Jack(mobile) Is Back

You’re probably expecting to come to this space to read about the disasters that occurred in Colorado. Sorry to disappoint you. I had somewhat of a revelation as I returned home, with little drama, the past is the past and there is no sense dwelling on it much. I’m sure I’ll hit the roof when I find out how much it costs to repair two, nine-inch scratches to car doors, but until then I’ll say nothing.

My trip back to Atlanta was long and tiring. People warned me about Kansas, a state in which I traveled more than I had intended on my journey home.
Driving Into Some Bad Looking Weather
But for as flat as it is, the state contained some interesting scenery. I saw parts of the country twice on this trip, something that I was trying to avoid. On the return trip I stayed one night (five hours to be exact) in Kansas City (no time for a burnt ends sandwich unfortunately), drove past the free-standing hearth I saw on my way out, hit a little bit of bad weather,
Bored, Bored On The Range
drove by the St Louis Arch again, and returned through Nashville before returning to Georgia. My intent was to cut South out of Kansas and see parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Alabama before returning home, but time didn’t permit.

In the end I’ll give the trip a very expensive B-.

I’ll be signing up for Colorado InviHash #15 in 2012 when registration opens.

Batting .500
I had four images in mind that I wanted to capture on my trip. I managed to capture two of those four images — the St Louis Arch and Mt Rushmore at sunrise.

One image I could have caught but because I was hurtling toward home I didn’t want to invest the thirty minutes it would have taken to find a safe place to stop, set up my camera gear, and wait for the decisive moment. That image occurred in Kansas, where I was able to burn it into my memory by looking at it in the rear-view mirror of the Jackmobile. Imagine the bright orange sky of a beautiful sunset, where the sun is setting behind a field of modern day windmills which are gracefully spinning in the wind. I saw that, I couldn’t capture that.

The final shot I was hoping to get was a long-exposure of an oil derrick pumping in a field. I saw a few of those as I drove through Kansas, but nothing that matched the image I had in my mind. Besides, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to stop the car to take a photo of that either.

ITP Flickr Pic
This is the intersection where the vacation started to slump.
I Had A Point To Prove
This photo was taken during my first drive in the Jackmobile post-rebuilt transmission. I was on my way to LiquorMart (to load up on Colorado beer for the trip home) when I realized that I’d be passing through the intersection which started my downfall and just had to drive through it to prove a point.

Why The Rush?
You may wonder why I rushed back to Atlanta when I could have taken my time and arrived home some time during the weekend. Clean clothes was one reason (though I did break down and buy some necessities when I realized that my trip would be stretched further than initially scheduled). Yesterday being a Black Sheep Hash Sunday was another. However the main reason was that I had purchased a $99 ticket for a full-day Food Bloggers Forum seminar which was being held at Glenwood Park’s The Shed (of course I left my ticket at work so I had to drive from East Atlanta to Perimeter Mall just so I could attend a seminar in Glenwood Park).

The seminar, based on marketing a food blog, food photography, and networking was really good. I was one of about between-five and ten men in a room full of attractive, though almost all married, food bloggers from around the country. The day was further improved when my name was drawn from the basket and I won a 5.5 quart Le Creuset dutch oven (which is supposed to be shipped to me at some time). As if the day’s proceedings weren’t fun enough, there was an after-party held at The Spice Market (inside the W Hotel at Colony Square). A word of caution — on Saturday night I parked in Colony Square’s parking garage for an hour and forty-five minutes, the cost of my parking was $10.50 (ouch!).

What A Way To End The Night
There are only a few times in my life that I desire to be in my twenties again. Most of these times occur when I’m at a concert. After the post-party on Saturday night I made my way to the Drunken Unicorn for an early, all ages show headlined by Canada’s 2009 Polaris Prize Winning band F*cked Up. I had seen F*cked Up play The EARL when they last passed through Atlanta, so I knew I was in for an entertaining night of punk rock. I was not disappointed. The night was filled with indiscernible lyrics, hard pumping music, stage diving, and slam dancing. I never went to punk / hardcore shows when I was a younger man, so these days I look on with envy and amusement as the testosterone levels in the room rise. The only noticeable victim of the night was an attractive young girl who must have gotten kicked in the head because she was bleeding a bit and when I walked past her overheard her telling her boyfriend that her glasses were fucked up (oh irony, you are so ironic!).

Stats & Goals
Current Mood – exhausted, even though I fell asleep before Mad Men last night
Current Music – silence as I try to remember how to do this
Website Of The Day – If you won’t be in Hartwell for the Black Sheep Hash on September 25th, might I suggest you attend Jazzoo.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – Sunday: hashing, ~5 miles
Morning Weigh-In – didn’t want to know
Pages Of 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die Read – 77

Foot Mileage – ~15 miles, Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Pushups – 0, Situps – 0
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 0 (0)
Vegetarian Days – 0, Carnivorous Days – 12
Marta Rides To Work – 0
Bike Rides To Work – 0

September Goals
– Not to get sick for the entire month
– Not get fired from my job
– Ride my bicycle no fewer than 250 miles
– Determine the fate of Sharpened Stone, LLC
– Complete at least one iPhone application (seriously, this needs to happen)
– lost five pounds
– eat vegetarian at least one day a week

2010 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 185 pounds (starting weight was 198 pounds) [update: On July 1 I’ve sadly gained weight; I’m at 203 pounds]
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Sharpened Stone.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Enter no fewer than three photographic competitions / gallery showings
Get the Black Sheep stats out of Excel and online
– Ride in no fewer than two 50 mile or 50K bike rides
– Complete my Taco Mac Passport requirement of 125 beers

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in PHP and CSS Objective-C
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Paulie [eatl/ga]

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7 Responses to Jack(mobile) Is Back

  1. Barb says:

    I still can’t believe the car got keyed twice. That is crazy.

    I think that a field of windmills is very cool to see, I know some people think they are ugly, but I don’t.

    Sorry you didn’t get to take the more southern route home, but there is always next time. (maybe rent a car for the whole trip?) I’ve done both – Texas is about as flat & boring as Kansas.

  2. Yeah, the car keying will be a mystery to me for the rest of my life.

    The windmills pleased me so much. I can’t explain why, but I had an almost zen-like feeling of peace as I drove along and saw them.

    There will be more driving trips in my future — before I get too old to do so. I will do it differently (maybe rent a vehicle; definitely will spend more time in small towns).

  3. RanLiCoop says:

    Just be careful, windmill farms tend to make me drift to one side of the road or the other as I’m mesmerized by their rotation – unfortunately, I haven’t been alert enough at the time to determine whether the direction of rotation is correlated to my direction of drift. Hopefully, I’ll see more windmill farms in the near future.

    Glad to hear you’re back and glad that the trip earned a grade in the “B” range. I thought for sure it would rate a “C” or lower. I guess good scenery and great beer can balance out a lot of negativity…

  4. Martha says:

    We are leaving on Thursday for our trip to WV, via Raleigh. We’ve been renting cars for the most part for road trips the past year. Both cars run fine but both have 125K miles, it is just one less thing to worry about if there is a problem on the road.

    Glad you’re back and the return trip was uneventful. Hoping for the same this weekend.

    I bought a Le Creuset dutch oven a couple of years ago, I think I may have used it once, it is HUGE, too big for what I would normally cook. It looks nice sitting on top of my cabinets however.

  5. Honestly upon leaving Boulder I was ready to rate the trip a “C” or lower. The issue-less trip back allowed me to reassess the trip. The transmission failure was bad luck, but could have been much worse. The two car keyings were complete BS and were the only things that ruined the trip.

    Martha, best of luck on your journey. Now that I know a bicycle fits into the trunk of a 2010 Nissan Altima I may rent cars for long trips (though I could do without the cars getting damaged) for peace of mind. I would miss the queer stares I got from people as I tooled around the country with my GA license plate and the Red Rockey poised atop the Jackmobile; that made me feel special.

  6. Steve says:

    Congratulations on coming out on top on the vacation. Apparently, Colorado is a previously unknown center of bad juju. And you’ll be allowed to vent (a little) when that credit card bill rolls in…

    I still think the keying was done by the girl you wouldn’t talk to at the hash.


  7. Ha! It’s not like the InviHash was a source of available women.

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