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Roadside America


Natalie and I are on a kind of meta-road trip. We're not actually going to see The Thing, but we're seeing the roadside attractions which have sprung up around The Thing to amuse and draw in visitors.

Today we went to Roadside America, which is a massive O gauge model railroad layout. 6000 feet, assembled over 60 years of one Laurence Gieringer's life, from when he was 9 until he died.

Natalie took tons of photos, but I put up 3 short videos covering about 15% or so, along one short edge:

Mine, mountains, farms:

The zoo:

Midcentury Downtown:

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Ice Cream of Route 3 - Fisher Cats Game


As my first in a series of posts about ice cream places on NH Route 3, I'm deciding to count stuff which really wouldn't be super obvious, as well as all the multi-generational institutions we all know. Located a block off of Elm St in Manchester, Northeast Delta Dental Stadium counts, because I said it did.

We've been going to sport-thing games since last fall, when we decided we needed a release valve on the wall-to-wall presidential election nonsense and started going to Manchester Monarchs games. Since that nonsense continued straight past the election, we've been going to more and more games, including three Fisher Cats games this summer. The Fisher Cats finished up their season this weekend, so I wanted to make sure and head out there and get some ice cream and put it on the list.

The stadium serves Hood ice cream, soft-serve only from what we've seen, as well as novelties like ice cream sandwiches. This week Natalie and I each got a hot fudge sundae, vanilla & chocolate twist, with everything they'll put on a sundae, which boils down to whipped cream, jimmies and a cherry, I guess it's just easier for them not to even try to have a walnut in the building than to deal with the inevitable nut allergies.

You can get these in mini-helmets, of course. We got a regular cup this time because we did the helmet thing earlier in the season.

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Ice Cream of Route 3


This summer while we were out driving somewhere I decided that there should be a page for all the ice cream places on NH Route 3. Route 3 runs the entire length of the state from the Canadian border north of Pittsburg to the Massachusetts border at Nashua/Tyngsborough. The road runs through all of the larger cities in the state, and lots of pretty smaller towns. There's a lot of ice cream to be had here. I remember some of these spots from when I was a little kid, usually failing to get my mom to stop. Places like King Kone in Merrimack, and the Brick House in Hooksett.

This is going to take a good deal of time, and there's not really much summer left this year, but I'll be posting them as we can get to them.

So since the idea here is to visit these local institutions which have served generations of kids in this state, of course I'm going to kick it off with the biggest and newest one.

  • Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
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    Geoguessr World Ruins


    Geoguessr sometimes drops you in sites of historical significance, which I'll always take time to wander around. I've gotten Tulum, but also some smaller but no less impressive sites in the middle of the Yucatan. Anyway, this one's from India:

    Kumbhalgarh Fort

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    Geoguessr World Tour - Local Edition


    Hello in-laws. Yes, this is actually a thing which really happened.

    Click 'em:

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    Fun Geoguessr Finds


    Sometimes I find nifty things in Geoguessr, so sometimes I'll post them.

    Tonight I came upon Do-Mi-Ski in Dolbeau-Mistassini, Québec. It reminds me of Abenaki in Wolfeboro, with its one rope tow with $5 night skiing when I was a kid.

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    Blowing Minds With Natalie


    Elvis Costello - No Action

    We are ramping up to Viva Las Vegas 18, and Natalie has really killed this outfit. She made and then painted this skirt of the neon signs of old Vegas:

    Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:51pm - Natalie painted this awesome skirt for our trip to Viva Las Vegas 18 next week!                               csFlickr

    Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:29pm - Natalie painted this awesome skirt for our trip to Viva Las Vegas 18 next week! csFlickr

    Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:28pm - Natalie painted this awesome skirt for our trip to Viva Las Vegas 18 next week! csFlickr

    And, at the last minute, her brother came through with this TV prop jacket:

    Fri, 03/27/2015 - 10:28am - Cherry tears cndFlickr

    Thu, 03/26/2015 - 7:26pm - The jacket. cndFlickr

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    In which I am annoyed at the radio


    "(Consumers are) getting their raise through the gas tank rather than their employers" - Sudeep Reddy, Marketplace

    Sorry Kai, but yeah, that is a really weak statement. Between that quote last week, and all the stories about consumers already buying bigger more gas-guzzlin'er trucks and SUVs because pump prices have gone down, I just got annoyed enough to write this.

    People don't really look at what's their ultimate best interest, they don't make math-based decisions. They think "Wow, gas just went down by 20%, so I can buy a car which uses 60% more fuel". Here is math:

    At 90 miles/day, I drive somewhat more than the average person (78% of people have a less than 20 mile commute? DAMMIT). My 2005 Toyota gets a consistent 34MPG. Gas has gone down by 60 cents around these parts.

    So what does that mean?

    270mi per week (I work from home two days a week)
    8 gallons of gas

    $28.40 - 8 gallons of gas at $3.55

    $23.60 - 8 gallons of gas at $2.95

    $39.85 - What I'd pay at $2.95/gal for the 13.5 gallons of gas I'd use if I bought an SUV making 20mpg

    (So all this means that I pay $7.80 every day to sit in traffic for > 3 hours, before factoring in maintenance / wear & tear)

    That means that the difference caused by this precipitous drop in prices is $5 per week, for me. That's not even enough for a pack of smokes. So much for people "getting their raise through the gas tank". $260 per year, thanks a bunch guys, but I'm better off with even a 1% pay increase. Even with the 20MPG Jeep that I had prior to the Toyota, it would still only be a $9/week difference. Not exactly enough to finance payments on a new SUV, let alone the fact that you now burn much more gas than is offset by the price decrease.

    Being able to do arithmetic also accounts for why I don't drive a Prius or whatever. There's no way the increased milage would pay off over the facts that a Prius costs $10000 more (base) than I paid for the Corolla which is fully paid for. Even if I were to get a new car, it's unlikely the Prius speicfically would be worth the extra cost for the extra 14MPG, that's not even factoring in battery changes, which aren't cheap, and which I'm sure I'd have needed a couple of to match the 220,000 miles on my Corolla.

    I don't pretend to know or care why people make the choices they do, but it's almost certainly more that they "feel" things are "good", and so decide to splurge on some new car, telling themselves that gas is cheap, so it doesn't matter.

    People probably feel this way because of glib statements by people they perceive as being subject matter experts.

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    London trip in a nutshell, Day 1

    People noticed I seemed kind of testy for on-vacation-guy last week, here's why.

    We got to the hotel at 10:30am, so effectively 5:30 EST. Our room wasn't done,so we walked around and waited for my mom's plane to land. We didn't want to get too far from the hotel in case my mom showed up, which she kept not doing, so we started to get kind of worried. Around 1 we decided to just hang out in the lobby and wait for the room. I slept, Natalie walked around some more.


    This is the saddest thing I saw all day. I really can't think of a more appropriate way for things to play out though. Dying to protect his tiny piece of rock, protecting it from someone who really loved him, but wanted to take his rock away.

    I remember very little about that book because I never really read it when I was a little kid. I was way too damaged, and I probably still am. But that story sums up a lot about warring over politics.

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