Ain't No Trip to Cleveland

POSTED IN | 12:38 PM
Well, the first 1,000 miles of the trip are under our belts (and rumps). I'd have to say the drive from Norman to Cleveland isn't a scenic wonderland, but we managed like any dynamic duo can. In the end I think it was the Toto that got us through. HOLD THE LINE! LOVE ISN'T ALWAYS ON TIME!!! OH WHOA WHOA!!!

But we pulled in to Cleveland 'round Midnight with a case of shell-shocked stares and a code yellow body funk. Eighteen hours of life in the car will gift that to you.

And road trip nutrition is always a curious affair. For example, yesterday I subsisted exclusively on these things:

Trail Mix
Ice Cream
Gum (to ward off fatigue)

It's not a diet to brag to mum about, but a roadwarrior does what he's gotta do, you know? And I'm sure there'll be more sumptuous culinary delights in the miles ahead (see below).

Illini driving. They say Illinois is the Land of Lincoln, and that may be true. BUT, I'd say it's actually the land of road kill. About eight deer and 'coons galore on the interstate sidelines. Remnants of impact slaughterings. Helped make up for the sorta redundant, numbing landscape though.

YAY! Only eight hours left...pass me the Kombucha, Dan, it's gonna be a long haul...

Trail mix posture. Finding the happy place.

Cap'n Ling at the helm.

I-71 toward Cleveland. Soo dark. Soo tired.

Got to wake up to this though! Waffley, syrupy bliss. I think this speaks a lot about our lovely hosts. Thanks, Mik and Joe.

Today there will be lots of eating, a trip to Lake Erie and perhaps a Trader Joe's visit. WOH. I like Cleveland a lot already. Until next time, hold your trail mix and remember that things could be worse — you could be a dead deer on Illinois' I-70. And that's a lot to be thankful for, I think.

Roll Out

In a few short hours my main man Dan-O and I will roll out.

And where are we going you ask?

Good question.

We're rolling up and out on what will take shape as this year's version of The Adventures of John and Dan, with this chapter weighing in as J&D’s Northeastern Gallivant Extraordinaire.

You see, Dan is graduating in December and heading back to his Singaporian island city across the world shortly thereafter. So, in many ways this represents our last hoorah until one of us travels very far to visit the other.

But that's all doom and gloom. There are high times immediately ahead. It's a happy occasion.

And I'll not hype it too much here, but just tell you to keep an eye out for some riveting travel blogging action coming soon. CAN YOU HANDLE THAT?

Oh, and here's our itinerary of the extravaganza (about 3,500 miles all told), and some photos from last year's Singaporian Odyssey, to wet your whistle.

Full steam ahead, Cap'n Ling.

J&D’s Northeastern Gallavant Extraordinaire

May 30 – Leave Norman for Cleveland
May 31 – Spend day in Cleveland
June 1 – Travel to New Jersey/NYC
June 2-3 – Spend time in NJ/NYC
June 4 – Partial day in NJ/travel to Philly
June 5 – Spend time in Philly/Princeton, NJ
June 6-7 – Travel to Boston, spend time in Boston
June 8-9 – Travel to Portland, spend time in Portland
June 10 – Drive through Fryeburg, ME then drive to Hanover, NH
June 11-12 – Spend time in Hanover, NH
June 13 – Travel to Cleveland
June 14 – Travel to Norman


Sometimes We Get Stuck

~At the clinic getting a physical for the Army on Tuesday morning~

The words poured over me like so many bitter herbs. A figurative acid in the eyes and sucker punch to the gut. Anxiety levels peaked.

Nurse: "Okay, well, let's go ahead and draw your blood and get this thing over with..."

~several minutes later, post sanitizing arm~

Nurse: "Okay, so you'll feel a little stick."

OH! MY! GOSH!, I screamed on the inside.

~needle inserting vein on my right arm. 20 seconds elapse~

Nurse: "Okay, how are you doing?"

Me (losing consciousness): "Yeah, not so good."

~moments later, coming out of anxiety-induced fainting spell to observe room full of nurses and doctor~

Doctor (putting ice pack down my shirt): "Yeah, you'll be okay. Just wait a few minutes and then they'll try sticking you again."

~exit doctor~

~enter original nurse~

Nurse: "Yeah, I tried to get enough blood the first time, but you passed out too soon. I'M GOING TO HAVE TO STICK YOU AGAIN." (emphasis added)

~roll ominous/hopeless music. cue curtain. fade to black~


Editor's Note: I realize I have problems/phobias. And it seems to be getting worse. Oy! Vey! Two fainting spells in the last two needle sticks.

Getting stuck sucks. Can I just live in the Star Trek world with the needle-less shots? Please, take me there. I beg you. Beam me up.

Memorial Day Family Shot

POSTED IN | 12:30 AM

The freshly enlarged Molyneaux family. Can you guess who the newbie is?

Yeah, it's Binka.



Aw...Go Fly A Kite...

POSTED IN | 11:20 AM
Sometimes we have the privilege of doing new things in our lives. Small things and big things. Things we've never done before but always wanted to (if only in idle afterthoughts). So it was that our novice but cunning Skipper Schupack embarked upon her maiden voyage several weeks ago, recording herself among the greats of aviation's lesser craft — kiting.

Surprisingly, the Oklahoma wind sighed a stiff gale that day (okay, no one was surprised. this is Oklahoma people, seriously). But our plastic sky sheets filled, the string loosed and our wee Pokemon kite didst take to the atmosphere, along with our spirits of merriment and so many satisfied dreams of adolescence.

Skipper Schupack at the helm for the first time. Never an ounce of fear. Remarkable...

They were fast friends, Skipper Schupack and her Pokemon kite...

Steady as she goes.

Ol' Pokey tried to make a flyaway attempt after Skipper Schupack briefly released the kite string in a moment of kite-flying bliss. We briefly grounded Pokey and got it airborne again. The wild Spirit of the Kite was strong with that one.

Firstmate Willis, reporting in for some helm time.

A hardened veteran. Such form and finesse.

Jolly too...

And then Kitchen Boy Thomas tied the kite to some grass to see if it would hold. We'll just say the wind claimed our kite that day, carrying it far far away...blissfully, sorrowfully. So Thomas cried and we held him. But all in all a successful affair. An accomplished aviator's dream.

Here's to new things...

More from the Tar Heel State

POSTED IN | 12:09 PM
A few other scenery selects from North Carolina, if you like.

Blowing Rock panoramic, near Boone, NC.

Crazy Carolina rednecks...


One Week, Two Birthdays

Well, as the calendar tells the story, there are two individuals in my family with birthdays in the lovely month of May. Mama Stu and The Fatman, respectively. So, this is a little late making the blog, but in any case, happy birthday(s), ya'll.

Birthday peeps (Mom and Bro).

Apply, creamy celebratory goodness.

Rainy day gift.

The Fatman, basking in thirty-something's delight. Birthday boy proverb: "Once you get past thirty, it's basically all the same." Something to look forward to I guess...

Nephew No. 2 liked the glowsticks. Parents read: inexpensive entertainment for your children lasting multiple HOURS.

And Papa Stu, willingly providing a leg to swing from...

Charlotte, NC

POSTED IN | 12:52 PM
Well, this post finds me in the heart (right ventrical region) of the broader Charlotte area. And it's good to be in the upper Carolina I have to say. Somewhere fresh. And a new state to my list of been-to's (I think I'm up to 27 total now). Woo Hoo!

But the mission org application proceedings are going smoothly, not unlike a glass of iced sweet tea (bet your bacon grease it's been in quick supply here. welcome to the South, ya'll). And my thunder!, everything I've eaten so far has been delicious too. These folks know how to do down-home vittles right. Good food. Nice people. Pretty scenery. I guess that's why people live in the South, yeah? And maybe something about college football. But I won't go there...goodness...

Anyway, in addition to thoroughly enjoying myself and seeing how I could help out these nice folks here in the media (geek) office, the scenery especially grabs my attention. So here are a few shots of my local wanderings. I thought these would be more interesting than a class shot of people talking about support raising.

So, welcome to North Carolina, ya'll...

The office where I'd work. Geek Headquarters is down on the lower level of the right side there.


My Brother's Second Son

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POSTED IN | 10:47 PM