This was definitely a Murphy's Law trip, consisting of a flat tire outside of Salina, some punk-ass front desk kid at the Holiday Inn Express in Lawrence threatening to kick us out, doing 40mph on the freeway outside of Louisville on icy roads and watching the van next to us spin out of control, and Greensboro accommodations not necessarily up to standard.

Thankfully, most has been taken care of....new tire, plugged another one, refunded our hotel stay plus 15000 points, no bad weather on Monday, and reservations across the street at the brand new Residence Inn starting tomorrow.

The details are long and boring...well the Holiday Inn Express story is intriguing involving a swim team, barking dogs, threats of animal control and the police, and culminating in a 1215am cell phone call from the same jerk, Jaimie. Thankfully, the management company who owns that Holiday Inn called first thing on Monday and made things right. We're probably driving through Lawrence 3 more times this year, and heaven help me if that kid checks us in again.

Needless to say, we took the day off, sleeping in till 930, Panera for breakfast, watching the inauguration (hey look, no apocalypse!), work out, shower, oil change, tires fixed, and Thai dinner, and finally returning to the Extended Stay Deluxe, which can best be described as 'green' but not in an eco-friendly sort of way. Green carpet, mint green paint in the bathroom, green couch, green lamp, green recliner, green flooring in the work out room. Its all a little much.

Our 50 surveys in Burlington don't look very hard. Only one thick one in the whole bunch. We have to average 6 surveys a day to get done by our deadline, which shouldn't be too hard, despite a 20 minute drive. We would've stayed there, but the best thing in town was a Quality Inn for only slightly cheaper than the Residence Inn here, and the rest of the team is staying there. Its nice to be around people while we work, and they're a fun bunch at that.

I think we're caught up on our sleep and have our stress at a manageable level. The dogs and cat are happy to be out of the cars (especially Boots, who spent a large period of the day rolling around on the bed in the sun beam).

We both had time to listen to The Last Lecture, which wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, but got better half way through, when the tone changed from child-focused to life-focused. It did offer some great nuggets of wisdom, and I would like to see the actual Last Lecture on You Tube one day. It would probably be worth an extra listen or read someday.

Depressing, for sure, and while listening to it while driving makes for a weird state of mind, The Road was very powerful, well-written, and very engaging. Cormac's style is very Hemingway-simple, but wasn't quite as detached. You really do feel the cold, the ash, the huger, the desolation and desperation that the Man and Boy experience. Things are very easy to picture, especially when I'm driving through a winter snow-covered landscape. But during the Man's nights, before sleeping, McCarthy breaks into bouts of poetic prose that just left me stunned. I am not sure on the release date, but I am sure Viggo will do a great job in the movie role. And reading the book and knowing the major plot points and the ending will make the movie easier to watch and digest. If you haven't read the book but plan to see the movie, at least watch No Country for Old Men to get a hang of McCarthy's pacing and bleak world-view.

Its cold here tonight; humid cold is a lot harder to deal with than our beloved dry Colorado cold. Taking the dogs out is almost a chore today, but I think a warm front will come through soon so its not so miserable and windy outside.
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