March 29th, 2008

krazy koati

Long as she got a dime the music will never stop

The other theme of my petty life emerged recently: my car, which I was looking not eagerly enough to replace, creeped its way steadily up past 98,000 and then 99,000 miles and you know what comes after that. It was obvious for a while that, barring a radical change in my driving habits, I was going to cross the 100,000 mark sometime in the past week, and the question just became when would it happen, and what would I be driving for when I did reach? Considering that I was ready to toss the car off a cliff for its earlier behavior I would have bet then that it wouldn't reach that mark, at least not for me, but I have to admit that since the most recent round of repairs -- fiddling with electrical cables that had rusted -- it hasn't given any trouble or demanded any particular maintenance other than an oil change, which you can't blame it for. So I suppose it's going to linger, since I don't really want to buy a car.

Anyway, to 100,000: I concluded that what I'd rather be doing with the 100,000th mile is be going to a bookstore. It's amazing when you've decided to try aiming your driving to hit a specific point just how many little extra side trips will be called upon. I knew I'd be driving out to get pizza for a Tuesday, and how far that would amount to (about 5.2 miles); but extra trips to Target or to the supermarket ... well, it revealed to me that the supermarket is closer than I thought, and I can do a round-trip in under ten miles. That's of no use to anyone but me, and it won't be useful to me again for another 49,900 miles, but still, it's information. It does make it more amazing, though, that I can do a simple route like from home to the supermarket to the library (make that library and then supermarket, since I usually get something refrigerated like ice cream) and get home again and use up more than a full CD of whatever book-on-not-tape I'm reading.

When Arthur C Clarke died I realized it would be fine to go buy one of his complete-collection books -- either the complete short stories or the complete essays -- which I'd been delaying getting since they're enormous books with large portions that I've already ready. But I made my way there, crossing 100,000 on a relatively small road at low enough speed that, yes, I could take pictures of the odometer and the stretch of road. I do these things. As it happens the bookstore didn't have any copies of either, but I could make do with a fine second choice, the second volume of The Complete Popeye.

Trivia: On its first flyby of Mercury, Mariner 10 reached its closest approach to the planet at 1:46 pm Pacific Time on 29 March 1974. Source: The Voyage of Mariner 10: Mission to Venus and Mercury, James A Dunne, Eric Burgess, NASA SP-424.

Currently Reading: Imperial Earth, Arthur C Clarke.