Sun Jun 15 02:20:04 2003

Last minute packing -- Acton, MA

Tomorrow (well, by now today), I'm leaving on my trip to California! In the morning I'm going to Provincetown with my Dad and Emily to get started. So much has happened in the last few weeks, I'm frankly amazed that things are actually coming together.

For one, the bicycle shop I gave my Linear to for repairs hasn't been able to work on it as soon as I had hoped. I talked to them last Friday, when they were supposed to be finished, and found that they hadn't even started yet, and it was looking like another two weeks because things were getting busy. But I really did want to leave sometime fairly early this summer. So I went online, and that same night found a used BikeE CT (another type of recumbent bicycle) being sold for $300. After talking with the guy on the phone, I took the plunge and sent him a $350 postal order blind, without meeting him or seeing the bike. I had a few tense days while I waited to see how he would follow through, but he shipped the bike as soon as he got the postal order and it arrived in great shape. So for the first leg of my journey, at least, I'll be riding a cherry-red BikeE with over-seat steering, rather than my silver Linear with under-seat steering. I'll see how I like it. The adapters I needed to connect my B.O.B. trailer to my bike also arrived on time, thankfully, or I wouldn't have any carge capacity.

Also, a couple weeks ago my friend Emily from Cornell called asking for advice on long-distance biking, since she was planning a trip. I told her what little I knew. A few days later she called back and asked if I'd like company on my trip. So now I have a biking partner for the first month or so. It's exciting to have someone to talk to.

And the last week or so has simply been a whirlwind of last-minute things. I finally got a call back from Google about the resume I submitted, and set up an appointment for a phone screen on Monday at 6 PM. So an engineer from Google will be calling me on my cell phone to talk to me about things like data structures and C++. I'm hoping to find a landline I can use, though, so I won't be cut off. If I'm lucky, this phone screen may lead to another phone screen, which if I'm very lucky might lead to an interview. I hope it goes well.

Less exciting, but definitely of note, I finally caved and got a cellphone at my mother's behest, so that I'll be able to call help in an emergency. I'm probably going to try and keep it turned off to save battery, but I'll be checking voicemail every now and then, so feel free to call 978-844-0409.

I had a dentist's appointment on Friday, just for a routine cleaning. Unfortunately, they found two small cavities on the right side of my mouth. How was I supposed to get them drilled and still leave on Sunday? I didn't really want to fly or take a bus back to Acton just for a tooth-drilling appointment. Thankfully, I told them my plans, and they agreed to let me know as soon as possible if there was a cancellation for Saturday morning. Fortune was with me once again, and I got an appointment for 8:20 this morning (Saturday). The drilling went well, I now have two more silvery spots in my mouth to join the four already there.

Emily arrived Friday evening from Chicago (her home). I met her in Boston and we took her bike & luggage to my Dad's office so he could bring it home in his car. We had lunch in Boston and headed back to Acton to meet Becca from Amherst and go to Lowell to see Peter Mulvey play. Alas, Becca's juggling audition went over time and she wasn't able to go to Peter Mulvey, so we skipped out also, and went to bed early.

Today was just a mess of little errands, getting a few last things we needed and going grocery shopping, as well as tuning up our bikes and making sure everything works. We'd like to get a proper tune-up at a bike shop, but Ray & Sons says they're so busy they couldn't do a tune-up within a week. So we're going to try our luck at the many bike shops along the Cape. Hopefully one of them will be just waiting for some work to come in.

The fact that I'm still awake at this hour should indicate just how much last minute stuff had to be done today; I'm still not quite done cleaning my room, and have to pack a few more small items. But by and large I'm done, and buzzing with excitement to get on the road tomorrow. From Provincetown we hope to get to Miles Standish State Park to camp, approximately a 55 mile ride by my count. We'll see tomorrow if this is over-ambitious. From there we are headed to Amherst, then New York City by way of Valley Cottage, then Chicago, New Orleans, and San Francisco. From there, who knows? Maybe Tokyo?