Friday, July 28, 2017

Marching to the Beat of a Different Drummer

Up pretty early getting ready to head for Bernardsville, NJ. Figured I would leave about 8:15AM to meet up with my friend, picking up some places on the way. First stop was the Quibbletown Middle School just because it was on the way and is in Piscataway. The area was first settled in 1666 by Quakers and Baptists who had left the Puritan colony in New Hampshire. Notable person is Gail F. Shollar a 35-year-old Piscataway, NJ mother who was raped and murdered after being carjacked from a shopping mall in South Plainfield, NJ. She was one of the first people in New Jersey to be a victim of carjacking. The first carjacking in the United States had only occurred the previous year in Detroit with the murder of Ruth Wahl. The town is also the birthplace of some notable athletes as well.



Was meeting up with my friend at the Barnards Cate, which I drove right past, because I thought I was early to pick the Benard Train Depot.



Headed back to Bernards Café to meet up with Jim Jacobus< Jim was the drummer for a band I was in back in high school, originally called the Surftones, changing to Spring Fever when I joined. That change was their genre switch from the surf music of the Beach Boys to a more bluesy music of the Yardbirds / Rolling Stones / Cream genre. I was a brief member as rhythm guitar and definitely the least talented of the group, well that may be an understatement. No talent but had heart. We had not seen each other in 48 years. Friggin 48 years, really that is a lifetime, but at least we met and caught up on what has been happening with our lives. Without a doubt, compared to my accounting work years, Jim being a freelance drummer, played in the profession music industry, has far more interesting stories to tell than mine. If I had followed in the footsteps of Bob Newhart, "after the war, Newhart got a job as an accountant for United States Gypsum" (Wikipedia), maybe we could have over talked one another, but I really enjoyed listening to Jim's stories and experiences. One story was his frustration of not being able to find the right sound for a cymbal. From a lay person, who would have thought cymbals would have a particular desirable sound. From this experience, Jim has developed a sought after expertise on cymbals very much akin to my friend Harold (aka Butch) on Marshall amps. Hopefully it will not be another 48 years to engage in conversation again.


Picked up another school, Bernard High School. Notable residents are Tommy Dorsey (1905-1956), jazz musician who lived at "Tall Oaks" in Bernardsville from 1935 to 1941 and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former first lady, who lived in Bernardsville with her husband Aristotle Onassis.



Yesterday I mentioned the Vauxhall was the epitome of what people think New Jersey is all about. The northwest section of New Jersey is quite rural with a lot of nice twisty roads. Found myself on Haclebarney Rd, which is either gravel, semi dirt or a road that is being repaired and repaved. Nailed my first state park in Jersey.



In Budd Lake targeted the Sinclair gas station for a Dinosaur, one of the general items for Americana Extreme. When I was a kid back in the 1950's Sinclair stations were quite common in the area, along with Esso, Sunoco and Getty. In the northeast there are only a handful of Sinclair stations left and I grabbed them all.



Next Up is Hopatcong State Park, which is about 30 miles from where I grew up. I remember friends saying they were going to Lake Hopatcong as kids. I was jealous of them, instead we went to West Orange Swim Club instead.



Making my north in Jersey heading for New York stopped a couple places along the way.







Crossed over the border of NJ to NY pulling into to Florida NY for a New York Fire Station and a Dinosaur. Florida was named after the state of Florida.





Passing the Harriman State Park into Bear Mountain State Park, I crossed the Hudson River on the Bear Mountain Bridge heading donw US 202/6. This is a great ride with spectacular vistas of the Hudson. Pulled into one of the scenic pullouts and grabbed a frame or two of the view.



Heading south stopped in Peekskill for the Train Station. It's 2PM and make a decision to blow off some V towns, since I already have all that I need for the Teamstrange Love and Merci Tour. While I didn't really save any mileage from Peekskill to Home, I am sure I probably saved quite a bit of time.



Pull up to Seaside Park in Bridgeport CT for the PT Barnum Statue. As I pulled thru the gates, I am stopped and told Motorcycles Are Not Allowed. I told the guard that I needed the picture of the statue and could I get a long distance shot from just past the gate and he said OK. You get caught they will ticket you thou. Grabbed my shot and then ask him that is PT Barnum. No that is further to the right over there. He said you can get see it better from the other gate, which I headed for.

The sign reinforced what the guard had said.



If you squint your eyes you can see PT looking out on Long Island Sound. PT founded the Barnum & Bailey Circus and died in Bridgeport.



Nearing the last stop of the day, on I95 at 5pm, Sunday afternoon, with all of the rest of the folks trying to get home I pulled into one of the Connecticut Plazas for gas. It really irked my as I say car after car, pull up to a pump, the driver get out and walk into the plaza for a Mickey D and a Starbuck not to return for 15 minutes or so. I looked around and saw a couple of more vehicles abandoned in similar fashion. So I pulled up behind a Toyota van with Washington (Evergreen State) places and watched the gentlemen insert his card multiple times and stand perplexed why nothing was happening. A girl at the pump next to him briefly tried to help, but the result was of no avail. Again he kept repeating the same process over and over, occasionally pulling out a different card from his wallet, taking a card from his son and repeat the process over and over and over. I pulled in more a break than gas, so I watched this gone on for about 10 minutes. I got off the Spyder and asked him if he needed assistance. I asked if this was an international card, which he nodded, and then proceeded to put the card in the slot. I touched his hand and said you are putting it in backwards, took the card from here, pushed it in, pushed a couple of buttons and got the desired results of approval and the Please Select the Grade sign on the screen. I handed him back his card and he started to put it in again and I went "WHOA WHOA you are ready to go, pulled nozzle off the pump, placed in the tank, and told him to select a grade. Viola the sweet smell of dino juice was swishing into his tank. My good deed for the day was complete and headed back to the bike. I see him trying to repeat the process and get off the bike, look he has nearly 15 gallons pumped and I tell him he is full. He nods and finally the family climbs into the van and they pull away.

With all of that said and done, I pull up, open the seat to expose the fuel cap, insert my card, put the ZIP code in. the pump immmediately displayed

AUTHORIZATION DENIED

Really, I immediately suspected that it was denied because I had filled up once earlier in the day and it is not uncommon for us motorcycle riders to carry multiple credit cards to thwart such circumstances. Having watched the previous gentlemen repeat the same process over and over to accomplish the same result I his approach.

AUTHORIZATION DENIED

What he experienced, I did as well. Keep repeating the same action, without any differences, the result should be the same. I didn't need gas right this sec, didn't want to dig out another credit card, wanted to use this card because of the points I would accrue and simply packed it up and went on my way. I really need to address the compulsion of mine about points and the credit card. It's a sickness I am telling ya.

Last stop of the day was the National Helicopter Museum in Stratford, CT.



Overall all miles for the day right around 325, and just about 700 miles for the 2 days.



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