Sunday, August 28, 2011

Burning Man starts tomorrow!

Hello everyone!  It felt good to get on the road.  Colorado's mountains were nice and cool compared the the 97F in Denver.  Utah was wide open and not too hot.  Some people find the I-70 corridor a bit plain and boring through Utah, but I actually like the scenery.

I left Westminster at noon and spent my birthday (August 26th) driving across Utah and Nevada.  I wasn't too tired when I reached Las Vegas so I decided to keep going and stopped in Barstow at 5am.  A bed at Motel 6 never felt so good.  On the way, I also stopped in St. George, Utah, for an 11pm In N Out Burger to keep me going.  I could have had another In N Out burger in Vegas too but I thought that would be overdoing it.

During my drive I went through a few rain showers with lighting in the distance.  This lightning ignited some spot fires right around St. George, Utah and into Arizona.  It was a striking scene in the night.

On Saturday, I arrived at my friend's aunt's house in Santa Monica.  We ate some great food and had one last good shower to last for the next week.  The car is loaded up with water and all of our stuff.  My friend Jaime is really excited about this too as this is her first time going as well.  Our bikes are decorated artfully. Overall, this will be like backpacking but with a car in a moonscape filled with 50,000 people and a lot of artwork.  So basically... its nothing like backpacking.  At the event, I'll be going to a meeting of Burning Man Nerds where we will talk about research surrounding the Burning Man.  Perhaps there will be some planners there who have researched the layout of Black Rock City (BRC). I'm looking forward to sharing the experience and the pictures with all of you after I come out the other side of this event.  Don't worry, I'll stay safe, have plenty of water and food, and won't be taking any mind-altering drugs.  My mind is already screwy enough already without having taken anything.  I'll post again in a week.  Happy Labor Day ahead of time and cheers!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blogging Man... as in my blog is online and I'm going to Burning Man.

Welcome all of you to my blog!  For a long time, I had thought about starting a blog so more people can share in my travels, live vicariously through my experiences (I've had serious requests for this!), and learn more about the development and planning projects that I visit.  Of course, you will still have to tolerate a few bad jokes, puns, and other forms of witty banter but I'll make it worth your while to put up with all of that garbage.

During the next two to three weeks, I will blog about my trip to and from California and my experiences at Burning Man out in the middle of the Black Rock desert two hours north of Reno, Nevada.  My friend Jamie will be accompanying me as we seek out some friends and soon to be friends among the sold out 50,000 attendees who will make up the bustling, temporary metropolis of Black Rock City (BRC).  Since we will be out in the middle of the desert and do not have high-powered equipment that can tap into military satellites or Ted Turner's pinky finger, I will not be able to post anything during the event itself.  This means that from August 29th until September 5th, there won't be any new posts.  Expect a lot of material showing up after September 6th including lots of photos and videos.

The next excursion that you will have to look forward to is a trip to southern Germany.  I will be spending three days in Munich with my roommate Doug (Oktoberfest will be going on), a few days in Freiburg to check out the "best planned city in the world" according to some, and Ingolstadt and Erlangen where I will hopefully get tours of each city from their respective former mayors.  I'm still making arrangements to meet up with the former mayors but I do have my flight booked and a few nights reserved at a hotel in Munich.  I'll have more to write about that trip as we get closer to the middle of September.

For those of you who are not familiar with my current situation, about four days ago I finished my last day working for the Planning Division and Community Development Department at the City of Westminster, Colorado.  For four years, nine months, and twelves days, I did what I could to answer the public's questions and help people get through the planning process.  My coworkers were great (I'm just saying that since many of them are reading this. HA HA!) and I met a lot of interesting people during my tenure.  After all of that time, I had an opportunity to move on and try something new.  Now, I'll be doing some travelling, attempt to work in planning in other capacities such as consulting, and spending a lot of time doing research and writing on urban planning and other related subjects.  No, I did not win the lottery nor do I have a pallet of gold bricks in my garage.  I made a decision to plan ahead for a clean break and now was the best time for me to do it.

I hope I've given all of you enough of a teaser that you will check back later.  Also, I will backfill some material (please, no engineering jokes about what kind of retaining wall I will use) from my three week road trip from July because I have a lot of video and photos from that.  Thank you all for checking out my blog and I'll write as often as I can.  Cheers!