A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Fandoms, quotes, webfinds... nothing is safe.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Shifting blogs 

I have been maintaining dual blogs for a while now, waiting to see which worked best, and have decided to shift over to LiveJournal as my primary blog. It's already linked on this site.

Mainly, LJ seems to have a better setup for tracking other blogs -- to see who I read, click on the "Friends" link.
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At a campaign rally at which, as usual, he had banned Democrats from attending, President Bush said he wanted to speak to...Democrats. Wouldn't that be easier to do if he didn't toss them out of his events?

The NDOL (New Democrats Online) discusses this conundrum and the President's gall in comparing himself to Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy here.
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Monday, October 25, 2004

Radiating Accomplishment 

We spent the weekend cleaning the attic (which we use as an office) of years of accumulated clutter. Now the cd's are arranged, the videotapes are off the floor, a couple of extra chairs have been put away, and the room is actually navigable and fairly presentable.

Plus, I applied for two more jobs. Go me.

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Monday, October 18, 2004

On the Road Again 

After a pleasant break visiting new relatives in St. Louis, I headed off East again on Saturday morning. The drive was smooth -- so smooth, in fact, that I became bored with I-64 and decided to take a lesser, parallel route in Kentucky. Unfortunately, I had no map more to scale than a US map (my laptop ran out of power), and the roads that claimed to be "East" turned out to be more like SSE. After a couple of hours on twisty, pretty country roads without ever hitting a town blessed with a motel or restaurant, I decided that I had to get back closer to civilization. With the help of a passing truck driver, I headed north, ultimately rejoining I-64 about 50 miles further along and three-plus hours later.

So, I spent the night still in Kentucky, but made good time on Sunday. When I left at 7:30 in the morning, my car was covered in frost, and mist rose from the ground in lazy curls as the sun peeked over the hills. By the time I hit Charleston, WV for a breakfast of apple dumpling a la mode and sausage, the sky was a clear blue and the sun gleamed on the golden dome of the State Capitol.

I reached Staunton around 1 pm, had a quick but excellent lunch at Mrs. Rowe's Kitchen, then pressed homeward through the Blue Ridge Mountains and the rolling green hills, into the ebb and flow of DC traffic.

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Friday, October 15, 2004

Getting There 

I left my cousin's around noon, and made it to Salina (pronounced a lot like "saliva"), Kansas in time to watch the third presidential debate. The Salina Inn wasn't great -- clean, but that's all that could be said for it. And though I was on the "quiet" side, away from the freeway, I was on the side that had all of the trucks idling, then gearing up and pulling away, so I was up and on the road pretty early.

Eastern CO and Kansas seemed very alike: gently undulating terrain with the stubble of various grains, and striking, blood-colored weeds along the road, which I think were probably ironweed.

Having exhausted my supply of easily accessible cd's, I spent most of the time listening to talk radio and religious programming. The talk radio was rather unpleasant, as the hosts appeared to be fairly uniformly right-wing, and dripped with contempt when they spoke of Kerry, liberals, and the Left in general. NPR may be Democrat-leaning, but at least the tone was much more civil.

The religious programs, on the other hand, were much saner than I had anticipated. I heard only one call for funding, and mostly they were concentrating on topics like "Love thy neighbor," tolerance, and helping others.

Got to St. Louis early afternoon yesterday, and settled in with my new aunt and uncle in law. They were very kind, took me to dinner, and arranged for me to stay tonight with their daughter and her family. I will be here a couple of days visiting various newly-acquired relatives. It's a nice change of pace from all the driving.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Odyssey Continues 

I left JD's at 6:30 a.m., under a bright crescent moon with the Dawn Star hanging below. I continued on Hwy 50 all the way across Nevada. Straight dry roads with visibility extending for miles, light traffic – at one point I went up to 110 (ed: let me clarify that this speed only lasted for a few seconds), but it made me too nervous, so I spent most of my time going around 94. Got one speeding ticket just west of Austin, but the officer made it a non-moving violation, so it won’t go on my record; it’ll just cost me $67. It was just bad luck: the cop’s car was hidden behind an SUV that he’d pulled over, so I couldn’t see him in time. After that I backed off some (as I'm sure my nearest and dearest will be happy to hear).

Midafternoon, I made a brief detour to the Great Basin National Park, but the next tour of the Lehman caves wasn’t for another hour, and I was getting antsy about time, so I drove on to Torrey, Utah, rolling in to the Capitol Reef Inn just after 7pm. The scenery here is less flat desert, more undulating hills covered with bushes in a variety of fall colors. It’s quite pretty, actually.

Tuesday I spent the morning in the Capitol Reef National Park ("reef meant any obstacle to travel, and some of the big rock formations looked like the US Capitol building, apparently), driving around and doing a couple of short hikes. There were few people: on one of the most popular hikes I was alone the entire time, and when I stood still there was nothing to hear but my own breathing and the faint, scratchy hum of invisible insects.

I was most impressed by the Fremont pictographs, rock carvings made by the Fremont indians about 1000 years ago, of stylized sheep and alien-looking people with large shoulders and skinny hips.

From Capitol Reef I drove to Arches National Park. Got there about 4 and spent a couple of hours driving around and walking the shorter hikes. Arches was just spectacular – the scale, and the silence, and the massive red walls thrust up against the sky in fantastic shapes.

I spent the night in Moab, three miles south, and this morning headed off to Colorado. No stops to speak of, just driving. The scenery was quite lovely; I especially liked all of the yellow aspens along the river banks. There was some snow on the hills around the higher passes, but nothing on the ground, and it’s not terribly cold. I got to Denver about 2:30, and stopped first at the Soda Rock Diner for an ice cream sundae, then drove to the US Mint. Got there at 3:35 to find out that (a) they closed at 3:30, and (b) they wouldn’t let you in anyway unless you’d arranged it with your congressman 3 weeks in advance – a detail not mentioned in my guidebook. Sigh. So I drove on to Ft. Collins, and found my cousin's house around 4:45. We had a pleasant evening catching up, but he was visibly suffering from a cold, which I most sincerely hope not to catch.

So, on to Kansas.
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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Heading Cross Country 

After a couple of wonderful days with my folks in California, this morning we packed my harp and a small ton of other assorted belongings into my car, and at 1 pm I headed out. I've always wanted to go across country (though going alone wasn't part of the dream), and I'll be seeing parts of the country I've only flown across. All in all, I'm pretty excited.

This afternoon I drove through rolling hills and the vineyards of the Carneros Valley, into the flat, brown section around Sacramento, where I took Highway 50 up into the foothills and then through the granite peaks of the Sierras, finally coming down into South Lake Tahoe. I tried to take a picture at the stateline, but the light was green, so I headed on around the Lake, finally ending at JD's house in Incline Village. Just under 200 miles -- a light day, but a good start.

Tomorrow I'll be heading out at 4:30. In the morning. Hmmm....
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Sunday, October 03, 2004

The Key Trilogy 

In a weak moment at the local library, I checked out Nora Roberts' Key trilogy. I've skimmed my way through the first two, Key of Knowledge and Key of Light, and expect to read the third only because I'm anal that way. The books are hack jobs -- retreads of various plots and characterizations that she's used over the last 50 or so of the romances she's churned out. I really genuinely liked Roberts' early work, but I think that she long ago ran out of new characters, and now she just assembles them piecemeal, one characteristic from column A, another from column B. I stopped buying her books several years ago, but I've just gotta stop reading them altogether; they're just dreck.
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