austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

I packed my bags; I got in my car; I took all the back roads; It wasn't very far

A couple of last thoughts from driving back from New England to New Jersey (how did they overlook fitting in things like a New Man or New Channel Islands?). The first was that I discovered SNET pay telephones still decorate Connecticut, or at least the rest stops on Interstate 95 running through the state. I didn't realize SNET still existed since, based on the opinions of the company from friends and relatives who live in Connecticut and my brother who went to college there, most SNET customers would like to see the company merged with an inanimate carbon rod at relativistic speeds. I guess once you have a corporate brand identity you don't give it up easily. I started looking up on Wikipedia the company's existence and survival outside the NYNEX/Bell Atlantic/Venison dominion, but got distracted by the fact the page on the planet Saturn is locked against anonymous or new-user changes. I'm assuming there's a really stupid argument or bit of vandalism taking place on Saturn.

At a McDonald's for a rest stop I ordered a chocolate shake. The cashier asked the size and flavor I wanted, then went to the shake machine where the handle came loose. He re-attached it and, shaken I suppose, asked the size and flavor I wanted again; he then filled it up and found the top of the shake was considerably above the rim of the cup. So, he asked the manager, who confirmed that the shake machine wasn't filling the right amount of shake, and he should just hold the cup over the spill drain in the shake machine and get the rest off. Before giving the shake to me he asked if it was for here or to go, and I wondered what the difference is between a take-away and a having-here shake, if there's nothing attached to it.

There's one part of either Connecticut or Rhode Island in which one highway connects to another by a one-lane limited-access highway with tall concrete dividers guarding the lane and the shoulder. It turns out this brings out a mild driving claustrophobia I never imagined I had. I think it's because I know I drive slow relative the other drivers -- pretty near the speed limit -- and and I'd let them pass if I could, but I didn't design the highway.

Trivia: The border between Massachusetts and Rhode Island was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1844. Source: Yankee Science in the Making, Dirk J Struik.

Currently Reading: The Later Middle Ages, 1272 - 1485, George Holmes.


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