Vera Stewart

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since Apr 22, 2015
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Recent posts by Vera Stewart

I would like to run another sock competition starting next September - with DarnToughs again, as the defending champions, and perhaps giving a new pair of Smartwools a chance to redeem their brand ;)

If anyone has any suggestions for the third or fourth competitor - as long as I can order them from Canada! - please let me know! (Lot's of time to decide.) I would prefer if wool was the majority 'ingredient.' Thanks! This has been fun.
2 weeks ago
Oops sorry, I missed your question!

SmartWools are guaranteed for two years.

I mislaid the DarnTough pair in this competition for several weeks just past - I was beginning to get worried I'd lost them entirely. Fortunately, I have re-discovered them! They have been washed nine times so far this season, despite going missing for a time.

They are starting to show a little thin particularly at the back of the ankle where they rub a little against my sneakers and or hiking boots, and under the balls of the feet. However they are still perfectly comfortable and have kept my feet warm despite getting wet on several occassions this season.

I now declare the DarnTough the winners of the Sock-o a Sock-o Competition!

They have proven to outlast their two competitors, and, if we take Nicole Alderman's suggestion of calculating how much DarnTough socks cost to have replaced into the value calculation...

I paid $31 Canadian for the pair of socks originally...
Lets say $5 Canadian for shipping per sock pair ('cause shipping costs are always getting higher) ...that would mean I could get two pairs (consecutively) for $36...or  about $13 each...

And so the DarnTough socks in this competition are likely within one or two washings of also being the best value of the three...provided that returns continue to be possible and relatively inexpensive. (There is some suggestion in the current wording of the guarantee that they will only replace a pair once...which seems fair enough, really, but I think it's new wording since I last looked at the guarantee., perhaps they're finding it necessary to tighten up replacement eligibility a bit.)

Congratulations, Darn Tough socks!

2 weeks ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:
I'm magic! :)

Sounds reasonable to me :)

I will remember you when I next come across an abbreviation I don't understand!

But unfortunately, I have some other writing I have to do before I can continue on this adventure traversing time and space...
3 weeks ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:I read mom some of the directions from that book, and she said it sounded like what you would tell someone who you were giving directions to, and pointed out that  if you had never seen a map, and there were no real maps of these areas, you would want someone to tell you how to get there. She envisions the passenger reading it to the driver.

The CH in the directions was the Court House.  

Did you just...know that the court house is there, or did you find an explanation of abbreviations? (I can not find one. I sorta expected one at the front of the book, but...maybe I'm staring right at it?)

Yes, it is a lot like someone telling you their down-home directions! ("When you see the big tree...the big one. It's...big. Turn in there." <----- actual directions I've received for getting to a house. Weirdly enough I got lost.)

Apparently part of the problem this guide was addressing was that there weren't too many signs, because most people knew where everything was in their neck of the woods, and not very many strangers were traveling through, so what would you need street/directional signs for? I've never thought about life without street/highway signs in the 20th century before.

I also envision the passenger reading the directions, but also the typical arguments from the driver about if they're reading it right, plus I envision the kid reading the book and getting maybe a little bratty about all the interesting sounding things they're missing - I wanna go see the cliff dwellings! No, we're not going to go down some side road, we might break down on the way...and for what, some holes in a rock? But you promised we would see neat things! Sit down and be quiet... (plus maybe it's night-time, because I like the idea of approaching Flagstaff at night time...)
3 weeks ago
Ah, a Volume 8 I've just found (including California) indicates there was a proto i-40, so diverting to Flagstaff no longer seems as much of a diversion. Minor minor mystery solved!
1 month ago
Yesterday I discovered an amazing thing - the Official Automobile Blue Book series of road guides, published between 1901 and 1929. The 1920 volumes Sold for $3 each. (would be roughly $37 today.) These guides were released in several volumes a year, each volume being specific to a region of the USA (and some of Canada.) And fortunately for my current purposes, the internet archive has a digital scan of 1920's Volume 7 - "Showing main highways in ... Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona..." (plus a bunch of other states but not Nevada or California)(Unfortunately although I see an advertisement for a cross-country tour guide volume, which my people may also have used, I don't see any scanned in copies available. That's okay. What I've got now is amazing enough!)
These books must have been heavy, volume 7 is over 800 pages long!

There are some over-view maps and state by state maps, maps for big enough cities, "points of interest" blurbs, advertisements for tools, garages and hotels (Hotel McCabe, in North Platte, Nebraska is "Absolutely Fireproof" and has hot and cold running water in all rooms, prices $1 and up.) which is all pretty familiar, format-wise to a road-tripping gal who grew up before GPS and smartphones throttled the AAA tourbook, but also,
It's quite amazing - the guides give very detailed turn by turn directions... (like you would get from your GPS, if you had GPS, only less insistent and creepy!) I am finding this actually quite fascinating... the routes are from city (or town) to the next city or town...and the guides give different route numbers and reverse directions depending on which way you're travelling...

For example

(This route appears to be the only route in the guide into Flagstaff from the east.)

(The guides use a lot of mileage markers, despite the fact that odometers were not yet standard to most cars, but odometers could apparently be added after market. )

"Route 540, from Winslow to Flagstaff-64.8 miles
Gravelly dirt and dirt roads, with about 10 miles of rocky surface. The route traverses an uninteresting prairie country and a timbered area east of Flagstaff. Note (a) furnishes an option from mileage 48.8 to Flagstaff via the Cliff Dwellings, with about equal road conditions.

Winslow, 2nd street and Kinsley Ave, bank on left. Go west on 2nd street. Cross RR 0.3

0.9 End of road, turn right along high board fence.

1.2 End of road, turn left along fence. Avoid left hand road 1.9 (Left at 1.9 leads to Sunset Pass)

6.9 Left-hand road ; turn left along RR. Thru cattle guards 9.6 19.4 Avoid left hand diagonal road 19.6

20.8 End of road, turn right, thru cattle guard 22.4

24.4 Fork; bear right

25.5 Fork; bear left Cross concrete bridge over Canyon Diable 27.3 Enter timber 38.8 Cross concrete bridge over Canyon Padre 39.7

48.8 Fork; just beyond RR pass, bear left (left-hand road just before RR underpass is note a to prehistoric cliff dwellings in walnut canyon, rejoining this route at mile at mileage 61.3)

49.2 End of road; turn left

54.8 Fork at fence corner; bear left Cross RR 59.7- 64.6 (sharp right at 58.1 is route 541 to Grand Canyon

64.8 FLAGSTAFF, sta. on left. (Garages - Babbitt's Garage, San Francisco St, diagonally opp. C.H.)"  ( I don't know what a C.H. is right now, but there's probably an explanation somewhere.)

Notations for route a to cliff dwellings include "dirt road - cross logging RR - the tourist must leave his car at the station (what station? a ranger station?) and proceed on foot to reach the dwellings"...)

Now one of the things that I have to contemplate in regards to my book, is that a more direct line from OKC to LA (the family ended their journey in Pasadena) via Pheonix (going through Pheonix seems to have been the only option at the time, I don't see anything resembling a proto- I-40 route) seems to have existed, that did not pass within 100 miles of Flagstaff, so why the diversion to Flagstaff? The parents must have heard there was work up there!  

The internet archive doesn't have every year and every region of this guide series but I'm writing this note in case anyone else is ever looking for historical directions, it might be possible to find information on the internet archive by searching for this series of books! Or you might be able to....actually buy one of these books! (I'm contemplating a purchase from AbeBooks because physical copies are so much more tactile and creatively inspiring then digital. I'll be able to know for sure how heavy the guide was, how easy it was to work with on the go...(the transcontintal guide is availible for sale through Abebooks but it's over 100$, no thanks! Volume 7 i might be able to get for $40. I could do that. I just find it amazing that this guide series is out there, and wanted to share!

P.S. another thing I've learned - The Michelin Man has been around for a long time!
1 month ago

Chris Kott wrote:Scarves are great, too, as long as they don't get caught up in machinery.


Unless you wear glasses, in which case scarves are a horrible joke played on you by well-meaning grandmas.
1 month ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:

Just some local flavor to add to your writing :)

I will definitely refer to your notes here! In fact I'm going to copy-paste them into my story note file right now. Thank-you.
1 month ago

Anne Miller wrote:

One summer, I keep my bedroom door closed the whole summer and complained that air conditioning was too cold.

I used to do that too as a kid, but again, I figured that was in part because it wasn't really really hot anyway!
1 month ago
I have experience with cars without air conditioning too, but I am in Canada, and I've only rarely experienced temperatures over 100F, which is what I was imagining for summer in Arizona, but now I am reminded that Flagstaff is high up and at least part of the trip would be at elevation! Of course, there is also the challenge in terms of routing the fact that the interstate system wouldn't exist for another thirty years.
Also thank you for reminding me that a moving vehicle creates its own 'air conditioning' with wind.
I'm expecting to handwave some details, but I am still hoping to make an educated guess at time of year...
maybe my guess of summer/early fall isn't bad after all!

I will see about contacting Flagstaff historian types directly...

P.S. ...well, I'm not intending to offend anyone living or dead on purpose anyway...
1 month ago