...just in case you were wondering. :) Not quite to my destination yet. I'm in Victorville, CA, probably less than a hundred miles from my destination. Seeing as that would put me at Scott Draeker's door at 4a.m., I opted for the hotel room tonight. Started off the day right with a meal at a closed down gas station turned all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. Six whole items on the bar, but actually it was all pretty good. The breakfast of champions. Finished my email at the breakfast table. Ain't technology grand? Everyone should own a VAIO. Wrists seem a little better today, with the left one bothering me almost not at all (a definite improvement from last week), and the right one hurting...uh, less. New Mexico continued to be beautiful. But this quickly gaveway to the universe of ineffable gaudiness that is...ARIZONA. Think of an Indian in a spaghetti western movie. Think Buffalo Bill's sidekick. You know the type. VERY stereotypical. Now have him making fake indian trinkets at discount prices. Now have his environment splattered with white trash-style decorations and obnoxious billboards advertising things like "rattlesnake skins and real indian silver, cheapest prices anywhere!" Picture advertisements for authentic buffalo burgers. Picture hotel rooms IN THE SHAPE OF WIGWAMS. (No shit...I actually saw this off an exit somewhere) Now, picture that nasty display for the next 400 miles with some casino type things thrown in every now and then. That's Arizona. Good riddance. Once I hit California, I had to pass the "inspection station"...it's kinda like a small tool booth, but I wasn't really sure what they were planning to inspect, so I put on a winning smile, and tried my best not to look like a criminal. I also considered the possibility that they wanted to inspect my trunk for illegal immigrants or my engine for emissions or something. Wrong. They wanted to inspect my FRUIT. "Any fruit, sir?" "Fruit?" "Fruit." "Uh, I think I have an orange in the cooler..." [Armed security guards approach] "Please step away from the car, with the orange over your head, sir." Well, sure. After that, I almost ran out of gas. I pulled off at the only gas station for 25+ miles, and found that the cheap gas was $1.89 a gallon. That's not a typo. I have the receipt. It took over 22 bucks to fill my 12 gallon tank. If you do the math, you might see that "over 22 bucks" is actually the entire 12 gallons at that price. I know this for a fact; the auto-shutoff feature of this gas pump didn't work, so it alerted me to the fact that my tank was full my spraying gasoline everywhere as my tank overflowed. Is this why they put that warning on the gas cap about "topping off"? Other exits later on have the cheap stuff for 1.50 ...also, not a typo. I hope it gets MUCH cheaper in Orange County, but I have this sinking feeling it won't. Oh, Highway 666 really DOES exist...I thought that Natural Born Killers just made that up for fiction's sake...it ends, just like Robert Downey Jr. says, in Gallup, New Mexico. What government official let THAT one slip by? Speaking of the mark of the beast, I get to this Motel 6 (my cult investigations are continuing...:) ) and find that the phone number here is 760-243-0666 ...WHAT DID I TELL Y'ALL?! It's Satan's hideout. (and if you get this before 3p.m. EST and want to call, I'm in room 204.) Altavista lists 10 different internet dialup numbers for this area code, none of which are local to this friggin' hotel room. I get this obnoxious beeping whenever I dial any of them, as if to say, "hey, jagoff, you can't call the room next DOOR without using our AT&T service, so just give it up, punk!" Hey, a beep can say a lot. So fine. I used the calling card Youcentric gave me (and never deactivated) to call DOWN THE ROAD and connect to the internet. Ain't technology great? Figuring out the dialing string for that took forever...you gotta time the numbers right to get it to go through....it looked something like this in the long run: 9,1-800-860-4444,,,,,2360-276-XXX-XXXX,,,,,760-621-2486,,,, Fun, huh? A moment of Zen: here are some signs I've seen down the road: "Safety pullout." (uhh?) "Controlled burning ahead." (didn't see anything on fire, though.) Bumper sticker: "Cryptography is not a crime." (I'm so home here.) Adopt-A-Highway donor: "Lesbians for Change." (Hell, I've got a whole dollar!) So I'm crashing out for the night. I'll be hitting either Tustin (Loki headquarters) or Santa Ana (Scott Draeker's place) tommorow afternoon. Will write again then. (By the way, I'm seeking the following email addresses...please help, if you can, for you Charlotte folks: Nicole Kinney, Connie Bray, Amanda Labrie,Will Harkins, Charlie Heard, Andrew Webster, Heather Hughes, Brad Hughes (is he XXXXXXXXX@webtv.net?) and anyone else you can think of. Thanks!) --ryan.