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29 December 2009 @ 09:51 pm
Well, just got back from a week up in western Pennsylvania and it was really quite amazing to have been up north for a "White Christmas"--more on this in a bit, though. As always, I have a few (maybe) observations to share.

  • First of all, as much fun as Abby and Jon enjoyed the snow, the romantic notion of snow itself...well, I don't have a warm place in my heart for Bing Crosby now. Fun to play in for a bit, but not really practical--yes, I am likely the only person that would consider the practicality of precipitation.
  • Florida truly does deserve the Sunshine State moniker. Srsly, there was one afternoon up north when it seemed that sunset started at about three in the afternoon. Waking up was a bit more difficult 'cause it didn't really get very light out until a bit later than I'm used to. Still, the benefit of that is that I slept in more than not.
  • Referring back to my first (though not numbered) bullet point, driving in snowy weather is enervating to my psyche (to put it mildly). There was actually a time during the drive up that I needed to have my high beams on in order to drive--except that once I did turn them in, it was terrifying enough that I found it best to not have my brights on. It was a total H2G2 moment for me where I could have used a towel--or (even better) a pair of Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses. Perhaps even a double pair.
  • Now, I thought I could eat when I got there. I don't know if it's a PA talent or not, but folks up there, they can EAT! It's quite possible that there may be some hobbit in native Pennsylvanians. There was breakfast and then elevensies followed by lunch, after lunch snack and dinner and...unless I was being fattened up as a sacrificial lamb for a ritual that I managed to escape in the nick of time. I did wonder about the insanely huge wicker man that was set up there. Hmmm...
  • There are, apparently, a whole SLEW of MtG players up there. Now, I didn't see anyone playing up there and the only game that I got was against Abby (a close one which I won, by the way). But, there is clearly enough of a gaming population that not one or two, but THREE stores could be supported within fifteen to twenty minutes of one another. No doubt the player I did meet and chat with probably thought I was insane as I cackled about a bunch of different cards that could fit into a mill deck, but there we are. Rachel had to tell me to calm down--really.
  • I have long been spoiled by homes with more than one bathroom. The amount of planning and coordination needed to get a home of nine people to use a single water closet effectively (and without occupying the same space at the same time) would boggle even the best air traffic controller. Pushing tin? HA!
  • No matter how many different places I visit, I always find that I like my local news anchors a LOT better than any others. An exception to this is Tara Lynn from WCBD in Charleston. She was alright. In fact, I'm going to follow her Twitter.
  • I learned that Indiana, PA was the birthplace of James Stewart. It made watching It's a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time quite cool. From what I understand, the crosswalks have Jimmy Stewart's voice telling you when to cross or not. Granted, it might be a Rich Little imitation, but still...
  • If you've not had Quaker Steak & Lube wings--you absolutely, positively MUST do so at some point in your life! Now, I'd had them before, but did not recall how remarkably delicious they were. Man vs. Food reminded me of Quaker Steak. Alas, there wasn't enough time to try Primanti Brothers. A bit sad about that, though.
  • The convenience of being able to set one's home DVR units from anywhere with a connection is truly MAJOR WIN. I've forgotten what it was that I felt I needed to record, but hey, I was able to. I just hope that no errant delete keys have been pushed.
  • Portable apps, much like my DVR setting bullet point, are yet another amazing advancement. Honestly, installing Firefox and all the add ons that I like onto another person's computer seems really quite intrusive. That, and having to hunt down all the different add ons I like to use would really be quite a pain. Now, when's FF 3.6 due out again?
  • People are a lot friendlier than I remember. When I visited long ago, I actually had an incident where I was referred to as Juan Valdez. I, as always, retained a stoic presence of mind that very well could have made Spock proud. If he were so inclined to feel such a thing. But, that didn't happen at any time during this visit. In fact, I had a number of great conversations with total strangers this time around. Which is an achievement of note for me.
  • Here's a now for something completely different moment, I wouldn't mind having a Savannah cat. Not sure how that will ever happen--or how practical it would be, but there we are.
  • I have to note for a moment here, I totally missed my friends. While visiting family was definitely fun to be sure, it is good to come home.
  • It was with much surprise (and likely consternation on Rachel's part) that I managed to drive straight through on the way up. Sure, I was wiped out after doing so, but it definitely gave me a sense of accomplishment.
  • I kept an eye on plates to see where the furthest ones originated. Nevada was the furthest one I could recall. There were a TON of Canadian plates on the road driving southbound. I eyed them suspiciously every time I saw them. :D
  • There were some sketchy driving experiences--getting off on an exit where the roads weren't plowed for one (it was almost like a Planes, Trains and Automobiles moment). The worst was coming up on the I-4 corridor and having an RV attempt to merge. Onto me and my family. Yeah, not fun.

So, there you have it. All in all, a fun trip and quite educational to boot.
Current Location: Florida
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars on TiVo
Michaelservermonkey on December 30th, 2009 01:56 pm (UTC)
People say one gets used to it, but IDK how.
tori_vixen on December 30th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
Dude, I had no clue that you were that close to me. Next time you're in the vacinity of Pittsburgh, let me know! I'll meet you guys at Primanti's, most definately! :)
Michaelservermonkey on December 30th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
Did not know that! I will be back up in the summer for a wedding, will have to see if we can do Primanti's then.