austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Cruising and playing the radio

So what about Pennsylvania? Well ...

  • 1:09. 97 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the car thermometer. Set out again from the Pennsylvania welcome area. It's a welcome area without any fast food places or the like, just vending machines, so I didn't get anything to drink because I thought I had only a couple singles and figured I needed to save those for tolls or other urgent needs. While seated and checking messages on my iPad I drew the attention of a kid who kept saying ``Hi'' and tapped the button on my iPad to launch the Civilization app. Also prominent at the spot: a person sitting at a card table, selling E-Z Pass transponders to anyone who'd stop by and listen to the benefits of the scheme. The person had a box with several dozen transponders, suggesting either I had been there at the slow period for E-Z Pass on-the-road transponder sales or they don't want to have to send out a truck with refills too often.
  • 3:00. 102.6 miles. Stopped at a rest plaza just short of the turnoff for Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, one of Pennsylvania's confusingly many places appropriating the names of other states. If the name seems particularly baffling, that's because it started out as an attempt to insult early settlers who had relocated from New Jersey and there you go. I attempted to tweet something about this, but my iPad, despite reporting four bars on the AT&T network, also said it couldn't get a data connection. I wandered around trying to get any signal, and watching packs of Pennsylvania Dutch walk out of the woods, and since I couldn't do much I texted bunny_hugger instead.
  • 3:28. 91 degrees Fahrenheit. I worry if I keep taking pauses this long at this kind of interval I'll never get there.
  • 6:00. 368.9 miles. Emlenton, Pennsylvania, truck stop. They have two pinball machines there: a Simpsons Pinball Party (broken) and a Wheel Of Fortune (broken). This I can tweet about as signals are coming through just fine here. I buy a bottle of soda too, and some food, and stare at an unattended running-loop video selling what the hand-written sign explains is a ``scientific product'' for lubrication which the truck stop staff won't be able to explain. Also beside this is a motel which mentions how it's owned by Americans, thus taking a bold stand against foreign domination of Elmenton, Pennsylvania, truck stop motels.
  • 6:41. 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Set out again, after filling up --- the first time I've filled up my gas tank, by the way --- with 32.76 miles per gallon on the trip so far. Soon I pass Irwin, Pennsylvania, onetime home of the Jersey Cereal Company.
  • 7:21. 410.7 miles (41.8 miles since refill). Entry into Ohio! The first rest stop is closed and warns the next one is closed too. Somewhere in Ohio must be a place that's open, though, right?

Next: Is there anything open in Ohio? Or Michigan?

Trivia: William Henry Perkin filed for a patent on the process of turning anthracene into alizarin (a brilliant red dye) on 26 June 1869. Germany's Heinrich Caro had filed a patent for much the same process the day before. Source: The Genie in the Bottle, Joe Schwarcz.

Currently Reading: Opus 300, Isaac Asimov.

PS: What We Can Say About Nonexistent Things, and it turns out to be a pretty broad set of things to say.


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