Be Prepared To Stop

If I ever write an autobiography I may use “Be Prepared To Stop” as its title, it just seems fitting for my life.

Being OTP for the past couple of days I don’t know when the “traffic flow stop lights” for the entrance to The Connector from Freedom Parkway were activated, but I got stopped by them for the first time today. Unfortunately, I predict that, while this may improve traffic flow on The Connector, it will most like add a few minutes to my commute time as I wait to get onto The Connector. Dangen!

One Small Misstep For Me, One Large Misstep For My Goal
I was feeling pretty crappy as I drove home yesterday. I was run down, had slept well but in a foreign environment. And to top it off I shook the hands of and close-talked to many students the day before. Something was (and hopefully not is still) working on me.

It was at that time that I started craving meat, and the immediate food coma that can only be delivered by a Chinese buffet. Sure, I knew that stopping at a buffet would wreck my goal to remain a 5/7ths vegetarian, but that the time I could have cared less.

I ingested as much spicy-hot food as I could stand and waddled out a happier, if not somewhat tainted man.

ITP Flickr Pic
They have some big rockets over there at the Space and Rocket Center.
One Big Rocket
I was trying to mimic some of the photos that I saw in the lobby of the hotel in which I stayed in Huntsville. I came close, but I think that theirs were still better.

The Road More Traveled, Only Less Traveled By Me
I decided to change things up a bit yesterday. Rather than take my “Three Hours To Atlanta” route, and in the process realize that I could take no photo of where I nearly died in 1994, I chose the US431 to I-20 route which took me through Albertville (not the one that had the Olympics), Gadsden, Anniston, and so on. It’s a darn good thing for me that I am no longer a speeder as I drive because there were ample police sitting around waiting to nab speeders. I should have timed that route. Perhaps I’ll used Google Maps to do my heavy lifting later.

The Night I Should Have Died
Before I moved to Atlanta I used to make some trips over for concerts. In 1994 the band Sugar was playing The Roxy and there was no way that I was going to miss it. Around the same time I had become somewhat disenchanted with Huntsville and decided that I was either going to move to Altanta or Austin, Texas — wherever a job arose first. My friend Bill had just moved from Huntsville to Atlanta and got me a job interview with his company. Sneakily I set up the interview day to correspond to the day Sugar was performing, this gave me a great excuse to be in Atlanta.

I had the interview, kicked around Atlanta, and then went to the concert. Those were all good decisions. The bad decision I made was to attempt to drive back to Huntsville after the concert. I was good for a while, but as I snaked through the mountains I started to grow tired. I opened the window to let cold air in, this was in late November, and vowed to stop for a Mountain Dew (this was before I drank coffee) at the next opportunity.

Look at this map.

View Larger Map

I was awakened by the sound of an 18-wheel-truck traveling south on AL Hwy 35 honking its horn repeatedly as it recognized that I must had fallen asleep at the wheel since I failed to stop at the stop sign at the end of AL Hwy 40. When I came to, my car was mid way in the intersection with nothing ahead of me but some road, a small strip of land, and Guntersville Lake. I hit the brakes with all my muster, quickly assessed that I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been, and backed up to safety.

I never met the person in that 18-wheeler. I wish there was a way I could someday to thank him or her for saving me from injury, if not death.

Local Beer Hunt FAIL
I wasn’t able to find Olde Towne Beer in Huntsville retail stores, but I did manage to bring back two six packs of brew that cannot be purchased locally. So while my hunt for local beer failed, at least I have something new to try.

And now for some ideas stolen from LiveJournal…
Current Mood – whew, I’m ready for a change
Current Music – Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 26 playing Flight Of The Conchords — “It’s Business Time” (no help from Dish Network, the music tags seem to be broken)
Website Of The Day – The City of Decatur has a cute little website. On it you can find out all about tomorrow’s Fall Electronics Recycling Event happening at Decatur High School.
Exercise (b)Log – nothing of note, although I did buy a knee brace yesterday and I think I did about two miles of hiking around Monte Sano yesterday.
Monthly Foot Mileage – 32 miles
Monthly Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Monthly Marta Rides – 0
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 38 (110)
Books To Read To Earn Kindle – 4
Vegetarian Days – 14
Carnivore Days – 9

October Goals
1) Lose no fewer than three pounds
2) Drink nothing but water, coffee, beer, wine
3) Run no fewer than 75 miles
4) Bike no fewer than 125 miles

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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13 Responses to Be Prepared To Stop

  1. Stacy says:

    Dude – that is crazy! Three cheers for the semi-driver!! (and then some!! Three hundred thirty three cheers for the semi-driver even!!) Wow.
    And, on a much lighter note, thank you for the map. I actually followed it as I read your story — sweet Jesus, it made it seem even more real. Scary.

    As for the on-ramp lights, from what I can tell, they’re still sporadic. Every couple of days or so, the one at my Hwy. 5/75-575 junction is on… and then for a few days is off again. I think they’re doing studies as to how it helps/or not. At least that’s what I’d like to think and not that they’re just messing with us.

    What beers did you bring back?

  2. Steve says:

    Yeungling?? (We haven’t said it for a while… I’m just checking)

    And did anyone get the Pretenders reference from yesterdays title, besides me?

    At least 3 cheers for the semi.


  3. Stacy says:

    FP – I did not get the reference. Of course, when I think of Old Apartments, my brain goes BNL…though I do like the Pretenders probably more.

    3 cheers for the semi; 80 million cheers for Paulie’s brakes!

  4. Barb says:

    Nope – didn’t get the Pretenders reference, but I’m not one to ever be able to win a lyrics contest.

  5. debbie says:

    Honey, did you miss that Yuengling is coming to a package store near you soon? All the mystique will soon be gone.

    Paulie – your near death story gave me chills. Yay for the semi driver.

  6. Steve says:

    Well there goes my free beer supply!! Now what should we put in the beer fridge? Road trip to Chattanooga for Fat Tire? Mmmmm….


  7. I’m on a quick break. I know I brought back a six pack of Dos Perros made by Yazoo in Nashville. The other was a six pack of some brewery that I don’t think I had heard of previously. Their name is not memorable as I cannot think of it right now.

  8. Martha says:

    One of the things I’ve learned is we all get a little off course from time to time. We just need to accept it, maybe learn what the trigger was, and move forward. So DO NOT beat yourself up for going ‘off your diet’.

    I was a disappointed in myself for how much I drank Wednesday (so much that I didn’t make it to work on Thursday)…but I’m not going to dwell on it. I’m just going to try not to do it again (anytime soon).

    Yesterday’s title rang a bell but I was so out of it, I just couldn’t be bothered trying to figure it out.

    I’m running in the morning. It will be VERY, VERY slow as I will not be running alone but with a friend from boot camp. Well actually I’m going to run 5 with her and then another 5 alone at my pace. If you/your knee is up for it.

    and YEAH ME, I’m finished with boot camp, at least for the near future.

  9. I was done with bootcamp before ever starting it!

    Not sure about running. I need to be ast South City Kitchen by 10am and am thinking of getting a good night’s sleep.

    I’m trying not to dwell on my “failure” but it is mildly disappointing, especially since I’m not loging weight.

    Drink too much? Did you go to a hockey game? 🙂

  10. Martha says:

    No hockey game, just George’s (and then The Glennwood), I felt almost as bad though (and I made a similar mistake!).

    Well we are meeting 8 am @ Gravity. I’m not kidding about this being slow…her mile pace is 3 mins slower than mine.

  11. Barb says:

    but Martha – you are fast.
    We need to plan a hockey night, but not with so much drinking that I can’t go to work the next day. I’d get too much shit hte next day from my coworkers. Plus, I hate hangovers, I swear they are so much worse now that I’m old.

  12. Michelle says:

    Regarding Metering Lights:
    In San Francisco we had metering lights on some bridges like the ones they’ve just installed here at the highway onramps. They only turned them on when they (some Caltrans employee) felt that the volume was getting too heavy. Not sure how what the rules for turning the lights on here work.

  13. Hockey night Thursday, Nov 6th. Islanders will be in town, I will be there!

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