23 May 2006
The official WT06 FAQ

When does the World Tour actually happen?

It begins on 12 June, and continues for somewhere between two and three weeks.

What makes it a World Tour, exactly, since you're not leaving the States or anything?

Two things: it's awfully damned long, and much of it is through relatively unfamiliar territory.

How long is "awfully damned long"?

I expect somewhere between 4500 and 5000 miles.

You've done this five times before. Why do it again?

Because I can. More to the point, it's good for me to get out of town, and it's good for my car to get a serious workout once in a while.

Will you be blogging every day?

That's the plan, anyway. You can still read the reports from 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. I have Wi-Fi capability, I carry a spare CAT 5 cable, and if all else fails, I have a dial-up.

What's the shape of this year's route?

Still vague and inchoate, though it's headed toward the south and east; there is a definite Dixieland flavor.

How much of this is copied from previous World Tour FAQs?

Rather a lot, actually.

Usually you start these in July. What's different this year?

They haven't said so, but 42nd and Treadmill is probably wondering just why it is I've always ducked out of their pet July projects; this year I'll actually participate in them.

Is there any chance you'll say "Screw it" and not go home?

I would have to be extremely fortunate, in the winning-lotto-ticket sense, or extremely smitten, in the "I've been waiting for you all my life" sense. Don't count on either of these actually taking place.

Note: Feel free to post additional questions in the comments box, or by mail if you'd rather.

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:33 AM)
31 May 2006
Points on a curve

Okay, here's the deal: I have seventeen days (plus or minus one) to cover as much of the South as I can, with two criteria in mind: to meet up with readers, should they be interested, and to avoid endless stretches of Interstate, which won't be interesting.

Projected boundaries: Nothing north of Richmond or south of Orlando, or within 40 miles of New Orleans. (Otherwise, I could be looking at 6,000 miles, which is a bit much.) Either inbound or out (not both), this trip must go through Nashville.

Otherwise, things are pretty much open to suggestion at this point.

Permalink to this item (posted at 8:00 PM)
10 June 2006
Which way will he go?

More or less this-a-way, sorta counterclockwise, subject, as always, to change without notice.

World Tour '06

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:27 PM)
12 June 2006
For lo, it beginneth

Oil changed and tires rotated?  Check.
Mail and newspaper stopped?  Check.
Trip odometer reset?  Check.
Random Lights feature activated?  Check.
Wireless phone juiced up?  Check.
Every last Microsoft patch installed on notebook?  Check.
Ice maker in fridge shut off:  Check.
A/C reset to balmy 83 degrees:  Check.
Warning given to readers that updates and comment approval will be even slower than usual for the next two or three weeks:  Check.

Then that's that. The next post will be from Texas — or Arkansas, depending on which side of the road the hotel is on.

Update, 6 pm: Well, actually, it wasn't.

Permalink to this item (posted at 8:10 AM)
Abort, something else here, fail

Coalgate, Oklahoma — 114.5 miles

Omen, n. A miraculous sign, a natural disaster, or a disturbance in nature that reveals the will of the gods in the arena of politics or social behavior or predicts a coming change in human history.

6:16 am: In the words of Don Martin, "SPROING KZIT KZIT." As the button scurries across the wooden floor, I shrug. It's just pants, fercrissake. So I carry one fewer pair than I'd planned. It's no big deal.

8:15 am: Out the door.

10:00 am: I did remember to pack my Dopp kit, didn't I?

10:15 am: Well, this is settling into a nice, easy — OMGWTF!!?!


A deer.

A female deer.

Upside: Knocked her all the way to the opposite shoulder, clear of traffic.

The wreck of the old '00Downside: See photo. That oddly-shaped shadow is, or was, ethylene glycol.

You want to know the following: I'm fine.

You do not want to know the following: The price of a 114.5-mile tow.

Now I am going to order a pizza, crank the A/C all the way down to 72, and go quietly to pieces.

Who was it who said "Wait 'til next year?" Besides me, I mean.

Permalink to this item (posted at 5:32 PM)
13 June 2006
In review, as it were

Random bits from the Day of Wreckoning:

  • Number of good ol' boys who stopped to offer assistance: 6
  • Number of good ol' girls: 2
  • Of these eight, number who were driving trucks: 8
  • Elapsed time from impact to first apparent buzzard reconnaissance: 1 hour, 39 minutes
  • Available cell-phone signal, in bars: 0, sometimes 1; hit 2 long enough for me to call 911, Triple A, and the insurance company
  • Time before the state Department of Wildlife Conservation arrived to investigate: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • When I had expected them to investigate: Sometime today
  • Impact on my driving record: None, says the Highway Patrol; it is recorded as an "incident"
  • Impact on my insurance premium: To be determined — next billing is in November — though I expect at least a 25-percent increase
  • Total length of Oklahoma State Highway 3: 616.5 miles
  • Length of 3 I've driven: 344.1 miles
  • Length