April 5th, 2004

i'm ready for my close up mr demille

NYC with LJers: Part 1

Location: Youngstown. OH

Ok, now that I have exorcised the Livejournal friends from my truck, I am having time to reflect and compose thoughts for journal entries. So the next couple of posts will be recaps, complete with lotsa pictures. My thanks to draysha68 and janietrain for the companionship, converstaion, and camaraderie. It was fun spending time with both of you. I have a blast on the road in general, but it's fun to have someone to do stuff with, too.

On the other hand, after three straight weeks of it, I'm looking forward to having the truck to myself for a while ;-)

Today I'm going to recap my adventures with draysha68. As you may recall, dipshit that I am, I deleted a good deal of pictures on the first day we were in New York by accident. This sucks because a good deal of those pictures were of The Cloisters branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in upper Manhattan. We took a train up there to a park on the banks of the Hudson. It was cold but a beautiful walk through the park. When you enter the museum, it's like walking into a medieval castle. It was interesting because it was museum not only because of the artifacts in glass cases, but the very architecture of the building was comprised of archways, glass windows, ceilings, and flooring from 16th century European cathedrals and monasteries. The main attraction from which the museum draws its name are the cloistered gardens in the center of the complex. The gardens are enclosed by beautiful marble and granite columns and arches shipped here from ancient European sites. The main attraction for draysha68 however were the 500 year old unicorn tapestries. They were hanging in a dimly lit room where we managed to snap a quick picture before being told that no flash photography was allowed. This was to protect the tapestries from further fading due to light, we were informed. draysha68 and I estimated that we probably deprived some little girl in the year 2250 of seeing these tapestries by our photography, then to make matters worse, I deleted it later that evening. Fine I say, if we don't get to keep the picture then future girl from 2250 doesn't get to see it either. Actually, it's probably some sort of cosmic retribution for taking the picture in the first place that the picture was lost. As a friend of mine later commented, wryly and succinctly: "Philistines!"

The next day, we went to Battery Park for a day of ferry riding, island hopping and statue seeing.

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i'm ready for my close up mr demille

truckstop WiFi wars

Location: Youngstown, OH

Apparently, a WiFi war is a-brew among the truckstops in the nation. I have been using the Flying J network since July of last year and am currently payed-up through this coming July. But I have discovered that the other two of the "big 3" truckstops have networks in place or in the works.

Pilot has a network called truckstop.net which is in virtually all of the Pilot locations as well as some of the minor chains like Sapp Bros, Love's, and Petro. At the moment, they look to be the largest, however, I've been testing them out here and there, and so far they don't seem to be incredibly reliable. I was in two different locations last week that should've had internet access and it wasn't working at either. On top of that, Pilot generally has really small parking lots and horrible services (no lounge, no full service restaurants, etc) Travel Centers of America, my preferred truckstop for fueling because of their generous loyalty perks is embarking of one of their own. They currently only have 3 active hot spots but intend to have virtually their entire truckstop system equipped with WiFi services by June of 2004.

Thjs is good news. Since July I've been fueling and showering at TA's then parking at a Flying J for the internet. Plus, since I'm largely in the midwest and east, TA's are more abundant than Flying J's, particularly in the east. I'm hoping TA builds a robust, fast, and reliable network on schedule. Then in July, when I need to renew a year-long price plan, I'll switch to them and use the other two networks on a pay-as-you go basis when a TA isn't handy.