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Thanksgiving Night, I am stubbing out the final images without copyright, resolution, or permission to be in a print book, and looking back on a hell of a November.

This all started in late October, when the idea of my term papers became more and more real, and the reality of my unemployment settled into an immutable idea.  I had to pay for school somehow, and I knew that completing the book was mental block to getting a job.  I got a message on one of my many newsgroups that a company was looking for a  “LEED-AP and AICP” planner, and that I could write if I had any questions.  I thought, “what the heck”, and replied, and got a good conversation going with the man that posted the article and his manager.  By the count, I had five things to work on that weekend

That weekend, my wife was at a workshop and I was working on the soup of my goals at a Starbucks when a fellow swing his satchel over my table.  Knocking my full coffee onto my laptop.  I hollered many untoward words inside using my outside voice, over the dying ember of the thing that held my cover letter, my term papers, and my book.  I had backups at home, but they were days old.  And I did not know where I was going to get the money on top of everything else for a new laptop.

While my heart slowed down, I relayed I had better get home to see if I could back up the computer before the coffee reached the innards.  The screen was still on, the keyboard  still worked, but the cursor would not move.  Cursing under my breath, I set out for home, 25 miles away.  Its miraculous how fast I was able to cover that distance, and even more miraculous that I didn’t have a wreck.  That was the very thought I was having while hurtling down the Beltway, which probably helped.

By the time I got home, the laptop had taken the big sleep.  So I schlepped to the store to see what my warranty could do for me.  Not much.  They don’t cover accidents like this.  I could only be comforted that a full repair out of warranty would cost even more.

The laptop dropped off and money from I-don’t-know-where signed away, I returned to where I was supposed to be waiting and working all along.  When it was time to pick up my wife, I just texted her the word “disaster” and waited.

I calmed down, and was able to salvage the backup from four days before to continue work on the book.

I got the job, and have been spending November learning the ropes and commuting long distance for the first time in a decade.

I had no time to do a quality job on the first term paper, but I began getting up at 4:something to shoehorn that work in.

I spent a weekend drafting the two remaining term papers, and last weekend working on finishing the writing of the book.  I just finished formatting the draft and killing all the pictures that were low resolution or copyrighted from the text.  I did not want my writing to be an asterisk on this week with our family.

I got the laptop back from the store, and the only thing that wasn’t shorted by coffee was the hard drive.  So I got a new laptop.

I am going to finish compiling the book Saturday, and will submit it via dropbox then.  It s about sustainable transportation in America.