I am simply a lazy travelling beast who has not paid proper attention to his journal, and is also once again in the throes of a flare-up of the ever-lurking demon known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It's amazing that two little joints can create such a massive amount of pain with only a little work. What aggravates me further is that I still am at a loss for how this managed to swoop down on me, almost without warning. One month I was fine, the next I was writing in agony on the floor (and soon to discover the joys of Naproxen), the transition between the two states occurring almost over night. Ah yes, the human body is indeed a marvelous piece of work, sort of like the Minneapolis cross-town is a marvelous piece of engineering. (Ask chebutykin what I'm talking about, she'll enlighten you).
Interesting news of late has been sorely lacking, which has perhaps contributed in some part to my delinquency in writing in this journal. I've done two of my nine campus visits thus far: I was in Columbus, OH last week (Thursday and Friday) and in Phoenix, AZ the week previous. Phoenix was a fun trip in some respects, because I was a little more free to do what I wanted. I rented a convertible Sebring from Alamo and went driving around Phoenix and its suburbs with the top down and the wind blowing in what remains of my hair. There is something to be said for the desert, where it was 80 degrees at 10 in the evening. Although I hear that in the summer it's 125 degrees in the shade at noon, so I don't think I'll be moving there any time soon. I'll just visit every now and then and rent a nice sporty rag top or t-top car so I can enjoy the breeze.
Columbus was nowhere near as interesting, although I have to say in a strange sort of way the area that the campus was in reminded me of where I grew up in Minnesota. No, I can't explain it, I just sort of developed an affinity for the place. It probably doesn't hurt that the campus has to be one of the more interesting ones we've ever built, being almost a quarter mile long and half that wide, it's almost exclusively one floor -- something unheard of in our campus floor plans. The general contractor must have really hated whomever they'd hired for doing the drywall, to make them do some of the things they did. I wish I had brought a camera so I could take photos of the lobby -- when we walked in one of our consultants muttered under his breath, "Somebody teach these guys how to use a level."
Oh, and a big greeting to spoothbrush who has been lurking here for some time.
In other news I'm watching with something akin to wry amusement as various artists from the VCL explode in rage upon neuracnu, who has the gall to post a (nearly) weekly feature on his web site that he has titled "Worst of the VCL." It seems that some of these artists take great offense at having some of their pieces chosen as examples of what aspiring and established artists should not do. Frankly, I think most of what he writes is pretty damn funny. I can see where the artists are coming from, but they've taken it to truly ruggy-ish proportions. Ah, "ruggy," there's a term I haven't heard in years, nor have I uttered it in nearly as long. I really am starting to feel like something of a dinosaur as I look around the landscape of the Internet and see stuff like "1 0wn j00!" and yet oldies but goodies like "ruggy" have all but disappeared. At least the UNIX fanatics have preserved classics such as "grok," "foo" and "bar." The world would be a diminished place if such obscure vocabulary were to vanish entirely.
Ra has been fairly well in terms of health this last week and change. Aside from him occasionally sicking up his breakfast he seems to be in quite good spirits - he's been an absolute menace to the point that we've had to lock him in the bathroom for hours on end, with every possible item he can beat around safely secured so that he doesn't think he's getting put somewhere else to play. I never thought I'd have to transform my bathroom into the feline equivalent of a detox cell, but there it is. How weird is that?
Tomorrow afternoon I am flying out to California for this week's round of campus audits. I will, with any luck, be meeting up with the imitable tuftears and frysco. Frysco is being a hell of a lad and will be picking me up from the airport, trotting me out to dinner and then back to my hotel for the evening, since my evil employer (rather, my manager) does not feel that this trip warrants my renting a car. This foolishness has gone under the label of "Cost savings," which is laughable since we're spending $300 or so a pop in airline tickets alone (I have to get the company travel agent to handle my personal bookings) plus food and lodging expenses to swing me around like a cat by the tail on these trips. What's another $34 for me to rent a car, will it somehow break the company? If it will, I officially tender my offer to NOT travel and thus keep the company from folding.
Speaking of work, many odd things have been afoot there. One of our supervisors was dismissed last week, I think on Tuesday or Wednesday. Although I haven't had the official line explained to me, I know that I played a hand in it with an e-mail I sent the previous morning during one of my more unsubtle and upset moments on the job. If this keeps up, I will likely develop a reputation as the man who should not be pissed off within the company. This ... might not be such a bad thing. We will see.
On the home front not much has been going on. I continue to save money, working towards the goal of acquiring a house before the end of this year. I really, really want to get a place of my own, with an honest-to-god lawn and everything. I'm looking to get something build in the 70s or so, somewhere down south of where I'm living right now. I love my current neighborhood, but prices up here are simply outrageous. It's a quarter of a million dollars just to buy a paper box on a 1/16th acre plot, and a house the style I want to get? Forget it; supercomputers can't even crunch numbers that large. So, South I must go. South, to where prices are not completely astronomical! South, where mortgage payments will not rival the national debts of small European nations! South, my lads, South!
Um, yeah. Sorry, the painkillers must be getting to me. Either that or the lack of sleep I've been suffering lately. Bah.
My father sent me a nifty package, containing a surprising gift I've been toying with it a little, mostly on Sunday and today. My only gripe with this gift is that I shall drop a small fortune in batteries to power it and keep it running. Rechargeable batteries, I must invest in some more rechargeable batteries.
And that's about all the abuse my wrists can take. I think I shall close this with an eager, "I can't wait to get to California tomorrow to see my friends during my work trip" and leave it at that. More later.