Day 8: And Then There Were Three

All hail American Science & Surplus! Photo: Jenny Williams

(Still behind. Working on getting caught up but the internet isn’t cooperating. This one is for June 27, 2011.)

We didn’t have to get up too early this day, but we did have to get mobilized in the morning. We had to drive Ed to the airport for his long trip home. Though we left a little later than planned, our schedule was well padded for such eventualities. His flight got off just fine, and his extra long layover in Minneapolis allowed him to catch a meal with a good friend of ours. But it was really late in the wee hours of the morning before he made it all the way home.

Penzeys Spices. Photo: Jenny Williams

The kids and I had a few hours to kill before we could show up at our next destination, Madison, Wisconsin, to visit with the mighty and powerful John Kovalic. So we made a stop at the American Science & Surplus store. I have loved the AS&S catalog for at least a decade and a half. To be able to visit a retail store was quite fun. Though, like the catalog, it is filled with awesome things I don’t need. I got a couple of small items for homeschooling, but that was it. Then we headed to a retail store of Penzeys Spices, which is another awesome company. I got some Herbes de Provence, which is a little hard to find. But the retail store didn’t have as many things as their catalog.

Then, on the drive to Madison, I listened to GeekDad Chuck Lawton’s band’s CD, For Highbrow Sideshows and Rowboat Serenades (The Vitrolum Republic is their band’s name). The music was fantastic, but probably not the best thing to listen to when you are trying to drive while sleepy. The sound was quite melancholic, and reminded me of an excellent movie soundtrack. Highly recommended.

We stopped at a grocery store in Madison to pick up some carrots for the boy and chocolate milk for both the kids. All this traveling has given us a weird and haphazard diet, so I wanted to fill in some gaps. I happened to also find some red lentils there, so even though I won’t be able to do anything with them for a month, I bought them there since I ran out at home. And they aren’t the easiest to find, either. They go with the Herbes de Provence. Mmm… Soup.

We then showed up at John K.’s house to meet his lovely wife, Judith. She gave us the tour, and we settled in. John soon arrived with lovely daughter and dinner in tow, and we had a delicious meal with a couple of their friends. My kids’ favorite part of the day was playing with John’s daughter. She’s not yet three, and quite adorable.

We played a couple of games (Tsuro, Pirate versus Pirate, a bit of Faux-Cabulary), but then everyone needed to go to bed.

One thing I’ve noticed around Wisconsin, both in the Milwaukee area and in Madison, is a distinct lack of signage. Some intersections have zero street signs. Not for the road you are on, not for the cross road. And some intersections have signs for just the cross road. What is this? Does Wisconsin not want people to visit? It’s frustrating when you’re trying to find your way around. This is where the mileage numbers on Google Maps or my TripTik come in handy. “Um, it’s been the right distance, so I’m just going to try this road and hope for the best.” Another weird thing is that the right lane in most neighborhoods is also a parking lane. Yet the lane isn’t wide enough for a parked car and a driving car. ??? Is this a Wisconsin thing? I don’t remember it from 30 years ago.

Drove: About 100 miles.

States: Wisconsin

Weather: Warm, quite humid. Yuck.

Kids: A little nuts from being cooped up so much. But pretty well behaved.

Best Parts of the Day: Spending time with John K., of course!

Worst Parts of the Day: Being tired.

Bratwurst consumed thus far: 2 (the first was at Matt Forbeck’s house in Beloit)

Songs Going Through My Head: None. Perhaps I should discontinue this line?

Total GeekDads Visited: 4! (Yes, I count John K.)

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About Jenny Bristol

Jenny Bristol is a lifelong geek who spends her time learning, writing, homeschooling her two wickedly smart kids, playing board games, and mastering the art of traveling on a shoestring.
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One Response to Day 8: And Then There Were Three

  1. Matt Forbeck says:

    Love that shot of AS&S. Bought my first microscope there at the age of 7. 🙂

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