June 1st, 2002

Atacama

Yes.

Those two pictures were across the road from each other, near Rolleston, Queensland, on the way south to Carnarvon Gorge NP.
Atacama

What I miss.

I miss Kitty.

I miss having dinner with friends.

I miss reading in bed, in summer, with the screen door open and the fan going.

I miss being able to head downstairs and fondle my secret wine stash.

I miss sitting in my oversized expensive office chair and typing on a full-size keyboard.

I miss having a job - well, the work, partly, but mostly the social interaction of working in an office full of interesting people.

I miss Trader Joe's food.

I miss really spicy food, Hunan Taste especially.

I miss driving a reasonably fast car - a diesel Land Cruiser just ain't the same.

I miss Gerolsteiner sparkling mineral water.

I miss Steve and Mark.

I miss edging the lawn on weekends.

I miss coming home to find a package on my doorstep.

I miss redwood forests.

I miss watching DVDs on a widescreen HDTV.

I miss listening to music on a stereo system that doesn't completely suck rocks.

I miss white underwear. (You try keeping it clean on a long road trip without room for a bottle of bleach in the car.)

I miss the smell of garlic in the morning, drifting down the valley from Gilroy.

I miss the feeling that I could hop in the car and be at a friend's house within an hour, if I wanted to.

I miss having an income.

I miss Kitty.
Atacama

Health.

As of June 1, 2002:

Weight: 225, down from a high in the 280s (early 2001), down from a trip start of 242 (February 3, 2002), still about 30 pounds overweight, but not obese

Cholesterol: "really good" according to the test I took the week before I left

Blood pressure: 130 over something, that is, kind of high-ish but far from worrisome at this point (yeah, the 25km hikes and weight loss should help this soon)

Resting pulse: 60, which is pretty strange; I feel like Yul Brynner in Westworld or something

Back pain: none since last November

Knee pain: none since January

Everything else: looking good, seems under control

Prognosis: improving, should be hunky dory by January 2003

Downside: will need to buy new clothing; XXL shirts now look ridiculous