Well Happy fucking Thanksgiving! Turkey day started off OK today with me heading out for Shabumpkin, Pennsyltucky on a bright sunny morning around 9:30. I stopped at a car wash on Webster Avenue, where a half dozen or so gorgeous Mexicans hand washed my car inside and out. Then I grabbed a Dunkin Donuts hazelnut coffee and hit the road with what according to the fuel gage was a full tank of gas (yes, foreshadowing).
I took I-95 to I-80 and cruised through NJ and the Poconos, making excellent time in pleasant driving conditions. Things were going too well. I was about 1 mile from the I-81 interchange when at around 1PM the car began to sputter badly. I pulled onto the shoulder and the car died. I started it right back up and it seemed fine. When I attempted to pull back out on to the highway it began to sputter again. I pulled back on the shoulder and the car died yet again. This time it would not restart.
After swearing for a bit, and looking under the hood for God only knows what (I know little about the mechanics of a car although I do love car mechanics), I called 411 to get the numbers of some tow services in Hazelton, PA... the nearest larger town. None of them answered, which was not too surprising given that it was around dinner time on Thanksgiving. So I called 911 and they put me through to the State Police for the first of many conversations. I explained that I was on I-80 westbound and was reading a sign that said the exit for I-81 was 1 mile away. They said they were sending a tow.
One hour later at 2:15 with no tow having shown up, I called the State Police again. The woman dispatcher said the tow was out and searched the area and could not find me. They assumed I had started the car and left so they went back to the garage. So we re-clarified my location and she said she would send them back out.
At 3:15 with still no tow truck in site, I called back to the State Police, who this time said the two truck had driven 5 miles in each direction and still could not find me. She said she would send a trooper out to find me.
At 3:50 with no trooper in sight, I called back to find out what happened to him. Was he eating turkey and watching football with the tow driver? She said he was out looking for me now.
At 4:15 with still no trooper or tow to be found I called back again. Now mind you, I was sitting on the top of a mountain in the Poconos, as snow shower after snow shower moved through (pictures coming), and the car had no heat. By this point I was more than a little cold and was becoming increasingly annoyed as well as depressed (dinner at my parents was being served at 4PM). She got the trooper on the radio and he very shortly showed up in my rear view mirror.
He invited me into the car to warm up (and just warm up, contrary to my sister's suggestions). He sent a message back to the dispatcher again giving my locations and requesting a tow. We waited and still no tow. At least the feeling began to return to my fingers, although it was accompanied by a slight burning/stinging feeling. He later sent another message asking the dispatcher to ask for an ETA. Still no word and no tow. Then he asked to borrow my phone to call the tow company, who he seemed to know. They said they were on their way. He was very annoyed after waiting a total of 45 minutes. I however had been waiting FOUR HOURS!!!
At 5:15 the tow finally showed up. He towed me back to their garage. Bottom line is my fuel censor is faulty. I had an uneasy feeling about it to be honest when I left. I was surprised that the $20 of fuel I put in a few days earlier had filled the tank. My bad for not tapping off before leaving, which would have exposed the situation and given me plenty of fuel. In any event, despite the gage showing a half a tank of gas, I was actually out of gas. He gave me enough gas to get to the nearest gas station, jumped my battery (4 hours of hazard lights had drained it - new lesson learned on how long flashers can be left on safely), charged me $95 and sent me on my way at about 6:15. I got home around 7:00. By the time I arrived home, everyone was done eating and the dishes had even been done up. So I got leftovers heated up in the microwave. Then to add insult to injuries, I watched my beloved Pitt Panthers get pummeled by the evil WVU Mountaineers. Nice fucking holiday. It was however nice to see my family since I had not been home since July and there was lots of catching up to do. My mom and I stayed up talking and watching TV until after 3AM.
To answer the question asked in the headline for this post... this one did. I had to go so I grabbed the roll of paper towels from the back of the 4Runner and headed up the hill. That must have been a pretty sight for passersbys. When I got home I shared that part of the story with my family, to which my quasi-brother-in-law responded "well, I guess bears do shit in the woods." There was more than one Charmin joke told. It scares me that my family knows, understands and even enjoys gay nomenclature.
Well, I hope you and yours had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.
Eight of the last 10 business days on the road has left me feeling a little beaten down and broken. So I am psyched to be home. I wish I did not have to travel to PA this week for Thanksgiving, but it will be good to get home and hang with my family. I am just dreading the 6 hours of driving. Although a few Diet Cokes, Dunkin Donuts coffees, a pack of cigarettes and my iPod should make it somewhat bearable. I am even thinking about uploading some of my Christmas CDs to my iPod for the post holiday ride back.
Yesterday I used some down time to take care of personal things. Besides getting my haircut and ordering in some Mexican, I had my 4Runner towed to the garage to have some work done. The clutch needs replaced and the transmission needs work. It will be done on Tuesday, in time to drive back to Pennsyltucky for Thanksgiving. I haven't driven the car since July because I did not want to sink the money into it to get it repaired. But now I am seriously thinking about trading it in, so I am getting it repaired, both mechanically and also cosmetically. It needs some body work done too. I figure this investment will do two things. It will help increase what I can get for it on a trade as 4Runners in decent shape have a high resale value. It will also give me something to drive that I won't have to be embarrassed about driving in the meantime. I really missed being able to escape the city.
Last night, the ruggers invaded the Big Apple Ranch for a fundraiser. Big Apple Ranch is a gay and lesbian country western dance club. Last night was "Boots, Bras and Boxers" night and it was... um, interesting. I stuck with my plan for being a wallflower and observing while quickly drinking as much beer as possible. I did man our t-shirt booth for a bit and managed to flirt with a few hotties who I cajoled into buying some t-shirts. The highlight of the night was seeing him trying to teach him how to dance (I think that is what they were doing). It seemed that he was the busiest dancer having been courted by quite a few nearly naked cowboys. Some photos of that and other highlights are below for your viewing enjoyment.
Today is going to be a laid back day of recovery. I am going to drop of some laundry and maybe grab some grub when I do. However, other than that I am hanging in and chilling. I am going to watch some football, some movies that I have been wanting to watch, catch up on some of the shows on the DVR and maybe I will do a little cleaning.
As promised here are some pictures from Lazy Bear. Speaking of bears, work is a bit of a bear right now. So this post is about all for right now. More of a summary later, but let your imagination run wild for the time being. Click here for photos.
I am back out on the road today. I have a 9AM train to Washington, DC where I will be through Thursday for an industry conference and trade show. Four solid days of working our booth... woohoo. Posts on my part may be few and far between. These events tend to involve 14+ hour days when you include in all of the post-session networking events. However, hopefully you will be hearing from Jay in my absence. I may also try to sneak in a post every now and then.
On Thursday, I will head from DC to Pennsyltucky to spend part of the 4th of July weekend (Jay D's b-day is on the 4th BTW - make sure you wish him a happy, happy) with my family. I hope to head back to the city in time to spend the 4th with some friends... perhaps at the beach as we have been discussing.
I am looking forward to it. From the pictures of last year's event, it looks like a lot of fun. Aside from Decadence (which could have been a lot more fun for me) and camping at Hillside (which had its moments but also left a bad taste in my mouth... no, not that kind of bad taste), I haven't done much gay travel. I am going with a few friends and should have a blast. With how crazy work has been, I need the distraction and the change from the normal routine.
Stole this from him. While my blogging activity may lead people to believe it has happened already, it hasn't. I am still here. I got back to NYC from Boston on Friday and today am off to Philadelphia. The good news is I don't have another scheduled trip until a 6/25-6/30 trip to DC for a work conference.
You scored as Disappear. Your death will be by disappearing, probably a camping trip gone wrong or an evening hike you never returned from.
Friday... from Downtown San Francisco get a cab to Oakland, CA and catch a flight to JFK in NYC. Then get a car service to the Boogie Down.
Saturday AM... get up and get to Port Authority by 7 AM to meet Nicky and then find "I have to peesss so bad" and his BF to get a ride to Long Island for the rugby tournament. Find the tournament before the first match. Drink after, then catch a ride into the city and get on a train back to the Boogie Down. Collapse and get some much needed rest.
Sunday, try to find someone who will do lyour aundry for you to pick by Monday AM. If not, end up doing it yourself. Clean you apartment, repack for next leg of trip or procastinate until the next morning and watch TV with Nicky instead.
Monday AM... get up early and wrap up work and finalize plans for upcoming meetings. Call furniture store and try and cancel order becuase it is taking way too long. Now pack for a week and a half, get a car service to JFK and catch flight to Fort Lauderdale. Arrive in Fort Lauderdale and get a cab to your hotel. Collapse, but not before wrapping up some more work and blogging.
If you do not get it all done, you may be eliminated. Stay tuned for the next episode as John sits through two days of meetings, has to make a 6:40 AM flight to San Diego and other sordid tasks.
One trip to Philly down. Trips to San Fran (in a few hours), Fort Lauderdale and San Diego/Los Angeles to go. In the meantime, I am also juggling a few proposals and a company re-org. Is it any wonder why I can't find time to get my hair cut, get my laundry done, clean my apartment, blog....