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G'day all.

Today the printer brought along fifty gorgeous crisp issues of E2SENCE: The Magazine of E2. It's only 16 pages, but stuffed full with great nodes by such illustrious authors as Dannye, Myrkabah, doyle, Jet-Poop and many more. While spartan, I think the design has worked well, and I have to thank Oolong for some great suggestions. As stated before, this issue 0 is more proof of concept than anything. It was made to show that nodes can be transferred from one medium to the other without losing to much content and context.

To quote Albert Herring from a catbox remark he made:

"it's not a commercially viable proposition. At best it's some weird non-paying vanity press operation."

I am quite comfortable with that notion. If this goes down like a lead balloon, I will have lost a little bit of money but will have enough issues to stuff my waiting room full with them. If it works well and people want more (to give to their friends and relatives or sell them) and make this a regular thing that can be passed on to the real world (tm): even better.

Last point: how do you get them? Well, I checked with the local post office, and postage is ca 2 US$. So, for 2 bucks you'll be getting a lovely piece of print delivered to your doorstep. If you want one, send an email to e2sence@mac.com and I'll discuss the many ways you can pay the postage.

Again, thank you all for your help and great suggestions.


Trip to the island: I've fixed something that was broken. After years of avoiding this island, I finally made my first trip down here. So odd, being so attracted to geography and family history, yet harboring irrational fears for that place. Completely unfounded. I was surprised at how much i felt at one with this land. We drove around until we found a little shack with seafood, and I stuffed myself silly on scallops until I had to be rolled out to the rental car. I miss the ocean terribly.

The wedding at Thatched Cottage was wonderful. It seems like we never get together as a family so much anymore. Most if not all of my exclusion from these people is a construct in my own mind. I get busy doing busy things, and stuff like family so quickly falls off the table, completely unnoticed. It was a beautiful ceremony, and even more so once the microphone was turned on. It was windy, hot, and hazy the whole day, but the rain managed to hold off until the next day. The food was excellent, and we were surrounded by it the entire time; legions attacking our vulnerable diets.

Traveling Upstate: My sense of direction wasn't quite as keen when forced against the streets of Queens. Not that we were lost, mind you. We just took a slightly more scenic route to get through the city. Again, echoes of other places that I've lived fill in the blanks. When we finally beat the city back long enough to make it across the triborough, I navigated through the Bronx quickly and efficiently, making our way to the Taconic in short order. Redeeming points all around.

We logged some baby time, siting out in lawn chairs out back. Poor little thing got a sunburn, and we huffed indignantly at our own inaction. There will be another baby soon. Coming this December to a little brother near you: greatly expanded credit card debt racked up at the baby store. As a distanced spectator, the spectacle of another baby is alluring. The kids will be close enough in age that sneaking them into bars together when they're older won't be too much of a challenge.

Others gave the impression or apprehension and fear over these new developments. I didn't have the heart to break down the subtle repeating of history to anyone other than my wife. Everyone had a hard time of things, but we all got there in the end. I never imagined that life springing anew would lead to such strange reactions, even as I can understand them rationally. Hiding 700 miles away now is not as much of an issue as it seems when I am sitting in my cube at work.

A day of complicated travel connections: Breaking down a chunk of the eastern seaboard, old school style. Up at five, and already had everything packed. Threw things in the car, followed by a frantic departure in the bare light of the early morning. Three hours to drive down the valley. We smoked in the rental car like chimneys the whole way down, blazing past the Catskills as the obstacle they are at the moment. Traffic right before the Tappan Zee slowed us slightly, but we made up time by making good route decisions on the eastern side of the river. We arrived LaGuardia well before we expected, which left us plenty of time for goodbyes. Promptly got into a fight with a bus driver who seemed to arbitrarily decide that he's not going to deal with any cash on the bus. Another ten minutes spent running around the American terminal, trying to find a Hudson's so I can slap down way too much money on a Metrocard. Q33 to the E to Penn Station. I carried my suitcase combination like a champion, knocking people out of the way with the pointy corners. I am a professional public transit passenger.

Hopped on the Acela down to Philadelphia. Grabbed a seat all to myself, which was unexpected and wonderful, but was still unable to get an ounce of sleep on the train. I arrived at 30th Street Station before I knew it was coming up, and then whisked myself off in a cab to meet up at the office. Jumped in the rental and drove back into Jersey to see the client.

I'm not too much of an embarrassment: It took me the first day to realize that, no matter what I do, I am going to be "that weird guy." As soon as this epiphany washed over me, everything else on this trip became considerably easier. I politely and stealthily took a step back out of conversations on television and movies. I took the time to show some folks from the client how to use chopsticks, or explain in detail how it is I ended up with a maiden name. I sipped my drink, ate an excessive amount of corporate-purchased food, and let the folks run on ahead of me. It's just as well. I wasn't under any delusions: I was but an observer to this little dance.

I took full advantage of the hotels. King size beds all to myself, laying there with a bucket of ice on the bedside table for no other reason than the ready availability of the ice machine. I spent two hours ironing three shirts, paranoid that folks working for the client would snicker at the guy with the rumpled shirt. My paranoia was for nothing, as things went fine. I learned a lot, and I guess that was the ultimate goal in the first place.

I don't mind flying in airplanes, it's the airports I can't abide: A week worth of traveling made me weary and homesick to an extent, so I left early to make sure that I got on my flight on time. Had a really shitty cheese steak at the airport, which bruised my soul a little. I was so early that I was able to get on an earlier flight, only to sit out on the tarmac for two hours, watching other planes land and take off. My only comfort was the cute babies sitting across the isle from me, and an Archos loaded up with every episode of The Fast Show. Which was nice.

Hitting Chicago airspace from the southeast was a new approach, and the thunderstorms over the lake only made me slightly scared for my life. We came in on a sharp, steep approach, touching down at a speed I personally considered unsafe. As I'm not an pilot, I defer my judgment to those in the know, and we did survive after all so it wasn't so bad in retrospect. Fought through baggage claim to retrieve my bags full of goodies nicked from the Four Seasons, and onto the el for the final leg home. Lugging bags through the el station made people step back in fear. I am a professional public transit passenger.

A little late, but finally I have a few minutes ...

Part The First - the packing and move out

There were boxes, many many boxes - we started with 24 + whatever was already in the storage closet (perhaps another 30) and ended up with over 100. These were all filled during my non-working week, which made me doubly glad I only did a 7-day notice sort of thing. It took just about the entire week, with repeated trips to Office Max for more boxes, bubble wrap and tape. I got a little smarter this time and didn't spare the bubblewrap; it made the entire process a bit more streamlined.

About 5 days into packing I was just about ready to be done with everything, but it was not to be. On Saturday, our scheduled packing day, the movers walked in, took one look at our apartment, one look at our 16' foot truck and promptly declared that fitting everything in was plain impossible. A stroke of luck enabled us to obtain a 26' truck that day and reschedule movers for the next, so we ended up with only a one day delay.

We set out Monday around 10, after ~3 hours spent packing up the remainder of our stuff, throwing out the rest, and cleaning up the apartment. Finally, all was packed, the car was up on the trailer (the trick to those things is to take a flying leap onto the tongue, otherwise it won't seat/unseat correctly) and .... we almost finished right there as I was unable to take the very first corner in the (now) articulated truck. Only thanks to Joan's great piloting skills I was able to reverse and re-attempt the turn. After that we were finally off.

Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana (May 28, 2007)

We did the entire width of Minnesota and North Dakota on day one. For obvious reasons, I don't recall much of it, except that we passed the same people numerous times, and vice versa. After getting used to the 55 mph limit the miles were slowly eaten away and progress was made - but I don't remember much of North Dakota. The most tricky part was getting used to the perceived delay between the car's drifting and it actually occurring - it's not that it does drift, it's that you're so much farther away from the road in a rig that you can't tell it's happening until you're on (either left or right) line. So you tend to overcompensate, which flings you to the other line. Repeat until you figure out that you really need to make fine adjustments just like in any car ... it took most of the day to sort that out!

We crossed the border and started getting loopy late in the evening, but at least before that we got to enjoy the tallest metal sculpture in North Dakota and a 2 hour long sunset, courtesy of a steady 55mph westward. It was the best part of ND, really :D Then we found out that the Glendive, MT hotel was teeny tiny teeny with no space for trucks and a closed office - after much hysterical giggling all was resolved and we passed out almost instantly. The hotel was quaintly intriguing, and there was a whirlpool of DOOOOOOOM circling endlessly in its indoor pool. Eerie.

Montana (May 29, 2007)

Montana is wide - so wide that, having crossed three states the day before we only managed about 9/10s of Montana alone. It was a much more exciting terrain however, with lots of ups and downs and engine-assisted braking and runaway truck ramps. We finally got to pass a few people on the uphill - the rigs can coast downhill easier than the Penske 26' - they have the intermediate gears whereas the Penske goes from 4th at 60mph to 2nd at 30mph - a nice 45 would be too much to ask, I guess. So yeah, they caught us up and passed us on the downhill and flats, but hey - we finally got to pass. For Montana coolness, see the pictures - but in short we passed through desert, forests, foothills, snowy mountains, forested hills and some more plains and valleys. Tons and tons of variety.

In Montana we also realized we achieved civilization - you can buy booze in grocery stores and gas stations, and the local Famous Dave's (MEAT!) had 11 West Coast (and thus somewhat local) beers on tap. That's just inconceivable in Minnesota - if you get one local brew you can consider yourself lucky. The Best Western in Missoula was fully loaded, had several parking places for rigs, an excellent breakfast and a fantastic quality bed with soft, soft sheets. We slept far better than the first night, but it helped that the drive was shorter and we weren't as contorted at the end of it.

Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon (May 30, 2007)

We got an early start since the bed was so comfortable (a very good night's rest); we actually beat the other Penske truck in heading out. Naturally he passed us several hours later ...

Crossing the ridges into Idaho was exciting again as was most of Idaho - I see now why the state wanted to lay claim to that thin (only 73 miles wide) strip of land up in the Rockies. There is a huge lake at Coeur d'Alene surrounded by beautiful forested mountains; not something a state would want to miss out on. After Idaho the land slowly flattened out and Washington became an almost completely flat desert complete with scrub grass, wind generators and dust clouds on the horizon. The occasional freestanding water only emphasized the emptiness since it was more often than not surrounded by a very sparse prairie - no oases here!

Since we were coming into Oregon from the east it was likewise arid and flat but in a few hours that changed quite drastically. When Mount Hood popped up on the horizon we cheered a bit, but it wasn't until Multnomah Falls that the first Holy Shit was dropped. That waterfall is really amazing, and it only got prettier, greener and more exciting after that. After Portland we thought we would have an easy drive and we would have except for ... our landlord who decided to provide a dose of stress by claiming he would only wait exactly 2 hours for us. Considering we were going into the 35th hour of driving and were pretty loopy, this sounded somewhat insane - Portland to Eugene at the mandated 55mph is right around 2.2 hours, and the amount of traffic on the road wasn't exactly up to us. In any case, we ended up getting there just fine, but the stress of wondering whether he'd still be there when we arrived (and if not, what the hell do we do?) was entirely unnecessary. So yeah, thanks for that.

In any case, we got in just fine, parked the big bad yellow outside our cottage, had a conversation the contents of which I completely fail to recall, pumped up the air mattress and collapsed.

Guess I need to update my profile and EMAR to reflect the new location, huh? Hello Oregon noders!

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