I was hoping to stop and see some more things today, but it rained relentlessly, so I just kept driving. I did stop at the Apple store in Germantown, TN.
Something about the Apple store really bugs me. Yeah, everything is overpriced, but it's more than that. I can't quite place it. It's an arrogance and "form over function" mentality that reminds me of cult members, I guess. At least they have cash registers now.
I was having a problem with a terrible buzzing in the car stereo, and I bought a bunch of things in the Apple store to try to fix it. To my good fortune, the cheapest thing I bought (cassette adaptor) was the thing I needed. Of course, I bought stuff I didn't need too.
So here I sit in Arkansas for the very first time. This being my 47th state, I've promised myself that I'll see all 50 by the time I'm 50. That leaves me 8 years to see the Dakotas and Hawaii. For some reason, I think I'll see the Dakotas first.
I listened to the rest of The Last Lecture. My opinion hasn't changed. I think it's fine, all good advice, but it just wasn't anything I personally needed to hear.
I think I'm going to listen to Laurie Anderson's United States Parts I-IV all the way through. It's about 4.5 hours, but damn, I've been listening to that stuff since 1985 and it still stuns me. How can anyone just "get it" so perfectly?
Two things I've seen a lot of on this trip: Porn, and Jesus. I think they're the defining landmarks of America's highways today. I haven't partaken of either on this trip.
It just dawned on me (thank you Remie) that I've only seen one other Land Rover Discovery on this trip, and that was a Discovery Series I from about 1998. Honestly, that's odd. I've driven 1000 miles.
I should talk about the car. It seems "happy" if that makes any sense. Gas mileage is improving – it's over 14MPG now – and everything seems to be working. I have to remember to check the oil and antifreeze. One odd thing about Land Rovers... when the oil light goes on, you can keep driving. They set it early so you can drive somewhere and get oil. In most cars, you need to stop immediately in order to avoid destroying the engine.
I love this car. It's such a combination of brilliance and stupidity. I was talking a Psychiatrist years ago and he thought that I liked the car because it reminded me of me. Maybe so. And maybe that's another reason I need to get rid of it.
Some people have commented that they're concerned that I seem to doing computer stuff while driving. All I can say is that it's not what it appears. Yes, I am distracted sometimes, I'll admit that, but all this technology has the INCREDIBLE benefit of keeping me awake. Seriously, me falling asleep at the wheel is the biggest hazard I can imagine, and I haven't been sleep once on this trip.
BTW, here's a trick if you're falling asleep while driving. Roll down the window, look at the driver next to you, and stick your tongue out at him/her. Really. It works. Why? Because you can't be sleepy and embarrassed at the same time. If you're driving, it's safer to be embarrassed.
Red Roof Inn is nicer than Motel 6 for the record. Nicer sheets is the clincher. This is my third night in a hotel, and they've been progressively worse. They've all been under $40 though, which is incredible.
I shall now try to sleep. Tomorrow... Graceland. And possibly some BBQ. And maybe Beale Street.