What a week that was! A time for recovery, mostly. And a restart that didn’t quite go to plan.
As some of you know, I got back last week from the longest vacation I have ever taken. It required more than the usual amount of planning, more than the usual amount of care, and more than the usual amount of worry.
True! All of the above are true. I crossed the border to the south of me and went west, not as a young man, as I once used to be, but as a well, older, but not much wiser man. Our journey took us across the states of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Nevada (again) and California.
That’s Bryce Canyon up there.
It required much driving across desolate sections of the country, in temperatures approaching 120F or 48C. It required hiking boots and the determination to hike, climb rocky trails, up the side of a mountain on a trail about 2 feet wide and climbing ever upwards in annoying gradients to a point 1500 feet above the base along a rock face. I walked along a horse trail, squelching through a narrow rut, full of water, horse piss and poop to see waterfalls. I walked along riversides and seashores.
I took pictures, plenty of pictures, of Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon. I saw a sunset and was enticed to wake up at 4am and drive to see a sunrise – a special treat, or so I’m told, for my birthday. I saw squirrels, deer, elk and birds, big, small black and blue.
Here is sunset over Grand Canyon.
And, to contrast, here is sunrise over a different part of the Grand Canyon.
Then I braved the heat, the asthma attack that laid me up for two days and caused slow downs for another 2 and drove back to Vegas.
A word of caution about Vegas.
Avoid it. At all costs.
Unless you like extreme heat without and arctic airconditioning within. Unless you like throngs of people with dead eyes, clutching cans of beer, walking zombie like through the streets and lobbies and stores. Unless you like loud noises and flashing lights. Unless you like scantily clad people with terrible figures attempting to accost you. Unless you like paying 40USD for a cocktail and you’re not a notorious cheapskate like me.
In case you’re wondering – I ran away from Vegas. I checked out a day early and drove to a northern suburb of Los Angeles. Where the main draw of the vacation kicked in two days later – friends’ daughter’s wedding.
Wedding over, we moved to LA and spent some time, eating, walking, driving up to see sunset from the Griffith Observatory and spending an arm and half a leg being jolted, shaken and stirred while dinosaurs lunged at us and guys and dolls in fast cars shot at each other and us. We saw a shark aswimmin’ in the pool – which became the sea in a famous movie.
See the pond below and guess the name of the movie!
Then we took 3 days to drive the 6 hours north to the Bay Area, where friends and family waited to entertain us, make us walk across the shore, taking photos as we went, out into the Pacific Ocean to watch whales and seals doing what the do in the sea. We walked across a famous red bridge. And then took a flight home.
And that, in a coconut shell, is the reason for the need for recovery.
I rested for 3 days, refusing to go for my usual daily walks. I tried to sleep, but was too tired to sleep. Over the weekend, I started walking out again, completing a steady 5km with a dodgy small toe. Yay me!
Today, Monday morning, I sat down to look at the manuscripts and decided to work on “The Lake and Other Stories”. I opened up the document and went to work. About an hour into edits, I realized something was wrong.
I was positive the story was different when I last saw it over 7 weeks ago. I swore softly under my breath and went to the folder where I keep my manuscripts. I checked the dates. The document I was editing was the latest. So what was wrong?
Then it hit me. Being my usual paranoid self, I had made an interim save. There was another file dated 8 weeks ago. I opened that up and saw my hunch was correct. I had just spent the morning editing an older version of the tales!
I kicked myself, mentally, of course. Went up and had a smoked salmon sandwich, an orange and decided that something needed to be done.
So I decided to look at my professional profile and I could not find any of those files anywhere. I spent the rest of the afternoon, searchin’ across the terabytes of NAS. I set up a search query and went for that 5km walk. Dinner ordered, I decided strong action was needed to restart my endeavors.
So I set to work.
I disconnected the computers. Turned the desk 90 degree to face East in the general direction of Jerusalem, Jericho, Bethlehem, Ayodhya, Haridwar and Mecca. Took all the books off the book shelf. Took the young man down and with his help moved the filing cabinet, drawer cabinet and rack 90 degree east, too. Put all the books back.
I rehung the whiteboard on the South wall. Systems are back up and all documents have now been found. Praise be to all the Lords and Ladies who probably had nothing to do with anything, but hey.
But I wrote this.
So clearly Feng Shuey works.
There is some residual cleanup / tidying to be done, but I have the rest of 2023 to do it in…