July 25th, 2003


Mountain time

We are now entering the mountain time zone.

We've just passed Bismark, where we stopped to remove bugs, empty bladders, and fill fuel tank. I have apicture of the way the front bumper looks after 4 hours of North Dakota driving. It's... interesting, to say the least.

Mark has just pointed out that it appears they are doing construction on every bridge in Western North Dakota. Quite frustrating to go down to two lanes, especially when you get stuck behind a nice big truck going 5-10 below the speed limit.

We eventually got past the truck and back onto more normal roads. We're now dirving into what looks like complete blackness. You can't see any cars in front of us in either direction, and we're 370 miles outside Billings. We're driving at speeds between 75 and 90 miles per hour, yet we haven't seen anyone in fiveish minutes. (And of course, as soon as I write that, I see a truck in the lane heading the other way.) Still, it's just so empty out here. You almost feel like you're completely isolated from everyone - other than a simple fringe of grass, you can drive ten to 15 minutes without seeing any other features at all.

I got some sleep earlier while Janine was pulling her shift. I'm working on writing this, but my eyes are completely closed and I'm just chilling out as I write it, leaning my head against my pillow. If I knew how to make the monitor go black, I would so that i could get a bit more night vision and look at the stars. That's one thing I'd miss if I chose to live east coast instead of living somewhere in the rockies when I grow up - the stars. Mark says Janine has never even seen the Milky Way. For those of you who haven't, I highly recommend a trip west - if you think stars are amazing where you are now, just wait until you can actualy see how many there are. it's absolutely amazing the first time you see it.

We spent about 36 hours at Mark's parents place, mostly bumming around and coding. We got a plan together for whn we're seeing the Brads and Evan.

I kind of envy Jess and her stay out here - she got to meet a lot of really cool people that I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to see. We've got so much stuff planned, but I always worry things aren't going to pan out. And, of course, there is the Japanese restaurant that she got to eat at that I'm probably going to miss out on :)

Am hoping to meet solcita, sherm, plus the 3 on the LJ crew. Obviously seeing asciident and supersat, and we're picking up tenshisama when we head down to the Portland area to meet with the Brads. We're supposed to be hanging out and eating s'mores on the Oregon Coast. Hopefully, by then we'll have my phone (barring another Amazon.com Official Fuck Up) and able to use it.

xb95 is as cool, or cooler, in person than he is online. janinedog looks exactly like her pictures (in other words, HOT *cough*) and she's been really fun to hang out with. We spent most of the time at the house in ND just hanging out and coding. Janine is working on a nifty project for LJ, and Mark and I spent a lot of time doing minor cleanups on Plogs.net. If you check out my latest plog entry ( http://crschmidt.plogs.net ) you can see what we worked on. I actually figured out some stuff with the system that LiveJournal uses for doing async stuff, which is nice because I was then able to move our ESN system into using it, which will be faster and more reliable than depending on a cron job. I need to modify the esn script now to be more similar to the current synsuck script, since it's gone through a few changes.

I need to update my S2 style on my plogs style. Forum was never designed to be used for what it is, and there are many better options now. Too bad we can't get LJ to talk about releasing the source to Component, xvenix's new S2 style. They seem to be choosing to avoiding open source revisions more and more, which is sad. I love the livejournal project, no matter what I say bad about it.

Were it not for livejournal...
I wouldn't be driving cross-country with two people I met there to stay with two people I only know from there to stay for a week.
I would not be the Development Manager for a website.
I would not have ever learned CSS.
I would not know all the cool people on my Friends Page and friends list.
I would not have gone to woodfield with two females I had never met before and hung out all day.
I would not be the friend of a certain blonde nymphomaniac alcoholic from school. ;)
I would not have half of the technical and professional writing skills that I have obtained both from Support writing and Plogs.net writing
I would not know that "blog" is such a thorougly wrong word that it should be abolished and removed from all english lexicons and never be spoken again.
Most importan though, I would not have met my current girlfriend. I would not be heading out there in two weeks, and I would not have the person who is the love of my life.

I love this place, no matter how much I bitch about it.


Born to Hand Jive, oh yeah!

Janine and I were just doing the Hand Jive to the grease soundtrack that's playing.

Mark's comment? "So this is some crazy thing like the macarena?"

Sure Mark ;)

Beach, North Dakota?
Wishful thinking.

Welcome to Montana. 12:53 localtime, 1:53 body clock time. There are 248 miles to I-90 in Billings Montana, approximately 1/3rd of the way through the state. This distance should be covered in approximately 3-4 hours, at which point we will switch drivers and I will get to experience the joy that is driving at 4 in the morning.

Now, I'm going to turn off this machine and take a bit of a nap and a look at the stars.

Good night, world.

(no subject)

We have now passed the continental Divide. It's 7:30 Mountain Time, and after 4.5 hours of driving and 4 mountain dews, I'm wide awake. I drove us through the first two mountain passes without incident, and Janine is now doing some filler driving before we get to Missoula, hwere Mark will take over to navigate us through most of the mountains.

It's an interesting experience, driving through montana at 4am. You can basically go as fast as the vehicle you're driving can go, because no one cares and no one is going to stop you. For example, how many planes do you think they have monitoring the path through Billings at 4 in the morning, where "speed is monitored by aircraft"?

I think I know the answer, so don't get too concerened about doing the research.

Having the sun rise behind you, slowly lightening the sky so you can see the mountains you're driving through, is another interesting experience. You don't realize how much is really around you that you're missing until the sun actually comes up. Slowly, the sun creeps over the hills around you and shadows begin to appear. Finally, you're in daylight and you realize... wow. Montana is flat.

Seriously. In the eastern part of montana, the mountains and hills that seem so big in the dark become nothing but plains. The real hills are all avoided by the interstate. As you pass farther west, you get into the real hills - foot to the floor at 60 mph and not accelerating while you climb the mountains.

There is a dancing hula girl with no skirt on the dash. She's been there the whole time, but I just thought o menion her. she has a spring in the middle of her so she shakes as she plays her yukelelee. She provides entertainment when bored and sitting in the front seat.

I miss the internet. Not much longer til we get to seattle, hopefully - we've been driving for 12 hours now, which should put us halfway from north dakota to seattle.

I think I'm going to try to grab a nap now. I want to ride shotgun in the mountains and watch Mark drive. So, nappy time now nighty nighty.
-7:59am, July 24th, 2003