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Thu, Aug. 13th, 2009 07:41 pm

Much has happened since I last updated. I got off the Appalachian Trail on July 8th at Harpers Ferry after crossing over the bridge to MD. I enjoyed my ~1,000 miles hugely and certainly plan to do the other half of the trail at some point. The people I met alone made the 2 1/2 months well spent. Thank you to everyone who has been cheering me on. I've posted some pictures here on flickr. More details of the trip can be found over on jess_at

I got off the trail to try my hand at agriculture. As most of you know I've had a strong interest in it for the past five or so years. The longer I hiked and thought about what I wanted to do with the next several years the more this summer seemed like the time to try farm life. For the past three and a half weeks I've been working on Wheatland Vegetable Farm in northern Virginia. It's a small (5 cultivated acres) mostly organic vegi farm about an hours drive from DC. The owners are two old hippies who have been running the place for the past 30 years. They have helped several other farms get started and have a strong focus on teaching. I love it. It's hard work, long hours and a hard life to take vacations from, but one I think I want to get involved in again after a few more adventures. Sadly the farm doesn't have a webpage, but three of the workers are keeping a blog at www.iHeartNature.com

The next adventure is to move to San Fransisco. I think I've gotten enough wildness out of my system to explore the bay and see what the tech world is like outside of Amazon. Brewer is moving there this weekend to go back to Google and I'll be headed out in November. If anyone has any information on neat neighborhoods to live in I'd love to hear them. We're currently looking most just West of the Mission. Also if you're enjoying a tech job in the bay area I'm all ears.

Hope you're all doing well,


Sun, Mar. 29th, 2009 10:05 am

For the past year and half I've been in Seattle working for Amazon. Well, Friday was my last day. I quit. On April 16 I'm starting the Appalachian Trail. I'm planning on going the whole way from Georgia to Maine - about 2176 miles. It should take four or five months. I'm hoping to find a tech job in San Francisco when I'm done, though Seattle remains an amazing city.

It was a scary decision to leave especially in this economy without anything set up for the other end, but there are only so many chances in life to do big crazy things. I've been amazed by how quickly the soul can accept the current situation, even if it isn't where you dreams would have led. Also etopiei and x77303066 were able to start it this summer with me, so that was a nice forcing function.

I'll be keeping a trail log under the name Jess_AT on live journal. The separate account is because my mom will likely be doing most of the updates based on letters I send her - I'm not planning to carry anything which even can be plugged in.

Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams
Seeking grace in every step he takes
His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand
The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake

Other interesting facts that didn't fit into the flow of the above:
-Brewer and I started dating a little bit over a month ago. It's very nice. This is really more important than the AT announcement, but possibly less interesting to most of you. ;)
-I graduated from Search and Rescue training! (http://kcesar.org/)

Current Location: The Treehouse
Current Mood: content content


Tue, Sep. 30th, 2008 08:28 am

Looks like they're deploying troops to domestic locations on a non-emergency basis... I find this troubling. Full story here: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/09/army_homeland_090708w/

Current Location: The Treehouse
Current Mood: chipper Morning


Tue, Apr. 17th, 2007 11:57 pm

I still can't really comprehend this. It's so distant here. Part of me keeps thinking "So this is what 9-11 was like for people who don't live in DC or NY." My thoughts go out to all of you back in VA and especially those at Tech.

some of the dead



Mon, Apr. 16th, 2007 04:39 pm

Good luck to all of your who are at VTech. I hope you're all right.


Sat, Mar. 10th, 2007 10:04 pm

I have a Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana that's putting off kids faster than I know what to do with them. If anyone is interested there are a bunch of small ones free to good homes. The species is easy to grow though it does like sun. It blooms pale yellow to deep orange depending on lighting and will do it constantly. It also will put off roots on random stems and then die further down creating lots of babies once it gets bigger. ;)

So anyway, let me know if you're interested and willing to grab one from pittsburgh - plants don't mail so well.

Edit: Don't be shy. I just actually repotted everything and I have about 10 pots of plants to give away and only three takers so far. I've only had this thing for about six months too.

Current Location: Sherbrook. :)
Current Music: Live like you were dying


Wed, Jan. 24th, 2007 11:15 am

The good, the bad and the ugly.

First off, surprisingly, Bush actually said some things I agreed with in his speech. Most notably he acknowledged climate change, argued for biodeseil and clean energy, and encouraged bipartisan cooperation. He also said something about a temporary worker program to help deal with border issues. That may be a step in the right direction, though I don't know enough about the details of the proposal to really know. Oh, he also talked about trying to balance the budget and reduce the defict. He still wants to do it without raising taxes however, and even argued for cutting some taxes in his speech. He also stated support for a Palestinian state, which I think is long overdue.

On the down side he seems committed to more violence. He wants to increase the standing military and create a civilian reserve corps. He also said that terrorists hate freedom. I'm sorry, but people don't hate freedom. The issues are a lot more complex than that and stating them in such dumbed down terms helps no one. Moreover he has shifted his language to decry Syria and Iran. Much of his speech was centered around how Shia extremists from Iran would cause an American nightmare if US troops withdrew from Iraq. This kind of talk actually makes me slightly nervous. Not only is there the possibility of more violence and another war, but Iran has the possibility to snowball. If Iran is attacked the US military base in Qatar seems like a fine target for retaliation, though possibly Qatar's close ties with Saudi would help to avoid that. I don't want to see what sort of a mess this could turn into.

Current Location: Yurt


Thu, Nov. 30th, 2006 08:53 am

The past, almost week, I have been ludicriously tierd. Not just getting tierd earlier or needing more sleep in general. No. I mean never being fully awake. When I woke up this morning and felt compleatly awake it made me dance around the house.

Moral of the story: Be happy you're awake. Also, thank you to everyone who has been helping to take care of me this week.

Now to catch up on all that work I missed while sleeping.



Tue, May. 30th, 2006 01:22 pm

I'm not longer in Qatar.
Germany was amazing.
Graduation happened - congraduations, I'll miss those of you who are leaving.
Ohio was full of strep.
Canada was beautiful and full of plants.

Now I am home safe and sound. Time to go garden and figure out where all my stuff is hiding.


Tue, May. 9th, 2006 10:32 pm

>Good news -- we are not planning to make any Linux cluster change during next
> academic year. Many thanks for making us aware of SCS needs for Linux
> computers. I am planning to put together a faculty & student committee to
> help us develop plan for AY 07 and beyond for supporting Linux platform. We
> will provide lots of data/information for discussion and decision making.
> It is great working with you all.
> Best Regards,
> Meena


(For those of you confused by this juxtaposed with my last entry about the clusters: I assumed cluster services was looking at things like actual demand for the computers and log in times and things like that. They were just looking at how often instructors reserved the clusters, which is a terrible measure of how many machines are needed.)

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful