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The Trip

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08.23.2k3

I have a final piece of audio for you. I really wish I could have created the same quality (well, I thought it was quality) recording that I did with the first one, but I just couldn't do it. The things I think about happen so fast that it would be impossible to put them into words or intelligible audio. Nevertheless, here's the [OGG] and [MP3].

08.03.2k3

It's way hotter here in WA than it should be. I'm quite disappointed. I expected lots of rain and generally bad weather. I'm at vvx's pad and will be heading back to my Dad's place (near Chico, CA) in the next day or two. It's also possible I might haul ass back to Tahoe to run into a friend of mine before he leaves. His sister got married ('gratz Melissa) yesterday, and I would like to hang out with him for a day or two before he goes back home (CT). Then back to my Dad's place for a week. However, all this means I'm going to be light on the internet connection for the next week or two. I might be able to hop on Wulf's network while I'm in Tahoe. If time permits. We'll see.

08.01.2k3

A not so serious update today... If you take a look at the map you'll see I had an amazingly boring voyage from IN to MT. My friends I was supposed to run into in NE and MT were both unavailable! Mike in Omaha is working sixteen hour days (filling in for the boss), and has no time for messing around. Sean in MT is on the road somewhere (he's a truck driver). He used to be at home in MT over the weekends, and I thought I had timed my arrival perfectly (it's Friday and I'm in Billings, MT), but apparently he just left his home YESTERDAY, for a few weeks. BTW, Wyoming is the absolute most boring state there is. If you find yourself in a situation where you are forced to drive through WY, you're better off shooting yourself in the head. I think Wyoming is a candidate for my second Most Hated State (it's going to take a lot to steal the throne from Oregon).
Today was pretty much a waste. I stayed the night in Casper, WY yesterday, and I messed around in Billings, MT so much today that it was too late to do any travel by the time I was done with my errands. However, I managed to get my tires rotated, but that blew an hour and a half (they were busy) - the place refused to do an oil change based on the size of a plug (?). It took me awhile to get my bearings around this town. I'm a n00b. :) Fifteen minutes later I found a different place to get an oil change. Of course, they were slammed busy just before closing, another 45 minutes blown, but something I needed. I've been very good on keeping on top of car maintenance. I've very proud of myself, usually I slack on such things. After asking for directions from three or four people I was able to locate the local Best Buy. I've been searching for a Best Buy since I was in Muskegon, MI. Something happened to my car stereo - AGAIN.

I can't remember if I said something about this before, but in FL I noticed my stereo lost a lot of power. I kept my eyes open for a Best Buy all the way to CT, but never noticed one right off the freeway. I wasn't about to get lost in some backwoods hick town in search of a Best Buy. I didn't find such a BB until I reached Bangor, ME. The technician (and he's a Technician, not a BB lackey), Mike, totally hooked me up with the hardware and 411 I needed. He really took care of me and I learned a lot. He was the rare employee that actually knew WTF he was talking about and enjoyed talking about it to someone eager to learn. How often do you run across an employee (at any business) that was so great you buy him lunch the next day (even as pissed as I was about that whole Canada thing)? I really lucked out there. Props to Mike. Turns out the ghetto amp (some Lightning Audio crap) I had died and he replaced it with a much better make and model (Rockford Fosgate 301m).
The stereo was working fine until I left Muskegon. I immediately noticed a lack of power again. At this point my imagination took over and I had two theories. One, the problem seemed to occur when I didn't get in the car for more than twenty-four hours (Wulf touched on the same theory while explaining to him). And two, the last thing I played was the CD with the last few episodes of SKTFM, OTH, OTW, and RGR. My car stereo won't play MP3's encoded below 16kHz. SKTFM is encoded at 11kHz, and for some reason I suspected whetever signals were coming out of the deck were damaging my amp. Like I said, my imaqination was working overtime. I stopped at FIVE BB's that wouldn't help me. They mainly claimed to be too busy (one of which I knew was lying, the rest honestly appeared busy), until I ran into one where the guy (Jonathan at the Lincoln, NE Best Buy) at the Customer Service desk made a valiant attempt to help. He replaced the sub (speaker, not box) for me, but to no avail. I was thoroughly pissed before I arrived at the BB here in Billings, MT. They were not busy at all when I arrived. In fact, they were playing around with the display car DVD players when I walked in. This guy (I never got his name) tooled around with every piece of my stereo for about an hour and a half. We were both stumped on why this weird lack of power. I insisted it was the amp (thinking of my theories), but he tested it and it worked properly. As a last resort he pulled my deck and we put in a much nicer one - still not right. That tipped him off to the fact that something else was wrong, and on a hunch replaced the sub box. Voila! I never thought the stability of a box could make all the difference. I certainly learned something today.

07.27.2k3

Added a stop in Nebraska. A friend of mine from Montana called me (one of the two I was going to see there) and told me he will be in NE. Cool! Things were looking pretty bleak between IN and MT. :) With any luck I'll be able to do some kind of audio tomorrow. Hooking up with tminos in IN. In CT I was with Flip and SuperJoe, OH with Nire, and MI with MiG.

07.17.2k3

Well shit... To save my life I can't find an accessible wireless network worth its salt anywhere. There's a few that I am briefly able to hop on, but nothing that I can stay on long enough, or that has a decent connection. Updates are few and far between because of this. I have attempted to upload the new audio (see 07.10.2k3 below), but can't get a solid connection to upload the whole files. Never fear, as I'll be hooked up in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Washington though. It also seems I may be adding a Nebraska stop to the list. I spoke to my friend Mike who's out there and wants me to stop by. I figure there's nothing out there anyway, so it will be nice to make another stop and talk with someone who I haven't seen in a long time.

Ok, so here's the shit now. Some of you on IRC know a bit about this already. Some of you I spoke to on the phone. I left CT last Monday, heading for Nova Scotia to visit Bobnino. I got to the border around 10PM (EST), and made the horrible mistake of telling Canadian Customs the truth. They asked why I was going to Canada, who I was going to see... standard procedure. Then they asked me to pull over while they search the car. The called up a Canadian Immigration officer and had me speak to her (after they spoke to her in privacy). After driving all day on only five hours of sleep I was a bit unprepared for what happened next. They asked me what's my permanent physical address in the States. I told them I didn't have one anymore. They asked where do I work. I told them I don't anymore. I explained the idea of a road trip to them, but they seemed to not like that at all. The immigration officer on the phone had asked me if I had any trouble with the law, and, again, I made a dumb move and told her the truth. I said, "when I was a minor". She let it go at that. They grilled me on how much money I had (in my pocket (USD$30) and in the bank), how much credit I had available, then dug through my receipts even. The female customs agent even went page by page through my journals (stopping for quite a few seconds on each page mind you)! They tracked my drive across the US via reciept. Everywhere there was a place where I didn't happen to have a receipt they grilled me on it. I tried to tell them I was at friend's homes, but they insisted I was a bum living out of my car. Why the fuck they think I want to be a Canadian bum is beyond me.

So, after putting my gear through x-ray and bomb sniffers, after having me talk to Immigration officers twice (on the phone), they told me to come back in the morning. That was a nice wasted hour. So, I drive up to the US customs checkpoint. There was nobody in the little booth, and there was cameras (stills) taking pictures of me. I Started rolling forward through the booth when I was able to see through the booth to inside the building. There was four US customs assholes sitting around bullshitting it up. Laughing and having a good time while I sat there. Finally, a few seconds later one of them caught my eye and jumped up from his seat. He came out to his little booth and told me to pull over and come inside. I did so, and they punched my info up on their computers and told me to bring in my proof of car insurance and vehicle registration. I went out, grabbed the paperwork, came in, and set the paper on the desk. I stood there for about three seconds in front of my papers when some fat tub of shit ex-highway patrol (Think "Farva" from Super Troopers) looking motherfucker walks up to me and said, "Did he ask you to stand there?". I didn't know what to say to that, so I started to say, "No, he asked for my papers". I got as far as ,"N-", when he cut me off and said, "Sit down!". Ok asshole, I'll sit down. About five more minutes of poking around the computer (probably not that much information, probably ineptitude with computers) when they told me I could go. I was so pissed I was being treated like some criminal I drove nearly two hours to Bangor, Maine where I finally stopped. It was 2:00am and all the cheap motels were full. I stayed at some place for $89+tax for the night.

Seven hours of sleep later I got up and thought about last nights events. I wasn't sure if I was just so tired that I imagined most of what happened, or if I really was abused. What got me the worst was the amout of people they let through whilst they had their fun with me. They even had some hot chick in a Subaru pulled over for searching. They thoroughly searched me, while they just asked this good looking chick questions. They looked in the back of her (packed with stuff! I saw!) Subaru Outback and just asked her "where did you get the cheese?". I heard her say something about having an aunt in Vermont before I was out of earshot. She was gone and in Canada five minutes later. I had breakfast at McDonald's and headed back to the border. The gentleman at the booth was much nicer than the guy last night. I probably could have lied to him and got through no problem. The thought crossed my mind. I couldn't bring myself to do it though, as the last thing I needed was any trouble. I told the guy I was told to come back in the morning. He told me to pull over and come in. Things were going much better. He only asked "Do you have any firearms or other weapons in the car?", as opposed to the dick who asked me last night, "Did you bring any guns?", "Do you have any knives with you?", "Are there any grenades in the vehicle we should know about?".
I stepped inside the building and lo and behold, there was the dickhead who was at the booth last night. He took one look at me and said, "Trying again eh?", then pointed to the Canadian Immigration office part of the building and said, "go over there". I did so, and was greeted by some short red haired bitch. None of these people have any personality by the way. Stone cold and obviously not having a good day, she asked for my identification. Then the grilling started. The same questions as last night. Everything went exactly the same until she asked me about money. This time I had stopped at an ATM before heading to the border, and had myself up to about $120. I told her this, and she asked me, "where did you get that?". I was kind of not sure how to answer. Rather than tell her I sold her daughter dope last night, I opted for the truth, I stopped at an ATM. She honest to god didn't believe me! She told me to show it to her! So, I whipped it out (right on your forehead ya bitch) and fanned out the bills. She counted it out to $119. I have four quarters in the car. She then asked me about trouble with the law. I thought I could slip it by her like I did last night to the lady on the phone ("Rachel"? "Rochelle"?). I casually said, "when I was a minor", and I quickly STFU. She didn't let this one go. I explained I have a 'computer crime' felony and misdemeanor from when I was 16. She said that was going to cause problems. She didn't want to hear anything else about it. Nothing about how it has never caused a problem before, nothing about how that was 8 years ago, nothing about how it doesn't fucking matter. I was a minor even. Nevertheless, she didn't like me at all. None of these people have any personality. It's unreal. If you need some Socialing practice, go to the border at the end of US95, just past Houlton, Maine. The grilling continuted exactly as last night, but this time she was getting more in depth. I did not know interrogation was standard when trying to visit Canada. Warm welcome.
She instructed me to sit down. I waited there and quickly got bored. Lucky me there was a young Customs kid hitting on a very good looking applicant. Apparently she wanted to work at .ca customs pretty bad. I can't imagine why, she seemed to have personality. The little bitch came back and told me to move to an enclosed office and speak with her. It was a tiny little room with two chairs, one on either side, doors on either side, and a tabletop separating the room. Had I been a 'terrorist' (or just a plain nutjob) this would have been a great place to stash something. There's a bit of a hard to see area beneath the desk, inbetween the wall and the filecabinet on their side. She entered the room and sat down. Looking at a piece of paper full of notes about me, she looked at me and said, "you're not getting in". She came back in the room with a very official looking piece of paper. It basically said, "we're not arresting you if you sign this and leave, and if you try to enter .ca again you will be arrested". What was I to do? Not sign it and be hauled off? I can't understand why I am being treated like such a criminal. I signed the paper, was told to give it to US Customs, and get the fuck out. She told me twice, very sternly, that I was to not go 'border shopping'. If I was to attempt to enter .ca again that I would be arrested. I promised her I would not, yet she still told me a second time later! Now, GTFO. Great, another hour wasted with these people. She watched me to make sure I drove back to the border, and not speed off into Canada.

The US Customs office was just as shitty as the night before, except there was someone at the booth this time. he was even somewhat pleasant. He must be new. He made a joke about my license plate ("is that something from the cyberworld?") and told me to park and go inside. Twenty minutes later I was released into the US again. I headed back to CT.

To save my life I cannot understand why I was treated like such a criminal. I was assumed to be a liar. I was interrogated like a suspect, then threatened when they had nothing on me. I was told the only reason they're not arresting me now was because they told me to come back. What the FUCK? They couldn't have just said, "Look, because you don't have a residence and job we can't let you in. Come back with proof later. have a nice day.". Shebitch explained to me that those two reasons alone were enough to not allow me in. The 8 year old felony was enough in itself. I have had no trouble with the authorities since then (hell, and nothing really before then either), yet I am no better than any other criminal fresh out of the Pen. I don't get it. I didn't think it was all happening. It was so unreal. I felt like I was watching a movie about some guy who has a ridiculously absurd day (like the beginning of Anger Management, specifically when they're on the plane). There was nothing I could do but sit there and take the abuse. I was told that they were not sure of the status of the felony (I was a minor, I bet looking into it that they won't even find it), but just because of the fact they're aware I have one will keep me from entering. She told me I would have to go to a California court (CA was the state I earned it) and get permission to enter Canada. I must bring that to .ca Customs and then "try again" to get into .ca. I can't wait to try to explain this to, um, whoever the fuck I have to try to explain this to in CA. "Yeah, um, I was told if I attempted to enter .ca, and even fully cooperated with them during their interrogation and told the truth, had enough money to support myself for months in their fucking country, and even baked them a cake and brought milk for them that I would be arrested on site. They told me to come get permission from you". Seriously. WHAT THE FUCK.

You wonder why people hate the government? Why the people are paranoid of allowing the government more power? They say they don't understand the mind of a killer. They said they don't know what drives people to do the things they do. They wonder why they're called 'Big Brother' and 'The Man' and so much comedy is made at their expense. It's the way we're being treated these days that causes insanity. So much is so absurd that at some point your brain just can't deal with it all. We sell alcohol and cigarettes. As long as they get a cut, it doesn't matter how many people die from cancer or alcholo realted incidents and/or poisoning. Yet something like marijuana is illegal. They're afraid of not getting their cut? Their "campaign contributions". They're called payoffs where I'm from. Is that it? I cannot say I believe in drug use, as it usually becomes drug abuse, but everything has its purpose. Even cocaine is natural. It has medical uses, and is natural. Instead we pump people full of prozac and ridalin. The list of absurdities goes on and on. We slap companies on the wrist that dump toxic waste into our oceans, lakes, and rivers. We allow them to bury nuclear waste in mountains. Yet we fine individuals $10,000 for dropping a (biodegradeable, mind you) napkin out of their car on the freeway. Believe me, I don't condone or believe in littering (where I come from is so beautiful I'd hate to see it wind up like, say, Los Angeles), but the scales are definitely weighted wrong. If you are caught downloading a song from the internet you are fined thousands. If you are caught stealing a CD from a store you probably will not be allowed in that store again. Maybe even given a petty theft misdemeanor if someone wants to push it. And why is this? Because the government is catering to the companies. The MPAA and the RIAA (and not only them, they're just my favourite examples of assholes) are able to buy the laws they want . If, by some miracle, their horrendous bill doesn't pass, they change the name, throw more money at it, and get it passed. The government is guilty of the same thing. Ever hear of the PATRIOT Act? They take more and more of our freedoms, more and more of our RIGHTS away every day. And for what? They don't realize it now but it's costing them the people's belief in the Country, and the System. One day it's going to change. It's going to be by force. It probably won't happen overnight, but it's going to happen. At some point people just reach their limit of how much bullshit they can take. How many lies they can be fed. How many unjusts they can stand.
Oh yeah, the terrorists won for sure. We just don't admit it.
And I used to be such a nice guy.

07.10.2k3

Well, first off, I've attempted some more audio [OGG] [MP3]. I don't think it's as interesting as the first piece, but I tried. I didn't make it to StankDawg's place, or zor's. I drove by them both - TWICE - and when I finally called them I was hours away. It definitely hurt this audio as I planned on talking a lot about work (and not just mostly my speculation), and I'm sure they had some great stories.

Once again, it was caused by very poor planning on my part. That was my trip into FL. Maybe it was just so hot that my mind was cooking in the heat. :( At least I was able to talk to Stank for about 40 minutes. zor and I kept getting cut off (my phone sucks. GSM isn't all its cracked up to be, in the States anyway), but we managed to talk more two days later (in the audio, I had only had talked to him shortly).

I'm out in CT now, and there's no internet connection here at my friends place. I only slept four hours tonight (6:30am here looks like 8:00am in Tahoe... this sucks as I'm not a morning person), so I figure I'll go wardriving for some access now. I suppose it looks less suspicious early in the morning, but on the other side it's easier to see in my car (windows are not tinted). Oddly enough, when I first arrived where my friend lives (Groton, CT) I couldn't get ahold of him for about four hours. So I wardrove around and made note of a few of the odder SSID's ("the strangest out here thus far was "Kermit's Pad"). When I got in touch with him I learned I drove by his house (again, TWICE!) and was so close both times I picked up his neighbour's WAP (broadcasting, but WEPped at least). I don't have detailed maps of anywhere, just main roadmaps, so I tried to blindly drive around until I found his street. I was one block away while driving past it both times - and I even stopped two blocks away at an elementary school while trying for access (I couldn't get close enough to the building while staying in the car... didn't want to look too suspicious.).

It appears I'm going to be here until Monday morning. My friend that I came to see is someone I grew up with, and I haven't seen him in a long time (much like Inquisitor). And when he does come around he's usually there for a reason, and too busy to just hang out. Now that I have all the time in the world to hang out it's just a matter of waiting for him to get off work. Again, my great planning landed me here on his Monday (as it did when I visited Jenner), so I'm going to stay through his weekend.
On top of missing StankDawg and zor, I blew off the people in New Jersey too. I was planning on stopping by and saying hey to a few people I know that live out there, but the day I was driving through was so nuts I didn't bother. Plus I was pretty pissed I spent about $25+ that day just to drive on the roads. What kinda crap is that. Then, when I got about 5 to 10 miles from the G.W. Bridge, traffic came to a halt. It took nearly FIVE HOURS to get from there to the CT state line. Take a look at a map, it's not very far. That SUCKED. I don't know if we're going to go driving around NY as I planned. I saw it from a distance, hate big cities, and don't feel like driving for a bit anyway.

I do know that I'm going to have to plan out my visits better (didn't I say this before?). I'll be damned if I'm getting lost in Canada and stuck by myself when I go to harass alphageek and Bobnino.

07.01.2k3

I'm heading out of Jenner's place in Austin, TX today. It's going to be a few days drive, but I should arrive in Florida for the 4th of July. Not quite where I expected/wanted to be for the 4th, but.. whatever. I have a funny feeling I'll be sleeping in my car - do you know how much hotels rape you for on days like that?

I am starting to plan the next audio. I'm sure it will be after I leave FL. I want to talk to a select person before I record. I think I've got an interesting topic everyone can relate to.

06.23.2k3

Now that you have listened to how demented I am (as dual so perfectly put it, "a physchologists wet dream"), I'm out of material for a bit. dual gave me a lot to think about though, and I'm afraid I didn't listen at he time. Lucky me I just had a half-day drive to let thoughts bounce around my head. I had a kickass visit though, and am kicking myself for not harassing him longer.

I'm curious as to what everyone thought of the production of the audio. Insofar as if I laid it out well enough to actually not bore the piss out of everyone. I tried to mix the recent stuff about the trip itself with a little background to make it interesting. Email my twisted ass if you so please.

I'll be in Austin for a few days kickin' it with my friend Jenner. If he's been a good boy (read: playing games) we might be able to put together an episode of GAMER!

Speaking of audio, Bobnino has everything available on FTP (port mode btw)!

06.22.2k3

*ahem* [OGG] [MP3]

06.15.2k3

(9PM) I never was able to get in touch with TahoeRipper. I've got a list of missed people (pixiefreakin420, Eric D., amrit, will, and TahoeRipper) as long as people I have seen. :( I may be able to catch them ('cept TR) on the way back around. Hopefully a different person. The worst part is I have no audio for you.

I left San Diego this afternoon and arrived here in Phoenix, AZ a few hours ago. I got a room at some ghetto motel, and unfortunately am unable to get online. Figures, as I'm missing something about SBC's dialup account login info, there's certainly no free ether here, and not a wireless network to be detected. I was looking forward to hanging out with one of my best friends here in Phoenix for a few days, but through some bad timing he moved out of the place he was living in for the last new months, and the only phone number I have is to one of his friends cell phones - who never answers and apparently never checks his messages.

However, part of me is relieved to have a little 'down time' from visiting with people. It allows me to spend some time messing with my laptop and getting something up on the site (or, at least ready for the site). If I've learned anything on this trip thus far, it's that I screwed up in my prioritizing. Sure I have my favourite WindowMaker theme, current kernel source, the latest episodes of internet radio shows... yet I didn't devote enough time to getting the things that really matter together. I don't have a working dialup account. I downloaded tarballs of jPhoto and gPhoto so that I could spend some time getting my camera to work in linux - yet I missed some libs (of course). I can't configure my wireless card properly for kismet (damn this 'monitor mode' stuff and these patched drivers and other crap), AND, worst of all, this goddamn microphone is not playing with a full deck (the hardware works, it's the linux modules or something that I'm not understanding). Without internet access I don't have the necessary documentation available to even begin to tackle this. I'm thinking of buying a portable recorder and doing some work which can be dumped to a computer later, but that doesn't help us NOW.

Speaking of 'now', I'm very pleased to be out of California. It feels a bit like the trip is just now really starting. I've been up and down California all my life, so nothing until today was new. It's quite interesting out here. There's lots of dirt and rock out there. Highway 8 (San Diego to ~55mi South of Phoenix) is boring. I guess I better get used to it.

I have been talking to a few people about this trip, and apparently I need to clear up some things. I'll take this time now. I am repeatedly told to "go see this" and "drive through there"... well, I'm not out sightseeing. I've seen pictures, video, and toured virtual realizations of the US before, and I'm not too impressed. How can I? When I live in a world where magic is real, life is about survival not acquisition of goods (tell that to the crafters in any MMORPG), adventure, exploration, and nearly every location I see has been meticulously hand crafted to be amazingly beautiful. Tell me the Grand Canyon is cooler than fighting a dragon in a cave with a few of your friends, or standing on a mountaintop next to a waterfall overlooking a beautiful valley known to be populated by elves, and I'll tell you that you don't play enough video games. I find nothing wrong with my outlook, some agree with me, but some don't. Whatever. I'm not saying it wouldn't be cool as all hell to go hiking around in China or whatever (it would, and trust me, I'm very thankful I have a very active imagination), but it's just not all that exciting here. And I'm not here to take corny pictures of stupid ass bears (I've been within four feet them in Tahoe quite a few times, whoopee) or birds and stuff. Have a listen to "Nothing's Left" by "Insane Clown Posse". That's a bit how I feel about life as we know it. "Everything lefts been done before, nothing's new, nowhere to explore."

I'm here for a multitude of reasons. I guess at this time in our world things have become much too complicated to waste time on exploring yourself. We can't be bothered to sit down and relax. When was the last time you just sat down. When was the last time you took time to breathe? Without the phone. Without the godbox. Without a pile of paperwork in front of you. Without a controller in your hand. You know what I mean. Light some incense and a candle. Kill the lights. Turn off the fucking TV. Unplug the phones. Turn off the stereo. Shut down the computers. B r e a t h e.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in my pleather office chair with the windows closed, the blinds shut. There was a Dual Shock 2 in my hands, and Final Fantasy Origins on the TV to my center. To my left was the desktop and server. Two machines, two monitors, an assload of cooling fans. The server went about its duties, one of which includes IRC, and happened to be playing a movie for me at the time. The desktop was on a mission. I was burning CDs as fast as they finished, it was compressing a few wave files, and was downloading as much as it could through my dsl line. To my right sat my laptop, which was on the corner of my bed. I was installing software on it and configuring things to my liking (I had just formatted it). This went on for a few days. Everything seemed just as it should. I truly believe we're too busy these days to spend time on the things that matter. I don't think most of us can get out of this habit. Worst of all, I don't think we even realize it.

The scariest moment that I can remember is when I shut down the computers. It was late in the evening (likely ~2am the next morning) and dead silent. There was no city of LED's across from my bed. No hum of a dozen and a half cooling fans. No buzz of the monitors. It was then I realized that I haven't heard silence in a few months. When you walk to your car you hear the keys rattling in your hand, your door closing, the car starting. The stereo pops on. There's street noise. There's more distractions than we can account for. We're used to this. It doesn't bother us. While I was on my way to Phoenix today I spied a decent sized hill that was not too far from the road. I expect it could have been hiked in about three hours. I should have stopped right there and set out on foot. I suppose if it wern't for the occasional "DANGER: Poisonous snakes and insects" signs I would have more seriously considered it. I bet it would have been one of the coolest things I have done in a long time.

Right now there is a guy sitting in his car in the parking lot just below my room. He's been there for about three hours now. His car is full of clothes. I saw a keyboard in the backseat, but mostly just clothes. He can't see out the rear or rear side windows. The passenger side is just to the bottom of the window - more clothes. There's even clothes on his dashboard. I have to wonder what his story is. Maybe he's homeless and trying to get back on his feet. He has no place to stay so he lives in his car by night, works by day, and plans on getting an apartment nearby soon. Maybe he's travelling across country by himself to visit relatives. Maybe he just got so sick of society he just packed up the important things and got in his car with no destination. Maybe he feels there is something wrong with the way we're living and he doesn't know what to do about it. He may be feeling like he's losing himself in this mess that others have created. He may think that there is nothing he can do to change the way things are, but possibly he can save himself. Hack his wetware. Deprogram from this "society". If you can call it that.

Take a step outside your life for a moment and take a good look around. Look at what you've done. Look at all you have accomplished. Examine your situation. Observe your life as an outsider and judge. Be truthful. If can say you've worked hard to become the person you want to be, without bias, without deluding yourself, count yourself as one of the lucky few. Personally I don't believe that very many people reading this can honestly say that. No offense, but I doubt that we're all working as hard as we should be. I hear a lot of "I'm doing the best I can", "I'm working on it", and "I've got a plan", but I see very little action. I see people who have big dreams that spend "just one night" out partying it up instead of studying for an exam, and being in bad shape the next morning. I see people who need to take care of important business accidentally sleep through their appointment because they stayed up too late playing games. "Just one more level." People who need to quit their jobs not looking for a better one, rationalizing it to themselves somehow.

We're not trying hard enough to stop being complacent. We accept our hand and are afraid to fold when it's clear you need to. We're lying to ourselves to keep our spirits up. You need that so you can get up in the morning to go to your job. The one you hate. So you can just barely scrape by. Life is not about working most of it to pay for sustaining your existence. Life was not meant to be about acquiring material goods and/or weath. Real weath is inner peace. Being happy with yourself and doing the things you know to be right. I see a lot of people who do a lot of things that they know to be wrong. I have friends addicted to drugs. I have friends who are alcoholics. You want to see some really fucked up people, talk to people who are always in debt. These are the same people who will look you right in the eyes and tell you, truthfully, to them at least, that they're "alright", "doing the best they can", and "happy with the person they are".

Obviously, I'm not happy. At some point I realized this and absolutely had to do something about it. I need time away. Not a vacation. Not a seminar. Not a weekend retreat. A long hard look at myself. At what I, and many others have become. The only way out was to leave everything behind. Everything that was me - scrapped, and started anew. Obviously I wasn't able to accomplish my goal of next-to-nothing for material posessions (I'm weak, but hopefully when I return...), but it was a start. I'm way past the denial and realization phases of this, let's hope something come out of it other than debt.

(11PM) Holy crap. I got in touch with my friend. Looks like I'll be here for awhile.

06.14.2k3

Woohoo! Finally made it down to San Diego to visit Ode. I'm also trying to get in touch with another friend of mine down here who doesn't seem to check his email too often - you hear me TahoeRipper! Anyhow, thank god Ode is as wired as I was. I was about to lose it. Seven days without a computer is too long. Maybe that's bad to feel that way.

I was in the Chico area for about four days visiting with my Dad. I was in the Bay Area visiting aunts and uncles for a little over a day, and yesterday I was in Palm Spring visiting my (mom's side) grandparents. That wraps it up for family that I'm going to see on my journey. As you can imagine I didn't have much of the way in personal growth during the first week of this venture. Now the real trouble begins.

I arrived in San Diego today around 2PM. I called Ode's house again and couldn't get ahold of him. I missed him the day before too, so I knew I was asking a lot to just come into town and hope he'd be sitting at home. Well, he wasn't, and I spent the next three hours driving all over San Diego trying to pass the time. Traffic SUCKS. I'm not used to the insanity of big city freeways. It's quite unnerving. Nobody looks, smiles, blinks, or gets off the phone while maneuvering their vehicle about. When you're in gridlock traffic, and the car in front of you finally moves ten feet, then stops again, you're expected to do seventy-five for that space. If you don't, not only will someone squeeze into it, but the people behind you get pissed. I'm glad my brakes work and don't squeak. Thanks Dad

After I got ahold of Ode, I found I was only fifteen minutes away. We sat around and talked for about an hour before heading to a house his friends rent. Five guys rent this huge house, and we sat around playing THPS4 (Xbox) for like four hours. I had an awesome time. Where I'm from (Lake Tahoe), you can't find two people to play video games with. Let alone with a chick in the house. Who actually sat and watched for a bit. Quite unusual. Maybe geeks have broken some kinda cultural barrier down here. More likely concocted some kind of drug they can slip to the populace.

I haven't been able to tackle my microphone problem yet either. I've been moving around so much it's too difficult to drive and type, let alone flip off the guy next to you while dodging other cars and swerving to the side to avoid getting rear-ended. The wireless card works well enough (it'll connect to open AP's but that's all, which is mostly fine by me). The 2.4.21 kernel came out today (erm, yesterday), if I have time I'll have a look and see if maybe the support for my soundcard hasn't improved. Or maybe take a look at this ALSA stuff.

Regardless of my microphone status, Ode and I are going to try to put a little something together in the next few days. I should be here for the next two to four days. Then I'm off to Phoenix, AZ, where I have to hunt someone down.

06.05.2k3

I am having one hell of a time with my mobile hardware. To save my life I can't get kismet or AirSnort to work properly (read : at all), but I know it's my fault and I just need to work a little harder on it. I also cannot seem to get my laptop's ESS Maestro 3 to record. This is putting quite a damper on the whole travelling show idea. I'll figure something out, but until then I'm screwed

I have spoke with Ode today and we're going to pull off an episode of GAMER when I'm in San Diego. I also know that while I'm "out there" other friends of mine are down for it too, but when these will happen I don't know. You'll just have to check back every so often. Also, assuming I can get my laptop to behave, I'll be recording audio about life, the adventure, and... stuff.

As of right now it looks like this will all begin in about two days.

05.26.2k3

Ok, got the map up. Start at the red dot (duh) and go basically counter-clockwise. Question marks denote that I don't know exactly where I'm supposed to go, but it's nearby (or at least, "in the state"). Looking at the map really scares me. There's a whole lot of NOTHING between IN and MT. I guess the plan is to update the map as I change locations. Get used to my 1337 Gimp skillz (that was a joke).

Another peice of news... not so good news either. I'm going to have to push the date back (supposed to be "end of month") by a few days. Somewhere between 3 and 8 days. The good news is that should allow time for an extra episode of GAMER. The reason for the delay is out of my hands as I am waiting for paperwork, and my license plates from the DMV. I'm damn tired of being seen around town and hearing, "aren't you gone yet?", "when are you leaving?", and, "I thought you had already left!". Believe me people, I want to get out of here much more than you want me to.

05.23.2k3

The time is getting close to when I am leaving for my pilgrimage. Some of you who have listened to the radio show know about this, some of you don't. Please allow me to explain.

At 24 I have come to realize that for the past four years my life has degraded into nothingness. The past four years have flown by. I could not tell you what events happened on any specific day. Anything other than work, anyway. For the past four years I was an employee at hotel/casino's on the graveyard shift at the front desk. You know, the guy you harass because you're too lame to figure out how to work the godbox remote, too lazy to get your own bucket of ice, or missed the parking lot that you just drove through and had to ask me "where do I park?"

I fell into a deadly rhythm of work, sleep, repeat. There was nothing else. The area in which I live is a hard one. Rent is high, pay is low. But that sounds like everywhere, doesn't it? I found myself seeking solace in consumerism. Even though I don't watch TV the barrage of advertisments and websites with product reviews aided me in my acquisition of useless goods. Material possessions. The American way.

Thankfully I was told to watch a movie called Fight Club by a good friend of mine. He told me, "dude, you've got to watch this". What I saw changed my life. It changed my way of thinking for the better. I started to wake up and take a good look around. I had dug myself into a hole that I thought was impossible to climb out of. With the modern miracle of credit cards I was able to afford whatever I wanted. I always had the video games I wanted, the best PC hardware, a $3600 laptop, whatever I fancied. It seemed like the right thing to do. It seemed to make me feel good.

But something never quite felt right about it. When I was young, life was about learning, experiences, and adventures. Life today is about acquisition of materials. Today it's nothing but worries and work. Some people find it acceptable to drink and use drugs to escape the pathetic reality of their situations. It doesn't work for some of us. Some of us have a faint memory of a time when life was full of possibilities and had great potential. Then we fell into a job. We had more bills than income and there was no escape. College was not something that was affordable to some, and some were not mature enough at the time for the experience. I claim to speak for both sides.

Once I was able to work my way out of debt I formulated a plan. A plan to save myself and get life back "together". The plan was to detox the mind. Hack your own brain. My wetware has been programmed by the system and left to run unattended. Thanks to early self programming something inside kept some measure of control of the situation, and allowed me to see clearly when needed. I knew that the only way to save myself was to cleanse the mind, body, and soul. This trip was the culmination of my thoughts.

To get rid of all your worldy possessions, your flaming shit. To leave the comfort of your home and job, your shackles and chains. The deathtrap you have created for yourself. After you can escape that, a world of opportunity opens up before you. I must credit a lot to the movie Fight Club. While 90% of the people I ask, "Have you seen Fight Club?", answer, "yes, some movie about a crazy guy and dudes fighting", there's the 10% or so that listened to what was said. They heard and understood things they never thought of before. Then realized what had become of us. The cattle. The sheep. While these feelings were already deep ingrained in a lot of us, some didn't have a clue.

The grand plan is to take a pilgrimage. A search for myself. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of what was true and real and became stagnant. I stopped believing in myself, and only believed in The System. Over the next few weeks I'm going to be documenting my trials here. Hopefully someone will learn from my experiences and save themselves. Or at least let this be a warning to future generations.

I plan to leave in about ten days from now. I have a lot of work to do. It's taking a lot of willpower I thought I had lost to part with my nice new flaming... garbage. It's a lot of effort to plan a hiatus from the real world. Dealing with the mail, the utility companies, the logistics of the whole operation is a full time job in itself. I wish a fireball would rip through my apartment and take care of all this for me, but I'm not that lucky.

"It's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything."

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