Sunday, February 13, 2011



TJ will be in Blacksburg, VA from March 4th to March 6th. Saturday is a good time to come out and see him and get him to sign your testicles with a permanent sharpie marker. Celebrity is as celebrity does!


My old shoes finally gave up the ghost. They were starting to chaff the back of my foot so it was time to let them go. After leaving a mess in the local Walmart (why do all of the hicks take their wives there for Valentine's day?? Really?) I picked up some new shoes that have no laces. I'm not sure how long they'll last but they don't seem bad yet.

I also picked up a cheap and, as important, light (weight) bike lock chain thing from Walmart. I will attempt to remember to use that to lash my bags to something sturdy. I realize that this won't prevent someone with a knife from simply slashing the bags open, but it will make them work a bit harder for it. And maybe carry a knife.


Someone who has apparently grown wiser than I in understanding people (how the hell did that happen?) mentioned to me that revealing you have built skill in 'micro-expressions' and 'personality types' and such said that you shouldn't mention this to people. Tends to put them on edge. After thinking about it for a bit, I'd agree - unless you put the right spin on it. But honestly, it's a ton of work to get that right spin on it. I would say something like "I have been trying to learn to interpret what people are trying to say via non-verbal communication" - I suppose thats less invasive sounding than "I learn to read people." But longer.


The longer one writes, the more the tendency to move away from 'cannon'. I'm not saying "I want tons of space aliens descending" and things of that nature. But lets think about it - the reavers are getting older. And even though they are all fierce, they lose some now and then so their numbers are dwindling. You can only have them for so long before they're on walkers. And time passes fast in a slow space travel game. Heck, we're going through close to a season per session on average I believe.

On long range plots; I've got about three in mind (plus others already started) that frankly I'm cautious about continuing to write. I'm not sure if the internet (long may it reign) will be accessible in the countries I'm going to, etc. I'm thinking of getting rough drafts and such now but I'm not sure if the game will be continuing on for more than the remaining six sessions that I'm in the USA for. [If you are just joining us and don't know what I'm talking about, go here or check iTunes.]


Pete (he's a thinker he is) pointed out in his comments on the '46 days to go' blog entry I should check out the current political situation between Georgia and Russia. To sum it up, they seem to fucking hate each other. Lets put it in perspective though:
If YOU were Russia, would you really care? Yes, I know Stalin was born there. But even the kids hate Russia.

Now I have to admit that my initial motivations for going to visit Georgia are purely greedy and can be expressed in these three things:
1. Cheap cost of living.
2. They let you stay pretty much as long as you want.
3. It's somewhere that hasn't been accessible to tourists for a long time. From Wikitravel, "After years of isolation followed by war and economic turmoil foreigners are still regarded with undisguised curiosity and a casual greeting in the street could land you in the middle of the best dinner party of your life." and "Georgians are hospitable to a fault (and beyond). If a Georgian invites you somewhere it will be almost impossible to pay for anything and even raising the subject of who will cover the bill can be embarrassing for your host. If invited to a private home for dinner, make sure you arrive amply stocked with wine or sweets because your hosts may well be bankrupting themselves on your behalf." Now, I don't want to bankrupt anyone with my visiting but hell yes I want that kind of experience. Who wouldn't?

Obviously, I'm going to work at getting the 'word on the streets' as I get closer to it. If it seems too dangerous, I'll have to veer off and find somewhere else to visit. My initial plan is to stay out of the green and purple regions on this map unless I've been told that it's OK to go and check them out. I'm imagining that when I go there, I'd be coming from Turkey. According to what I read, they have good relations with them. Also, "Tourism is an increasingly significant part of the Georgian economy. About a million tourists brought US$313 million to the country in 2006."

On Wikitravel, their biggest warning is the traffic. Which is better than some of the countries I am planning on visiting that have unexploded land mine warnings... Now it does say on Wikitravel "It is not safe to travel to Abkhazia or South Ossetia. These regions are not under the control of the national government and are marked by violence between the Georgian military and separatist militant groups, who since Summer 2008 are backed up by Russian troops who are considered to be occupiers by the Tblisi government. The area's high rate of crime/lawlessness is facilitated by the absence of the central government's police and legal jurisdiction. Foreign tourists are known to have been kidnapped in the 2 separatist regions, where you'll have no recourse if your passport is stolen. If traveling to these areas, it is advisable to bring an armed escort."

So, I'm good there - I'll just stay the hell out of the separatist regions. I think I can safely say there is all kinds of other country to see without going there.

As a side note, "The younger generation, largely due to hostility towards Russia, now prefers to study English, but because access to good quality English instruction in province is so low..." Hence, even I could probably pick up teaching kids English ("Surprise Mutherfucker!") in some of the regions if I wanted to for food, lodgings, etc.


I would also like to say that Wikitravel has got my vote for 'why the hell would anyone need to buy a travel guide ever again?' Very nice indeed. If you are going to travel anywhere (even within the US for less adventurous souls) I would check it out. Heck, there is even an entry for the small town of Blacksburg, VA (which totally makes it sound better than it is)..


It was making a strange noise. At this point, I went through my trouble shooting for computers.
1. Will it to stop doing what it is doing that is irritating me.
2. Gently thump it on the side. Not too hard, it is a computer. If it wasn't, I could hit it with a hammer.
3. Open it up and look at the alien stuff within.
4. Wonder what is wrong.
5. Try spraying it with air.
6. Close it back up and restart it.
7. Wonder why it is disobeying me.
8. Pace around and try to convince the computer it should obey.
9. Turn if off, wait, pray then turn it back on.
10. Threaten the computer.
11. Plead with the computer.
12. Threaten to get someone smarter than me to 'deal with' the computer.
13. Repeat steps 7 to 11.
14. Get someone smarter than me to 'deal with' the computer.
15. Ask the smarter than me person who has dealt with the computer what they did so I can learn from it.
16. Forget whatever was answered in step 15.

And number five worked!! Sure, it made dust come out but when I restarted the computer, it stopped making the noise! Woohooo!


I was concerned because I was having some trouble understanding some of the German the terrorists were saying and it was concerning me. I'm kind of glad that I looked at IMDB on it because it said "The German that the terrorists speak is sometimes grammatically incorrect and meaningless. In the German version of the film, the terrorists are not from Germany but from "Europe". This has been fixed for the Special Edition VHS and later home video releases. The only instances of incorrect use of German are Alan Rickman's (Hans Gruber) lines." OH!


A friend of mine named Josh mentioned a proverb I wish I'd had when I did the blogs on food earlier. "Hunger is the best spice."


This will have to do until I can get more information. It seems that while it is possible to do Asia on $10 to $20 a day, getting in there is a pain in the ass.

Australia is a bit more expensive but some of the other places near there might be cheaper.


  1. Philippines is 21 days. PNG... looks like you can get an "Easy Visa" at the airport, for up to a month, $35 but have the money in kina (local currency).

  2. Hum. Still sounds like a PITA; which is surprising. I thought the USA had it as one of their colonies or something from back in WW2. Weird.



{{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

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

{{2018}} Ukraine: Kiev - Chernihiv - Uzhhorod

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