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Shanklin/Lowry housewarming in Minnesota

News ·Sunday August 14, 2016 @ 21:38 EDT (link)

Fairly late last week I learned about a housewarming party (private event link) a few states over held by a long-time libertarian (voluntaryist) online friend I'd never met. At first I joked about making a road trip there, but he encouraged me to come, and I thought it would be fun to actually meet up, and I hadn't driven in that direction (in fact, I'd never been in Wisconsin), so I decided to go for it and took a half-day Friday (I would have taken the whole day, but I had a few things to finish up for work that I didn't want to leave undone). I packed everything up Thursday night, including a tent to crash on the lawn, so I'd be good to go straight from work Friday. I got in early and left a little before 1100.

The drive was pretty, but uneventful. I was surprised at how horrible the tolls were in Chicago; I don't object to tolls (users should pay, non-users shouldn't) (although the gas taxes they already take are supposed to cover road maintenance, but Chicago likely needs more due to all the corruption), but it was so inefficient: every couple miles, another set of tollbooths. Cheryl (Lowry) had nothing good to say about Illinois either (if I recall correctly she's from there); best to move through quickly and not stop.

I hit a few traffic jams, and arrived at 1919, and had no trouble finding the house, which I'd already looked up on Google Street View. I parked in front of a house opposite where nobody lived yet. When I went in, I was with a crowd of neighbors so I don't think Michael (Shanklin) realized that I was the crazy chap who drove in from Illinois. (I could say I did it because Honey is out visiting her parents, but she would have been up for a short-notice road trip too; we almost took a short one to northern Indiana when friends were stuck there for a little bit last week.)

A lot of neighbors turned up, and a few people from both of their workplaces/former workplaces, and there were games (bean-bag toss and beer pong, and I played poker with a group and then spoons), hamburgers and corn on the grill, a decent time. Mike was very appreciative that I'd driven eight hours to stop in (something that at one point and state of inebriation he repeated every few minutes, which was pretty funny).

Since the party who had "reserved" the couch didn't show, I slept indoors on the couch (very comfortable) instead of in my tent (fortunate, since it rained), got up fairly late Saturday and the family grilled corn, hamburgers, and hotdogs for lunch and then I headed out. There weren't any traffic jams on the way home; I did stop briefly at a couple parks but decided not to hike and just head straight back, arriving back before midnight.

I really have neglected this site, in favor of social media or just from being busy with other work, but I'm trying to make the occasional post.