Stocking up, part 2

I thought I’d put this in the main body of the blog instead of in the comments to Levi’s post, since it’s important…more important for me, in fact, since it will be more inconvenient to turn back if I leave something behind before heading for the airport than if Levi leaves something behind before heading for Davenport.

You can’t get a car that runs on biodiesel and is comfortable for four people, or so Hertz claims. However, I believe every state we’ll be passing through will have cheaper gas than California, even Illinois, so I’ll claim it’s cheap every time we fill up. Ontario and Quebec will be more expensive, but it’ll still seem cheap because the price will be listed in Canadian dollars per liter.

I tend to have stomach problems for unexplained reasons, not after eating things like the Schmitter. When I do have them, though, Tums doesn’t cut it. I’m bringing Pepto-Bismol.

I’m pretty sure there is going to be a Canada-U.S. translation chart of some variety in the materials I’m going to get from AAA, if I ever manage to make it to their office.

Other things I should remember to bring:

1) The Red Sox and Phillies tickets for me and Levi.

2) Printouts of the hotel reservation confirmations.

3) My iPod and its various accessories, including the cigarette lighter charger, the AC charger and cable, and the cassette adaptor (on the off chance we get a car not only with a cassette deck, but with a cassette deck the adaptor will work in). In addition to the music (not solely radio station jingles), my iPod also contains my address book, and I’m going to put text files on it giving exact driving directions to the various places we’ll be staying, plus public transportation directions to stadiums (where applicable), and anything else I can think of that needs to be on there.

4) My digital camera and its battery charger.

5) My cell phone and its charger.

6) A bunch of nickels and dimes I have lying around that may come in handy for paying tolls.

7) My passport.

8) Sunscreen, since I have a giant tube of Coppertone Sport that’s still pretty full.

9) A rain poncho (which I need to buy unless I can find the one I thought I had).

10) Not directly related to the trip, but a videotape of television programming from a channel or channels that Levi and Stacey don’t receive, since they’d be disappointed if I didn’t show up with one. I’ve already got a 2-hour selection on my TiVo, although I have to get a working VCR between now and the trip. All I’ll say is that it’s not game shows.

Original comments…

maura: you are so organized! i started packing for my trip to seattle an hour before i had to leave my house, and i left my cell phone charger at home.

i did get to safeco field on monday night, though. it’s a very nice park; the roof was closed over the field, but there were gaps providing vistas into the city. unfortunately, we weren’t seated near the healthy food area, so we didn’t have the veggie dogs or ichirolls — we ate jumbo hot dogs. note to self: NEVER EAT JUMBO HOT DOGS AGAIN. not only were they, er, indelicately unwieldy, they were way too big. the garlic fries were great, though, and i had an iced latte as well (oh, whatever, it’s seattle, it’s okay there). also, i bought an action cam at archie mcphee, and i tried to take some photos of the game with it. we’ll see if they came out soon, i guess.

semi-related: that night, joe and i were sitting in our hotel’s bar/lounge area (we stayed at the w), and who should come walking into the lobby but: the entire blue jays team! i wonder if all the teams stay at this hotel, or if richer teams stay at the fancier places downtown.

Jim: You don’t think the W is fancy? The only reason I’ve ever set foot inside one is because that’s where Donna Cochener stayed when she was in L.A. for Maggie’s wedding, and Levi and I visited her there. You know she’s not going to stay anyplace non-fancy.

Did lots of trains go by while you were at Safeco?

maura: i saw donna on tuesday! we had lunch at noodle ranch. she is living in seattle now. anyway, the ‘fancier’ places i was thinking of were the boutique hotels with in-room jacuzzis and stuff. a-rod’s gotta soak!

only two trains went by while i was at safeco. both were freight trains.

Jeremy: I used to feel stupid for not owning a VCR that works, until I just found out Jim doesn’t either.

stacey: no game shows?

Jim: Sorry, Jer, I just bought a VCR on EBay. Of course, I still might not own a VCR that works, although the seller swears it’s an open-box item returned to the manufacturer because it didn’t work with RF cables, but it works great with RCA cables (which is all I need). Stacey: GSN, the channel formerly known as Game Show Network, has been very disappointing recently, even in the months before they shortened the name. I don’t know, maybe they’ll surprise me, or maybe some other channel will come up with some exciting game show(s), and I’ll have to bring two videotapes.

Donna Cochener: Always strange to find your name on the web… especially in a post on a baseball site regarding your proclivity to stay in hotels that provide a greater number of creature comforts. Jim, just so you know, I’ve stayed in some truly awful places. I even have photographic evidence — mushrooms growing from the ceiling of the bathroom, things like that.

If anyone has a desire to watch the Mariners lose a few games, you’re welcome to come visit me in Seattle. Hotel Cochener has one small room available — with en suite facilities, but no pool.

Jim: You can’t fool me…only the most upscale hotels have mushrooms growing in the bathroom. That’s the in-room salad bar.

Stocking up

A discussion Jim and I had in the comments to the previous post led me to start thinking about what Jim and will need to bring on our trip. I’m going to leave out the obvious items (like clothes, money, and a toothbrush so that I can annoy Jim by brushing my teeth in the car, hotel room, and the stadium) that anyone would bring on any trip. So, off the top of my head, here are the items specific to the BRPA 2004 trip that I think Jim and I will need.

1) Our two iPods, including the snug St. Louis Cardinals iPod Cozy that Stacey crocheted me for my birthday.

2) Hostess Fruit Pies, because Doctor Octopus has already shown some interest in our trip, and neither Jim nor I is a superhero, so distracting Doc Ock is our only hope.

3) This collection of old radio shows about baseball, either on CD or on my iPod.

4) This collection of Jack Benny programs, to break up the nonstop radio station jingles coming from Jim’s iPod.

5) My score book, pencils, and a sharpener. Because keeping score is one way to keep sane on a long baseball trip.

6) Several gallons of biodiesel from one of Uptown’s greasy diners, because I’m sure the rental car Jim has booked can run on bio-diesel. Jim wouldn’t let me down that way.

So what else do you think we need?

Original comments…

Jason: -A camera

-Some green, black & teal yarn for Jim to knit himself a Tampa Bay Devil Rays iPod Cozy

-Milk to wash down the Hostess Fruit Pies

-Spider-Man Underoos to further frighten Dr. Octopus away

-A Canada-U.S. translation chart, so you can convert from miles to kilometers and from saying ‘about’ to ‘aboot’


Steve: -Tums (for Jim if he dares tackle the Schmitter)

-American dollar bills (because I hear Windsor has awesome strip clubs and American money is worth more than Canadian Money so you are more likely to be popular with the dancers)

-Stamps (to send postcards because even though digital cameras are cool and make for instant photos its hard to put a blog up on the fridge–don’t forget the address book)

-Peanuts (cheaper outside the park)

sandor: Are either of you bringing a laptop? Or are you planning on doing all your updates from the road through some bootleg blog-by-email set-up? I’d love to see what kind of shorthand l33t-speak you come up with for, say, Albert Pujols.

In addition to a laptop, you’ll need an account with some kind of nationwide ISP, so you can plug in in your hotel room and make a local or toll-free call. That’s how we did it on our trip. The alternative is hoping for either a) free wireless access in stadium (which I hear exists someplace [probably SF] but which use I can’t for the life of me see you condoning) or b) business centers in your hotels or c) extraordinary luck in finding Internet cafes. I actually have an extra, old laptop laying around if you don’t want to bring yours on the road, Levi. You’re welcome to borrow it.

Or are you planning on doing all your road blogging by postcard? I can see that. It’d be a good way to break up the tedium of all those miles: writing the same post over and over and over again on postcards and USPS’ing them to all of your fans.

sandor: Oops. I meant to say “… bootleg blog-by-phone set-up.”

Jim: As far as I’m concerned, we’d love to borrow your extra laptop. My plan was going to involve writing down all the posts longhand while on the trip and then back-dating them when I entered them into Blogger after I got back, then pretending they were there all along.

I happen to be on the Internet via Earthlink, which could not possibly be more of a nationwide ISP (in fact, I’m pretty sure they have numbers in Toronto and Montreal as well). It’s a DSL account that includes 20 hours of free dialup per month, which should be plenty for making posts to this blog, but the amount of time Levi spends looking at Cardinals-related news sites and blogs will have to be carefully rationed.

But I do like the blog-by-postcard idea. Hmm…

Levi: I was planning to bring our laptop, if only for the 9,000 or so songs on it.

But if Stacey thinks she’ll need it while we’re gone, I’ll take you up on your offer.

Toby: Here’s a shot in the dark, Levi – maybe a CAMERA??!!??


Jeremy: Thanks for posting a link to a website dedicated entirely to Hostess ads in comic books. I blew an entire afternoon at work before I knew what had happened.

Levi: Jer- If you want to waste more time and laugh Coke through your nose, open a can and check out that same guy’s site about the comic Mr. T. and the T-Force. His commentary is a bit obvious, but the T-Force comic itself is hilarious.

spidey: I’m coming on part of your trip, so you needn’t worry about Dr. Octopus until after Detroit. Also, I recommend Hostess Crab Pies. Dr. Octopus loves those.