Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Out & About in Columbus

Today I slept in -- 8:30 certainly being a lie-in if you've spent the past week getting up as much as four hours earlier -- and took my sweet time over breakfast. To give housekeeping time to do my room, I went and walked a mile on the treadmill. (I needed to exercise anyway, having had one of those sweet rolls in the breakfast bar.) Then it was another soak in the hot tub. I ambled back to my room thinking of maybe actually starting to do something today.

While shaving, my electric razor gave me the low-battery warning, meaning that it probably only has one or at best two days' charge left. Unfortunately, my charger went to Oregon with the Box o'stuff. I hadn't expected to be here in Columbus this long; by the original plan, I should have been on my way to Portland about the time I was shaving. I thought of calling Lisa and asking her to express-mail my charger to me, but (a) that's something of a waste of money and (b) she didn't answer the phone, for which I don't blame her. I tried searching online for somewhere in the Columbus area that might sell shaver accessories, but found only one possibility, and the phone number listed for it got a not-in-service message. I called Phillips Norelco's customer service, and they told me the nearest authorized service -- which presumably might have parts and accessories -- was in Dayton, and I didn't fancy driving 150 miles round-trip just for a razor charger. They also suggested going to stores like Wal-Mart that sell Norelco products and seeing if they also have chargers.

I needed to get out and abound while the sun was shining anyway, because I needed to take the rental car to a car wash. You may ask why I should spend money on washing a rental car that I'm going to return next Saturday. The reason was what I discovered when I came back to the car Friday evening after work. I had not noticed anything unusual about where I'd parked, but it turned out to have been under a tree that, while bare of foliage, was apparently a local bird hangout, and they left my car covered with their droppings. I suspect that Avis would have wanted a service charge for returning the car all gooped up, and besides, it was disgusting-looking. Given the local weather, I thought it important that if I was going to wash the car, I do it mid-day while the sun shown. I'd found several car washes in the area by searching online, so off I drove down Winchester Pike, and a few miles down the road, a car wash appeared on my right.

I made the mistake of first just going through the automatic car wash. That wasn't enough to actually clean the car, so I had to go into the manual coin-op bay and pay another $4 to manually clean it. I suspect that I could have saved money by just going to the coin-op bay first and spending maybe $7 total (instead of $11) in coins while concentrating on the offending bird droppings.

Having thoroughly washed the car, it seemed a good idea to go driving at speed in the sun to help it dry before the temperatures dropped below freezing again, so I drove north on US-33 into downtown Columbus to check out the address of the shaver-repair place on High Street. Certain familiar landmarks appeared as I neared the only parts of Columbus I had heretofore visited -- the downtown area in the Arena District around the convention center, for last year's SMOFCon and the MarCon prior to that.

I wasn't surprised to find that the razor-repair shop was gone, but was somewhat surprised to find that the building at the address I had for the place was gone as well, and a large hole in its place where a construction project is afoot.

I drove past the Convention Center and briefly considered stopping at the North Market, but wasn't that hungry and instead headed onto the freeways to head back toward Groveport, that being where I am actually staying. Maps I have of the area showed a shopping mall that I thought might be worth checking out just in case there was something for my razor, so I headed to the Eastgate mall. The mall had a rather down-at-heel appearance to me, with one anchor closed and many bays showing for-lease signs. I couldn't find anything that I wanted or needed, so that was a waste of my time. I made a further stop at a K-Mart along the way, but they didn't seem to even carry razors. I also tried to shop for a present for travelswithkuma, but it's difficult to shop for a small stuffed bear. I thought about getting him some of the gummy-fish lures in the sporting goods section, but I did not think he would appreciate those fish very much.

By now it was getting on for 4 PM or so and long past when I should have had lunch, the big breakfast in the hotel notwithstanding. I had checked earlier and discovered that there are indeed Waffle House restaurants in the area, including one only about a mile from the hotel. Indeed, I could have walked there from the hotel except that I would be taking my life in my hands to attempt doing so, there being no sidewalks around these parts. (I'll write more about that subject later, I think.)

It's a sign of my low tastes that I really like Waffle House. For some reason, their hash browns (with ham and mushrooms) are just about the best I've ever had except for those my grandmother used to make. I happily tucked in to double chop steak with double hash browns, all for a quite reasonable price even with a good tip. My expense account is unlikely to throw red flags at that meal, unlike my purchases of about $60 or so charged as "meals, dinner" because there is no category of "groceries, food for several meals."

It's probably just as well that I'm too busy working most of the time I'm here, or I'd end up eating half my meals at Waffle House -- there are none on the West Coast -- and I'd probably gain ten pounds, which would be bad. I'd feel less guilty about eating there if I could walk there, but never mind about that.

After my mostly-fruitless travels around town, I went back to the hotel, did a little searching, and found that there is a Wal-Mart in Canal Winchester, and it was just a short distance from the car wash I'd used earlier in the day. So before it got much later (and colder), I went back out and drove down there. No luck, though: they sell razors, but no accessories to speak of. Looks like I'm stuck with blade shaving until I get back to Oregon. Once again, my attempts to keep my travel weight down below 50 pounds leave me without something I needed during the trip.

Still, I did pick up something I needed from the Wal-Mart pharmacy: some more diabetes testing lancets. When my trip was extended, I took stock of my diabetes-testing supplies and determined that while I had enough test strips, I was going to run out of lancets if I didn't double-use them, which I don't like doing because they start to get blunt and hurt if you use them too many times. So I picked up a box of 100 lancets. Now I'm well-stocked, plus those that went to Oregon ahead of me.

It was not a terribly productive day. But the weather was very nice for this time of year: about 6 C (around 43 F) and bright sunshine. I needed my sunglasses. With a 90% chance of rain on Sunday, I'm much happier to have been out today doing errands. Tomorrow I'm apt to be cooped up in the hotel room trying to get more work done on the project that is the reason for me being here in Columbus in the first place.
Tags: diabetes, food, hotels, travel, work
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