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I don’t know what happened, but it definitely looked unpleasant

June 12, 2004, 11:59 PM

On my way back from Charlottesville, where I spent the day today (somehow I got a Saturday off without asking for it – go figure), on US 340 right before the intersection of 340 and 608, I had to slow down considerably. It was the only smart thing to do considering that there were northbound cars traveling in the left southbound lane. I’m like, what in the heck and slowed down and got in the right lane. Once I got closer, it all made some sense. First thing I saw was lots of shattered glass strewn across four of the five lanes of US 340 right where Stuart Avenue meets 340. I looked left, and I see two cars in some poor innocent person’s front yard at a weird angle. Looks like they didn’t go there on purpose. Some other cars were parked nearby. Then there was a guy putting out flares. I don’t know any details other than what I saw, and don’t know how bad the damage was or whether anyone was hurt or not. But I can tell you this. It definitely doesn’t look pleasant.

Otherwise, I had fun in Charlottesville. First, though, I got the Previa’s front end aligned at Eavers Tire in Stuarts Draft. That was related to the blowout I had two weeks ago. While I was waiting, I worked on my phone some, downloading a new version of Mobile IM (remember that my AIM screen name on my phone is Schumin Wireless), plus downloaded Tetris and Ms. Pac Man onto my phone.

Once in Charlottesville, I went over to Northside Library in Albemarle Square to use their high-speed connection to work on my Online Store. There will be some new products coming soon to my store, and these are really hip. After that, I went to Casual Male, where I ordered some more pants. Then I simply relaxed, going to a park near downtown where I simply enjoyed the outside, and watched some people play with a basketball and a soccer ball from a distance. Then I rounded out the evening with a trip to the mall, where I saw my friend Katie (formerly of JMU). That was fun, needless to say. We did some serious catching up. Then I went to Smoothie King, and Barnes and Noble, and then headed out! Spent a little while on the Blue Ridge Parkway, as that’s another great way to unwind at the end of the day. I don’t know what I’d do without my Parkway. So tranquil.

And then I found out that the police are looking for a “bad guy” (their term) this evening. Hope they find them. Found out on my way off the parkway (still on Afton Mountain), when an Augusta County Sheriff’s deputy pulled up on the road that I was approaching (I was at a corner), stopped somewhat in front of me, turned his lights on, turned them back off, then pulled around and parked himself, still with his lights off, behind me and to the side. In other words, his right front tire was close to my left rear tire. So I throw my car in park, and go over to him, mainly to find out if he’s interested in me or not (I suspected not, but just to be sure). Turns out they were helping “another jurisdiction” (their words – based on the direction they went after I saw them, I’d say that other jurisdiction was probably Waynesboro) catch a “bad guy” (still their term). Hope they catch the guy. I could see some blue lights earlier off in the distance from my vantage point on an overlook on the Parkway, and that made more sense then. Still, when the police are in pursuit of a villain, stay clear, because you don’t want to get caught up in all that.

So there you go. I had a nice day.

Meanwhile, I’m still amused about a song from the Today’s Special episode “Records”. The song is about friends, and Jodie sings it in a recording studio. The words go like this:

Friends!
What would I do without them?
Frie-e-ends!
They make it a better day when you smile!
The world lights up around me
Now you found me, I can do it all!
Help your friends!
They’ll help you too!
You can do it all when they surround you, yeah!
(Musical interlude)
Oh, friends!
Now, what would I do without them,
Oh, oh, oh, my friends!
Well, you make it a better day…
You make it a better day…
You make it a better day, a better day!

But to think that when I was little, and for the longest time thereafter, I thought she was singing not about friends, but about a guy named Fred. And for the longest time, I couldn’t figure out who Fred was. Jodie’s boyfriend, perhaps, that otherwise got no air-time on the show? This is what I thought the words were:

Fred!
What would I do without him?
Fre-e-ed!
They make it a better day when you smile!
The world lights up around me
Now you found me, I can do it all!
Help you Fred!
They’ll help you too!
You can do it all when they surround you, yeah!
(Musical interlude)
Oh, Fred!
Now, what would I do without them,
Oh, oh, oh, my Fred!
Well, you make it a better day…
You make it a better day…
You make it a better day, a better day!

Forgive me, I was young and confused. I thought it was so strange, because we had no idea who this Fred person was. And it has nothing to do with the episode “Live on Stage”, where Sam said in a song, “Mr. Crenshaw is my name, but you can call me FRED!” The song ground to a halt at that point as Jodie reminded Sam that his name was not Fred.

And then I work Sunday, and I’m off again on Monday, and I think Lake Moomaw is calling my name for Monday. Then on the 23rd, the Metro is calling my name, as I go back to DC to railfan the northwestern portion of the Red Line.