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Monday, December 10th, 2007

Left My Cell Phone Behind

After a couple of weeks back in the San Diego office, it was time to go do my Road Warrior bit again. The company Christmas party was Saturday night, and early the next morning I drove the borrowed pool vehicle back to the office to drop it off. I might have been a little hung over (and no, I didn’t drive home from the party), and certainly I hadn’t had much sleep, so when my cell phone rang on the way, I took it off my belt, then put it in the truck’s console. And when I went to turn it off on the plane, it wasn’t there. Yep! it was still in the console!

So yesterday I flew from San Diego back to Kansas City, missing yet another Chargers game. The Bolts were down 3-10 at the start of the fourth quarter when I got on my connection at DFW, so I was mystified when the pilot announced the scores before landing. I didn’t believe it until I was able to verify it myself later. I missed a come-from-behind and OT win!

Breaking through the clouds at KC, I was amazed to see everything covered in white. It had snowed. And, off course, my car was just a big mound of ice and crusty snow in the long term parking lot, and my scrapper was in the garage. Oh well.

Today I drove about 1 080 km (670 miles) from Kansas City, Missouri, to Clovis, New Mexico. In between was Oklahoma, which was busy having one of the worst ice storms it has had in a long time. The whole state was in a declared state of emergency with more than a dozen dead in road accidents and hundreds of thousands without power. I navigated west, along Highway 54, passed through at the Panhandle, and managed to miss the worst of the storm before it headed north. I counted myself lucky making the trip in twelve hours, but there was a point in western Kansas were I had to pull over and knock more than a centimeter of ice off my windshield wipers, hood and lights. It was freezing rain, but it wasn’t sticking to the road.

It was also my first long trip with my new toy, a Garmin Nüvi 660 GPS navigation device. It seems to be designed more for local work – it started recalculating every time I pulled off the road for gas or something to eat. And although I had checked the route earlier (after putting in a waypoint to keep it from plotting a route through the iced-in areas), after one of those recalculations it decided it was faster to take me on a shortcut through backwater Texas roads just when I was looking forward to hitting the next town for dinner. I ended up with a chicken fried steak sandwich from a gas station off the I-40. I wish the find restaurant function had an option for selecting along the planned route. But hopefully it will come in handy here in town.

I can’t believe I’m back in Clovis. Not that there’s anything bad about the town or the people, it’s just that twelve or so years ago I come here as a coating inspector on a lead abatement job that turned into a nightmare. One morning we found one of the paint crew had hanged himself in the garage the night before, and had left the garage door open at the house were they were staying (yeah, the job kind of dragged out) so we would notice sooner.

Posted by Greg as Football, Travel at 21:46 PST

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