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My trip home from Japan was completed almost exactly 48 hours ago now. Aside from the colossal ineptitude of Liberty Airport (Newark, NJ), my trip was fairly smooth and easy. I’ve spent much of the last two days burning through the backlog of novels which were waiting for me here, visiting various relatives, and generally reacclimatizing myself to living American-style.

First impression from the plane: there are a ton of parking lots in America. First impression from the ground: I’m going to really miss living in a country where obesity is more or less unheard of.

I only got around to assembling my computer today, not because of any shortage of parts, but because my whole family is almost unbelievably wired, and it’s easy enough to find a spare computer when I need one.

You may recall me assembling my computer some months ago: a high-end gaming rig which I hoped would last some years. I assembled it myself, not just to reduce costs, but because that way I could have complete control over which parts got integrated into the machine. I thus ended up with a tower case which sported, among other features, screwless drive bays. Instead of screwing in your hard drives, there’s a fairly clever mechanism which fastens them with small metal tabs which are inserted or removed by sliding a locking control.

Unfortunately for me, these metal tabs are not as secure as the more traditional screws. Somehow during transit the computer apparantly received some sort of very severe shock, as both drives somehow managed to come entirely loose and spend the remainder of the trip rampaging around the bottom of the case. The affected components are the drives themselves, the video card, and about half the motherboard. All told, about a thousand dollars of equipment may or may not have been destroyed–I haven’t yet had the guts to replace the cables (which were quite definitely broken) and see what works.

On the plus side, I still have my backup computer–I’m likely to try to set that one up tomorrow. On the minus side, I’m not happy about the lifespan of my machines–one way or the other, all the expensive custom computers I build for myself die within months.

I’m in the market for a cell phone. If you particularly like your carrier, and it has some sort of nationwide plan, I am all ears.

My movements for the next week are as follows:
Sunday: drive to Cape Cod to pick up my parents who will have bicycled its entire length as part of the Pan Mass Challenge.
Wednesday: go to Worcester in the hopes of finding someone interested in seeing me. Even better, find someone to take me in for the next few days while I meet people.
Saturday: fly to Seattle.

Over the course of the next month, I expect to skydive, test for the Army, fly several thousand miles, drive several hundred miles, and eat out more often than in. I am going to attempt to spend less than $1500 on everything during the month, but I can afford to blow that budget out of the water if necessary (read: if something really interesting and or cool shows up). This is my best chance at vacation for some time, and I intend to spend it memorably. If you want to join me, just let me know.

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Comment by justplainbob
2006-08-06 20:34:34

…Seattle, you say.

I express interest in this, I note, mostly because I am currently residing on the west side of the Puget Sound, a quick and easy hop from Seattle…

And as for Worcester, last I know – so almost a year ago now – syl/ny/the gang were still there although it is possible that they may have graduated by now.

Comment by coriolinus
2006-08-06 23:01:08

It’d be fun to get in touch with you. Do you have a phone number or something I can contact you with once I have definite plans after arrival?

If you don’t want to post it here, my email’s available: the same username, at gmail.

Comment by ultimatepsi
2006-08-07 17:27:10

I’m should be in Worcester Friday evening. Is there a chance I could see you then?

Comment by coriolinus
2006-08-07 17:34:35

Absolutely! I’ll look forward to seeing you then.

Comment by ultimatepsi
2006-08-07 18:41:59

I’ll be in the wedge from about 6 or 7ish. Do you want to set a specific time?

Comment by coriolinus
2006-08-07 20:43:48

No, I’ll just set up to meet you there. Unless there’s a lack of chairs or something, in which case I’ll come by around 7.

Comment by justplainbob
2006-08-09 00:22:40

Damn if I care if the world knows it – 843-345-2636.

It’s an SC area code – I still haven’t gotten around to changing it. I might when the contract expires, though.


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