Category: Life

Reliving My College Years…

Since becoming a new father I have found myself doing things I haven’t done in years.

-I’ve gone 3 days without showering at a time.
-I’m cleaning up vomit and poop that isn’t my own.
-I’ve gone into public dressed like a homeless person.
-I’m eating hot pockets for sustenance.
-I have time to watch Star Wars from Episode 1 through 6. (I’ll be writing more about this later)
-I plan my day around watching “The Price is Right.”
-I plan my night around watching “Cheaters.”
-I’m taking pictures of everything.
-I’ve slept on my hardwood floors with a single blanket.

And I’m having a blast.

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[ACTA] Must Be Stopped!

Hey all, it’s been a while.  Lots of stuff to do and not so much time to blog these days, but this one is definitely important enough to merit the effort.  If you’re looking for one of my quasi-funny, tongue-in-cheek posts, check out the Third and 7 archives.  This one is serious.  Nonetheless, you should take the time to read it, and hopefully take action afterwards.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA for short) must be stopped.  I say this in all earnest, as a believer in freedom and equality for all citizens of the Earth, and as a believer in the Constitution of the United States of America and our Bill of Rights (that’s the first ten amendments to the Constitution, in case you forgot your high school Civics class).  Here, in brief (brief for me, anyway), is why:

Government-sponsored, corporate censorship of the internet not only violates our First Amendment Rights, it opens the door to a dangerous precedent that any citizen of a free and independent nation should greatly fear.  ACTA essentially gives Big Business an internationally-approved “blank check” to prosecute ISPs and website domain hosts for the actions of a few unscrupulous users.  This threat of multi-million dollar lawsuits and/or criminal prosecution in turn forces the ISPs/hosts to censor sites and cave to unconstitutional requests for private user data, all in the interest of “combating piracy”.  This is a grave threat to individual liberty and national sovereignty and must be stopped.

ACTA is unquestionably a tool for multi-million dollar, international corporations to protect their “rights” (a.k.a. profits).  This is shown in no uncertain terms by the following quotation:

“Apart from the participating governments, an advisory committee of large US-based multinational corporations was consulted on the content of the draft treaty, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the International Intellectual Property Alliance (which includes the Business Software Alliance, Motion Picture Association of America, and Recording Industry Association of America).”

– Wikipedia.org – visit the original ACTA article for the individual sources

By ratifying ACTA into an international treaty, the governments of the world are effectively allowing these corporations to circumvent the laws of individual nations.  In other words, they can completely disregard the US Constitution and due process when going after alleged “pirates”.  The fact that our supposedly “free and independent” government would sign such a treaty proves just how much control these multi-national corporations and their SuperPACs truly have.

Social media and internet journalism are two major factors that enabled the oppressed majority to overthrow their totalitarian shackles in the Arab Spring last year.  If we, as a free people, give up the freedom of the internet in order to protect the special interests of Big Business, we open the door to an unprecedented (in this country) level of totalitarianism.  We are, essentially, throwing away our ability to decide if and when our government, supposedly “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, has become “destructive of [Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness].”  Our Founding Fathers proclaimed these “certain unalienable rights” to be self-evident, and in the Constitution free speech is entrusted to us as one of the most important tools by which we ensure those rights aren’t infringed by an increasingly totalitarian government.  The justification behind this thinking is laid out in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, specifically in this passage:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.  But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.  Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

Indeed, the entire point of our Constitution and Bill of Rights is to prevent the government set up by the Continental Congress from one day becoming another “King George”; they wanted to protect their investment, as it were.  We, the people, are that investment, and Big Business has no right to take that away from us in the interest of protecting their own status quo, or for any other reason.  If we freely give Big Business the power to influence our government and skew all the rules in their favor, we cease to have a free, elective democracy as well as a truly free market economy, two of the corner stones this nation was founded upon.

The internet itself is an extension of this basic freedom.  What will become of it (and our voice) if Big Business is given the wherewithal by our government to indiscriminately censor, prosecute, and persecute anything or anyone it perceives as being counter to its interests – interests which, as we’ve seen time and again, go against the basic rights and freedoms of the American people, and the vast majority of the (dare I say it?) “99%” the world over.

Anyone who believes in true democracy should oppose ACTA in any way you can.  Please visit the official Change.org petition here and sign it today.

An Open Letter to an Evil Woman

I’m not typically one to air out personal grievances, but I was finally pushed over the edge with a single act. This is all directed at my grandmother. My grandpa has always just been a fly on the wall in my eyes, just staying out of the way.

In my eyes, I have only one set of grandparents. See after my parents divorced I never saw much of my Dad’s side of the family; we would pretty much only see each other at Christmas. Now Christmas is the time of year that a child looks forward to the most; this was not the case with my visits to the Jones Grandparents house. While my cousins would get video game systems and the hottest new toy, I would get clothes of the clearance rack.

Now when Lucy was born I pretty much had zero connection to the Joneses, so I figured I wouldn’t have to let them share in the joy of Lucy. But they managed to get in, which I guess a part of me was hoping they would be accepting and show her anything resembling a grandparents love. Again I was wrong. For Christmas and for her 1 year birthday we received the same shitty gifts I used to receive; clearance rack clothes and toys. Now I know that we should just be grateful to receive any kind of gift, but I would rather her just save her money.

Now for the good stuff:

Lucy received a birthday present from the Joneses, her 2nd Birthday. Upon opening the random items in the package, I pulled out this:

A Child Leash. A Fucking Child Leash.

Now if you don’t know what’s happened to me in the last 2 years, read up here.

If you are familiar with Lucy’s situation, then you realize how insane it is to give a Child Leash to a child who is wheelchair bound. My daughter will never walk, thanks for the reminder Grandma! Now some might defend her and say she’s just an old senile bat who doesn’t understand. Those people are wrong. She is a conniving, evil bitch and she knows exactly what she did.

I hate you Mary Jones. Leave my family alone.

The 7: Reasons why you should grow a pair and [legally!] buy a gun

DISCLAIMER:  The contents of this post are solely the work of the listed author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of ThirdAnd7.com or any other of its affiliated contributors.  The views expressed herein are the opinion of the author alone and written for entertainment purposes only.  Anyone that disagrees with said views is welcome to do so, but should not hold ThidAnd7.com or its contributors responsible.

So this is the post where I get all Neo-Conservative, right-wing, liberal-hatin’, freedom-spoutin’, violence-lovin’, bat-shit F-ing CRAZY on your asses!

Okay…not really.  Calm down everyone.  I will however take a few minutes and enlighten you all as to why you (including you neo-hippie peacenik vegan leftist Commies) should own a gun.  Now if I were like your average American (a.k.a. redneck), my list would go something like this:

  1. This is ‘Merica.  We have a right to our guns because guns equal freedom and freedom equals ‘Merica
  2. Guns make you a man.  Y’all don’t want to be little girls, do ya?
  3. Guns are cool and can destroy things, like empty Bud Light cans, that rusty Plymouth on blocks in the front yard, the fridge when it breaks down, or “No Shooting” signs on public land.

Et cetera, et cetera…  However, I like to think of myself as not being your average American – at least in some ways – so I will try to provide you with solid, well-thought, logically sound reasons why you should, in fact, own a gun.

  1. This is America.  Land of the free, home of the brave, and all that good stuff.  Or at least it should be, because that’s what was intended when the country was founded.  However, more and more frequently we find our basic, inalienable rights being placed on the back burner, subverted, ignored, and downright trampled in favor of Big Business, which as we all know has the ear (and wallet) of DC and our so-called representatives.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no Teabagger, and I don’t think violence will necessarily accomplish anything, except to maybe supplant one corrupt regime with another.  However, one thing cannot be denied:  This country was founded on revolution, and the men that founded it believed revolution (or at least the threat of it) was important enough that they included it in the Declaration of Independence, stating that it was our right and obligation to overthrow the government should it prove to be “destructive of these [inalienable rights]”.  Keep in mind that they were speaking not only of their overthrow of English rule in the colonies, but of any and all government, including the one they fought and bled to institute for us, their descendants.  This is the real reason for the 2nd Amendment.  Can you imagine how the Revolution would have gone had England outlawed guns in the colonies?  It would never have been, and we’d all be swearing allegiance to the Nanny State, and her grumpy old Queen.  So, when a system of government becomes overbearing and tyrannical, how exactly should the people go about changing it if they don’t practice their right to bear arms, or worse, allow that right to be taken away based on fear-mongering, propaganda, and disinformation?

    Guns don't kill people. Chimps with guns kill people.
  2. Generally speaking (and contrary to popular belief/propaganda), we are all actually safer with more guns in the neighborhood.  Now instead of boring you with statistics (which can be found – and, more importantly, have their sources actually cited – here and here), let me posit a hypothetical situation.  This may require a little imagination, so bear with me.  You are a small-time criminal looking for some quick loot.  You decide that you’re going to break into an upper-middle class home and steal jewelry, electronics, and whatever else you can get your hand on that looks expensive.  So you don your trusty ski mask, your lucky black sweatshirt, and grab the big friggin’ hunting knife you bought for $50 at your local sporting goods store.  Now at this point you may ask yourself why you aren’t bringing a gun instead?  Well, if you’re a halfway intelligent criminal, you’ll immediately see several reasons.  Firstly, guns are LOUD.  Like, wake up the whole house, half the people in the block, and all the dogs in a half-mile radius, REALLY loud.  Unless of course you’re a rich criminal and can afford a (highly illegal) silencer, in which case you’ll only wake the whole house and a quarter of the people in the block.  Don’t believe me?  James Bond is a liar – silencers are still loud.  Besides the fact that guns are loud, they’re also regulated, and anyone that knows anything about forensic/ballistic science knows that guns can be traced.  So that gun you bought legally and keep in your nightstand?  Use it to commit a crime and it can (and will) be traced back to you.  (Just one reason why you should keep your guns locked up and report a stolen gun to the police immediately.)  This, of course, means that you would need to obtain one illegally (read dangerous and overpriced) if you want to use it to commit a crime.  Finally, you’re a friggin’ burglar, not a murderer!  You don’t want to kill people, you don’t even want to see people!  And if you do see them, you only want to threaten them for as long as it takes to get the hell out.  Hence the knife.  Now, you break into a house and botch the job, waking up the inhabitants in the process.  You’re confronted by a very startled individual, let’s say hypothetically the Mom of the house.  Since we’ve established that you’re a halfway intelligent criminal, you’ve been casing the house for a few nights and you know that big bad Dad’s car is not currently in the driveway, so you feel this night is less risky with the man of the house gone.  You think you can probably intimidate your way out of anything, and worst case scenario win a fight against the weaker, frightened Mom (I said you were halfway intelligent, I didn’t say your weren’t a chauvinist).  From here, let’s posit two possible scenarios:  one where Mom has a gun (and knows how to safely handle it and use it if she has to), and the other where she doesn’t.  I think you can all see where I’m going here.  In Scenario 2 you threaten and possibly beat/stab Mom in front of her poor, defenseless children while stealing whatever you can carry and make your escape.  In Scenario 1…well, at best you get out with your life and probably wind up in jail.  And even if you do bring a gun instead of a knife, the tables are still probably in Mom’s favor, seeing how she knows the house and it’s layout, and is probably feeling pretty threatened and more likely to pull the trigger than you, who are just trying to escape as quickly as possible.  So to sum things up:  Outlaw guns, and only criminals will have the guns.  Allow citizens to own them, and the criminals have something to fear and might think twice about trying to rob, rape, or murder you.  And just in case you like a little statistics with your daily serving of blog, try this one on for size:  since the 1997 ban on handguns in England, violent crime has risen over 225%, while violent crime in the US where no such ban exists has fallen by almost 20% in the same time frame [1] [2].
  3. Guns are our last line of defense.  During the Revolutionary War, the vast majority of combat was carried out by local militias – i.e. local citizens that volunteered to fight, and not standing armies of “career” soldiers.  The same was true of several of the subsequent wars, including the Mexican-American War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.  Since the end of World War II, and even more so since the end of the Cold War, our country has seen more and more cuts to defense spending, and the vast majority of the money we do spend on defense (not to mention personnel and materiel) ends up overseas in whatever war we happen to be fighting at the moment.  Which means that, in the event of a large scale terrorist attack, or (unthinkable, I know) foreign invasion, it will come down to citizens fighting for their lives.  I guarantee that any aggressor, be they terrorist or foreign nation, will think twice about invading America based on our amount of gun ownership.  In fact, Admiral Yamamoto had grave misgivings about invading the US, and is reputed to have said, “You cannot invade the mainland of the United States.  There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”   However, if you depend on our government and so-called “first responders” to save your life, you’re as good as dead already.  Case in point: it took police in Norway over an hour and a half to respond to the reports of gunfire in Utoya this past week.  In the meantime, 82 people were killed.  82!!!  All killed by one man.  Do you think that would have happened if a few of those Norwegians had guns with them?  Yes, the shooter would have killed some, nothing could have changed that, but he would have died riddled with bullets and many more lives would have been saved.
  4. Gun owners are being given a bad rap.  When you think of gun owners, your first thought goes directly to Jim Bob Hick with his beat up Ford pickup, gun rack in the rear window, trucker hat, stained and torn “wife-beater” shirt, poor hygiene, and IQ only slightly higher than that of you average goat.  Taking this thought a little further, you know for a fact that he didn’t finish high school, has at least two broken down cars on blocks next to his trailer, has at least 5 kids and a fat, slovenly, balding wife with a hole in her neck through which she smokes her Camel Reds, and whoever you voted for in the last election, you’re positive he voted for the other guy.  You know, someone like this guy: You know the stereotype I mean, and you know that it’s occurred to you at some point in time.  Well, I say it’s time we changed the stigma on gun ownership.  If more responsible, conscientious, intelligent, open-minded people owned guns, the lobbying in Washington wouldn’t be dominated by right-wing closet-Confederate racist nut jobs and rabid anti-gun peacenik “liberals” (though how you can be called a liberal and still advocate draconian gun control laws and the abolition of our constitutional rights is beyond me).  As a result, we would end up with responsible, intelligent, and effective gun laws that would prevent criminals from obtaining guns while enabling law-abiding citizens to practice their 2nd Amendment rights…without Big Brother controlling the ball.  Now, in light of the recent killings in Norway as well as the shooting spree in Tucson earlier this year (both of which were carried out with legally owned firearms), let me just say this:  1) Yes, I am for gun ownership by private citizens, and 2) Yes, I am in favor of gun control legislation – in fact, I think it should be harder for people to get a gun, generally speaking.  People need to realize that, while it is a right granted in our Constitution, it is also a responsibility.  If you own a gun, you should know how to disassemble and reassemble it, safely load, unload, clean, transport, and store it, and be responsible for its whereabouts at all times.  Every time I hear about some kid that accidentally shoots his friend playing with dad’s gun, or takes it to school and kills someone with it, or some drunk redneck that shoots himself, it really pisses me off.  If you own a gun and have kids, lock it up, no matter what, and hide the friggin’ key.  And keep the ammo somewhere else, while you’re at it, preferably locked up as well.  If you’re “cleaning” your gun and shoot yourself, well…that’s just natural selection running its course, because obviously you’re too dumb to realize that you don’t (can’t, even) clean a loaded weapon.  So stop giving smart, responsible people that happen to own guns a bad name, and next time you accidentally shoot yourself, don’t miss!
  5. Guns cannot be uninvented.  As much as many pacifists and peace-loving people the world over (myself included) would love for that wish to come true, it is just not going to happen.  No matter what you do, someone, somewhere out there will have guns, and if they decide they want what you have (up to and including your life), there is little to nothing you would be able to do to stop them.  I for one feel much safer owning a gun or two and knowing how to use them, while simultaneously hoping that day never comes.  However, a wiser man than myself said, “Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.”

I guess that’s all I’ve got for now.  Not technically 7, but it is a list nonetheless and I’m sticking to it.  By all means, feel free to weigh in if you have something to say.

[Evolution vs. Creation] Must Be Stopped!

I’m so sick of seeing Jesus- and Darwin-fish all over the damn place.  It’s getting really old, people.  Everywhere I go, it’s Darwin-fish here, Jesus-fish there, Darwin-fish eating Jesus-fish, Jesus-fish smiting Darwin-fish down with bolts of fire and brimstone…it’s honestly getting absurd.  Why do we as a nation – no, as a species – feel so intent upon dividing ourselves into so many separate camps, and then proceed to go to great and illogical lengths to prove that any other camp is wholly, utterly wrong?  Personally, I don’t see why the two fish are so different, really…I mean, one has legs, the other doesn’t, no big deal…

So why the hell can’t someone believe in evolution (which is based upon scientific fact, people; here, let me say it again: scientific fact.  Look it up if you don’t know what it means), and still believe that God created the universe?  Can we no longer grasp the concepts of metaphor and allusion?  If you believe God created the universe, did you never stop to think that maybe science and mathematics are part of the language God used to create everything?  Why is that so flippin’ hard to believe?  “Oh no, that’s impossible!  God doesn’t use science!  He just says the magic words, and it happens!  Duh…”. I mean, seriously?  If God is the creator of everything (the universe included), and every piece of scientific knowledge and learning that our species has acquired through the millennia points to the fact that the universe runs based on very specific scientific laws and principles, then it only stands that (and all you people who passed Philosophy 101 will agree with me here)…drum roll, please…  God created science as a set of guidelines by which his creation should work.  It’s all this old-fashioned superstitious mumbo-jumbo kind of thinking that keeps us from getting anywhere as a society.  Now, I know that evolution is a theory in the scientific sense of the word, as any self-respecting biologist (my brother included) will tell you.  Darwin didn’t get it exactly right, and there is still a lot for us to learn about exactly how it works (not to mention the all-encompassing “Why?”, which is well beyond the scope of this article).  Nonetheless, it’s the best theory we have, and is viewed as “fact” in the common understanding of the word because no other theory has replaced it or disproved it.  Anyway, if you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God, what harm can a few scientific theories really do Him?  Further, if the teaching of evolution is such a faith-threatening act, it seems to me that the Creationists’ faith could use a little evolving itself; even Thomas believed in the resurrection after putting his fingers into Jesus’ wounds.

Anyway, the same could be said of the scientists/Evolutionists as well.  They should be the first ones to consider that there are things in this universe which are beyond the scope of our current human comprehension (black holes, the nature of space-time, how light can behave simultaneously as a wave and a particle, the quantum states of energy…just to name a few).  We’re quick to accept the possibility of life on other planets in other solar systems, or even in our own (think of how much money has been spent searching for water and traces of life on Mars).  Remember the Golden Record sent out on the first Voyager mission?  Obviously the possibility of other life in the universe is great enough that our top scientists didn’t see it as a waste of time and valuable resources to put that mission together.  So if scientists believe in the possibility of some form of higher intelligence somewhere in the universe, why is the possibility that a higher Higher Intelligence could exist and have created the universe so hard to believe?  I understand that this concept takes a little bit of Critical Thinking (which scientific minds praise so highly)… but it doesn’t seem any more of a stretch to me than believing that a black hole can have infinite mass and density in a nonetheless very finite space.  Scientific thought is important, and it’s the foundation on which our society has been built, but Science needs to know when to admit that it doesn’t understand something.  Socrates (who we revere as one of the greatest philosophers – a.k.a. Critical Thinkers – of all time) stated that true wisdom comes in knowing that you know nothing.  You can look at a diamond and say that it’s made out of atoms of carbon arranged in a complex matrix…but do you really understand it?  Can you say what a carbon atom really is, without reverting to the Periodic Table, or speaking in quarks, leptons, and bosons?  What exactly is the force that causes these things to behave the way they do?  When asking these sorts of questions, you reach a point where Science fails you, and you have to admit that they behave in such a manner simply because it’s in their nature to do so…but what defines that nature?  We…don’t…know…  In my humble opinion, the idea that the universe was created out of the void in a Big Bang with no impetus or particular reason takes as much Faith (as opposed to Logic) as the belief in God…but then again, what do I know?  I just live here.

The Dream Road Trip

For the first time in a long time it’s nice out today. No rain. No wind. It’s beautiful in San Francisco. It feels like summer for the first time this year. People are graduating, school is out. Unlike many people, when the weather gets nice, I want to leave.

Where would I go, you ask? On an adventure.

A road trip!

The perfect summer vacation for me is not sitting on a beach. It’s not a pool somewhere. It’s not even a cold drink. It’s the open road. It may have something to do with the way I was raised. My father was a travelling salesman, selling golf bags throughout the Rocky Mountain region. He had a high top van that was a mobile salesroom, carrying golf bags, apparel and accessories. From the time I was born until I had to be in school I travelled with him (and my mom too). By the time I was five I’d see more states than many Americans ever do. That time, though a distant memory, I think instilled in me a wanderlust. But a specific type, the need to hit the highway.

I have been on my fair share of road trips since. Hell, in college I was on the road as soon as classes were over most weekends. I was often headed to Ellensburg, WA, to hang out with my fellow writers here at Third and 7. Shorter than many, but still a road trip. There have been some other notable road trips too: one to Denver to see Aerosmith, which included backstage passes (insane for an 18-year-old) and a few trips from Los Angeles to Spokane or Seattle, moving.

For years I have dreamed of an epic road trip. One unlike any other. The route often changes, but there are a few parameters:

  • As many states as possible
  • Another country
  • Swimming in both oceans
  • As few highways as possible/staying on one road as long as possible
  • One way in the north, the other direction in the south
  • Music – live music in as many cities as possible
  • At least one other person to share the driving, stories, sights – someone to hold the map and the camera, someone to argue music with, someone to mock as they sleep in the passenger seat and someone to suggest stopping to see some silly over priced attraction

So here’s my idea of a near perfect road trip. It’s a beast. Nearly 8,000 miles in 23 days. Nearly 129 total driving hours at an average of 60 mph. Check out the route below, along with some commentary. I fully intend to take this, or a similar trip some day.


Day

Route

Miles

Time

Route

1

Seattle > Missoula

476

7:36

This is a great way to start an epic road trip – three states in one day. It’s a pretty easy drive, lots of different scenery.

2

Missoula > Cody, WY

411

7:06

Day two is scheduled for 7 hours of drive time, but it’s actually a longer day. There is a lot to see in Yellowstone, and often slow going due to American Bison and tourists. Up early for this one, maybe to see the sun rise over the Grand Tetons.

3

Cody > Reliance, SD

581

9:17

Some pretty passes here, but lots of Badlands.

4

Reliance > Chicago

720

11:54

Crossing the first major river on day 4, the Missouri, as well as all of Minnesota. This is the longest day on the drive. I think each road trip needs one day that is grueling, one to test you. This is that day.

5

Chicago > Toronto

521

9:01

Next up, a reasonable day, but exciting as we cross into Canada.

6

Toronto > New York City

476

8:23

Past Niagra Falls, I’m sure with a stop, and on to New York City. Couple days here to explore and relax after six days, two coasts and 3,185 miles.

9

New York City > Raleigh

490

8:52

Heading south to Raleigh, pretty simple day. Likely a quick stop in DC to see some monument or another, maybe a drive down the National Mall past the White House.

10

Raleigh > Nashville

543

8:34

Over the Appalachians (near the Cumberland Gap) and on to the musical portion of the trip, Nashville.

12

Nashville > Memphis

212

3:29

Two nights in Nashville then the shortest day of the trip as we head to Memphis.

14

Memphis > New Orleans

406

6:46

After two nights in Memphis its on to New Orleans. It’s a pretty quick day, but covers three states, including all of Mississippi.

16

New Orleans > Austin

509

8:27

Couple nights in New Orleans, then on to Austin. Quite a lot of flat today, but the promise of bar-b-que and live tunes are enough to carry us through. Timing for my dream road trip would probably be built out in either direction from these days, based on who was playing. Seriously. www.Pollstar.com is consulted for all trips.

18

Austin > Amarillo, TX

507

8:44

Today’s stretch includes at least one bit of road that is perfectly straight… for 30 miles. It’s also almost totally state highway.

19

Amarillo > Albuquerque

288

4:33

More of the same today. We can probably tie the wheel to the door and take a nap. These two days of driving are all about the roadside attraction.

20

Albuquerque > Grand Junction, CO

383

7:11

Some serious mountains today. A pretty drive.

21

Grand Junction > West Wendover,

NV

405

6:41

North through the mountains, across Utah and past the great Salt Lake. There will be a stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats to admire, then a quick drive into Wendover. They filmed Con Air here, but more importantly this is where the Enola Gay took off from, loaded with one of two nuclear weapons to be used in war.

22

West Wendover > Pendelton, OR

521

8:42

At this point in the trip it’s all boring and just a mission to get home.

23

Pendelton > Seattle

283

4:33

Shorter day, but the home stretch.

23 Days

Totals

7,732

129h 49m

An Excerpt

Many of you might remember during Senior Year of High School that we kept little black books. No, not cool black books with tons of girl’s phone numbers in them. Geeky black books, where we would chronicle our crazy adventures and wacky quotes. This was initially started by Matthew Swartz and was adopted by myself and a few others before they lost interest or had to destroy their copies due to GF interference. The following is an excerpt from that book:

March 25th, 2002- Up On The Roof

In the neonic glow of the moon; Dave, Matthew and I made our way towards Mt. Rainier High School. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, was to climb onto the roof of the school and explore. Now me being the typical pussy I was skeptical about such an adventure, but held back my fears. After climbing up a brick wall, we proceeded to walk atop the roofs of the outdoor hallways. Once we made it to the first area of stable rooftop, we were distracted by a solo object located in the cafeteria. As Matthew and Dave stood there to determine if the object was a person, I scurried into the darkness. It was soon revealed that our person was indeed a stack of chairs. After making a quick bathroom break we proceeded towards the cafeteria roof. My lack of upper body strength lead to Matthew and Dave basically tossing me up the wall. After taking in the view from the highest point of the school, Matthew showed us the way were getting down:  a single pipe running from the roof down to the roof of the outdoor hallway. Matthew and Dave took it easily, but it took some motivational speaking from Matthew to get my ass down that pole. “If you don’t do it, I’m gonna tell Haley how much of a pussy you are.” Since I can’t have that happening, I finally got the nerve to go down the pole. Once I was down I laughed caused it wasn’t that far at all, I was just being myself. As we made our way back towards the brick wall we originally scaled, Matthew lept from the roof without warning onto the grassy null below. Dave and I looked at each other and shook our heads no. Dave climbed down the wall while I stood there contemplating my next move. Matthew continued to climb up the wall simply to jump off the roof over and over. Matthew made one last climb and stood next to me on the roof, we watched Dave pee on a tree. Suddenly, we heard the faint sound of sirens in the distance. Our first instinct was to get the hell out of there, so in a leap of faith I jumped from the roof and did a barrell roll onto a stump. Matthew followed and we laid in the grass to listen for the siren, which had ceased. For a split second, our dance with the law had us scared enough to make me take a leap, from a roof.