Orme di Antiorario


Here I was, a few minutes ago, overfed after a delicious dinner with friends in my birth town—for once not plagued by industrial smells, as the winds were blowing away from the city and into the adjacent countryside—and pondering over all the different scenarios that would present themselves to me in the new day.

Linguistic rant of the day

I was going to tweet one simple question to the world, but then I decided it deserved more than 140 characters: when did pointing out misspellings become a bigger crime than the misspellings themselves? It’s a theoretical question, since I haven’t pointed out anything to anyone—not recently, that is.

My spacetime construction

On the third day the sun came out in Cincinnati. I was almost starting to doubt that they even had a sun in Ohio. All things considered, though, it’s been good for conference business. I am not going to say that the conference was a breakthrough – it wasn’t. But there have been positive aspects.

My failed strategy

From AppleInsider’s post on iTunes LP:

As for the production costs associated with iTunes LP titles, if the $10,000 figure cited is true, it’s hard to imagine how Apple is cranking these out for so little. Authoring any sort of interactive content is expensive. Try to [hire some] expert designers in Silicon Valley [to] do your website for $10,000 and you might get laughed at derisively.

There must be something wrong in my marketing strategy.

My final rush

The nothingness of inner California is reassuring. Well, it’s not reassuring per se, but the idea of being just a sharp turn away from the Pacific coast, and just a few hundred miles from major cities – and what cities! – definitely is.

August 12. We decided not to drive on California Highway 1 – thus avoiding Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey – simply because it would have set us back another night. Certainly not because we had had enough Kerouackian experiences during the trip.

My techno vibe

Honestly, the prospect of driving to Los Angeles at what sounded like the rush hour of the afternoon could have been dreadful. Considering also that Hilary, who was going to give us a place to crash for the night, does not exactly live on the south side of the metro area. I had vivid memories of four hours spent driving north on Interstate 405 on a previous trip and in similar conditions, and I hoped the experience would not repeat itself.

Back to August 11. Hilary, being the coolest and chillest person on earth, said she’d wait for us, as she was just hanging with a friend at home. Maybe her chill brought us luck, since we arrived at her doorstep in the exact time predicted by our GPS navigator, and we found her and friend sipping drinks and practicing songs on the couch.

My exploration

I realize our road trip was made for neither tourism nor exploration. We were the non-existent travelers, whose only purpose in crossing the country was to get to the other side in the shortest possible time.

Or were we? And was it? Had that been the case, we would have taken a higher-numbered Interstate and driven through far greater extents of nothingness – possibly even paid much less in room and boredom.

So we weren’t tourists but we weren’t U-Haulers. We weren’t travelers, voyagers, but we still were not insensitive to the surroundings. Especially when it came to California. There was only one plan after our breakfast in San Diego (one of the maybe only two meals we had in non-chain restaurants): hit the beach, touch the ocean, get sand on our toes and not be bothered if it stuck there until the end of the trip.

My Jai Alai

August 10. The top of the Southwest was reached in Dateland, AZ, home of the Cougars. Sure, the cougars at hand are not of the kind one would date – and the dates in question are rather of the kind that grows on trees.

The car’s thermometer showed some insane 108°F while we stopped for gas, and that would be the last time we’d ever reach temperatures of this sort. After that, it would be California, big cities, the ocean and lots of Mexican food.

The second time we drove by the Mexican border on Interstate 8, the border patrol must have been particularly intrigued, so to speak, by the shadow of Vinnie in the back seat. It being night surely didn’t help. Amused, the officer kept repeating that it was an immigration checkpoint, and I kept saying I knew – until after a couple of more dumb questions he let us go. He probably thought our answers were even dumber.

My poolside night chat

So you move two time zones to the west after eight and a half hours (nominal) of driving, and what do you do? Maybe a cup of green tea, then straight to bed. This would have been the case, had we not had a place to stay at Erin and Mike’s.

Back to August 9. Our evening became a sushi dinner, some chatting in the living room, then a night swim in the pool in our friends’ apartment complex. Perfect time for me to suggest that Vinnie the alligator should be taken out of the car and re-inflated.

Smart move, considering I had taken advantage of the car replacement to get Vinnie folded and stuck in the trunk. Matt would then seize this opportunity to reinstate him onto the back seat. (This will have relevance in a later episode.)