Managed my first epic travel event since my brain went away and I have to say it went pretty well. I’ve even got to the point where I’m not using my ancient backpack for traveling and I got a proper travel bag (thanks to the world of social media, I got it at a discount, thanks Tom Bihn folks!). The bag was waiting for me when I got home so even though the zipper of my backpack failed and my soggy bag of toiletries fell out and was jammed back in where it didn’t belong, I could look past it and say “This is the LAST damned time this is happening…” and mean it.

So the trip took me down to Westport to start shutting down my dad’s house for the winter. Kate and I will be back and forth there (we’re keeping the house for the forseeable future) but the place needs thermostats set and outside spigots turned off and with a big house there is always Shit To Do. Then I flew out of Providence, really a great airport for travel, and headed to Ann Arbor where I did two programs for the library. One was a panel on community moderation which I got to be on with a librarian, a UMich professor and CmrdTaco formerly of Slashdot. The next day I got to do a long presentation about running a Q&A community at a staff development day which was fun and went well. You can see slides/notes here if you’re interested. This is one of my favorite talks. The next talk was in Milwaukee and so I decided to head there via train which was a really great way to spend a day, staring out the window looking at the midwest. I gave the closing keynote, a talk about the digital divide to folks at CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) and got to stay in a beautiful old hotel. From there it was back to Providence, back to dad’s house (when does it stop being dad’s house?) and some hangout time with Jim including a four mile hike through the Weetamoo Woods. I gave a talk on Monday at Olin College to undergrads and faculy about the digital divide which was also pretty fun and then scooted home after a great dinner and chat with my pal Deb.

Came back late at night to a Vermont that was nearly leaf free and have been trying to get on a normal [i.e. not 4 am til noon] sleep schedule which may be a losing battle until I get back into my routine here. All in all I was away for twelve days, went to nine states and while I was happy to get home, it was also a really nice time away seeing friends and eating food and roaming in new and familiar places.

The photo up top is something Jim and I saw when we were in Fall River. There is a street that we walked down, up the road from the Aroma Grille which is my new favorite food find, which is literally covered with these pencil scribblings. They seem to internally cohere, but I have no idea what they mean and I assume they are perhaps they are the notes of someone who is a little unhinged? They are on every building for a few blocks and have dates going from the 1970s to the present and a lot of initials that seem to be people. Curious, and a decent metaphor for all the things I still don’t know.

What do you think?