Looks like I’ll have to pick one of these up for an inexpensive iTunes server to replace the iMac. Sweet. However, it looks like that rumored phone they were supposed to offer is not appearing, so I’m going to be looking into a new handset this week.

I posted a picture of Jen and her mother on Sunday’s entry, one that I saw and immediately loved. I think it shows how much happiness and love each had for the other (and two more photogenic subjects I’ve never seen.)

Some thoughts on our travels last week:

  • It’s funny how funerals are often more about the family consoling the guests than the other way around. Well, maybe it’s not so funny.
  • People in Ohio are surprised when the lower half of their state floods. I mean, how could a huge floodplain directly under lake-effect precipitation fill with water so fast? Remarkable! (We made it in directly under the wire—hours after we made it to the hotel, our highway was under water.)
  • In a week when hard liquor was never needed more desperately by two people, Jen and I held ourselves to one Corona each, on the evening before we left for home. This is like Ted Kennedy going without vodka for a week, or Dick Cheney passing on his daily infusion of innocent children’s blood.
  • People in Ohio love to smoke. Not like you smoke when you hit the bar on Friday night after a few beers—no, these folks take their lung cancer seriously, like Russian factory workers. In the one-horse town of Logan, where the town square is a block away from the local grain elevator, there are three cigarette stores, each with exotic names like “Smokes For Less” (a converted Shell station) and “Cheap Smokes” (in the deserted Ames shopping center.) They advertise prices in Ohio by the crate.
  • West Virginia is absolutely devoid of life. It’s one continuous interstate, punctuated every four or five miles by a crumbling farmhouse set in a hollow. You can still see the paths they beat getting the hell out of that godforsaken place. All those jokes about Appalachia make sense to me now.
  • There was a point where Jen and I seriously questioned our responsibility to her mother’s peaceful burial: it came about the time traffic stalled us directly in front of the two-lane bridge into town, where half the Ohio river was six inches from the bottom of the span, and whole tree trunks were floating past. I think we hit about Mach 3 going across that sucker.
  • Ohio in January is sort of how I imagine Scotland in winter. But colder, and they have more teeth.
  • I meant to pinch the purple magnetic “Funeral” flag they put on the Jeep, so that I could speed to and from work with my lights on, but they took it while we were graveside.
  • Props to Jen’s Dad, for being a class act the whole way through. To Sara, for watching the house, keeping the cats company, and making a huge dish of lasagna for us the day we got home. To Jen’s extended family, for making a skinny Irish kid feel welcome in an emotionally draining time. To all our friends and relatives for keeping us in their thoughts and giving us help and support.
    Date posted: January 11, 2005 | Filed under family, travel | Leave a Comment »

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