We're back! A few things:

We're back! A few things:

- Man, I mention something earlier this month, and now they're doing something about it. I'd say I'm some sort of oracle they turn to for new ideas, but I'm sure it was in development for many months and it was dumb luck on my part for predicting it. There's no doubt that Google will be the king of all search tools for some time to come. Of course, you could have heard me saying the same thing about Altavista in 1997.

- Everyone writes too much. It'll take me weeks to catch up on the past two weeks of posts everyone has written while I've been away, then I'll have to catch up some more.

- I somehow learned to publish from beyond the grave. While I snorkeled the great barrier reef, an article I wrote ran in the new Digital Web issue, and while I sat in a Honolulu airport for an emergency landing and 4 hour diversion, I got a mention in this morning's NYT, in an article that cites a weblog as the primary source, interestingly enough.

I know, I'm being less modest than usual. Sue me.

- I've gotten more hate mail in the last two weeks than I've gotten in my entire life. One bunch, for MetaFilter going down, which means if I ever take the site completely offline, I'll probably be deluged with death threats. The other hate mail was from someone that liked a certain Arizona hiking area that I chronicled online over four years ago. Apparently the place is overrun with tourists and it's all my fault because I'm an asshole for sharing the knowledge of where it is located, how to get there, what fun it is, and how much it all costs. I hope the guy that emailed me is sending screeds to every southwest backpacking guidebook author as well, for not keeping his favorite place on earth a secret.

I'm also wondering why people are so damn pissed off at everything. Ideas?

- The trip was fun, lots of photos and words coming soon but if I could give you just a few bits of advice, here they are: long flights suck and no human should ever be stuck in four cubic feet of space for 17 hours straight. Springing for the upgrades to business or first class is probably worth every penny. Customs isn't nearly as bad as we heard. Australia is a great place to spend a vacation and surprisingly cheap. That driving on the left thing will never feel right, no matter how hard you try. Keep your passport in your bags, not your wallet or backpack or purse. Jet lag is surprisingly easy to avoid. Wear shorts when flying, regardless of weather or local custom at either your departure or destination city. A tin can with 300 people in it heats up quick, and you can use a blanket if you're ever cold. Splurge on your accommodations, you'll be better rested and ready for the day's activities. Always head off the beaten path where possible, experiencing the world as a local is completely different than the experience a tourist is often limited to.