Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

TV for nomads

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Traveling around as much as I do, I can take my laptop, but dragging around a tv is out of the question.

The best alternative (for me) is the one suggested by Javantea. It’s a little USB stick that hooks up to your computer on one end and then cable (if you have it) or a little antenna if you don’t. In my former apt, I had cable, but here, I use the antenna. I only get one station (PBS) but I’m in a very small town.

The most impressive part of this little gadget is that it also turns your computer into a digital tv recorder (basically, a tivo.) So you can set it to record shows & play them back at your convenience. Very cool, and I was able to hook it up to my Vista notebook with no hassle at all. (Caution- be sure to note which USB port you install it on, and always attach it to that specific port.)

Then there’s Hulu. Not a huge selection, but I’m sure that’ll improve. It’s free, and there are less commercials than regular tv.

Netflix has a streaming program, so that you can download directly to your computer, as well as having DVDs sent by mail.

Don’t forget about youtube, either. They have clips from old tv shows that are really fun: Get Smart, Fawlty Towers, Green Acres & Space Ghost Coast to Coast, among others.

Let me know if there’s anything out there that I’ve missed…

Columbus OH

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

sock-monkeyWell, my co-pilot and I are back on the road today after a layover at Cousin S’s house in Springfield, IL. Lots of fun. Met the new boyfriend, washed clothes & hung them out on the line. She even made my bed w/line dried sheets & blankets. And loaned me a cat, which was terrific. I’ve been so cat-deprived that I nearly petted poor Boo’s fur off. Boo didn’t seem to mind, though. I do love that screen porch of hers. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a summer evening (or morning or afternoon) w/out getting eaten to death by bugs. Oh, and we had Thai food & Indian food dinners and REAL COFFEE every morning.

We did have occasion to see whether jewel weed (aka touch-me-not) actually does work on bug bites. IT DOES. Just split the stem & rub on the bug bite. It’s supposed to work on poison ivy as well, but luckily I haven’t needed to try that yet. This is the kind of thing that happens when you’re the houseguest of a naturalist…

Let’s see, also had lunch w/my aunt & uncle. Really good homemade veggie soup. And I forgot to tell my scofflaw uncle that he’s been a bad influence. I’ve been driving barefooted. Which is totally illegal.  Not only that, but I’ve been crossing state lines barefooted, which is probably a felony. Next, I’ll be tearing tags off mattresses.

Today I was in my first thunderstorm. It was totally wild. The whole sky (and the sky is very big in the midwest) was just opaque gray. And then huge raindrops hitting the windshield, and then suddenly the wipers couldn’t go fast enough & I could only see the semi ahead & semi behind, because it was more like swimming than driving. A little like driving a submarine.

So tonight I had dinner & then had a pink bubble bath (thank you P & J!) and now I’m off to bed & will decide tomorrow whether to do some sight-seeing or just plow on thru the last 7 hours of driving.

Oh, I found a drive-thru Starbucks near my hotel. This is more important than you might think. I went to Hannibal, MO & was all excited about Mark Twain, but spent most of my time in a coffee house, mainlining espresso… I’m sure Mr Clemens would have been amused. (River, what river?)

St Joseph Mo

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Well, here I am in St Joseph. I’m staying in a motel that’s… interesting. Very fab/mod and aqua w/gilt mirrors. Hmm… Same chain as the one in Murdo w/the cowboy bedspreads. You just never know. I keep expecting either Wayne Newton or Jonathon Adler to jump out from behind the floor-to-ceiling window drapes.
Right before I got here, I drove past Mound City MO. I wonder if that has to do w/Moundbuilders, the ancient culture in these part. Probably so, but @ 5:30 on Sat evening, there was no way to find out. Also drove past Laura Ingalls Wilder’s homestead today. I’m not doing any stops until my Springfield visit tomorrow. Just driving like a maniac.
Tomorrow, I’m going to make an exception, though, b/c I just saw that the hwy between here & Springfield, IL goes thru… HANNIBAL, MO!!! Now how could I not stop? I will very definitely be stopping to explore, being a Mark Twain groupie from way back.
They also have an honest espresso coffee shop there. If I have one more cup of this nasty robusto they drink out here I will go completely postal. I even stopped at a SD visitor center to ask where in blank’s name I could get a decent cup of joe & the nice Scandahoovian lady looked at me & said “Gosh honey, I don’t know. I don’t drink coffee, myself.” Well, I wouldn’t either if all I could get was this &!@##. Anyway, I will be stopping @ Java Jive in Hannibal.
If I do this trip again, I may invest in a little espresso stand to tow behind me….

Murdo, SD

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Well, the main thing I discovered today is that Murdo, SD is a long, long way from Bozeman, MT. But I’m safe in my hotel room, complete w/cowboy bedspreads (really!) and settling in for the night.
Really wild scenery today. The area around Bozeman is spectacular.
Favorite thing today: watching antelopes boinging around in the fields. There are fences- but they don’t care. They eat and boing and eat some more. And then take a nap. Pretty good life.
I was in 3 states today- MT, WY & then SD. The highways are different. In WY they’re kind of pink & parts (long parts) make it sound like a flat tire. And there’s a whine when you go over an overpass. In SD, they make a sound like your engine is eating itself alive. Scared the heck out of me.
Also, judging from the snow fences & bars (like for a railroad crossing) for when I-90 is CLOSED, they get a whole lot of snow.
So now it’s time for the nightly bubble bath & getting ready to drive to St Joseph, MO tomorrow.