austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

She'd been hummin', thumbin', hitchin' and wishin'

One of the things my brother was very eager to promote as an advantage of staying at his house was that it'll make for such a quick shot in to my extruded office product, as opposed to the unpleasant drive from my parents' home. I was skeptical about it, since as far as I could tell the drive from his place is about as far, possibly farther, and mainly along a road which seemed less enjoyable to drive. But he was very insistent about it: you just get on the highway and drive along and you're there. (He worked briefly at the same company before he got his current job, where he impressed the staff and owner by debugging existing programs. He also wrote his own suite of applications for the company's needs, which were accidentally lost in a hard drive malfunction.)

The route from my parents' place is, after a little tangle of local roads, driving along an Interstate until I get off, go through an awful traffic kidney bean, and drive along a US Route through the city. From my brother's, it's a ride along a US Route until I reach the city, then turn off to the other side of the US Route used previously. On the plus side, I avoid the traffic kidney bean; on the minus side, this part of the route and city are under highway renovation so that random lanes are cut off and redirected into other directions, and underneath the renovations are a tangle of on- and off-ramps where none of the directional signs is actually directly lying, but they clearly want to.

And as I said, instead of driving most of the way along an Interstate, the bulk of this ride is along a US Route, from the old days when it was thought pretty cheeky to drive to a job a whole three miles away and a sleek car with some of those fancy slightly-inclined windshields made of safety glass could get up to 40 miles per hour if it were dropped from a Ford Tri-Motor. I'm sure it was a fine ride in 1932 when there was nothing in New Jersey south of the General Motors Aircraft factory in Linden that wasn't turkey farms or boardwalks, but these days the strain is showing. Also, two days in a row now I've managed to get lost because the road splits into two and then bifurcates again and the route I have to take is a right right after the left that's ... well, today I ended up spending an extra half-hour trying to find my way back to any recognizable road. And despite logic dictating that following the US Route to the other Route should get me where I want to go, it doesn't actually work that way. I'm thinking of trying the alternate routes that are clearly longer but seem to avoid the older roads.

Trivia: The Tower of the Island, in Geneva, Switzerland, showed three times in 1880 -- those of Geneva, Paris, and Bern. Source: Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps, Peter Galison.

Currently Reading: Henry and Edsel: The Creation of the Ford Empire, Richard Bak.

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