Business travel

Sometimes people tell me I'm lucky because I "get to" travel for work. I won't lie that it occasionally has it's upside, but here are some highlights of my week:

Leaving work halfway through Monday to get on a plane. I don't get to randomly decide that Monday I will only do half of Monday's work, though.

Brief period of spontaneity on Monday evening after arrival, wherein I say "fuck Monday's other half of work" and drag my coworker out to Death Guild, the longest running goth/industrial club night in North America. That one's actually a highlight.

Three days of training wherein I spend lunch hour catching up on all the work I'm not doing (including leftovers from Monday)

Going back to my hotel after training every night and working in my room until the hotel's crappy wireless cuts out one more time than I have patience for, and then going to bed.

Crappy hotel bed giving me searing back pain like I haven't experienced since I had to walk with a cane back in 2004-06.

Mornings at training on no sleep after hiking 20 minutes to the facility with a 30lb pack on my back, while still in excruciating pain.

Getting stuck in a transit tunnel on my way to the airport while in extreme discomfort due to the 6pack of Diet coke I drank trying to compensate for the lack of sleep for 3 days. Almost missing flight home.

Sitting next to self-important aging executive who decided that in addition to his seat and the armrest, he needed half of mine. Spending 3 hour flight leaning halfway out into the aisle, because the only way I could think of to address his lack of basic consideration for personal space was to punch him repeatedly in the adam's apple, and that's frowned upon on planes.

So now I'm home at 1am, which should give me some time to work until I have to get up for work tomorrow. I'll be working on Saturday to take care of some things I couldn't get to from the road, and... I get on another plane at 6am on Monday. "Lucky me".

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motoricious, gears

Oh right, I did stuff

Finally got the video edited from the 4x4 competition back in October. My appearances in it are very brief, sadly by the time enough gremlins had been worked out that I got a decent run under my belt, the battery in the camera had gone dead :(

But here it is; it was a great time and I look forward to it becoming an annual event.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OplAXlgVY30" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Still working on sorting and editing trip pics and thoughts. Have most of the way down journalled properly; should have probably taken notes of some kind haha.

Took a break from it last night to watch 'Alone in the Wilderness'. It was very impressive and inspiring. Synopsis: guy says 'Screw you guys' to the world, and goes to live in the bush in Alaska for a year;he builds a log cabin over the summer with hand tools and then decides to stay there for the next 35 years living off the land. He brought a video camera and kept journals; the movie is made of clips from the film reels he took and a few re-created scenes; the narration is an actor reading his journals.

I haven't seen such self-sufficiency and determination ever chronicled on video, I don't think. He literally makes a cabin out of trees and rock; the only thing he ordered in was a poly liner for the roof and some cement to affix the fireplace and chimney stones. He grows and hunts his own food. He makes all his own furniture, dishes, even the hinges for his cabin door are hewn from wood. The skill, determination, and attention to detail is amazing, and he put himself in a situation where that was really the only thing he could rely on.

It sounds like a great vacation, but not such a great way to live 35 years, to be honest. Before I went to watch it I was gently reminded by nimonic not to "get any ideas" haha. Well, I got some good ideas for shelter-building, but no, if I'm ever building a cabin in Alaska to live in, many many parts of the plan have gone seriously sideways :P
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LJ has been down for me for a couple weeks now... on 4 different networks, 3 different ISPs. Strange, as it seems to have been working (albeit intermittently) for everyone else in the world. Maybe I just wasn't checking often enough.

So it's been a month since my last post-with-actual-content. It's been a busy one.

Went with nimonic, sagaciouslu, catalytic, c_cookie and her boyfriend on a motorcycle ride that sounded like a comedian's routine... "So a ratbike, a cruiser, a dual-sport and 3 sportbikes go to a small town hardware store to look for springs...". It was fun, nice to stretch the bike out a little bit. Haven't gotten much riding in this year, sadly. I was surprisingly well behaved the whole time if I do say so myself, I didn't break 200 at all and only hit 150 even for a few minutes.

Also went to the often-heard-of-but-hadn't-yet-attended annual bash of catalytic and friends, where some horrible beer was ritually murdered and a good time was had by all.

The following weekend I took a 4x4 "skills clinic" to practice up on some slower more technical stuff that I haven't been doing as much of since all my 4x4 buddies traded their trucks in for quads and/or kids. Hopefully running over larger things more slowly will help me not break expensive parts haha.

I don't usually get good pics of me 4x4ing because well, I'm in the truck driving. so it's nice to see the suspension flexing out properly.

And then there were various parties and movies (If you haven't seen some of the Harry Potter movies, it's ok to skip right to the end, btw).

The weeks in between all those weekends have been busy too; work is kicking my ass but in a good way; things are developing according to plan (no pun intended) and I'm hearing good things all around from our beta testers. Forecast: VICTORY!

The weight management thing is going relatively well too. I'm down 18 lbs as of this morning, near the end of week 10 - just about right on schedule for 2lbs/week at 9.5 weeks. I'm still one pound more than I should weigh technically, but this is not an exact science (to my regret). On the other hand, the 34" pants that I wanted to fit into by mid August are mostly too big for me already, so perhaps I'm losing more fat than predicted but also gaining more muscle than predicted. I'm not going to complain about that.

Also, nimonic and I have planned another project. On the scale of awesome/obnoxious I would call this one "patently retarded" so I'm looking forward to it of course ;) Pics to follow.

What would you do?

Say you were handed control of a large and very powerful international cabal of thieves, frauds, and pedophiles. Would you:

A: Use the organization's considerable wealth and political influence to reform the organization from the top down.
B: Disband the organization entirely and donate their assets (larger than the GNP of many countries) to charity. Or keep it. Whatever.
C: Set up a Twitter account

If you answered A or B, good for you; this is why we're friends. But if you answered C, even luckier for you - you're the Pope!