I’M BACK on the road in a few hours. Not for long, maybe a week or so, but it’ll be good to scratch the itch and see out the year with a yippie-ki-yay. It’s about one-third business, two-thirds goofing off, a quick blast down to DC, camping here & there in northern Virginia then back here to Little Rhody.
If I roll out of bed when I think I will, I’ll get half the ride behind me in the dark. The idea is to have the sun find me south of the morning rush in New Yawk, New Yawk.
I started loading up the iron piggy in the rain last night. Note the festive color shining off the front of the ’49 truck.
She’s all decked out for Christmas, the solstice, Jesus, Woden, you name it. Darkest day of the year coming up. Seven days to go then the light starts coming back.
Speaking of light, in recent weeks I finally started thinking about upgrading the iron piggy’s headlight and passing lamps. Looked into HID, looked into LED, ended up mostly baffled by the one and sticker-shocked by the other. So all I did in anticipation of this night ride was install a fresh halogen bulb. I’m sure the old one had dimmed over time.
Technology changes so fast now that lights from 2004 are beyond obsolete. They waste too much energy making too much heat and not a whole lot of light. (Kinda like what became of the news business when corporate took an interest.)
For peepers, the 2004 piggy’s got a 55-watt halogen bulb in the middle and, believe it or not, sealed beams on the sides. Sealed beams! The ’49 truck rolled off the assembly line with sealed beams.
Needless to say, my ’04 lights don’t illuminate much on the highway at night. Which is not all bad; it makes me dial back the speed. I don’t mind poking along at 60 in the dark. The deer rut’s about over, they won’t be moving around much tonight.
We’ll see if I’m right about that.
The ’49 truck’s final chore before assuming ornament duty. This was Saturday.
Here’s how we’ve divvied up the Christmas tree festivities for lo these many years: I cut them down, put them on the truck, take them off the truck, put them in the stand, put them in the house, put water in the stand. The bride takes it from there whilst I make myself scarce. Not to Virginia, normally. Maybe to the kitchen, to my writing desk, the backyard, the basement, but this year, yeah, Santa Claus, you bet, there really is a Virginia.
Tony DePaul, December 15, 2015, Cranston, Rhode Island, USA