License Plate Tag

I’ve wanted to write about our vacation trip to Williamsburg, VA, but haven’t been able to carve out the time to do it justice. So I’ll just tell you about the state plates we saw. I was particularly curious this trip because I wondered wwhether the price of fuel would dampen the travelers.

We started in Albany on a Saturday, to NJ to south central PA, where we stopped overnight to see Carol’s brother, his wife and their daughter. Then the next day did the rest of the trip through MD to VA. Thursday, we returned to the brother-in-law’s abode, then back home.

On each leg of the trip (south and north), we managed to see all the states and places (like DC) from ME to FL, plus three Canadian provinces: Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. We also spied, both ways, OH, MI, WI, KY, TN, AL, TX, OR, CA, and plates for US Government. We caught OK both ways, but they were trucks in both cases. We saw cars from AK (ALASKA!) and MN on the way down, and a truck from those states – and I mean one truck, with one plate on the cab and another on the trailer, on the return trip. There was a MS truck on the return trip.

But I was most excited to see, on the way down, a HI car! Someone transported a car from Hawai’i to, presumably, California, and has been driving around the country, I’d guess.

The states I didn’t see at all were primarily in the mountain region: WA, ID, MT, CO, WY, UT, AZ, NM, NV, ND, SD. I was surprised not to see Colorado, which I usually catch every trip, and slightly surprised not to see the southwest states. I’m now thinking that finding a Wyoming plate on an East Coast trip is the gold standard.

I must say that it’s getting harder to identify some plates when you’re going 55 or 65 MPH. There are so many variations. The site here addresses some of them.

A standard Maryland plate looks like this:

But I saw this plate

and initially thought it was from AZ or NM.

Likewise, the PA plate:

This variation I’d recognize:

This variation, not so much:

Anyway, the first day back to work, in downtown Albany, what do I see? Something I didn’t see in almost 1300 miles of traveling: a Colorado license plate.

ROG

Perspectives

Item: I stopped at the nearby Price Chopper grocery store on the way home Friday night to pick up a handful of items, including a dozen apples. The apples were in the plastic bag I got from the produce section, and I was using the “ring-it-up-yourself” section of the checkout counter. Just after I had rung up the apples, the bag broke, with the apples scattering. Some young woman behind me kindly helped me pick them up, saying, “Don’t worry, I’m clean.”
Her perspective: She was either kidding OR she was assuring me that she didn’t have some skin-borne disease.
My perspective: Assuming she wasn’t kidding, and she didn’t appear to be, just what diseases was she talking about? I wasn’t worried about her, since she had self-certified her cleanliness, but should I be worried about others? I do wash the fruit in case there are pesticides or the like, but is that enough? As Paul Simon said, “Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland.”

Item: On Saturday, Carol went to a retreat, so I took Lydia to the state museum. On the fourth floor was a carousel, which we rode twice. There’s also, of all things, a Subway sandwich stand. We got a “meal deal” which we split, that included a couple cookies. I asked, “Is there any peanut butter…” The sales clerk said, “I’m sorry we don’t carry any.”
Her perspective: She thinks I’m disappointed that there are no peanut butter cookies.
My perspective: I wanted to make sure that there weren’t any peanut butter cookies because Lydia is allergic to peanut butter.

Item: Drivers are driving less on the Thruway, the Interstate system that runs from New York City to Kingston to Albany (I-87) then Albany to Utica to Syracuse to Rochester to Buffalo (I-90).
My perspective: Ah, less wear and tear on the roads. Good for them.
The Thruway Authority’s perspective: we’d better raise the rates 5% in January 2009, and another 5% in 2010. And while we’re at it, we’ll lower the E-Z Pass discount from 10% to 5% starting in June 2008.
The governor’s, the legislature’s and the public’s perspective: Outrage.

Item: John McCain goes to Selma, Alabama where on March 7, 1965, peaceful civil rights demonstrators were attacked by state and local lawmen.
McCain’s stated perspective: “I’m aware of the fact that there will be many people who will not vote for me. But I’m going to be the president of all the people and I will work for all of the people and I will listen to all of the people, whether they decide to vote for me or not.”
My perspective: I remember Selma ’65 quite well, since it occurred on my 12th birthday. As the Democrats continue to fight, my sense that McCain will win the general election, no matter who the Democratic nominee is, grows stronger by the day.

ROG

File Under Blackmail Pictures


Every year, I go to Free Comic Book Day, and every year, I get assaulted by some superfolks. This year, FCBD is this Saturday, May 3rd. Hope I survive.

BTW, to prepare for FCBD, I went to this show this past weekend and saw my old compatriots Rocco Nigro, Bill Anderson and John Hebert. AND I finally ran into ADD; he DOES exist! He’s written a nice account of our meeting here.
And I even won a drawing for a copy of Iron Man #97, “The Return of the Guardsman”. Almost certainly, I owned this comic book once upon a time – all those Marvels with the 30-cent cover price I would have been buying perforce – but without looking inside, I just don’t remember The Guardsman at all.

ROG

Getting Wright the Second Time

I had thought that I had set up a recording of Bill Moyers’ Journal Friday night. The Reverend Jeremiah Wright was Bill’s guest. Then at 9:30 pm, I noticed that the recording light on the DVR wasn’t on, and soon I figured out why; the local PBS station, WMHT, was having its @#$%^&* fundraising auction! Fortunately, I could find the remaining part of the program on a secondary WMHT channel on cable.

I found Jeremiah Wright to be far more thoughtful and less vitriolic than the snippets would suggest. In fact, of those snippets, Reverend Wright said, “When something is taken like a sound bite for a political purpose and put constantly over and over again, looped in the face of the public, that’s not a failure to communicate. Those who are doing that are communicating exactly what they wanna do, which is to paint me as some sort of fanatic…”

I was intrigued to find that Reverend Wright’s “infamous” sermon of September 16, 2001 was based on Psalm 137. You may know the first six verses of that psalm from the reggae song “By the Rivers of Babylon”. But I recall a former pastor of mine, last time this scripture came up in the lectionary, talk about what a difficult scripture it was to preach on:

1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.

2 There on the poplars
we hung our harps,

3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD
while in a foreign land?

5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill .

6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.

7 Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did
on the day Jerusalem fell.
“Tear it down,” they cried,
“tear it down to its foundations!”

8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is he who repays you
for what you have done to us-

9 he who seizes your infants
and dashes them against the rocks.

I hope you take the time to watch the video and/or read the transcript of Bill Moyers’ interview of Jeremiah Wright, rather than have the soundbites dictate your opinion of him.

ROG

The Lydster, Part 49: Skills

On Lydia’s birthday last month, I measured her: 3’8″ or 44 inches. Her mother weighed her on the bathroom scale: 46 pounds. Then the next week, the doctor took her vitals for her four-year checkup. 44″, 46 lbs. 0ur wall chart and scale meet medical standards.

For her birthday, we had a little party for her with her maternal grandparents, one of her uncles and aunts and two of her cousins. She was uncharacteristically cranky; I mean she can be cranky, but usually only to her parents at bedtime (and not that often). Actually, she was sobbing uncontrollably for reasons I didn’t understand, other than fatigue. So I got one or two of her stuffed animals, they talked to her, and she was fine. My wife said, “You’ve got skills.” I said, “You seem surprised.”

One of the things Lydia got for her birthday was a ball and bat. It’s not a Wiffle ball, but an OBall, with a bunch of the letter O glued together in a spheroid. BTW, Fred Hembeck will be pleased to know the colors of the ball are orange and blue, the Mets’ colors. She likes to hit. While I tried to rig up some T-ball-like arrangement, she prefers me to pitch to her. And though she writes and throws right-handed, she seems to prefer to hit left-handed. She likes the pitches low and inside, though she does OK low and a little outside as well. Perhaps she’s got skills.

ROG

Casting the Movie QUESTION

On NPR last week, their movie critic was casting the movie of this political season.
For Barack Obama, he picked Will Smith , deeming Denzel Washington too old. Smith’s movies are often inspirational, he suggested.
For Hillary Clinton, Meryl Streep, who he said played a similar role in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate.
For John McCain, Richard Dreyfus, who played an old senator in another movie.

I think Denzel could still do it, but Will’s good. Streep’s Streep, but aren’t their a number of other actresses of a certain age who could do it? Joan Allen once played the Vice-President, e.g.; the first person to come to mind (as an actress of a certain age, not anything more sinister) was Linda Blair. And while Dreyfus could play McCain, I’d prefer him to play Dick Cheney.

Who would you pick? Also, who should play the “stars” of the Bush administration: W., Cheney, Condi Rice (Debbie Allen came to mind), Colin Powell (John Amos played a general on “West Wing”), Alberto Gonzales? Also Laura and the twins.

ROG

April Ramblin'

Added to my blogroll:

Bob and Ray’s Old Time Radio.

Sports Illustrated Vault.

Stuff I’ve been thinking about:

The 2008 TIME 100 Finalists. Tyler Perry went from the middle of the pack to #4 after he sent out e-mails to his fans. Meanwhile, at #73, Britney Spears is ahead of Condi Rice, David Petraeus and George W. Bush,, among many others.

The BBB Offers Free Document Shredding During National “Secure Your ID” Day – May 3, 2008; not one community in New York State is participating!

Who is the patriot? One who served or one who deferred and continued to defer and never served?

Bill Moyers: Journalists As Truth-Tellers. Were it more so.

Why it’s so tough to unseat incumbent politicians

Power to the people vs give peace a chance. Ah, Mike Gravel, you rock.

What your money looks like, if you’re using US currency.

Having To Say You Work For A Bimbo.

The Global Tribute Fund is “an initiative to pay tribute to the inspiring women in our lives.”

Please DO NOT buy this book.

Garrison Keillor gets nostalgic over Northwest Airlines. Obviously, the OLD Northwest Orient, because the conglomerate that’s threatening to merge with Delta is the one airline I absolutely have refused to fly for years.

There’s a comic book show in Albany this Sunday; might go. I thought to go to the NYCC last weekend, but it didn’t work out; Fred Hembeck tells all about it. Ron Marz and my friend Bill Anderson will have been at both shows.

How to Slap a Hamburger Together — in 156 Steps.

Sexy Trips to the Library Stacks. But would you expect otherwise?

ROG

April Ramblin’

Added to my blogroll:

Bob and Ray’s Old Time Radio.

Sports Illustrated Vault.

Stuff I’ve been thinking about:

The 2008 TIME 100 Finalists. Tyler Perry went from the middle of the pack to #4 after he sent out e-mails to his fans. Meanwhile, at #73, Britney Spears is ahead of Condi Rice, David Petraeus and George W. Bush,, among many others.

The BBB Offers Free Document Shredding During National “Secure Your ID” Day – May 3, 2008; not one community in New York State is participating!

Who is the patriot? One who served or one who deferred and continued to defer and never served?

Bill Moyers: Journalists As Truth-Tellers. Were it more so.

Why it’s so tough to unseat incumbent politicians

Power to the people vs give peace a chance. Ah, Mike Gravel, you rock.

What your money looks like, if you’re using US currency.

Having To Say You Work For A Bimbo.

The Global Tribute Fund is “an initiative to pay tribute to the inspiring women in our lives.”

Please DO NOT buy this book.

Garrison Keillor gets nostalgic over Northwest Airlines. Obviously, the OLD Northwest Orient, because the conglomerate that’s threatening to merge with Delta is the one airline I absolutely have refused to fly for years.

There’s a comic book show in Albany this Sunday; might go. I thought to go to the NYCC last weekend, but it didn’t work out; Fred Hembeck tells all about it. Ron Marz and my friend Bill Anderson will have been at both shows.

How to Slap a Hamburger Together — in 156 Steps.

Sexy Trips to the Library Stacks. But would you expect otherwise?

ROG

April Ramblin’

Added to my blogroll:

Bob and Ray’s Old Time Radio.

Sports Illustrated Vault.

Stuff I’ve been thinking about:

The 2008 TIME 100 Finalists. Tyler Perry went from the middle of the pack to #4 after he sent out e-mails to his fans. Meanwhile, at #73, Britney Spears is ahead of Condi Rice, David Petraeus and George W. Bush,, among many others.

The BBB Offers Free Document Shredding During National “Secure Your ID” Day – May 3, 2008; not one community in New York State is participating!

Who is the patriot? One who served or one who deferred and continued to defer and never served?

Bill Moyers: Journalists As Truth-Tellers. Were it more so.

Why it’s so tough to unseat incumbent politicians

Power to the people vs give peace a chance. Ah, Mike Gravel, you rock.

What your money looks like, if you’re using US currency.

Having To Say You Work For A Bimbo.

The Global Tribute Fund is “an initiative to pay tribute to the inspiring women in our lives.”

Please DO NOT buy this book.

Garrison Keillor gets nostalgic over Northwest Airlines. Obviously, the OLD Northwest Orient, because the conglomerate that’s threatening to merge with Delta is the one airline I absolutely have refused to fly for years.

There’s a comic book show in Albany this Sunday; might go. I thought to go to the NYCC last weekend, but it didn’t work out; Fred Hembeck tells all about it. Ron Marz and my friend Bill Anderson will have been at both shows.

How to Slap a Hamburger Together — in 156 Steps.

Sexy Trips to the Library Stacks. But would you expect otherwise?

ROG

Bitter

I was checking out this recent this Modern World with Tom Tomorrow and it occurred to me – I wonder how many of the folks this cartoon represents are bitter?

In the wake of Barack’s “bitter” battle, which probably hurt him in yesterday’s Pennsylvania primary, a number of folks have actually come to his defense, including the Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel; in fact, Robert Reich, a superdelegate who served in Bill Clinton’s cabinet, recently came out for Obama, primarily because of Hillary Clinton’s campaign going negative over this.

But are people bitter? I mean, even GayProf is losing his Zen.

I must say that the Iraq war and loss of basic human rights in the US has made me annoyed; no, “annoyed” doesn’t begin to cover it. Torture in my name has really ticked me off. If you don’t know the name John Yoo, you should. He was the government official who “publicly argued there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering the torture of a child of a suspect in custody – including by crushing that child’s testicles.” More recently, A Torture Victim’s Records Were Lost at Guantánamo, Admits the Camp General; oops! And Amnesty International has unveiled a ‘Waterboarding’ film.

But, am I bitter?
Let’s find the dictionary.net definition:
2) Causing pain or smart; piercing; painful; sharp; severe.
3) Causing, or fitted to cause, pain or distress to the mind; calamitous; poignant.
5) Mournful; sad; distressing; painful; pitiable.
I’d say definitions 2 and 3 apply to me, but not so much #5, for more than pitiable, there are times when I’m just furious. So, it depends on your take of the word.

ROG