20 Things I Noticed While Driving to Oklacon

Smiles?  What? Oh, its FIVE MILES, derp

My trip to Oklacon 2012 is now over and I had a fun time.  Due to a lack of access to the tubes while I was there, everything is going up late, so ‘bear’ with me as I get caught up. 🙂

  1. I have to start off with the oddball store names I saw on US 281: “Aristacats,” “City Drug,” “Mr. Cut Rate,” “Stop-n-fetchum,” and “Feedlot Restaurant.” Best one? “Scooter’s Adult Bookstore.”
  2. If you are in a small town, isn’t it presumptuous to call yourself a National Bank?
  3. Taking the scenic route was a good idea, lots of beautiful country to see.
  4. “Mountaintop Land Bargains” – not sure if company name or actually selling land on mountain tops.
  5. If the speed limit sign outside of a town has a red border around it, it means they ain’t fooling around!
  6. Best thing ever: “Pie happy hour”
  7. I was so happy to finally see a “Speed Limit 75MPH” sign.
  8. I think my heart skipped a beat when I first realized my cell phone signal was gone and it wasn’t coming back for 3 days.
  9. Passed by a store called “The Store.” And I thought the HEB marketing department was lazy.
  10. I’ve seen town names on water towers, but a silo?  I guess you have to work with what you have.
  11. Stuck behind a slow pickup after about two hours, surprised it took that long.
  12. A restaurant named “Hamburger Hill?” REALLY?
  13. I saw a bunch of classic cars pass by at a stop light in a small town.  It must have been Homecoming Night.
  14. Cutting horses?  Its a cry for help, methinks.
  15. Dear Dairy Queen, please make all of your restaurants like the nice one south of Mineral Wells. Thanks.
  16. “Keep Mineral Wells crazy?” Maybe they should have a furcon. NOTE: The next few are after I entered OK.
  17. “Bridge ices before road?” Thanks for the science lesson, roadsign.
  18. A lot of casinos here, hmm.
  19. Dafuq are ‘jake brakes’ and ‘engine brake?’
  20. When I first saw a 25MPH speed limit in a little town, I expected to see a horse-drawn buggy somewhere. I never did so I concluded that they were just being jerks.

Oklacon 2012 Journal #3: Road Trip!

I will drive 500 miles

One of the bigger challenges of my trip to Oklacon is going to be the drive: according to Yahoo Maps, the shortest route from San Antonio is more-or-less a 500 mile straight shot up US Highway 281 to Roman Nose State Park.  While I will be bypassing the messes to be found in Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, there will instead be lots of stopping at lots of small towns along the way.

Being from a small town myself, I’m okay with that.  It is going to be nice to be out on the road seeing things besides gas stations and fast-food joints.  Also, given my intolerance for spending long times in the car, there will also be plenty of opportunities to stop for rest, drink, food, and attending to certain biological needs. 🙂

This will be the first true test of my new vehicle.  Just going to Houston was a pain in my 2005 Dodge Neon (aka The Reliant) and I was not looking forward to taking longer trips in it.  I’m hoping that the increased interior space and more comfortable seating found in my 2012 Honda CR-V (aka The Excelsior) will make the trip more pleasant.

The thought of the fun to be had at my destination should be enough to keep me going, but if all else fails, there’s always coffee.

Oklacon 2012 Journal #2: Vacation From Myself

Rockin the 8-bit tie!

I have resolved to start taking more ‘real’ vacations; a ‘real vacation’ being a trip during which I go somewhere or do something that I have never seen or done before.  Thus, I will be attending Oklacon later this week: it will be the first road trip I’ve had in awhile, barely my second furry convention, and my first ‘outdoor’ convention.  As such, I’ll be camping for three days and some new friends will be coming along.

While that is all fine and dandy, it also occurred to me that I could also take a vacation from myself.  I attend fan conventions regularly, but I’ve never really gone through the trouble of putting a costume together for a convention.  Granted, I’ve tried once or twice but its was still me, just wearing an 8-bit tie or a half-assed steampunk-type outfit; no glue, no gears, no goggles, so no steampunk.

As geeks/nerds/otkau/what-have-yous, I think we’re fortunate in that regard.  Like the Rekall sales weasel told Quaid in Total Recall: “What is the same about every vacation you’ve ever taken?”

“You!”

Oklacon 2012 Journal #1: Off the Grid

Furries under the stars!

Oklacon is just a few days away, and I am in the process of getting things ready: making a list of equipment to bring, topping off stuff with fuel, getting warmer clothing out of storage, making sure I have plenty of batteries, and so on and so forth.  In viewing various posts here and there I had heard of something called ‘cell phone hill’ so on a hunch, I decided to check Sprint’s coverage.

Yikes.  It looks as if I’m going to be outside of Sprint’s coverage area, so I’m going to be roaming, which probably means no data.  Now, I presume that no data means no internets, and I find myself just a little bit apprehensive at the thought of really being ‘off the grid.’  As you may guess, I’m one of those people that is always checking my smartphone or laptop for e-mails or Facebook posts or tweets or comments on my blogs (like this one!) and so on and so forth.

While the thought of not having access to the tubes is a little bit scary (I think I may have a problem), on the other hand, its something else I can take a vacation from, and it’ll probably do me some good…I hope!