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Des Moines, Iowa


the four states & my stories

Geoff Wood

When was the last time you staying in a hotel that didn’t have high speed internet? It was pretty common when I first started traveling for work (1999/2000) but it has been forever. In today’s technology I’m peeved when a hotel doesn’t have wireless and I have to plug in. Little did I know Tuesday when I made the trek three hours south of KC to my client site in “the four states area” (that little chunk of the Midwest where Kansas and Oklahoma butt up against Missouri – Arkansas’ not far off, either) that I would be without it. And without it I was! I tried to finagle a dial up connection but I couldn’t get it to work (curse you antiquated technology!) so I was internet free for two days and two nights in a tiny town in rural Kansas. I didn’t know anyone so I was left only to the entertainment of the local cable company (Joplin, MO’s best news station) and my books.

Speaking of books, I’ve been reading a lot lately. I’ve always read when I travel (planes and cars) and I’ve been traveling about once a month for work so I’ve been plowing through quite a few books. One series I’ve read is by the author Stuart Woods and centers on the life of one character, “Will Lee”. I picked up my first book in the series when Hope and I flew out to Washington, DC a couple years ago because it took place in DC (Will Lee is the President) and it was on sale at Target. I enjoyed the characters (I would so vote for Will Lee over any of the candidates in the last democratic primary) so I looked into and found the author had written others. Over the last couple years I’ve picked up a few here and there and I’m now finishing the last of the series. Unfortunatley for myself, I can seem to get them in order. I started with the book where Lee is President, went backwards to the one where he runs for President, then the one where he runs for Senator, then a prequel about his dad and grandfather (which apparently was a huge mini-series in the 1980s) , then one about him in Ireland while taking a year off from Law School and now I’m reading the one where he meets his wife. It’s kind of weird knowing where the book will end each time – just not how the characters will get there. Kinda like watching Episode III of Star Wars.

I’ve read two other books this month and enjoyed them, as well. The latest was “Patrick” a medieval historical fiction book on the life of St. Patrick before he became St. Patrick. The theory behind historical fiction is the author takes documented events in history and weaves a fictitious tale around them. I’m not sure how much of this is “historical” and how much is “fiction” but there certainly is more to that Saint’s life that I ever would’ve known (and no mention of snakes – go figure).

The final book I read was about 675 pages and I read through it two days. Anyone care to guess? Yep, the sixth installment of Harry Potter. Not a bad read – if you like to read and have ignored that series because of it’s youthful target or widespread popularity than you’re missing out. This book had a different rhythm than the other five and I believe served mainly as a setup for the next (and last) Potter book. Too bad, they won’t publish that for three or four years.