John Gets a Speeding Ticket

On the Road – Maryland, WVA, Ohio & Indiana

My almost cross country trip started today with the rather long drive from Virginia to Lafayette, IN.  Why Lafayette?  I lived here for a couple of weeks way long ago. I landed the job of Director of Marketing Research at Microdatabase Systems right out of B-school. Of course, there was nobody in the marketing research department except me. That is why I was director. Sort of like the guy who has 1000 people under him at work – cuts grass in the cemetery. Never trust titles.

I worked at MDBS for five weeks before I took the job in the FS. I think I made a good career move.  How different life could have been. Lafayette is a very pleasant place, but there is not much here besides Purdue University. I suppose that I would have found more to like if I had been here more than a few weeks.  Running trails were good. I used to run on the country roads through the cornfields.

It was a long drive. I got a speeding ticket. It is the first I got since 1992. I have only had two in my whole life, so it was actually more exciting and interesting than unpleasant. I thought about trying to outrun him, like in the Dukes of Hazard or Smokey & the Bandit, but the Civic-Hybrid probably was not up to the job. I was going 80 in a 70 zone. That is what the cop said, and he was right.  I know because I had the cruise control set to that, so I didn’t try to claim that I didn’t know or it was some kind of mistake. I would have had to pay up w/o complaint. He got me fair & square, but he only gave me a warning ticket, no fine attached. Nice guy. 

Always be polite to policemen, none of those rude questions or complaints. My old Milwaukee upbringing tells me that if the cops stop you, they must have a good reason. And I know they have a tough job.  I suspect a lot of the people they stop give them a hard time. I would have taken his picture for the blog, but I figured it was not a good idea to push my luck, so I just said “thank you” and drove off – chastened – at the legal speed, until I got across the state line. I did try to keep my speed lower for the rest of the trip, but it is hard. All the trucks pass you if you drive the speed limit and it is very nerve wracking. I try to stay with traffic.

Let me tell you about the pictures.  On top is a western Maryland landscape.  It is a pretty place.  The thing that looks like a canyon is the cut through Sideling Hill on I-68.  They blasted through in 1985. It must have been hard to go over the hill before that time. The mountains in the Appalachians are arrayed in long folds.  In many ways, they are tougher than the Rockies, which although they are higher often have less relief and wider passes. The picture at bottom is I-70 just passed Dayton, Ohio. It is a typical Midwestern road picture, pretty with flat fields and isolated oak trees. There were lots of trucks on the road.