Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Breaker, breaker

As you read this, Keegan is gearing down for a couple of days' break: 48 hours of trying not to think about work, and getting out of here and maybe looking at some hills and trees rather than screens and cables. It's time for a break, because when I get back there's about a year's worth of work stacked up in front of me, and maybe four months to do it in! So ... lunch somewhere; and a movie; and a couple of Subway constructions and a hike through the national park, weather permitting.

I saw weather permitting, because it's winter, and even though most northerners would vigorously contest the fact that it gets cold down here, it's also true that you aclimate pretty fast, and 50 degrees F. feels just as cold as 30 F. feels. I'm one of the few folks who can really attest to this, because I spent 15 months in the Frozen North, and although I never 'wintered over' in Fairbanks, I was there until the Christmas trees went up in the stores, and I returned the next year before breakup. I was there for the world ice carving championships, and the dog races. (I'd show you the pictures, but in those days you shot your best stuff on (yep) slide film, and I'd have to scan them. Now, that's not a problem in and of itself ... but the slides are packed along with the rest of my library.) The coldest temperature I ever experienced was around -30 F., but to fully appreciate what this felt like to ME, personally, you have to factor in the information that it was 98 F. here in South Aus, on the day before I flew out.

I judge it from the day before because, as anyone who's ever made an international trip knows only too well, overseas journeys begin in the middle of the night. My alarm would be set for 3:45am, I'd have a taxi booked for 4:30, and the airline demands that you get there 60-90mins early for the checkin ... even though the metal detector people don't get to work till about two hours AFTER you arrive at the airport!

Mind you, it was a good thing I arrived early one time, because the delightful young life form behind the checkin counter had me booked on Japan Air Lines out of Sydney at 9:30am, with no booking whatsoever on the connecting flight from Adelaide, which should be due to tuck up its wheels at 6:00am. Sorting out that problem took a while -- so I guess it's not a completely ridiculous notion to turn up early.

I just wish the people who staff the metal detectors and the coffee kiosk had to turn up at the same time as the passengers. Put another way, wouldn't it be nice to have someplace to get a cup of coffee and sit down, since you're already suffering from a major case of sleep deprivation??

Fortunately, these are not problems I have to wrestle with in the next couple of days. A short break in this neck of the woods probably means sleeping late, walking about 150 yards down the street to the local restaurant for lunch, dawdling down to the megapelx to watch Indiana Jones, or Brendan Fraser, or someblody. Not even sure what's playing right now.

The last movie I saw was the Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, which I quite enjoyed (though Dave didn't seem to like it so much, becaise it defied the laws of reality fairly routinely). As I recall, the Jones movies never did score highly on the 'common sense' quotient, and the'reasonable adherence to the laws of physics' register. Then again, neither does IRON MAN, and I have but two words to add to this: who cares?

These movies are FANTASIES. The whole point of them is to leave your common sense in the foyer, turn off the part of your brain that figures out whether physics will allow for this or that, along with your cell phone, and ... enjoy. Let's be honest: Spiderman, Batman, Daredevil, Iron Man, the X-Men, the whole lot of them, would be relegated to the too-hard basket, if they were required to adhere to the laws set down by Newton, let alone Einstein, and (perish the thought) Planke and Bell.

But who cares? Movies are about forgetting who you are for a while, and what your problems might be. Indiana Jones is almost as improbable as Rick what's-his-face in the Mummy movies; and I really can't say it bothers me. (Rick O'Connell, is it? Brandan, at any rate. You know the hunk in question. He has a couple of movies in the works right now; one of them is in 3D, and although it otherwise seems to be populated by juveniles, the 3D aspect of it might seduce me into a seat at the cinema. It also doesn't hurt that Brendan Fraser looks very good in this one, if the poseter's anything to go by. There's also another Mummy movie in the offing, with Jet Lee topping the bill with Mr. Fraser ... and since Rick's kid should have grown up by this movie, we shouldn't have to contend with juvie content.)

We spent a fascinating day installing software, getting the computer up and running ... freaking when various disks couldn't be found, then finding them three hour later behind something else in the software box. We have too many disks, I'm sure, though not all of them are software. I spent the last 12 months dowbloading quite a lot of music --

I have a URL for you: emusic.com. I got some excellent music, and would highly recommend them, especially if your taste is somewhat eclectic and inclined toward the international. Mine is. It was a lot of fun.

The downside to which is, you're probably going to end up with a lot of disks. Plus movies, plus software, plus backup files. And when you have upwards of a couple of thousand disks, it's easy to lose one. And we did. For about two wonderful, fun-filled hours, before the house gremlin decided to play nice and give it back.

So we're all installed, up and running, ready to go ... and I'm utterly exhausted. 48hours off sounds about right to me. The major newsletter announcing the new site goes out in the morning, our time, and then, for me, it's on to the next project.

I need the break. I'm starting to 'zone,' with that 'rabbit in the headlights' look, glassy-eyed and semi-comatose, while my deeper brain functions sing a siren-song of a lullaby, "Sleeeeeeep, why don't you sleeeeeeep, why don't you cloooooose your eyes and let the world slide byyyyyy, while you sleeeeeep..."

Your eyelids are getting heavy (mine sure are).

On the count of three you will fall into a deep, deep sleep.




[sounds of snorring issue from terminal in corner of room]

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