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A day in Filthadelphia…

January 3, 2024, 12:46 PM

On Friday, December 29, I went up to Philadelphia for the day with my friend Aaron Stone.  We each had our goals up there, and for the most part, we accomplished them.  I wanted to see the “Four Seasons”, and Aaron wanted to see the SS United States.  And then we both wanted to go to King of Prussia Mall.  Elyse, meanwhile, was unavailable, as she was on a work trip to Roanoke for bus museum business.

I feel like, for this trip, we scheduled it more or less perfectly.  We had exactly the right amount of time for what we had intended to do.  We left in the HR-V from my house, and made two quick food stops in Ellicott City and Catonsville.  Then it was straight through to Delaware House.  That was a bit more involved than I had anticipated, though, as there was a large backup just north of I-695, which slowed us down a bit.  I was regretting not looking at Google ahead of time before deciding not to bounce at White Marsh and taking Route 1 for a ways, like I did last April on the New York trip.  Route 1 is a viable alternative to I-95, and this would have been a good time to use it.

Then after Delaware House, we continued straight through into Pennsylania, taking I-95 through Wilmington.  Every time I go through Wilmington, I always say that I want to explore it, but then I never plan a trip to actually go to Wilmington.  It always gets bypassed, either by skirting it to the southeast on trips that go into New Jersey, or by never getting off of the highway while going through on the way up to Philadelphia.  I went to Christiana Mall last year, but still haven’t done Wilmington itself.  Aaron and I discussed possibly doing a quick side trip through parts of Wilmington on the way back down, time permitting, so maybe we’d do a little bit in Wilmington, but that can was kicked down the road for now.

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Playing with the AI image generator…

October 27, 2023, 10:02 AM

Recently, a friend of mine posted some computer generated images from the Bing Image Creator, which uses the DALL-E system as its base.  I enjoyed their posts, so I decided to take it for a spin myself with subjects that were more relevant to me.  My first idea was to have it generate me.  The way I saw it, ChatGPT kinda sorta knew who I was, so it seemed reasonable to see if Bing Image Creator could perform similarly.

The first prompt that I gave it was “Ben Schumin in Washington, DC” and this is what it produced:

"Ben Schumin in Washington, DC" (1)  "Ben Schumin in Washington, DC" (2)

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I can’t believe that we went to South Carolina…

October 13, 2023, 5:51 PM

First of all, I have some news for you: I bought a bus.  Elyse had been trying to talk me into buying a bus for a while, and I had consistently said no.  But then one came up on GovDeals, which is a website where public agencies sell surplus property, that had promise, and I said okay.  This unit was a New Flyer D35HF from CARTA, which is the transit agency serving Charleston, South Carolina.  If this sounds familiar, “Biscuit” at Commonwealth Coach is another unit from the same agency, and is the same model of bus.  I won the auction for a surprisingly low amount, as we paid nearly twice as much to get “Biscuit” for Commonwealth Coach.  We then immediately made a deal with Trevor Logan, a fellow transit enthusiast in the DC area who runs the TTMG website, to trade this bus for an Orion V that he owns after he expressed his thoughts about the significance of the unit.  It worked out quite well, because while Elyse and I simply wanted a bus to have as a fun vehicle of sorts to take places and show off, Trevor wanted to fully restore and preserve the bus for sentimental reasons, as he had a close relative who worked for CARTA some years ago, and that relative had operated this specific unit.  So swapping made everyone happy, as Elyse and I would get a bus to have fun with, and Trevor got something of great personal significance that he would restore.

With that said, buying a bus from a transit agency in South Carolina meant going down to South Carolina to retrieve it, because these auctions are typically as-is-where-is, i.e. the agency provides little to no assistance with the removal of the item.  I wanted to line this pickup trip with a three-day weekend that I had later in the month, but unfortunately, with deadlines for removal and such, it couldn’t wait.  So I would spend October 5-6 traveling down to Charleston and back with Elyse and our friend Montigue to retrieve this vintage bus.  The whole week prior to our heading down, I was saying to myself, “I can’t believe that I’m going to South Carolina.”  Then on the way down, I was like, “I can’t believe that we’re on our way to South Carolina.”  And then once we were there, I was saying, “I can’t believe that we’re in South Carolina.”  Seriously.  This was not something that I had anticipated doing this year.

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Categories: Transit, Travel

Apparently, I just have bad luck when it comes to cars…

September 29, 2023, 11:20 PM

Apparently, I just have rotten luck when it comes to cars, as the new HR-V has already made its first visit to the body shop.  Back in July, Elyse and I got rear-ended on the GW Parkway on the way home from work.  We were in a work zone, and I had to stop short after someone stopped short in front of me.  I was successful in not hitting the guy in front of me, because I was maintaining a good following distance, but then the guy behind me wasn’t so fortunate, and plowed into the back of the HR-V.  That was a big jolt.  The car, meanwhile, was on top of things, as it popped up a message on the screen saying something like, “Hey, I think we got hit.  Want me to call 911 for you?”  Turned out, though, that 911, after playing hot potato with me (the accident happened in Virginia, but my phone connected me to Montgomery County, who transferred me to Fairfax County, who then transferred me to US Park Police), wouldn’t send anyone out since there were no injuries and both cars were still drivable.  So we just exchanged information and kept it moving.  Here’s what the damage to my car looked like:

The HR-V immediately after the accident

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Categories: Honda HR-V (2023)

Two stories about Woomy…

September 8, 2023, 11:33 PM

Recently, while we were driving home from shopping, Elyse asked ChatGPT to tell her a story about everyone’s favorite orange curmudgeon: Woomy.  I don’t know what the exact parameters that she gave it were, but it came up with decent enough material to come up with something at least somewhat heartwarming.  Check these out:

In the heart of Alexandria, Virginia, there lived a curmudgeonly orange octopus named Woomy.  Every day, rain or shine, Woomy would climb aboard the DASH bus, his tentacles a tangle of frustration.  He’d grumble and grouse about the noise, the crowds, and the whole human world around him.

Passengers would stare, amused by this unexpected commuter.  Woomy’s sour expression became a familiar sight, and people began sharing stories of his antics.  But despite the attention, Woomy remained steadfast in his curmudgeonly ways.

One winter’s day, as snow painted the city white, a young child with curious eyes got on the bus.  Ignoring the stares, the child approached Woomy, offering a small, hand-knit scarf.  Woomy’s eyes widened, his expression softening just a bit.  He accepted the scarf with a tentative tentacle.

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Toronto was fun, and flying… wasn’t bad.

August 11, 2023, 8:09 PM

So the trip to Toronto that I discussed in my earlier Journal entry about going flying again was a whole lot of fun.  I did not know that one could pack that much fun into three short days.  Seriously, this was a really fun weekend trip, where we got to spend time with friends and see lots of interesting things.

First, though, let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, I went through with it and went flying, and no, I didn’t die.  I don’t know if I would necessarily characterize flying as “enjoyable”, but it was at least relatively painless.  This trip was in part a test to see how well I would tolerate flying, with one of two possible results: either my horizons would be expanded greatly, or I would never fly again.  Fortunately, it was the former, as I think that my being much more mature since the last time I flew, plus my doing a little bit of research did me well.  I also had Elyse with me, who is something of a seasoned flyer and knew what we needed to do, so I just had to do as I was told.  We took public transit from the house to Dulles, via the 58 bus, the Red Line, and the Silver Line.  Then security at Dulles was relatively straightforward, throwing all of our stuff on a conveyor belt and running it through this massive machine.  Though I did roll my eyes at having to take my shoes off – but I wore flip-flops on purpose in order to expedite that process.  Once we got through security, it was just a matter of waiting until our plane arrived and then it was time to board and depart.  This whole airport thing was totally new to me, so I was just sort of taking it in.  I’d never been past the main atrium at Dulles before, so there was lots to see.  We took the air train to our terminal, which was pretty straightforward, but seeing as it was fully enclosed, it was no fun for fanning, since there was no real angle to get a photo of the vehicles.  Though with its being fully automated, there was no cab, which meant that you got a great view of the roadway ahead.

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I’m going flying again…

July 21, 2023, 8:07 PM

Remember when I wrote that Journal entry about how I had not flown on an airplane in more than two decades?  That non-flying streak ends next week.  Elyse and I are taking a Wednesday-to-Friday “weekend” trip to Toronto in order to see an exhibit at the Myseum of Toronto about television in Toronto.  As you probably guessed, there are elements from Today’s Special involved in this exhibit.  The exhibit runs through the middle of next month, and so I figure, we’ve got to go see it.  I found out about the Myseum exhibit from Nina Keogh (who played Muffy), and it opened just after we had finished our trip to Ottawa.  I really wanted to go to the exhibit, but I felt like I couldn’t do another trip to Canada so soon after the last one, both for cost reasons, but also for time reasons.  But eventually, I determined that I couldn’t resist, but that the only way that the trip would make sense would be if we flew.  I played with it in my head, and then pitched it to Elyse, and she was supportive of the trip, but was surprised that I suggested flying.  But an exhibit about Today’s Special will mean a lot to me, so I considered it worth it.  I loved the children’s television exhibit when we went to Ottawa, and so I’m excited to see this second take on a similar subject.  If it tells you anything, I heard Muffy’s voice in my head, telling me, “I know you want to visit me, but to do it, you’ll have to fly, you see.”  Damn it, Muffy, you talked me into it.

Once we get to Toronto, we’re staying at the Chelsea again, which is within walking distance of the Myseum and also “The Store“.  My plan for the day is to visit the Myseum and the store, and see what else I can get myself into in that general area.  It all works out because the Chelsea is about four blocks from the store, and then the store is about four blocks from the Myseum.

I suppose that this trip is the logical conclusion of a process that had led me to do a lot of thinking.  For about seven months, from early November to early June, I was working various services that took me past Washington National Airport several times a day.  I would roll up and see all of these people boarding with their little suitcases and going wherever.  I also saw the planes take off and land as I went by.  This happened day in and day out.  And it got me thinking.  It made my flightless life feel quite confining, as I saw people traveling the world, and I was under a self-imposed limitation based on how far it would be practical to travel via road or rail.  I did a whole lot of regional travel, but I started to feel a little constrained, as there were things that I wanted to do but were either unreachable by car or impractical to do with the time that I had available.

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A fun weekend where no photography goals were met…

June 29, 2023, 8:44 AM

From June 21-23, Elyse and I made a weekend trip to Virginia, but instead of centering on Staunton like we usually do, we centered on Roanoke (but don’t worry – we still saw my parents in Stuarts Draft).  We had planned this trip largely as a photography outing, and then the weather didn’t cooperate.  It was raining continuously almost the entire time, which made for a more difficult drive than I would have liked, but the trip was worth it.  I guess that you could say that while we didn’t necessarily do much in the way as far as photography, we laid the groundwork for future trips by identifying potential subjects.  I didn’t want to lay groundwork for the future this time around, as I really wanted to bring home the goods, but such is what happens when the weather doesn’t cooperate.  I brought my DSLR and my drone on this trip, but neither one of them ever left their respective carrier.

The plan was to drive down from the DC area to Lynchburg via US 29, spend the afternoon and early evening of the first day in Lynchburg, and then head over to Roanoke, where we were staying at the Hampton Inn located downtown (the one built on top of a city parking garage).  Then we would spend the entire second day in Roanoke, largely with Commonwealth Coach & Trolley, which is a bus museum that Elyse and I both serve on the board of.  Then on the last day, we would head up to Staunton and Waynesboro, where I had some things that I wanted to get over there, before going over to see my parents.  What ended up happening was pretty similar to plan, but not quite.  Our departure was delayed, because we already knew that much of the day would be a rainout.  The drive down to Charlottesville was fine, making one stop for food at the third (Bealeton) Sheetz.  We made a brief stop at Barracks Road in Charlottesville, and then we were back on the road.  It started raining harder once we cleared Charlottesville, and we saw three different accidents between Charlottesville and Amherst where people had clearly wiped out after driving faster than conditions allowed.  One of those accidents was a police car, which was clearly totaled in its accident.  We took it slowly, especially since I didn’t have that much experience taking the new HR-V in driving rain like this before, plus I wasn’t as familiar with the stretch of 29 from Charlottesville to Lynchburg (particularly from I-64 to VA 151) as I am with 29 north of Charlottesville.

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I went to Ottawa…

May 24, 2023, 2:39 PM

From May 17-20, Elyse and I made a weekend trip to Ottawa.  The primary objective was to go and see the Canadian Museum of History in nearby Gatineau, where a Sam and Muffy puppet from Today’s Special were on display as part of a larger exhibit about children’s television in Canada.  The exhibit was amazing, with puppets and costumes from all kinds of Canadian-made children’s programming on display.  We also explored around Ottawa and Gatineau.  The latter was a particularly interesting experience as that was my first time in a place where the predominant language was not English.  Ontario is largely English-speaking, and signage is largely bilingual, containing both English and French, but once you cross the border into Quebec, it’s like a whole different world, as everything is in French, and only French, and some people over there do not speak English.  It was my first time experiencing a language barrier in a major way, and while I managed, remembering that a large amount of English words are derived from French, it was certainly a challenge nonetheless (but Google Translate helped a lot).

I am planning on doing a larger, more detailed photo set in Life and Times for this trip, so to avoid duplicating efforts, I’m just going to share a few photos here and let that be that for now.

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A weekend in New York…

April 26, 2023, 8:33 PM

From April 12-14, Elyse and I took a little weekend trip to New York City.  This was the new HR-V’s first road trip, and what better place to go to than New York, I suppose.  It was definitely a different experience than the Soul’s first road trip, which was the trip home from Staunton the day after I bought it, as well as the original HR-V’s first road trip, which was a day trip to Philadelphia.

With this trip, I was looking forward to seeing how the new HR-V did on a long trip with the various smart features that it has built into it, such as the adaptive cruise control and the lane watch system.  I had tested these things on my commutes to and from work on various occasions on a somewhat limited basis, but I hadn’t done a long drive with them yet.  The good news was that these systems worked quite well together on our trip, which we took largely via I-95 and the New Jersey Turnpike.  I think that this was probably the least stressful drive on I-95 that I’ve ever had, as the cruise control maintained a safe distance from the cars ahead of me, and it maintained my lane quite well, following the various curves in the road.  That put me, as the driver, in something of a more “strategic” role, as I was responsible for navigating and making lane changes and such, as well as watching out for any hazards, but the car largely drove itself.  I wouldn’t use these systems on city streets, but for a road trip on freeways, it was great.  The thing to remember, though, is that these are driver assist features.  This is not self-driving, and should not be confused with that.  This does not absolve the driver from the responsibility of driving at the proper speed for conditions, and it also does not mean that you can kick back and play on your phone behind the wheel.  Not at all – you’re still very much in charge, even if this does automate certain parts of it.

The trip up was fairly uneventful.  We had to detour onto Route 1 from White Marsh to Joppa in order to avoid a backup, and there was a construction project on the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which had a direct connection to the Turnpike that crossed us over to the southbound span.  Additionally, Maryland House, one of the two full-service travel plazas on I-95 in Maryland, was closed for emergency plumbing repairs.  And then, of course, when driving on the New Jersey Turnpike, the speed limit signs are merely suggestions.  Just keep up with traffic, and you will be fine.  And if traffic is going 20 over the speed limit in a work zone, you’re going 20 over in a work zone, too.  Otherwise, you become a hazard to traffic.  Then upon arrival in the New York area, we got on I-278, where we followed roughly the same route that we did in our impromptu 2017 trip to New York, but in reverse.  We parked on the street in front of our hotel, the Aloft, got checked in and brought all of our stuff up, and then I took the HR-V to its own hotel, which was on the next block over.

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Making a weekend trip out of a delivery…

April 7, 2023, 10:00 AM

Recently, I was finally able to complete the last little bits of business related to the car accident from last October, and put it all behind me.  On Thursday, March 30, I made the 175-mile journey to Stuarts Draft in the Scion – a trip that would leave it back home with my parents, where it belongs.  And while I was at it, I made a weekend trip out of it, coupling it with a day in Richmond, where I did some photography.  As such, I would traverse what I like to call Virginia’s “Interstate square”.  If you look at a map of Virginia, the various Interstate highways in the state form something like a lopsided square, consisting of I-66 to the north, I-81 to the west, I-64 to the south, and I-95 to the east, and Strasburg, the DC area, Richmond, and Staunton at the corners:

Virginia's Interstate square, with Strasburg, DC, Richmond, and Staunton at the corners.

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I am once again in a Honda HR-V…

March 24, 2023, 6:33 PM

All I have to say is, thank goodness.  Five and a half months after my original Honda HR-V was totaled in an accident, and on the 27th anniversary of this website’s founding, I am at last back in an HR-V.  It was a much longer journey than anyone expected, but we got there.  The thing about buying a new car right now is that because of a semiconductor shortage, the demand for cars far outstrips the supply, and most new cars are already spoken for before they’re even manufactured.  As such, right now, you can’t just buy a new car off of the lot and then drive it home.  Rather, you’ve got to get into the queue, and your car will be built and delivered in a few months’ time.

The biggest take-home for me in the whole process was learning a lot about how cars get to dealerships.  Going into this, I thought that the customer ordered the car that they wanted, the dealership placed that order with the manufacturer, and then the manufacturer would build it and ship it to the dealership, where the customer would be waiting.  Turns out that’s not how it works.  How it actually works is that the manufacturer makes whatever they want, and then they allocate a certain number of cars to each dealership.  Then the dealerships either sell those cars themselves, or trade them amongst each other to meet customer needs.  I suspect that my lack of understanding of how this worked led to some delay, as I inadvertently sent my contact at Shockley Honda on a wild goose chase with a very specific request that made it harder to get me a car.

But before I got to that point, I had to make sure that another HR-V was what I wanted for my next car.  That wasn’t as straightforward as one might think, because Honda had redesigned the HR-V for 2023.  Therefore, it wouldn’t be the same HR-V as I had just lost.  The HR-V had gotten a platform change, now sharing a platform with the Civic rather than the Fit.  It was also a bigger vehicle than it used to be.  On October 10, a day or so after the accident, after getting my new glasses and speaking with many different people from the insurance company, I was heading home after dropping Elyse off with a friend for a little while.  My route took me past Herson’s Honda in Rockville, and I glanced over at the lot to see what they had.  To my surprise, there was a 2023 HR-V sitting on their lot.  Time to act: I busted a move across a couple of lanes of traffic to get in there to see about taking that HR-V for a test drive.  I talked to the salesman, and he showed me everything on it, and we took it for a spin around Rockville, over various kinds of roads so that I could get a good feel for how it handled.  It all felt very familiar.  In other words, while it may have looked different and it had a lot of fancy new features, it was still an HR-V under all of that.  Then the next day, I took Elyse with me to the dealership and we gave it another test drive.  Funny thing was that neither the second salesman nor Elyse noticed that I never set the mirrors, the seat, or anything when I got into it.  I just jumped in and we were off, because it was all still set for me from the day before.  That second test drive validated my findings from the first drive, and I also asked a few questions that I had forgotten to ask the day before.  So it was settled: my next car would be another HR-V.  And in what felt like a surprising move, I went with the EX-L trim, i.e. the top-tier version.  Reason was that on the 2023 models, EX-L was the only trim that had a moon roof.  The sport trim didn’t have a moon roof anymore.

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Going to the auto show…

January 27, 2023, 9:08 AM

On Thursday, January 26, Elyse, my friend Matthew, and I went to the Washington Auto Show at the Washington Convention Center.  This was Matthew’s first time ever going to the auto show, and the first time that Elyse and I had been since 2020.  Overall, I was less than impressed this time around, but I am not entirely willing to ding the entities involved with putting on the show for it, as I suspect that the ongoing semiconductor shortage is likely to blame for the weak showing at the auto show.  This is the same reason that my new HR-V is taking so long.  And I get it: if they can’t get cars out to paying customers in a reasonable time, it’s hard to justify pulling units out of circulation for demo purposes.  Because of this, the event space was a lot smaller than it usually is, with large sections of the upper and lower event halls’ being sectioned off with curtains.  I got the distinct feeling when I came in that the space was smaller, and it turned out that my feeling was right.  On the plus side, though, one of my big peeves about the auto show in past years was gone, as we didn’t have to wend our way through the convention center’s lobby through a gauntlet of sponsors hawking their products and services that have absolutely nothing to do with cars before getting to the show floor.  All that gauntlet of sponsors ever managed to do was piss me off before I ever got started.  So good riddance to them, and hopefully they don’t come back in future years.  This year, we just came in and went right into the event.

This year, I wanted to go to the auto show in order to check out electric cars.  Recalling my day test driving electric cars in Frederick last spring, I wanted to see what the various manufacturers’ offerings were like.  I still am in the market for an electric car in addition to the HR-V, but following my October 2022 accident in the original HR-V, this has been put on hold for a while.  Following my visit to the auto show, I still got the sense, as was the case last spring, that the electric vehicle market has not yet “arrived”.  Automakers are still going for overly futuristic designs for their electric models to showcase that they’re something different, and a lot of brands still don’t have an entry in the electric market as of yet.  I have said before that I will know that the electric vehicle market has “arrived” when automakers start rolling out electric vehicles with conventional design.  For instance, I’ll know that it’s “arrived” when Honda starts making an electric version of the CR-V that is otherwise exactly the same design as the regular CR-V.  In other words, it’s first and foremost a CR-V, and it just happens to be electric.  Not this whole, “Woooooooo, look at me, I’m electric!” kind of style that we’re seeing now.

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A solo adventure up north…

January 21, 2023, 10:17 AM

On January 5 and 6, while Elyse was at National Harbor attending MAGFest, I did a little overnight trip up north while I was unsupervised.  This was to be a quick adventure, since this wasn’t one of my long weekends, and the goal was to pack as much fun as I could have into two days’ time.  The plan was to leave home in the late morning on the 5th, go up to Philadelphia that day and stay at the Courtyard by Marriott in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, which would stage me for the second day, where I would head over to Trenton and then take the train up to New York.  I would spend about eight hours in New York, ride the train back to Trenton, and then head home from there.  Interestingly enough, this was an adventure where I put more focus on the logistics of the travel than I did on what I would actually do at the destination.  Thus, the execution didn’t go as well as I had intended, as I ended up getting there and then was like, well, now what? as I more or less played it by ear with less direction than I usually like to give myself.  I also knew that this would need to be a more indoor-focused trip, because it was going to be rainy or overcast all day both days.  This adventure was also unusual because on this adventure, the drone stayed home.  The Philadelphia day was not going to be conducive for flying, and New York, forget about it – too many people to worry about.

For the “Philadelphia” day, I actually put more of my efforts into the Wilmington area than I did in Philadelphia.  I have a list of photo shoot ideas on the computer, which I jokingly refer to as “the place where photo ideas go to die”, and initially pulled out the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, which a photographer friend had previously photographed.  However, I wanted to do the interior, and they also closed at 5 PM, so that would have to be a first stop since it closed relatively early.  So while I wanted to do it, I put it into the “we’ll see” pile, because I wanted to do some stuff in Delaware, which would have to come first because of its location.  I ended up spending a lot of time at Christiana Mall, since I’d been going past it on 95 in 15+ years of adventures up north, but I’d never stopped there in all of that time.

When it came to Christiana Mall, I sort of knew what to expect.  Christiana Mall was a one-story mall, and, unlike a lot of malls these days, was doing well.  As such, I didn’t go in expecting something massive like King of Prussia and then experience disappointment when I got a one-story mall.  Even for a one-story mall, the facility was smaller than I expected, being arranged roughly in a loop.  It had five anchor spots, and they were all filled.  I think that the biggest surprise there was the way that Target was attached to the mall.  In most cases where I’ve seen Target at an enclosed shopping mall, the store is either adjoining the mall but otherwise freestanding (i.e. no mall entrance), or the mall entrance is located at the front of the store near the regular exterior entrance.  Not so at this store.  At Christiana, the mall entrance for Target was in the back of the store.  From the perspective of the store, there was a row of self checkout machines in the random location in the back of the store, and there was a mall entrance nearby.  If it tells you anything about how random the mall entrance’s location is, after I finished up at Target, I had to hunt for that mall entrance in order to get back to the mall.  It is very non-obvious in its placement.

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A letter to a bad driver…

January 12, 2023, 9:22 AM

One thing that I did not expect to come from the accident that claimed my HR-V was how much it has really bothered me, more than three months down the road.  When I had the fire in the Soul, by the time three months had passed, I was in the HR-V and going along being awesome.  The HR-V would take its first big road trip, an overnight trip to Centralia, Pennsylvania, a little more than three months after the Soul’s demise.  In other words, I got over it quickly.  I suppose it’s because the Soul perished in a fire, and it happened without any direct human intervention, i.e. no human’s actions directly triggered the failure that led to the fire, even though the root cause was shoddy workmanship during the warranty replacement of the engine.

In the case of the HR-V’s demise, the root cause was traceable to one person: Jose Rosalio Abrego Mena.  He failed to stop for a red signal, and despite my best efforts to avoid a collision, there just wasn’t enough room to stop to avoid a collision, and his Nissan Pathfinder struck my HR-V on the left side, roughly on the A-pillar.  I came out of it pretty well despite everything, walking away from the accident with only minor injuries.  However, I feel like it may have left some lasting mental effects on me.  I still get a little jumpy when I see the headlights of a vehicle approaching from a cross street at night, though this has reduced somewhat with time.  I also can’t seem to get the whole incident out of my head, as my time in the train, which often helps me to organize my thoughts, has been a place to dwell on the accident, even though I played no part in causing it.  I keep thinking about how I got knocked out by the airbags.  I keep thinking about how the other driver ran after the accident, and how no charges that I could find were ever filed against the other driver (though I did turn up some old charges for trespassing and fishing without a license).  I think about if there was anything more that I could have done to avoid a collision, such as a hard turn of the wheel, though I admit that once the other driver ran the light, a collision was probably inevitable (but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it).  The accident also made me consider my own mortality, as I think about how easily this collision could have killed me right then and there, and how lucky I was to be able to walk away from it largely unscathed.  In short, I have not gotten over this one by any means, and I desperately wish that I could, but I just can’t seem to stop thinking about it and put it behind me.  I hope that I didn’t end up with a case of PTSD over this, but I’m worried that I might.

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