Kitchener to Rochester

May 25, 2015 08:25 – 08:25

I’m at the Comfort Suites in Rochester. Its internet speed is “high speed” in the same sense that Fox News is “fair and balanced”.

It’s not the worst in the world, and certainly better than dialup. But, it’s not the speed one needs to stream Netflix or Amazon, either. And, it’s not a great upload speed for photo-journaling. It’s a good thing I don’t have a bunch of pictures to upload.

I began yesterday by singing a couple of songs at Grand River Unitarian in Kitchener. They changed their name a few years ago. I’m not sure, but they might’ve been called First Unitarian Church of Kitchener, which makes it pretty clear why they might want to change it. In any case, the Sydney Street Trio accompanied me! It was great!

After the service, I was treated to a delightful lunch at Montana’s with Rev. Jess, OJ (aka Other Jessica), Ryan, and Charlotte. What an amazing, funny, friendly, and wonderful group of people! I always love how quickly UUs become friends. Charlotte treated the table to lunch—thanks, Charlotte, if you’re reading this!

After lunch, I set a course for Rochester, and here I am. The border crossing was awful. I actually had to stop for 30 seconds. Thanks again, NEXUS.

The U.S. could learn a lot from Canada about pavement and highway signage. First, the U.S. has way too many potholes and otherwise damaged road surfaces—especially on high-speed interstates. Are tire and alignment companies paying states not to repair their roads? Driving into Canada is also like going from unpaved to paved roads. And, coming back to the U.S., it’s always like leaving civilization and driving into a 3rd world country that’s too poor to afford upkeep on their basic infrastructure.

Another thing I love about Canada is signage. At just about every intersection in Ontario (and, not just in Ontario—I see the same kinds of signs in Nova Scotia and PEI), there are signs telling you what attractions you’ll find if you’ll simply make a left or a right turn. No such luck in the U.S. You’ll get the occasional billboard advertising some cheesy tourist traps, but to find the hidden gems… well, they mostly remain hidden. Good luck not falling into a pothole if you dare to explore.

When I stay put, Google’s location services invent travel for me. When I’m traveling, however, Google mostly gets it right. Here’s what it says I did yesterday, and it looks basically correct.

Today, I head back towards the DC area, where I’ll “enjoy” 90°+ weather for the next four days. On Friday, I head back up to Rochester for an ordination, and then over to Syracuse to sing three of my songs at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Syracuse.

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