The Dogs


Well this has been the year from hell so far. I barely have the energy to sit upright or type right now. Slept about 5 hours in the last week. But for our family for now the disaster seems to have died down. My parents called at about noon today to tell us they had finally landed in Malta and were waiting in line to be processed through immigration.

Sadly the conflict is that as we watch the situation progress in Libya I am filled with a sense of relief to know that my parents are safe and out of the country, but torn with horrible knowledge that thousands are still trapped in Libya and face mortal danger.

We can only sit and watch and pray that the world will step up and not allow this genocide and mass murder to continue. How can we, as a country so blessed by stability and free speech, possibly stand by and not take action when tragedy like this is befalling an entire nation of people crying out for nothing more than freedom?

In case you're wondering, no, sanctions don't get shit done. Someone needs to get in there with a special forces team and pop a cap in Gaddafi's ass. Like yesterday.

Thanks for everyone's kind thoughts and notes of support. Let's not forget Libya and the fact that there are nearly 6 million people left in the country who still need our support and help in order to survive this genocide.

2011 continues to pummel helpless victims: story at 11

I guess that article about 2011 kicking my ass was a little premature. 2011 was nowhere near done chewing us up. My parents have now been stuck in Libya since Sunday night. To make things a little more interesting the total idiots that work in the US passport processing office in South Carolina have managed to bungle up my passport and are now sending it back hopefully in the next 7-10 days. We paid an extra $120 for expedited service, and yet they somehow LOST my certified letter. then lost my passport packet and photo. bang up job government. Red letter day all around. how hard is it to immigrate to Canada?

Too exhausted to write much at all. Just a quick update. After getting some media exposure the state department FINALLY returned my phone calls today to give us an update. Too bad it was three days late and they didn't actually do anything to help us out.

My parents contacted us briefly to say that they are on the US ferry that is waiting to leave Tripoli. They are sleeping on the floor with about 200 other people. Had one hot meal yesterday. Everyone is just waiting for the weather to allow them to leave. Hopefully tomorrow.

Sounds like everyone on board is safe and just trying to keep their spirits up. Thanks to everyone who sent their encouragement, thoughts and prayers.

My dad had this to say about his birthday on board the refugee ship:

"My birthday wish was granted!  Our guys in Benghazi are on board a small British war ship and are as safe as can be under the circumstances.  Like us they are delayed by heavy seas.  As in 16 foot swells.  We will spend the night here against the Tripoli dock again.  Not too worried though.  Have lots of food, staying warm, able to sleep pretty well on the floor.

Had a great birthday celebration with many of the children using barf bags to make me barf-day cards :). 

They even sang Happy B'day" on the intercom.  The embassy is doing a good job of taking care of everyone and anticipating our needs.  It's got to be pretty difficult for them and the crew as they are working quite hard.  Everyone on the boat is in good spirits and holding up well.  We often long walks on the car deck to stretch our legs and keep from getting too bored.  Hope to arrive in Malta about 6pm tomorrow"

helpful tips for US citizens: When yoru goverment abandons you... call the media

When you can't get a message returned from your federal government what do you do? Call the only people who still answer the phone in this country. The media. They return calls within an hour and keep in contact.

I should mention briefly that the local government, specifically the Washington state senator's (Maria Cantwell) office has been very supportive in trying to be ana dvocate to help get my parents out of Libya. The only problem? They aren't getting their messages to the state department returned either!

Lybia update: US government a bunch of sissies. refuse to take action

I just spent an entire day making phone calls trying to find why exactly the fuck our wonderful government won't lift a finger to help get US citizens out of Libya. Here's the skinny. It's gonna fast and dirty because I'm totally exhausted and don't have the energy to be witty or entertaining.

This morning my dad sent me this:

"The American Embassy has not been very supportive and we think they could be doing more.  Do me a favor and call the embassy in Washington DC.  Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, Britain, and even Holland have sent airplanes for their people.  The US has done nothing!  Not a single effort that we are aware of.  Here we are, the richest country in the world and what do you get?  Lip service.  The embassy even had a town meeting about 1 week ago.  They said their sole purpose was to protect the Americans and that we could fully rely on them.  NOT...  So we are working ALL other options other than hiking out.  But call the Embassy in DC and pester them for me.  Get your friends to do so as well." 

I immediately got up and googled the state department. After a little bit and screwing around with the stupid automated phone systems that every company on earth is now employing, I got directed to a real person who said they would transfer me to the head of office in charge of "international emergencies for citizens abroad" in the Libya sector. The head of that office is named Elizabeth Perry and her voicemail says she is "out of the office today". Not busy on the phone, not out dealing with this insane problem, but taking a vacation or something. Great timing Elizabeth. Bang up job. Her voicemail informed me "if this is an emergency and you need to speak with someone urgently, please contact Joanne Hunter at 202-669-3945."

I contacted Joanne Hunter and guess what I got? Another fucking voicemail.

"Hi this is the office of Joanne Hunter, liason for international emergencies, please leave a message detailing how you family members are in mortal jeopardy and we'll be happy to never call you back again. Thank you for attempting to contact your federal government. Dial 3 to continue to be assed out and ignored."

I left what may be considered strongly worded messages on both voicemails and requested that I be contacted immediately with information why the US government was ignoring this situation while citizens were trapped in Libya. That was early this morning. Now it's nearly 8pm and I have not received a single return phone call. I got the blow off. Like when you hit on someone out of your league in high school. Except back then it just meant my pride was crushed, not that my parents were in mortal danger.

According to international news report these countries were currently in the process of actively pursuing efforts to evacuate their citizens from Libya post haste.

Netherlands sending military planes.
Russia sent 4 planes for citizens
Serbia schedule evacuation, pursuing permits to land evacuation planes
Tunisia evacuating 1,200 people by air
Turkey evacuating 25,000 people via ground, air and sea.
Yemin instructed national airline to evacuate all citizens.
Bosnia is sending planes and arranged evacuation flights with commercial airline barak air.
France sent 3 military planes.
Greece sent cargo ships for europeans and chinese

Iran evacuating all staff in 48 hours and stopped all oil activity.
Italy evacuating by air
Japan has scheduled charter flights

US sits on it's fat ass eating a cheeseburger and advises citizens to evacuate Libya on their own.

This was as of yesterday when I started writing this post.

Since then the US has announced that they sent a ferry to a dock and advised US citizens to get there by themselves before it leaves. The only problem is that the boat is docked in a harbor that is cut off by the most violent and dangerous regions of Libya so people are not able to reach the ferry without any support from the US.

i'll update this further as things develop.

It's so hard to raise responsible parents these days.

Before I was born my mom was crazy. Not that she isn't crazy now, she is, but it's more of a "You should try to smile more so that people won't feel intimidated by how imposing you can look with that beard and those tattoos" crazy. The kind of crazy every mom is, really, honed by years of acute adolescent psychological torture and shock therapy.

The kind of crazy that looks at her manchild and can't help but see the eight year old boy who put two teeth straight through his lower lip, after he hit a crack in the pavement and discovered the laws of physics while riding a skateboard down a hill. On his hands and knees... Head first...

Fun Fact:  mass X momentum + gravity = blood

My mom was 25 when I was born. Having previously been 25 myself (about a thousand years ago) I cannot imagine what a total reality changer that would be. Or how one would deal with such a sudden and complete life change. When I was born, my mom found Jesus. Burned her collection of first edition Led Zep vinyl (I know! I still mourn the loss every time I log in to Ebay). She burned her tied dyed shirts, tossed her cigarettes (hand rolled. no filter) and never looked back. Ever.

She completely embraced the life of a caring, protective (read also: controlling), semi neurotic, usually worried, always loving mother. And she did it all for me. It may have been a little over kill. But at the same time it's part of growing up. You just can't play your cards fast and loose when there is a tiny human relying on you to feed it and keep it alive and clean up it's shit. (literally and figuratively) And the truth is, there's not a single day I'm not thankful she made that change. Because I would be totally mental if I had grown up in the life she lived before.

Before I was born, my mom was a rock climbing, globe trotting, shroom hunting, wild child. I was conceived in Australia, where she met my biological father. It was that whole opposites attract thing. He was into real estate or some kind of hoity toity business stuff. My mom worked as a Jillaroo on a 1 million acre ranch in the wasteland notoriously known as "the outback" and that doesn't mean some pussy chain restaurant. That means you gotta be tough as a coffin nail to survive. She was home renewing her work visa to go back to the ranch when she found out I was in the oven and never left the US again. I just drained all the piss and vinegar out of her.

Before Oz, she traveled across the Sudan by third class rail (like all those movies where people bring goats and chickens on board and sit on the roof to escape the crushing heat) while she had malaria or some kind of exotic disease. Spending hours hunkered down in the bathroom of the train, which consisted of a 3x3 foot room with a hole cut in the floor. People shit directly down onto the tracks as they pass below. Then wipe with the left hand and smear it off on to the walls.

don't try and steady yourself on the wall
Once, she almost got herself locked inside the tomb of some Egyptian pyramid because they didn't notice they had stayed past closing time, wandering the depths. Nowadays, she doesn't want to stay at a hotel if they don't have at least 20 reviews on I know right? Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Anyway, besides taking me backpacking through Mexico when I was 17, and a trip to British Columbia, since I've been alive my mom and stepdad (both of them aggro thrill seekers once upon a time) never so much as left the country. They have always lived relatively quiet, even slightly mundane lives peppered with small adventures, like hiking the occasional peak, watching Smallville or skiing a blue square.

My whole life they have managed to never get themselves into a single tight spot or sketchy situation. No doubt afraid that they might be taken from this world, leaving me to inevitably starve to death, or slowly be subdued by my own ineptitude.

Then I got married. I started a life, and apparently they decided that it was time to say screw it and go have the adventures they had been avoiding for so many years. Now if something happens to them, they know my wife will make sure I don't just sit around watching action movies with my dogs, smoking cigars, eating pizza and rum for breakfast.

So my parents, who hardly wandered beyond the three states which line the Pacific coast of this great nation through my whole life, suddenly found work, packed up and relocated to Tripoli. The capital of Libya. A boring, stable little Arab country. A country they assured me had absolutely no terrorists, unrest or dangers that I needed to worry about.

The US state department had not issued any travel advisories for Americans in Libya for many years. The government was stable and had made a massive effort to completely eradicate any terrorist cells that may have been hiding there before. In fact my parents were going to work with "Aecom", a massive international corporation that was hired by the Libyan government to build national infrastructure in an effort to turn Libya into a viable tourist destination like Dubai.

That was back in July 2010, when they moved. Seven months later Libya is a war zone. The streets are in chaos with protesters demanding democratic freedom. (who can blame them? They'd prefer a government that doesn't just kill everyone who isn't drinking the kool-aid) The army (supplemented with African mercenaries) is gunning down crowds of protesters by the hundreds, maybe thousands. No one knows for sure because there is a total communication black out on almost all media, reports are only by estimates of people in the area witnessing the events, but there are at least 300+ confirmed dead.

Soldiers and ambassadors are defecting, saying they refuse to support the genocide of their countrymen. Two Libyan fighter jets landed in Malta seeking refuge the other day. The pilots said they defected from the army because they refused to follow an order to drop bombs on fellow Libyans in their own town.

The government is crumbling, yet still making threats that if the protests continue "the streets will run with rivers of blood". There is talk of a full blown civil war.

And my parents? My parents are holed up in some company owned house outside Tripoli, with all their coworkers, waiting for a chance to escape the country and reach safety in Malta.

30 years without so much as an earthquake, mudslide or race riot (and we lived in LA man!). The most exciting thing that ever happened was when we came home to find our house had been robbed by some stupid drug addicts who went through the strong box and missed an envelope full of cash, but stole my mom's fake plastic pearls.

*fun fact: The morons of the Pasadena PD took 40 minutes to arrive on scene and when they did they drew guns on me and treated me as a suspect. Apparently a lot of 16 year old burglars hang around for an hour after the crime and then stand in the middle of the street with a flashlight and flag down the police cars

I let my parents out of my sight for a few months and they get themselves stuck between a psychotic despot who would rather murder all his citizens than give up dictatorship, and a rampaging mob hell bent on fighting their way to democracy.

The good news for now is that Aecom has a tiny army of a private security force which should be able to hold down the fort long enough to get their people out of Libya. So far that's the only news we have. Now it's just a waiting game to see how long it will take for them to get out safely. It's been a day without any contact so far. I'll update this as things develop.

In other news, all these shenanigans have totally screwed up my carefully laid plans for Bali yet again. Since the tickets I got for my parents to Indonesia departed from Tripoli, it's gonna be hard for that flight to work since 1) My parents will hopefully be back in the US by the time the flight is supposed to leave and 2) all flights have been canceled in Tripoli. Probablyu because of the whole war thing...

I called emarites air to try and get a refund for their tickets so I could start looking for flights out of Seattle and they told me to contact expedia.

I called Expedia customer service and I swear this conversation is literally what happened. Christy will confirm I called on speaker phone.

Outsourced Indian Customer Service Drone: (super thick accent) Hello, thank you for calling Expedia, how can I help you?

Me: Hi, I need to find out what the process is to obtain a refund for a flight I had booked for my parents to fly from Libya to Indonesia.

OICSD: Okay, I would love to help you with that today. Can you give me the confirmation number?

Me: bla bla,, numbers given.

OICSD: what was that before the B? a V or C?

Me: Beta - Charlie - Foxtrot niner 7458

OICSD: (reads back incorrectly. we go around two more times before it is clear) Okay sir, I would love to help you with that today. What information do you need regarding this reservation?

Me: I said I would like to get a refund. All the flights are obviously canceled and my parents are evacuating Libya. I called the airline to get a refund and they said to call Expedia.

OICSD: I see. you say your flight is canceled?

Me: That's what they said.

OICSD:  And why exactly was this flight canceled? (I swear she really fucking said that!)

Me: Umm. (Wife in disbelief bursts into wild innapropraite giggling)

OICSD: You claim the flight is canceled? Why would it be canceled?

Me: Because there are riots in the streets. People are being gunned down by the hundreds, bombs are being dropped on the city and the military is moving in to crush the uprising by massacring anyone in their path.

OICSD: I see. Well, I will need to send a fax to emirates airlines and confirm this. (Seriously. She said a fax! from India to Qatar. To confirm that international news was taking place and it would impact the flow of airline traffic from the area)

Me: You sure you don't want to use a telegram? Or maybe a carrier Pigeon?

Now which was the send fax button again?
OICSD: I will need to place you on hold for 3-5 minutes.

Click... Crazy trumpet music playing. We wait.

14 minutes later...

OICSD: thank you for holding. I would be happy to help you with this today. I have contacted emirates airlines and they confirm that all flights have been canceled. But only up until Feb 28th. You're flight is on March 9th and there is no decision posted yet on this date.

Me: I'm pretty sure that things are not going to be all back to normal and dandy by March 9th.

OICSD: I cannot process a refund voucher for you at this time. You will need to contact Emirates airlines and talk to their customer service instead.

Me: I called them first and they told me all flights are canceled and I needed to get a refund through Expedia.

OICSD: right now your flight is still on the schedule because March has not been processed yet.

Me: I don't care about that. There are extreme circumstances here and everyone is being evacuated. I just want to cancel the tickets and get a refund or change the ticket.

OICSD: I cannot change any ticket you need a refund and then re order new tickets for the current price.

Me: You should stop saying you'll be happy to help me if you're actually not going to try and help me at all.

OICSD: Here's the details for your flight... Please be advised that your parents should arrive at the airport in Tripoli at least 3 hours before the flight is scheduled to leave so that they have enough time to check luggage and get a seat assignment on the flight.

Me: Are you serious?! I just told you people are being gunned down  in the streets. There are jets dropping bombs and snipers shooting into crowds. My parents aren't going to be checking in at the Tripoli airport! They are trying to flee the country. Without getting bombed! By the time March 9th comes around they won't be anywhere near the airport in Tripoli. Hopefully they will be back home and not dead!

OICSD: Let me give you a confirmation number for your account. Can you confirm you parents' birth dates?

So maybe they aren't outsourcing customer disservice to India. Maybe they are outsourcing to the fucking moon. Or the center of the earth's core. Where they don't have any news outlets and the only communication technology is a LAN line and a fax machine. But one thing is for sure, Exedia's policy on refunds due to cancellations caused by international uprisings and mass genocide? Pry the money from our cold dead hands... Top notch operation over at Expedia. I'll toootally use them again...

Just one of those years.

Hey there. Welcome back to any readers I still have left after my forced extended sabbatical from the blog world. As I'm sure everyone noticed with great alarm, I've been pretty scarce in the blog scene lately. No RTT's, no FPF's, no wordless Wednesdays. Well. I guess all my Wednesdays have been wordless lately. So before I lost the interest of every reader and you all write me off for good, allow me to explain.

2011 has been chewing my ass up and it's been less than two months. I had high hopes for this year, given that the wife and I planned to do an international trip, rent a house in Portland and possibly get pregnant sometime in the distant yet terrifying future. I was also looking forward to really digging in and blogging the shit out of some awesome topics, get deep. Ya know, have something to say that didn't revolve around my dogs' gastrodestructive proclivities. I was also planning (in my devastating optimism) to launch a group blog called Red Picket Fence. If you read Triton Cove with any regularity you'll know that RPF is a web-zine-blog idea centered around various writers' musings on culture in the 21st century and how our goals and values differ from our parents' generation. (See also: my mom hates tattoos)

The first hint that 2011 was going to be a beast was that it started putting us through the grinder before new years eve had even begun. It was December when the insanity began.

My family had decided the few stragglers (grandparents, aunt, plus 5 kids and 1 canine) who were still in the country for Christmas would gather at our place here in Triton Cove. However, the day before this plan was to be executed my aunt, coming to grips with the finite nature of being a soul trapped in a human body, decided she would prefer to host Christmas at her house instead of packing 5 children (all fully engulfed in the throws of a Christmas adrenaline bender) 1 greyhound/boxer mix with anxiety issues, plus clothes and presents for all into her Suburban to drive 4 hours North.

Who could blame her? We switched out of cleaning the house before guests arrive mode and flew into a full throttle packing frenzy. We loaded gifts, clothes, crate and the 3 wise dogs (okay maybe it's too late for Christmas references) into the car and drove to Portland.

All this would have made a very entertaining blog post. I should have written all about it. I could have dragged at least 4 Christmas insanity posts out of the drama.

However once we arrived at my aunts house everything became a blur. Shrieking banshee children hopped up on candy canes and possibly meth. 12 person meals (cooked by yours truly). Wrapping paper shrapnel, dwarf hamsters (QTpie survived 15 days past Christmas before shucking off her mortal coil), and the crashing of drum sets.

That's right, my aunt bought her 8 year old son a fucking drum set. Of her own free will, without water boarding or anything, officially killing any pity I felt for her hapless position, surrounded by this pint sized barbarian hoard.

Needless to say we were up to our eyeballs in kids and dogs and presents and cooking and babysitting and errands and present wrapping and everything else in the world that does not include writing an awesome, witty blog post for the good people of the Interweb.

Still I was telling myself "this is going to be great blog fodder once things calm down enough to write, a classic American holiday story filled with chaos and family issues and those chocolate oranges you whack and break into slices and..."


My youngest niece (and therefore the most densely populated by assorted viral colonies) climbed up on my back, using my nostrils, ears and mouth as hand-holds and blasted one tiny, impossibly wet sneeze directly into all my face holes at once. (If you're thinking it's impossible to sneeze into both ears at once. It's not.)

I should have written about how cute it was when she tried to remedy the situation by excusing herself and trying to "clean" her spittle off my face and associated orifices with those sticky little digits, coated in a substance that can only come from mixing peppermint candy with 6 year old sweat.

I knew I was infected before I could even extricate myself from her disease ridden paws. Ten hours later she had a slight fever and a runny nose but was none the worse for wear. I, on the other hand was contemplating the pros and cons of overdosing on Nyquil and telling myself things like "The wife will be fine, at least we don't have any kids she'll be left to raise alone."

I'm not saying this was the worst cold anyone ever got. I'm just saying that my cold would have raped the H1N1 Virus if they were in prison together.

I should have written about how we decided to retreat back home so that I could try to sleep through as much of this flubonic plague as possible, lost in a delirium of Nyquil and 90's action movies.

I should have written about how soon as we were back home we received a call notifying us that everyone had decided to come to our cabin for New Years like originally planned for Christmas. They were on the road and would be there in a couple hours and could we pull out the spare blankets and prep our one room cabin so the kids and dog could sleep at our place while the adults slept down the hill at my grandparents'.

Sleeping all day and watching R rated movies was not in the cards as we were drafted back into the front lines of babysitting, an activity which mostly consists of watching (and hearing) the children tear in and out of the cabin, slamming the door (hard enough that the phone mount flew off the wall more than once. Seriously.) and shouting their youthful exuberance to us and each other. This would be okay if our bedroom didn't share the same open room with the living room and kitchen et al.

The chaos continued for another few days. Or weeks, I'm not sure. Then things finally quieted down, I was able to rest enough to finally kick mutant flu virus in just under 3 weeks and I started writing again.

The phone rang.


The trip we were planning to schedule in April or May? That needed to happen in March. The beginning of March actually. like March 1st. Or maybe 5th? No March 3rd for sure. Definitely March 9th. Whatever the date one thing was clear, the trip was going to happen SOON.

This went back and fourth for a week or three, by which time my structure loving plan-aholic brain had come to wits ends. We finally decided on a date. But by this time the places we planned to go originally (Morocco, no Egypt, or maybe Spain. Definitely Portugal. Probably) had nearly doubled in airfare prices. I scrambled for an alternative. I spent literally 6-10 hours a day staring at matrix grids with airline ticket prices to various international destinations. Eventually I made a case for Indonesia. The parents agreed. But when they checked tickets (from their house in Libya) they discovered that rates appear differently depending on what country to search from.

They did not, however, make this connection immediately. Instead coming to the most obvious conclusion for any parent. Our kid doesn't know an airfare from a hole in the ground. Either that or he's forgotten how the decimal system works.

This sent them into a panic, searching for other places to go. Deciding that now they wanted to go to Athens.
Thus beginning another round of stifled back and fourth communication. BTW, back and fourth each require a full day respectively with my parents as they are living in Libya and don't have access to regular telephones, just a jenky skype connection and email accounts which always seem to take at least a full day to respond to. Granted, communication with my parents has never been smooth sailing even when they lived in the US and had access to 3 phone lines and high speed WiFi.

I could drone on and on about how the majority of my family were born with a genetic aversion to committing to a plan more than 5 minutes before it happens, but it's probably better to leave out all the insane details. Suffice it to say that eventually we came full circle as we almost always do. The conversation going something like this..

Can you give me directions to Parthenon?

Me: I did some research and the average temperature in Athens during March is about 50F. The ferries all shut down in the off season (now) so we won’t be able to get to any islands or travel around easily. Also, there are riots and protests all over with people throwing Molotov cocktails at police.

Parents: But It’s $5,000 cheaper for everyone to fly to Greece than Indonesia!

Me: The numbers I got are only $400 more to fly to Indonesia and the cost of staying there is 75% less overall so I think it will be cheaper in the long run.

Parents: But we’re looking at the numbers right here on the computer and they are different. Maybe you forgot to carry the 1. You know it's a comma and not a period in the price right?

Me: I just did a search for airfare, telling the site I was processing payment in Libya and all the fares came up more expensive.

Parents: You can do that?

Me: Yes, there’s a box you can enter the… Nevermind, that’s not the point. The numbers I sent you are correct I just need to buy them in the US. Just trust me.

Parents: But when we search it’s more expensive.

Me: That’s what I’m saying!

Parents: hmmmm. We still doubt your competence.

Me: If I buy the tickets here in the US they will cost less because there’s no exchange rate and Libyan taxes and fees or whatever to finance Gadhafi’s collection of aviator sunglasses

Parents: Maybe we can install some sort of firewall hacker program that will hide what country we are in from the internet and confuse it so we can see the prices you‘re talking about and order the tickets from here, so as not to risk you having control over the booking process, thereby possibly sending us to Antarctica.

Me: You’re not going to be able to hide what country the internet connection is coming out of, it’s all controlled by the government there. It's not like Libya has an IP address.

Parents: We’ll try and get back to you.

…4 days later…

Parents: It didn’t work.

Me: Really?

Parents: Okay, so you were right all along. We contacted our travel agent and they confirmed.

Me: Like usual when we debate something related to technology, movies, the internet or the 21st century.

Parents: Yeh yeh, we should have just trusted you. Whatevz.

Me: Maybe once in a while.

Parents: Our vacation dates changed again. Can you find out the airfares for leaving March 11th?

Oh yeh, I forgot to mention that while all this was happening, my laptop (on which I had saved like a thousand half-blog-posts) was savaged by the ghost of shitty manufacturing past and exploded on me. Again. That’s TWICE before our first anniversary. Suck it HP! And you too Windows 7. Updating yourself on your own and corrupting all my files while I was asleep . You guys are a couple of douche bags.

And remember Red Picket Fence? The passion project I’ve been banging out for the last thousand years was finally up and running. Designed and perfected and ready to upload awesome articles from the coolest group of misfits ever assembled in all blogdom. Then Helen came along.

Prepare to die puny website!
Helen works in Tech support at, our hosting server. She no type much English well to you or understand nothing bout computer other than her script which she must make you wait before she read and retype response on support chat. But she try much hard to help make fix problem. Unfortunately, she make fix problem by resetting THE ENTIRE DATABASE FOR THE FRIGGING WEBSITE. Effectively erasing the last 4 months of my work on RPF. Since then I’ve been working to copy the elements back from the server and figure out how to piece it together. However, after the set back I’ve found it difficult to motivate myself to pour even more hours into a project that was almost complete before getting evaporated via death-ray Helen.

Somewhere in all this we are also looking for a house in Portland, booking accommodations abroad, trying to communicate with my workaholic biological father in Australia, feeding the dogs (and dealing with the repercussions), navigating all the other gnarly family schtuff (dramas too intense to commit to the everlasting public tomes of the internet), Power washing our moss covered deck in 30F weather and trying to keep up with regular day job work, house keeping and the like.

And that’s just the last two months.

Now all we need to do is pack up our cabin, clean everything perfectly so my grandmother won’t break her back scrubbing and organizing the place while we’re gone. Pack for 2 months of travel, load the dogs in our Matrix and drive to San Diego where the In-laws have graciously offered to allow our three furry poop machines to run around their huge backyard while we globe trot.

All in all 2011 is off to a pretty intense start and I have to admit, so far it‘s been kicking my ass. But I am still hopeful that we are somehow paying the majority of our dues early on. Grinding out all the stressful, panic inducing chaos causing trials and tribulations in preparation for a year filled with amazing adventures and incredible blessings.

The truth is, in the end it’s always worth the turmoil. Life is insane. The only thing that changes is where the insanity comes from. The good news is that the time to kick rocks is nearly upon us and soon we’ll be on the road with nothing to worry about but the next stop. That, and keeping up a consistent blog regimen of course.

So get ready people. And tell your friends that we‘re back in the game. Triton Cove is going international. In just a week, we’ll officially be transforming into a travel blog!

Bring it on 2011, what’s next?
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