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This morning I packed up my things preparatory to attending the New Orleans noder meet, and went off to work. At the office, I wrote a message to Edward, written in Spanish, apologizing if I was being too forward and asking if he might take me to the train station this evening. I told him to definitely not be shy about saying no if he didn't want to. I then went on and said that, in case it wasn't obvious, I hoped we might become friends. And, humorously I hope, repeated that he shouldn't be shy about rejecting that plan also. I could feel the acid in my stomach roiling as my finger hovered over the send key, finally descending and perhaps altering the course of my life. (It's possible.)

An hour later, You have mail. No, my mail program doesn't really say that. He said "Sure, no problem", then asked where I was going on the train. That having dispatched the butterflies, I then broke out into a big smile when I saw the subject line of his reply. The message I had sent him had had a generic Hola for a subject; his said Hola, Amigo. I replied with a short explanation of the noder meet, then tried to get back to work, this time with my stomach feeling full of, not butterflies, but a group of puppies cavorting in a meadow surrounded by daisies. A much better feeling, but no more conducive to programming productivity :)

A half hour later, he visited my inbox again, with an invitation to lunch! I was one happy dawg, and we spent a very pleasant hour getting to know one another a bit more.

So now I'm on the first leg of my train trip, to Los Angeles, where I will catch Amtrak train number 2 to New Orleans. The train is very comfortable, clean, and well-appointed. Each seat row is accompanied by an electrical outlet, thoughtfully annotated as 120 volts in both English and Braille (which brings to mind an unhappy scenario of a shocking reading accident, which I'm sure never happens).