Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Oldest son was home for last weekend, bringing a friend at the last minute. We always enjoy having him around of course but the Sunday night run to Seton Hall is not a fun as it first was. This last trip was made more interesting with a combination of the Credit Card on the EZ-pass expiring unexpectedly and then me forgetting about it until the last minute.

As everyone was in the car ready to go, I was frantically trying add $25 to the account over the internet on the world's slowest computer. Of course the pressure was too much and I fat fingered the information the web site was asking for and it took so long that they sent a search party up to look for me.

Of course finding me on the computer when everyone was in the car led to my wife doing her district attorney on cross examination impression. "What are you doing?","Why the hell did you wait until now?", "Use that card, no the other card" etc etc. There was cursing.

I also had about $4 in cash. Not really enough to make to South Orange and back.

Finally it added $25 to the EZ-Pass account and we were off.

Everything was good until entering the NJ Turnpike on the EZ-Pass lane showed a "LOW BAL" from the EZ-Pass sign. Great. What does that mean? Did it take my $25 and not update the account? Is the account updated but not reconciled with the NJ Turnpike?

I had about $6 on the account before the attempted replenishment. Is that enough to make it to Exit 11 and back? I have no idea how much the toll is. I usually have EZ-pass and that just sort takes care of it. What, I have to get a paper ticket now like the great unwashed? Never! Sit in line? Not after enjoying the benefits of whooshing through the EZ-Pass lane for so long.

I decide I'm going through EZ-Pass hell or high-water but of course I have an hour and half to mull it over. Should just go to and ATM and get money? What I paid one of my dollars on the GSP? Are there back roads?

I used the blasted EZ-Pass all along the way and it just kept saying "PAID EZ-PASS LOW BAL" like it was "PC LOAD LETTER".

Here's a "sign" of the recession: A large number of the large outdoor advertising billboards on the NJ Turnpike were blank. I'm assuming that meant they could find no advertisers. They were all lit up and perfectly white.

It was wierd.

We made the whole trip in exactly 3 hours. I was falling asleep at the end so I purposely got on I-295 just to keep me awake. It's like a washboard and the excitement of a bumpy road was enough to keep me up.

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