Thursday, August 17, 2006

Reduced for quick sale: $1.99

Summer is ending. The long dark teatime of the soul is nigh. I should start blogging again, if for no other reason, because it's there. Never mind that it has taken me two days to complete this post.

I've been on a quest this week. Call me Ms. Quixote, or Ismael for that matter, as my intentions have little hope of succeeding. I've taken to riding my bike to work. And home, too.

(That may seem obvious, as in the pilot's goal to have as many landings in as many take-offs. But there was a time I also rode my bike to work, but had Hubby pick me up as I labored back. The ride to work at that time was about four or so miles, all downhill. It was a fun ride, I could get to about 35 miles an hour in some parts without pedalling. Which means, theoretically, I could get to -35 miles an hour going home, negating me ever reaching my shower and perhaps, logarithmically speaking, I'd be in Merida, Venezuela by sundown. Anyways, this time, my ride to work is only one mile, but it's nearly all uphill. If I want to afford a double scoop of tossed-salad ice cream in the village square high in the Andes, I had best make a salary first.)

My intention, my goal, my Dulcinea if you will, has as much hope of succeeding as Gondwanaland reuniting, but it's a balm for the environmentalist's soul, and won't do my butt any harm, either. I'm doing it for the glaciers.

Last week I was in San Diego for the ESRI uber-convention. This is a gathering of geeks of epic proportions. Something like 30,000 people gaggling excitedly about Visual Basic, data servers, and metadata. Ok, maybe not very excitedly. Ants on stilts is a far more orgasmic subject. I, being the geek that I am, overcame the potential for a banausic coma and came away with a bit of eagerness to get off my duff and start experimenting with MapBooks. I also found I really don't want to be a VB programmer.

There is a large poster session at this conference every year. Of special interest to some of my readers (should they ever come back after my summer sabbatical), this year there was a cool map of the island on the TV show Lost . (To see it at a readable scale, click on the expand window button that appears when you hover over the lower left hand corner of the map). Way geeky, which equates with way cool. Totally. The author/cartographer, Johah Adkins, although definately someone I'd probably like to hang out with some night of the conference were my family not there with me, appears to have a disturbingly large amount of free time on his hands. Good for you, Jonah! You're beating the system! What's your secret?

Also, there were several posters on the loss of glacial ice. It was very disturbing, in an in-your-face-how-dare-you-show-me-the-photographic-proof kinda way. I half expected Al Gore to be there. Damn that he wasn't. It's a testament to the stupifying torpor a GIS megalopolix can induce to say that were Al Gore there, he would have livened up the place. (P.S. I love you, Al!)

Thus, I've taken it upon myself to save, oh, a mere cubic centimeter of glacial ice and bike to work. (And see the last season's finale of Lost).

That's what keeps me going when it's 105F out there, and I'm riding into a sirocco. Glaciers. If nothing else, it makes me think "cool."

Of course, as I mentioned, it doesn't hurt my butt, either. Alas for depreciated pastries. I came into work yesterday (when I started this post), and there by the printer was a box of discounted day-old donuts. The old college student/field biologist in me could not resist. Free food. Must imbibe. It could have been cat food, I'd still have taken advantage of it. Meow, meow, meow.

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