Saturday, July 09, 2011

Launch Crowd

How many people were at the final space shuttle launch yesterday?  I don't know, upwards of a million I hear.  I got there almost five hours before the launch took place, so I had to find a way to occupy my time.  Rather than counting all the people, I started counting cars.  Well, sorta.  I decided to put my camera to good use and started collecting license plates.  I thought I might be able to get all fifty states, but I didn't quite make it.  Alaska and Hawaii were two of the expected no-shows, but I also failed to find a few others that were a whole lot closer.  No DC or Puerto Rico, either, but I did get two Canadian provinces.  Let's take a look...

1. Alabama-Some states were easy pickin's, like Alabama.  It borders on Florida, and it has a huge space industry, so they were everywhere.  I tried to find the most interesting one I could, and this firefighter plate was it.
2. Arizona-This was one of the last ones I found late in the day.  Arizona was a long drive, but probably not the longest.
3. Arkansas-That's not too far away. There's a diamond on there for the only diamond mine in the US, and it's a national park You can go there and try to mine your own diamonds.
4. California-Now that's a long drive, but still not the longest.
5. Colorado-The heat at the launch must have been murder on these poor folks.  They even have snow-capped peaks on their plates.
6. Connecticut-Wherever possible, I tried to get vanity plates, or at least something out of the ordinary.  I'm not sure if this was a human driven car or not.  I, for one, welcome out new robot overlords.
7. Delaware-Does Delaware have anything other than plain plates?  I don't think I've ever seen anything other than this color scheme.
8. Florida-I had my pick of Florida plates, so I went with a Gator plate.  Go Gators!
9. Georgia-No idea what he meant by Faction.  I tried to find a Gator plate from Georgia (they do make them), but I couldn't.
10. Idaho-All they have to push with their plates is potatoes?  Come on...
11. Illinois-Boring...
12. Indiana-Still pretty boring.  These 'In God We Trust' plates really proliferated after 9/11.  I guess people didn't trust in God much before that...
13. Kansas-This appears to be the only plate I shot twice, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.  I thought there's be more duplicates, but I seem to have done a pretty good job of remembering what I had shot and what I hadn't.
14. Kentucky-Another good vanity plate.  If memory serves, this was on a Honda Insight.
15. Louisiana-Is it just me, or do Louisiana plates look an awful lot like California plates?
16.  Maine-Lobster.  Figures.  We have lobsters here in Florida, too, but they don't have the big claws like that.  I guess they fight less down here.
17. Maryland-Entropy, eh?  Chaos.
18. Massachusetts-Another state with boring plates.
19. Michigan-When I was little, the only colored plates you saw were Michigan, and they were blue.  Nowadays, every state seems to have every color.  Hard to tell at a glance what you're looking at.
20. Minnesota-Maybe if we use out imagination, this could be a vanity plate.  Perhaps there were 176 girls in this car.  Maybe.
21. Mississippi-Is DN an RN, or is DN married to RN?  I guess we'll never know...
22. Missouri-Show me something more exciting that this one.  At least there's a little bird on there, but why is it hidden and small?
23. Nevada-The west coast turned out to be well represented.  I thought those would be hard to find, but I think I got all but the northern plains and rockies.
24. New Jersey-Ha!  Jersey represents with a nice vanity plate.
25. New Mexico-As far as I remember, this was the only plate from New Mexico I saw, and I was pretty excited when I found it.  I guess I'm pretty easily excited.
26. New York-Another good vanity plate from New Jersey's neighbor.
27. North Carolina-A surfing plate from the East Coast?  That's just wrong.  You may as well have a NASCAR plate from Pennsylvania.
28. Ohio-Ohio is a pretty common plate in Florida.  During the winter at certain spots, I think they outnumber Florida plates.  I'm serious...
29. Oklahoma-This is a big improvement over the old 'Oklahoma is OK' plates.
30. Oregon-This makes two of the three west coast states.  Did I find a Washington?  You'll just have to wait and see...
31. Pennsylvania-Yes, folks, it's a NASCAR plate from Pennsylvania.  Sigh...
32. Rhode Island-I cheated just a little on this one.  All the other plates were on parked cars, but I saw this one while driving out of town afterwards.  I knew I needed it, so I shot it as he drove by.  Then I drove by him, then he drove by me, etc, etc, as I sat in traffic for two and a half hours.
33. South Carolina-Yes, I know you can't read it, but it says South Carolina on the bottom of the plate.  Trust me.
34. Tennessee-Probably my favorite of the fancy plates, but likely not a favorite of police officers who are trying to read it.
35. Utah-This plate has been on this car for a while if it really came out in 96.  Here in Florida, they send you a new plate every few years whether you need it or not.  I guess the license plate people need something to do.  Do convicts still make plates?  I doubt it.
36. Virginia-This was the only plate whose owner I spoke to.  He was sitting there outside the car, so I asked for permission before I shot it.  He told me it was his wife's plate.  It was a bright yellow New Beetle, in case you're curious.
37. Washington-And here's the last of the west coast states.  Didn't think I was going to get them all, did you?
38. West Virgina-I put this in the same category as the 'In God We Trust' plates, very popular after 9/11, but not so much before.
39. Wisconsin-Last but not least, this is Wisconsin.  I thought I was going to get to 40, but I guess not.  Now, what states am I missing?  Alaska and Hawaii, obviously, North & South Dakota, Vermont, Montana, New Hampshire, I'm drawing a blank here on the last four...  While I'm thinking about that, how about those two Canadian provinces I mentioned.
Not just plain old Manitoba, but Friendly Manitoba.
And Ontario, another common sight here in Florida.  Now what other states am I forgetting about?  Wyoming?  Iowa (I'm cheating now and looking at a list...), Texas.  Wait a minute?  How did I not shoot a Texas plate?  They were everywhere!  Texas has a huge space industry, so they came out in droves.  Surely I shot one of those...  Nope, I guess not...  Somehow I suspected while I was shooting that I would overlook something simple, and there you have it.  Does this count as messing with Texas?  I hope not.  That leaves one more state...  Nebraska.  There, that's all fifty, of which I shot 39 and saw one more but didn't shoot it.  Not a bad haul, and a good indicator of just how many people came out for the big show.


SRQ said...

Well done! Love all the plates. Good find with the Gator plate. But....what about South Dakota? They have Mt. Rushmore on their plates.

Uncreative said...

Cute comment on MO. FYI. Minnesota plates stay with the vehicle for life, even when sold to another individual. Indiana and Virginia and maryland all have an assortment of cute plates. MD ones can show a farm house or crane on the bay. :)

Auntie Knickers said...

Great group of plates! The Maine one may be from one of our neighbors, since our plates end in ABE. They are lobster plates too -- you pay an extra $15 a year and it goes for lobster research. Since my cousins are lobstering still, we decided to support this local industry. Other choices include wildlife, the U of Maine (Orono), the U of Maine system (elsewhere), family farms, breast cancer research, pet adoption, and as veterans we could get special plates also. And there are probably more. Thanks also for Christmas in July!

ez said...

Hilarious! We here in MO get a new plate design every few years--it gets irritating.

Muff Diver said...

I'd be real impressed had you gotten Hawaii, and some of the Territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Chamorro, etc. (I may have missed a few...)

Anyways, a driver would need a James Bond-type mobile to drive from Guam (or Samoa) to Florida. And we haven't mentioned the Panama Canal tolls, which would be exorbitant for single drivers!