there is water underground.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Road Trip, Anyone?

This post regards a link that Mike posted, one upon which I'd like to elaborate.

I once drove around this fine country of ours. During the two-month trip, I visited thirty-seven states and drove approximately 12,000 miles (at a time when gas was $1.25/gallon). Most of it alone, some with company. Had a great time, saw many amazing sights and had loads of memorable experiences.

This guy did the opposite. He drove around the country in just over nine days, making it a point to touch every state (including Alaska and Hawaii, to which he made 2 rountrip flights during the last two days of his jouney). So really, he drove around the entire fucking country in just over seven days. Do you have any idea how insane this is??

Let's compare some of the statistics. My trip took two months and 12,000 miles, which conveniently works out to about 200 miles per day. That's not too bad. That's about 3 to 4 hours of driving, plus ample time for other activities (like hiking, playing baseball on the real field of dreams, or flooding the bathroom in a restaurant in the hometown of the grand wizard of the KKK). Additionally, there were days when I did a lot more driving than that, and as a result there were days when I did barely any driving. My longest driving day took me just over 500 miles, from Austin TX to the border between Arkansas and Tennessee, and the next day I spent walking around Memphis because I was so sick of being behind my steering wheel. Well, the real reason was because Memphis rules. But walking helped that day.

This guy had to average 1100 miles per day in order to meet his goal. That's the distance from New York to Miami or from Boston to St. Louis, every day, for a week. Un-fucking-believeable. That takes cojones... and a carload of military rations. Also, he barely slept, making the trip kinda risky to anyone else on the road, but I guess he was so amped up on adrenaline and the target of getting to all 50 states (note: he didn't need to explore every state; he just had to physically touch 'em all, even for a second... so of course he went to four corners, the only place in the country where one can physically be in 4 states at once) that he didn't need too much sleep.

There are other statistical comparisons that are kinda fun, too. My trip took about 60 days, which comes out to 1440 hours. If I drove 12,000 miles, that means that my average speed was 8.3 mph, even for the hours during which I was not driving. Using the same method of calculation, his average speed was 47 mph. Even while sleeping.

Overall, an impressive story. Insane, but impressive nonetheless. Part of me wants to yell at the guy for all the amazing things he missed by driving around the country on the interstates and never really stopping, but I know that wasn't his goal/motive so it's okay. My only real problem lies with this quote:

"I also listened to a lot of Country & Western music on the radio and heard Trisha Yearwood sing “There Goes My Baby” at least thirty times, which was fine by me."

He deserves a beating for that. But read his story; it's pretty amazing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Maybe Next Time...

It's interesting to see what happens when fate and performance dates interact. Some shows get canceled or postponed, and the reasons are sometimes amusing. Here are a few:

Reason: Deportation
Band/Artist: Rodrigo y Gabriela
Story: What can I say, Rodrigo had visa issues and got deported the night before they were going to play at the Roxy in Boston. It sucks, and yet is so awesome. By the way, this happened yesterday. I was going to go to the show with Adam. I wound up kicking his ass in pool.

Reason: Bitchiness
Band/Artist: Mariah Carey
Story: First show in Hong Kong for the diva, and she throws a hissy because they don't have her favorite brand of bottled water or the right kind of furniture in the green room. Way to lose one of your few remaining audiences. (granted, this isn't really fate, but at least several thousand people were spared an evening of glass-shattering "vocals")

Reason: Plumbing Truck
Band/Artist: The Max Klau Band
Story: In the afternoon on the day we were to play at the Milky Way, a plumbing truck smacked into the storefront above the club and injured six people. It also knocked out the power for the entire block. Thankfully the people were not seriously hurt, and I'm kinda glad that we didn't play that night because our keyboard player had also recently come down with pneumonia.

Reason: No insurance
Band/Artist: Blue Oyster Cult
Story: The local promoter for the group's 2003 show in Salem didn't have the right insurance policy for a one-day event. He canceled the show and forgot to tell the band. They showed up (with more cowbell than ever) and were understandably pissed. Insult was apparently added to injury when it was reported that fewer than 90 (yes, ninety) tickets had been sold.

Reason: Geography
Band/Artist: Eric Clapton
Story: In summer 2006, Clapton was scheduled to perform on Moscow's famous Red Square. However, Russian authorities canceled the show just four days before the performance because the permits were issued for the Vasilevsky Spusk. This is, in fact, a large area of the Red Square that is often used for events such as speeches and concerts. Problem was that the authorities didn't know what or where the Vasilevsky Spusk was; they thought it was a different area of Moscow.

Reason: Act of God
Band/Artist: Britney Spears
Story: A lightning bolt struck the control system for her pyrotechnic effects during the first song of an outdoor arena concert in Texas in 2003. After the strike, all the lighting and power was still working for the arena, but Britney was apparently too distraught to go on without her precious fireworks. She is quoted as saying, "Please don't boo."

Friday, March 02, 2007

Current Earth-Destruction Status: Zero

In purely random order, here are some things that have piqued my interest as of late.

1. An army exercise gone awry... in Liechtenstein
2. The title of the White Stripes' next album
3. The US Dept of Transportation's ban on Windows Vista
4. One Hong Kong gym's attempt to act like the machines in Fight Club
5. This video (NSFW)
6. The history of Vegemite
7. Kicking Raz in the nuts (no link... it just seems like a good idea)
8. The top ten ways to destroy our planet
9. A site that's remained unchanged (advertising aside) for 9 years

That's all the energy I have. This week has left me drained. Good thing tomorrow is Purim . Cheers, y'all.