austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

And New York is so cold that a person could die

Driving us slightly insane was that both of our audio books had been deemed unsuitable. The Republic of Pirates was blamed, I think unfairly, for falling asleep while driving. The other main book was an attempt by John Steinbeck to tell the legend of King Arthur in a modern-American style. This didn't work at all (and apparently his editors spent a lot of effort talking him out of it), possibly because we live after the time of Monty Python And The Holy Grail (in fact, we'd all seen Spamalot at least once) and you just reach a point somewhere around a modest bit of begatting that it's impossible to take the proceedings seriously.

With nothing worth listening to on the radio, we fell back on the music CDs which happened to be in the car. We hadn't packed CDs with the expectation we'd need them. In total there were three albums, two of them Bruce Springsteen, with a total of four discs. That's not a lot of music, and we were sorely disappointed to learn that the reason a fifth disc didn't play was that it was a DVD sent along for people who had DVD players to listen to music on, so we had to repeat things over and over and over again, for much of the way from Pennsylvania to Niagara Falls, then to Rochester, and then well along the way back homewards.

You know Bruce Springsteen's song about ``Pay Me/ Pay Me/ Pay Me My Money Now/ Pay me Or Go To Jail/ Pay Me My Money Now'', the chorus of which lasts slightly longer than the Holy Roman Empire did? Now imagine that coming up over and over and over and over and over and over so that, I believe, I'm still in the car listening to it. I was willing at a rest stop to go to the convenience store and buy anything so long as it would be something different, but was inexplicably turned down.

Mercifully, finally, we got near Philadelphia and the return of actual radio stations doing Top 2,038 Hits Of The 1980s, so the last two hours of the drive were not particularly painful in audio terms, and we arrived, at home, finally, contentedly, and to the sheer delight of the cats.

Trivia: Dick Cramer wrote the statistics processing for STATS Inc's January 1981 deal with the Oakland A's in Pascal. Player data was entered on an Apple II and processed on a Digital Equipment mainframe (in Fortran). Source: The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination With Statistics, Alan Schwarz.

Currently Reading: Tsar: A Thriller, Ted Bell. Far be it from a science fiction enthusiast to doubt the technical plausibility of something in a modern-day thriller revealed very early on, but ... a sooooper-explosive chemical, slipped into the manufacture of every one of an extremely fast-selling consumer electronic device which can be remotely detonated by a satellite-given signal, producing an explosion a thousand times more explosive than an equivalent weight of nitroglycerine, and yet which will on exposure to air --- caused by anyone cracking the case open --- instantly dissolve into a harmless and completely innocuous powder? I call no way.


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