Drivin' In My Car....

Sparks Of Insanity By Vinny "Bond" Marini Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Build your vocabulary, feed the hungry...
11,470,275,730 grains donated at this point...

So...in the car 5:45 am...dark sky, but we are ready. A Pepsi sitting in the drink holder, six bottles of our specially formulated grape water in the cooler along with two chicken cutlet sandwiches...

The 6-disc CD changer is loaded and off we go...

Cruise up I-78 to I-240 and across the bridge into Arkansas, onto I-40...cruising along to the CD button and the DEREK TRUCKS band begins playing...the sun is rising and, with no traffic on the road we are cruising...We jump on I-440 toward Texarkana...

We get to Little Rock in record time and glance at the Mapquest instructions...'Take US-65S / US-167 S / I-530 S...ok, no problem with that...


"Ain't Wastin' Time No More"
Gregory L. Allman
Eat A Peach

Eyes scroll across to look at the miles to be traveled...'304.8' ... back to the music...

About a half hour later and....Hey Look, we are coming up on the "Mike Huckabee Nature Center" in a few miles...Wonder if Matt-Man knows about this place...hehehehe

Then the signs we have seen in other states..."State Penitentiary - Beware of Hitchhikers"...ummmm like we would even consider stopping to pick up some grungy guy in a bright orange jumpsuit...They actually think they have to warn us about this stuff?

And why do these two signs show up at the same time????

15 minutes later...the highway ends and becomes a small country road...just outside of Pine Bluff....OOPS

UH HUH.....

Quick look at the directions... OH damn... we were only supposed to be on that road for 0.2 miles and then were supposed to get onto I-30 for that '304.5' miles...

We pull into a small store and look at Jean... "Excuse me, I think we may have missed a turn-off, we wanted to be on I-30 out of Little Rock"

"Oh yeah, you did", (is that a smirk on her face? Did we hear her mumble 'damn Yankee'? Doesn't she know we are a Memphian? No really, look at our license plates)

"So, should I get back on 560 and hit it that way?"

"No dear, that would be the long way, go onto 560 and then take 270...and you will hit I-30"

"OH OK, thanks.."

Back in the car and onto I-560, there is Huckapoo-poo's Nature Center again and the sign about hitch-hikers... (well look, he is not in an orange jumpsuit and that axe he is carrying does not look too sharp, maybe we should stop....) and they are back to back again... is that guy with the axe Hucka-poo-poo and why does he have a sign that says "BAGWINE OR DROP" with him?

We find State Road 270 she told us about...sure - a 2-lane blacktop that goes through towns with populations of 165 and 220 ...heading west toward I-30...behind a pick-up truck made in 1935 probably...argggggg

When we hit I-30 we were about 47 miles south of Little Rock...an 81 mile detour that took about 2 hours...ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

OK, back on track, let's make up some time now...cruising at 75 - 80mph ... and the rains come...pouring, can't see more than 5 feet in front of us rain...it lasted until we made it to Texarkana..but averaging about 71 miles an hour for that part of the trip...

Cross into Texas and the sun comes out and the temperature gauge for outside reads 71 degrees... WOOOOOOOOO

We are cruising...traffic is light...onto I-635 just west of Dallas and what do we spot...a Steak & Shake, so we pull off for one of their yummy side-by-side Banana/Strawberry shakes. Get out of the car and WTF!!!!! it is freezing...has to be about 40 degrees and the wind is howling...

Grab the shake and hit the highway again and jump onto I-35E South (yeah...we could not figure out what E and South were doing together either, but hey...we are cruising...)

And then it begins...about 30 miles south, traffic STOPS...not a crawl...a dead stop...then move 2 feet and stop...then two feet and stop...and this goes on for about an hour...and we make it about 2 miles to the intersection of I-35 South...OOOOO no East, South...and we begin to drive again...

Just outside of Waco just near the almost completed Willie Nelson Bio-Diesel Rest Stop (On the road again, you have to use corn again...it is good for the environment, and I make even more money and you can be on the road again...who can use this stuff? I do not care I am just selling it...I hope you all come on in and use spend some money on my gifts and then get back on the road again..)

...bam...dead stop...and we crawl for about 20 miles...no signs of construction...no accidents...just like everyone in the world heading south...the north-bound lanes..flowing smoothly...(Anyone hear of a nuclear attack on Dallas? Are all these people going to visit relatives in Mexico for the holidays? WTF is going on???)

We even jump on the service road at one point to get out of the traffic and that does help...then as fast as it stopped...the traffic begins moving again...cruising at 70mph...

Just outside of Austin...you got it! Dead stop...and we crawl for 10-15 miles ...and then we are back up to speed...

Now, all y'all know how patient we are..right? RIGHT?


This is just ticking us off to no end...but we are cruising and there should be no reason why it should happen again...

DAMN...outside of San Antonio...DEAD FREAKING STOP...and crawl...crawl...crawl...

And then...yup, you go it...traffic begins to flow again...no rhyme or reason for it..

Pull into brother Rich's drive FIFTEEN HOURS after leaving...What mapquest says should be an 11 hour drive (which we interpret to mean 10 hours - they are always off in time)...tired as all hell...

SIL Cindy greets us with a Jack on the rocks at the door! LOL..and we sit and talk for a while and then we hit the bed for 10 hours of sleep...

Sunday evening they had a cocktail party...about 30 people..friends (some of whom we know well) and co-workers...and some kick ass egg nog (now, we have never ever been an egg nog person, but this stuff rocked)...

Christmas Eve day, we were in the kitchen cooking with Cindy from about 10:00 am until 3:30...a feast fit for royalty...and then off to Church...

The meal was fan-tabulous....we ate and drank until about midnight...only problem is the bottle of Sambuca they had , had gone bad... It was opened two years ago when yours truly was here and not touched since..but yukkkko..it was spoiled...very weird...

Christmas morning we are up with my nieces at about 9:00 am and opening presents and I am surprised with a gift from Richard and Cindy and sister Lynn and BIL Kevin (we have not exchanged gifts in a few years, only giving to the nieces and nephews)...well these four decided that since we were the last person on earth without one, we needed an i-pod Touch... so very very cool...we were SHOCKED...SHOCKED WE SAY....

Ummm...well..one small problem...our i-Mac is too old and will not work with it...so we will need to upgrade before we can put our Tuneage on it, unless we use the work computer for a while, but then everything we load will go bye bye when we switch computers...hummmm...

Sitting here on Wednesday and trying to get some work done (YES, we are supposed to be on vacation...sheesh) and writing this to tell you of our adventures...

Tonight we go with Rich to see the San Antonio Spurs vs. the Chicago Bulls (hey, we saw the Bulls when we were here two years ago also!)...

Then tomorrow at about 5:30 am, we hit the road again...this time taking I-10 toward Houston and then into Louisiana to I-55 and up through Mississippi....

Now if there is this unknown traffic...we might implode...

Hope all y'all had a wonderful holiday...

"Preachin' Blues"
Eddie "Son" House, Jr.
Out Of The Madness

28 Of Your Sparks

  1. Glad to hear that the trip was safe if a bit frustrating. I know why the traffic is bad here in AZ - we have a new law going into effect as of January 1, and all of the illegals are fleeing here before it takes effect. More on that one later.

    So, you scored with a new gift but can't really use it yet, huh? Bummer. I hope you get a solution soon. Looks like I might be in the market for a new computer iffen mine can be repaired. Ugh.

    Glad you had a wonderful Christmas. OH, and did you say you went to CHURCH?! Wow!

  2. One last thing - Steak 'n Shake ROCKS! Their shakes are killer. Have one for me next time, huh?

  3. Anndi Says:
  4. Stop blaming me ;p

  5. Oh what a road trip on Christmas, smile.
    Reference to your comment, I have not found a republican that I want to vote for, however anyone other than Ron Paul would be better than what the democrats offer.

  6. Maggie Moo Says:
  7. Hee hee hee...I like the tag "insanity". :)

  8. SONGBIRD: Yes they do rock and the side by side shakes are so freakin good...Hope I find one on the way home too....
    Yes, I said Church... and a Baptist Church to boot...though it is a progressive Baptist Church my SIL is a Deacon

    ANNDI: Nope...not gonna do it...nope

    SARGE: Yes it was... ummm I might take Obama over Huckabee and even Rudy to be honest

    MAGS: My sparks of Insanity have been with me forever...LOL

  9. Your music always makes me smile.

    Quick! Son House or Leadbelly. Who wins?

  10. Schmoop Says:
  11. An Italian in Texas?...That's like an Irish man kissing Queen E's ring. Although, some have done it them Bastards. Cheers Vinny!!

  12. STARRLIGHT: dang tough one...but I think Leadbelly wins by a nose...OOOOH might be a tuneage in this

    MATT-MAN: Mike Huckabee sends his regards...

  13. Vinny I am 100% with you on that. And Leadbelly would be an EXCELLENT tuneage. I don't think most people realize the number of songs he did that are part of pop culture. Where Did You Sleep Last Night? as done by Cobain makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up everytime and I knows far to many people who are oblivious to the origins of the song.

  14. OK... do not give away any more secrets... LOL It might be the New Years Day post...

  15. RW Says:
  16. "State Penitentiary - Beware of Hitchhikers" Hahahaha great sign I wish I had a photo of that! Glad you had a good trip!

  17. Liz Hill Says:
  18. okay so use MY directions NOT Mapquest kk?

  19. OBLadyBug Says:
  20. I'm glad you "eventually" made it to your brothers safely. It's wonderful to spend Christmas with family and it sounds like you made many happy memories. Looking forward to your safe return home.

  21. It would be a good one, Vinny and you would be doing the world a musical favor. You should do an entire series of old blues, Beale Street Style ;)

  22. cathy Says:
  23. jeese I've had a bottle of Sambuco in the back of my cupboard for about 12 years. LOL

    Sounds like you had fun, hope that your New Year is even better.

    Happy Holidays.

  24. Call me weird but I'd pick up a hitchhiker in an orange jumpsuit. I have it hot for the bad boys.

  25. Travis Cody Says:
  26. Don't you hate those unintentional detours combined with the let's-just-all-stop-right-here-and-piss-off-the-out-of-state-visitors traffic?

    We got lucky and didn't hit much traffic, although we had rain/snow mix on the way home. Of course our drive was only 2 hours.


  27. Yes, Mapquest ALWAYS is off by at least two hours... add it to what they say and you'll be ok...

    You and Nancy drive safe to Turn's...

    May 2008 be all you wish for and more... HAPPY NEW YEAR my dear sweet friend!


  28. ROGER: Tried to get it with my cell..was unsuccessful

    TURN: I will have a navigator so i will not have to read going 70 and bopping to the Allmans.. LOL

    OBLADYBUG: Well...you know I made it back and am so glad I am home...

    STARRLIGHT: WHAT???? Are you a mind-reader?????
    LOL...I have been thinking about doing just that on my ride home from TX...

    CATHY: Be careful with that bottle..I am shocked theirs went bad...so weird...HAPPY NEW YEAR to you

    108: KYRA: Well THAT does not surprise me at all!

    TRAVIS: LOLOL...yup yup yup I do hate that... TWO HOURS...gee man, that is a trip around the corner!

    DIXIE: See I find Mapquest normally shows a longer time than normal...until you make a mistake or hit traffic from hell
    We will drive safely...would have loved for you and Tony to have been able to join us
    I wish to get together with YOU in 2008...let's make it happen

  29. Do EET! seriously, you would do the subject justice. And holla if you want a run down of what I have available mp3 wise. I gotta a lot of Howlin and John Lee Hooker and Robert Johnson and a 4 disc set called When the Levees Broke - Delta Blues. Sadly, I have very little if any Leadbelly. He lived with a bunch of others on my old dead traitorous hard drive =(

    And yes, Madame Starr can reed zee minds of many ;)

  30. Meribah Says:
  31. See, now, this is why you should have taken the puppy...a few earlicks and you would have forgotten all about the traffic! Bwahahahahahaha! :P

  32. Anndi Says:
  33. LOL @ Meri...

    Yeah! Take the Puppy!!
    Maybe you'll stop blaming my outstanding car-dancing... hehehe!!

  34. Anonymous Says:
  35. poor guy.....wish I would have known how mapquest told you to go through Arkansas.....and poor you getting into Pine Bluff...and the girl shouldn't have sent you the way she did...that's really the LONG way back to I 30....you know how us arkie's are...some are a "LITTLE" backassards....did you get back on I 30 at Malvern...please don't tell me she sent you through Sheridan...next time you want to go somewhere in arkansas email me and ask me how

  36. Kb Says:
  37. I have much better luck with Yahoo Maps. Word of caution... don't EVER use yahoo on the District of Columbia.

  38. Sparky Duck Says:
  39. Sounds like driving in Phoenix! Yes, my folks move around way too much.

    happy happy

  40. Mimi Lenox Says:
  41. What a trip! Glad you made it home safely. Thanks for the tunes.

  42. Unknown Says:


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