In approximately 24 hours I'll be arriving at Philadelphia's airport, and will commence the search for captain18's friend Doug. Doug and I will pick up my rental car and drive 70 or so miles to the hotel in New Jersey where we're gathering. I'm going to bring my hand-held GPS with because frankly I don't want to get lost in the Northeast at 11:30 at night and have to ask for directions.
Tomorrow I will pack for the trip and attend to a few of the odds and ends that need to be tied up before I leave. I tried to see if roho or enveri could give me a lift to and from the airport so that I wouldn't have to pay parking fees, but it seems like that's just not going to happen. Oh well.... economy lot E, here I come. I can at least take some small comfort in the knowledge that I wouldn't save any money by taking a taxi, since just getting from the apartment to the airport would cost me $30 or so, and it will only cost me $25 to park in the boonies for the three days that I'll be gone.
The mail today was pretty cool: for one, my savings bonds for this month arrived. This means I have another $100 safely tucked away in my safe. According to the little savings bond management program I mentioned a few months back today's arrivals bring me to a total of 45 bonds with a total value of $2,319.52 when interest is taken into account, and this pleases me immensely . I also received my 6' 50-pin to 50-pin SCSI cable, so now I have a cable to hook my DLT changer up to my server with. All I need at this point is my SCSI-2 controller with the 50-pin interface and I'll be ready to rock and roll! Along with that I got something amusing, too -- an envelope with checks in it. Discover has apparently noticed that I pulled all my debt load out from under their feet. In a halfhearted bid to win back my business they're trying to "woo" me by offering me 3.9% APR on any balance transfers I make to the card. Too bad I won't do it because I'm still pissed off at them. The fact that this "spectacular" offer only lasts until December 2003 (after which everything goes back to my regular rate) adds further fuel to my fire of righteousness. I mean, five months? That's just insulting. Not even six, but five months?!? Try again, Discover! Maybe if you suck a little less with your next offer you'll be able to last twenty seconds in my hands before your offer goes in the garbage pail. What a bunch of jackasses.
I talked to my parents the other night, and got an update on Priscilla. It seems that all of you who sent out prayers and well wishes had a very positive effect. As I've mentioned in the past things were very touch-and-go for a while there, and at one point the prognosis was she wouldn't survive the night. Yet somehow she pulled through, and I think it's owed in some part to everyone who reads this journal. The good news is that Pris has been home for a week now in Bagley, Minnesota, living with my aunt and uncle. She's being visited twice daily by a nurse who checks and changes her bandages and brings the various medicines she taking (there's quite a few). My uncle has stunned the nurse with his ability to handle Priscilla's IVs and other needs. Tomorrow they're driving back to Minneapolis to meet with one of the University doctors to check her progress. From what my father told me it sounds as if the U of MN hospital is going to begin cross matching blood types and various other things to see if any of her brothers, sisters or half-siblings can provide a suitable organ donation. If any of them do match up I wonder if they'll sign the waiver. I mean, let's face it... this isn't a trivial operation and the results aren't pleasant. Giving away over seven feet of your intestine is something your body is going to be upset about and will almost certainly have an effect upon you. I can't imagine what that would be like... and if I were presented with the choice, what would I do? I really don't know.
I have to keep my fingers crossed for her, though -- she has shown a real fighter's spirit through all of this. The girl is due for a break at this point, and it would be a tragedy if she couldn't get some sort of assistance. I mean... all this pain and suffering would be for naught if she can't get somebody to give her that gift.
On a lighter note... today was the day I couldn't help but notice signboards. For example: On the drive home today I was rather surprised as I went through the construction zone on Westbound I-290. They've had a signboard up there for a while, flashing "CAUTION -- NEW LANE PATTERN" and things like that. Today it had a new message of "SLOW DOWN!!! -- 2701 TICKETS ISSUED IN 19 WEEKS." Think about that for a minute... two thousand seven hundred and one tickets in nineteen weeks. That's 142 tickets a week, or twenty tickets a day. Illinois has a "Fines double in work zone" clause in the traffic law, so if even one half of those tickets actually go through without being struck down then the highway patrol is making major revenue. What befuddles me is how the hell people are getting caught speeding in a construction zone that nasty... every time I'm going through there traffic is at an absolute crawl. Hell, I'm lucky if I reach one quarter of the posted construction speed limit! Maybe they're nailing everyone at 2 AM or something, when the traffic patterns are a bit more... reasonable.
The Marathon station had a message posted on their signboard honoring the passing of Bob Hope, saying "Thank you for the memories, Bob Hope." I thought that was a rather tasteful tribute on their part. I'm glad I patronize them for my petroleum needs (which will likely become even more interesting when the Expedition arrives in a few weeks).
Speaking of signs, I was also amused to see that the Lutheran church just down the road from me has a new message up on their signboard. It says "C'mon over and bring the kids -- God." This is the church where I picked up my New International Version of the New Testament after I moved into the area. The pastor seems like a pretty personable guy, and he and I chat occasionally via e-mail so he's at least got some modicum of understanding when it comes to technology. I will admit that to me that ability to at least type on a keyboard is a large plus in his favor. I'm sort of intrigued to see what the services are like there, but I don't want to get up that early on Sunday mornings to go in and attend.
I'm such a lazy heretic!
Even though I saw him dancing last night with a girl in leopard skin pants