06/16/2010 at 4:54 am | Posted in 49>50, General Nerdery, Stories from the Road | 3 Comments

Asked of me tonight on http://formspring.me/mariancall:

How many miles have you covered so far? How many meters? How many cubits?

[I run to check car repair paperwork from my #frakagasket incident [in which my car’s headgasket went, along with a number of other things, days before this trip began]…]

Miles driven since #frakagasket repair in Anchorage: 7,581
That’s in exactly 4 weeks — well, with 1 week of no driving and no shows here in Austin. So an average of 361 miles per day on days that I played shows.

7,581 miles
= 1.22 x 10^7 meters
= 2.669 x 10^7 cubits
= 1.9 x equatorial radius of Earth ( 6.37814×10^6 m )
= 0.3 x equatorial circumference of Earth ( 2 pi R_(+) )

(Thank you, http://WolframAlpha.com.)

My car — which is named Agent 99 — got another clean bill of health today with her biweekly oil change.  This one was overdue, actually.  She’s so good!  She’s so so so good!  I love my Subi and I pet her on the dashboard and tell her so all the time.  I don’t know what the total mileage of this trip will be, not by a long shot, but I’m guesstimating 40,000-60,000 miles total.  I will certainly have circled the globe once.  Maybe I should update my Geico profile, come to think of it.

Perhaps I should keep track, separately, of the mileage on me, as I have several airplane trips interspersed throughout the trip.  The first is to Toronto at the end of the month.  Huzzah!  That will be the farthest east I’ve ever been in Canada.  Farthest south, too.

My first day here in Austin, at my Dad’s house, I unloaded everything from the car and we washed and vacuumed her out.  There were no-bake cookies, wasabi soy almonds, carrots, fruit snacks, a piece of a peanut butter Twix bar, beef jerky, and zillions of mystery crumbs under the front seats.  And I found two earrings!  Thankfully before the shop vac did.

I’ve come to associate my car so powerfully with my body that after the vacuuming I felt fuzzy and strange all over.

Bryan Ray, mister guitarist for the Chicago > Santa Fe leg of the trip, taught me a new car game: the COW GAME.  In the Cow Game you count cows on your side of the car in your favor.  If you pass a graveyard on your side of the car, you lose all your cows.  (This is more fun than it sounds, I promise.)  For some reason in Indiana Bryan was getting all the cows — there were simply none on my side.  When we switched and he drove — same thing.  I was frustrated. “Don’t worry about it,” said Bryan. “I’ve been playing this game for a really long time.  I’m kind of a pro.”

One more day of rest here in Austin (and by “rest” I mean incredibly hard computer work, but with the luxury of staying in the same place a few nights and not singing).  I head out Thursday morning for New Mexico, Arizona, Joshua Tree CA (camping trip guys!) and Toronto, ON.  I’m looking forward to driving again, because in a way it’s permission to not be working on my e-mail and promo and such.  Behind the wheel is one of my favoritest freest places to be.


*YMMV stands for Your Mileage May Vary, for those of you not who have a life enough to not know that.

Itinerary, show details at http://mariancall.com:

6/17 Poor David’s Pub, Dallas TX

6/19 KISS Coffeehouse Courtyard, Albuquerque NM

6/20 Corazon, Santa Fe NM

6/22 Open House Concert, Green Valley (Tucson area), AZ

6/23 Open House Concert, Phoenix AZ

6/27 Open House Concert, Toronto ON

6/30 Outdoor Concert, East Stage of Joshua Tree Lake, CA


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  1. I understand that Aggies (from Texas A&M, to be specific) have a different variation of the cow game they play. In their version, you roll down your windows and holler out, “HEY COW!” when you pass a cow. The point is to get the cow to look at you. There doesn’t seem to be a scoring system or a way to determine a victor. I understand there’s not a ton to do out in College Station.

  2. In England we play “pub cricket” on long drives. For each pub spotted, whoever’s “in” gets points according to how many legs can be attributed to the pub’s name. So “The Eagle” is 2 points, “The Lamb and Lion” is 8 points, but “The Crown” is 0 points. Any spot of 0 points puts the next person “in”.

    It’s basically a device to get the kids to behave, so rewards tend to be given equally to everyone who played nicely with just a small extra to the winner that they should share.

  3. […] YMMV*, in which I play with Wolfram Alpha and discuss my car and the Cow Game […]

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