Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Done with work!

In less than fifteen minutes, I shut down the old work laptop and hand it over to someone to hang onto for safe keeping. It's safer than leaving it in my house for a month. The only things I will have left to do in the office is tidy up and make a few phone calls. I need to double check that my normal data service for my phone will work automagically while in Europe.

Then I have to play the packing game. I'm trying to make it with only check in luggage, but my airlines are limiting me to 6kg (13lbs). Zoinks! I'll be stuffing the pockets on my jacket like mad trying to squeeze 6 or more extra pounds in.

I'll post pictures of the process later.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Vacation Blog?(!)

I originally wanted to stick on one purpose with this blog -- online community musings. However, there are several people who do a better job at posting regularly than I do. And those who don't post regularly, do so with quality. So it's time to loosen up the restrictions I've put on myself.

For the next month, I hope to blog a trip I have been planning for many months now. There are several reasons for my trip:

  • I haven't taken a "real" vacation in 5 years. Working at the Game Developers Conference or watching every film Toshiro Mifune made with Akira Kurosawa at the Pacific Film Archive while also reading
    The Emperor and the Wolf: The Lives and Films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune

    don't count).

  • As a hobby, I portray a 16thC German surgeon. My interest is in how surgeons (who were trained as a trade, not in universities) started to follow the empirical evidence before them rather than rely on ancient incorrect theories based on belief rather than evidence. At the same time, the printing press allowed them to publish what they read in the common language of their peers and not Latin required by the academics which, in my view, helped advance the medical arts. As part of all this, I'm interested in obtaining reproductions of accurate instruments to perform demonstrations of procedures. To that end, I am going to medical museums through Germany to document the size and construction of instruments.

  • It's been 20 years since I have been to Germany and I do like the place and the people, not to mention the beer.

  • First I need to decompress
    But before I begin my Bildungsreise ("educational vacation"), I'll be unwinding in Cortona, Italy. The only reason for this is that friends of mine have rented a villa there and I just have to show up and cover my share. Of course, there will be a side trip to "La Specola" to see the 250 year old anatomical wax works.

    Three weeks, too many cities?
    Have I bitten off more than I can chew? In this map of Germany, my rough route is highlighted in yellow. I'll be making side trips to the typical tourist places such as Rothenburg, but also some side trips to the family home of Georg von Frundsberg in Mindelheim and a Peasant's War Museum in Mühlhausen (I should find a link to that before I go, huh?). It might be more than I can do, but I'm not going to push it. The medical museums I linked to above are my main goal. They will take me to many cities where I will have an opportunity to get away from the main tourist areas and find a small beer garden to relax. I've been learning German at the Goethe Institute since January and can easily navigate my way through daily life and might be able to hold up a basic conversation.

    I fly on Friday. That leaves 2 days of work and 1 day of packing....

    Friday, September 23, 2005

    Community Indicator - Unconditional Support

    I really wanted to keep going with my Darkside Community Indicators, but this is something that was hard to ignore.

    While discussions with titles like, "I need a hug" aren't uncommon, they tend to have an explanation of why the person is seeking support. Not this time, the entire entire first post of this discussion is, "Can I ask for a hug without posting in details what I'm going through? Thanks....". What follows are 27 messages of unconditional acceptance and support.

    It's moving in it's simplicity.