Re: The FoRK 500 is underway...

I Find Karma (
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 19:02:35 -0700 (PDT)

A few points of clarification...

> Another day, another thousand miles. Kinda the usual grind in the FoRK
> universe [2], except that a kilomile is a *hell* of a lot longer when
> you're on the ground.

Actually, at 183,000 miles per year, the FoRK universe motto is more

Another day, another 500 miles.

You're off by a factor of 2.

> It rained pretty intensely and continuously across Arkansas and Oklahoma.

We're supposed to get rain in California tonight. Welcome to L.A.

> As I hurtled past Amarillo, the only noticeable change was the
> disappearance of the 'free 72 oz steak!" billboards, which had crescendo'd
> in the form of the ultimate gates of paradise, the Big Texan Steakhouse.
> Glad that was over, I'm getting tired of the striptease that now stretches
> back all the way to Ft. Smith, AR: "Free steak!"... then, one state
> attorney general over in OK: "Free steak! if eaten in one hour"... finally,
> in Texas: "Free steak dinner! if eaten in one hour". Apparently the sides
> are a kicker according to Adam Rifkin who actually succumbed to the tourist
> kitsch and dined there.

The Big Texan is actually a really good restaurant: portions are big,
prices are reasonable, and the place has both atmosphere and attitude.
I highly recommend it to anyone surfing through the Texas panhandle.

> Crossing into New Mexico is more noticeable. First, the legal limit
> finally reaches its rightful mark at 75.

I thought the rightful mark was 105.

> Second, their rest areas have NO PHONES AT ALL!

Now do you have sympathy for me two months ago when we were writing

and I was traveling that exact route you were traveling while we were
under deadline crunch. Forget no Internet access... outside
Albuquerque, you're unlikely to find a public phone in New Mexico,
especially around the 40.

> Instead of the usual 'highway alerts' on 530, they've set up
> transmitters near points of interest with legendary histories narrated
> by... Ricardo Monablan!
> Speaking of Ricardo, I saw him on a late-late movie last week on AMC in a
> bit part as the Cuban ambassador in "The Out-Of-Towners". It's a late-60's
> farce of everything that can possibly go wrong on a trip.

Very impressive narrative arc you have here. The transitions are quite
smooth. See, Rohit, I can appreciate the process...

> My own comedy of errors logs only one chapter today, in which we discover
> that 'nationwide', isn't. I was trying to confirm my plans with the Stones
> to stay at the Yawning Llama Guest House [1] and expected Adam to page me
> back in the car. You can fill in the obvious excuse from Skytel about
> 'hundreds of metropolitan areas' when I didn't hear back from him.

And silly me, I tried paging 5 times. Whoops.

> [2] A friend once asked me to tote up trains, planes, and automobiles, and
> in 1996 the grand total came to about 183k miles. Yes, I have accelerated
> up to one light-second per year... It's a wave!, it's a particle!, it's
> TRAVELMAN! (yes, but are we certain where he is and where he's going?)

365 days/yr x 24 hrs/day x 60 min/hour x 60 secs/min = 31,536,000 secs/yr

So, wow, Rohit's moving at one-thirtytwomillionth the speed of light.
Very impressive.


We have not succeeded in solving all your problems. The answers we have
found only serve to raise a whole set of new questions. In some ways,
we feel we are as confused as ever, but we believe we are confused on a
higher level and about more important things.