Monday, August 11, 2008

Love, Hate, and Pot

First the good things about this trip so far.

Both of my planes have departed and landed. With me on them. In fact, I’ve actually arrived EARLY at both of my destinations. We’ll see how long THAT trend continues.

I got to spend time with my friend Eric in Houston. We hung out at a great coffee shop and had some good Tex-Mex for dinner. Not to mention witty and insightful conversation even though he was half dead from a weekend kayaking trip where he tried to end the life of his cell phone through immersion AND he remembered he really doesn’t like being on the water very much.

Another good thing? He went with me to buy a new briefcase. We all know how much I LOATH shopping of any type. He was a real trooper. Ps: I like THIS one (briefcase) (so far).

That ends the “love”.

Let the “hate” begin!

Leaving Atlanta for Houston, I gate checked my previously “new-ish” computer bag I inherited at the office when I got this new (light weight) 2 pound projector. It (the briefcase, not the projector) is heavy and bulky – and there was no way it would fit in the overhead bin of the small regional jet.

WHY is it heavy and bulky? Because of all the wires, and cords, and suspicious looking flat square objects I packed in it for my seeekrit plot to take over the world. And who was the FIRST observant person to notice this? Yes, our friendly TSA “helpers”. Who insisted they needed to HAND CHECKING my bag at RDU. UNPACING and examining every little teeny, tiny thing. Including my roll of quarters for laundry!

That’s when I knew I better be 2 hours early before EVERY flight I take in the next three weeks.

Them: “What’s this?”

Me: “A CD/ROM drive”

Them: “What’s it for”

Me: “My laptop”

Them: “What’s this?”

Me: “A projector”

Them: “Are you sure? It’s very small”

Me: “Yes, I am sure”

Them: “What’s it for?”

Me: “The presentations I’ll be doing for the next three weeks”

Them: “Please show me the projector. I don’t believe there is one made so small.”

Me: “See?”

Them: “What’s this?”

Me: “An extension cord”

Them: “What’s it for?”

Me: “So I can plug in my laptop and projector into my power strip”

Them: “Is this the power strip?”

Me: (WANTING TO SAY, “NO IT’S A FUCKING BOMB!”) but actually saying “Yes, THAT IS a power strip.”

So – back to when I was in Atlanta – I gate checked the briefcase.

I landed at Houston.

My briefcase was waiting for me on the jetway. Admittedly a “good thing”.

The not so good thing? One of the handles was broken.

This is not a surprise to me, as we have two other computer cases by the same manufacture with broken handles AT THE OFFICE!! The handles? They are not so goodly designed. And WHY do we have so many of these briefcases? Because they have a “lifetime” warranty. So – the handle breaks, you call – they send a new briefcase.

But it seems to me after the second one broke … MAYBE WE SHOULD HAVE CHANGED BRANDS – even if it was a “life time of replacing briefcases” type warranty. Cause it’s not so “handy” when you’re at the beginning of the trip to have ONE HANDLE. Just sayin!

And if “they” think I’m waging a 40 lbs briefcase around the country with a broken handle, they are not so bright. So – Eric and I went to Target and I bought a new case.


It is still heavy, but it has all the right slots and pockets and zippers. And the handles are not made of some plastic stuff that can/will fall apart. Although they are SEWN into the seams – and I have my doubts how strong the seams are. Hopefully strong enough to endure 3 weeks of man-handling.

Stoner GPS; Or Unreliable Narrator; Or I’ve Been Everywhere

I’ve been trying REALLY, REALLY hard to be positive and LURV the Garmin Nuve GPS (which I have renamed the Grimlin Doobie) the company bought me.

I have, I have, I have.

EVEN THOUGH when we left Memphis to go to Tunica Doobie took us THE LONG WAY.

THE OLD WAY I might add. On the road that has stoplights every mile.

Not the brand new – interstate (hello! No stoplights) way.

When we returned to Memphis, I overroad “Doobie's” (as in a MaryJane joint) decisions and we went home MY way.

Poor Doobie almost had a heart attack. “NO ROAD! NO Road!” She screeched at us. So we turned her volume way down and changed the animation from a car to a Four Wheel Drive Truck.

Yesterday my first irritation with Doobie was how softly she was speaking. THEN she didn’t recognize any streets with “Number Names”. I dunno. She didn’t like “11th” or “Eleventh” or “11”.

As I left Houston I told her “NO TOLL ROADS”. Which she must have interpreted to mean – NO HIGHWAYS ever.

I've been everywhere, man

I've been everywhere, man

I've crossed the deserts bare, man, breathed the mountain air, man

Travel I've had my share, man

I've been everywhere

I've been to:

Waco, Hico, Hondo, Navasota, Winnsboro, Jacksboro, Hillsboro, Santa Rosa,

Austin, Houston, Galveston, Texarkana, Frisco, Buffalo, Conroe, Corsicana,

Goliad, Groesbeck, Glen Rose, Red Oak, Post Oak, Live Oak, Lone Oak, no joke

Or at least I’ve been through Bonus and Egypt and La Grange and Giddings and Rockdale. All places that do not have anywhere “safe” to pee.

Finally we turned on TX-77 – and I was encouraged. There was a modern Shell Gas Station and a sign saying, “Waco – 71 miles”.

Suddenly STUPID DOOBIE told me to turn. TOWARDS Temple. Temple and the rain-storm. Temple which is WEST of Waco.

In writing there is a type of character that’s called an “Unreliable Narrator”. You cannot trust what they say – or rely on them to tell you the truth.

It’s possible I think Doobie is an unreliable navigator, because she didn’t even recognize the address of the (crap) hotel I am staying in tonight.

I DUNNO. But I am NOT THRILLED with her. I find it hard to follow directions under the best of circumstances, and she has done NOTHING to prove she knows what she is talking about yet.

We’ll see how she does tomorrow. How difficult can it be to go from Waco to Dallas Love Field? Right??

Now I’m going to go eat some Chicken Fried Steak and drink some Shiner Bock Beer.


Anonymous said...

You mean you've given up Maps ? They are my lifeline when traveling !!!
I don't give Doobie long to last - never knew anything you couldn't override - or get rid of ! Is it a portable ? That's like cookin' with lard instead of butter !!!! tp

mamie said...

Maybe Doobie could use some speed (no pun intended)? Jump start that heart rate and make him feel oh so bright?? It's all in how you look at it, hmmm?

Glad you're posting again. I missed you!

Bob said...

I dunno, but maybe a few minutes on google maps or mapquest the night before would be more useful than Doobie? at least, if your goal is NOT a back-country adventure.

CG said...

I hate GPS. Its the equivalent of someone in the passenger seat talking like this:

Passenger: Turn left up here.
Driver: Left?
Passenger: Right!
Driver: RIGHT??? NOT LEFT??
Passenger: LEFT! LEFT! THERE!

Thanks for my menu I just get to wait to see if anyone RSVP's! :)

Keetha said...

BLESS YOUR HEART. I do not trust those high faluting navigation devices, either. I think you deserve chicken fried anything and several Shiner Bocks.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sis,

When I worked for ADT in the service department I had a GPS in a handheld communication brick. (No really, this thing was five times the size of a Palm Trio). Anyway, being the sexist mail pig that I am, I chose the female voice. It is really nice to tell her to shut up and turn her down or off. I wish that was the way it could be in real life with wives and mothers. I just tend to be in perpetual trouble. In my new job the boss strongly suggests I get one and quit depending on maps or Yahoo maps. I'm getting old for female machines to tell me what to do.

Of everything we did when we lived in Austin, we didn't visit Shiner or the brewery. But we don't visit the winery's here in Lodi either.
Good luck in Texas, if you get the chance go to Copeland Texas for the best Bar-B-Q you will ever eat.Period!

Later sis