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This website chronicles our trip around the world in 2006. It has lots of photos, videos and stories. We invite you to come in, relax and enjoy the scenery.

~Lee and Sachi LeFever

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Our Recent Dispatches Are Below. RSS

A Dispatch is a report from our trip. Browse via keywords or global map.

This Figures

By: leelefever on September 26, 2005 - 10:32am

Of course, as soon as I get a Palm Treo 650 for the trip, an announcement comes out that says that the new new versions of the Treo will be integrated with Microsoft Mobile 5.0. The article says they'll be out in early 2006, after we're already on the road.  You know though, I like what I have and I've been burned too many times before by getting the very first version that comes out. 


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Las Vegas and the Unreality of it All

By: leelefever on September 25, 2005 - 6:53pm

I’m always struck by a few things about Vegas that seem to be a part of the very fiber of the place.  The biggest thing for me is it’s un-reality. Nothing is real in Vegas. Some of the things that make the world run do not apply in Vegas.  For example:


Time.  Time does not apply.  The place runs 24 hours a day, you can get a beer at 6am and a pancake a 7pm.  There are no clocks and no bed times. Maybe it’s in the air they pump into the casinos, but time seems to not apply in any real sense.  The sun does see to come up on time though.

Money.  The value of money is simply not the same in Vegas.  It’s built around the suspension of values.  When you go to Vegas, you build your finances around what you can plan to give away.  Then, they convert dollars into chips, so it doesn’t seem like it’s actually money that’s being spent.

Art.  There is certainly art in Vegas in places like the Bellagio.  However, like everything else unreal, a majority of the “artifacts” are cheaply made models. When I see people have their picture made in front of “The David”, I want to remind them that it is not art, but a piece of cement pulled from a mold down the street.

Natural Beauty.  I think it’s funny how many waterfalls and trees there are in Vegas. It’s in the middle of a desert without a natural water supply, except Lake Mead. Yet, every casino has at least 2 waterfalls, or so it seems. Unreal.

I won’t even mention all the unreal breasts, but I image you know where I’m headed with that.

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Still in the Black

By: leelefever on September 24, 2005 - 9:06am
Thankfully Vegas has been kind in the form of not taking our money. I realize that is likely to change. We learned to play craps last night and played for hours. I have found a new game, and one that intimidated me previously. Great game, that craps. So far the Treo is rockin. I'm getting hooked. Sachi will have a post coming soon. :)
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Airport Post

By: leelefever on September 23, 2005 - 11:09am
I imagine this is going to be a common type of post here on TwinF. We're in an airport and I'm thumbing away on the Treo. Though it doesn't fit into the monetorium, we are headed to Las Vegas for the weekend. We're meeting my brother Randy and his wife Karen. Here's to winning some money for the big trip! Also, I'll be uploading some pics to Flickr too.

First Post From the Treo

By: leelefever on September 22, 2005 - 6:30pm
Ok, this is it, my first blog post from the Treo 650. It's taking me a little while, but I'll get used to it. This little thing is pretty amazing. I'll write more later, lots-o geeking out to do tonight.

Mind the Gap - World Income Distributions

By: leelefever on September 22, 2005 - 12:15pm

Gap Minder is a  site that has this very cool tool that enables you to compare income distributions across a number of countries in the world between 1970-2000. Pick a few on the right side and then click the big play button and you see a view of how average incomes across the globe have changed in 30 years.  I have a feeling we're going to see this in action and it's going to be an eye-opening experience

Suggestion: Compare USA, India and China and click "play"

Thanks to Peter for the link.

Test Driving A Mobile Device: Treo 650

By: leelefever on September 21, 2005 - 8:35am

After much research, surveying, questions, hemming and hawing, and overall learning more than I ever needed to know about international travel gadgetry, we have ordered a new device. It is a Palm Treo 650.

  We had to get an unlocked version, which means that it doesn't come with any built-in service like Cingular or T-mobile.  It's more expensive unlocked, but it's worth it.

In traveling internationally, the phone being unlocked is key because it means we aren't locked into one service or operator.  Instead, we can arrive in Thailand, for instance, and get a little prepaid card that fits in all phones that gives us a signal for that country/region. We aren't locked into any contracts.  See: Telestial

The dream is to have the ability to upload cameraphone pictures to this site (and Flickr) in real time. If we're looking at a reclining Buddha, we want you to see it too!  We're hoping the Treo and Prepaid SIM cards will do it economically.


Still Quietly Tweaking

By: leelefever on September 19, 2005 - 11:48am

Behind the scenes a lot is happening to the site to try to get it ready for prime-time.  I've been working with Mark from Rain City and the guys from Bryght to make small changes to get it working like we want.

I'm loving the new design, but there are a few things we want to have in place before we start trying to get people to visit and share experiences.

This whole process is something that I love to do.  I love thinking about ways to design the site, what the buttons will say, looking for ways to make things simple. Especially with my own site, I can't get enough.  I'm addicted, which may be a small problem since we're not going to be online as much on the trip. I'm sure have other things to keep me busy.:)

Another couple of days and I think the site will be ready.  When it is, I plan to start talking about it on my CommonCraft  site, which will kick-off the TwinF site being ready for prime-time. 

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Tagging Dispatches

By: leelefever on September 16, 2005 - 7:52pm

We've changed the way we are organizing our disptaches from the road.  Orginally, we used categories.  There were 6 or so categories like "This Site" "Preparation" and "Blogging and Gadgetry". Now, we're using tags, which are basically keywords that we assign to each post instead of an overall category. We can have a number of different tags across all the posts and whenever posts share the same tag, they are viewable by clicking the tag.

For instance, almost everything we're writing lately is about "preparation".  But, there are a bunch of different things about preparation, like preparing this site, our luggage, gadgets, etc.  Having multiple tags lets us group related posts together across a large number of key words.

Plus, we get a cool "tag cloud" that enables easy browsing of all the tags.


Gadgetry Flip-Flopping

By: leelefever on September 16, 2005 - 8:02am

A while back I wrote about the search for gadgetry, where I was considering a DSLR Camera and laptop.  Thanks to advice in the comments and other places, I think we're going to start with the small gadgets.  So, I'm flip-flopping a bit.  For now, we're planning to take the point and shoot camera and a pocketPC/smartphone for our blogging needs.  For the heavy-duty site maintenance and picture uploading, we'd use Internet cafes.

I'm having a beer with Brian Fling of Mobile Design today to talk about the options in worldphones and blogging.  Here are some of the considerations for what I'm looking for:

  • Connect to a maximum of international providers (data and voice) –
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE I imagine
  • Qwerty keyboard with possible folding full-size keyboard
  • SD card slot
  • WiFi
  • Email
  • Camera
  • Media Player for MP3s and Video
  • Unlocked

Here are some of the devices I'm considering...

I think it's time to start trying some out.  After talking to Brian I might have to pick something up this weekend to give it a try.  If anyone has any advice, please comment.