Day 1, 1,150 miles
Jul 24, 2006

Last night, at around 2am, Jessi and I arrived at my mom's house outside of Santa Fe, NM. The drive took a little longer than planned due largely to traffic going South on 99, a thunder storm in Arizona, and heavier than expected traffic going East on 40, but we made it in once piece. We're spending the day here with my mom, then will be heading out tomorrow morning continuing East on 40 to Tulsa, then switching to 43 to St. Louie, then 51 up to Jessi's mom's place in Illinois. The trip has been pretty much entirely uneventful so far. Just lots and lots of driving through blazing heat with nothing but desert to look at. The terrain out here is quite pictureque, but the 115° F heat and $4.69/gal. gas coming through Arizona made it hard to appreciate. It's very nice to be making real, physical progress in my plans. I've also been working on a few other things. I'm very close to signing my first contract; it will just be for a project, but there's the possibility of more projects with the same client in the future, and there's never anything wrong with getting paid. I've also got a couple other leads on some potential clients that I'll be following up on when I get to Boston, and I may be getting some work coming my way as over-flow from another Mac IT freelancer in New York. So things are looking up, and I should hopefully be getting some contracts signed within the next week or two. To that end, I've signed up for an account at EchoSign, an online contract management service that I actually learned about from the HR manager at my old job who's started using it herself. It's pretty cool. Basically it lets you email the contract to whomever you want for either a written or digital signature. If it's a written one, they print it out, sign it, and fax it to a number provided by EchoSign for your contracts; for digital signatures, they initial it on a web form and just click a button. EchoSign keeps an archive of the PDFs of your past contracts, and keeps track of any contracts you have waiting to be signed or ones that you need to sign yourself. It's a very cool service, and exceedingly useful for, say, freelancers who aren't necessarily going to be in the same physical location as their clients. I want to find out a little more about it before I actually start using it (For example, is the fax number that's used for your contracts unique to your contracts, or might it be shared with someone else?), but I think it looks promising.
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