July 2003

I’m posting this from the public library in Murphy, North Carolina (until recently, the infamous “home” of Eric Rudolph). A word of advice: when you’re planning a three-cornered trip, don’t take it for granted that it will be a small journey from one part of a state to another.

Case in point: it was about 450 miles from our home in PA to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It was 550 miles from the Outer Banks to Murphy, North Carolina past the Smoky Mountains. Yes, a ten hour trip from the NC coast to its inner mountains.

One a somewhat related note, I have completely reversed my militant stand against in-car VCR systems. It has saved my life and quite possibly our family from a tragic dependence on duct tape and valium (assuming I knew where to find some valium). You can likely deduce which item would be used on which family members.

I will post a funny (or possibly tragic, depending on your point of view) trip log later.

Oh, and I meant that Murphy was home to Rudolph (when he was captured), not the public library itself.

Too busy to post the last few days–bought the van, got all the trailer hitch equipment, made my own lighting wire harness adapter because the camper has such a weird plug, and packed for vacation (all right, my wife did most of that).

Also, I went to Philly today for a memorial service for my friend’s mother. Sad, but afterward we went to see another friend who just had twins. That was a nice way to regain a good feeling. I wish her all the best (I guess I should have wished her boundless amounts of energy–that’s what she’ll need with twins).

Also, another very good friend of mine had his second child (and second boy) today. That’s the second really wonderful thing to happen this week. Do good things come in threes?

(I didn’t put anyone’s name in this post because I’m not sure if people would appreciate having their name in “print” on the Internet. It feels odd to write workaround sentences to make them anonymous…)

I’m off to North Carolina for a while camping–posts will likely be nonexistent until August 5 or so.

Have a great couple of weeks!

Too busy packing the poptop camper and setting up my playlists in iTunes to get music ready for the trip to the Outer Banks (and Inner Smokies).

The big question–am I going to bring my laptop on vacation? I usually do. I can get some work done on my cookbook at the cabin. I dunno.

(Later) Denise is bringing her laptop, so I guess it’s OK to bring mine. Woo Hoo! We could, like, do an audio iChat across the room to each other or something.

I am such a geek.

Whenever I leave my diet I can tell. When I eat carbs I feel tired within a few hours. The next morning, I have that draggy feeling and it’s hard to get up. If I eat something full of sugar I feel sick for the rest of the night.

Sugar and highly refined flour are like alcohol or drugs to my body–I even get a hangover. So it’s back on the wagon for me.

Besides, I’ve got to be in good shape for the Outer Banks and the Smokies in the next two weeks. Of course, what this really means is that I’ve got to be in good enough shape to handle my little wiggly children on vacation without collapsing every night in exhaustion.


I will, for sure. Wil Wheaton writes over at WWDN about a new effort to make a movie out of Watchmen. Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins created this masterpiece, perhaps the best graphic novel ever made. If this project ever comes to fruition, I’ll be the first in line to buy tickets.

Tonight I spent a great deal of time calling nine different stores for this Igloo thermoelectric cooler in vain–they were all sold out. I then find the cooler in the KMart two miles from my house (for much less than the price at the web link above).

Now I just hope it fits in my van.


If you ever have the time, go to the urban legends website Snopes.com. I think the main page looks a bit obtuse at first, but poke around and you’ll find some amazing stuff on urban legends and hoaxes.

My brother Joe is on his way to Tokyo as I write this. He spent the last few days in Seattle.

Of course, only this could happen to my brother Joe: he called me from the border yesterday because he decided to go to British Columbia, Canada, for lunch. That would make 4 countries he’ll have visited on his trip: Peru, Bolivia, Canada, and Japan.

He’s visited the US too, of course, but his home in Guam is technically a US territory, so he didn’t really leave the country to get here (or live there).

Also, Joe called me from the SEATAC airport today–his flight was overbooked, so he volunteered to be bumped form the flight. You know the drill–get bumped, then get a free pass on the airlines good for one year, right?

Not with Joe. He didn’t get bumped, but instead got a first class seat to Tokyo for his trouble.

Only Joe Mancuso.

Or Joe Way–he pulls this kind of stuff all the time too. Disgusting, isn’t it?


This is a rule I’ve learned by painful, painful experience (did I mention painful?):

When buying anything, be ready to walk away from the sale in an instant, right up to signing on the dotted line, especially if you really want it.

Often, this rule applies even after signing the dotted line.

I put this in because I’m looking at purchasing something this month, and I need to resharpen the edge on my mental “sword”…

Next Page »