October 11, 2009

Breezewood, Pa.

Gold is the prevalent colour in the Southern Tier this year.

Today I began what I am calling the “Big Geek Adventure 2009”. I left The Manor around 3:00 p.m. with a Jeep full of goodies: a few days worth of clothes, a lovely lunch pail packed by a thoughtful husbear, a duffle bag or two of geek stuff and toys and most of all, my cycling gear.

I am on vacation this week. Earl is not able to take all of this week off along with me, so with his blessing I am on a multi-day roadtrip. Some people don’t understand how I can go on vacation without Earl. I’m not vacationing to get away from Earl by any means. He knows that I like exploring by driving endless hours on miles and miles of road, wandering aimlessly here and there and he enjoys helping me indulge in this, hence my ride this week.

I was going to try to wander today by sticking to two-lane roads but after taking nearly 2.25 hours to drive 80 miles I was losing my mind, so I decided to change my route a bit and take scenic freeways. Believe it or not, we have scenic freeways in these parts. Once the weekend is over and such, the Sunday drivers should be back at home lapping up spoonfuls of Sominex and leaving the roads fairly clear, so I’ll start the two-lane road thing again in a day or two.

I have a destination planned for tomorrow; I am meeting up with our friend Thom in Northern Virginia for a bike ride, hence the bike in the back of the Jeep. Thom and I have talked about riding together for a number of years and haven’t been able to make it happen, so this is a good chance to see him again and to finally go on that bike ride. I’m looking forward to seeing him.

My first change in course was to turn west at Binghamton along NY Route 17, which is Future Interstate 86 (at least where I was). Here Route 17 follows along the Susquehanna River for a bit, and one of the rest areas are conveniently situated on the banks.


After a bite to eat from the aforementioned lunch pail, I headed west to Corning and then turned south along US Route 15, which is Future Interstate 99 in these parts. We apparently have a bright future ahead of us. Along Route 15 I quickly left the Empire State behind and ended up in the Keystone State, where I headed straight south through Central Pennsylvania. Tonight I am spending the night in Breezewood, Pa., known as the place where you have to exit Interstate 70 to get onto Interstate 70 after driving by a bunch of motorist friendly establishments.

By the way, I have been here before. The room is configured the same but the curtains are different this time around.

Tomorrow morning I intend on continuing the trip to Thom’s in Virginia. My Twitter (see right hand column) will be kept up to date and I am on a geek experiment during this trip: I have only a Windows 7 computer to use for my tech needs. I will be writing a review of my Windows 7 experience in a couple of days on my geek blog.

Now, to get some sleep.

Update (10/12/2009 00:20) — I’ve started my Windows 7 experience on my ‘geekdom blog’, which is now called ‘From Mac To 7’. You can see it here.


I love the English language. My abilities in the language are not the model of perfect syntax but I strive to speak and write well by utilising the skills I learned as a youngster and continue to learn each day. I try to talk English more goodly when I talk.

I was recently reading an article about the rapid demise of the proper use of English among students. College professors are shocked at the appearance of words such as “AFAIK”, “LOL” and the like are showing up in term papers. Students are now using text-messaging shorthand in lieu of forming complete sentences. The nuances of the language are rapidly falling away. Why describe something with a colorful, elaborate prose when you can plunk it out in terse, utilitarian, plain ol’ black and white on a tiny keyboard?

With the advent of spelling correction and the like, people are paying less and less attention to their spelling and in many occasions are using a program where they aren’t autocorrected. This drives me insane. I admit that I have my share of spelling and grammar mistakes on my blog. Due to my history of writing advertising copy, I tend to write as a person would speak versus how a person would read and that informal style tends to carry over to my words here. I write casually but I try really hard not to be casual with my spelling, as there really isn’t a formal and casual way of spelling a word. So I’d like to take a moment and review some of the basics that really get on my nerves:

lose vs loose
“Emma wanted to lose some weight so her pants would be loose.”
“Matt played with the loose change in his pocket.”
“I won. You lose.”

Here is how I remember: when you lose something you want to only lose one ‘o’. When you’re loose, you’re probably having double the fun.

desert vs dessert
“J.P. and Earl went for a Jeep ride in the desert.” (note: we were not driving through an ice cream sundae.)
“I think I’ll have the apple pie for dessert.”

Here is how I remember: There is one desert in the U.S. and once in a while I wish I could have two desserts.

their, there and they’re
“They’re happy that their mobile home was still there after the tornado.”

‘They’re’ is a contraction of they are. “They’re excited about winning the lottery.”
‘Their’ is possessive. “It’s their kid that is screaming.”
‘There’ refers to a place. “Put the couch over there.”

I just remember that one, though I occasionally mix it up when I’m typing quickly.