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Saturday (7-9) -- Though there was wet weather to contend with, it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. The roads were mostly clear, at least, so either there weren't that many people fleeing the hurricane, or they'd already managed to escape. I made a late start, about three in the afternoon, and spent the night in reasonable comfort somewhere near Macon, GA.
Sunday (7-10) -- Since I had plenty of time to get to Chicago, I decided to go up through the middle of Tennessee and check on my oldest brother, who lives up near Pall Mall, close to the northern border of the state.

I saw a lovely billboard by the side of the road a little north of Chattanooga:
Couldn't they all look like this?
The woods are really thick at this time of year, but I managed to find my way up through the winding dirt roads and eventually track him down. This is my oldest brother, gesturing expansively to show off the silver bracelet he's wearing, one of the same type that my students will be making on their first days in class.
My oldest brother, looking cheerful.
I stayed around for a meal and a pleasant visit, and met a number of very nice folks. I added another to my collection of pictures of pretty girls wearing my silver shirt:
Elizabeth in silver.
I continued up through Kentucky until I got back on the interstate, found a spot to stay, and got some sleep.
Monday (7-11) -- Still ahead of schedule, poking along I-65 and stopping to relax and shake the kinks out. Current plan is to reach Chicago tomorrow and get set up for Wednesday's workshop, so that lets me take it easy for now. I hope all the other legs of the journey are as laid back as this one...

Overnight stay in Lafayette, IN. I ate in a restaurant with peanut shells on the floor, and lay around all evening doing practically nothing... drove me nuts, so I tied a few cotton knotted bracelets and gave one away to one of the waitresses at the restaurant.
Tuesday (7-12) -- Arrived at my first workshop location. We're in the North Shore region, Glencoe, and it looks really nice here. My host's basement is already equipped with jewelry and woodworking gear, so it will be no problem to set things up for my students, come morning.
Wednesday (7-13) -- The workshop went very well, with everyone completing their bracelets handily. We went on to some demonstrations of other techniques, and began the ring workshop introduction for those who had signed up for that.

Afterward, I went exploring the area and restocked my cooler at the local grocery store. This has been the most relaxed vacation I've taken in a long time, with a lot of down time, and I'm enjoying the low-stress lifestyle for a change. There's a good chance that my eventual retirement will consist of this kind of workshop/lecture/travel, and I'm looking forward to it more and more.
Thursday (7-14) -- Ring workshop today, with four students. Everyone did great rings, and I showed them how to make twisted wire, which they incorporated in the rings since we had time.

Later on, I attended the live taping of the "Wait wait... Don't Tell Me" NPR program, at the Bank One Auditorium, and got to meet the host and guests, along with some other very nice folks.

Here are a few pictures taken along the way.
An odd-looking building that I saw while wandering around the Loop in downtown Chicago.
Here's what Roy Blount Jr looks like, as seen at the
This is a picture of me with Paula Poundstone, at the
Friday (7-15) -- Spent today driving to the Twin Cities, for my St Paul workshops over the weekend. I stopped in Madison for lunch with one of my favorite customers of long standing, the lady who bought the silver torus knot pendant and the ametrine pendant over the last few years. Arrived in St Paul to find my hosts to be charming and hospitable, and the basement workshop to be another very comfortable spot in which to teach.
Saturday (7-16) -- Everyone who had signed up for the workshop showed up, and we got right to work. Their bracelets were all eminently satisfactory, and the one person who had previously said she only wanted to take the bracelet class was so enthusiastic that she immediately changed her mind and decided to come back on Sunday for that.
Sunday (7-17) -- We got right to work, today, and not only did everyone make great rings, one student, T Lee, decided she wanted to do a second while waiting for the rest of the class to catch up, and did two.

Before leaving St Paul I stopped in to meet a couple of chain-maillers from the TRL forum, Martin and John, and we laid linked and knotted metal goodies all over the table at a local Perkins and compared notes for a while. Raquel, the waitress, was saucy but competent, and she got a couple of extras along with her tip, a half-Persian aluminum bracelet from Martin and a complex knot tied in cotton cord, from me.

I got caught in a bit of rough weather, heading south through Iowa, so I holed up for the night in Mason City.
Monday (7-18) -- Easy drive to Kansas City, very relaxing. I stopped in Des Moines and had lunch, then when I got to KC I went to visit my friend Gary. Here we are in his basement computer room:
Gary and Loren in the basement.
Thursday (7-21) -- Busy times at KFest. We had a virtual visit from Eric Shepherd, and got some pictures:

Sheppy, trapped in a little box.

Sarah, and daughter Sophie, are in the box too.

(This site last updated on 04-30-2018)

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