Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Travelogue

I’m finally settled into a motel room and am online again. And neither of those were easy feats, as those few of you who slog through this long post will learn.

I had a safe and pleasant drive to Springfield – nearly 150 miles and not one of them on an interstate. I love country roads! The temperature was perfect, so I drove with the moonroof open, listening to a good audiobook and enjoying the sight of some few green harbingers of spring.

The forum today went ok – much better than the previous one (which was the first in this series of seven). I enjoyed reconnecting with some colleagues whom I don’t see often. One fellow rushed up after the meeting to talk with me; he remembered me from a workshop I taught back in 2004. Yikes!

Tomorrow, along with two of our archivists, I’ll make site visits to consult with a couple of organizations in the area. That will entail about a hundred-mile-circuit. Then the 150 miles home. The day will start early and probably end late.

This evening was a little more interesting than I wished. After drinks and an early dinner with friends, I got to the Springfield hotel where my office had made reservations. Except – oops! – there was no record of any reservation, and the hotel was sold out. In fact, every hotel in Springfield is sold out. Turns out the city is hosting the National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships. Yes, apparently there really is such a thing! According to the hotel clerk, there will be something like 1,000 tournament games this week. God only knows how many good little homeschooled Christians are in town. (No, I don’t know how many of them are being raised with an undercurrent of hostility. [Let the reader understand.]) The very kind clerk – God bless her – made some calls and located a room for me about ½ hour south.

When I got into this motel room, after a few minutes of settling in, I began looking around for information about connecting to the Internet. None of the literature in the room mentioned it, and there is no Ethernet cable. Needless to say, I broke into a cold sweat. This is an older Days Inn; judging from the looks of the place, it seemed entirely possible I might have to go all evening without e-mail, blogging, or Facebook – which would mean going cold turkey ‘til tomorrow night when I get home. I cannot remember when I last went 36 hours without being online! With fear clutching my heart, I phoned the front desk and was much relieved to know they do have Wi-Fi; he gave me the “Web key.”

But then I couldn’t get connected. I hit the “view available networks” again and again, but kept getting the message that there were none. I tried all sorts of settings, with increasing desperation … and a growing sense of resignation. Finally, I did something or other that got me connected. I still don’t know what I did right, but I remember having the same experience on the trip two weeks ago; I haven’t had all that many road trips since I’ve been using this computer, and I need to figure this out, write down the sequence, etc.

So now I’m back in my real virtual world. And boring you all out of your skulls, aren’t I?

So here’s a little something funny to share. As I was driving to today’s meeting venue, I saw a billboard that absolutely cracked me up. What follows isn’t the actual billboard; I don’t have my camera with me, but I found an online site that let me put their name and “slogan” onto a “stock” image. The actual billboard had an address and phone number and something about the services they offer. But this was the large-font message on the billboard.


As one who has to take a large dose of anti-anxiety medication before going to the dentist – yes, even for a routine cleaning – I truly love this billboard.

I hope that makes up for this long, probably boring travelogue.

It’s been a long day. For absolutely no apparent reason, I woke at 5:20 this morning. So off I go to catch up on some e-mails, etc. before the alarm sounds too early tomorrow morning. As I prescheduled the "Hamlet's Cat Soliloquy" to post during my travels today, I have one more I'll schedule to post tomorrow. I promise it will be more edifying that this meandering travelogue of mine.

If you've read all the way to the end, tell MadPriest to give you 200 days off Purgatory.

12 Comments:

Blogger Ann said...

Oh phew --- you are connected. Excellent - know the feeling!!

3/18/2009 10:48 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

LOL! Takes one to know one. [vbg]

I will confess ... recognizing that the thought of an evening without Internet access gave me heart palpitations also has me wondering what the heck is going on. How come I rely on my virtually community so deeply? Interesting topic for further reflection. ... Reminds me of Fran's recent blog.

3/18/2009 11:01 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

Is it not remarkable how cheap hotels have free Wi-fi and expensive ones want to charge us for it? Maybe the expensive ones know how hooked we are!

3/18/2009 11:07 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Yes, it is, Lydia. I'm in a $60 motel tonight with free wi-fi. Back in the fall, I stayed in a $300 hotel in Manhattan and had to pay $13/day for wi-fi.

I've been following the discussions about this on HoBD too re: Web access in Anaheim. Just incredible.

3/19/2009 12:03 AM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

I was just thinking of all the high priced hotels I stayed in when I traveled... and how much they charged for internet service.

About 3 years ago I was at a conference at the posh Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas... where I paid about $10 a day for internet service and had the great pleasure of "buying" an ethernet cord from the "minibar" which was a mere $12.95!

Glad you made it somewhere - good travels on the way back.

I am also kind of still reeling from a Christian Homeschool basketball league of such enormity!

3/19/2009 5:57 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Some of us go to pediatric dentists who understand total fear of dental procedures, though for me it's the sound of the drill, or polisher, or whatever. They can be cleaning a tooth that's had a root canal, so there is no possibility of pain, and I'm a basket case. But non-mechanized procedures don't bother me.

3/19/2009 6:54 AM  
Blogger Lauralew said...

Knowing Springfield as I do (I grew up 2 hours north), I am so not surprised by the homeschool basketball tournament. Springfield is the HQ of the Assemblies of God church.

Glad you got a room and Internet access, Lisa! I understand that heart pounding, cold sweat feeling!

3/19/2009 8:01 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Agreed, Fran! It just makes no sense.

3/19/2009 10:42 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Karen, I understand.

For me, too, it's more the sounds and smells that freak me out. YUCK to sound of teeth being drilled off! If I could put my nose and ears on vacation, I probably wouldn't freak out so much at the dental visits.

One more thing ... and this may be a bridge too far. Here, for the first time, I have a woman who is my dentist. It's amazing how much more relaxed I am with her than with any other dentist I've ever had. Partly, it's because she is very sensitive/intuitive about any discomfort I am feeling. ... And partly [this is the difficult part to acknowledge] I assume she does not want to cause me pain ... I never realized I had that fear with prior dentists.

3/19/2009 10:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Lauralew, I forgot that element of Springfield. Now that you mention it, it does make perfect sense.

And thanks for understanding "that heart pounding, cold sweat feeling" I had when I thought I might be "Internetless" for a whole night. I still wonder what that means/says about me.

3/19/2009 10:55 PM  
Blogger bfelice said...

Charging for internet, parking, gaming consoles, etc at the Four Seasons will not deter their clientele from staying. Offering these as free services at modest hotels might swing customers in this group their way.

Are you safe at home yet or still on the road?

3/20/2009 4:56 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Good point, Beth.

I was home for almost 21 hours. Now I'm with the Flys at the Lake, having wonderful food, conversation, and relaxation. Thanks to be God!

On Tuesday, I hit the road again. Heading northward this time.

3/21/2009 9:45 AM  

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