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2004.05.05 @ 03:29 AM



One of two cinderblocks from The Evidence Log, the pictographic proof and reference of my journey to North Central PA. This one was taken in the park near Lock Haven on the third during our preliminary testing of the technique we developed for use on the fourth. The second was taken behind the barn near the house Xeno grew up in.


While neither shot is professionally composed (see the The Evidence Log for technological details), I personally feel that both of them define my opinions and memories of North Central- an area that was at its peak in the nineteenth century. Tioga, Lycoming, and Clinton counties are all completely covered in trees, much the way Pittsburgh is covered in exhaust fumes, sewage, and rain. And it's all second growth- the lumber industry has moved almost entirely to the southern part of the hemisphere, leaving farmland and light industry behind. Oh, and several Wal*Marts.

Speaking of tall green things:


The tree on the property line between my parents house and the Worthington's fields- the barn and one of the outbuildings sits in Tioga county, and the house (the white smear) sits in Lycoming. Must play hell with the property taxes. Neither my parents nor my sister were home- while I could have easily let myself in, it just didn't feel right to do so. This image was taken near sunset on the fourth of May. I like that tree- I've always had an odd sort of soft spot for it, for some reason.

That hasn't changed- though my narcissistic streak died a quick and silent death in the late 90's, when I was removed from the desolation of Liberty- which might explain why there aren't many current photographs of me floating around. Proximity and Xeno's suggestion produced this one:


Yes, the vehicle could be anywhere. Doesn't change the fact that it was somewhere between Lock Haven and Williamsport at the time of exposure, around seventeen-thirty yesterday. I hate pictures I happen to be in- I have yet to see one taken from a decent or flattering angle- the only ones I'm happy with are self-engineered- it's easier for me to avoid the weird angles, since I can't see them with the equipment I have access to.

The rest of the images taken on the Photo Safari are in LOC, where they belong. The ones that don't belong there are still on my hard drive, and are mirrored on Xeno's.

It's lateish. He's asleep, and I'm awake and alone in North Central for the first time since the winter of 2001, when I flew through in a brief blast that only vaguely resembled a winter holiday. Back then, Xeno's hair was about a quarter of an inch long. These days, it's past his shoulders on his way to his scapula- no doubt aiming for an eventual rendezvous with his anus, which is liable to make for all kinds of defecatory {in}convenience.

The technology of this vacation amuses me- with a crossover cable and an extra ethernet card, I'm routed into Xeno's cable line through his XP box- a box that gave us no end of connectivity problems as his sound card noticed the ethernet board, screamed a fit, and caused XP to suddenly and frequently Prefer Not To in interesting ways. Having broadband away from {home|work} has been both convenient and intereting- we tried playing Diablo, but IPX hated us something fierce, so we settled on Quake III- a game Xeno was certain he'd hate until he found the railgun, the shotgun, and gibs. Three days and a thousand frags later, we're Blue Team and he typically carries 3/4 of the kill count on a 100 frag round against five bots (three tards for me and two normals to kick my ass and occasionally his). Between that, iTunes playlist sharing, using simple networking to swap files, and getting completely FACED Tuesday night while spreading the results all over IRC, I can definitely say that technology seems to have changed our lives for the better.

Phase One (North Central) is complete. Phase Two (Pittsburgh) begins when we wake up. I'm not sure how Phase Two is going to play out- I have to work, and I'm a terrible host- my accomodations aren't nearly as accomodating, so to speak. Fortunately for our extremely limited resources, Phase Two will be briefer than Phase One- Pittsburgh is, unsurprisingly, quite a bit more expensive than North Central. Though once I get through the Work Thing on Thursday, I'll be reprovisioned on the money front and will be happily footing the bill for the rest of the Vacation.

Oh, in other news- over the last five days, I have seen a total of ONE khaki-clad asshole with a cel shoved up his aurifice. Compare against the countless dozens of similarly outfitted mentally defficient status-impared urbanites in Pittsburgh. I like the country- the locals are just as ugly, but the place is loaded with plenty of green, very few humanoids, and is, generally speaking, far easier on my face than Pittsburgh.

Of course, I've hit right before Allergy Season- if this little jaunt had happened a month to six weeks from now, the Green would be making a very active and aggressive attempt to kill me.

Funny what a little time off and a total of one energy drink in four days (Sobe Adrenaline, though I've been snorting coffee like it's going out of style) can do for ones perspective. In a way, I'm not looking forward to going back- though I am looking forward to discerning what sort of impact this brief change of perspective will have on my daily activities in the Iron City.

More information on that as the situation develops.