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Archive for April, 2007

Mattiver’s Travels

First of all, I would like to draw everyone’s attention to the return to glory of The Ranty McRanterson. This is the reunion, the epic comeback, the rekindled spirit of a god that was an indian that turned into a wolf. Along with it, a sleek, sexy new look. I just changed it, I didn’t consult anyone, because in the words of Clint, “that’s how I roll.”
Paul Smith’s phone number is 768-8507.
So last week I had the opportunity to travel to New York City to visit the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) along with some SU alums at Goldman Sachs. The portion of the time spent in New York was excellent, however we ran into some interesting situations during the travel portion of the trip.

Part I: Selinsgrove to New York City


Note the west to east, near direct path provided by our source (this becomes important later).


Actual travel time? 5 hours, 14 minutes. This is ridiculous for a number of reasons.

First of all, Google Maps does not lie. It says about 3 hours, 25 minutes, there is a standard deviation of no less than 25 minutes, simply to compensate for traffic problems, accidents and potty breaks for little girls.

Secondly, only one trip in the history of the modern automobile has a trip from Selinsgrove Pennsylvania taken longer than 4 hours, and that was on September 25, 2003. What happened that day?

A DMB fan getting ready for the event of a lifetime.

Dave Matthews Band had a free concert in Central Park in New York City, attracting literally every tool from across the country, setting unprecedented traffic and tool-aggregation world records.

But anyway, under any normal circumstance, the trip will never take longer than 4 hours, but our lovely bus driver thought she should take her jolly old time in getting us there.

I can imagine what was going on in her mind as she was driving:

“La la la la, I love a leisurely drive to NYC on a Wednesday. Wait, didn’t those kids have to be at NYSE (what IS that, anyway?) by 10 am? That’s probably why we left at 6 in the morning, so we would have time to get there, since trips to New York usually take 3 hours, we’ll allow an hour for rush hour. But those silly college kids, they forgot to allow an additional hour for my own leisure, since my life’s aspiration was to become a bus driver, and I can’t get enough of making people fully appreciate my love for the open road by spending more time on it than is necessary, regardless of a rigid schedule and a clear agenda set forth from the beginning of the trip. And they say that these college kids are being educated. Wait til they see the real world.”

So we rushed through the rest of the day, behind schedule, missing lunch to try to get back on schedule, and basically giving our school a bad name by being late.

Part II: New York City (to Harrisburg) to Selinsgrove

Before we even get out of New York City, our bus driver decides that it would be in our best interests to clear a path through rush hour traffic by establishing dominance, a technique she learned from watching hours of Animal Planet.

A green minivan, no match for our 28 seat minibus, tries to pull a quick pass in the line for the Holland Tunnel. “I don’t think so, bitch,” is the first thing running through the mind of our bus driver, as she quickly turns and takes off the mirror of the minivan. Wounded, the minivan falls back, apparently recognizing the alpha status of our vehicle.

[Authors note: this all really did happen, I’m not making this up.]

So we’re all sitting there wondering, “Wow, did we just hit someone?” Yes, we did. But that wasn’t the end of it. This green minivan wasn’t going down without one last effort. After regaining its composure, the van decided to give one last little snub to prove a point: just because the minibus was a big bully, it wasn’t capable of just pushing everyone that was smaller than it around.

The minivan attains ramming speed (6 mph), and smashes into our back bumper. Now, the physical damage was minimal, however the real damage came to our reputation and social status. Just as quickly as our window of dominance was established, it was taken away. Smaller vehicles prevented a thrifty exit from the city, spiting us as we wallowed in defeat (and traffic).

Wait…what?

But our travels didn’t end there. Our bus driver had another plot twist for us, another lesson from the real world that our college educations couldn’t possibly prepare us for:

“I’m going to drive to Harrisburg, just for the hell of it.”

Apparently, logic is far from guaranteed in the real world. Travel time increased from the 3 and a half hours it should’ve taken us, to an additional 2 hours. 5 hours, 30 minutes. Even more amazing was that she managed to drive in a straight line on the way there, but didn’t realize that you could take the same way back, as most roads have an eastbound and a westbound lane.

Simply stunning.

Listen: Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg, “Lazy Sunday”

Quote: “Google Maps is the best. True that. Double True.” – Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg

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     Being from the Philadelphia area, I am well familiar with a good cheesesteak. We all know about Pat’s, Gino’s and Jim’s, and some of us (namely the creators of the site) frequent La Pizzaria, whose shirt I happen to be wearing right now. All of us who have had a good Philly cheesesteak know what can and cannot be done with cheesesteaks, which is why I feel morally obligated to speak out on the following topic.

     Recently, I have seen an increase in what I call “cheesesteak abominations.” There are two types of these affronts to God. The first: a bastard child between a cheesesteak and another food type. The second: a ‘cheesesteak’ made by someone who has no goddamn right to be touching even the most basic ingredients of a cheesesteak. I will address these two situations in order.

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     It is a sad day. Actually not today, but sort of today since today is when I found about the occurrence to which I am referring. That sentence sucks, but so do you. I’m sorry reader, I’m just upset. I didn’t really mean it. Anyway, what I am talking about is the shutting down of my favorite website of all time. Many would consider their own website to be their favorite, but unlike a normal parent, I know my kids are ugly. The website to which I am referring is the one to which I have referred on this website many times: the Enduring Vision. Started in the high school years by Josh Righter and Dan Young, I first was notified of its existence by none other than Dan himself, an old family friend.

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     To our vast readership: I’m back bitches.

     Using my favorite site, the Enduring Vision, as a guide, I feel it necessary to provide an explanation for my long hiatus from postation. Recently, my life has lost direction, but even more recently, I was the victim of a tragedy so horrible that I totally hit bottom. I’ve started parking my car in the lawn, and I haven’t showered, changed clothes or gone to class since Saturday (It’s now Tuesday night). What could have reduced me to rubble like this?

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