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Friday, August 01, 2003

Trip Report Trivia

> How was the trip?

One of those where every (harmless) delay possible was encountered, from packing one-handed, to a closed road (without warning) leading to backtracking, to my phoned-in to-go lunch order being lost and having to re-order, to the lady in front of me in that very line being comically, classically, the slowest, most indecisive, confused, and probably a little senile person you can imagine (I stood patiently as she and the cashier had a 15 minute long conversation including gems such as "no, halibut is a fish"), all of which delayed me just enough to land me in rush hour in Sacramento (the elbow, nay, armpit of my journey). So, in the end, after many long hours of excessive but productively paranoid speeding, I arrived Portland around 1am (target was 11pm, when Don returned from work) and then had to unpack my car. This is fine for me on my schedule, but I felt rather bad keeping Don up that late since he's supposed to do a 7+ mile swim in Maine in two days that starts I think at 4am PST. :/ (I tried to get him to go to bed and leave the unpacking to me from the time I walked in the door and he gave me the key, but he kept finding one more excuse for taking one more trip to the car with me until it was was empty.)

I arrived here on fumes (I have about a pint of gas left in my tank, hopefully enough to get me to the nearest gas station), when I wasn't expecting to actually make it this far without a second refill. For that second tank, I got about 26mpg at an average speed of 75mph with some substantial stretches in the 80-90mph range. Usually I get a few mpg less than that when driving that fast. I thought it might be due to being forced to buy a higher grade of gasoline than usual since the station where I filled up in the middle of nowhere was out of regular, but a quick search on the web indicates octane shouldn't impact performance.

Maybe it's the 4 large boxes of stuff I removed from my car. This is twice now that I have migrated 4 large boxes of my earthly possessions to medium-term archival in Rich's crawl space, totalling eight boxes plus miscellaneous blobbly and/or elongated un-boxable things, resulting in a huge pile-o-stuff down there that looks easily as large as the inside of my car. I was quite gleeful for a short time, looking at this pile, thinking how light I am now traveling and how much easier it will be to pack and unpack my car. But I should add to the above list of delays that despite having acquired nothing new, my car is still completely full and required the usual cramming and stuffing and tetris-style planning.

I have empirically proven Murphy's law of packing, that any amount of stuff will expand to fill the space available.

I spent a bit of time on the drive trying to figure out how to remain maximally alert for cops (whether ahead, behind, or hiding in the bushes, all of which I encountered) without being stressed by it--i.e., what is the difference between high alert and stress?

Anyway, so I am here. I'm not entirely sure why I'm here, but here I am. The view is nice, and I've added a few finishing touches to Don's motif for the place. Maybe I'll post this email as a journal entry and slap some pics up w/it.


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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com