June 24, 2006: Traveling to Utica

Midnight rolled around and I wasn’t tired at all. I figure that I will just lose a night’s sleep and go to bed on the early side tomorrow. I know that I will be anxious to try out my new CPAP equipment and Oreo will be looking forward to snuggling with his daddy.

Around midnight the rains finally came that we have been being told that we were going to get for days. What a relief that is to the heat. It is only seventy five out and dropping. It is supposed to get down to seventy by morning. That will be nice. As soon as I realized that it was raining I opened up the windows. It is nice to have the fresh air again but nothing compares to not having to have the sound of the air conditioning running. My ears can’t take it anymore.

I did some cleaning around the house to get ready for Dominica’s return. Obviously I need to make the house as inviting as possible so that she might actually want to stay for a few days. We have only seen each other for about a week out of the last month. I am getting really lonely down here all by myself all of the time.

I watched some Magnum P.I. Second Season while I did some SGL work. In one episode I noticed some serious discrepencies that should have been really noticable to anyone watching this show back when it first aired. In this particular episode they have two USAF F-4 Phantoms intercept a Russian jet in US airspace (this was the height of the Cold War, remember.) Now, for modern or postmodern audiences it is important to keep in mind that knowledge of US and Russian military aircraft was widespread at the time in the general populace. It is funny looking back all these years later but as a child I definitely knew the make, models and specs of all major military aircraft. No one seems to take any notice of that stuff these days. Anyway, viewers at the time would have been very familiar with all of the aircraft in question. First of all, viewers would have known that the aging F-4 would have been a very poor choice for the USAF to have sent as an interceptor of a Russian MiG-30. Most likely these were used because they were cheap by the early 1980’s unlike the later F14, F15, F16 and F18’s that ruled the air during the 1980’s. Secondly, the F4 Phantom is one of the most recognizable aircraft ever made. No one would ever mistake one for anything else. It is one of the least generic aircraft that the US has ever had. Thirdly, the MiG-30 is not a real aircraft. MiG only ever manufactured a MiG-29 and a MiG-31 and neither of those, nor any other product from Russia, ever even remotely resembled a Phantom F4. So when in making the show they used a US Phantom F4 painted to look like Russian markings it was so obviously a US plane that audiences at the time, and me, would have been very confused by what they were showing on the screen. You couldn’t figure out where the Russian plane was supposed to be because it was so clearly all American planes in the sky. Like driving three Corvettes down the road with one of them painted in a brighter colour and hoping audiences just figure out that it was supposed to be a Porsche – so many viewers would instantly recognize it as a ‘Vette that it would never occur to you that they were trying to imply that it was something else that looks nothing like it.

Today is my big travel day. I talked to the cab company last night and they said to just call in the morning to get a cab sent out. I have to take a cab to the New Brunswick train station where I will pick up the NJ Transit train to New York – Penn Station. That is the big secret to traveling by train in and out of this area – use the NJ Transit and not Amtrak to get in and out of New York City. If you take Amtrak it will cost a lot more and won’t be nearly as convenient. The NJ Transit is less than $10 one way. Then, once in Manhattan, I will hop Amtrak to Utica. The trip won’t take very long once I am on the train. Unfortunately, there is a bit of waiting just to be sure that I have plenty of time between transfers. I have to get the cab around 7:00 am to be at the train station in plenty of time. But that will, most likely, leave me sitting at the New Brunswick Station for quite some time. Then I will ride the 8:00 train to Manhattan and be at the station about forty five minutes before the Amtrak line leaves. So I will be sitting around doing nothing for nearly three hours at that point. Then the train ride to Utica. That won’t be that much longer than the time that I will have all ready spent. I had originally planned to leave two hours earlier but the Amtrak site was down and when it came back up that train had sold out. So I am taking the later train and arriving in Utica at 2:02. Dominica and Oreo will pick me up there. Fortunately I don’t need to take any luggage with me – just my laptop bag and my CPAP. Taking my laptop and my CPAP with me also serves to empty the house and nearly everything of any value. It is handy having an empty apartment sometimes.

I managed to record episode 48 of the SGL Podcast this morning. It feels good to get a second episode done. It has been so long since I was doing the show regularly. This isn’t the most exciting episode but I wanted to take a chance to talk about Dominica and my housing decisions and planning since so many people only listen to that and don’t read the site although more do it the other way around. Just one more episode to go before the big FIVE OH! I can’t believe that I have done that many shows so far. That is crazy. And there has been a ton of good music on there too.

The night went by slowly. I was somewhat tired and somewhat bored but I couldn’t bring myself to do any real work. I got all packed and ready to get onto the train. It is going to be a long, boring travel day. I have one small book, three magazines and I did remember to pack my Sandisk Sansa MP3 player loaded with Audible books and an extra battery to make sure that I can make it the entire way. I am taking my laptop which finally has the battery with it so I might get to use that on the train as well. I have never tried to do that so that will be an experience.

For “breakfast” I heated up the crab cakes and mac and cheese that I had for dinner last night. They tasted okay reheated but not long after eating it I didn’t feel so well. Just great. Good way to start a long day of traveling.

I had to call for my taxi a little before seven this morning. I hate taking taxis. What a pain. But what are you doing to do?

I decided that since there is little chance of me getting to work any further on SGL today that I am going to go ahead and post so that at least the site is updated. It is now seven and time for me to take off.

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