Friday, August 7, 2015


One suitcase. That's what I allowed myself to keep out of the things that matter to me.

Sure, there are plenty of things that I'm giving to friends that they'll use and hang on to, and maybe I'll even get some of them back when I return. But at the end of the day, everything that I really, truly wanted to keep - the things that mattered to me and me alone - I gave myself just one single suitcase.

And I was having trouble trying to fill it up.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Grand Re-Opening

How do you re-open communication that's been closed for 3 years?

The last time I posted on this blog, I was in the interview process for a position in San Diego at Qualcomm. It seemed promising, and I'd just gotten back from a day of interviews with a team that it sounded like I'd really enjoy working with - though one of the interviews didn't go as well as I'd hoped. But I wasn't getting my hopes up too high, because I'd spent the previous Fall going through a similar process for a Qualcomm job in Boulder, and then a few days before Christmas I got a call saying that I didn't get the position.

So I was sitting in an extended stay hotel room in Tennessee, thinking about the contract job I was working at an oven company, and hoping with everything I had that this Qualcomm thing would pan out and I'd be able to move to San Diego. I was dreading hearing that I might not have gotten the position, and thinking about trying to find an apartment close enough to work that my commute didn't suck without being an hour or more away from Nashville.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Arlington Laundry

So here's a story from last summer when I was traveling that I never posted on the blog. It probably belongs just after the Roll With It post, and is the "story for another time" that I mentioned at the bottom.

The day after the earthquake in D.C. was a lazy one for me. I'd stayed up pretty late drinking and smoking the pipe with a friend I hadn't seen in a long time and a few of her friends, so I slept in. I had been planning on traveling to Philadelphia that day, but that got tossed out the window based on what time I woke up. I called my friend there and asked if she'd mind me showing up a day later, and she said that was fine. With a day of no plans ahead of me, I decided to get some things done.

First, I headed over to an REI I'd seen nearby to pick up a few supplies. The main thing I needed was more of the Dr. Bronner's soap I'd been using as bodywash, shampoo (now that I had hair again), dishsoap, and laundry detergent all-in-one. While I was in there, I picked up a few other things as well, and then I went back out to the motorcycle. Without much storage space, pretty much every shopping trip is immediately followed by removing everything from the packaging in the parking lot and a trip to a garbage can.

As I refilled a brand new gotoob with soap (I'd left the old one in someone's shower somewhere in the country), I marveled at the design. With the lid popped shut, it was, as far as I could tell, impossible to pop it back open by squeezing the tube. Though the entire lid did move a bit weird on this particular one, which I hadn't noticed before...


Friday, October 7, 2011

Flat (Independence)

I'm currently vehicle-less.  It's somewhat strange.

Yesterday I drove from Rockford back to Peoria and met some friends for lunch at Flat Top Grill - it's like a Mongolian Barbecue place where you put a bunch of uncooked vegetables and meat from a buffet into a bowl and give it to them, and they cook it for you. $10, and I can usually pack my bowl high enough to get three or four meals out of it. It's one of the cheaper ways to eat if you have a place to store leftovers and reheat them, and it's pretty good too.

When I got back out to my bike, I sat down, popped it into neutral, and noticed that even though I was on a bit of a slope, the bike wasn't trying to roll backward at all, which was a little strange. As I pulled away, I noticed it felt very sluggish - the bike didn't want to coast at all.  Before getting out of the parking lot, I did a quick look-over of the bike... and noticed a completely flat back tire.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Rockford, IL

So the trip is over.  Saturday night I arrived back in Peoria around 9pm, after one hundred days of traveling and 21,198 miles.  (Average distance traveled per day: 212 miles.)

Before Vegas: 48 days, 12,200 miles, 17 states.
After Vegas: 52 days, 9,000 miles, 31 states.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Belvidere, IL

We were sitting around in Toronto, having slept in after a late (but fun) night. Suddenly, I realized everyone else seemed to have stopped getting ready and was just sitting around. I glanced around, and sure enough they all looked ready to go.

"Give me a second. I'm finishing up a blog post."

"You write a blog?" Alex said. "I thought about doing that, but I'm not any good at writing."

"Then start writing a blog. That's how you get better."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Achievement Unlocked

Park Ridge, IL

I feel like I'm already done. I took a picture in front of the 48th state sign for the trip. I'm back in Chicago - a place that I've possibly spent more weekends than I have in Peoria. The next four days feel almost like a formality - I'm just visiting friends, waiting out the days until I get to 100.