Work days are getting longer and longer as I prepare for another trade show. Me and my new companion (my bike, not my Kissin'-in-Else's admirerer) gather up energy on the ride to work (which is uphill) and unwind on the ride home (which, naturally, is downhill). I'm discovering how to use all 12 gears again, and am getting used to shifting smoothly (something I'm not known for in the Beetle). I'm learning to love the speed you gain when going down a steep hill and and how to lean into a corner at high speeds. Phun! In a scant three weeks, my leg muscles are firmer, and my waist and butt are just a little bit smaller. Cool! I love the period around trade shows at work. Although highly stressful, everyone is pulling in roughly the same direction to put on a great show. It's like theatre, but you have to compile it in the end. Before leaving, I made the rounds of the floor above me where all the developers sit. It was great to make simple connections with people working to solve problems, who were approaching the time to say "let's call it a day"", who wanted to just shoot the shit about health clubs, moving experiences, theories about overweight Americans and their consumption of carbohydrates, and problems with connections to the server. I love my job. But, I also love what I'm doing right now: sitting in my garden with my old laptop hooked to the phone line and electrical outlet through very long chords, writing, surfing, unwinding, thinking, and planning. The day lilies and evening primose have closed for the night, and a family of six baby skunks and a mother are cavorting at the end of the garden, under the maple trees. The wind is moderate, and the leaves on the trees make a sound that's almost like the ocean. The cats are exploring everything that moves, drinking pond water instead of the fresh water I left for them, and, surprisingly, ignoring the black and white creatures living under my garden shed. Could I be any more privileged?

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