Tag Archives: Texas

The Final Leg

Relevant back stories: Crazy Train, “What’s your name, sweetie?”, The Wrath of Bonnie

After we pulled back on the freeway, the bus was running about 45 minutes behind, which posed a slight problem for Matt and I as we had meeting in Mesa at 6p.  It was looking like we’d get into Phoenix (about 20 miles west of Mesa) about 530 and were planning on cabbing it over to Mesa.  Before we got to Phoenix, however, Deb had one more outbreak in her.

On par with her ongoing saga of “Who’s kicking my seat?” (A: No one), she stood up and yelled at the three rows behind her, “I know the wind’s not moving my chair!”  As this was just before he had headed off to Phoenix, the driver came back and informed Deb that if she didn’t sit down, she’d be joining Bonnie on the road.  This seemed sufficient for Deb, as she sat down and we didn’t hear from her again.

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As we pulled into Phoenix, Matt and I jumped into the first cab we saw and headed to Mesa Community College for our meeting.  The driver was a friendly man named Troy, who was fully equipped with a GPS system in his car and we were looking good.  Luckily we were getting to Phoenix during rush hour, and the freeway was backed up quite a bit. This prompted Troy to give us an offer we (apparently) couldn’t refuse: “I’ll take you off the meter – $40 flat rate – and get you there by six. And I’ll pay any ticket.” Troy had once driven a man from Phoenix to Denver for $1700, so I’m pretty sure he was used to bargaining with his clients.  Matt and I decided let’s do it, and off we went! Roy seemingly disregarded his GPS system at this point, driving us through neighborhoods of Phoenix, through Tempe and to Mesa Community College at about five after six.

This wrapped up our most adventurous trip to date.  Matt liked it so much that he tried to one-up it by getting stuck in Albuquerque and riding through Texas in one go.   

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The Joy & Pain of Technology on the Road: Part I

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Over the last seven days, I’ve experienced the joy and pain of technology on the road.  In the preferred debrief format, today I’ll share the PAIN before writing a more inspiring, optimistic, and JOYFUL blog entry in the coming days.

PAIN

On Saturday morning, I woke up on the couch of Sean’s friend Danielle, a student the University of Colorado at Boulder.  It was a gorgeous day… a little bit chilly, but I was up early and wanted to get off to a strong start.  On tap was breakfast, some work, meeting up with Johnny C. (a friend from our summers at Camp Calumet), and then maybe a movie in the afternoon. 

I grabbed my laptop case, made sure my Verizon Wireless broadband card was in my pocket, and headed out the door.  After wandering around CU’s massive campus and passing by what I later learned was the field on which my friend SeaSea played lacrosse, I finally found a couple coffeeshops and chose the one that I anticipated would have better breakfast sandwiches. 

I ordered, sat down, opened and started up my laptop, and opened my book… The Bill, which chronicles the legislative adventure that led to the eventual creation of AmeriCorps in the early-1990s.  After devouring my trademark sausage, egg, and cheese (on a bagel this morning), I felt that my coffee was sufficeintly cooled.  The next ten seconds are a blur, but the long and short of it is that coffee spilled into the keyboard of my laptop, I quickly tried to dry it out, and then the laptop lost power… never to restart again. 

Fast forward 10 minutes — I’m on hold with Dell, trying to figure out whether or not I’m still under warranty.  Luckily, I am… but I quickly realized that it might not be until Austin (May 17-19) until I have a fixed computer and Team ServeNext is back in the saddle of road technology again.  After getting an address for my friend Chris in Seattle so Dell could send a box for me to send my computer to back them, it all sunk in.  No more mind-blowing, riding-down-the-highway (any highway) or in a coffeeshop (WiFi or no WiFi) Internet-on-a-whim…

It’s not the end of the world, by any means.  If anything, it means that life just got a little more simple.  But the rate at which I’ll be able to report on the happenings of the National Service Express Tour will be slowed greatly by my carelessness and our subsequent technological loss.

R.I.P. Dell Inspiron 600m. 

Hopefully you’ll be back from the dead (with a new motherboard) by mid-month.

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Coming Soon: The Joy & Pain of Technology on the Road: Part II (a.k.a. JOY!)…

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