Senator Wyrmser explores the American Southwest.

When Jason and I set out for the west coast in October of 2013, we drove cross-country with a Scalemate plushie named Senator Wyrmser riding shotgun for us. He quickly became something of a mascot for the trip, and every morning we'd set out with a cheerful "Squeaka!" from our traveling companion. The last thing I expected was the little guy setting out on his own while Jason and I were visiting the gift shop at the Petrified Forest. I found some of his vacation selfies on my camera last night, and it seems that he did a good job …

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Hellriding through Arizona.

While Jason and I were driving cross-country late last year, we tried to clear two states a day to make sure that we'd get to the west coast on time. This usually meant setting out at 1000 hours local time, loading our luggage into the TARDIS, and putting the pedal to the metal. This usually wan't too big a deal because we usually started a day's travel from a half to a third of the way across a given state to begin with. Near the end of our journey, however, the only viable route meant clearing the state of Arizona …

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Visiting Petrified Forest National Park.

On our way out west, Jason and I visited Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. We weren't able to tour the entire park because we were on a fairly strict schedule (we had to get through Arizona in one shot because our route took us near precisely zero hotels or rest stops) but we did stop off at the visitor's center for a short time to browse the exhibits in the plaza. Here are the pictures we took.

Trauma overload.

I think it's pretty safe to say that a lot of us are glad that the year 2010 of the common era is over, done with, and a candidate for erasure from the Time Vortex if it starts getting uppity again. Sure, it had its ups and downs for all of us - they always do - but last year was a particularly bad one on a large scale. There was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that's destroyed a entire ecosystem, perhaps permanantly. Last January was the earthquake that devastated the island of Haiti, resulting in the …

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Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and public enemy number one.

One Robert Daniels has been in enforced quarantine in a Tuscon, Arizona hospital for almost a year now because he is a carrier of what they are calling an 'extreme' version of tuberculosis (gods, how I hate that buzzword) which is resistant to so many antibiotic compounds that he could easily be kept incarcerated until he dies. He is kept in a negative-pressure isolation ward to prevent air from escaping in the event that the seals are broken, and he's never met his lawyer - he's being kept in forced quarantine by a court order because he's so infectious that his …

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