post 382

the trip out to see peter was quite an adventure. after getting the oil changed in my car, i left around noon on wednesday. not two hours into the trip and my “check engine soon” light comes on. i was getting pretty close to lafayette at that point, so i stopped at a shop there to have it looked at. i figured that i was about 100 miles into a 1,800 mile trip, so i’d probably rather be safe than sorry. they told me that my exhaust gas recirculation valve was stuck and needed to be replaced. two hours and $200 later, i was back on the road.

i was trying to get to cincinnati by 6pm to have dinner with angie, but thanks to that stupid egr valve i was late. we still got to have dinner, but instead of going out we just ordered in. after supper i was back on the road. i had enough points for a free hotel stay racked up from the various business trips i have been on in the past year, so i ended the evening with a free stay at a hampton inn in winchester, ky. thanks, sallie mae!

after breakfast the next morning i strapped myself into my car for the final nine hour leg of my trip. when i arrived in norfolk thursday evening, peter was at his ship’s christmas party, which i briefly crashed. peter and i started the next morning with a trip to visit the uss wisconsin, a world war two era battleship that is inactive. we weren’t allowed in the ship, but we were allowed on it. after the wisconsin, we found our way to the near-by douglas macarthur memorial. in the evening we toured naval amphibious base little creek, naval station norfolk, and inadvertently, fort story. while at naval station norfolk, i got to take tours of uss stout (ddg 55) and uss cole (ddg 67).

saturday i was planning on making the whole trip back to chicago, but a late start, *cough*megettinglost*cough*, and traffic delays made this impossible. i stopped in newark, oh, shortly to see tom, but by dayton, oh, i was finding myself grumpy and fighting to stay awake so i stopped at a motel for a few hours of sleep. on sunday i made it back to chicago with a stop at my parents’ for a nap and lunch.

the trip was long and the drive was tiring, but it was a lot of fun. pictures.

post 381

today was my last day at work. walking away was kind of a strange feeling. all of these various things that i had the responsibility of worrying about are just gone now. for the first time in a long while i have only one cell phone (yay!) and no laptop (boo!), but that will change when i start my new job, which will be this coming monday. in the time between now and monday, i’ll be going on a road trip to virgina to visit peter rusch. should be great fun.

post 380

pro tip: keep an eye on your check inventory so you don’t run out.