Screaming Into The Abyss

Travel log, Days 6-9
By Ben Zvan
On August 28, 2005 at 19:21


It seems like it would be a good idea to make a shower curtain rod out of aluminum. It's strong, lightweight and won't rust. If you throw a washcloth over it though, you are reminded about aluminum oxide the next morning.

I drove past a Hershey confection plant in Robinson, IL today. It smelled like chocolate!

Odd billboard of the day: "You never run out of minutes talking to god." It made me think of bag ladies for some reason

"Danny's Qik-Sak" liquor store. I don't think I'll be buying anything there.

And last but not least: I've seen a couple of what I'll call MHotels on this trip. They're like a motel in that you enter the room from the outside, but they're like a hotel in that you enter the room from a central hallway. Same room. Odd.


I drove past Eastern Illinois University in Charleston today. They have the most impressive Old Main type building I have ever seen. It looks like a castle from a distance and like a tiny palace from close up. The central tower has crenellations on the top that give it a great, fortified look.

It sounds like Madness has a new single. Well, I don't know if it's new, but Steph has everything they've ever done and she hasn't heard of it. It's called Shame and Scandal and I heard it on WPGU 107.1 out of the University of Illinois in Champaign / Urbana. College radio stations have been a boon for me since my iPod died. I just hope there are lots of colleges around these parts.

Update:Madness has a new single and a new album. The single is indeed called Shame and Scandal and the album is called The Dangermen Sessions. Rock on! I'll be buying that one ASAP.


I woke up this morning to a real visual treat: dense fog as far as the eye can see, and that's not very far. It reminds me of the mornings I drive past Lake Calhoun and see the sailboats bobbing in the fog. The photographer in me doesn't want to go to work; It's too beautiful out. Unfortunately, it's the photographer in me who's going to work today. I guess maybe that's a good thing.


OK, this is just wrong: I'm driving down the Interstate and I see a roadside stand. Let me say that a different way: There's a roadside stand on the Interstate where I am driving. This is an Interstate Highway people! What are you thinking! The speed limit is 70 mph through hill and cornfield, well, OK, vineyard at this point. But how many people are going to stomp on their brakes and walk over to a stand selling grapes when semi trucks are zipping past them at 80? Enough to stay in business I guess. Yeesh!

You Can't Judge a Book by it's Cover: The place I'm staying at tonight looks like a total dive from the outside. If I were driving through the area and it was time to look for a place to stop, I'd think seriously about passing it on and looking for someplace nicer up the road. Obviously, since it's a major, international hotel franchise, the rooms themselves look like you could be anywhere in the world, and that's something that I'm slowly learning on this trip. But the point is this: The guy running the place is great. He's the nicest guy you could want to do a photo-shoot at 7:00 in the morning for. The place doesn't have coin-op laundry yet because he just bought the place a year ago and is working hard to get it up to his standards. Get this: he's letting me use the hotel's laundry facilities and he's not charging me for their use or for the detergent. Wow. And hey, I just noticed this. He's done something that I think gives the place a European Flair because Scotland is the only place I've seen it. Instead of having little bottles of shampoo and bars of soap that you just can't use all of in one shower, he's got shampoo and shower gel dispensers in the shower. Why don't more places do that? I still have my bottle of shampoo from last Saturday night's hotel. Ironically, I was planning on replaceing it with one from this hotel.

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