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.comment: Cold Turkey - page 6

Holiday Paradise -- Day One

  • July 5, 2001
  • By Dennis E. Powell

Here we are in the final day of the first week of showing. We'll go home for a couple of days, tend to things that need tending, and head back here. Storms are expected; the Weather Channel's radar display is filled with ominous, looming red blotches, and the forecast is as close to "run for your life" as I've ever seen it. We have to be at the show grounds at 6:30 a.m., so there's not been much sleep, and this is worsened by the coffee maker's decision to erupt in brown water and coffee grounds.

At the horse show a gentle, irritating rain has begun. My wife and her horse will be in an event on the Grand Prix field, which is exciting; the Grand Prix itself will be this afternoon.

We watch other riders complete the very complicated course. It is spread out over the large field such that riders will have to make their horses move very quickly to get from fence to fence, but then will have to slow them down to achieve the kind of precision that is needed to clear the jumps. Most riders either turn in clear rounds or make a total botch of it, knocking down a lot of rails. My wife splits the difference, clearing most of the fences but nicking three rails; still, we're happy with her performance, in that she and her horse were working well as a team, something she has been working on.

Command decision: We're going home now, before the really bad weather hits. We'll watch the Grand Prix on television in a couple of weeks.

The 250-mile drive is tense. There's a fierce crosswind between the hills, and we drive through some truly fearsome squalls. The radio is saying that people should take shelter. Near Albany, we navigate by the tail lights of the truck in front of us, which are all that we can see. If he goes over the cliff, so do we. He doesn't.

We get home to the news that we are under a severe thunderstorm warning. The severe thunderstorm never shows up.

Back to what, when I left last week, I thought of as real life.

I'd left the computer on and had set KMail to fetch my email twice a day. Apparently there was a storm soon after we left for the horse show; the flashing time displays on the VCRs tell us we lost electrical service sometime during the week, and the login prompt on my machine tells me the interruption was long enough to drain the UPS. The presence of no new mail in my inbox is evidence that this all happened the very first day. So much for my plan to keep my Earthlink mailbox from overflowing.

There's news from Earthlink that they're raising their monthly fee by $2, which at the moment is like sandpaper on my sunburn. In exchange, we get three additional mailboxes that we don't need. May we simply add their storage to that of our existing mailboxes? Well, no. (Does anyone like his or her ISP?)

There's news, too, that Adobe has unleashed some pettifogger on a poor KDE developer, demanding 2,500 euro (about $16.25 U.S.) because people might confuse KIllustrator with Adobe Illustrator, which might happen if those people are utter idiots unable even to identify the operating system they are using. I guess that Adobe, which has gotten slapped around pretty vigorously by Microsoft, who rolled over Type 1 as if it didn't exist, needs a puppy to kick. (Yes, I know about vigorous defense of trademarks, but this is ridiculous and stupid, and now that it's getting publicized may well blow up in Adobe's face, as it should.)

The new alternative Caldera refugees mailing list is seeing a lot of traffic, but it, like its SuSE "off-topic" predecessor, makes things more confusing -- if all my mail is dumped into the same mailbox, the headers need to be watched so I know to what list I'm replying. Looks as if I have some filter writing to do.

All, somehow, tempests in teapots. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the tomato plants have blossoms that too long from now will be tomatoes. The outside world exists. The Internet, computing in general, are not the center of the Universe.

Amazing. I've decided, and I recommend it: Take a little time and do something else. It makes the horizon recede considerably.

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