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I always have to look up how to spell the name of the state where I’m currently staying. How many esses? How many tees? Damn.

Massachusetts, that’s where I am, and it’s even spelled correctly, thanks to Google. I’m in the rural western Mass. countryside, collecting some data that I hope will propel me a little further toward my dissertation. I should be typing up some notes from today’s long session of hunching over a photocopy machine, but I think I’ll unwind a bit first. There happens to be a fine brewpub here in town, and the pale ale is quite good.

It’s beautiful out here; I’m staying in a little house on a hill that looks out over a broad valley in the Berkshires. The weather is cool, a welcome break from Tucson, and it’s a treat to wind through the quiet hills in the evening.

More later, including a rule of thumb for driving rental cars. Hint: Remember, in an automatic, the brake is precisely where your brain and every bit of muscle memory in your foot think the damn clutch should be. This should be rememberd in particular on freeways.