Saturday, November 22, 2008

Oh, What a Week

But it's over and I'm done. It's officially vacation time. Woot! I brought work home with me, definitely not woot, but it's for Monday, 12/1, because I'll be working from home. Jury duty. Another not woot. It's my second call up this year because I had to defer the earlier one due to a funeral (obviously not mine).

So I'm mostly back to normal, normal for me anyhow. The digestive system kicked back into gear on Thursday and by Thursday night I was feeling pretty good. I still have some tenderness in the ribcage area where I supposedly bruised my pancreas and if that hasn't cleared up by the time we get back from vacation I'll be back at the doctor's. But dudes, that was seriously the worst case of food poisoning I think I've ever had. It even tops Thanksgiving 2000, and that was a doozy.

Unfortunately, Sweetie got sick with cold/flu just as I was getting better so we've still been taking things pretty easy around here. He said he was feeling a bit better today so I'm hoping he'll be even better on Saturday. It would suck to be out of commission two weekends in a row, and last weekend was b-e-a-utiful here. 80 degrees and sunny, sunny, sunny. Hard to believe it's late November.

So the vacation plan is to hit the open road on Monday and head straight for mom's house in Oregon. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. We'll head to Eugene and do some casual house hunting on Tuesday and do a little shopping (no sales tax in Oregon yo). Oh what's that you say, but all the good sales start on Friday? You won't catch me anywhere near a retail brick-and-mortar store on Black Friday. I won't do it and you can't make me. No way no how. I don't care how good the sale is. In fact, the better the sale, the more likely I am to give your store a wide berth. There is no material thing on this planet worth braving retail on Black Friday.

Anyhow, back to the Tuesday shopping. I think Sweetie is planning to get me my Christmas present early this year, actually, I know he is, because he told me. My digital camera took a dirt nap a few months ago and anytime I want to take photos I have to borrow his, download the photos to his laptop, then email them to mine. Oh, the horror, life is so rough, right? Anyhow, we'll be shopping for a camera.

I've also been thinking about replacing the laptop. I scrubbed a lot of programs off the hard drive and it helped a bit, but it's still incredibly slow compared to what it used to be. I've found it runs better if I power it off whenever I'm not actually using it. Waking it up after a "nap" is when it seems most sluggish. And the fan runs constantly from the moment I turn it on. I don't think I'll replace it this trip, but when I do I think it'll be with a desktop.

When I work from home I need to 10-key webpage node reference numbers a lot. No, really, a lot. I also need to use the number pad for diacritical marks (alt+0225 gets you an á, and alt+0241 gets you an ñ). On the laptop I need to copy paste these each time I need to use them because the numbers on the keyboard don't work for this for whatever reason. And when you're working on guidebooks to Latin America, that's a lot of copying and pasting. Thank goodness putting the guidebooks to Asia and places like Budapest online are way off in the future. At least I know the Spanish diacritic keystrokes by memory.

Dudes, I'm on vacation! How did you get me monologuing about work? That's enough of that.

So between Sweetie and all the people that've been sick at work, I thought I'd check the Google flu tracker and see what the flu trends are. If our little corner of Berkeley is any indicator, the Bay Area should be royal blue on this map. But then again, they're making their map based on search terms, not actual medical data.

Ze Frank launched another photo project following the election for blue and red voters to share messages with each other. It's interesting and just made me feel good about all of it now that the campaigning is over. Then again, almost all Ze's stuff makes me feels good. Especially the duckies.

So Blackwater has been back in the news. In case you've been hiding under a bush since the war in Iraq began, Blackwater is a U.S.-based private security contractor and they're the largest security contractor operating in Iraq. So far they've been the biggest winner of State Department security contracts. Yes, Cheney has ties to them. Anyhow, there have been stories in the past about how Blackwater handles operations, how their security efforts conflict and interfere with our Armed Forces efforts, and even cases where Blackwater operatives have killed our troops in friendly-fire. So now we're learning that weapons shipped to Iraq by Blackwater have found their way to the black market. And again, no charges have been filed.

Two funnies and then I hit the hay.

For all the cat lovers out there, How to Tell if Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You.

And, if you live in the Americas and have ever felt somewhat disoriented, this may have something to do with it. (Save it for future reference when you're trying to explain to someone why you're not one of those people with a good "sense of direction".)

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