Mental Health.

I took a mental health day today. Well, that’s not quite right. I didn’t call in sick or nothing like that. I took a personal day today and used it as a mental health day.

Work has been very busy the past week or so. Run, run, run. Everyone seems to be in a hurry. We have a couple of key projects going on at work and that’s keeping everyone on their toes. Plus, I had the brilliant idea of rearranging staff so now I’m interviewing people on top of upgrading the entire radio station automation system. My knack for task scheduling is unmatched, to say the least.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I am a road geek. I’m interested in maps and roads, and most specifically, big green road signs. I maintain my road geek website at It’s a great way for me to perfect my web editing skills and I get to share my insight on the roads of Upstate N.Y. with other road geeks, road enthusiasts, road warriors and the motoring public at large.

So today I went to the New York State Department of Transportation photo log department in Albany. Since it was sleeting, raining, snowing and icing, the 200 mile round trip was quite interesting. Not exactly the mentally therapeutic drive I was looking for, but I made the best of it. The NYSDOT photolog department films every inch of highway every year or two for archival purposes. The earliest films they have are from 1975 and 1976, and those are the ones I wanted to take a look at. I was able to take a “virtual drive” up Interstate 81 (as well as some other roads) in Central New York as if it was August 1976. The magic of a film projector! Needless to say, I had a great, great time, and once the NYSDOT rep got over the initial shock of what I was using the research for, he joined in on the fun.

During this fun I cemented a suspicion that has been lurking around in my mind for the past couple of months. My memory is not picture perfect. Now, don’t get me wrong, if I do say so myself I have a memory that can put many others to shame. I remember stupid little insignificant trivial details. But today I discovered that I didn’t remember the signs from 1976 EXACTLY as they appeared on the film today. There were a couple I didn’t remember at all! So I accepted the fact that my memory is not picture perfect. But when all is said and done, I guess I’m as vague as always.

After the Photolog visit, I decided to take the scenic route home and enjoy the foul weather. Mistake. I had driven from Albany to Schenectady (at the most 10 miles) when I decided I needed a break. So I stopped at a barbershop and got a shave. I haven’t done that in a long time.

Feeling minty fresh and excessively pampered, I continued the trek to sunny (yeah, right) Amsterdam (15 more miles) where I stopped for lunch. Earl and I eat in Amsterdam when we’re in the area… at a small restaurant called The Windmill Diner. I couldn’t bring myself to eat there without him so I ate a Veggie Delight at Burger King.

I don’t think I need to tell you that I had to stop again 15 minutes later and beg for a restroom key at a grungy gas station. So much for BK.

I finally arrived home, completing an 1 1/2 hour drive in just short of 4 1/2 hours. Earl then promply called me and asked for me to pick him up at work because his ’03 Dodge Ram has lost its steam once again and is in the shop. Thank goodness it’s a company car… they can pay the bill.

So as I look back on my mental health day, I can say that I enjoyed myself very much. I feel rested and ready to take on the weekend.