To Rochester NY for more shopping! And more shopping! And even more shopping!!! We went to the “Land’s End Inlet” which is actually a misnamed outlet store. It was disappointing; many of our desired items were not on sale. Then to Wegman’s grocery store to stock up on chicken and butter and other stuff that costs much more in Canada because they don’t abuse undocumented Hispanic serfs to keep their prices down. When we visit the States, we usually return with more butchered chicken carcasses than is permitted for “personal use” importation, but they never search our car so we get away with it.
We were about to get back on the highway when I remembered that I had wanted to go to Wal*Mart to return a multifunction digital watch that BIL #1 had given me for Christmas. I already have a digital watch and the gift watch’s face is too large for my taste. But I couldn't return it at Wal*Mart Canada because the two companies have separate computer systems, so neither the UPC nor the code on the gift receipt would register there. The Wal*Mart clerk in Rochester thought my story was a little hokey (and Christmas 2009 was a long time ago), but it helped that BIL #1 had sent watches to both me and Kid #2 and the clerk could see that Kid #2 was wearing his. So she gave me an in-store credit and we went around buying stuff to use it up.
The New York Thruway offers public Wi-Fi at all rest stops. That’s not so unusual these days but I hadn’t tried the other turnpikes. To get on the Internet, you have to click past a landing page that asserts the right of the State of New York to monitor your activities and refuse service to anyone for any reason. But they don’t ask for ID! This shreds all the RIAA’s arguments that it should be considered a crime to have household Wi-Fi that isn’t protected by password. Really, the only reason to restrict access to your home Wi-Fi is so that you can’t defend yourself against an RIAA lawsuit by claiming that the songs were downloaded by some random passer-by without your knowledge. If they really cared about child porn, they wouldn't let you just show up at a rest area and download it without a trace. But music takes too long to download so the RIAA doesn't care about rest areas, just libraries (where you have to show ID to surf the web).
The Thruway accepts Canadian currency at a steep discount of 10% off face value (the exchange rate would suggest a 6% discount) but they insist on giving change in American money. The bridge into Canada accepts American money at face value but insists on giving change in the same currency. So it seems to be impossible to leave the USA without some leftover American coinage in one’s pocket—the Good Lord knows I tried!
We arrived home to find that our second freezer was operating properly and was ready to receive all the chicken carcasses. It had been malfunctioning for months. The temperature control was broken and the cooling system just ran continuously, creating a −25°F environment that was too cold for ice cream. I had taken the freezer to our local electrical shop for repair a couple of days before the trip, but the repairman had other things to do (like attend a funeral) so I didn’t get it back until the morning of our departure.
All’s well that ends!
(This completes the “Mass. Trip '10” series of posts.)