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I went on a cruise...which is not something I ever thought I'd do. It was marvelous and extremely peculiar and, yes, definitely made me feel guilty. But immensely valuable...not just because I go to do amazing things with amazing people, but because it helped me understand how hard we will work, how much we will pay, the crazy things we'll do...to get to community. People are hardly individuals, there is nothing so valuable as nestling into the warm comfort of a trusted community and I'm so happy to have that and, occasionally, to be able to help others get to it.

Thanks to Paul and Storm and Jonathan and Drew for putting together something so amazing.

Sara Watkins is here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBr4kA9mq2IVh_LcjdrYWiA
Jim Boggia is here: https://www.youtube.com/user/JimBoggia?feature=watch
The Thrilling Adventure Hour is here: http://thrillingadventurehour.com/
Good morning John; it's Friday.

This time last week, and this is a little hard to believe considering the weather we're having here in Missoula right now, I was pulling out of Port Everglades on a beautiful, sunny evening in a boat. And let's be honest, it wasn't really a boat. Technically, it was a ship. More technically, it was a 150,000-ton, 240-foot tall, 1,111-foot long, 183-foot wide floating luxury hotel with a climbing wall and a basketball court and mini-golf and a Johnny Rocket's and four swimming pools and precariously placed hot tubs and several beautiful performance venues and an arcade and a beautiful dining room and a casino and weird, big, red dogs, and a mall, and a giant cake, and freaking ice skating rinks!

A ship that burns 8,000 gallons of fuel per hour, which it uses not just to power the engines, but to distill sea water for us to surf on, power over a dozen elevators, keep the ice cold and the hot tubs hot.

While environmentalist Hank is rebelling against the very existence of this thing, scientist Hank wants to know, how does this work?! How on earth was it ever even created in the first place? The massive technological and logistical inputs required to keep it moving and floating and safe and happy. The goal, in fact, seemed to be for us to just completely forget that we were on a ship at all, best to just imagine that you're in a quite nice entertainment venue that just happens to be experiencing the longest, most laid-back earthquake of all time.

So I was on this ship for the fourth annual JoCo Cruise Crazy. a floating nerd adventure featuring semi-celebrity nerds like John Hodgman, Peter Sagal, John Scalzi, Pomplamoose, Molly Lewis, the Doubleclicks, Paul and Storm, Paul F. Tompkins, Grant Imahara, Wil Wheaton, me, and, of course, Jonathan Coulton, the JoCo of JoCo Cruise Crazy.

It was pretty clear from day one that the biggest advantage of being on this cruise was not all the luxury amenities and not the free room service and not never being more than twelve feet away from a hot tub; it was being locked on a boat with cool people, with no escape except for watery oblivion!

Every day, John Hodgman sat in a hot tub for two hours, answering questions; I got exposed to talents I never knew existed, got to meet my idols, got to hang out with a bunch of awesome nerdfighters. And that's what all the people on the cruise were there for. Yeah, we stopped in Caribbean islands and swam with sting rays and snorkeled and went on the longest zip-line over water in the world and saw this goat chewing cud on a grave in Jamaica and, yes, those were cool experiences, but it occurs to me that the real value of this somewhat monstrous, technological marvel, is to give us a kind of ancient, simplified life.

A small community where you can walk everywhere, seeing the same people every day, people that share your values and interests and passions and experiences. A place to be foolish and comfortable and joyful and proud, and somehow, these days, we require an awful lot of complexity to get back to simplicity.

Now, I know that cities are valuable and that the internet is lovely, and we can't live that sort of insular life everyday, but, I'll tell you what, six days didn't even feel like long enough. Does it have to be on a boat that consumes a gallon of gas every twelve feet? Maybe not, but I don't know how else to pull it off. I will be thinking about that though. I'll also be thinking about sunshine, because this is a bunch of balls. John, I'll- oh my god. I can't even go there. This is just a lake now.

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.