Wedding weekend

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Wedding weekend

Postby beachlion » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:46 pm

Tomorrow my wife, daughter and I will drive down to Raleigh, NC, to go to a wedding on Saturday. It is a 8-hour drive according to the routeplanner but the ladies always challenge those calculations. So I will be glad if we reach our hotel in less than 10 hours. The ceremony and reception is the next day and Sunday morning we go back home after breakfast with the family. To avoid the metropoles, I take the I-81. I did this before and I remember now familiar place names as Pulaski and Marion. I will be in the neighborhood of the current location of Moonshadow. I think it is about an hour drive from Raleigh. But with the two ladies on board, I don't have time for an excursion.

P.S. My estimate of an hour drive to Moonshadow is not correct at all. The routeplanner says 4 hours and 30 minutes. I'm still not used to a really big country. ;)
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby moonshadow » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:13 am

I would have thought if you were taking 81 that you'd grab I77 in Wythe County, which is north or Marion (but still south of Pulaski) I77 intersects with I40 in North Carolina, which will take you east towards Raleigh. Sounds like you must be going all the way to I26 in Tennessee and heading south to Asheville NC and grabbing 40 there. It's quite a bit out of your way.

Anyway, if you should pass into Tennessee, and see the Blountville exit (TN exit 69, I81) you will be about 10 minutes from my location as I plan to be in the office in Bristol all day doing a scale training.

I95 is probably the most direct route, but I can understand what you mean by avoiding the metro areas, such as D.C., Baltimore, Richmond, etc etc...

But if you insist on taking the western route, and you want to see a little of the local culture (the interstate highway isn't really a good sampling of southern culture), I might suggest grabbing U.S. 220 in Roanoke.

On I81 in Roanoke County, just take exit 143 (I581) you will drive past downtown Roanoke, the biggest city in the region (but don't worry, it's small by "big city" standards, having a population of just around 100k). 581 turns into U.S. 220 once you pass the downtown area where you will travel through Franklin County and towards Martinsville, Rigeway, before crossing into North Carolina. U.S. 220 will take you to Greensboro NC where you can grab I40 east to Raleigh. I believe it's mostly 4 laned now and traffic lights should be minimal.

Interstates are no way to explore America. Take the U.S. and State highway systems whenever possible. You won't be disappointed!
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby moonshadow » Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:17 am

Also, if you're getting hungry, and are near the mile marker (exit) 180 area on 81, I suggest the Pink Cadillac Diner! Feel free to wear a skirt there... they've seen a guy in a skirt before! :wink: :D
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby beachlion » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:45 am

For me as the main driver, I only see white and yellow lines beside tarmac and other traffic when I'm on the road. So not much sightseeing for me. The passengers are sleeping most of the time. I follow the b!tch in the box aka the GPS so my wife has no map reading duties. And I'm glad for that. ;)

Thanks for the tips anyway. Maybe in the future I will use them.
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby crfriend » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:21 am

beachlion wrote:I follow the b!tch in the box aka the GPS so my wife has no map reading duties. And I'm glad for that. ;)

GPS is one thing that I will never tolerate in a car, much less one that talks at me. I'm more than capable of navigating the old-fashioned way -- including on thousand-mile-plus treks. "Sat-nav" is little more than one more "distraction in the cockpit" and I'd rather be driving the car safely than fiddling with technology (this is also why I refuse to buy a car with a television in the dashboard or any automotive product that uses touch-screens).

Maps and memory is just fine, thank-you-very-much, and if tactile feel is good enough to find a control in an aeroplane cockpit it's good enough for an automobile.

Moon is right, though, in that you'll not see the really interesting stuff in the US if you stay solely on the Eisenhower (aka "Interstate") system of motorways.
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby Kirbstone » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:51 pm

I bought a satnav a few years ago and it has actually taken me to the door indicated on two occasions. Several times though, it has led me up the tiny farm track, much to my annoyance.

I keep a flat map in my driver's door pocket. Much better.

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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby Disaffected.citizen » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:16 am

crfriend wrote:GPS is one thing that I will never tolerate in a car, much less one that talks at me. I'm more than capable of navigating the old-fashioned way -- including on thousand-mile-plus treks. "Sat-nav" is little more than one more "distraction in the cockpit" and I'd rather be driving the car safely than fiddling with technology....

I agree, I'm more than capable of getting lost all by myself; I don't need a "No-brain"Nav to do it for me :lol:
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby Jim » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:08 pm

Disaffected.citizen wrote:I agree, I'm more than capable of getting lost all by myself; I don't need a "No-brain"Nav to do it for me

Ah, but when you do get lost, having GPS as a backup does help you find out where you are faster. (I don't have it; I'd rather the government not know where my car is every minute.)
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby crfriend » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:30 pm

Jim wrote:(I don't have GPS; I'd rather the government not know where my car is every minute.)

GPS is receive-only and does not leak position data in and of itself. You'd need a transmitter and a listening network. That's what your cell' 'phone is for.

I have two GPS receivers at home and they lack any way to talk to anything outside my kitchen. They have a jack for the receiving antenna, a jack for the power, and an RS-232 line that talks to the computers. I bought them for timing purposes but, as a side benefit, I know where the antennae are to within several millimetres.
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby Bikerkilt » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:38 pm

If I don't get lost at least once on a trip it don't fill right and if I get lost while riding the motorcycle, Hay just a longer ride.
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby beachlion » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:07 am

I use a GPS because the USA road system is for me, as an European, very strange. In Europe, no lane of a highway changes into an exit. There are no exits at the left of a road. And also the road surface and markings are of a third world quality. The road signs are placed in strange places and it sometimes difficult to see which sign is pointing to which exit.

Yesterday I came from Raleigh, NC, to Allentown, PA in a constant rain, not heavy but persistent. In Europe, the rain filters through the macadam and the surface is quite matt. In the USA, every truck has a large cloud of heavy mist hanging behind him. The surface is like a mirror, every light is reflected. Also the low beams of the cars don't have a horizontal cut-off and a downwards pointed beam (type H4) but less intense low beams than the high beams. And they are blinding, low or high beams. Also lights around the highways are just blazing in every direction. Parking lots have those high powered ligths on high poles and are shining happily around the plot. And everything is reflected by the wet road surface. If it was not for the cat eyes, the roads would be death traps.

A lot of study goes into the lay-out and construction of high ways in Europe and the result is 3 to 4 times less fatalaties per capita than in the USA.

When traveling in Europe, I memorized the roadnumbers to follow and came where I wanted to be. Now I'm getting used to the USA-system of roads, I do the same but use the GPS in case I have to change roads because of traffic jams.
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby moonshadow » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:31 am

You should ride some of the coal hauler roads in the dark, during a rain storm. The coal dust covers the reflecting paint on the road lines, and often you can't see anything but black.

Most of the interstates and major highways have reflectors that help. Part of the issue with headlamps, is the further you get south, fewer and fewer vehicles require inspections. Tennessee doesn't, I don't think South Carolina does either. I've seen cars on the highway in Tennessee rolling down the highway at 80MPH with sparks flying from the real wheels, running on what appears to be broken ball joints, missing hoods, various lights out, muffler dragging the ground, tires worn down to the belt....

Virginia has inspections, and for the most part it's a fair program, but sometimes "good old boys" get stickers from their mechanic buddy. Unlike some states, our inspections are carried out by private mechanics with a license from the State Police. The State Police will bring in "ghost cars", and have been known to bust a few inspectors, but again, if it's your good buddy in and needs a sticker, there are still loopholes.

crfriend wrote:
Jim wrote:(I don't have GPS; I'd rather the government not know where my car is every minute.)

GPS is receive-only and does not leak position data in and of itself. You'd need a transmitter and a listening network. That's what your cell' 'phone is for.


The garmin may be receive only, but make no mistake, if you use any technology put out in the last 10 years, including many model vehicles, you are being tracked. Maybe not by the government perse, but by mega-data mining companies that will hand over your information to any government agent flashing a badge (and no warrant)

Smart phones are obvious. What's no so obvious is many vehicles on board tracking systems, such as the one in my work van. It watches EVERYTHING. Granted, this is a feature for employers to keep an eye on their employees driving habits, but who's to say the government can't hack the system?

If you get on the phone, any phone, you're being monitored by the NSA. They may not be listening to every word, but computers are programed to zero in on certain key words and red flag them.

Even your TV set can be spying on you, play stations, and other gaming consoles do this as well.

If you use a credit or debit card, the purchase is tracked. I read somewhere that VISA uses over 500 algorithms with every transaction to verify that YOU are the user of your card. This makes sense, and helps to thwart credit card fraud, but did you ever stop and wonder what those 500 algorithms are? What does the system look for? If I am in Virginia and fly to California and buy a coffee with my card, how does it know that's me?

Anyone who believes they are not constantly being watched is being naive. Privacy is dead. Eventually, the trap will be cast, and we'll be living in George Orwells world. They just have to find away to finally brainwash us into torching that pesky little document, known as the constitution, that keeps getting in the way....

They're working on it. Once we finally get to the point where the document is considered "hate speech"... all bets are off...
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby crfriend » Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:43 am

moonshadow wrote:Privacy is dead. Eventually, the trap will be cast, and we'll be living in George Orwells world. They just have to find away to finally brainwash us into torching that pesky little document, known as the constitution, that keeps getting in the way....

Too late. The trap was sprung a couple of decades ago. The US has been post-Constitutional since about 2000 -- and I have heard assertions that it's been that way even longer.

Don't distrust receivers, distrust transmitters -- especially for real-time work. The kit in your work-truck just allows your boss to figure out where you are at any given point, and if you're doing your job he already knows because it's being communicated. So, it's not really all that much of a problem in an employment situation.

Personal vehicles can get quite problematic, especially since quite a few of them are susceptible to being hacked. The answer here is to find out where the external interfaces are (receivers and transmitters) and disable them -- if the car's software will tolerate that. Even then, most of the modern computers function as "black-boxes" (in the aeroplane sense) and can replay various control inputs in the several minutes leading up to a crash -- and I do not believe that a warrant is required to access the data. (Usually a scan of cell' 'phone data will reveal more than enough evidence that someone wasn't paying attention, but since there's so much money in the cell' 'phone companies no laws have yet been passed banning outright the use of the devices whilst in motion.)
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby beachlion » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:18 am

The wedding was a very pleasant event and it was worth the almost 500 miles of distance. Friday we went by the I-81. I had checked the route with MapQuest and that put me off a little. I had to exit the I-81 to get the I-64 but I was thinking I had to go further South. When I realized it, it was too late and we ended up going through the mountains by the US-501. That was the same road Moonshadow did a week before. It is a nice winding road and I felt very at home. It is the type of road I was used to in France and Austria. The only thing I missed were the tight hairpins. So I went quite fast and now and then I heard the tires sqeeking. When I'm on a mission, I don't want to lose time.
Saturday was for the wedding, a ceremony in a local church that was part of a campus. After the ceremony was the reception and that was in a café in downtown. Because of the problematic parking, there was a shuttle bus from a hotel. Good food, good ambiance but loud music when it was time to dance.
Sunday morning we had brunch with the family. It is always nice to meet the family in quieter circumstances. It is what we call in the Netherlands the warm side of the family. That is the family of my wife and the country of origine is Italy. The cold side, from the deceased husband of my wife, is from Poland and the difference is remarkable, to say the least.
The ride home was in a constant light rain and beside the poor visibility of the road it went reasonable well. After a 1000 mile behind the wheel I was glad to see my bed.
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Re: Wedding weekend

Postby Fred in Skirts » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:01 am

crfriend wrote:(Usually a scan of cell' 'phone data will reveal more than enough evidence that someone wasn't paying attention, but since there's so much money in the cell' 'phone companies no laws have yet been passed banning outright the use of the devices whilst in motion.)

South Carolina and Georgia both have laws that ban the use of a cell-phone even the hands free models while the vehicle is in motion and that includes while at traffic lights.
The fines are heavy and are being enforced. So beware if you are in either state and want to use your cell phone, it could be very expensive.
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