Thursday, August 15, 2002

On Pacific Time

@ the Kinko's in downtown Seattle.

My first trip (on land) across the west.

- I decided to make the trip to Seattle first, for no good reason really. I think the deciding vote was after talking to Fred and she said .. "I like it there. You should check it out".


- Two and a half day bus ride from Chicago.

  • Bus Stations are REALLY small for being such busy places.
    The size and nice -ness of a station rarely has any relationship to the city its in.

  • Chicago's bus station, although relatively modern, is crowded, inconvenient to get to and nastay.

    The best stations were the ones in Minneapolis, MN and Spokane, WA.

  • The further west you go, the smaller the bathrooms become

  • No. REALLY.

    Someone thought it was because the density of people becomes less the farther one goes west.

    But it is true.

    It often became necessary to use the bathroom on the BUS while at a rest stop, until the line on the bus itself became too long.


  • More people are going Greyhound nowadays

  • It is an uncomfortable, tiring way to travel. But its not just the sub-Southwest Airlines folk who are travelling. If driving is not an option, people seem to be thinking twice before flying (there are no true deals for flying out there, babies and the lines are long) and the trains are becoming crowded too.

  • Montana is the fourth largest state in the union, after Alaska, Texas and California

  • After 4 hours driving through Montana, the new driver says: "We are now leaving Billings, Montana.. the last stop in montana will be St. Regis, which is 703 miles away. We will be there tomorrow morning."

    For perspective, the distance between New York and Chicago is 820 miles, which have four large states (Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania) between them.

  • The Canadians have indeed invaded the US.

  • Looks like Canadian companies are a big part of the economy of those northern border states. You see the Canadain flag almost everywhere, flying side by side with the American flag.

  • It is hard as hell to sleep on the bus when it stops every two hours

  • My eyes are burning for sleep right now.

    I heard a lot of choruses of "This will be the last time I will ever ride the bus.." until you find out they all said that before they decided to ride it again.
    I got into Seattle at 4:30pm Pacific, 7:30 pm Eastern.

    My brain is mush, I need a hot shower and a few hours of dreamless sleep.

    A few folk have already found out Im too tired to be tactful right now.

    Im focused on finding a cheap place for that shower and sleep.

    Add that to the fact, with no picture ID on me, that may become a nigh impossible task, never mind if I do actually FIND a place.

    At this moment, it aint looking promising.

    Sleepless wandering around downtown Seattle looks to be my lot for the night.

    So, sorry.
    Moaning aside, the trip was incredible.

    North Dakota isnt as barren as I thought it would be from the descriptions Ive heard and read.
    No, there isnt a whole bunch of folk living there (most towns didnt even need a stoplight).

    Yes, I can see it being fairly inhospitable during the dead of winter, but as one guy said.. "Yeah, but many years I find myself golfing at Christmas because its warm."

    Oh yeah, there are a LOT of golf courses in the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. Farming, Rodeo and Golfing is big in the border states. Go figure.

    People on the bus were openly conjecturing on the land prices in those states....

    Oh yeah, you havent seen surreal until youve seen miles and miles of .... sunflowers. A huge cash crop in the Dakotas and Montana it seems.

    I dont know why either.
    "Big Sky" doesnt begin to describe the scale of the west.

    As the rodeo clown/bullrider told me jokingly, his friend from New Jersey kept staring out the window and kept mumbling..

    "When you said "a buncha hills, I didnt know you meant..."

    I HAVE to go back with the right equipment and time to capture this.

    I simply couldnt out the window of a speeding bus.

    I could only capture brief instances.
    "Big Sky country' doesnt begin to describe...

    Babbling excitement at seeing the Painted Canyons, turned into silent awe at the scale as we saw this countryside mile after mile after mile..
    Its been a hot summer, so I saw no snow-capped peaks in the Rockies.

    It wasnt quite the same for me after that.

    However, the Cascade mountain range kicks much ass.

    Especially after you see the volcanic damage the eruptions from their peaks have wrought over the years.

    I dont wanna be anywhere near Mt Ranier when (not if) it blows.
    Yeah, I need to do this again.

    Monday, August 12, 2002

    Crap Mac Attack


    NY808: location?
    JPennant: Evanston Illinois
    NY808: net cafe or dial up?
    JPennant: net cafe, wireless
    NY808: i see, hows it hanging jp?
    JPennant: apart from wanting to throw this mac into the wall? Fine. Kinda ready to have this travelling over with
    NY808: macs are cool
    NY808: i was a mac user for years before i converted to the evil pc
    NY808: whens the train ride?
    JPennant: no train. bus. the great deal offer is sold out through this month
    NY808: pttt...
    NY808: dios mio, i hate long bus rides, i don't know how you do it
    JPennant: Heh. I nap
    JPennant: When Im travelling Im sleep deprived
    JPennant: so I go to sleep very suddenly
    JPennant: helpful on the bus..
    NY808: so when is the trip "home"
    JPennant: tonight, if I can get this #$&%$^ mac to cooperate
    NY808: lol, why is the mac involved?
    JPennant: Im trying to upload some pics.. and so far, Ive lost 30 original images
    NY808: gah!
    JPennant: and its ruined the copies of a few more
    NY808: why is it doing that?
    NY808: don't you keep the photos in its own folder before resizing it and stuff?
    JPennant: well I lost the originals cuz it didnt copy them when I transferred them to the working folder
    JPennant: it MOVED them.
    JPennant: of course, I trash my working folder when Im done
    NY808: your poor photos :-(
    JPennant: good thing I didnt wipe the images off the camera, so I got them all back cept for those 30
    NY808: were they good pics?
    JPennant: yah
    NY808: bleh
    JPennant: an to add insult
    JPennant: the high priced proggie Im using to rotate the images has now decided to corrupt the resulting images.
    NY808: mac progs are tempermental like that
    JPennant: Heh. Im finding that out
    NY808: maybe you should chuck the prog and use another
    JPennant: so yah.. Im downloading Photoshop 7 in the hopes that it has the batch funcytiojn I need
    NY808: as a long time mac user, the mac fuckups eventually turned me towards pc life
    NY808: as i was poorer too
    NY808: owning a mac is expensive
    JPennant: who you tellin :-/
    NY808: heh, were i rich though, i would be mac-core
    JPennant: I thought itd be nicer than this
    NY808: you should have stuck to the pc
    JPennant: If I had the space, Id load virtual PC on this and simply run IrfanView
    NY808: can't you use someone elses pc to do it?
    NY808: instead of sacrificing photos?
    JPennant: Im too far in now. When you are on the road, gotta use watcha got.
    NY808: well, if you get on that bus now, you can spend all your time fooling with the mac on the east coast
    NY808: and we get to see photos sooner...hehe
    JPennant: heh
    NY808: ok, fine go to the west coast and do it
    JPennant: Im gonna download Photoshop7 and give it one last try. If that dont work, thats what I'll do.
    NY808: okay, i suppose if i see photos on your site, you would have suceeded
    NY808: i need to get something to eat, i will see you later down the road jp
    NY808: good luck with the pricey mac and don't spoil anymore photos.
    NY808: bye bye

    Sunday, August 11, 2002

    Travelling smorgasborg


    "Yes Chef!"

    "Please re-arrange this plate so that someone in the advanced stages of malnutrition will take a passing interest in it."

    "Yes Chef!"

    - Chef Blackstock
    BBC's 'Chef!'

    My god.

    I have eaten WELL on this trip.