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Doran's Journal - 8 September 1997

Eleven (11, XI, 1011) days until we depart from Minnesota and begin our journey back to Utah.

Christine says she will likely hate being pregnant as she will have to listen to me constantly telling her how many days until the due date. Oh well.

Things have been okay in our world. We are excited about getting back and seeing our friends and families again.

School starts on Wednesday, 1 October, so we will have about 10 days to get everything squared away for that. Christine is unsure whether she will be able to go back to work at the Space Dynamic Lab or even if she wants to pursue that. So she may be looking for work during that time. I still have my job working with Edgar Tooley in USU Continuing Education so I'll be getting back to work on that when I get back.

In other news, this weekend we went to the world-famous Minnesota Renaissance Festival with my co-worker Tim Kirby and his wife Mary. This festival, 26 years old this year, is one of the oldest and largest in the country and runs from mid-August until the end of September. I wasn't sure what to expect when I went, but it was a blast.

The Renaissance Festival occupies roughly 22 acres of land southwest of St. Paul near a town called Shakopee. The Festival runs ever weekend for 7 weeks and includes Labor Day. Hundreds of shop owners, stage entertainers, and other renaissance and pre-renaissance buffs put on the festival for the public's enjoyment.

There was jousting, highland games, jugglers, flame eaters, glass blowers, and more. We went at nine in the morning and stayed until about two in the afternoon. It was cloudy and a little rainy but I felt it only added to the authenticy of the occasion. I don't know about you, but I always thought the entire middle-ages was a long 8000 year cloudy, rainy period in our history, right?

It wasn't long after we arrived at the festival that I immediately thought about all my friends back in Logan that would just go nuts at a place like this. They had puzzle rings for sale which made me think of Ron Barry and Raymo Rallison. I saw swords and other fighting gear which also made me think of Ron and of Jon Huppi. Several shops were selling fantasy and surreal art which, of course, reminded me of Ron's now-wife Marie. And, when I thought about all my other friends who are or have been involved in fantasy fiction, role-playing games, or the SCA, I'm just about convinced we need to plan a road trip next year to Minnesota.

Of course, we took our beloved camcorder and took lots of pictures. Much was subsequently converted to still images for upload to our web site. There are over _40_ pictures to look at! Because there are so many pictures, I divided them into categories so the pages would not take too long to load up.

Take a look:

I got permission from my supervisor to put some of my work on my WWW site so people can see the kind of stuff I've been doing. I'll need to make some minor modifications to the files so sensitive data like computer host names are not revealed, but you should still be able to see what it is I've been doing. Christine is looking forward to doing the same kind of thing.