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The Syndicate

 And here's the follow through... Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Saturday, October 14 2006 @ 04:09 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1250 times  
TravelI finally got the rest of my Africa pictures back, and tonight I pumped them all into a copy of Plogger running at

I'm leaving comments there open for now, but we'll see how long that lasts.

 Teasers Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Thursday, October 12 2006 @ 04:19 PM PDT
 Viewed:  1379 times  
TravelJust to whet your appetite...

 Like a bat out of hell... Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Thursday, September 21 2006 @ 06:09 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1746 times  
Travel...I'll be gone when the morning comes.

In less than twenty four hours, I'll be boarding an airplane that's going to take me further around the world than I've ever been before.

My previous record, roughly 5750 miles, was from when I was in the little Russian town of Shushenskoye, just north of the Mongolian border, and that trip lives in my memory to this day - 17 years later.

Tomorrow I'm headed to Kruger National Park in South Africa, and it's about 7900 miles away. Never in my life have I put so much preparation into a trip, and I'm only gone for ten days.

 Snow Driving Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Sunday, December 07 2003 @ 08:46 AM PST
 Viewed:  1703 times  
TravelI originally wanted to have this done before this last storm, but real life got in the way, and this... grew.

This is intended to be a guide of sorts to the different factors that are involved with driving in snowy weather. Hopefully it will have some reasonably interesting information, but because I'm not too confident of that, and due to its length, I've divided it up into sections so that you, gentle reader, may decide what kind of information you want to know. An interactive table of contents, if you will.

The impetus for this was, of course, my rant the other day, and my own desire to put my money where my mouth is, or something like that. As an aside, the word count on this works out to about a tenth of a short book, so if I find nine more topics to blather on about, maybe I'll publish them together and start giving autographed copies as Christmas presents. Man, I'm overtired.

Disclaimer: This may be bad advice. It has, in general, worked for me. No lawsuits, please.

read more (6095 words) 1 comments
Most Recent Post: 12/08 10:09AM by Forrest

 The Nation's Heartland Tour (conclusion) Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Thursday, August 21 2003 @ 03:18 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1303 times  
TravelWhen we last saw our hero, he was asleep (again) in a motel room in Sandusky, Ohio.

On Thursday morning, we checked out of the motel and spent some time relocating belongings from one vehicle to the other, and engaging in multiple attempts to hook the Jeep up to the truck (which were ultimately successful), before heading on our merry way in search of more easterly, if not greener, pastures. About an hour down the road we decided to stop in for a quick breakfast/lunch at a rest area just outside of Cleveland.

I think it's safe to say that I've never see a rest area quite like this one. It looked brand-spanking-new and had every convenience you could possibly expect. We made use of the food court, which had more restaurants in it than I can remember (at least six, probably closer to eight) where we were treated to The Highway Channel on a nice widescreen television while we ate. After I ate I took a walk around and checked out the little shop, the truckers' lounge, the bathroom, and the gas stations (yes, plural). Basically, it was just like one of those really nice truck stops (that I encourage everyone to visit at least once), except everything was new and it seemed to be run by the state.

read more (1038 words) 2 comments
Most Recent Post: 08/21 02:10PM by matt

 The Nation's Heartland Tour (part 3) Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Wednesday, August 20 2003 @ 01:37 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1487 times  
TravelWhen we last saw our hero, he was asleep in a motel room in Sandusky, Ohio.

Well, sleep may be a strong word. At about 8:30AM I found myself being awakened from a restless sleep. I had spent the night tossing and turning in anticipation of my visit to Mecca. After a quick shower and some grumbling, Dr. Doolittle (as I began calling her) and I made our way to the park, cat and dog in tow.

The animal part isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. Cedar Point has its own kennel, where you can board your pets for the day for a mere $10/day/pet. $20 later, we were on our way back to the normal people parking lot, where we put on sunblock and made our way to the gate.

read more (3019 words) 1 comments
Most Recent Post: 08/20 02:23PM by Dan4th

 The Nation's Heartland Tour (part 2) Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Sunday, August 17 2003 @ 11:31 PM PDT
 Viewed:  1319 times  
TravelWhen we last saw our hero, he was asleep in an apartment in Milwaukee.

I'm pretty good at improvising, when it comes to moving things from one place to another. I'm not just talking about the easy stuff... manufacturing a jury rigged dolly out of the base of a desk chair and stuff like that. I'm talking about the hard stuff. The "this pile of belongings doesn't fit into this truck" kind of stuff.

I've also moved a lot of people. Sure, everyone has, right? The difference is that every male member of my family on my dad's side worked for my grandfather's moving company growing up, and my father is the one that stayed in the industry. Let me put it this way: not only can I close my eyes and recall in perfect clarity the unique smell that pervades the box of nearly every moving truck on the planet, but I can actually pick out the constituent parts of that smell (packing blankets, cardboard boxes, newsprint - both blank and printed upon, brown packing tape, clear packing tape, nylon straps that have gotten wet, the grease from two-wheeled dollies, the funky rugs on four wheeled dollies).

I had figured that these two qualities would be enough to handle whatever might come up during the move. Just to be safe, I also brought a universal ratcheting screwdriver (for disassembling furniture) and a pocketknife (which still has emblazoned on its side in fading letters, "MAST-MAYFLOWER", which is where my father worked before he died).

 The Nation's Heartland Tour (part 1) Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Saturday, August 16 2003 @ 04:03 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1403 times  
TravelSo, I'm back.

For those of you just tuning in, I flew out to Milwaukee last weekend to help a friend move to Boston. The plan was to arrive in Milwaukee, muck around for the weekend, load the truck on Monday and drive to Boston with a day-long stopover in Sandusky, Ohio, the home of Ceder Point.

Here's what really happened.

 Roadtrip 2002 Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
 Author:  matt
 Dated:  Saturday, July 19 2003 @ 08:55 AM PDT
 Viewed:  3716 times  
TravelAs you may imagine, because I've just started this whole venture, but have been thinking about it for over a year, I have something of a backlog of stories.

This one is actually a reprint. It was written (if I remember correctly) in early March of 2002, but I figure that it's amusing enough to still be worth reading. You may disagree.

What follows is a travelogue of sorts from a roadtrip I did in February of 2002. It's worth pointing out that the associated images are probably not safe for work.

read more (4793 words) 4 comments
Most Recent Post: 07/22 10:05AM by matt

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