Rods per cups

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At almost the very last minute, I was offered a ride to Salt Lake for general conference. We would leave Thursday evening and be back by late Sunday. Since the only responsibility I had during that time was a class on Friday (and that was definitely not essential) and because I would never, under any circumstances, miss a trip to Zion, I hopped on board. Though this could be the stuff of song and/or story (see Canterbury Tales), the weekend turned out to be pleasant, if surprisingly uneventful.

We left E-town round about 6pm Thursday and headed to Red Deer, where we picked up the fourth member of our party. Two hours south of that town, he remembered that he had forgotten his passport. Since, like most normal people, he doesn't tend to cart about a birth certificate, we had to turn around. So, we lost four hours. But it was just four hours of sleep, rolling into small town south Alberta roughly at 4.00 am.

We slept for about four hours and then hit the road again by 9. We drove through some breathtaking pieces of Montana (for which the promotional materials that claim it to be big sky country are not, in fact, lying). We rolled into the Valley round about eight that night. A rousing rendition of O Ye Mountains High was attempted, but scrapped when stumbled through the first verse and realized we didn't really know the hymn all that well. For those doing the math, we've logged 19 hours in the car by this point. There are few things more difficult than being trapped in a car, not being able to eat, and having your traveling companions munch down for several hours. Fortunately, I survived without breaking my fast, though I had to fudge it a couple times so as to not make my various hosts Sodomites (their sin, of course, was inhospitality not anal play).

Our time in Salt Lake was a bit of a swirl. I got to meet the my newest niece, all of three weeks old. I saw my family. We went to Saturday afternoon conference, which turned out to be a broadcast from the Tabernacle, much to the dismay of some of our party. I introduced A. to Sam Weller's. We experienced priesthood, which was live. I got to see Ryan, who also went out to dinner with our family for some tasty, if slightly overpriced Mexican food. That was a lucky break as he and his (much) better half are going to be gone from Zion by the time I'm home again. The weather was gorgeous, a real example of how beautiful some springs in Utah are. Then, come 7.20 am Sunday morning, we pulled out of the driveway and were on our way back north. (time in Utah: 35 hours).

The trip home was pretty smooth sailing with two stops. First in Montana where we tried turning the Missouri from its course, but learned that God must be pretty dang eager to pour down knowledge on the heads of the Latter-day Saints. The second was an hour-zapping meal stop in Lethbridge. God decided to pour down not knowledge, but snow, upon the heads of us four Latter-day Saints in a rather mean-spirited April Fools Joke. The storm was pretty intense, but cleared up after Red Deer and I was home for bed by 1.30 am. The timing on the trip up, even with our two minor stops and the blizzard conditions, managed to sit about 18 hours.

If you've learned addition, you can see 19+18=37. What this means is that we were actually in Salt Lake for two fewer hours than the journey there and back took. And, a bulk of the time there was spent sleeping. Said another way, for every minute we spent in Salt Lake we were in a car or on the road for 1 minute, 3.6 seconds. Ryan called us "Mormon Jihadists". I think I like the title in all its racist glory. Though, technically we'd be closer to hajji. I always have thought gathering to Zion, at least for conference, should still be an essential aspect of Mormonism. Maybe we can bring it back and then use it to open doors to the Muslim world. It's like brt-ing, but on a much less specific level.

Assiduous records of our gas consumption were kept until the computer we were using crapped out and lost our data. We figured the miles per gallon, the kilometers per liter, the cost per mile, and so on. I suggested we include the rod per cup (somewhat cheekily as I didn't really get the joy of rather prosaic data sliced in not-so-thrilling ways). Unfortunately, we didn't know how many rods were in a mile. It's 320. Since we averaged just under 30 mpgs, let's say 28, we'd be getting 560 rods per cup of gasoline. Now, that's some data that gets my engine going, if you know what I mean.

2 comments:

Robert said...

Oh, I do know what you mean.

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