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After a record THREE days at home this time, I am preparing to leave once again early tomorrow morning.  My plane to Portland, via Las Vegas, departs at 06:55.  I finished re-packing earlier this afternoon (I have it down to a "science" now) and ran a few last-minute errands.  All that remains to be done tonight is a quick mini-load of laundry (for the clothes I'll be wearing on the plane).  I plan to relax while watching TV and to try and get a good night's sleep for a change.  I still haven't decided whether I'll park my car at one of the airport lots or if I'll call a taxi.

The past few days since I returned from New Jersey have been mildly hectic.  After unpacking and doing laundry (I love just dumping the packing cubes into the washing machine), I began editing the video I shot of the London Marillion "experiences" into DVD form.  I'd done a quick edit last week but several errors had cropped up in my first watching.  I'm very proud of the final version (complete with photo slideshow, set to my favorite song — the 17-minute "Ocean Cloud") and today mailed off copies to several fans I'd befriended in London.  I was so thrilled with the London DVD that I also (finally) put together a DVD of film footage I'd taken during the band's Pacific Northwest shows back in September.

With the DVD's (and burning of copies) out of the way, I began packing last night.  I actually managed to fit ALL of the clothes (including a pair of sandals) that I wanted to take into my carry-on bag!  I'm also taking a much fuller toiletry kit than I usually carry on a trip since I've had to add heavy-duty sunblock, mosquito repellant, etc. to the usual supplies of shampoo, deoderant, toothpaste, and the rest.  Unfortunately, I didn't have room to fit my sleep-sack or mosquito netting.  I'm sure I can pick those items up in-country, however.  Today's completion of packing concentrated on my electronics bag; this is a messenger-style shoulder bag that carries my various cameras and lenses, electrical adapters, battery chargers, USB cables, Blackberry, maps, Thai phrase book, airplane tickets, etc.  It's quite a jigsaw puzzle fitting everything in and in the end I had to jetison the really cool 30GB photo harddrive I'd planned to dump my memory cards into (I'll just burn them to CD-R as I go along like I did in London).

I had planned to take my Marillion hooded fleece jacket with me on this trip but today I switched it in favor of my regular coat.  It's not quite as warm, but it's a little less bulky and I won't care so much if it gets dirty, torn, or otherwise damaged.  It's also easier to fold up, important because I'll be dragging it around Thailand for a few weeks before I'll need to wear it again on the return trip.  (Perhaps I'll stash it in a locker at the Bangkok airport until I depart for home.)

There is one major thing that I haven't yet accomplished for this trip:  the all-important selection of "the book".  I don't have any room in my luggage to stash another item so anything I take to read will have to be carried outside of my bags.  Historically, I've found that I can concentrate on mystery novels more than other types of books while sitting in airports or on airplanes.  However, on the trips I've taken over the past six months I've been completely unable to read anything while in-transit.  I'm tempted not to take anything at all, but then what will I do during those long sleepless nights in the Portland hotel or further down the road?  I'll have to figure this out tonight because I certainly won't have time early in the morning...