Friday, October 31, 2008

Bahamas Bound

Tomorrow, we set sail.

We have GPS devices that upload our location to a website so that we can be tracked. Mark already had one for his train travels across the nation, and I will be using one from my Aunt, here are the sites.

My Spot

Mark's Spot

They just have a button to update our location and say that we are ok, which is currently the house in New Bern, one to say we need help, and one to call emergency people to our location, and they work anywhere because they work from GPS satellites, pretty sweet. So if you see the "help" signal... well thats not good. But that wont happen, we are prepared for anything the ocean can throw at us. I am looking forward to a successful adventure, and we start tomorrow, wish us luck, Ill miss you all.

Oh ya, and good luck with those elections. Too bad I wont be around for that. We will have internet access on the way down the ICW, so hopefully I will update you on the journey.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Get Real

I am going to be gone for a long time, and I will miss a lot of you people back home. In an effort to do something for you while I am gone, I thought maybe I could send something by mail. Maybe a postcard and a poem, maybe a seashell, maybe a solid gold pirate coin recovered from the depths, or maybe a vial containing insects carrying deadly exotic diseases. Depending on how much I like you. Also, depending on how much is costs to mail stuff out of the Bahamas. Send me your address if you want me to send you something , or just leave a comment on here. Seriously do it, I don't care if I have never met you before, give me your address and I will mail you something cool from the Bahamas, ya, you, do it, please. Im going to have a lot of free time down there.

We set sail on Saturday. My Grandad, Grandmother, Brother Mark, Aunt Sheryl, Uncle Brian, and their daughters Erin and Geneva (12 and 13) have been working all week to get the boats ready, the excitement is really all we need to keep us going. My grandparents are really great people, and really are fun and very interesting, my Aunt and Uncle are as cool as they come, it will be great to hang out with them, and my cousins are both bright young ladies and they are quite entertaining. Perhaps the hardest part of all the preparations is getting rid of the stuff on my grandparents boat that has accumulated over the past years. They have not done a serious cleaning for a long time, and we need all the storage we can get. The past few days ave been spent taking every last thing off of the boat, and sorting through it in the garage, trying to get rid of everything that is not "mission critical". The most difficult part of this is convincing the grandparents that a lot of the stuff is not mission critical, it takes a heartless soul I do not posess to say no to some of these things. My Aunt Sheryl is particularly good at it. So now we have loads of food and all the equipment we need on board, the engine and sails are all working smoothly, and basically we just have to get ourselves on the boat and get out of here.
There were all kind of skeptics that we would be ready, that the boat would be ready, that the grandparents would be ready on time. Well we made it, there is nothing to stop us now. I hear all the time that when I am assessing a situation that I am suuuch an optimist. But some way or another it usually ends up happening just the way I said it would. The right way, the good way. So does that make me an optimist? I dont think so, I think it makes me a realist. If you go into a situation and you are confident in your goal and your abilities to get there, that really does a lot to make it happen. Worrying just wastes time that could be spent improving your situation. Does that mean I dont prepare for the worst? No, I'm not stupid, I know it is a possibility, just not one that deserves any more thought than making sure it does not happen. So here is to all you pessimists out there. Quit it. Cheer up. Stop thinking about the bad things happening in the here and now and think about the future, what possibilities it holds, and what you can do to make it happen. And don't lay your worries on other people, I dont mean never complain, I mean dont give out the execrable balls of gunk that enter your head every time you use it. If you think there is a 50% chance that we will not end up making the trip to the Bahamas, keep it to yourself, there are realists out there, and we need to keep hope that positive things will happen so that we can help make them happen. You can continue to float through life with that evil monkey camping in the back of your brain. Just get rid of those execrable balls of junk all together, they are not helping you, and they are certainly not helping anyone else. You need to get something out? Tell me, I am glad to listen. And you know what Ill do? I will tell you to cheer up, and that things will get better, and if you believe me, then maybe that is the first step towards making it happen. Im not trying to say that I never have pessimistic thought, I just dont let it control my actions. My grandad by chance today went on a binge calling himself an Eyore, and Mark and myself Tiggers, he says we are unflappable.

I am currently writing the last few words of my college career, and I set sail for the Bahamas on Saturday. Nobody can flap me now, life is good.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


3,000 freakin miles. That is how far I have driven in the past month. Click that link, its a google map of my path. Finishing school, visiting the lady, the parents, friends, before heading out for good. I am now on my way down to New Bern for the last time, we will be meeting up with my uncle, aunt, and cousins, and then setting sail on the 1st of November after a few final preparations. It has only recently begun to dawn on me how long 7 months is to be away, and it is still incredibly exciting that all 7 will be spent exploring the Bahamas.

So in my recent travels, I Most of the drive was spent alone, so I did a lot of thinking, mostly about driving. I have a thing for efficiency, so I ended up thinking a lot about the most efficient way to travel. Many times when I drive, I try to drive the tangents of a curve, taking the shortest route as possible on a road. Think of it like a string was strung through the turns, when you pull the string tight, the path it takes is the most efficient possible path. In order to test my efficiency when making an effort to be efficient, i reset my odometer at mile 1 when I entered a new highway. At highway mile 2 the odometer read 1, by mile 40 the odometer read 39.5, and by mile 80, the odometer read 80, which means that my path was a mile longer than the marked highway miles after only 80 miles. whoever made those highway markers really knew how to ride the tangents. when I stopped making an effort to be efficient, I gained a mile on the highway markers after only 60 miles. They say that the most efficient speed for fuel economy is 55 mph. I buy it, it makes sense, but what about on hills? Is it just most fuel efficient to push down the pedal to go 55 on the straight parts or to actually go that speed. If you are going up a hill at 55 and keep your foot pressed on the gas at the same point, that will get you up to 80 on the downhill easily, I know, I tested it, multiple times. It is more efficient to go slower up hills, I have heard that many times, but they never talk about the other end of the hill, I say that it is more efficient to go 80 down hills. But dont do it. Thats is against the law.

As I drive down I-64 and take a turn, the full moon glows in front of me, and it gets me thinking. What if you were to take some kind of super space nuke and detonate it on the moon to disrupt its orbit and send it crashing into the earth? Aside from the mass destruction and the possible disruption of the entire world ecosystems, I think it would be a pretty interesting experience. The moon has a pretty strong gravitational pull, it controls the tides even from its distant orbit. Maybe if it were on the earth it would pull all the water from the other side of the world and leave a huge ex-ocean pit. There would be whales and sharks and all kinds of things flopping around everywhere. And whose would it be? I think I would also send out a separate rocket after the nuke, equipped with a flag reading "Brendonia" to claim the moon as my own before it crashed onto the Earth. The United States could have like an acre where Neil Armstrong staked his claim, but the rest would be mine. Maybe it would mess up earths orbit too, and send us crashing into the sun. Someone get Dr. Evil on the phone.

You will notice that I added some pictures to my gallery, take a look. There are some pictures of the dry docked boat, some critters, and some of the fellow Bahamian cruisers. Oh, and one of a milk float. Milk floats are one of the greatest inventions ever to be invented. Fill a cup with ice cream, pour milk over it, and daaaaaang is it good. I tried a Guinness float (Guinness poured over chocolate ice cream) the other day. That may sound like a sin, and I was reluctant to do it for fear of the beer Gods wrath, but I survived the experience, and the it was actually quite good.

Superman had to have been really smart, but they never mention this power. In his last movie he diagnosed Lois Lane with his x-ray vision to make sure she would be ok. It would take a fairly intimate understanding of the inner working of the human body to be able to confirm proper functioning at a glance, its not like they have an x-ray vision medical school, he learned all of that on his own. Of course, the x-rays may have given her cancer in the process, but it was necessary, superman dosnt have time for lead aprons.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Be remarkable

I have always been able to pick up on new things with relative ease, and when I put my mind to it I am pretty good at what I do, above average. But never remarkable. This is a trend in everything I do- soccer in highschool, I was pretty good, played varsity, knew my position well, but I wasnt remarkable. Track, I was the best triple jumper on the team with 40', but that wasnt even enough to get to states. Racquetball, I was great, it was rare that i found an opponent that could beat me, but every now and then i would meet one of those people who were remarkable, and they made me look like an amateur. Academics, I always breezed through my classes with little effort (well, except ochem) and always scored in the upper 5% on standardized tests, but look where that has gone, graduating with a mediocre GPA with a bio degree, really pretty unremarkable. I dont know if i have just not put in the effort it takes, but it seems that there has to be something out there at which I would be remarkable. Now that I am graduating and moving off into real life, it seems like I will never realize what that remarkable thing is and I am destined to live an unremarkable life. So find a way to be remarkable, and do it, and be remarkable, if only at that one thing. The world gains little to nothing if you are just above average, it is those who break world records, use their minds to create and improve the world around them, excelling in a manner that is unmatched by their peers, it is these people who are responsible for the betterment of mankind, who give us something to admire and to strive for, who give us a reason to be remarkable.

Edit: That last post was far more negative than I intended. I was just thinking about that while brushing my teeth one night and decided to put it up here. Just a thought. I am quite happy with my life, remarkability is perhaps too much to ask for, especially with my... efficient (haha) approach to life. Not everyone can be remarkable, by definition, if everyone were remarkable, it wouldnt be remarkable now would it. So be unremarkable, someones got to do it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I bet you think this blog is about you

Currently I am in Philly crashing at Kari and Brooke's place, well... really... I am in Jersey, but i dont like to admit that, even to myself. Especially not the fact that my girlfriend lives in jersey. i sometimes cry at night. I did my final presentation on genetic modification of crops and nailed it, graduation here i come. wait whats that you say? Another paper? I have been in such denial that I even forgot about it myself? woops. OK, almost there. Comparative phage genomics lab report here I come. I have to do a kind of synopsis of the work we did on bacteriophages. We analyzed the entire genome of the "Halo" bacteriophage, using possible start and stop codons to guess where genes start and stop, then excise one of the genes, then take the altered genome, replicate it by infecting a bacteria with the phage, and see what the consequences of removing the gene are. Awesome right? and now I have to write a 10orso page paper on it. But thennnn I graduate! probably!

If you have a friend who makes a stupid decision and does something that a significant other wouldnt like, it is that friends decision when or how or whether to tell the significant other right? dont take it into your own hands. That is crappy behavior.

I just used the word vain, and it makes me think of that song "You're so vain, I bet you think this song is about you". oh ya? Who the hell is it about then. There is one guy who thinks that song is about him, he is described at length, and it is about that one guy, so he is not vain, thats bull. And if there are a bunch of guys who think you are writing songs about them, well then youre just a slut Carly Simon.

I have had intentions of keeping a dream log many times in the past, it never happens though, dreams are really amazing, it is kind of mind blowing when you think about what is really going on. Like hypnotism, thats crazy too, the mind is so complex it ridiculous. My family was in a hypnotism show once at a family reunion, I tried to be hypnotised with the rest but it didnt work, I think its because my mind is constantly bouncing around, I cant concentrate on the hypnosis for long enough. My brothers and dad were under though, Mark ended up in some kind of crazy hypnocoma and was like shuddering unresponsive on his chair, so the guy took him out, Alan had to pee and was wiggling around the whole time, eventually when they were all sitting down, he just tipped over forward straight onto his head and came out of it. My dad went through the whole thing, thinking he was in airplanes, driving cars, at the horse track (his horse was "Osama Bin Ridin"), it was hilarious to watch everyone on stage doing these ridiculous things. One girl kept being bitten by her chair, one guy said "I have a boo boo and i need a band aid" every time anyone touched him, and placed the multi colored bandaids wherever he was touched. Most of them remembered nothing, and everyone said they felt very well rested, like they had a full nights sleep. If i hadnt witnessed it myself, I would have doubts that hypnotism is real, but it is. somehow.

Anyway, the dreams thing, I wish I could remember my dreams, which is what the log is supposed to help. just last night a had some elaborate dream, but now all I can remember is being in Peters riding down the trail on a go cart from Beths house. I miss that trail, there were a lot of good times- the races I've run, the biking I've done, the blading, the walking, the sneaking, the stalking, oh the felonies we committed. The TP we covered the trees in, the pranks of the cross country season, the secretive late night cruises, all of the scratches and bruises, the examples are ample, but thats just a small sample, dont ask me whats been omitted.
That was some Dr. Seuss shit right there. Tell me about some crazy dreams.