Monday, September 29, 2008

My Old Blog

My old blog site is still available (probably for another 6 months) but I won't be adding to it anymore. It has my sailing-related stories for the last year and it basically chronicles my decision to do the cruising lifestyle, my learning experiences, and a couple of adventures.

For those interested go to: and click on Blog.

Eventually this blog will acquire stories you can all laugh at. Its almost inevitable since I do dumb things when I get on the water.

T Minus 4

Two things of note yesterday.

In the morning I had my old house cleaner come by to give my house decent cleaning before I left. Since I'm a little low on cash we came to an agreement, she can take most of the stuff in the house that I hadn't sold.

This was good for me in several ways. I was mostly going to have to just throw things away that I couldn't sell, but now she would take them out of the house for me. Also, I got the yard done which was sort of a big deal. My neighbors tend to call the city on me when weeds get over 6 inches. Since I'm leaving in a couple days but the house is still in my name, I'd get fined from the city if I didn't take care of it. It should be good now for a few months... long enough for it to sell, anyway.

However, she wasn't supposed to take things I needed for the next few days. I *thought* we had went over this pretty well, but she still managed to take all my towels, my shower curtains, and my cat's litter box before I could notice. Grr. Very frustrating.

Ironically, I'm sure she won't understand the value of much of the things she took. For example, one box had a bunch of cabling in it. There were at least 3 HDMI cables in there (each cost about $80), a cable that allows multiple computers to share a monitor and keyboard (about $90) and some high-end speaker cable which runs about $9 a foot. I'd be surprised if she didn't just throw it away.

The other event of the day was the last Dubliner open-mic I'll probably ever get to attend. It was a really fun night too. My sister Jamie and her roommate Heather came by. Jacob brought his piano and, with some help from Dave Russell, we played "The Night They Drive Old Dixie Down", "Magnolia", and "Desperado". I think it sounded really good.

Krystal gave me the gift an extra song! :) The list for the night got a little full and she have folks play only 2 songs instead of 3. I gave her a pouty face she caved in and let us do 3 since it was my last time. Billy Brett also gave me a CD of some of his old material. I'm listening to it as I type this... its really cool!

I'm really going to miss this stuff.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

T Minus 5

There are quite a few things I'll miss when I leave. When you've been rooted in one spot for 22 years (I moved to Phoenix in 1986) you tend to make plenty of connections to people and things.

I think the #1 thing I will miss is the music scene. There's something about performing with people that gives an extra little connection. Not only will I miss the people I've played with, but the act of playing music too. I've probably connected with more people in the last 3 years than I did during my many years of playing in the SCA.

Not to say I won't miss friends I made in the SCA though. Since the SCA was my first social activity I took up in Phoenix, the friends I've made there have been around the longest. However, people in general are probably what I'll miss the least since I'm sure we'll still be in contact.

I doubt I will miss the desert. I've never really been a fan of Arizona. I've always preferred the ocean to brown shrubbery and ratty-looking palm trees. I admit there are sometimes some spectacular vistas to be had, especially in New Mexico, but all in all I'm just a water person.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Good Sailing Books

For an idea about what my plans might entail a good book is "Maiden Voyage" by Tania Abei. The book is an autobiography of when Tania sailed around the world by herself when she was only 18 years old. Its very good reading. I don't think my adventures will be quite as harrowing as hers, but many of the places I intend on going are places where Tania went during her circumnavigation.

A book I am currently reading is called "Blue Latitudes" by Tony Horwitz which is an interesting look into Captain James Cook and his voyages of discovery during the late 1700s. Captain Cook is responsible for most of the charts in the South Pacific (some of which were still in use as recently as 1990). The author pointed out something really interesting to me... the original Star Trek series is largely based Cook's adventures. Cook sailed into previously uncharted waters looking for new territories. He went ashore with landing parties comprised of his doctor, a scientist, and some red-jacketed marines. Even the famous line from Star Trek "to boldly go where no man has gone before" is very similiar to a quote in Cook's journal.

T Minus 7

Seven more days until I leave Phoenix and head towards Florida, the first stop on my new, more adventurous life.

For the last few days I have been fretting over the route I'm going to take to get to Florida. The quickest route is I-10 all the way across the country. However, there are two factors which pointing me to a different path. First, I-10 runs through Houston which is still reeling from the hurricane season. I've already been through a town that was devastated by a hurricane (Punta Gorda, Florida only 2 days after Charley ripped through it in August, 2004) and I don't really look forward to seeing that suffering. Secondly, my mother would like me to visit her in Arkansas.

I think I've found an ideal route. It's not efficient, but its a route I've never driven before and that is almost as important as achieving my objects. The first few days of my adventure should begin by discarding the "optimum path". If I had more money I'd probably take a less direct route... something that let me see even more of the country I am soon departing. Alas, money is still a factor in my life.

Anyhow, I celebrated my coming departure with some former co-workers and friends this evening at the Tilted Kilt. It was great to see them again. Its a little sobering to think I'll probably never see most of them again. We had some drinks, ate a light dinner, and jawed about movies, work, and life. Same thing we would have done if I weren't going off to see the world. I rather like that... while the topics may have been trivial they struck me as "more real". Kind of like eating comfort food.