Welcome to my blog! Here I intend to chronicle the scientific and cultural adventure I'm having in scenic Jonesboro AR. For those not aware I am studying plant secondary metabolites at the Arkansas Bioscience Institute (ABI)
Trip to AR: Day 1 - Worcester to Fredericksburg VA (~500 Miles)
Packed up things in worcester and put them on ice. Seemed silly to even unpack all my things to start with. I should have just left them be last week while we were unpacking the new facility. Anyways, closed up shop...shed a small tear...then got in the car. Everything was packed tight so the samples sat next to me in the front passenger seat. Periodically checking on the samples like a worried parent. Everything looked fine but I admit I have no idea what I was exactly looking for. Drove for 8 hours with little eventful. Got caught in some traffic in the Bronx which would have normally sucked big time but was fine because I got to listen to sports talk radio from a New York perspective and seeing as how, the Yankees at the time were 10.5 games back it was quite entertaining. The red sox euphoria lasted into New Jersey quite a ways before I got my first taste of what would acompany me for much of the rest of the trip....CHRISTIAN RADIO. Typically I would listen for 10-20 minutes to a talk show before finally figuring it out that this was right wing christian propaganda. At one point a host was imploring his listening audience to call their representatives about conversion laws in India. In my science state of mind, I assumed they must be talking about some sort of energy conversion when in fact they were talking about religious conversions. Come to find out that they are actually talking about religious conversions which have been outlawed by certain states in India. I guess we can outsource jobs but not religions...oh well.
Day 2: Fredericksburg VA -> Raleigh NC (~300 Miles)
Saw newly engaged Brian and Simone...was really good to see them again. Also, got to meet their new dog Cooper. While, I usually dont like dogs all that much it would be nearly impossible to not like this one, perhaps I have judged the canines species to harshly in the past. Made me really miss the good old days and also made me want to move down south. Perhaps that statement needs a qualifier to calm the nerves of those people reading who are gasping at the idea that I have spent a grand total of 3 days down here and want to leave my good old fashioned yankee upbringing. I think I could live in Raleigh, nicer climate, nicer people, lower cost of living, just cosmopolitan enough that I could forget about the redneck culture that lies just to the south and west. On the downside of course are the lack of the redsox, lack of snow, lack of family, lack of new england patriots, sweltering heat in the summer, and finally...the lack of the REDSOX. Anyways, had a grand, and relaxing time with them and feel very fortunate that plans worked out in such a way that allowed that to happen, really made my week.
Day 3: Raleigh NC -> Jonesboro AR (~700 Miles)
Twelve Hours of Driving to get to Arkansas. Drove through the great smokey mountains which were amazing. Descended into Tennessee which was very flat and straight. 70mph speed limits made the trip a little quicker than expected. Sped through Knoxville, and Nashville before stopping for gas just before Memphis. Filled up my tank and went inside convenience store to buy and iced tea. Met up with most stereotypical redneck to date. Tried not to look him directly in the eyes for fear of turning to stone or a corn cob or whatever it is that happens then. Looked like he had about 6 teeth...maybe 4 usable. Green camouflage pants, a hunter orange tee-shirt with holes in it and a trucker hat to complete the ensemble. I tried to avoid him as I looked for my beverage when he began to talk to himself in an unintelligible southern drawl. At which point, visions of slingblade and deliverance danced through my head, thoughts of greusome murder at the hands of a mentally unstable hick. Come to find out, he was talking on his cell phone...and not just that, he was using a blue tooth headset. How far the south has come...I wonder if he has a black berry to he can text his buddies at the tractor pull. Completed the rest of the drive in short order, and arrived at Pams. Had to sleep on a pull out couch but it wasn't so bad. Let the adventures begin.
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