IT USED TO BE SO SIMPLE
21 August 2003
It used to be so simple to go on a vacation.
- You got your suitcase.
- You packed it with the clothes you were going to wear.
- You loaded the car.
- You left.
Now we have The Internet to think about.
I suppose it's still easy for most people to go on a vacation, but I'm finding that
this trip to Australia (in 17 days, thankyouverymuch) is taking a lot more thought than I
would even have imagined five years ago.
First of all, I'm finishing the web site for Dr. G, who is looking to rent his house in
Bali. (What the heck, I'll give the guy a plug. You can find pictures and information
about the house here.) Actually, it's
a wonderful thing that I designed that web page because the first person who checked it
had the Godzilla of monitors and let me know that the text (which looks so nice and clean
on my monitor) was bleeding into the repeated border on the right.
Well, it wasn't supposed to have a repeated border on the right and I thought I'd made
the background wide enough, but apparently not. So I found out how wide it needed to be
(1600 pixels) to cover any possible Cinerama-type monitor and redesigned it. (If anybody
has problems with it, let me know).
What that did was to make me go back to the drawing board with the lovely new design
I'd put together for Funny the World while I'm away. Yes, you heard it here first. You
will not have the same old background to look at. Now, it would spoil the surprise if I
gave you a sample of it, so you'll just have to wait until the first entry, but I've spent
the last 3 hours working on getting the dimensions right, designing graphics, testing it
out, and it's now out to the "beta committee" to check and see if it all works.
So I have to get this shell set up and up on the Internet so I can just fill it in
whenver I'm able to do an entry.
Then there are photos. Peggy and I are both prolific photo-takers. When she was here,
we were working with cameras that used floppy disks. Now we have SmartMemory cards (me)
and memory sticks (her). While they hold far more than a floppy disk, they will not come
near holding enough for us to photograph for an entire week (we will be away for a week,
starting about September 15, so there will be a black hole in entries for that week). This
means we have to find a way to store photos while we're away from a desktop computer.
Peggy has to find a laptop that we can borrow so we can start out each day with fresh
This has the advantage that with a laptop, I can write journal entries on the road,
even if I can't upload them. Not realizing I would have the use of a laptop, I bought a
fold-up keyboard for my Palm Pilot so I could use it for that purpose.
But using the Palm Pilot involves taking a cradle to recharge the batteries, software
to connect it to Peggy's computer when we get back, and I don't remember what else now.
(Those of you who know how to use paper and pencil, just shut up. My brain doesn't work
with a pencil in my hand.)
I had to think about e-mail too. I get so much spam that my normal email address would
fill up in at least 3 days and I certainly don't want to spend my vacation erasing offers
for breast enhancements, penis enlargers, Nigerian defectors who want to make me rich, and
hot Russian babes who want to meet me. So I am putting a hold on my e-mail account so that
all mail to it will bounce and I've set up another account on Yahoo so I can continue to
communicate with people.
This means changing my membership in a couple of boards that I'd like to continue
Then there is my mother's electronic foto frame, which tends to go on the fritz. I had
to send myself (at my new yahoo email account) all the information about who to contact at
Ceiva if it stalls again, since one of the reasons I bought the frame for her in the first
place was so that I could send her photos from Australia on a regular basis. But at least
thanks to modern technology, if she has a problem, all she has to do is e-mail me and I
know how to fix it and who to talk to at Ceiva to make sure that happens.
I'm sure there are a few more things I have to think of before I leave. But it's
definitely a sign of changing times that my list of things to remember includes plane
tickets, passport, underwear, email account, journal shell, and internet addresses.
(Actually, I'm lovin' all this internet preparation stuff, for one reason because it
means that after all this time, the date of departure is just around the corner.)