Departed Knox Vegas 1600 hours, 17 Feb 2008; arrived in the City Of Nap, 0330 hours, 18 Feb 2008. 17-foot van. Trailer bearing BMW Z3 light urban scout craft, qty. 1. Staggered into the house and fell over asleep on the first available surfaces.
Now It Can Be Told: What, you guys think I'd stay here, dustin' an' hummin' a happy tune while my bestest Intarw3b pal herds a whackin' huge van though the Cumberland Gap, with a trailer, in a horrible driving rain, as darkness falls? Not! (I rented a compact car to drive down, then picked it to find I had been given a "free upgrade" to a Tralblazer SUV. Very thirsty but it does go just like the wind).
In fact, it developed that of the two of us, I happened to have driven the most large, mean, nasty vehicles and to have had experience driving with a trailer (a few times. As a teen-ager. On vacation. With my Dad riding shotgun and providing constant guidance. But, ummm, kinda I didn't mention the details?). So at 1530 Sunday when Gunsmith Bob led our convey to where he'd attach the trailer and we'd all load the Zed Drei aboard, I was at the helm...and I stayed at the controls until we pulled up in front of Roseholme Cottage, an infinite amount of time later. I'm not as physically stressed and torn up as I thought I'd be, which speaks well for having had some really crummy stuff happen to one: after awhile, you just react to mere physical terror by shrugging, "meh." Tam navigated with skill and tact -- I can get lost driving around the block if I haven't done it a couple times -- and kept me from spacing out when we hit the long, straight dark stretches. Also the curving, rain-slick ones. I am pretty sure I hit my target heart rate. I'm pretty sure she did, too.
At present, the Collectification d'Tamae is safely esconced in my vault,* VFTP Command Central is crated behind where I'm typing, ready to be unshipped and re-AMORCed, our two pairs of cats are sort of hating each other through closed doors and Tam is coping.
The cats are the most worrisome. Mittens (T) just wants to be loved. The Slinker (R) is as hazy on the details as ever but wants more doors open. Tommy (R) is acting like a grumpy old man with strangers in the house ("Dagnabbit, there's been some wimmin messin' with mah stuff!") and Random Numbers (T) has gone Siamesically scary. She hides and sings a long low lament of blood and death and diresome revenge, of unravelling things -- whatever -- with razor'd claw and needle-sharp fang and loss and horror and having been caged. We're hoping the feline death-ninja trance will wear off. We're really hoping.
* Fine. Picky: "gun safe." Cost like a car and I believe it might sleep four. Had have it moved in by muscular and cheerful lunatics who said things like, "You might not wanna watch this part," and, "You realize this thing will never come back out, okay? " Geesh!
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
9 months ago