Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 7:17 PM
Subject: It's Alive!!!

Looking back, it's been over two months since I sent an update, which could explain the following excerpts from some emails I have received lately.....
    "Are you okay?  Write to us so we'll know you're still alive."
    "hey man....where are you these days???????????????"
    "It's been a long time since I heard from you and was wondering what's happening.  "
    "Just found your wonderful weblog...  Why the sudden stop?  Are you ok now?  I have been planning a trip very similar to this, and was looking up VW info... "
I can only lay part of the blame with my broken computer, which has been giving me fits over the last three weeks, and only today did I get it running again (after buying a new computer this morning, which will be returned tomorrow).  Ughhh.
So, what's been going on?  After a profitable US Income Tax filing, I decided to go to Photography School for the summer (profitable due to a gross miscalculation on my part regarding estimated taxes - seems I forgot to consider the cost basis of some stock I sold).  At the beginning of June I started the Summer Intensive program at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana.  It's an 11 week photography program designed to take beginner photographers and train them to start a career in photography.  There's about 140 people in the program, and we are divided up into sub-groups of 18 people.  Of course I have the best classmates in my group (and we would never mention that amongst ourselves at the expense of any of the other groups....).  We have adopted some other people that got our share of the weirdos in their group.  It's sort of like having all the great things about being a freshman in college with none of the bullshit or angst.  We are all beginning to dread the end of the program.  But we'll just put on our denial hats until then and enjoy the rest of the summer in Montana taking photographs.
When I got here, I rented an apartment.  What a relief.  After almost a full year living out of a van (and the madness it was starting to bring me) it was a very welcome change.  The sum total of my furniture consists of:  an inflatable mattress, 2 camping chairs, a table/lamp/and TV (all purchased from goodwill for $47).  That's pretty much it, except for all the stuff in the van which is now in here.  I have a lovely 2 tone brown shag carpet dated from the Nixon administration.  Unfortunately my appliances are all new and white.
I set up a  webpage with some of my new pictures (It will take over 5 minutes to load at 28.8 so you may only want to check it out if you have a high speed connection).  If you like any of them and want a print, I'm sure we could work something out.....and then I could actually call myself a professional photographer....[hint hint]
I'm actually sick of sitting at the computer after spending the last few days fixing it, so I'm just going to sign off before I go mad (it was starting to feel like work, you know that feeling, it's 11pm, you were supposed to fax the presentation to your boss 30 minutes ago, then the network went down, now the printer won't work, sort of like that, so I'm going to send this out and go take some pictures while the sun is setting) .  Thanks for all the inquiries as to whether I had driven the van off a cliff (no, and it is running just fine, thank you very much).  I hope you enjoy the pictures, I had a great time taking them (and I actually developed the Black and White ones myself).  When I recover from fixing my computer I'll send some more.  Hope you are having a great summer!