Thursday, August 30, 2007

First names only

A little paranoia is a good thing.

You'll notice that I don't use last names on this blog. Not mine. Not anyone else's -- unless it's someone famous. I choose not to plaster my full name all over the web, and I don't feel I have any business publishing anyone else's name. I did the same on my previous trip log.

If you leave me a message -- and I hope to hear from you-- feel free to use just first name and initial. Or a nickname. If you're someone I know, I'm sure you can make it clear to me who you are. BTW, the name "Anon" is already taken.

As of 6PM I'm "out of office." Although my sabbatical doesn't officially start until Tuesday, a vacation day and a holiday weekend are all that's left. Woo Hoo.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Good to go

The news was positive: the test results were negative. I'll be leaving next week Monday -- a week from yesterday. Yeesh. I was doing fine over the weekend but got pretty stressed out yesterday and today, until the call came.

So much to do.

Friday, August 24, 2007

D-Day is little more than a week away -- maybe.

I spent last weekend getting things done in preparation for the Big Trip. Cleaned up the computer. Loaded software. I took a vacation day on Tuesday and got really busy making arrangements for bill payments, mail forwarding, suspension of subscriptions, all the rinky dink stuff. Then came Wednesday and what I thought would finally be my last doctor's appointment before the trip. I was wrong.

Turns out the message was potentially serious. I needed a test, and it really couldn't wait until November. A biopsy. After two stress-filled days I had the test done today. The doc says we won't know until the results are in next week, but it didn't look "troubling."

Feeling more upbeat now and will spend much of the weekend getting ready to hit the road. I know that I'm still not home free -- or should I say "away from home free"? I may find out on Tuesday that I have to cancel the trip and undo all the preparations. If so, that will be the least of my problems. And besides, I've determined that I won't lose my 2-month sabbatical. I'll just have to get well and plan another adventure.

But for the time being I will THINK POSITIVE and continue preparations so I can be ready to set out on Labor Day.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Getting psyched now

Finally getting into planning mode. Really. This weekend I pulled together the "library" (a box with selected books and magazines) I'll take in the car. Seven years ago, I packed a box of books and hardly made a dent. I spent WAY too much time writing and editing text for my website. And editing and editing ... and editing. I had to prepare each entry and email it to my friend Janet who was hosting the site. I obsessed about making each entry just right because it would be difficult to make subsequent changes.

Not this trip. This time I am pledging NOT to obsess about what I write. So what if my grammar gets a little klunky or I don't find just the right phrase? This is supposed to be a vacation.

Today I've been looking up and bookmarking tourism websites for some of the places I'm thinking of visiting. (The Montana state site is so well done, I felt moved to send them a note about how useful I found it.) But I'm also pledging not to over-plan my itinerary. I'm making lists of places I might decide to see and noting routes I might take, but I am leaving plenty of room for spontaneity.

FOUR WEEKS FROM TOMORROW and we're off! [Update: No. Not FOUR. THREE WEEKS. Yikes!]

Monday, August 6, 2007

Can I successfully load a photo?

This is a test to see what the steps are to load a photo to this blog.
This picture was taken in 2001 at the little zoo in Chattanooga, Tennessee. That's Jake on the left and, I think, Goliath next to him. I'm pretty sure that's Josie, Jake's mom in the door. Josie and Goliath were both born in Oregon. Josie is Coco's daughter. Jake died a couple of years ago after he was injured in a fight.
I hope to stop in Chattanooga on my way through Tennesse.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Trip prep: Name the blog

A month from yesterday -- Labor Day -- I will hit the road for a two-month road trip. I'll be traveling from Oregon to Florida and back. There will be stops along the way to view scenic areas, visit friends and family, and spend time at great ape sanctuaries.

Still lots to do to get ready. Picking a blog name is near the top of the list. Here are some of the ones I considered:

PTrog Times
"PTrog" for Pan troglodytes (common chimpanzee); "Times" to maintain the theme with my existing (previous?) blog, Evolutionary Times. Too esoteric.

Primate Road Trip
I'm a primate. I'm taking a road trip to see other primates. But it just doesn't ... sing.

Road Trip: The Sequel
Seven years ago I made a similar trip, which I documented on a website. ("Blog" was not in the vernacular.) But I wanted the name to include my focus: apes or primates. Scratch that one.

Travels Without Charlie
Charlie is the alpha male chimp at the Oregon Zoo. I'm going to miss seeing him or the other "kids" for two months. Too literary -- and I never actually read the Steinbeck book.

Finally, variations with "Ape4Apes"
Ape4Apes Times. Ape4Apes Road Trip. (Plain ol') Ape4Apes.
Ape4Apes has been the pre-@ component of one of my email addresses through several ISPs. It's simple. It's easy to remember. It's me. And it was available as a blogspot URL.

So Ape4Apes is the URL. Ape4Apes - On the Road is the working title.

I'm going to try to document my trip (and some of the preparation) both to enable friends and family keep track of my wanderings and to create record I can look back on when the trip is just a distant memory and I'm back in my office cubicle.

If you happen to find this blog, feel free to leave a note or send me an email.