Saturday, August 27, 2005

More planning

Today our vacation planning included scrolling online through the local library’s list (good alliteration there, in case you weren’t paying attention) of audio books on CD.

This trip will entail many, many hours of driving. We’ve learned that there’s no better way to overcome the boredom of hours on the Interstate than to be distracted by a book.

Experience has also taught me that it’s difficult and sometimes a bit hazardous to read that book while driving. Listening to audio books is slightly less hazardous and distracting than talking on a cell phone (for some reason), so that seems to be the best compromise.

Besides, reading while driving (or riding, for that matter) can sometimes cause motion sickness and eyestrain as the print bounces up and down with each expansion joint in the road. If the sun is low in the sky and you’re driving beside trees, the sun and shadows flickering on the page can either give you a headache of truly surprising proportions, or nausea of similar strength.

As a seasoned road traveler I know these things, and am pleased to pass them along to you at no extra charge.

We plan to check out (borrow) these audio books the day before we leave. That’s because the loan period is 21 days, and we’ll be gone for 3 weeks (which is pretty close to 21 days.)

On a more pragmatic level, I’ve also been readying the van and the camper. You know—checking oil level, tire pressures, and general conditions; cleaning out the interiors, putting Rain-X on the windshield, spraying WD-40 on anything that might squeak, and so on.

Since our van has over 140,000 miles on it, I always take along a full tool kit along with a roll of baling wire and a roll of duct tape. I know you think I’m kidding since those sound like clichés, but I’m serious. There is little that can’t be fixed (for at least long enough to allow one to limp into a repair shop) with duct tape, baling wire, WD-40 and a few tools.

(That’s more free information for you less-experienced travelers. You see? This blog MORE than returns your price of admission thought all the helpful hints and advice you get here.)

We Earles have been accused in the past of taking our vacations very seriously (right, Tina?), so we have to uphold that tradition.

(By the way, Tina... I keep looking for new posts on your blog and coming away empty. As one of the most creative writers I know, you are seriously disappointing your adoring public by NOT posting occasionally.)

Well, I suppose that’s enough information for you for today. Check back tomorrow for the next episode in which I’ll discuss my plans for getting the grass mowed before we leave, and having out neighbors collect our mail while we’re gone.

Or I may have pity on you and discuss a more entertaining topic.

You’ll have to check in to find out.


Hale McKay said...

One can learn a lot about mowing a lawn, especially when it is someone else who is doing the mowing. I have "trusting" my neighbors down pat, but I just might learn something else about mail.
....I have to admit my knees got a little weak at the mention of duct tape and WD-40 - it's a guy thing girls.

Karyn Lyndon said...

I get car sick just thinking about reading in a car...

Duke_of_Earle said...

I understand, Karyn. I try to avoid thinking -- for that very reason.

the many Bs said...

I get some of my best sleeping done in my car - sometimes while driving, sometimes while sitting in traffic.

kenju said...

I know that a lot of stuff can be fixed by wire and duct tape - but on a car?? Neither my hub nor I would have any idea where to put the wire OR the tape!

Anonymous said...

Our tailpipe was dragging one time and we duct-taped it up. Worked quite well actually.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Actually, the tailpipe is one of the places I'd prefer to use the baling wire since it can get so hot. I figured it might be too hot for the duct tape to hold it up. But that is some marvelous stuff, isn't it?

Once a door seal had deteriorated badly and in a driving thunderstorm water was coming into our car. Duct tape to the rescue!

And Peg, napping while driving is about on a par with reading a book, in terms of hazard level. Just thought you might like to know that.

T. said...

Okay...calling me out on the blog worked. I wrote about the insanity that is your vacation planning on my blog. I will make a concerted effort to write more frequently.

Anonymous said...

T. - this comment was supposed to go on your blog, but since you only allow comments from bloggers I had to put it here.

"There are a select few non-Earles that have the coveted ski sweater. I think you are very close to earning one yourself. in fact, if you ever come on one of our ski vacations without any whining or diarrhea, Mom will probably make you one. (BTW for those that don't know, the sweaters are handmade by none other than the famous Carol!)"