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9/28/00 - Portland's eBusiness Conference

Packed the Berts up in their Sherpa bag and headed to the Holiday Inn for Portland's eBusiness conference with Christina. Gov. King, Governor of Maine, spoke about how Maine may have been lagging behind in the technology revolution but that they have something Silicon Valley and other hearts of the Internet industry do not: quality of life. He felt that Maine could be the next leader in semiconductors and bring big business to his fine state with the lure of a sweeter, better life.

I wandered around the booths for a while, then sat in on the presentation on branding given by John Coleman, president of ViA, the company where Christina worked. Christina and I poked our head into another session and within a minute, Christina leaned over to me and whispered "He is so boring, I'm going to leave." In agreement, I gathered my things and headed down to the Website Assessment sessions.

With time to kill, I agreed to have my website - RVGirl - assessed, and the guy at the assessment table proceeded to comment on the erratic spacing of images and the scrolling text and everything that I had already known about the site, but it was interesting to hear it from a "Web expert." He began explaining some of the basics of Web design to me, and I smiled and said "Oh, I used to be a Web designer, back in the old days. 1995." He laughed and said those sure are the old days. Yes, I'm ancient, I'm old.

Left the conference early to meet up with Christina who led me to a place to have my brakes checked. The first place couldn't take a motorhome and sent me to another place. That place said it would be at least a week before they could work on it. I left quickly as tears welled up in my eyes - a bad trait I have when I'm angry and frustrated.

I sucked in a big gulp of air once outside and turned around, walked back into the brake shop, and said "Fine, whatever it takes. Whenever you can get to it." Then the old guy behind the counter said, "Maybe I can get to it in a day or two." I would soon learn that the Maine way among mechanics was to underpromise in a major way only so they overdeliver beyond your wildest dreams.

That night, Christina and I went to the Shop 'N Save. As we walked in, and we grabbed our shopping carts, I asked Christina where we should meet up after we combed the aisles for what we wanted. She laughed and said "The store's not that big. We'll find each other." And as I turned to push my cart into the first aisle, I looked around, overwhelmed. I rolled my cart back to her and said, "Not that big for Maine, maybe, but bigger than the ones in New York City." She laughed, saying that while everything else in New York City was bigger than life, she did seem to recall that the supermarkets were relatively small. We stayed about an aisle apart from each other and did our shopping.

I picked up a bottle of wine and ingredients for quesadillas and as we rolled plastic bags in the shopping carts out into the parking lot, Christina exclaimed, "I haven't been grocery shopping with another woman forever! With kids, with my husband, but this is fun!" We topped off the "Girls' Night" with some wine and quesadillas, then I headed upstairs with the Berts, their little chihuahua legs bounding up the carpeted stairs. They were certainly enjoying our stay in a house. Anything to be on solid ground.

9/29/00 - Portland's eBash

The next day, Friday, I received a call that the RV was ready. So of course, I was ecstatic that it didn't take a week, and Christina drove me to pick it up. The Berts, especially Ernie, were less than thrilled by the sight of the RV, and were ready to run into the house the moment we pulled up the driveway.

I spent the day packing up, then took a cab in the early evening to ViA for the eBash event that they host and that Christina organizes, Portland's version of CyberSuds in NYC.

I met several ebiz entrepreneurs, munched pretzels, drank beer, and the Berts followed me around, attracting attention and being their usual party selves which is to say Chewie growled at anyone who came too close but Ernie cowered with the usual submissiveness and let the world stroke his head.

The plan for Saturday morning was to get on the road by 8:30am. The RV had brand new brakes, and other than the persistent exhaust leak which I'd have looked at in the next town, it was ready to go.

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