Posting to Twitter isn't Blogging.

Wow, what a busy past few days it's been. I have been (twittering my thoughts on a regular basis, but I just don't manage to sit down for a few minutes to blog here.

I feel weird when I talk about the stuff I've been doing, I can't remember if I'd already told that particular person that story. And I *SO* dislike people telling ME the same anecdotes over and over, so I'm self conscious about it.

Another thing that's weird is being out of my element and getting lost just about every time I go drive somewhere. We are buying a few things we need: a rug for the front door, a bag of dirt so I can plan some herbs again, and a bunch of other knicknacks and necessities.

It's also WONDERFUL that I'm able to find great international/ethnic ingredients. Kelly found a little asian market that sells fresh kaffir lime leaves and fresh galangal and fresh lemongrass. I was so excited I nearly forgot my purse after I paid for my stuff. (Oriental Food Market, 520 South Church St. 37130 615-890-6964) I went straight home and made a green curry. There weren't any leftovers! We also passed by a market advertising African foods, but we were nearly late for an appointment with a realtor so we didn't have time to go in.

Ah, the realtors. UGH. The first woman we met (let's call her "G") with was introduced by one of the owners of a Bed & Breakfast we stayed at during our visit in May. "G" and her partner, "B", sat down with us for about an hour to discuss what we wanted. They asked a lot of questions, talked about our wishlist and compared it with our budget, and said it would be difficult to find a property. This is troublesome for 2 reasons:

First, Kelly and I have been looking at property costs and we know that what we want is out there. Not only the size of lot we want, but also at the price we want. Second, both Kelly and I felt that they never really convinced us that they were that familiar with what we were looking for, or that they were all that motivated to find it.

The next realtor we met with, introduced to us by a dear friend I've known for over a decade who lives in Burbank, was "F": an absolutely awesome guy. He spent about 90 minutes explaining the ins-and-outs of developing neighborhoods, regional demographics, and shared information that probably wasn't public. Unfortunately, he wasn't in touch with the type of real estate we were looking for. He specializes in commercial real estate, mostly urban, or else very high-end stuff. He indicated that a nice choice might be to find a spot with some river frontage, which goes for $100,000 an acre. (insert eyes bugging out video with Ahhh-OOOO-Gah and old-timey cash register sound effects here.)

He also didn't seem to 'get' what we planned to do with the land:

HIM "Values are certainly going to go up in this area in the next 5 years or so. If the land gets incorporated to a city you'll see a lot of development."
US "Uh, we don't exactly anticipate selling the property...ever. And we are trying to get AWAY from developed property."
Later on, he gave Kelly a call on his cell and through that conversation, Kelly got the impression that a budget in the low-6-figures wasn't his cup of tea.

So, once again, we learned a lot, and Kelly's got the land & farm websites on-screen during most of his waking hours.

*I*, on the other hand, have been rocking and rolling. I went to Barcamp Nashville on Saturday and had a blast. What awesome people. I felt welcomed from the very start. Since I know that Los Angeles folks and Nashville folks will be reading this (er... I hope someone's reading this) here's a little comparison:

VENUEsponsor-donated space, sometimes suboptimalconvention center conference rooms, toilets that always functioned properly
FOODbreakfast, lunch & dinner all provided, plus snacks, and booze. all freefree breakfast, but no lunch - actually there wasn't even time scheduled for lunch. beer-only bar (cash? IDK, I didn't drink)
SESSION TOPICS5+ tracks, free-for-all, wide open subjects4 tracks, pre-scheduled (selected by votes), plus 1 open track 1
SESSION SETUPvery MacGuyver; scrounged projectors, slapped-together Internet access, borrowed mic & amp, rented chairs, etc.Took full advantage of the Sommet Center facility's equipment and utilities. (hey, why didn't anyone tell me it's pronounced SOME-MAY?)
SESSION TIMES50 minutes, I think?25 mins for individual sessions, longer for panels
SESSION SCHEDULEAll sessions run on concurrent schedulesSession start times staggered, such as room 1 started on the hour, but room 2 started at quarter past.
OVERNIGHT "CAMP"used to, but the two latest venues didn't permit it.never even brought it up
INTERNET ACCESSscore: 7 of 10score: 10 of 10
1 Since I didn't know what the open tracks ended up being, I just went to one of the four publicized scheduled ones.

Even though I had such a great time, and met so many wonderful people at BCN, I'd still say that some things had room for improvement... but I accept that the volunteers in Nashville, the same as in Los Angeles, had jobs and commitments and [GASP!] lives that have nothing to do with barcamp. You simply can't please all of the people all of the time. Also, I believe that any person who complains but didn't volunteer to help needs to put up or shut up, and I'm glad that those I've spoken with about BarCamp have been open-minded and receptive.

Tomorrow will be our first local farmer's market expedition, so I'll write more about that tomorrow.

Today I learned: People who go to BarCamp are awesome, no matter where you are.

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