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Sunday, January 16, 2011

72 days to go!

Warning - insanity gotten from this blog may be both rampant and contagious.



CHATTING WITH BERT

He is a rock. In fact, I'd gush so far as to say "If you're ever in Blacksburg, VA, pick up a couple steaks and go pay him a visit - unless you're an excellent cook he will make them better and you can have a nice visit. PS: Don't bring alcohol."

Bert's pretty much happy to come in and take any and everything out of here that I don't. Food, shelving, tables, computer, etc. TJ - get here quick if you want those Cthulhu books - otherwise, Bert will get them after I split. It gives me great peace of mind that it just isn't all going to waste.



He's even willing to take what will be left of my prized Kool-Aid collection.


Now, Bert did offer to store stuff for me but to be honest, I am excited about cutting all of my worldly possession ties and getting out on the road. [Well, I tell a lie - I do have a couple hard drives he's going to hold on to for me.] Bert has given me a lot of peace of mind for my trip.


Something else that Bert suggested I look into:


This would be handy for not only recording game sessions if the netbook isn't up to it but it could be neat for walking around and doing podcasts in the interesting places I go to. I put one into my Amazon cart for 'maybe later'. I'm not sure how much of my money we're going to eat through in Western Europe and I don't want to buy anything I don't have to before I go. But it is possible.

Something else interesting - he had asked me if there was anyone I needed to keep in touch with. I gave it some thought and it is all via the internet these days. My mother is even on Facebook. Damn, that is convenient.

I had mentioned something to Pete that may help explain why I am preparing to embark on such a lengthy expedition. I told him that I would rather be killed in a foreign country than slowly waste away in the USA. It would be more interesting. Naturally, I hope that I am NOT killed in a foreign country but I think I have a risk no matter where I am. I am opting for adventure rather than a completely sedentary lifestyle. Not for everyone, I know.



BLOCKED BY MLK

I was going to work on getting some more stuff done for the trip with the bank and the VA clinic, but I was blocked by Martin Luther King's birthday. I had to look it up on line to know why nobody was answering their phones.



MICHAEL PALIN

Been watching a lot of travellogs by Lonely Planet and others by Michael Palin. I do like Palin's BBC documentaries though they only only show snippets of each of the places he visits on the shows I've watched. And he is not funny on it, but he does do the 'charming Englishman' well. Much better than YOU Matt! Wanker. By that, I mean "Matt is a wanker" if you are reading this Michael Palin. If Michael Palin is reading this it also means I've gotten a lot more funny and interesting than I ever thought I could get or Michael Palin is a lot more bored than I thought was possible.



CHATTING WITH AMY

For those who don't know Amy, she is a friend of mine I met long ago. I think she was 16 at the time. And I was like 30. Now, she has a baby named Elba (not mine) who I get in trouble for calling "baggage". Amy is a great gamer. One of her characters "Crazy Kara" still sticks around in my memory. Anyway, we've been friends for over a decade now. No, I don't know exactly how long as I think she stopped having birthdays in order to prevent any further aging. Seems to be working so who am I to point fault at it?

I started to go through what I think of the 'phases of parenting' with her but didn't get to complete them because little Elba got tired and had to be 'put down' - in Amy's terms. I'm guessing that she meant 'put him to bed' rather than 'make him feel bad by telling him he is a useless baby and such. Or shooting him. I figured I should specify that because we've got people from six countries that read this and people in New Zealand might not have any clue what I'm talking about.



PHASES OF PARENTING

So - the phases (as Logan sees it) of parenting. Disclaimer: Logan is a confirmed bachelor and likes not having any kids. I remember back in my twenties people would say "You're probably going to get married in the next year or two" When I got to my thirties they would say "Oh, some day, you'll find the right girl...". Now that I am in my mid forties, they shrug and say "Obviously, you were always meant to be a bachelor. Where the hell were these people when I was in my 20's and 30's telling people that? Don't mistake that I don't still have people telling me even these days about a story of two people in their forties who fell in love, hooked up and all of that. I always smile and tell them, "I have always made it a habit never to date or become involved with anyone with more mental problems than I have, hence I'm not worried about ever getting married." And that still doesn't get rid of them. Honestly, it makes you want to go borrow a fire hose. This lengthy disclaimer may have distracted you from the fact that we are going to get to the 'phases of parenting as Logan sees it'.


Stage 1: Fuck your social life.

In this phase, the kid is totally dependent up on you and guess what? Any friends you had? Gone. Hobbies you enjoyed? Gone. Time to yourself or with your significant other? Fucking gone. If your friends thought you became a dusch bag when you originally met up with this guy/girl/alien and never wanted to hang out with them anymore - here's a newsflash for them (and you) - you had TONS more hanging out with them back then. Now, that is GONE. Unless you are part of the less than 1% that can afford live in maids, ship the kid off to some parochial school that the kids in your family have gone to since time began and you remain blissfully unaware of their existence until they become more interesting - but I don't know any of those people on a personal basis. Now it is true that some people have so little going on with themselves that they have no hobbies, no real interesting parts of their lives that they are bland and this really helps out. Those people get hit very hard in stage 3. This stage is generally thought of as the 'baby stage'.


Stage 2: Unpaid Taxi Service.

I think my parents tried this until I was old enough to communicate that I really had no interest in any sports. I know that it is considered part of 'good parenting' to constantly drive them around (school events, sport events, etc) but dang - I owned a bike. I remember taking it to the baseball field on my own to participate in a pointless game when I was a kid. But, soccer moms and other people who want to live vicariously through their children will drive them endlessly around. This stage is 'as soon as they can demand you drive them to the park'. A lot of parents like this stage because in addition to wanting to (for some reason) live through someone else and forget about their own dreams left unfulfilled by onset (or surprise onset) of stage 1 the kid/kidlike being actually wants to hang out with you. "Mommy look at me!" is a common heard phrase. Not "Daddy look at me!" as he is often either slaving in the salt mines or has dumped the woman for someone younger/hotter/more male.


Stage 3: Abandonment.

Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: You - and possibly your significant other/husband/wife. At this point, your son/daughter/artificial intelligence is working on a) distancing themselves from you b) creating their own identity c) rebelling d) fitting in with their peer group who is also trying all of the same crap but whose parents (according to your son/daughter/talking parrot is SO much cooler than you it makes him/her/it wish they could be adopted by other family. The sad thing is that if you check out the other family, yes, they are that much cooler than you. Despite all of the work you've done in stage 1 and 2, you suck. Sorry. The kid would like nothing better than for you to move out of the house and keep paying the bills. If you go into their room you will get more shit than when the USA foolishly invaded Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and anywhere else we've stuck our noses into within the last decade. Some parents (read as 'abandoned refugees') will try to get back with the friends they had blown off back in phase one (or pre-phase one if they blew them off while dating). Some of the friends may be suckered back into getting together with the couple (or what remains of said couple) but many will get together with the ex-friend only long enough to realize that person has completely changed or they have no common interests left to discuss. News flash for those with kids - your single friends probably don't want to hear about them. Seriously. If they ask, just assume they are being polite and keep it brief. If they continue asking questions after the normal period, sure you can gush - but chances are excellent they won't. The only kids I personally am interested in are ones that I am related to (I have two nephews and one niece) but I am waiting till they get older and hopefully develop some more interesting hobbies. Like spear fishing. Or become adults - teens have very little to say and are usually mono-syllabic. Also - remember when you gave up your interesting hobbies back in Stage 1? You got a lot duller. You might be able to pick some of that back up. Most don't. I'm not sure why. It could be that they actually have to work at it. It could be that they have had some part of their brain broken by parenting. Not sure.


Stage 4: Money goes bye-bye.

This is usually for people rich enough to send their kid to college. These kind of people like to buy bumper stickers like it's some sort of badge of honor to be sending their kid to 'higher education'. My personal favorite is when they send their daughter to college for either a four or six year degree and she gets out of it - marries - and never works. That's just sad there. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying "Investing in females getting any sort of education is a poor idea". Cynics may argue that is just because I don't want to get beating the crap out of by a bunch of highly educated women. To me, it just seems a hideous waste of time and money. I suppose it is theirs to waste. Some people will attempt to justify it by saying that going to four or six years of higher education makes a woman more qualified to produce babies. I'm not sure, but more power to them.


Stage 5 (optional): What - you still here?

I kind of think of this as the acid test for 'how has the parent done at making their child self sufficient. If the kid has come to live with you after they have gotten done with college (or high school if they take no college), you fail. People like to give lots of excuses and such but if your kid is living with you for say over a year after they are done getting 'educated' you have failed.


These are just an outsider's opinions on what he believes the phases are. Just because I am completely correct doesn't mean someone won't want to argue with me.




LONG TERM PLAN

See the green areas on this map? Try to stick to them - I should be able to afford those. Disability doesn't pay that much...



EXCELLENT PICKPOCKET ARTICLE

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap |

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