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The Road, Unfortunately, Taken - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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The Road, Unfortunately, Taken
I made one of my rare criminal-court appearances this afternoon, for Emily's boyfriend. When Cameron was working north of their new home in September, he got caught in a speed trap and today wound up being the day to dispose of that.

The hearing itself was relatively brief but I still felt out of place. Most places, I have the ticket drill down; get there early, talk to the prosecutor (in most places, attorneys get to jump the queue), get it busted down to an expensive parking ticket, and leave in a cloud of broke-but-happy client. This place, though, had the feel of what I hate to experience: an "old boy court," where the outsiders are made to feel, well, outside.

There was a signup sheet when I got there plenty early, with several attorneys' names on it, but none in the courtroom. Turned out there was a line for them-cum-me to play Let's Make a Deal, but you had to contradict the written instructions and get a special invite to it. Then it turned out that the judge was sitting in on them (a rare-if-ever way of doing it in my experience), and the first one was taking close to an hour to finish. Once that one passed, though, the remainder went quickly, including, soon, mine; no parking tickets in this county, but a better-than-speeding plea was offered with half the points and those easily removed by a boring morning in traffic school. Cam was happy to avoid the packed house that arrived between our gettings-there, and I told him I'd meet them back at their apartment, 11 miles down the road.

"Let's just not speed," I joked, and he laughed.

At that, anyway.

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Route 21 runs by a weird route of 99.99 miles from almost the Lake Ontario shore to almost the PA border. Beyond our portion of it from today, the highway passes the Mormon shrine of Hill Cumorah, enters Canandaigua (the city) and skirts Canandaigua (the lake), before ending on a more east-west trajectory taking it through the Southern Tier toward Alfred, Almond and Andover.

Most of that is quite pretty. What we got to see, though, included the following:

* Several low-speed sections, including the one Cam got nailed in the previous time, ranging from 45 down to 30 mph. Heeding my advice, both he and I followed these numbers, but one moron in an old pickup decided to blow by both of us doing well past 70 and crossing a double yellow line to do it.

* Closer to (his) home, I had to slow again for a cat who decided that afternoon rush hour (such as it is out there) was the perfect time to try to cross the road. I missed him, but Cameron saw him, too- and noted that Stupidhead has been seen on that shoulder, playing chicken with cars before.

* But the best (i.e., worst) part was the roadside literature. Dozens of Republican candidate signs still gracing the shoulders, quite a few REPEAL THE SAFE ACT demands on the lawns, and, outside one driveway, the tasteful combination of two flags on a pole- a yellow "DON'T TREAD ON ME" Gadsen flag atop the highly patriotic Stars and Bars of the Confederate battle flag.

In case I haven't mentioned it recently (which I would have no reason to do except around such displays), this is what Cameron looks like (from late May, yet an accurate prediction of how he viewed those flags):

CamNotImpressed

(Ironically, there was a historical marker further up Route 21 indicating a stop on the Underground Railroad. Nowadays I suspect half the redneck residents of that county would've ratted out fugitive slaves if they didn't just shoot them on sight.)

At least I got word while I was out there that their long-time Democratic Congresswoman had won her re-election bid after a scare from a Republican challenger last week.  Hopefully they'll let HER finish out her term without threatening roadside displays.

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My on-backorder birthday presents all got accounted for today- the actual Star Trek novel signed by its actual author (from the office there), and a Dr. Teeth bobblehead (from the kids). I needed those after a loong day like this one:)
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