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08/23/2001

Driving to R.I.

I woke up at 5 A.M. this morning to drive to Rhode Island for work. Besides having an affiliate plant up in Rhode Island, the company has decided to move all of the production that was in New Jersey up to a new factory in RI. So there is a lot of prep work to do before the offices move in. Getting phone service, T1, phone equipment, all the cabling, plus tons more. But with our schedule at home, it is hard to clear time to get away. So when can I get a two day stretch to go to RI, I pack a lot into those two days.

To get the most out of the two days, I try to get up there as early as possible. My boss told me that he feels successful if he can get across the George Washington Bridge by 7 A.M. And it's true - if you don't make it by 7, you end up in the incredible daily snarl that is New York City. So today I figured I'd go for broke and I made it to the bridge by 6. One of the things I love in this world is driving. I like driving by myself and for long distances. Dunno why, but I do. It was great starting out while it was still dark. (Although, I was a little dissappointed to find out that my local 7-11 actually closes at night. I stoped to get something to eat and found they don't open until 6 A.M.). I was driving east into the sunrise. The dark clouds made their daily journey from purple, through pink into white. I was driving through Paterson when the sky started turning. You know that there is magic in the sunrise, when you discover that it can make the city of Paterson, N.J. look beautiful.

I was all proud of myself, thinking I was going to make great time, until I found that I-95 North was closed in Connecticut. Some yahoo rammed a fuel tanker truck into a highway construction site. But to my amazement, those really expensive looking digital signs that have recently started appearing on our nation's highways, actually helped me. I first learned that 95 was closed about 60 miles away from the actual accident site. It wasn't really helpful at first. It only said "I-95 North closed in Branford - Plan alternate route". Thanks so much. I started looking on my nifty Microsoft Streets & Maps 2001 for an alternant route. There wasn't anything that didn't look like it wouldn't take me a million miles out of my way. I was narrowing my choices down but when I looked at the next sign, it said "Accident Exit 65 Branford - Expect Delays". At the point where I would have to make a decision to turn off or head on, the sign said "Accident Exit 65 Branford - Left Lane Closed". Now hey, that didn't sound so bad anymore. I figured that even waiting 30 minutes while two lanes merged into one would still be less time than taking a lengthy detour. Luckily, I was right, and I was on my way in 21 minutes.

One of the other fun things about driving long distances is the variety of radio stations you can get. Between the fading out of Howard Stern on 92.3 K-Rock in New York and the fade in Howard on WBCN in Boston, there is a vast wasteland of radio. There are stretches in Connecticut where I can hit the scan buttong the radio will stop a total of twice. And both stations are almost always country stations. Then I go straight to CDs. Today the radio stopped and I heard the beginning of Aerosmith's Don't want to miss a thing. But it wasn't Aerosmith. It was some cowboy doing a cover. The scary thing about it was that the song made the transition very well. I wonder what Aerosmith thinks about it.