day 15
rhode island

"Hey! Giant strawberries on a truck!" -k.
home...   map...   photos...   contact us...     visit our giftshop!
Rhode Island:
Nickname: The Ocean State
Land Area: 1,045 sq. mi.
Highest Pt.: Jerimoth Hill
Height: 812 ft.
Population: 987,000
Capital: Providence
Largest City: Providence

Claim to Fame: The largest collection of mansions this far north of Beverly Hills. We drove along saying Wowwwww.

Monument Defacement of the Day
The Vampire State:
Rhode Island is known as the vampire capital of America. Researchers have documented at least five deaths attributed to the vampire myth in the early settlement days.

By the 1800s. when embalming practices finally reached rural areas, the idea of digging up bodies to suck their blood clearly lost appeal and the 'vampires' died of starvation.

An Open Letter to Kinko's
Sept 10 - I must start by saying that before today, I've never come out of a Kinko's with a sense of accomplishment. Most times that I've resorted to Kinko's in the past (that is, as a last resort), I've generally left the store with the same feeling as one would after a game of Three Card Monte. Let me start at the beginning.

My first experience at a Kinko's was almost four years ago. We were in Los Angeles just in time for Spring Internet World (it semi-coincided with a Microsoft non-interview, a story in itself) and needed copies of our resume, as well as a place to search for jobs in the area. Someone suggested Kinko's. Little did I know how awful it would truly be.

Computer time was $12/hour, or "only 20 cents a minute" as the marketing team had discovered. Faxes were two dollars for the first page, one dollar for each additional page. Print outs were 50 cents. And the employees were DUMB. Dog dumb.

At Starbucks, you can pay up to six dollars for a coffee, a rip off in its own right, but it's a definite cut above your average Joe. Six dollars might be a little steep, but if you like paying more for higher quality, at least you can taste the quality.

At Kinko's, there we were paying $12 (and that's American!) for the same Internet I can get in Canada for less than half. It was the same speed, same bandwidth, and with dumber hired help. I mean, these people were flat out dumb. Dumb as a friggin' stick.

And something would always go wrong. The connection would fail, or the printer wasn't working, or the fax machine was out of paper. And of course, the employees were dumb (and I mean dumb), so they had no idea how to fix the error. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly), the only machine in the joint that worked consistantly well was the cash register.

I remember being charged over $20 for a couple hours' work one dismal afternoon. For a frame of reference, you can get a month of unlimited Earthlink web access for less. I also locked my keys in the car. That was a bad day.

I never entered another Kinko's again to this day. Over four years. That's how much I had been scarred by Los Angeles.

We entered the Newport Kinko's with much hesitation. We knew we were nearly out of the flimsy business cards we had made in Grand Manan, and were hoping to get (a) more (b) on card stock. If we couldn't fulfill (b) we would be happy enough with (a).

To cut to the chase, we were very pleasantly surprised. A half hour later, we walked out of there with 300 photocopied and cut business cards, only $9 poorer, and a feeling of success. The staff, though not necessarily described as friendly, at least were knowledgeable and helpful, and they got the job done.

Perhaps it is a case of hiring practices differing from one coast to the other, or perhaps Kinkos across the country have cleaned up their act and flushed out the employees with IQs under 70. Whatever the case, we would like to thank the Newport Kinko's for re-establishing our faith in Corporate America

And to the employees of the LA Kinko's, I wish you all a successful future in the fast food industry.

Kevin Beimers

rhode trip...




more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Rhode Island

Next Stop: Providence

see the full map...

Today's Weather:
Dog eat dog weather.

Daily Stats
Gas: $17.00
Oily Men: 4
Postcards Sent: 16
Zip Code: 02840

Sleeping Quarters
Fisherman's Mem. S. P.

Site Number. This is only the second place we've ever arrived at after dark. It's also the second place we've paid for in dimes and nickels. We took so long counting our change that the guy gave us the resident rate.

Cost: $8.00

North of Highland
Both:Atlantis Special Edition Cereal
Parking Lot
Seekonk, MA
Shared:Leftover Beach Fire Chili
Fisherman's Memorial
K's Order:Leftover Chili
A's Order:Atlantis Cereal

© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Vampire info brought to you by Eccentric America.