A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all.

~Rita Mae Brown
Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

~Alfred Adler


On The Bedside Table
  • NOS4A2
    by Joe Hill
My Now
Old Writey Bits
My Thanks
Matt Fitzhardinge - Alaskan dogsledding header picture


Momentary Digression

Even though I'm only going for a little under a month - I feel like I have to wrap a bunch of stuff up. So, here's a couple things.

My three month(ish) checkup with my rocking plastic surgeon was last week. He's still pleased with how it's going but says that there's still a ways to go and I should expect that it will take the full year before my face is all settled. I know I've been promising to put up pics but it looks like y'all have to wait until I get home cause you really can't tell from the front (unless you're me, of course).

The only thing that I find disconcerting is that when I close my left eye, part of my face moves. Not so's you could see it but I can certainly feel it. It's seriously annoying actually and feels a bit gross. Now because I'm going to assume that they didn't purposely attach my eyelid to my nostril then I have to take Dr. Wonderful's word for it that it's probably scar tissue.

I've gone back to that technique I used before to get rid of that bone poking out of my face (squish your face really hard) in the hopes that I'll be able to get it to let go. Otherwise, by next year, it'll have driven me insane and we may have to operate on it again so I can get out of the asylum I'll be living in by then. After all, as charming as it sounds, I don't want to spend my life shuffling around in pj's moaning about my eyelid being an evil puppet master.


One of the reasons I didn't feel so bad about quitting my job as an analyst back in August was that I had re-vamped their system for them ie: I left them in a better position than I found them.

The order system was ALL paper. Faxed, internal mailed, handwritten requests. In big piles. Everywhere. Highly inefficient and wreaking havoc with my entire being.

As a small example of the time spent on unnecessary tasks - when someone called to say, "What's happening with my order?, the two analysts would transfer the calls back and forth and check with their boss to see who had it or search through the month-high backlog to track it down. With a third analyst added to the mix, we spent more time doing that than catching up on the workload. The duplication and wasted time just downright offended my sensibilities, I tell ya.

So, I took all of it and designed, built and tested an automatic intranet order form. Then I set up an Outlook task-based system derived loosely on an order system we used at that unnamed phone company I used to work for.

Given that it's not my area of specific expertise, it was frustrating at times and I had to learn a LOT of technical stuff on the fly given that there is virtually no support in our current organization for what I was trying to set up but, in the end - a huge accomplishment that streamlined their process and freed up precious time in a hugely overwhelming environment.

There was also a large statistical component that previously was handled by the analysts re-entering information in a spreadsheet to track each order. I completely eliminated that whole slice of effort by an export function to excel.

(Don't you just love how I lapsed into corporate-speak for four paragraphs? Saying a lot and saying nothing. It's passed now - I'll be okay. No, really.)

Last week I went back for four hours to train them on how to run the stats.

One of my ex co-workers turned to me and said, "You know, this is such a great system. And it's based on software that is already universally used by most businesses - it's just seriously under-utilized. You should package this whole concept and get out there and sell it. You could go in, set it up and train whole companies on streamlining their workflow. There'd be tons of people who would benefit from this."

And I thought, yeah, she's right. It IS excellent. *I* am excellent for actually pulling it off in addition to learning and holding up my regular duties. And I'm anal enough to enjoy organizing the shit out of other people but.... nahhh, too much work, man. Maybe if that's all I did but...? Medical Imaging - casual - shiftwork - I'm taking this month off, kay?" - it's my bag. Who needs the stress?

Besides, why mess with perfection? This life has seen a lot of wrong turns down ill-considered side roads and now I've found the right highway and I've got an exciting journey ahead.

I have to admit though - just for a minute - I imagined a different outcome over the next few years. The first time in my life I saw something I could corner the current 'market' on. A niche for Jen.

It just happened to be one I've finally come to understand isn't for me.

But, hey! what am I talking to you for? I've got work to do and 7 hours left of my last shift before I get on a plane tomorrow morning. I'll stop by later and leave you a quick goodbye (along with the hair I've got left after actually packing my backpack).

but timing is everything here,
and for the moment the "we" is reprieved
but, as I watch the girl unfold before my eyes, I discover
that I like her

would you please get out from under my skin?
'cause I can't begin this yet
and I don't know what my intentions are
-they're speaking in a different tongue


The Age of Chicken Little

Just a little interim post (I'm in the air today completely missing the 10th of October.)

Before I left I was reading a book consisting of a collection of essays called Dancing Naked in the Mind Field by Kary Mullis. He won the Nobel Prize for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction, a chemical procedure that allows scientists to "see" the structures of the molecules of genes.

It's an excellent book. Excellent. Part of it is about his belief that we aren't destroying the ozone layer (it's almost economic & climatic conspiracy theory - but it actually makes utter sense) and there's a bit about what he thinks is the real reason pot became illegal. Anyways, I've excerpted a portion of the chapter on how we're not actually responsible for global warming either titled "The Age of Chicken Little." Enjoy.

People are jerked about almost monthly by new announcements by spokesmen for various government agencies and research groups sponsored by government funds. They tell us that every time we start our cars we contribute to greenhouse gasses. Every time we vent Freon from a refrigerator, air conditioner or spray can into the atmosphere we are destroying the ozone layer and contributing to the worldwide incineration of all life. It makes no sense, in the light kf the climatic history of the world, to talk about catastrophic changes in the weather being caused by human activities.

What happened in the 1980's? We have brought something down on ourselves as expensive, although not quite as brutal, as a world war. Did everybody forget that we were just big ants? Did somebody convince us that just because most of our religions had lost their appeal, we ourselves were suddenly gods? That we were now the masters of the planet and the guardians of the status quo? That the precise climatic conditions that happen to exist on the Earth today in the Holy Twentieth Century, the Climatic Century of 001, the first year of human domination of all Earth, should be here forever, in secula seculorum? All the good species are here now. None shall perish and no new ones are welcome. Biology is no longer allowed: the Environmental Protection Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change are now in charge. Evolution is over.

I recall a cartoon. A caveman is raging in front of his cave glaring up at a flash of lightning and pointing an accusing finger toward his mate and the fire burning in the mouth of the cave, "It didn't used to do that before you started making those things."

The future of the Earth has got nothing to do with the creatures that live clustered along the shores of its great bodies of water. We are just here for the ride. And the ride is not smooth. It never has been smooth.

The world that the Vikings sailed out into a thousand years ago was warmer by far than it is today. Since then it has gotten colder. It even got colder last century. It didn't do so in response to the Viking ships or the Spanish horses dropping manure on the California poppies. It got colder all over the planet and drier on the West Coast of the United States for reasons that only the planets and the sun can be held accountable. It got colder and drier because angles and distances of Earth and our major heat source changed - things that neither the Vikings nor the Spanish could measure and surely did not affect.

We can't position our planet relative to the sun just exactly to our liking. We can't make sure that the average temperature in San Diego for the next thousand yuears will be a comfortable 68 degrees Fahrenheit. We can stop worrying about whether we can control it because we don't have anything to do with it. It just plain isn't stable. It may get colder in the coming centuries - it may get hotter.

The computer jocks who hardly go outside even on nice days write the programs for their bosses at IPCC. They predict that global warming is coming and our emissions are to blame. They do that to keep us worried about our role in the whole thing. If we aren't worried and guilty, we might not pay their salaries. It's that simple.

If we had sailed into here in space ships and the physical history of the place was that the climate had always been the same, then we might reasonably think that there was an amazing delicate balance on the Earth that we should not upset, if for no other reason, just to show a little respect. Maybe we could justify hiring experts or priests to help us.

But that is not at all what happened. We eveolved here, and we evolved in the midst of some pretty serious climatic changes. They were serious enough so that millions of years and extinctions later we can still see the effects of the changes and give names like "carboniferous" and "cretaceous" and "Eemian" to the very different climatic epochs because they were different. There is no reason to think things are going to stay the same now - with or without us.

The vast majority of the world is invisible to our eyes regardless ofthe brightest of our lights, and we can't hear more than a tiny bit of the sound of it with our ears, and we can't feel the subtle textures of it with our fingers. Even with all our instruments, long tubes on mountains, and a Hubble telescope in space, we are blind to the myriad of complex energies that are whirling and vibrating and clattering all around us day and night, year after year, millennium after millenium.

The appropriate demeanor for a human is to feel lucky that he is alive and to humble himself in the face of the immensity of things and have a beer. Relax. Welcome to Earth. It's a little confusing at first. That's why you have to come back over and over again before you really learn to enjoy yourself.

The sky is not falling.


I Am a Terrible Internet Person

...and I am so sorry - you see, a couple months ago I deleted one of my RG email accounts because, well, I never used it.

So, of course, I haven't been checking it. EXCEPT, by some fluke today (work was a bit slow), I signed on and realized, to my horror....that it was the hotmail account I'd toasted and not the gmail one.

...which still receives mail. From people who so nicely wanted to come along to my new home.


So, I hope that they are here and I hope that they forgive me. And I've reposted the 100 Things list, as one of them so nicely requested.

You know, it probably should be updated and formatted properly but I'm still packing and so it's just the crappy version for now.

One night, my little sister read this list and she emailed me a list of her own. I'm not going to say anything about it except that I think her doing that was a pretty incredible thing and that it will make me smile when I think of it. Always.


It's All Over But the Flyin....

Jumpingalarmclock.gif There was a little of this a little too early for me today. I've left a post behind to pop-up while I'm in the air and if you are all sweet to Jen,also - she's got editor privileges and she might fill in a gap or two whilst I'm away.

I will however, post as much as I can and I've got my handy gadgets so's I can keep up with the writing.

That's it, I'm outta here....Canada.gif

...on a big 'ol plane...plane2u.gif

....and I'll see y'all when I land over here....Australia.gif

Although, to the Aussies - it may look a little more like this....


Are We There Yet? 36 Hours of Travel Time

(Since you'll be seeing these whenever they get posted - I've dated them at the top as well so you'll know what days I'm writing about.)

Travel Time - Canada time - October 9 and 10.

After hanging at the bus depot with a bunch of Scots, a gripping edge of your seat bus ride (late due to the runners in the Royal Victoria Marathon) to the ferry, and checking in at the wrong counter - although I did check in four hours early - just in case - (it's that directional sense again), I have had my luggage unpacked and repacked by Canadian Customs and I have now decided to get tanked in the airport bar while trying to get used to this keyboard and waiting out my 2 more hours until I can board the flight to LA.

On the bus I was trapped between a (and it truly does pain me to say this) a stereotypical arrogant Aussie boy and a kiwi with the best buns I have ever seen in my life. So, you know, there was that questioning of my choice of destination for a little while as the Aussie managed to swear his innately UNcharming way through an hour on the bus with a bunch of pensioners and OVER the music cranked in my ears while the Kiwi was nice and quiet and smiled at me a lot.

I want to take a picture of the 8 foot tall stuffed moose but I'm not that 'lassiez-faire' yet about the travelling alone thing and yanno, it's a little embrarrassing.

(I know, Sal is grinding his teeth right about now - "Take the damn picture!")

Anyways, novel #1 needs to be out of my 800 pound bag before I land in LA so I am off to read and shall check in with you later.


The bar is now filled with people in porkpie hats, ruffled blouses and leopard cowboy hats - and that's just the men. I'm up at the bar for another drink and one of them indicates there's about 30 of them on theway to a work function. The women are in old time prom-type dresses and whooping away.

I think I want to work where they do.

The gentleman beside me asks for a sandwich and the bartender, Diane, asks him if he'd like a bag of chips with that, "Chock full of fibre and vitamin A." she says. He goes for it, even though he's SO not at an age where he requires any kind of fibre in his diet. She's good.

I'm sitting close enough to hear her (and o my god, a guy in an afro wig that must weigh more than his whole body - I could just spend the next month HERE, blogging, I swear) ... and she is the Queen of the Upsell. And enjoying it.

Me and my short short hair are no longer the novelty here and sometimes I am thankful for that.

I remember when Vanessa left a few months ago and she posted about the 'unclenching' of your entire being when you go away. Not when you go 'on vacation' but when you actually GO AWAY. And she is right - it's a feeling so hard to describe and yet so immediately recognizable that you couldn't mistake it for anything else.

Even though I wouldn't classify this trip as 'vacation' or as 'travelilng' but in some gray area in between that we can only label "a little more" - here, in a hotel bar, 3 hours from home, I am ...unclenching.

And, suddenly, I notice a grandchild of a daughter of a son of a fruit fly family I SWEAR I left behind this morning in the breeding of my house - must go killlllllll.


I left the bar and hit one of those face-down-in-a-chair massages for 25 minutes. Nice. For the first time since I got my forearm tattoo someone actually spoke it in it's own language to me. In Chinese AND Cantonese. And that was ultra cool.

And then back on the plane.

Another country. Another bar. Another airport. And another fruit fly on my glass. Seriously. In all those travel books you read where they tell you to take pictures or sightsee according to a theme - something as big as churches or as little as doors - I think my theme has been chosen FOR me.

This is the trip of the fruit fly. The fruit fly on my wine.

I may as well just go home now.

Anyways - LA is HOT. Someone needs to turn down the heat. Actually - it's humid. haha. But I is all sweaty and I do not like that.

After realizing I needed to be in a different terminal (no one mentioned that to me) I talked to a couple of nice parking men who got me onto the bus to the right terminal and now I have about 45 minutes before I board the almost final leg of the trip - 16 hours and 50 minutes to Melbourne (but I have a change of equipment in Sydney.)

I slept a little on the way down here but will probably have a drink and a gravol on the plane in a couple hours - which reminds me, must fill up water bottle for this flight.

... one final note touristy note:

I flew in here in the dark - I've been here before but not at night - and LA is HUGE. And LAX is utter madness. And there's a scarcity of people to ask for help.

But you know you're in the US when you're walking down through the terminal and you here that accent and someone gets up close to you and accents right in your ear... "Yeeew is fiiiiiiiine."

*snort* And it didn't even startle me because I was helping a confused looking woman with her luggage.

I am so Canadian.

---later, still-----

It is 2 am and I'm almost positive that I packed my gravol in my checked luggage. Which means I will not be sleeping. But which also means that I am eyelid droopy tired and unable to sleep.

My seat 'mate' has just turned his light out. He's grumpy looking. And I've gone to the bathroom twice in 3 hours so I don't think he likes me.

Good thing I forgot to fill the water bottle.

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