DLand - The Garden State

Well, this diary entry comes from a hotel in Princeton, New Jersey. I'm thinking that this little town is where doll house makers come to get all of their ideas. We drove in Route 206 and on either side it was charming house after charming house with big trees and wrap around porches and elegant glass doors. I'm looking forward to leaving this afternoon so I can get a better picture of them in the daylight. We're here installing software for Princeton. I have been to a couple of Ivy league schools and I must admit that I get a little antsy travelling any more North than New Jersey. I'm always convinced that the people are going to be insane. Usually, I'm pretty right. But these people have been fine and the installation has gone smooth as silk like they say.

Kevin, my travelling companion, had OSTRICH for dinner last night! I was too chicken, I admit, to order it for fear that it would be weird and I would have no dinner. But I stole part of his and it was excellent. It was juicy and tender like the best steak you've ever had. The waiter said it would be like chicken but it was more like the most succulent beef you've ever eaten. I definitely recommend it. My meal was the mundane salmon filet. Tasty but far from ostrich. I can be such a wuss sometimes.

I have been learning all kinds of little knowledge tidbits while watching TV. A lot of TV is trash, but I seem to have fallen into the land of learning these past few days. For instance, did you know that bees can dance? When a bee leaves the hive and finds food, she comes back to the hive and then does a dance to tell the other bees where the honey is. She walks around and wiggles her butt in a certain direction. The direction of the wiggle tells the bees what angle related to the sun to travel and the number of wiggles tells the distance (like the number of yards). I think that's fascinating. I never would have thought bees could be so complicated. It just goes to show you there's a lot of magic that we don't see.

Ack! Gotta run or I'll be late!


Oh, well as Frank Sinatra would say: "Night and Day". Just got out of the training session at about 4pm. It was supposed to be from 9 to noon. Ugh is the first thing I say. Well, the systems people were very squared away. But the library people were true to form. One of the bittersweet parts of my occupation is that I deal with both technical people and library people. Both are very strange birds (as my mother would say) and with limited social skills. The main complaint that I had with these folks is their inability to see the forest for the trees. The entire training session was one big string of customization questions or internal political issues. Talk about a mental workout. They all had good intentions and I'm sure it will all work out in the end, but geez!

So I was so irritated by that exhausting day and the prospect of driving home at 4pm, that the doll houses didn't seem nearly as impressive on the way out of town. Mostly I noticed the poor condition of Route 206 with all it's pot holes. Speaking of pot holes, my chauffeur Kevin took 95 instead of 295 so I'm bouncing along the engineering wonders of Pennsylvania highways. I would think that if a state gets ridiculed by everyone for having crappy roads, they would do something about it. But I think at this point that PA prides itself on it. It's as if they're testing the fortitude of travelers. It's like travelling across a concrete jungle - at rush hour. So overall, I'm still not impressed with the neighboring states on the east coast. I suppose we'll stay where we are for quite a while. I'm still thinking I couldn't live in a state where you can't get to an ocean. It's all what you're used to.

One little hightlight of this trip so far was the water tower with Sesame Street characters painted on it. If you're in Morgantown, New Jersey you'll see it for sure. It is the home of Sesame Place, whatever that is. But it was very awesome to drive by the 80 foot Big Bird. That and I had scallops for lunch. It was a weird arrangement with warm cherry tomatoes and what looked like garden weeds but it was a treat to have scallops if a bit strange.

Well, we're heading for gas and dinner. More news later.