The end?

I'm home. But it will never really
End. I'm different.


She hauled her fat red suitcase up into the back of the Prius (everyone drives one in California, it seems) and looked up at the sky. "Oh, no," she said. "Cloudy..."

Her soon-to-be-former roommate smiled. "It's because California is sad you're leaving." She brightened.


A mass of vegetables and scrambled eggs meant breakfast. Overpriced, for sure, but delicious. She, her boyfriend, and his parents sat down and watched the periodic fluctuations in the security line. "I think it's time for me to go... thank you again for the ride, and thank you," she turned to the blonde boy with his muted, but still present, grin, "for everything. This summer was fantastic."

"I'm glad I met you," he said. "You made things infinitely more interesting."

A kiss. "Goodbye."


Her face was pressed against the glass. SFO slipped sideways as she whispered a farewell to the state and everything it had provided her for the summer. The plane took off, whisking through San Francisco's characteristic clouds. A few wisps blew across the wing, catching the sun just right. Rainbows poured off behind, and she knew it would be okay. California wasn't going anywhere.


Routine. Well, maybe.

Thanks, everyone, for making this a phenomenal summer. I'll never forget you. :)


Best weekend ever!

From deserts to moons,
Stars to dawns, forests to nights,
Traveling by car.

Holy crap, I'm exhausted. Evan and I spent way too long in the car after Defcon. We left on Sunday around 4:30pm and got back to Mountain View yesterday around.. 10:30am. When we went to work.

The drive was phenomenal, though. We swept up through Death Valley, which we reached at such a time that we got to see the sunset. It was wicked hot. We'd elected to leave the AC off both to minimize the risk of overheating the car (which we almost did, anyway; it wasn't making happy sounds as we climbed the mountains around the valley in 114 degree heat) as well as to really get the desert experience. Watching the sunset was great. Everything around was totally barren, the mountains turned orange... yeah. I don't quite know how to describe it.

Then, more driving! We stopped to watch the Perseids for a bit later through the desert, once it had cooled off.

Further driving. We got to a town called Bishop, CA, that, according to our primitive map, was approximately even latitudinally with Mountain View, though pretty far over and across the Sierra Nevadas. We found a road, too, marked 168 West. It didn't show up on our map, but anything that goes West directly towards our destination has to be good, right?

So we climb to 8,500 ft on this road. And we see another sign. End 168. $*#(@)$@.

So we lost an hour and a half there, and we bowed to asking for directions at a motel. By this point, it's about midnight. At the motel:

Us: Hi, what's the fastest way to San Jose?
Motel guy: Well, it's probably not going to save a lot of time, but I'd guess going up to Reno and back down.
Us: ...ummm... isn't there a shorter way?
Motel guy: You can drive up through Yosemite, but going in the mountains is going to slow you down.
Us: Eff.

So we called Steven for directions to do this crazy thing, and he informed us that we were 300 miles and over 7 hours from home. Disheartening, to say the least.

So we drive up to Yosemite. Around 2am, we're both lagging pretty hard core (since we got so little sleep over the weekend already), and we decide to park the car on a scenic vista turnoff thing and sleep a few hours. At 5am, we wake up and continue on.

Seeing dawn in Yosemite was beautiful. The pine trees, black, silhouetted against the lightly blue/grey sky made a pretty dramatic drive. We were still too tired to properly appreciate it, but c'est la vie.

Driving, driving. We get to San Jose just in time for rush hour! Terrible. But the car gets returned, we magic our way through some public transit, and we get to work at 10:30. And work. For a full day. And, last night, sleep. For 12 hours. Feels good!



I don't know how to
Hack, but I feel totally
Ninja typing here.

In the middle of the desert, in sunny Las Vegas, NV, I'm learning about computer security. There've been some neat talks. One about war ballooning (see: war driving), there's one coming up about hacking the LCD billboards that seem so popular now, there're some about lockpicking, etc., etc. All these people are either totally ninja or total posers (I guess I'm a poser, but whatever). It's neat to be here, though.

Even the badges for the con are sweet. They have LCD lights and an infrared transmitter. They're totally programable! I can't wait to play around with the light settings and stuff.

Oh, as a sidenote? Evan picked up some beater frickin laptops for us to use this weekend. We didn't want our real laptops getting pwned. (There's a thing here called the "wall of sheep" that continually displays the logins and passwords and stuff of everyone who's too lazy to block out hackers.) So I'm writing this post in w3m. I think that makes me a badass. ;) At least, a little bit.

Anyway, I know it's been a while since I've written anything, but I have to just glaze over the things I've done in the interim. I went to Yosemite (Evan, Mike, and I hiked to the top of the mountain and swam in an amazing, frigid, spring-fed pool) and whitewater rafting (class IV! woot!) last weekend, had a birthday party for Evan (with delicious cheese), saw Venus (did the touristy thing), went to Chicago for a couple days (weird to be home), didn't sleep enough (I'm at about 26 hours for the last week), and saw my host for the last time (sadness!).

I can't believe next week is my last at Google! GAH!!