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    Friday, March 31, 2006

    Breakfast in Sedona

    We all got up early this morning and Brian flew us to Sedona for breakfast. I had the steak and eggs which was quite good. With so many personal pilots about, the small regional airports have nice restaurants. It was a beautiful ride up. We ate at the Airport Restaurant, never went to Sedona proper, and then flew back right after breakfast due to an increase in winds. The ride back was a bit bumpy, but also enjoyable. I'll get the videos up as soon as I can. I leave for LA (Venice) tomorrow morning. It's been a trip to say the least.

    Having a bit of trouble with two videos because they're over a hundred megs and Youtube won't host that large.

    For now:

    Takeoff from Chandler

    Flyabout from Sedona

    Flyabout from Sedona 2

    Thursday, March 30, 2006

    Helicopter Ride

    Brian took me up today in one of the training helicopters for a short 30 minute jaunt. It was quite enjoyable and reminded me how much I had wanted to be a helicopter pilot as a child. It also made me think that I'd like to be one some time in the near future as well. My eyes may not be good enough, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    We flew with the doors off, which for some reason causes people to think it is braver than with the doors on. I'm not sure how that is possible, for if we had fallen I'm not sure the doors would have been of much use to use safety wise.

    Takeoff Part 2
    Fly About

    I thought I'd taken another short movie of the landing, but alas it was not on my camera when I downloaded the photos.

    Tomorrow we're taking the plane to Sedona for breakfast. Brian will be flying, and I shall be documenting as usual. I've never taken a plane anywhere for breakfast before and doubt I will have to opportunity to do it again any time soon.

    Leg of the Third - a little bit more

    Left Flagstaff in a sleet and snowstorm and ventured 4000 feet into the desert. I got a bit worried in Phoenix when there was a seven-car pile-up on E10 and I had to sit in the sun for 45 minutes. At one point I thought I saw smoke coming from under my hood and got really uncomfortable that something bad was going to happen. Because of the sleet in Flagstaff, I had not been able to check or add oil in my car. Luckily all went well and I made it to Brian and Kelly's safely. Luckily the sleet acted as a nice pumice wash for the car and even extracted my entomological collection from the front of the car.

    Photos are here.

    This is Kona and Mogi.

    This is Brian and Kelly's home.

    Wednesday, March 29, 2006

    Leg of the Third 2.0

    It was pointed out to me that I should not name this post "Third Leg" so, I have not.

    This part of the journey was through a portion of Texas, all of New Mexico and part of Arizona. I have to say, as far as driving was concerned, that this was one of the most enjoyable bits. The traffic was extremely light as can be seen from the photos. I was a bit worried about the weather, but it ended up being simply beautiful as the storm system, held in place by the jet stream, was a wonder to behold, and much more interesting than a plain blue sky would have been for 600 miles. I did have to put two more quarts of oil in before I left the hotel, but that was no great feat.

    I do have to say that I had a scare for a bit as I used my ipod for the first time. As I pulled it from the case, it looked as though the screen had become screwed up somehow. I later figured out that these types of screens, when viewed through polarized lenses, look like the liquid crystal has bled across them. It was only after I was in my hotel and had come to grips with the destruction of the ipod that I looked at it with my regular glasses and discovered it was quite fine.

    I stayed at another Holiday Inn Express, but regardless of what the commercials purport I felt no more intelligent when I left as I did when I arrived. Plus, the wireless connection, as I said yesterday, sucked too bad to be able to make a competent post.

    I also made another movie of Texas.

    There is one of Arizona as well.

    Once again, Youtube knocked off the end of the piece so you don't hear me say "Texas" or all of "Arizona". I thought I'd added enough at the end this time, but I guess I was wrong.

    I'm now safely ensconced in my friend’s, Brian and Kelly, house with their two dogs. That was today’s leg of the journey, Leg of the Third - a little bit more. I'll post it tomorrow after I remember to get my camera out of the glove box of their car where I left it tonight during dinner at a Korean BBQ place. The community they live in is made of all of these one mile x one mile squares in a nice perfect grid. Trust me, this little Oasis runs for many miles in each direction and North.

    Tomorrow is a helicopter ride, Brian is a pilot, and Friday is a plane trip to Sedona for breakfast, weather permitting.

    Tuesday, March 28, 2006

    Leg of the third

    Don't know if today's trip will make it up tonight or not. The hotel wireless is being crappy. If it isn't up today, it will most definitely make it up tomorrow. Either way, I survived. No snickering.

    Currently watching James L. Brooks "Spanglish", which proffered this nice quote:

    “Lately honey, your low self esteem is just good common sense.”

    Flipped Channels and watched a bit of "Because of Winn Dixie", and gleamed this quote:

    A girl sitting to the left of Winn Dixie and the young girl who adopts her/him/it, spits something out of her mouth and says, "That tasted bad, it tasted like not having a job."

    Monday, March 27, 2006

    Second Leg

    Traveled today from Russellville, AR to Amarillo, TX. 521 Miles. 8 and one half hours. I did have an issue with the car. It would seem that at the high temperature of 70 Mph for 8 + hours, the viscosity of the oil is extremely thin so that it loses a good bit when I stop. I put in two quarts this morning and then picked-up three more at a Wal-Mart after filling the tank. I probably got the same mileage from the gas as I did the day before. The trip was infinitely easier due to little traffic on I-40. Minus going through the construction and big city mess of Oklahoma City, the trip was rather uneventful. I did find that I was becoming more in tune to driving all day. In that regard I enjoyed the trip more. There was a sense of solitude on this leg of the journey as well. The shift in landscape was more dramatic today as Oklahoma let into Texas. The area I traveled through at first was farmland, which eventually gave way to blackened desert. It did appear as through a fire has swept through in the last year, blackening the earth.

    I ate at La Fiesta Grande this evening. I got the Baracoa Dinner special, which was basically make your own pulled beef tacos. I discovered when I arrived back at the hotel that there was no plastic ware, but that was fine since I found a fork in the lobby at the free breakfast area, and because I had five beers and ordered the meal and only got charged $12.89. I'm pretty sure that this was due to the fact that the bartnder was ovewhelmed by a woman and her brood that would order 8 frozen margaritas, 6 virgin, at a time and wonder why it took so long to make them.

    I'll be driving across the entire state of New Mexico tomorrow. I'll probably stay somewhere outside of Flagstaff instead of going straight to my friends place in Chandler, because I've found that after 500 miles, my mind becomes numb. Chandler is 772 miles form where I currently am.

    I’m currently watching ELECTRA and feeling very sorry for everyone involved.

    Oh yeah, I made a movie out of boredom.
    Youtube cut off the end, but you get the idea.

    Thanks to a question from Anne, below is a photo of what was in the care package given to me by Breena, Mike, Angie and Bill.

    Sunday, March 26, 2006

    First Leg

    The first leg of the journey has been completed. 595 Miles. 450 miles per 3/4 tank. All accomplished in about 10 hours. I spent 8:00 – 9:00 AM having breakfast with Friends, who gave me a very nice “road bag” to take with me. I didn’t look in it until I got to the hotel and now think that it was much too much, but it is very much too late for that. Staying currently at the Russellville, AR Holliday Inn Express. What is most important to know is that I found this hotel on the Internet because it was not only the right price, but had free wireless internet access as well. Once I arrive, I also found out that it is the only hotel/place that can serve alcohol in the area, being that Pope County is a dry county. I went to the Ruby Tuesday and The Carlton Steakhouse, neither of which had a bar and came to a startling conclusion. I then went back to the hotel and entered the Dardenelle Club and lounge. I discovered the nature of the liquor license history from the bartender. I also spent most of the evening talking to the local "Cliff Claven", as well as a small petite cowboy from Northern Louisiana who talked to Cliff around me, calling him "amigo" the whole time. I also talked to a fireman and a well-versed Republican truck driver who was the most open minded of the bunch. The thing about the liquor license is that they were awarded to only three places in the county thirty years ago. No one else to this date has one. It would seem that most of Northern Arkansas is Dry. What are the odds? So if you’re in the area, I suggest you drink here, or bring your own, from another state.

    I called my parents when I got here, but the reaction from the other side felt as though they had just returned from my funeral and received a call from my ghost. I’m not sure exactly what I did, but I’ve caused more pain to them somehow than I ever wished. I was a bit detached this morning when they saw me off, and now feel bad about it. I need it however, because otherwise I would have never made it here. If I hadn’t suppressed my feelings, I never would have been able to leave today.

    Tomorrow, I will be traveling against the rain. Hoping to make Amarillo.

    Currently I’m watching HBO’s new serried “Big Love”, which I feel a bit apathetic about. There is something about it that is not engaging, bit I don’t know yet what is is. It may be Bill Paxton, but I’m not yet sure.

    Oh yeah, and then there was this in the room.

    Knoxville to Russellville

    Well, the first leg of the journey begins in about two hours as I head toward Russellville, AR. It's 594 miles for the first day of driving. I can hopefully get there around 5:00 PM.

    Friday, March 24, 2006

    Sushi - Raw Friendship to be savored

    I was exceptionally fortunate tonight to have been taken to dinner by friends. We gorged on sushi until raw fish ran from our pores. This may seem a bit fetishistic, but there is little doubt that sushi is one of my favorite things. Sushi is also, at least of any value, hard to come by here in Knoxville. Though I am a little spurious by the cut and esthetics of the offerings, Wasabi is one of the best in town, if not the best. Sometimes, however, I wish my chopsticks had a slight bow in them so that I could pick up the entire piece of sushi on one grasp. More often than not at Wasabi, the cut of fish is larger than the rice platform, which means you often leave the rice ball to a solitary fate. In the end it is taste that rules and I am very fortunate to have had that in spades when I chose my friends, or when they chose me. While I look forward, in an addled way, traveling to L.A., I do not look forward to having to rebuild the life that I have found here. If nothing else, it will be proven to me that my wandering to UNION JACKS, was a contrivance of Gods whose names and faces elude me to this day.

    If you are lazy... could have someone else print and mail your letters for you.

    This is a map of the internet (It's a link to a .pdf file that will download if clicked on.) updated by really smart people with too much time on their hands. Enjoy.

    Wednesday, March 22, 2006

    Civil War in Iraq

    I was a little hazzy on the definition.

    From Google: "define: civil war"

    A war between factions of the same country; there are five criteria for international recognition of this status: the contestants must control territory, have a functioning government, enjoy some foreign recognition, have identifiable regular armed forces, and engage in major military operations.

    A civil war is a war in which the competing parties are segments of the same country or empire. Civil war is usually a high intensity stage in an unresolved political struggle for national control of state power. As in any war, the conflict may be over other matters such as religion, ethnicity, or distribution of wealth. Some civil wars are also categorized as revolutions when major societal restructuring is a possible outcome of the conflict.

    How is this not Iraq? No really, please tell me. Of course the "functioning Government" was the one we helped put in place, but I feel really naive about the truth of this.

    I may be going out on a limb when I agree with those who feel that Iraq has been in this state for as long as two years.


    I have become restless. I was originally leaving this week, and now it isn't until Sunday. I'm bored most of the day when everyone else is out working. I'm packed and ready to go. I just have to wait now so that I can fulfill my silly time decision of arriving on April Fool's day. I read the entire internet today and have no idea what I'll do tomorrow. At least it was sunny today so I could test my new mogal specks on the road. They really work well. It's been so long that I had real sunglasses that I forgot how much my eyes really enjoy them.

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    The Last TN Monday

    I'm not sure what this means, but this is the last Monday I will be spending in Tennessee for some time. I guess that should make this a slightly different Monday, but I'm not sure how. My next Monday will be spent somewhere in Arkansas to start with and end somewhere in New Mexico most likely. Which, unless I'm mistaken, is a very odd way to spend a Monday. Oh well, no reason to dwell on it just yet. I have to find a complementary black plastic file box today to match the other three I already have. I'm traveling with a great deal of modular/stackable containers so that they will take up less space and be easier to store on the other end of the journey. I also need to pick up two more small comic boxes, which are also quite dynamic for storing things that aren't comics at all.

    Sunday, March 19, 2006


    Pretty much all of yesterday was spent watching five of my favorite films with friends. It was the brainchild of Breena of course and involved much finger food and drink. It was hard coming up with the films since I have more than five favorites. I finally settled on a combo list that was more of a flavor sampling of my tastes than an actual five-course meal. It started a little after 2:00 PM and finished slightly after 1:30 AM. I have to assume that all who attended had fun. The films that we showed, and which were graciously made a gift to me at the end of the evening were: IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, TOUCH OF EVIL, DEADMAN, WINGS OF DESIRE, and THE COOK, THE THIEF, HIS WIFE AND HER LOVER. Even for me it was a exhausting but enjoyable evening. I think the down side is that I now have a terrible crick in my neck from sitting about for almost twelve hours staring at a TV.

    There is only a week to go before I begin my journey into the uncertain West. The more I think about it the more worried I get. Of course I'll be able to find a non-industry job, I have enough confidence in my resume for that, but I don't want to have to get one. I guess I'll have a better idea of what awaits me once I get there and spend my first week trying to see old acquaintances and watching unemployed writers throw themselves in front of busses during staffing season. It will most likely be a year before I even get close to an agent, but one never knows. All I know now is that the closer it gets the more I want to curl into a small ball and roll under a table somewhere. I hear the CA sun is a great anti-depressant.

    Tools Test

    I'm testing a new tool that I added to Firefox called Performancing which allows me a more robust blogging tool that's completely integrated into Firefox. So, please ignore this while I fiddle about.

    Saturday, March 18, 2006

    St. Pat's Photos

    The photos from last night are now up on Flickr. As usual, all were taken with the Canon A610 without a flash. The lack of a flash causes the shutter speed to be extremely slow, so movement blurs.

    Friday, March 17, 2006

    St. Patrick's Day

    A few thoughts on the festivities by Warren Ellis on his blog.

    I myself am ambivalent to all of it with the exception of the fact that I'll have to arrive at the Pub and hour early just to get a seat that I will have to remain in for eight hours without peeing, or lose it. It won't be quite that bad, but close. I'm taking the camera. Drunk people wearing green are funnier somehow.

    Thursday, March 16, 2006

    Universal DNA

    Astronomers have discovered a nebula twisted into the shape of a double helix of DNA.

    While you contemplate the significance of the double helix design appearing in space, I'm going to begin packing things up, and putting things in closets, and generally getting things ready to cram into my car in a week or so.

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    The Future of Extinction has an article and accompanying map of where scientists believe future mammal extinction will occur.

    Speaking of Mammals, here is a new way to truss your roasts and tenderloins.

    To keep us off that list I recommend everyone reread the following.

    Laying Low

    Pretty much just tired at this point after 7 days of running about and seeing people. My friend Jess got home about 10PM last night and then had to spend another three + hours working on the weekly cost reports for the shoot. She was back up and on set by 8:45. I woke up around 7AM and heard her shuffling papers, the sound I left her with when I went to sleep at 1AM. I just went back to sleep so she could finish up and not worry about entertaining. I'm thinking of just staying in tonight and watching the season finale of all the SCI-FI shows, but I'll see. Jess is the last on my list minus my cousin, who I still haven't called. I'm a cad. I could also call "K" possibly, but that might be sticky so I'll probably leave it alone. This trip has made me a bit maudlin. I think I'd rather move back here than LA, but LA has greater possibilities for me at the moment.

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Attempted Breaking and Entering

    Moved this evening from my friend Steve’s place to my friend Jess’s place. Her apartment is # 3 and there are only three in the building so I went to the third floor. The keys didn’t work and I tried them many times. I then called her and in hushed voice she told me she was on set. I went downstairs and asked the nice gentleman with the very big dog which Apartment was three and it turns out to be the one on the second floor. I’ve stayed here before, but I just really didn’t remember this detail. I have therefore attempted a B and E only having been here six days. I hope the neighbors upstairs were not home, as opposed to cowering in a dark corner of their apartment with the police on the way. For this reason I am going out now to not be here should they arrive.

    [note: Of course there are four floors, but me being from the small town, I always start coun ting floors with the one I enter from the street and not the one below. So in truth there are four floors in the building, and four apartments, and hers is actually on the third floor.]


    I met with an old professor yesterday and had a nice chat. He’ll be in LA for a year in June working on a project for HBO, the nature of which I can not divulge, so I can add him to my list of contacts in what will be my relentless pursuit of fame and glory, or just a pay check. I was then to meet some people for drinks, but they bailed. I had a few anyway with my esteemed colleague George Mimms and his wonderful wife. I then traveled back to Brooklyn and had more drinks and dinner at Soda with Steve and Hronn and we watched the finale of PROJECT RUNWAY on the big screen in the back room of the bar. I was surprised by the outcome but not shattered. I’m moving to my friend Jess’ apartment tonight to give Steve and Hronn a respite from intruders until her mother arrives on the 13th. All in all it’s been a wonderful trip. I’ve seen almost everyone with exception of Nat, who seems to be with his daughter in Connecticut, and another old professor whose teaching at Barnard. I also haven’t called my cousin yet because I forgot until last night and with my plans it may be too late, but I’ll think on it. I’m currently working on Hronn’s computer to see if I can fix it from crashing SAFARI all of the time. To start I added FIREFOX to it as a back up. That’s all the news that’s fit to print for now. (Please don’t sue me New York Times)

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Stranger Than Fiction

    Larry Wachowski is now a woman. Why didn't anyone tell me before now?

    Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    Hanging out with my friend Stuart in Williamsburg. Spent yesterday walking around looking for boots for four hours. I eventually came to the conclusion that I should just order them offline. I took my camera around with me and felt like taking absolutely no photos. Went up to Columbia and felt like I was loosing money just walking through the gates. Meeting a few more friends tomorrow and one of my old teachers. I've started to feel like I'd been frozen since 2002 and recently thawed.

    Sunday, March 05, 2006

    Saturday, March 04, 2006

    Free Toilet Paper

    I arrived finally in NY an hour late due to sheer winds at LaGuardia, which kept us from taking off for an hour at O’Hare. My cab driver was one Mr. Hassan Riazul, who after receiving the instructions, “Prospect Park, Brooklyn, between Dean and Bergin, ### Carlton Ave.”, turned to me and said, “Do you know where that is?” I informed Mr. Riazul that unfortunately I had never been to that portion of Brooklyn, but was kind of hoping that he had seeing as how he was a cab driver and all. He then asked me if there was someone I could call, and I said that there was. He then had me give him the number and he himself called my friend Steve for directions. This was fortunate in a sense do to the fact that my phone had recently died.

    Safely ensconced in my friend’s apartment finally, I checked in with Mom so that she could go to bed and actually sleep, her son roaming unattended about the big city. I then received the, and I’m sure used to this as well, call from the bar where I drink to make sure I had arrived safely. It was Bob, who’d cut my hair the day before and was most likely concerned about whether his work had made it here in one piece. I joke, it’s nice to have people who care enough call, especially if they’re drinking in a bar.

    After introductions, we headed off to their local watering hole called SODA, where I drank 3 or 4 wonderful Brooklyn Lagers and had a hamburger, which was also surprisingly good. Of course I did most of the talking and they listened intently. In a very short period of time I have become quite fond of Steve’s new fiancĂ© and hope them all the best. The main point in my endearment came at the end of the evening when she stuffed a roll of toilet paper into her purse, while in the bar bathroom, so that we might all have something clean with which to wipe ourselves in the morning.

    The apartment itself is a cozy basement affair, which gives it two large windows at street level, which I have discovered as of this morning act like tympanic membranes, bringing the city fully into the room in which I am staying. I woke up more than once early in the morning thinking someone was talking to me. I also woke once afraid a truck was backing over me and then again later when I was almost positive that birds had somehow made it in.

    For breakfast this morning, I finally had a good bagel with real Lox cream cheese. Off to Williamsburg this evening to see friends.

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    NY Bound

    I'm off to NY tomorrow until the 12th of March. I'll post as much as I can. Consider this a small test of life on the road until I reach LA in a few weeks. Should arrive in NY around 6:40 PM and should attempt to post for the first time sometime on Saturday. No promises though. Hopefully I'll have access to unsecured wireless signals.

    Dear Diary

    Dear Diary,
    I'm getting a haircut today by the illustrious Bob Hyatt. And you thought there was nothing interesting enough for me to write about didn't you? Hopefully NY will supply ample fodder for your reading pleasure. I'm also going to get some trip-tiks from AAA and talk to someone about some sunglasses. Oh yeah, I'm also going to stop by my storage facility and re-up for six more months. Mmmmmm, I think that's it.