Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So it begins

At age 23, I have finally learned how to wipe my own ass.

I guess I had known for a long time, but I didn't know how to do it very well apparently. Sometimes I'd have to do 10-15 wipes to get things settled down there.

After some worry that this would compound my pooping problems abroad which are sure to come, I asked my friend Andy how he went about the daily "bank deposit." He has a two-stage approach: sit one cheek down, and without letting it slip, stretch the other direction a fair amount before sitting the other cheek down. This eliminates any unnecessary poop contact with butt cheek or butt hair. Sheer brilliance. It has made "dropping the kids off at the pool" a minimal-wiping event for the last 2 weeks.

I've been preparing for our trip in other ways too. I tried out my new Keen trail shoes today with a light jog on the muddy trails around Lewis and Clark. Great blue sky showing through the leafless trees, wet leaves covering the trail and hiding the mud beneath - pretty much unexpectedly good weather for Portland this time of year. After feeling a slight bowel movement, I figured it would be a great moment to try out my poop-in-the-woods technique. So there's a nice little steamy hole in the backwoods of Lewis and Clark College - no I won't tell you where.

To make sure I still knew how to walk with a backpack on, I found some big heavy river rocks in our patio and loaded up my backpack until it weighed just over 40 pounds and went for an hour long stroll through Tryon. Coming up the hill I got a little sweat going, but other than that, it appears systems are good to go.

I've been watching episodes of Man Vs. Wild and Planet Earth.

So, yes I'm excited. This trip is going to be a blast. I've been coding quite a bit down in my basement and making money before my departure, and my work breaks have been food, Halo, and exercise.

We have the New Zealand portion totally planned, we're working on Bali, and I've got a few destinations I want to see in Thailand. We should be posting some maps and pictures and itineraries in the near future for those who are interested.

This is just to get the ball rolling. Looking forward to posting in the future and around the world!


* Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How much is the trip going to cost?
A: The budget is $10,000.

Q: How much did airplane tickets cost?
A: Airplane tickets have been $3700 so far. We went with a travel agent rather than one of the around-the-world tickets.

Q: Where do you work?
A: I work for a health care staffing agency named HealthOne Staffing. I've been doing some back end programming for their new website. (If you're interested in specifics: I was using .Net stuff (C# and Visual Web Developer) to create portal and job search functionality for their website. It had to connect with their new backend database via these APIs that required XML packets being sent back and forth, rather than binding directly to a database. That was the main headache.)

Q: What have you been doing and what are your plans?
A: I've been living at my parents' house saving up money for this trip, and I have a little left over from what I saved before going to Spain. I will be coming back broke and well-traveled, ready for grad school at UC Irvine in the fall.