Twelve days since my last post. I try to update more frequently than that, but I've been busy prepping for two big upcoming trips. One begins this Saturday: my girl, our dog, and I are driving to Basilicata (the lower shin of the Italian boot) and hiking from the east coast to the west. If all goes well, after next week I'll have technically walked across a country. After that I'm catching a transatlantic to Baltimore so I can be the best man at my best friend's wedding. Yes, in the words of Benito Mussolini, my dear friend Mike Barron is about to bury the putrid corpse of liberty. I'm flying in a week before the festivities to take him white-water rafting for his bachelor party. After that I'll head to my parents' house in Maryland, spend the week catching up with my family, then head back to Baltimore the following Friday for the wedding.