19 February 2009

ConDFW - The Drive

So, for the next few days, I'll be blogging from ConDFW, both here and on my MySpace page (duplicated blogs).

Today was the drive down...an interesting experience to say the least. Things were about normal until we hit Dallas itself. Yikes! I've driven in major metropolitan areas like St. Louis before, but people are just plain strange here. Texas really is like a whole other country (as the advertisements claim).

Some notes from the trip:

- People claim Kansas is flat. Oklahoma isn't much better, aside from about a five mile stretch where we went up and down a big hill with "scenic turnoffs" at the top (I'm not sure what you're supposed to see from them, but I'm sure they're quite nice. We didn't stop).

- Oklahoma seems to have a casino at about every 3rd to 5th interstate exit. Meanwhile, Kansas towns battle over having one casino spread out about 20 miles apart.

- On passing the border between Oklahoma and Texas, a really smoky haze covered everything for several miles. I would have figured (growing up in the prairie country) they were burning something, but never saw any fire. It was a bit middle-of-the-day for fog off a body of water, so my only other thought is that there are still people battling the long-standing OU/TX feud with real weapons.

- Coming into the Dallas area, the major interstate remains 4-lane and has several on-ramps with really tiny merge lanes. I think maybe they should spring for some better roadways with some of that stimulus money.

- HOV lanes rock...though merging back into traffic at your exit is rather problematic. I like the way that St. Louis does theirs, where the HOV lanes are completely segregated from the main flow of traffic, including having their own exit ramps.

- MapQuest blows. Although it was useful for the main thrust of the trip, it failed at the very tail end of the trip. Slight lefts and go straights in heavy traffic while trying to discern the street names MapQuest is giving you is not a good way to go. We actually found a better way to get to the actual location by missing the turn MapQuest told us to take.

So, now it's off to find a place to eat around here...and hopefully I'll be back to give some more info (look for pictures later) on the convention.