped for problem solving when intoxicated than when sober.  I’m a perfect example of this phenomenon.  I tried the keyless entry again (as if given enough time to rest the batteries would magically recharge).  Something just didn’t seem right.  I decided I would just have to bite the bullet and try opening the car door with the key.  I unlocked the door, took a deep breath, and opened the door, squinting my eyes in anticipation of the ear-piercing alarm (not sure why squinting your eyes is a natural reaction to the anticipation of loud noises, as if it has any effect on your hearing).  Nothing.  icon_confused Perhaps the key does disarm the alarm.  I thought I’d try starting the car to make sure everything was in working order.  Nothing.  Crap.  The battery must be dead.  But how?  Then I see what happened.  One of Jaime’s plants had been resting on the brake pedal, riding the brakes like a nursing home escapee FOR THE PAST SEVEN HOURS.   

In comes Pap, Jaime’s 83-year-old grandfather.  This man can fix anything.  He’s like a retired McGyver, saving lives with a paper clip and a rubber band, all in exchange for pork roll.  I know this because the first day I met him I tried to help him adjust his garage door opener.  All that was needed was a simple adjustment so that the door would close properly.  Being the Mr. Fix-It that I am, I somehow managed to blow the opener up (I don't mean shorted it out, I mean blew it up, completely with flying shrapnel and debris), which threw me from the ladder I was standing on, and in spite of my help, Pap still managed to get it working again with some old pinball machine parts, the spring from a ballpoint pen, and a bottle cap from my beer.  I think he even restarted my heart with a 9-volt battery and some tinfoil.  The man is simply amazing.  So he stopped by with a battery charger he had put together decades ago with bubblegum, an old hairdryer, and a discarded toilet paper tube that has apparently been charging batteries since WWII.  I ran an extension cord from Jaime’s parents’ garage, we hooked up the car’s battery to the charger, and flipped the switch.  By this point in time we had long forgotten about the car’s alarm system.  However, we would soon be reminded.

Pap was standing with his head under the car’s hood, looking over the engine, making sure nothing else needed attention.  It was at this point that the battery had enough juice to power the car alarm.  I’ve never seen an 83-year-old-man jump that high in all my life (and he probably would have gone higher if the car’s hood didn’t halt his upward progress……rather abruptly I might add).  I felt so badly.  I almost killed Pap.  And I’m sure the initial shock took a few years off of my own life as well.  Once I managed to disable the alarm with the keyless entry (which did in fact work), we had a nice laugh about it (once we used the charger made out of toilet paper tubes to jumpstart Pap’s heart again).  Jaime watered her plants, we all had dinner, and then Jaime and I were off to sleep to rest up for our first real day of travel.  Jaime calculated that we had approximately 3200 miles to cover from Pittsburgh to Phoenix.  For some reason I didn’t question this number, whether it was because I was too tired, my reasoning was hampered by too many jolts back to life by Pap's 9-volt and tin foil homemade defibrillator, or I simply did not realize that this would put us somewhere in the middle of the Pacific.  However, a time would come when we would begin questioning our calculations (fortunately prior to driving into the Pacific Ocean).  We had to be in Phoenix by the 22nd of June in order to move into our new apartment, which meant we’d have to cover close to 800 miles each day for the next four days.  Since the truck doesn’t travel any faster than 62mph, that looked to be around 14 hours of driving a day (not including lunch or dinner stops).  And since Jaime was terrified of driving such a large vehicle (and I, too, was terrified of Jaime driving such a large vehicle), that meant 14 hours of driving I would have to do each day.  This was looking to be more of a bad idea every minute.

We got on the road around 5am and started the first of many long days of travel (or what we thought would be many days of travel).  The first few hours really aren’t so bad.  You’re excited to be on your way, the sun is coming up, and it feels like an exciting adventure.  Before you know it, you’ve driven for six or seven hours and it’s about time for lunch.  Or, in Jaime’s case, you’ve slept for six or seven hours and are ready for lunch.  We traveled through the rest of Pennsylvania, a bit of West Virginia (imagine one’s surprise when you’re expecting to see signs for Ohio and instead pass into West Virginia – you start wondering where the heck you could have taken a wrong turn, especially since the Turnpike is the straightest path of misery ever created), Ohio, and we were now in Indiana.  What exciting cuisine did we experience on our first big day of travel across the diverse United States?  What fascinating food did we have the opportunity to sample while traveling through Indiana?  Cracker Barrel.  They should call it Crapper Barrel.  Why?  Because it’s crap.  Not to mention the one-way ticket to the crapper that comes free with every meal. 

You feel a sense of accomplishment when you’ve managed to drive 7 straight hours.  However, once lunch is finished, that sense of accomplishment turns to dread when you realize you’re only halfway for the day (and you’ve got unstable Cracker Barrel food just waiting for the most inopportune moment).  Unless you’re Jaime, in which case you look forward to a nice long nap after a filling meal.  That first hour after lunch feels like it should have been three, and once you start looking at your watch every so often, the drive feels that much longer, especially when the only conversation option you have is the pet fish sloshing beside you.  When one of your driving companions spends a lot of time sleeping, and the other is a fish, the drive feels rather long and tedious.  However, by the time you pass the 10-hour mark for the day, you’re more or less in a “zone”, and you start enjoying your conversation with the fish, laughing at his odd but welcomed humor, understanding his willingness to keep up a conversation in order to stave off motion sickness from the water sloshing in his bowl, and you just keep on truckin’.  And the wife just keeps on sleepin’.  Hibernating bears don’t sleep as much as Jaime when she’s in a vehicle.  Some of you might wonder why Jaime is getting such a hard time in this letter.  She, too, will admit how much sleep she caught up on during our trip.       

Next came Missouri.  What a miserable place that was.  Perhaps I’m a little biased due to my experience.  We have to pass through St. Louis, and if you’ve never had the opportunity to drive a 60-foot monstrosity through that nightmare they call St. Louis, I’d suggest leaving it off of your “to-do” list.  Five lanes of pure mayhem.  Apparently the term “merge” indicates to St. Louisians that they are to close the distance between themselves and the car in front of them as quickly as possible, making sure large vehicles have no opportunity to change lanes whatsoever.  Fortunately, in this case size DOES matter.  I took it upon myself to educate the city of St. Louis in the art of “forceful merging” and the concept of "full accident coverage".  I wasn't too terribly impressed by the great arch, mainly because there was no clown peddling Big Macs.  WTF?

Once we finally got through St. Louis, I thought we’d have smooth sailing through the rest of Missouri.  Unfortunately, our atlas does not show topography.  The roads may look flat on paper, but they aren’t necessarily flat in real-life.  Missouri is nothing but mountains.  It’s great if you’re going camping, hiking, or are driving a responsive sports car.  However, avoid this state like the plague if you are behind the wheel of a massive truck full of your worldly possessions.  When you’re driving a truck that won’t go over 60mph on flat land, imagine the issues you run into going uphill.  That baby maxed out at a whopping 35mph going uphill.  And there was a LOT of uphill.  I was actually seriously concerned that we may start to roll backward at one point.  Of course, going downhill we definitely managed to make up some time.  Actually, I think we managed to go fast enough to travel back in time.  I’m sure the motorists of Missouri enjoyed us zooming by on the down hills, and then backing up traffic for miles on the up hills.  Don’t worry.  I had plenty of middle fingers to go around.  That’s okay, I didn’t like them much either.  Not only was hospitality in short supply, but apparently no one eats in Missouri.  They must hunt and kill their own food, because there wasn’t a single restaurant.  Not even Cracker Barrel.  What exotic food would we experience while in the wonderful, scenic state of Missouri?  Would we hunt our own squirrel?  Rabbit?  Bear?  Cracker Barrel?  Nope.  Fucking McDonald’s.  Apparently that child-molesting Michael Jackson wannabe clown relocated from the arch in the city to the mountains.  Although, when you’re faced with the possibility of having to eat the pet fish traveling next to you in the truck, eliminating a source of such stimulating conversation, a Big Mac sounds mighty tasty.  Of course, once you get back on the road, the Big Mac no longer seems like such a great idea.  Funny how hindsight works. 

Missouri was the most tedious state to drive through on our journey.  No restaurants.  No gas stations.  And no flat roads.  As we broke the 14-hour mark, we (meaning I) decided it would be a good idea to stop for the day.  I needed some sleep.  So I woke Jaime up so that we could go to sleep (isn’t that a crazy sentence).  We fortunately managed to cover most of Missouri (only a couple of hours of driving in the morning to get to Oklahoma).  For some strange, inexplicable reason Jaime wasn’t very tired, but I'm pretty sure I fell asleep while still wearing my shoes.

And before I knew it the alarm was going off at 4:30am.  Day 2.  I already hated Arizona and I didn’t even get there yet.  We gathered our things and got back on the road.  Before long we were FINALLY out of Missouri (and Jaime was already asleep).  The change in scenery was amazing.  We went from rolling mountains to some of the flattest farmland I had ever seen.  And we came across a rather interesting road sign.  It read, “Do not drive into smoke.”   icon_confused  Next they’re going to tell me, “Turn on lights when dark,” or "Turn on wipers when raining."  Still, I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of the driving into smoke warning. 

We had yet to encounter any ominous smoke, and it was about lunchtime.  When we began the trip we had dreams of sampling fantastic local cuisine across the United States.  And with our arrival in a new state, we had hopes of sampling some of the regional food of Oklahoma.  I am sure you are salivating, anxiously waiting for me to reveal what succulent food we enjoyed in Oklahoma.  Anyone who watches the Food Channel knows that every state has its own culinary specialty.  And where do we have lunch?  Cracker Barrel.  Of all restaurants, why is Cracker Barrel the only restaurant we come across?  Not even a McDonald’s, Burger King, or Taco Bell.  With every Cracker Barrel visit that pet fish was starting to look far more appetizing than anything I had eaten so far.  But then I'd be starved for good conversation rather than just good food. 

I was keeping track of our mileage, and during lunch I realized that we were about halfway (or so I thought).  My geography knowledge was never very good, and since I was going strictly by the numbers Jaime put together, I thought we were at about the halfway point.  Jaime, on the other hand looked at me like I just ate her pet fish.  Based on Jaime’s original mileage calculation, we were halfway.  However, when we looked at the map, Oklahoma looked a whole heck of a lot closer to Arizona than it did to Philadelphia.  Apparently Jaime made a mistake in her calculations and overestimated by 1000 miles!  I was apparently driving way more than necessary each day, and we were on a schedule that would put us in Phoenix TWO DAYS EARLY.  Perhaps there was still hope for my sanity.  Right, Mr. Fish? 
__________________________________________________

My story is continued in the following posts below because I received an error message few have probably ever experienced:

Quote
The message exceeds the maximum allowed length (20000 characters).

 icon_eek

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PeteRock
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 06:23:01 PM »

And the story continues...
__________________________________________________ 
   
Next came Texas.  We went from lush green farmland to barren desert.  There were some areas of Texas where we didn’t see a single billboard, building, car, nothing.  At least it was flat.  I don’t think I could handle another day of alternating between 35mph uphill climbs and mach-5 downhill descents.  Coming from the Philadelphia area, I’ve never seen landscape like this.  Fortunately we were traveling through the narrow portion of Texas, since that is one BIG state. 

We drove into New Mexico (definitely another BIG state to drive through) and decided to stop around 7pm that evening for dinner.  We spotted a billboard a while back for a place claiming to have the best ribs in New Mexico.  Since it wasn’t Cracker Barrel, I was interested.  And for some reason we were in the mood for ribs.  We walked in, had a seat, and while we waited for the waitress we discussed the remaining distance we had to travel.  Apparently we only had about 10 hours of driving left.  So, we could either have dinner and drive a bit more, or crash at the hotel across the street and continue early in the morning.  I opted for plan B, especially since the restaurant had beer.  Ah, here comes the waitress.  Before she could even ask what we wanted, we both were ready to order.  “Two orders of ribs, please.”  They were out of ribs.   icon_confused  They’re known for their ribs, they advertise their ribs, they’re famous for their ribs, all we wanted to eat were ribs………..and they’re out of ribs.  disgust I knew we should have gone to Cracker Barrel.  “Okay, how about the steak shish kabob?”  They were out of shish kabob.  “Ooooo-kay.  How about your teriyaki steak.”  They were out of teriyaki steak.  Why is this my life?  “Why don’t you just tell us what you DO have.”  I ordered a filet mignon and Jaime had the fajitas.  However, all I really wanted was an ice-cold beer.  Their beer list was rather unimpressive, but the waitress said they have Michelob.  Michelob Lager isn’t bad (it’s no Yuengling), but Michelob Ultra is pure garbage.  I asked to make sure she didn’t mistakenly think the Ultra was lager, and she insisted it was lager.  Perfect.  An ice-cold lager would be the perfect end to a long day.  Out she comes………with Michelob Ultra.  At least it wasn’t Cracker Barrel.  After dinner we retired to the hotel across the street and collapsed.  Only one more day of driving left.  We should be in Mesa well before dinnertime.  But, given my luck so far, I probably shouldn’t have been so optimistic.

We got started the next day nice and early, ready for the final leg of our trip.  Only about 10 hours left, and we’d be home.  We covered a fair bit of distance and decided to stop for lunch.  Now what kind of fantastic cuisine were we able to sample in New Mexico?  Tex-mex?  Mexican?  Texas Barbecue?  Nope.  Cracker Barrel.  Again.  I can no longer utter the name “Cracker Barrel” without cringing.  The only positive is that Cracker Barrel has special parking for RVs and other large vehicles.  It made parking our moving truck much easier, since I hadn’t quite mastered parallel parking just yet (what’s scary is that at one point, I actually tried).   

As became customary with every stop we made, I would walk around the car carrier and make sure everything was fine, the car was secured, all of the carrier’s tires were ok, etc.  Everything was typically fine, perhaps a plant had toppled over and needed to be readjusted, but it helped me feel better to check and make sure.  We’re almost home, and I didn’t want to take any chances.  Unfortunately, this time everything was not fine. 

When I got out of the truck, I walked by the driver’s side of the carrier.  I was sure that when we started the trip there were TWO tires on that side of the carrier.  However, for some reason I only counted one.  I went back and counted again, just to make sure my sanity hadn't degraded beyond long conversations with the fish, and yet I still only counted one tire.  The other had apparently gone flat some time ago and had shredded into oblivion, completely unbeknownst to me.  All that remained was the white wheel hub.  icon_eek So, we actually had to take advantage of the 24-hour roadside assistance most simply disregard when renting a vehicle.  I honestly never thought anyone actually had to use it. 
 
So Jaime called roadside assistance and they said someone should be by in about an hour.  Actually, this worked out quite well since we were on our way into Cracker Barrel for lunch (the next time I have to eat Cracker Barrel will be too soon). 

When we were finished with lunch the tow truck was outside ready to go.  He put on a new wheel and we were all set.  Or at least we thought.  Of course, on the last day of travel it would be ridiculous to assume that things would go smoothly.  It seems the front wheel of the car carrier was badly worn and on the verge of blowing as well.  However, the tow truck driver only brought one spare wheel with him.  Of course.  He informed us that he was late for a dentist appointment, but if we didn’t mind waiting, he would head back to his shop and come back with another wheel after his appointment.  There was no way I was going to eat any more Cracker Barrel to pass the time.  The fish's days appeared to be numbered, conversation be damned.  However, he said this could take up to two hours.  saywhat Our other option was to follow him back to his garage, which was 45 minutes in the WRONG direction, and he’d have someone fix the tire there.  So, we opted to follow him back to his shop.

Fortunately the bad tire made the trip.  We got back to the shop and he had one of his garage hands change the bad wheel as he ran off to the dentist.  While they were changing the wheel, I asked if I could use their air hose because one of the passenger side tires on the carrier looked a little low.  While filling the tire, I noticed a hissing sound.  Apparently we had a nail stuck in this tire.  So over the course of one Cracker Barrel visit, we found THREE out of four flat tires.  That restaurant is cursed.  It’s the only explanation.  Even the fish agreed.  Fortunately we found all of this out BEFORE running into serious problems.  So, once they finished changing the second tire, they had a third to deal with.  However, they were now out of tires.  Of course.  So, we had to wait around until the owner of the shop got back from his dentist appointment.  His wife, the garage’s manager, was very kind and allowed us to rest in their air-conditioned office area, and provided us with cold water and interesting conversation.  She surprisingly was rather fascinated with our profession.  When her husband finally did arrive (an hour later), teeth gleaming white, he found a spare tire in the back of the shop, fixed our final flat, and sent us on our way.  We lost a total of two hours, but it could have been a LOT worse.  We could have eaten at Cracker Barrel.  Oh, wait, we did.   disgust   

We were finally on our way, having lost two hours (plus the hour out of our way the side trip took us), but we had three new tires.  On we went, through the rest of New Mexico and FINALLY INTO ARIZONA!  We drove through the mountains of Flagstaff, and decided to stop for dinner while in Flagstaff.  Where did we stop for dinner?  Thankfully, not Cracker Barrel.  No, I didn't eat the fish, either.  He was pretty talkative along the way and even had a few funny zingers so I decided to let him life.  We stopped at Outback for a nice juicy steak.  After dinner we only had three or four more hours of driving to go.  Although the final section of the trip took us through mountains like we dealt with in Missouri (minus the trees).  It figures.  30 mph uphill, mach-5 downhill.  I think I heard an occasional “boom” anytime we broke the sound barrier.  Good thing I didn’t run out of middle fingers in Missouri. 

While driving through this area of Arizona, we noticed some smoke in the distance.  Perhaps there was a brush fire somewhere nearby.  We continued on and noticed a lot of black, charred brush on each side of the road.  There was more and more smoke as we continued on, and after we came over a rise, we saw the origins of the smoke.  Fortunately we weren't in Oklahoma so we could keep on driving despite the smoke.  The entire area was ablaze.  icon_eek A brush fire covered the hills, the mountainsides, both sides of the road, everything was either black and charred or still on fire.  We would find out later that just prior to us arriving in the area the road was closed for 10 hours, and shortly after we passed through they closed the road again for another 24-hour day.   icon_eek  It had appeared that luck was actually on our side.

While trying to stay alive during our frantic descents and mind-numbing climbs, we noticed we’d have to fill the gas tank one last time in order to make it to Mesa.  So, we started looking for exit signs.  Unfortunately, we were in the middle of no-man’s land.  I thought some areas of Texas or New Mexico were sparsely populated.  But NO ONE lived in the area we were driving through.  There wasn’t a building, any lights, signs, billboards, roads, exits, absolutely nothing.  I thought we had reached the end of the world.  And I was starting to worry as the gas gauge seemed to be descending faster than we were.   paranoid

Eventually we spotted an exit sign with a Texaco logo.  Hallelujah.  Never once did I even wonder if they’d have diesel.  Of course, availability of diesel was soon to be the least of my concerns.  I happened to pick the one Arizona road that leads directly into Deliverance country.  I could hear the banjos getting louder as we drove along.  However, something else was even more unsettling than the music.  The road started to get more and more narrow, and eventually there were construction pylons forming extremely narrow passageways.  And of course, the pylons weren’t placed in a straight line, they curved back and forth like a slalom course.  What was even more unsettling was that cars were clipping them, indicating that the moving truck was going to make things fairly interesting.  ninja The first few bends in the artificial slalom course weren’t too bad, but as we drove along at 4mph, the pylons got consistently narrower.  Fortunately, we saw the Texaco station coming up.  However, it was closed (of course), and they didn’t have any diesel anyway.  disgust So, not only did we guide our truck into a narrow mess of pylons with no room to turn around, but we also burned unnecessary fuel.  As with any mistaken endeavor, getting yourself into a situation is always far easier than getting out.  This was yet another example.  We were in the middle of a tiny little town, crammed between never-ending pylons, driving 60-feet of moving truck and trailer, and now we have to turn around.  As if it needs to be stated, the truck did not have a very good turning radius.  When I saw a break in the pylons, I managed to guide the truck into a pub’s parking lot, only knocked down a couple of pylons in the process, and I even managed to get the truck semi-turned around without hitting any parked cars (although a light pole may have been an inadvertant casualty  ninja).  However, I was now faced with a sea of pylons, and in order to get back on the road I’d have to make a 90-degree turn in a small area filled with those pylons.  While in 60 feet of vehicle.  Things weren’t looking so good.

But, what was I to do?  I was so close to our destination, I had driven thousands of miles in a matter of just a couple of days, I’ve dealt with three flat tires, dangerous mountains, more Cracker Barrel than any man should ever have to endure, a talking fish, and some flimsy little construction pylons weren’t going to keep me from getting to my destination.  So, I went for it.  Fortunately, our rear-view side mirrors were large enough to provide a clear view of the chaos and destruction left in my wake.  Pylons began to fall like dominoes, others got tangled in the trailer and started to drag along with us.  Sweat started to form on my brow as I witnessed more and more devastation behind me, and traffic grinded to a halt as there no longer remained any “lane” to drive through.  Just random pylons strewn about.  There happened to be a freestanding temporary construction stop sign that decided to hitch a ride as well.  As I drove along I started panicking, asking Jaime what I should do, but she was laughing hysterically at the ridiculousness of the situation while she described the whole nightmare to her friend on the phone.  Great, a verbal witness.  The pylons that originally formed narrow traffic lanes now looked like a set of fallen dominoes, and I still had the hitchhiking stop sign to worry about, which was still hooked to the back of our car carrier and was now dragging along.  But I was too close to our destination to stop (even though the sign dragging behind me ironically read "STOP").  But I couldn’t just stop the truck in the middle of the street and start realigning the pylons, especially since Zed and Jed didn’t seem to use much rhyme or reason when setting them up in the first place, so at the moment the only reasonable course of action I could come up with was to floor it, hope the stop sign and associated construction pylons dropped off of the car carrier, and make my way back to the highway before townsfolk began forming into an angry mob with pitchforks and lanterns.  Fortunately the stop sign finally broke free, and the pylons shortly after.  I was never so happy to be back on the highway.  Elwood Blues would have been proud of my escape.   

___________________________________________

Yep, got the same error.  The rest of the story continues below.
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 06:23:32 PM »

The conclusion...

____________________________________________


And of course the very next exit off of the highway had a gas station with diesel.  disgust However, if the previous events of the day were any indication, this would probably be no simple fuel stop, either.  Fortunately, there were no pylons (or police sirens).  The gas station had two pumps.  One diesel, one regular.  That’s it.  Inside they sold guns, knives, fireworks, alcohol, swords, and tobacco.  Seriously.  The woman at the counter had four teeth (not counting the black ones), and she had a sign on the counter that read, “Please ask to see my rattlesnake collection.”  icon_eek Oh dear god.  While I was inside a shirtless drunk man guzzling beer from a 40-oz bottle wrapped in paper stumbled into the store barefoot (who knows where his shoes were since there wasn’t a building or house for miles) to buy more alcohol.  Unlike most stores with a “No shirt, no shoes, no service” standard, this gas station seemed to have a slightly more lenient policy.  I politely asked the “woman” behind the counter to turn on the diesel pump and quickly went back to the truck while the barefoot drunkard browsed the fine 40-oz selection.  I think I heard him exclaim "Ooh, they have Old English.  2005.  What a fine vintage."  I was about to comment to Jaime about my horrific experience in the store when I noticed SHE WAS GONE!  As I was about to panic (about having to go back inside the store, not necessarily about my missing wife, as I still had the fish to keep me company), I then see Jaime walking from the bathroom (which for some reason was in a separate building from the gas station) into the store.  Apparently the bathroom was out of toilet paper, because a few seconds later she came walking out of the store holding the largest economy-size toilet paper roll I had ever seen above her head as if it were the Lombardi trophy.  She definitely has guts.  And now an appointment to update her shots. 

After filling the truck’s tank with $175 worth of diesel, even though I was terrified, I went back into the store.  The dental hygiene poster woman of course smiled at me (this time wide enough so that I could count the black teeth), and had me swipe my American Express Card.  She looked up at me, and to my distain she smiled again, and said, “Please call.”  I’m not exactly sure what she meant.  Please call her?  Please call for help?  Please call heads or tails?  I’d almost started to wish I was safely inside a Cracker Barrel.  Notice I said almost.  When she noticed my expression of complete puzzlement, she explained that the credit card machine was directing me to call American Express.  Why is this my life?  The one horrific place on this trip I cannot wait to leave, and I’m stuck there with a woman who has no problem showing her limited selection of rotted teeth.  She then hands me a phone I’d rather drop in a toilet than put against my ear (it could very well have been dropped in a toilet).  However, she was at least kind enough to dial the American Express phone number for me. 

“Please enter your card number.”
<<enters card number, waits for what feels like an eternity>>
“Please enter your social security number.”
<<enters social security number, waits for what feels like an eternity>>
“Please speak your mother’s maiden name.”
<<speaks mother’s maiden name, waits for what feels like an eternity - oh god she's smiling again>>
“Please enter your mother’s birthdate.”
<<enters birthdate, avoids looking at smiling woman>>
“Please hold.”
“Please enter your birthdate.”
<<enters birthdate, unfortunately catches another glimpse of smiling woman - jesus, how the hell does she chew>>
“Please hold.”

You’d think I was trying to access the White House mainframe.  I JUST WANT TO PAY FOR MY GAS AND GET OUT OF THERE!  Dear god, she’s smiling again.  Wait!  Finally I had a human on the phone!  I rarely use my American Express card because it doesn’t earn us any bonus points for anything.  But, due to the expenses of our trip, I began using the card as we worked our way across the country.  American Express thought that the charges looked suspicious and placed a freeze on my account until I verified that I was in fact using the card and it wasn’t stolen.  That was very kind of them.  Unfortunately they happened to do this when I was visiting the Twilight Zone.  After a series of apologies the woman reactivated my card once I explained the situation (and the fearful sight before me) so I could finish paying for the fuel and run like hell toward civilization (I swore I heard someone out back being directed to squeal like a pig).  Even though my curiosity was nearly overpowering, I fortunately refrained from going against my better judgment and asking to see her rattlesnake collection as the sign suggested.

With a full tank of gas, and the “don’ts” of personal hygiene far behind us, we continued on the last stretch of our journey.  A few more hours and we arrived in Mesa.  Since it was late, we stopped at a La Quinta Inn just down the street from our new apartment complex.  The gentleman who checked us in noticed that Jaime’s license was from Pennsylvania.  He commented that he had dreams of someday attending school at UPENN.  What a coincidence.  Jaime mentioned that we both graduated from Penn.  Well, apparently he was very impressed, and simply because we were Penn grads, he upgraded our room to their top-of-the-line suite for no extra charge and gave us a cheaper rate.  Not bad.  Not bad at all.  Not that I would get much sleep with visions of Mrs. Goodbite burned into my brain.     

The next morning we made our way down the road to our new home and entered their office the moment they opened so that we could move our things in to our new apartment before the heat became unbearable.  Jaime surprisingly managed to stay awake for this portion of the trip.  What a gathering of the best and brightest this turned out to be.  We sat down with an agent expecting all of the paperwork to be ready, since we’ve spoken with them over the phone numerous times, and even called ahead to let them know we’d be arriving early to avoid having to unload our truck at high-noon, in Arizona, during the summer.  Apparently they still hadn’t put together the lease, and by “put together”, I mean typed from scratch.  Perfect.  Once they managed to type up the document, apparently using one finger at a time, we then had to go through the entire lease step by step, line by line, item by item, as the outside temperature increased exponentially with each passing minute.  What should have taken 15 minutes wound up taking two hours.  It was now the ideal time to move into an apartment, high noon, in the desert, when Mesa was experiencing their highest temperature of the season, 115 degrees.  At least we were home.  Besides, how hot could it possibly be?  After all, it's only a dry heat.

We negotiated our monstrous moving truck through the complex’s parking areas, and finally arrived in front of our new home.  First we had to unload the greenhouse.  Surprisingly, 99% of Jaime’s plants survived the trip.  Many looked a little worse for the wear, but only one didn’t make it.  We took a moment to mourn our loss, but because I started to smell chicken and realized it was me we decided to move indoors.  Next we had to back the car off of the car carrier.  I hopped in, turned the key, aaaaaaaand..........nothing.  Tried again.  Nothing.  It was already well over 100 degrees, and the day was only going to proceed to get hotter.  Until we move the car off of the carrier, we can’t begin unloading the moving truck.

One of our coworkers lives in the same apartment complex, and her fiancé just happened to be driving by with a friend while we were contemplating what to do about the dead battery (because swearing at it didn't seem to have much effect).  He also just happened to have a set of jumper cables in his car.  So, we were able to jumpstart the car’s battery and unload it off of the car carrier.  Next we had to unhook the car carrier and move it to a nearby parking space.  There was no way to maneuver the carrier with the truck, so we had to move it by hand.  And this is when I quickly learned how hot metal gets in the Arizona sun.  It appeared a career in thievery may be a reasonable consideration as I no longer had any fingerprints.  They were burned off. 

Once we relocated the car carrier to a nearby parking space, we then began unloading the truck.  By this point it was close to 115 degrees outside.  With the help of our new friends, we managed to unload most of the furniture.  They then had to leave, but all we had left was mostly boxes.  But, at this point we had already overexerted ourselves in the heat, and were starting to feel the effects.  Shortly after our help left, Jaime fell asleep lying across our ottoman, and I passed out on the couch without any cushions.  I think we were out for almost an hour before we came to and were even able to move around again.  We learned our first lesson about the desert heat. 

We started drinking more water and slowly began bringing in boxes one at a time.  I was beginning to worry that we would never be able to unload the truck at the rate we were going.  I’d bring in one box, then rest for 15 minutes, grab another box, then rest for 15 minutes.  Fortunately the fish was once again rather chatty, although some have argued that my diminished mental state had something to do with it.  But I knew better.  He usually only talked while on the road to keep from getting motion sick in his bowl.  Just as I was about to give up (or die – not sure which, since by this point I was well beyond hallucinations), our coworkers all showed up to help finish unloading the truck.  We managed to get the rest of our things unloaded before dark.  It was a very difficult day, but we survived, and were finally home.
__________________________________________________


Well, that about covers it.  For those who struggled through, thanks for reading.  And so comes to a close my verbose celebration of my 1000-post milestone.  Three posts to cover all I had to say.  I can only imagine what my celebration will be for 2000.   ninja2
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2008, 06:25:42 PM »

tl;dr
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2008, 06:26:08 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 06:21:40 PM


 A 35-foot Penske monstrosity.  The truck was packed full from front to back, and from floor to ceiling. 


That's a lot of moisturizer and Aveda!   icon_eek
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2008, 06:26:43 PM »

 eek


We still have a way to go until we catch Calvin and Unbreakable
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2008, 06:27:56 PM »

wat
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2008, 06:34:15 PM »

I'm gonna need to get a few beer and a sammich before I read through this.

thumbsup

I'd like to say now that that's 1000 valuable posts. biggrin ... you're up by about 600 on CeeKay, and 900 on me. slywink ATB can figure out the ratios for us.

PS: I used to get that when trying to post 3 copies of the 360 official list in the same message with all the tables and links etc... good job!
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2008, 06:36:52 PM »

1000 posts, huh?  Grats I guess.

What is that, like 8 billion words?

 slywink
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2008, 06:44:36 PM »

Note - that character limit was put in place with PeteRock specifically in mind. Carry on.
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2008, 06:45:54 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 06:21:40 PM

I am sure you are salivating, anxiously waiting for me to reveal what succulent food we enjoyed in Oklahoma.  Anyone who watches the Food Channel knows that every state has its own culinary specialty.  And where do we have lunch?  Cracker Barrel.  Of all restaurants, why is Cracker Barrel the only restaurant we come across?  Not even a McDonald’s, Burger King, or Taco Bell.  With every Cracker Barrel visit that pet fish was starting to look far more appetizing than anything I had eaten so far.  But then I'd be starved for good conversation rather than just good food.

 eek

Umm, you came down I-44. There's a frickin' McDonald's over the highway. How could you miss it? Square-footage wise, it's easily the biggest McDonald's in N. America. Regardless, it's still a McDonald's. Shoulda stopped at Cattleman's Steakhouse in OKC. That's good eatin'.

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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2008, 06:52:28 PM »

I would just like to say, most books I currently read have less words than a PeteRock post.... that is all.
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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2008, 06:58:54 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on April 10, 2008, 06:52:28 PM

I would just like to say, most books I currently read have less words than a PeteRock post.... that is all.

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« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2008, 07:02:40 PM »

Quote from: SpaceLord on April 10, 2008, 06:45:54 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 06:21:40 PM

I am sure you are salivating, anxiously waiting for me to reveal what succulent food we enjoyed in Oklahoma.  Anyone who watches the Food Channel knows that every state has its own culinary specialty.  And where do we have lunch?  Cracker Barrel.  Of all restaurants, why is Cracker Barrel the only restaurant we come across?  Not even a McDonald’s, Burger King, or Taco Bell.  With every Cracker Barrel visit that pet fish was starting to look far more appetizing than anything I had eaten so far.  But then I'd be starved for good conversation rather than just good food.

 eek

Umm, you came down I-44. There's a frickin' McDonald's over the highway. How could you miss it? Square-footage wise, it's easily the biggest McDonald's in N. America. Regardless, it's still a McDonald's. Shoulda stopped at Cattleman's Steakhouse in OKC. That's good eatin'.



And how does this help me now?   icon_wink

Also, keep in mind that I am a big fan of stopping as little as possible, and as we may have passed a restaurant (or fast food establishment) at some point during our journey, if said passing didn't coincide with a designated food break or fuel stop, then I wouldn't have even noticed or paid any attention.

And also keep in mind that we had no resources other than what we could see from the highway, so if Cattleman's wasn't in plain view, then there was no way for us to know it was a good place to stop.   
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2008, 07:02:57 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 06:58:54 PM

Quote from: Arkon on April 10, 2008, 06:52:28 PM

I would just like to say, most books I currently read have less words than a PeteRock post.... that is all.



That is pretty close, although my 5 month old daughter doesn't have any pop up books, just board books.  If I have to read The Belly Button Book too many more times I am going to burn it I think.
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2008, 07:05:10 PM »

And here I was thinking to throw myself a party for making 500 and becoming a Gaming Trend Senior Member.  Sadly, I would have just said, "yay me!"  frown

Pete, I really did try to read that behemoth that you call a post.  However, my brain can compute no more than a gazillion words per week, and unfortunately, I reached that limit after the first paragraph and a half.  I don't know how I'm going to function at work for the next day and a half as nothing I read will make sense to me until I reboot on Sunday.

Congratulations on wasting time at work for over 1000 times!
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2008, 07:06:18 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on April 10, 2008, 07:02:57 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 06:58:54 PM

Quote from: Arkon on April 10, 2008, 06:52:28 PM

I would just like to say, most books I currently read have less words than a PeteRock post.... that is all.



That is pretty close, although my 5 month old daughter doesn't have any pop up books, just board books.  If I have to read The Belly Button Book too many more times I am going to burn it I think.

Read her the Goodnight Moon book.  I had to read that one to my daughter for hours on end, but it was worth it every time!  smile
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« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2008, 07:08:52 PM »

I love the Shivaree song Goodnight Moon. (Kill Bill pt2 OST IIRC)
The song ain't for kids. I'm just sayin'.
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« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2008, 07:12:13 PM »

Dude. Start a blog. retard
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2008, 07:13:15 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on April 10, 2008, 07:06:18 PM

Quote from: Arkon on April 10, 2008, 07:02:57 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 06:58:54 PM

Quote from: Arkon on April 10, 2008, 06:52:28 PM

I would just like to say, most books I currently read have less words than a PeteRock post.... that is all.



That is pretty close, although my 5 month old daughter doesn't have any pop up books, just board books.  If I have to read The Belly Button Book too many more times I am going to burn it I think.

Read her the Goodnight Moon book.  I had to read that one to my daughter for hours on end, but it was worth it every time!  smile



Owns all.

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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2008, 07:14:14 PM »

Quote from: SpaceLord on April 10, 2008, 07:13:15 PM




Owns all.

 ninja2

Just because it has the word "Poky" in the title does not make it great.  Tongue
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2008, 07:24:24 PM »

tl;dr
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2008, 07:46:25 PM »

Wasn't this a Richard Pryor movie?
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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2008, 07:58:48 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on April 10, 2008, 07:06:18 PM

Quote from: Arkon on April 10, 2008, 07:02:57 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 06:58:54 PM

Quote from: Arkon on April 10, 2008, 06:52:28 PM

I would just like to say, most books I currently read have less words than a PeteRock post.... that is all.



That is pretty close, although my 5 month old daughter doesn't have any pop up books, just board books.  If I have to read The Belly Button Book too many more times I am going to burn it I think.

Read her the Goodnight Moon book.  I had to read that one to my daughter for hours on end, but it was worth it every time!  smile

We have read Goodnight Moon quite a few times as well...I want to start her on either The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings, but my wife claims she is too young...
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2008, 08:07:00 PM »

I don't get the love for Goodnight Moon.  It stays pretty low on my daughter's queue. 
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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2008, 08:11:32 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on April 10, 2008, 07:58:48 PM


We have read Goodnight Moon quite a few times as well...I want to start her on either The Chronicles of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings, but my wife claims she is too young...

I think your wife is right.  My daughter is almost 2 and she won't sit still for Cat in the Hat.  Tongue
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2008, 09:04:20 PM »

Quote from: lildrgn on April 10, 2008, 07:12:13 PM

Dude. Start a blog. retard

Or write a book. I mean, you're halfway there with that post of yours. biggrin

And yes, I read through it all. Great read.
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« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2008, 09:23:28 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on April 10, 2008, 09:04:20 PM

Quote from: lildrgn on April 10, 2008, 07:12:13 PM

Dude. Start a blog. retard

Or write a book. I mean, you're halfway there with that post of yours. biggrin

And yes, I read through it all. Great read.

You must be at work, also.   ninja

And thanks.   icon_biggrin
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« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2008, 09:29:06 PM »

Alright, Pete.  I went through and read your monstrosity.  That was a really entertaining read.  And seriously, dude...write an f'ing book.  slywink
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« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2008, 09:31:08 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on April 10, 2008, 09:29:06 PM

Alright, Pete.  I went through and read your monstrosity.  That was a really entertaining read.  And seriously, dude...write an f'ing book.  slywink

Unfortunately your brain has now met it's word quota for all of 2008.  icon_wink

Thanks for taking the time, and for the kind sentiments. 
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« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2008, 09:32:05 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 06:21:40 PM

and you start enjoying your conversation with the fish, laughing at his odd but welcomed humor, understanding his willingness to keep up a conversation in order to stave off motion sickness from the water sloshing in his bowl, and you just keep on truckin’. 

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« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2008, 09:35:34 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 09:31:08 PM


Unfortunately your brain has now met it's word quota for all of 2008.  icon_wink

That, my skin-conscientious friend, is an understatement of epic proportions.  Though, it does inspire me to put some thoughts on paper.  Or, at least in Word. Tongue
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« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2008, 09:42:14 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on April 10, 2008, 09:35:34 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 09:31:08 PM


Unfortunately your brain has now met it's word quota for all of 2008.  icon_wink

That, my skin-conscientious friend, is an understatement of epic proportions.  Though, it does inspire me to put some thoughts on paper.  Or, at least in Word. Tongue

Make sure you use the non-U2K edition:

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« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2008, 09:44:50 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 09:42:14 PM

Make sure you use the non-U2K edition:



That would be all kinds of coolness beyond cool...I could see Auto-generated "izzle-speak" as a main selling point.  Too cool for school, baby...
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« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2008, 09:51:24 PM »

That was pretty funny Pete.  Glad to count you among the readership here, and I'm glad that I've gotten to meet you and hang out.  Next movie night is at Casa De Knightshade!
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« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2008, 10:32:37 PM »

If you ever move again, I'm guessing you'll pay for movers? 

Fun read, Pete.  I covered much the same ground in reverse when we left Tempe for Minneapolis.  I couldn't stand that thought of driving a giant rig in the wintertime so I broke my "nest egg" to pay professionals.  Moving sucks when you have lots of stuff. 
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« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2008, 10:34:55 PM »

great post to read during lunch.  seriously.  you have a knack for describing the boring parts most people try to forget.

i can empathize with moving in the middle of heat like that.  moved my dad into his apartment in 95 degree humid washington summer, and that was bad enough. 
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« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2008, 11:10:19 PM »

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on April 10, 2008, 09:51:24 PM

That was pretty funny Pete.  Glad to count you among the readership here, and I'm glad that I've gotten to meet you and hang out.  Next movie night is at Casa De Knightshade!

Don't you mean Construction De Knightshade?  For now all you have to concern yourself with is billiards, darts, and burgers at Casa De Moliere.  Saturday, 1pm.  Tell those construction workers to vamenos and get your butt to Maricopa. 

Quote from: helot2000 on April 10, 2008, 10:32:37 PM

Fun read, Pete.

Quote from: Caine on April 10, 2008, 10:34:55 PM

great post to read during lunch.  seriously.  you have a knack for describing the boring parts most people try to forget.
 

Thanks guys.  Seriously, I mean that.  If you haven't already surmised, I am known to be somewhat of a storyteller (especially if I have been drinking).   ninja  To know that what I put together not only entertains me but is interesting enough to get others to actually read all that I've put down on paper, that really means a lot. 

There have been times when I've considered putting together a collection of my own anecdotes into a book and calling it Anecdotes of the Common Man or something along those lines, but then I wonder who in their right mind would want to read about me.  I obviously would only include what I would consider to be the funny, more entertaining experiences, but then I get discouraged when considering just how unlikely it would be for random strangers to read my work, which merely tells amusing stories experienced by some random, regular guy.  While some of my friends may feign interest in hearing about battling arctic wolves in a pair of boxers and a ski cap while stationed at the north pole, driving a moving truck across the country while chatting with a fish, or throwing up in a bat cave in Puerto Rico, that doesn't mean a book with a collection of these stories would even have a shot of being published. 

But, perhaps some day I may try to refine my stories and attempt to take them one step further.  Who knows.   
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 11:20:17 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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Caine
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« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2008, 11:18:07 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on April 10, 2008, 11:10:19 PM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on April 10, 2008, 09:51:24 PM

That was pretty funny Pete.  Glad to count you among the readership here, and I'm glad that I've gotten to meet you and hang out.  Next movie night is at Casa De Knightshade!

Don't you mean Construction De Knightshade?  For now all you have to concern yourself with is billiards, darts, and burgers at Casa De Moliere.  Saturday, 1pm.  Tell those construction workers to vamenos and get your butt to Maricopa. 

Quote from: helot2000 on April 10, 2008, 10:32:37 PM

Fun read, Pete.

Quote from: Caine on April 10, 2008, 10:34:55 PM

great post to read during lunch.  seriously.  you have a knack for describing the boring parts most people try to forget.
 

Thanks guys.  Seriously, I mean that.  If you haven't already surmised, I am known to be somewhat of a storyteller (especially if I have been drinking).   ninja  To know that what I put together not only entertains me but is interesting enough to get others to actually read all that I've put down on paper, that really means a lot.   
pete, between this and that bit you wrote about your in-laws visit, i'll read anything you write just to see how fuct up it gets at every turn.  biggrin
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« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2008, 12:32:51 AM »

Firecrackers in AZ? You were off the main road!

Great story btw.
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