100,000 Words

A milestone neither based on miles traveled nor made of stone.

The new book about all our travels back and forth across the country has reached this important (to me) point in its construction. Not that volume is representative of quality. Some facts:

  • In answer to the question, “How long does it take to write 100,000 words?” the answer is, “About this long.” It’s taken me roughly eight months.
  • 500 words per day, six days per week. It’s easier than I thought it would be. Very achievable for someone who didn’t think he had much to write.
  • 237kb of storage space used for the text file.
  • Created entirely with OpenOffice Writer.
  • The book features 8 of our moves so far. There are 4 more to go. For now. 1 move has occurred during creation of the book, so subject to change.
  • It’s over 75% written.

So I offer encouragement to anyone thinking of taking on a big project like this: don’t worry about selling it. It will be fun just to make it. One day you’ll have a printed copy for yourself, if nobody else, and it will have been fun to do.

Happy (belated) Solstice!

Trendsetting

Playing a Cattle Decapitation album backwards actually removes plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The president keeps using #MAGA in his tweets. In the style of Satanists who inverted the cross and the scared parents who thought those same Satanists put messages into records played backwards (Remember that, kids?), I humbly submit a new pound-sign-letter-combination:

#AGAM

America is Great Already, Mister.

Substitutions can be made for the M, although my substitution is stymied by a semantic argument depending on whether you believe “mother” is one word, or only half of one.

Have a sane weekend!

A Cynical Portrait of Transportation in Pittsburgh

Just because everyone does it doesn’t mean that it should ever be done by anyone. Ever.

I’ve learned the following by observing my fellow vehicle operators. These are apparently taught in Pennsylvania schools. I wish the Pittsburgh Left were the worst of it:

  1. (Note: this is not a Pittsburgh Left. I’ve omitted that one.) When turning left across traffic, it is perfectly acceptable behavior to pull out into one lane, forcing it to stop, and then to wait there for an opening in the other lane. Beeping at a person who does this means you just don’t understand.
  2. If you’re not doing at least 10-15MPH above the posted speed limit, you should be tailgated immediately at a distance not to exceed 10 feet.
  3. Tailgating actually works as a method to modify the behavior of another driver.
  4. Tailgating is the acceptable way to approach on-ramps and other merge points. That’s your highway and those other merging losers need to yield.
  5. Tailgating is actually the default method of vehicle positioning, and it is not to be referred to as tailgating, but rather “driving”. Tailgating is what you do at a Steelers game.
  6. When the person in front of you is allowed the space to merge at an on-ramp, that automatically means everyone in line has just been allowed to merge at that spot and should follow that person into it.
  7. Use your horn. For everything.
  8. When changing lanes, do so as rapidly and with as little warning as possible. Everyone else will understand that you’re about to change lanes by the way you’re driving.
  9. Every four-lane road is a highway, the left lane of which is for passing only. If you’re in it and not passing, you must be destroyed.
  10. You can actually see around blind corners and what’s on the other side of the crests of hills. Don’t worry about it.

As a pedestrian:

  1. Crosswalks are for tourists. When you’re ready for the pro circuit, try jaywalking.
  2. As a walking parent, always lead with the stroller. This will ensure the traffic will stop.
  3. If someone doesn’t stop for you when crossing at mid-block, that person should be cussed at. They’re always supposed to yield because you’re a pedestrian.
  4. Help your spouse into parallel parking spots from the street, holding up your hand like a traffic cop so that the traffic doesn’t kill you. Under no circumstances should this be done from the wide sidewalk immediately next to the car. (Okay, I only saw this once, but I have NEVER seen it before.)

Hope you had a good Memorial Day holiday, and remember to buckle up!

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