This weekend was SlingCon in Providence, RI. Courtesy of SlingShot[DJedi] and his brother Damon. Multiple members converged on Damon’s new house from across the country. Multiple states were represented including, North Carolina, Maryland, Washington DC, Vermont, New Hampshire, Ohio and our long distance warrior Hein all the way from Missouri. This is an account of his epic journey.
Well I drove to Rhode Island for SlingCon08 this past week and what a trip it was. I went to work Wednesday night at 6:30pm for my evaluation (went great, getting a raise) and started my trip at 5:00am. I got on the road at 5:13am cst and arrived in Columbus, Ohio at 4:24pm est. Thats 10hrs sports fans. That should not have been that long of a drive of course. I attempted to listen to Stephen King’s The Mist on the way up but it was too quiet, and right as i turned it off i went into a dense fog…..irony!!! So instead i listened to Stephen King’s The Langoliers all the way through. Great stuff. Around 38 miles out of Columbus there was a fender bender in a construction zone which stopped me for a solid 2 hours. How frustrating!
I got to Columbus and met up with my friend Patrick (theSpawn[DJedi] who I will affectionately call SmokeStack since he is basically a chain smoker). We went to Buffalo Wild Wings and i talked his cousin into doing the Blazing Challenge (eat 12 blazing wings in under 6 minutes with no drink/ranch/blue cheese/nothing!!). After that we went to a sports bar and they played a game called cornhole (not kidding, we call it baggo down here. where you toss beanbags at a slanted piece of wood with a hole cut in it). I was exhausted and was ready to pass out seeing as I had been up for around 30 hours and driving 10 of that.
I got to pass out around 10:30pm and we woke up at 3:30 and went and gassed up and got supplies where he works and were on the road at 4am est. We made a couple stops because he has the bladder of an 9 year old girl and also wanted smoke breaks. No problem. We drove through for a long time in pretty thick fog. Lots of “Fog Area” signs in the Appalachians. There were also a great deal of signs that said “Bridge may be Icy”, so every time i saw one i made sure to have a good handle on my wheel so i wouldn’t slide off.
Pennsylvania is beautiful. Nice open areas with great forests and mountains to drive through. We hit New Jersey without a problem and it was also a pretty nice drive. But once we went into New York City and saw the toll was $8.00 I knew there was going to be annoyances. Took us almost 3 hours to drive across the city itself. This is a rant I tried to suppress but i really cant. People in that area are horrible drivers. If they understood that tailgaiting the person in front of them is not helping them go any faster, then we might have went through a lot faster. Lets say there are 10 cars in a row. The first car sees something and taps on their brakes. Well the person behind them thats tailing has to slam on theirs so that they dont hit them. The first car keeps on going no problem, the second car also keeps on going. But that small action starts a ripple effect all the way back through hundreds of cars. To counter this, i left at least 1 car length in front of me. What happens? Cars in the other lane slam into my lane, most times without their turn signal and instantly slam on their brakes so they dont hit the person in front of them. Which causes me to have to slam on my breaks……and the system is further destroyed. The anger sharks were swimming in a frenzy at this point and i was getting pissed off. Another joy of this city is the “Office Space Scenario”. If anyone has seen the movie Office Space when he is driving through traffic, it is incredibly true. The left lane would be backed up and the right lane would be going, so i’d merge into it and it’d instantly stop and the left lane would go. I switched back and forth a time or two and this always happened. Love that!!! We’d get out of the bumper to bumper and start going 60mph and just suddenly stop back to bumper to bumper because of the earlier issues with stupid drivers.
Onwards and downards into Connectishit i guess. This is one of the smallest states in the continental united states. But you’d never know it by driving through it. We hit Ct at the apparent rush our, aka 1pm. Through the entire length of the state it was bumper to bumper……astounding. More and more people cutting me off and slamming on their brakes. I was already really tired of driving at this point and needed a break. After an hour or two of driving through that, we hit the Rhode Island border and it was all smooth driving. We arrived in Providence at 6:58pm est.
We got there and everyone was already setup and playing games. So i got some food and ate it while talking with the guys already there. After this was finished I setup my desktop. I also brought my laptop……but on the ride from Ohio we tried to play a song and all the sudden it just shut off and wouldnt turn back on. We couldnt get it to boot to windows vista at the Con either. We put in a ultimate boot cd and it wouldnt even recognize the hard drive. So that took out patrick’s gaming abilities for the time being. One of the other guys had a laptop so he got to play some on that. We played some Quake 3, Team Fortress 2, and enjoyed ourselves that entire day. A lot of people went to bed and only 3 or 4 of us stayed up to play some more TF2. We had great entertainment in one of the 40+year old players that was on the server. He kept saying the funniest things. One of them was “well i died, i guess its time for some more chips and salsa” haha. He’d also randomly say “Yep” in his nice country southern accent.
The next day we woke up around 10 and started playing again. We got Quake 1 Team fortress running finally after they copied my directory. After all the preparation we did to play this one classic game that we all started out playing….we only played for a good 30 minutes. Two of the guys ended up dueling for a while, but everyone else went on to TF2 some more. One of the guys had a hookah and some smoked the flavored tobacco. It was interesting cause they also brought stuff to blow bubbles. So there were some pretty big smoke bubbles. We sat around and talked about TF2 and how to make the clan run better for a while. Some guys went for a walk and me and 2 others went downstairs and played Lumines on a ps2. I sat in a daze just watching cause i had never played it. Then the host came down and said “Hey i got the new Blue Man Group DVD if you want to watch it.” It was pretty awesome!!! We all went to bed around 4am (bad idea) after it was over.
I woke up the next morning around 9am. I woke everyone else up for our group photo and we headed out at 9:45am. This time we took a new route north of NYC to avoid it. It went very well. The only traffic was when we were on a bridge and a guy broke down 3/4’s of the way across. I said “If it was me, i’d put it in neutral and push it off the bridge”. Patrick laughed and said “yea i’d do that too.” Turns out he thought i meant push it into the water. hahahaha. This trip went a lot faster and we ended up getting back at 9:35pm. I was eeeexhausted. With such little sleep and so long of a drive, i was wiped. So i went to sleep pretty fast.
The drive home went smooth. No traffic to stop me. Indiana had about a billion cops with people pulled over. From St. Louis all the way to Providence the speed limit was a maximum of 65!!!! Silly. I left at 9:31est and got home around 5:50cst. On this drive i listened to The Poseidon Adventure (REAL screwed up story) and about 95% of Stephen King’s Dollan’s Cadillac.
This portion of the note will involve Patrick’s sleeping habits . I was going to fly to Rhode Island, but he mentioned that if he didnt have a ride he couldnt go. So i said ok lets split gas and we can go. We got there and after a couple hrs he went to sleep. So he was awake from 2:40pm to around 10pm and went to sleep. The next morning he woke up at 7ish and went back to sleep around 10am and slept all day until 10pm that night. he was up a few hours and then promptly went back to sleep until 7am. So he was awake a grand total of maybe 14 hours, whereas the drive alone was 24hrs total for him. Now my clothes smell like smoke as well as my car. But at least he is a good guy to ride in a car with for an extended amount of time. I taught him how to use the iphone early on and he knew how to do everything shortly after. Nice work broham.
Drive Time (tracked in notes on the iphone):
Springfield to Ohio: 5:13am – 3:24pm – 10hrs 11mins
Ohio to Rhode island: 4am – 5:58pm = 13hrs 58mins
Rhode Island to Ohio: 9:45am – 9:35pm = 11hrs 50mins
Ohio to Springfield: 9:31am – 5:50pm = 8hrs 21mins
Total: 44hrs 21mins
Time at the Con:
friday: 6pm-3:30am = 9hrs
saturday: 10am – 4am = 18hrs
sunday: 9am-9:45am = 45mins
Total: 27hrs 45mins
I’m flying next time.