"You can't handle the truth!" -Col. Nathan R. Jessup, A Few Good Men
Posted at 6:00 am by Rob in Commodore, Main, Raspberry Pi
I currently own two cases for my Raspberry Pi. One is the gigantic red plastic case that came with it. The other is one I made out of a plastic Pop-Tart I bought at Big Lots. You can see both of those cases here.
Enter my friend Aardvark. Aardvark is a very talented guy who plays guitar and once made a remote controlled phone. Aardvark also does CNC milling, and when he saw my terrible attempt at making my own Raspberry Pi case, he decided to take a stab at making one for me. The day after we had this conversation, Aardvark sent me the following picture:
Now truth be told, I would have been the happiest nerd to simply receive an aluminum box with the Commodore logo on it and use that as a case, but Aardvark had bigger plans. “I need a few pictures of a Commodore 1541 disk drive,” he said, and so that night I took a few and mailed them to me. The next day, I received the following:
With those rough designs, Aardvark went to work and did his thing. The next picture I received was of a rough Raspberry Pi case without any access holes cut out.
To cut the holes, Aardvark said he needed an actual Pi — and so I mailed him one. Paid for it with Paypal and had it shipped directly to him. With the Pi in hand, ‘Vark was able to make the necessary cuts for all of the Pi’s ports. I don’t presume to know how any of this is done. I’m pretty sure black magic is involved.
Thursday when I arrived home from work there was a package waiting for me from Aardvark. Could it be? It was! The case is held together with four tiny flat-head screws. I opened the case and dropped a Raspberry Pi into it. Perfect fit!
I was surprised at how small the case was, but the Pi fits perfectly inside. Here’s the 1541-Pi case assembled, sitting on top of a real Commodore 1541 disk drive.
Food for though: Commodore 1541 floppy disks hold roughly 180k of information. The SD card hanging out of the front of the Raspberry Pi in this picture is an 8gb card which can hold approximately 48,000 Commodore 64 disks.
This weekend I hope to slap a coat of traditional “breadbox brown” paint on the 1541 Pi case, finishing it off. There’s just enough room on the front to add a couple of small red and green lights as well. Old habits die hard. :)
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Aardvark for this awesome case. I feel compelled to tell you that Aardvark would not accept any money for the case. He only made two of them, and I own half of them. Personally I think ‘Vark should start a Kickstarter to get his own CNC mill for the house. If he does, I will keep him in business for many years to come!
Posted at 9:19 am by Rob in Main
I love watching Mason’s gears turn. Last night he walked into the living room on a mission. “I need a cardboard box. I’m building a personal movie theater.” Susan found him a box, and a few minutes later he reappeared with this on his head:
The box has a small opening into which you can place an iPod/iPhone. Mason sat around the living room for a few minutes last night watching YouTube videos with a box on his head before he went to bed. It was the most ridiculous thing ever.
After he went to bed, I decided to make my own.
Mine as you can see had to be a bit larger to accommodate an iPad. My original design required the viewer to insert his or her head up into the box. The first modification I made was turning the back of the box into a “flap” to make viewing a bit more comfortable. I also added a box containing a case of soup cans to the top of the theater to weigh it down to keep the cat from flipping the box over and smashing my iPad. These are the types of things we theater owners have to think about.
Inside the theater there are three rows of seats. They’ll hold 3 3/4″ (aka “Star Wars scale”) figures but for my test run this morning, it was a solo viewing.
With the lights out you can still see the outline of the chairs. I plan on covering them with fabric later tonight. Not really. Well, maybe.
The debut of the theater was a success, so much so that Mason was almost late for school. After the debut showing of “The Empire Strikes Back,” the theater showed one Three Stooges short and one episode of Woody Woodpecker. The theater is now closed so that I can add an external set of computer speakers to pump up the theater’s sound system a bit. You can also rent out the theater for $1 per movie. All proceeds will go toward our furlough fund.
Also, Susan thinks I’m an idiot.
Posted at 6:33 pm by Rob in Main
Every year, this small church in downtown Yukon does a three day garage sale. The sale runs the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday after the Czech Festival, but we’ve never been on Thursday or Friday because Saturday (the last day of the sale) is “everything you can put in a paper grocery sack for a dollar” day. I’m sure Sunday is “all this stuff is going to Goodwill” day, so the church makes a few extra bucks the day before that happens and people load up on grocery sacks full of stuff. I think this was the third year in a row that we’ve gone to the sale. Here’s what I got today for a dollar. Again, not a dollar each — one dollar, total. First up is a hard-of-hearing bird and a skeleton pirate.
“I’m a skeleton, you know.”
Next up were these three DVDs.
“On the Edge” features 10 stand up comics including Dave Attell, Dane Cook, Lewis Black, and the late and oh-so-great Mitch Hedberg. Then there’s the Dennis Miller DVD that features, well, Dennis Miller. I think I already have Pump up the Volume on DVD but if we review this film on my Throwback Reviews podcast, I’ll give this copy away. There were another 20 or so DVDs at the sale but I had not heard of any of them and none of them looked like anything I would watch, so I left them. Next up, a few CDs.
“Space and Beyond” is a 2-CD compilation that contains themes from science fiction films and a bunch of sound effects. Likewise, “Screen Themes ’94″ contains songs from films released in 1994. That includes Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, True Lies and the Lion King. The third CD is Paul Simon’s “Songs from the Capeman.” Again, I left at least a hundred CDs behind.
This is a fake watermelon, a USB cable (of which I already own 9,000) and a Pez dispenser. I didn’t say they were all gems.
This is a brand new guitar strap. I own six guitars and two guitar straps and one of them is so janky that it’s literally duct taped in place. This will come in handy.
As for the other members of the family, Mason scored big in his search for Thunder things. In a box he found all of these signs, each one from a different playoff game.
From what I could tell, Morgan got a bag full of used ribbon and Christmas tinsel and I’m not sure what Susan got. If it was anything amazing there will be a follow up post.
Posted at 6:00 am by Rob in Main
I’m a creature of habit. I like patterns. I like getting up at the same time every day, taking a shower every day, going to work every day, going to lunch at the same time every day, and coming home every day. Maybe “like” is not the right word. I need some semblance of structure in my life.
I have to admit, our first couple of furlough days were kind of fun. It’s not often that Susan and I are both off work without the kids. We ran some errands, ate some food, went to the movies, and generally speaking enjoyed the time off. Susan got caught up on her homework and I got caught up on my podcasts. It wasn’t until somewhere around the end of day two that the reality of the situation began to sink in. On either day two or day three (the days really are beginning to run together at this point) Susan put us in “lock down mode.” When we’re in lock down mode I don’t get to buy anything fun and Susan stocks up on groceries and we do a lot of eating at home. You know you’re in lock down mode when you spend $150 at Aldi’s. You also know you’re bored when you look forward to grocery shopping at Aldi’s. One of the few positive side effects of the furlough is that over the past two weeks I’ve lost about 10 pounds — not from a lack of food but from a lack of eating, if that makes sense.
Based on the political climate right now I assumed there would be a furlough, but I did not assume it would last this long. Financially we’ll be okay, but it’s still scary. And when I say we’ll be okay, I mean that we have already looked into borrowing against our thrift savings plan. The vast majority of our savings went into the down payment on this house that we bought the year before last. We’ve been doubling up on car payments and house payments, which is a good way to pay off loans early but not a good way to build up a lot of extra savings. As it stands we can miss one paycheck and still be fine. If we miss two paychecks, that’s when we start talking about things like selling golf carts or motorcycles or cars. Susan has been talking about having another garage sale. I can tell you that if we sold everything in our garage that doesn’t have a motor we could come up with 1/10th of our next house payment.
We have looked into alternative forms of income, the first of which is unemployment. There’s a lot of misinformation out there on this one — first we were told we didn’t qualify, then we were told we would. Once you file and everything goes through it looks like could potentially collect $375 a week. Also depending on the source we have heard that we might have to pay that money back if we receive back pay. I also checked into substitute teaching and it looks like you can make ~$65/day doing that, once you have passed a background check and have been certified, which could take a couple of weeks. I could probably hustle up a computer repair gig or a web development project but the minute we are called back to work I would have to drop it. Susan officially vetoed my plan to charge $20 to people to have dinner with me. I was looking forward to the money and the food.
I mentioned back pay — that is, the government reimbursing us for this time off. The House voted and approved back pay for furloughed employees but the Senate has refused to vote on the subject. Again with the rumors — we will get back pay, we won’t get back pay, we’ll get 50% of our salary… who knows what will end up happening. If I knew for sure that I was going to receive back pay I wouldn’t be as stressed as I am now. I don’t like the idea of getting paid for sitting at home, but I like the idea of missing car and house payments even less. There is an assumption that if and when back pay is approved, we will be called back to work even if we are not getting paid at that time. Everybody assumes that we will receive back pay for this furlough. I can tell you that I was furloughed last year (only for one day) ad I did not receive back pay for that day.
A big source of frustration comes from most people not understanding who is being affected by the furlough. The national news media assumes that only rich, fat cats in Washington D.C. have been sent home. Not true. Even our local newspaper is quick to point out the people at Tinker that have been furloughed but rarely mentions the close to 7,500 people from the FAA that were sent home. 7,500 is a small fraction of 800,000 that doesn’t mean much, unless you’re one of them. My favorite conversation as of late is when people say “well since these people are non-essential, get rid of ‘em!” As an IT employee, being non-essential is no surprise to me. People always tell me I”m non-essential… until something breaks. Then I become very essential, very quickly. My very small group of IT professionals receive dozens if not hundreds of requests each week from help desks, computer specialists, end users, managers, you name it, needing our non-essential services. Each morning I get a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach wondering what has broken since we left and what fires we will have to put out when we return. I am not in a position to divulge everything I am worried about, but suffice it to say that I am worried.
As the furlough continues to drag on the days are running together and dragging on. Last night I recorded two video podcasts, edited a third audio one, wrote some custom PHP code, worked on website, played some games… and looked up and discovered it was 3:45 A.M. The days have turned into minor trips outside the home to maintain our sanity with a light sprinkling to naps throughout the day. Earlier today at the thrift store I picked up a book on how to paint animals on rocks. I wish I were kidding.
That’s another thing. When I’m bored, I tend to shop. That’s a really bad habit to have when you don’t know when your next paycheck is coming. Yes we went to the thrift store today, and yes we had a couple of long island iced teas for lunch yesterday, but for the most part we’re hunkering down. There have been no McDonald’s breakfasts, no dinner buffets, no Star Wars treasure hunts on eBay… none of that. Lots of free activities right now, like reading and writing and possibly painting animals on rocks tomorrow.
Yes the furlough was fun the first couple of days and yes we are trying to make the best use of our time right now as we can. That being said, we just want to go back to work and earn our paychecks.
Posted at 10:54 am by Rob in Food, Main
A few months back I wrote about the food trucks in Washington DC I visited while I was there. I love the concept of food trucks. When I’m in Washington DC, it is so convenient to simply walk out the front door of our building and have 30 or more food trucks to choose from. I wish we had something like this near where I work but, we don’t. I have only purchased food from one food truck in Oklahoma (Big Truck Tacos) and that was because they have catered a few events we’ve attended.
I’ve seen the name La Gumbo Ya Ya a few times on Facebook (and really, how could you forget it) but hadn’t had the chance to try their food yet. They claim to offer “the BEST New Orleans style Po-Boys in Oklahoma City,” but unfortunately for me they tend to offer them on the north side of town and I work on the south side. “Po me.”
Through social media I heard that La Gumbo Ya Ya was offering free lunches to furloughed government employees with their furlough letters in hand. Since Susan and I are (a) currently furloughed and (b) always up for an adventure, we decided to take the Gumbo truck up on their generous offer. With our furlough letters in hand (and our badges in our pockets, just in case) we sought out La Gumbo Ya Ya for our free meals. The simplest way to find where La Gumbo Ya Ya will be is by following them on Twitter or Facebook, where they post both their upcoming locations and their daily menu. Wednesday, their menu included “Crawfish Jambalaya, Shrimp Gumbo, Sausage PoBoy, and Rice-o Rico,” and they were located at 525 Central Park, about 20 minutes from our house. (Spoiler: I will drive 20 minutes for free gumbo.)
After locating the truck we approached with our furlough letters in hand. After presenting them we were told to order anything we like. Susan’s not a huge fan of seafood so she ordered the Rice-o-Rico and I had the Shrimp Gumbo. The couple running the truck said that we were the first two “free furlough lunches” they had handed out. One of the owners told us a little about the history of po-boy sandwiches and how the tradition came from the 1920s, when free sandwiches were handed out to workers on strike. He said it seemed only fitting that La Gumbo Ya Ya keep the spirit alive and do the same. He also told us that he was serving in the military during the last furlough, so he knew what it was like.
While I am not just saying this because it was free, but in the parking lot of Central Park that day I had the best bowl of Shrimp Gumbo I have ever had. The shrimp, okra and rice were perfect, mixed with just enough spice to bring the dish alive. Susan said her bowl of vegetables were delicious too. While we were grateful for the free lunch, we were more grateful to receive a bit of generosity from a local business. Susan and I are by no means anywhere near starving, but saving $15 during lunch during a week of no pay helps. Aside from all that, La Gumbo Ya Ya has absolutely delicious food and earned two new customers out of the deal.
Links for La Gumbo Ya Ya: WWW | Twitter | Facebook
Posted at 11:59 pm by Rob in Main, Podcast
On the latest episode of Throwback Reviews, Ferg from the Atari 2600 Game by Game Podcast dropped by to chat with Sean and I about (what else) the Atari 2600! In this episode the three of us talk about some of our favorite games, some of our least favorite games, how we started collecting Atari games and what our collections look like today. (Spoiler: Ferg’s collection is the largest.)
Link: Throwback Reviews 19: The Atari 2600
The day after Sean, Ferg and I recorded Throwback Reviews, Guy and John J. from the Adventure Club Podcast invited me and Ferg to join them on their show. The timing was a little awkward at first, but everything worked out and I have to say this ended up being the most fun episode of ACP I have ever been on. Everybody was firing on all cylinders that night and this turned out to be one of the best episodes I have ever been a part of. A must listen!
Link: Adventure Club Podcast 72: Fitz, Flack and Ferg
Posted at 6:00 pm by Rob in Adventures, Main
Saturday, my drive home from Tempe, Arizona led me via I-40 through Albuquerque, New Mexico, filming location of the hit television show Breaking Bad. My GPS told me that by leaving Tempe at 6 AM, I would arrive home at 11 PM as long as I did not stop for fuel or food. (It’s a fifteen hour drive, plus an additional two hours in time zone changes.) Even though I knew it would be a long day in the car, I decided to spend 30 minutes driving around Albuquerque and visiting a few of the more recognizable locations from Breaking Bad.
The last time I did something like this was when I visited and documented a dozen or so filming locations from Weird Al’s cult classic UHF. Back then, I used the commentary track from the DVD to obtain the addresses used in the movie and physically found them using a laptop-based USB GPS and a copy of Microsoft MapPoint. That was back in 2003. Ten years later in 20123, to visit Breaking Bad filming locations I used my phone to search Google for “Breaking Bad Filming Locations” and punched a few of them into my car’s GPS. Things sure have gotten simpler. Anyway, on with the pictures.
The Dog House
1216 Central Ave SW
The Dog House has been featured several times in Breaking Bad. In the show, there are rarely cars parked out front. In reality, the Dog House was doing a bustling business when I arrived on Saturday. Because the parking lot was full of cars and car hops were busy running from car to car taking and delivering orders, I did not want to tie up the lone remaining parking spot since I was not ordering food. Instead, I snapped this single photo and drove on to the next location.
A1 Car Wash / Octopus Car Wash
9516 Snowheights Circle
In Breaking Bad, Walter White originally worked at the A1 Car Wash. Later in the show, Walt bought the car wash, which his wife Skyler ran (and used for laundering money). Other than covering up the “Octopus Car Wash” on the front of the building, the car wash pretty much appears in real life like it does in the show. With my DSLR camera I was able to get a shot almost exactly how it appears in Breaking Bad. My “selfie” photo turned out much worse. I am not very good at taking selfies, I’m afraid.
Saul Goodman’s Office / Hooligans Tavern
9800 Montgomery Blvd NE
When you find yourself in over your head in legal matters, what should you do? “Better Call Saul!” Saul Goodman’s legal office is in reality Hooligans Tavern, located in the core of a strip mall. Similar to “Spatula City” in Weird Al’s UHF, without the signage (or the inflatable Statue of Liberty perched on the roof) it looks much like any other strip mall. There wasn’t much to do here except take a picture and keep driving.
Walter White’s House
3828 Piermont Drive
On the television show, the White family lives at 308 Negra Arroyo. The house actually used for shooting exterior shots is located at 3828 Piermont Drive. The house is owned by Fran and Louie Padilla, who have lived in the house since 1973. (You can see a five minute interview with Fran here. Fran is known to come out and greet visitors, which she did while I was standing on front of her mailbox. I felt somewhat awkward standing around taking pictures of someone’s home so I didn’t stick around too long. I don’t know how many people have visited the Padilla’s home but while I was there no less than 10 other cars stopped to take pictures. I had to wait at least five minutes to get a picture of the house without anyone standing in the driveway.
Los Pollos Hermanos / Twisters
4257 Isleta Blvd SW
My final stop was at Los Pollos Hermanos, aka Twisters in real life. Much of the show took place at Gus’ chicken restaurant. In reality, Twisters is a “fast casual dining experience specializing in New Mexican foods as well as American favorites.”
In the show, a large “Los Pollos Hermanos” logo appears on the wall of the restaurant. The logo is still there, and based on the amount of time I was there, is a popular backdrop for visitors taking photographs.
Literally hundreds of Breaking Bad filming locations have been identified and documented, and there are also local tours that will drive you around and show them to you. I’d like to go back, maybe in the spring, and do a bit more sightseeing.
Posted at 9:30 am by Rob in Videogames
Last weekend, the day before I hopped into Susan’s car and drove 15 hours from Oklahoma City to Tempe, Arizona for a training class, I bought the new PS3/GTAV bundle. For $260, you can get Grand Theft Auto V (which retails for $60) and a new, 500gb PlayStation 3. I still have my 60gb launch PlayStation 3 in the den, but Mason has had it tied up with Call of Duty for months. I brought the new PS3 with me to Tempe (along with a spare HDMI cable) and hooked the console up in my hotel room. Mason (who is 11) told me that some of his friends are already playing GTAV and wanted to know if he could play my copy while I was out of town. After all, “it’s just a game, Dad!”
In the game’s opening training sequence, you will learn how to control your character by participating in a bank robbery. Your first job will be to point your gun at hostages to get them to move into the bank’s vault. You point your gun by holding down L2 on the controller. If you accidentally hit R2 you will shoot the hostage, at which point one of your accomplices will shoot you and you will fail the mission. I did that. After restarting, I retaliated by shooting my partner first. Again, I failed the mission. On my third attempt, I took cover behind a desk and opened fire on everyone in the room. 45 seconds into Grand Theft Auto V and I had already gone on my first murderous rampage.
Also within the first 45 seconds you’ll hear your first f-bomb, and your second, and your tenth, along with a few mother f’ers thrown in for good measure. Unlike some movies where they don’t introduce nudity until the second or third act, less than a minute into the game it has been made painfully obvious that this is not intended for kids.
Eventually I did rob the bank as I was supposed to, which led me to a shootout with cops. During this phase I learned that shooting cops in the leg or torso isn’t very effective because they can still shoot back at you while lying on the ground, bleeding. Head shots are key here. After shooting those copes, more cops showed up. I shot them too. I should note that to walk, sprint, take cover, aim, and shoot requires more buttons than all video games previously released combined. My gangster name is Fumble Fingers. Whenever I meant to take cover, I jumped around like the time Curly got ants in his pants. Whenever I tried to shoot I somehow put away my gun and began punching at air. It’s a wonder I was every able to shoot all the cops in the head, but eventually I did.
Then I hopped in a getaway car, got hit by a train and died. Mission complete.
In the next mission I played as Franklin, a street-wise thug. My first mission as Franklin was to repossess a car and follow his friend Lamar through city streets.
I have spent years erasing the n-word from my vocabulary. I don’t like hearing it, and I would never say it (unless I was in my car alone listening to old gangster rap). Franklin and Lamar however looooovet the n-word. This is what the next five minutes of the game sounds like:
“N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD N-WORD.”
The next mission teaches you how to drive. It also taught me how to hit pedestrians, sideswipe cars, and ploy into motorcyclists.
With that mission out of the way it was time for my next awesome mission, which was to change Franklin’s clothes and go get a haircut.
I must admit, after having already acquired a taste for blood, playing dress up with Franklin seemed a bit lame. Instead of taking Franklin to the barber shop as instructed, we stole a city bus, rammed police cars until the cops shot out my tires, abandoned the bus for a cement truck, and caused mayhem until I was forced off the road into the ocean. I was able to make it back to the shore, where a police officer promptly shot me in the head. Good night, Franklin.
From a technological standpoint, Grand Theft Auto V is simply amazing. I read somewhere that the city in GTAV is bigger than all the other games combined. It is truly wonderful technology; I’m just not so sure we’re using it in the name of good at this point. I’ll write more as I work through through the game.
Posted at 8:26 am by Rob in Main
I’ve been super busy for two weeks straight now. After hanging out with my buddy Robb and some other friends at the Oklahoma Video Game Expo all weekend, I hopped in Susan’s car and drove to Tempe, Arizona yesterday. It was a long drive, one I was not looking forward to and one I wish I had spent two days making instead of one. The long and boring drive across Texas, New Mexico and Arizona for the most part offers little to look at, even less after dark. Combine that with abysmal cell phone coverage and the crushing news that the arrival time on the GPS was two hours off (it had compensated for the two time zone difference).
While I was driving I-40 west yesterday, my son Mason got to meet Weird Al. I have dreamed of meeting Weird Al for 30 years, just to shake his hand and compliment him on his genius. Al was doing a book signing in Oklahoma City yesterday. Unfortunately, I was in Susan’s car, driving west on I-40. It seems like every work trip takes me away from some significant life event at this point. If you ever want to have a pity party for yourself, 925 miles in a car by yourself is a great place to have one.
So yes, Susan’s car. Let’s talk about that.
Around 6:15 PM yesterday, I pulled off the highway in Gallup, New Mexico to get gas and food. The first sign I was in a classy part of town was this smoke shop.
If that place had been open I would have paid the $7.95 for the haircut and the story.
Half a block down was McDonald’s. I stopped there to use the bathroom. The second sign I was in a classy part of town was that this McDonald’s apparently has its own security guard who walks around and monitors the parking lot. After using the restroom, based on the line and the clientele loitering in the lobby I decided to order my dinner in the drive-thru instead. Wrong move.
After ordering a couple of cheeseburgers and another cup of road fuel (coffee), I pulled around to the window to pay. Right after paying, I was jolted. BAM. Anyone who has ever ridden the bumper cars and been hit from behind knows the feeling. I hopped out of the car and, sure enough, the guy behind me had hit me.
“My foot slipped off the brake,” he offered. With camera in hand I began snapping photos while holding up the drive-thru line. I took pictures of my bumper, his bumper, his license plate, and while I had the man trapped in drive-thru, his insurance. In a “silver lining” moment, I was hit by an older gentleman in a Cadillac who was, I am quite sure, the only other person in the parking lot with auto insurance.
After re-entering my car I pulled up, got my food, and then pulled over to park. After calling Susan, I called 911 to have an officer sent out and file a report. They said one would be out shortly.
For the next 30 minutes I sat in the car, my hands still shaking from the adrenaline. The man who hit me sat parked two spots away, eating his (now) very expensive ice cream cone.
We waited. I called a few people and texted out pictures of the bumper. We waited some more. With every passing minute the GPS added more to my arrival time. We waited some more.
At 7 PM, I called 911 again. “What is your emergency?” the lady asked. I did not have an emergency at 7 PM. I had one just before 6:30 PM, when I was in an accident. Was someone coming? Yes, she said. Would it be soon? She could not say. Would it be more than an hour? She could not say — calls are sorted by priority and the time they came in. Is exchanging insurance policies enough, or do I need a police report? She could not say. I thanked her out of habit and not out of sincerity, and hung up.
By 7:30 PM, no officers had arrived. Around that time the man walked over to my car, said he had called his insurance agent at Geico, and filed a claim. We have the same insurance so I got the claim number, shook his hand, and we decided to part ways. I hope we exchanged enough information to get Susan’s bumper fixed. For what it’s worth, his looked worse than mine did. As I was pulling back on to the highway, I made one last call.
“911, what is your emergency?”
“I don’t have one. I’m calling to cancel one.”
“You’re calling to cancel an emergency?”
“Yes. I called and asked for an officer to come out. You can cancel that. I am almost 300 miles away from my hotel and I need to start driving. I can’t wait any longer.”
“So you no longer need an officer to come out?”
“I needed an officer to come out at 6:30 PM. It’s 7:30 PM. I cannot wait any longer. I am leaving now.”
“Ok. Thank you for calling 911.”
Posted at 6:00 am by Rob in Main
While stopping for a meal in Arkansas, Susan spotted a “sign graveyard” next door. The parking lot and surrounding area was littered with hundreds of discarded signs: some in the trash dumpster, some near the trash dumpster, some around the trash dumpster, and some that hadn’t quite made their way to the trash dumpster yet.
(I have to tell you, if I had been in my truck this Red Lobster sign would be mounted over my garage door right now.)
The signs were of varying stages of disrepair. Some of the ones with Plexiglas had been smashed. Most of the ones with electronics had already been stripped of their wiring. Lots of them had been smushed.
There’s something about these old signs that fascinates me, but I’m not really sure what or why that is. They’re something most people don’t think twice about. Seeing them scattered around on the ground like that feels somehow unnatural.
Oh well. It’s too bad the signs and letters were all in such terrible shape that none of them could make the trip back home. Well…