I hopped in the car last Thursday afternoon for the drive to New Hampshire to pick up Kevin for some campus visits and interviews. It’s a four and a half hour trip that I can pretty much make with my eyes closed these days.
I have always liked driving….been to California and back 3 times, including twice in a six month span. There is something about the solitude and freedom of a casual drive….the chance to just think…the scenery if you are lucky or plan accordingly….and the exposure to the very different parts of the country.
I love getting a flavor of new areas. I always buy a local paper when I stop in a town…to see what constitutes “news”, to look at the ads for local businesses and the help wanteds to learn what runs the economy, the housing prices and types of used cars for sale…. it’s always interesting to me. Of course, that requires a stop…and a study…which gets in the way of cruisin’.
So my favorite way to learn something about where I am is to surf….not the internet and certainly not “hangin ten” somewhere….but on the good old commercial radio dial. I love it.
Don’t get me wrong…I love being my own DJ thanks to my iPod and getting a laugh from Howard Stern and his Whack Pack on demand via Sirius is always cool….but there is something “freeing” about letting someone else pick and choose my music or subject matter while I just steer the wheel. And if my appetite is unsatisfied, I just hit the scan button to find something else.
On last week’s drive I remembered that I like the sound of a slide guitar in country music and distinct harmonies provided by the Beach Boys and Eagles, how funny Larry the Cable Guy is and just how powerful a song writer Bob Dylan was. I learned that the Patriots would, in fact, solve the challenges that the Broncos option posed in their last meeting, that real estate prices on Cape Cod are down about 4.5% vs. last year and that JJ Boomers Sports Bar in Lowell, Mass. is THE ONLY place to watch the Super Bowl.
The scan button is an amazing surfing tool. With it, I sampled stations that focused on EZ Rock, the “Sounds of the 70’s and 80’s” or offered “Triple Play Thursday” themed music sets and commercial free lunch hours….and by pushing the button a second time to freeze on any particular station, found DJs who shared local knowledge….information about the lack of snow on the Vermont slopes….weather and road conditions as the rain turned to slushy snow….traffic updates around Portsmouth….and was simply and thoroughly entertained for the entire ride.
I have seen ads from Toyota of late that feature their cool technology…and included on the video touch screen are quick connections to Pandora and Clear Channel’s I Heart Radio. Those services are cool…commercial free today….and in my next car, I will have the option to connect to any Clear Channel station (and others who have made their signal available in deals of late) around the country….but for me, right now…. local over the air commercial radio, continually changed at the click of button if desired, is the first and last entertainment choice on a road trip.
Do yourself a true favor and be Cool…surf Old School….
LAST BITE OF THE TACO
Try this…..Boar’s Head Blazin Chicken with blue cheese salad dressing and lettuce on whole wheat. THAT is some sandwich.