Content-Type: text/shitpost


Subject: My visits to the fifty states
Path: you​!your-host​!wintermute​!wikipedia​!twirlip​!wescac​!skynet​!m5​!plovergw​!plover​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2019-11-01T18:15:54
Newsgroup: sci.math.states
Message-ID: <9624c88fe72033d8@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I have not yet hit all fifty, but I am working on it. The rules are, visits that only pass through the airport on the way to somewhere else do not count, but if I were to get away from the airport even for a couple of hours, that would count. And driving through in a car does count, even if I didn't stop. I'm not sure I've had to actually apply either of these rules, but it's good to know what the parameters are.

I'm pretty sure I've been through the Minneapolis airport, I remember looking out the plane window and saying “wow, they really do have a lot of lakes”. Whatever, it doesn't count.

Visited

Alaska (twice!), Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawai‘i (three times! truly, I am blessed), Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia.

The most recent ones checked off the list were Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Lorrie and the girls were away at some Harry Potter con, so I took an awesome road trip westward to Indianapolis, then south to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, and back via West Virginia, crossing three states off the list and also seeing Mammoth Cave, which has been on my bucket list for at least forty years. I have an unfinished blog post about this and someday you might hear about it.

Not yet

Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia were the last low-hanging fruit. None of the states I haven't been to yet are convenient driving distance from Philadelphia, and many of them are large and far apart:

Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

The prospect is a bit daunting but Katara and Toph are getting older and in a few years will be able to take care of themselves, which will leave more time for driving tours of the Great Plains.

Future plans

Map of
the U.S. with states I have visited colored purple, states not yet
visited are pink.  The pink states are in a large connected area
covering most of the Great Plains and upper Midwest, down to Oklahoma,
and then east across the deep South, minus Georgia.  Plus Maine.

Maine and South Carolina are closest to where I live. I need to start planning more carefully. One road trip I've always wanted to take is to circumnavigate Lake Michigan. I might start in Chicago, drive up through Wisconsin, stopping in Neenah (does the foundry give tours? I can look at the outside, at least) and in Plover (because of the name). Then into the Upper Peninsula, over the Straits of Mackinac, down through Michigan, and back to Chicago via Indiana. This was a bit more attractive when it checked off three states instead of only two, but that's the way it goes. And I didn't get as much time as I wanted to look around Indianapolis.

Miscellaneous

I have not yet visited American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, or Guam. But I have been to the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

To make that map, I said “Gee, I wish there was a web site where I could click on a map of the U.S. to change the colors of the states, and then download a PNG of the result. And then I typed make map of u.s. into Google, and the top hit was https://mapchart.net/usa.html , which was precisely what I had wanted. Truly, we live in an age of marvels.

Also

Barry Stiefel set it as a goal to visit all fifty states in the course of a one-week vacation (both weekends included) and actually acomplished this literal tour de force.

His web site has disappeared, but here is an archived copy of his description of how he accomplished this feat.


Subject: An anecdote about French
Path: you​!your-host​!walldrug​!kremvax​!hal9000​!plovergw​!ploverhub​!shitpost​!mjd
Date: 2019-11-01T17:15:19
Newsgroup: misc.misc.french
Message-ID: <ed41d87f96db0d9f@shitpost.plover.com>
Content-Type: text/shitpost

I do not speak French, but as long-time readers of my blog are aware, I can put together a quarter-assed attempt at many things, and in speaking French I can mash together stock phrases, scraps of other people's discarded French, some high school Latin, and some knowledge of Indo-European etymology to make a garbage omelet that is not French but can, in very limited quantity, be used in place of French.

In Switzerland, this worked. I would address a waiter and say “Un plat petit pour mademoiselle, c'il vous plait” and the waiter would promptly set a small plate before Katara, then age 14 months.

In Paris, when I tried the same thing, it did not work at all. The Parisians produced no plates. The waiter would look at me blankly, and instead of a plate they would produce a honking noise from their nose. In Paris, I spoke English or nothing.

Another thing that worked in Switzerland but not in Paris: my Parisian host asked what I would particularly like to do while I was in Paris. I said I would particularly like to visit a restaurant that served horse meat. He said he believed people no longer ate horse meat and that it would be nearly impossible to find a restaurant that served it. In Lausanne I found horse meat on the menu without even making an effort.

Conspiracy theorists of the Internet: How are these related?

Horse meat is pretty good. Or at least, it is in Switzerland. But maybe the French hoard all the best horse meat for themselves.