Vacation Random Thought Round-up

June 21st, 2011 by Potato

I didn’t think I’d have any internet access out here: my new computer doesn’t even have a dial-up modem, and this part of PEI has traditionally been a black hole for cell phone service (when we could pick up a signal, it was often from a New Brunswick tower across the water on a clear day). They seem to have put in a new tower because I’m getting pretty decent access via my blackberry, at least right now tonight. I tried checking this afternoon and it would work in fits and starts and many addresses wouldn’t resolve (but that may have been an unrelated problem as there was a service notice on my mail provider’s page).

The weather is still unseasonably cold, but at least it was somewhat sunny today. I finally put the bike back together and went for a little ride down the highway. I only did 10 km round-trip, but I was pretty tired at the end. Not only am I out of shape after the last few weeks of being chained to my desk, but PEI is much hillier than London, and the wind was just killer. The headwind on my way back was severe enough that I couldn’t hear cars coming up from behind at all, and at one point going uphill I swear a gust stopped me dead in my tracks for a moment despite heavy pedalling.

The colours seem impossibly vivid today. I don’t know if it’s just the late spring, or the contrast from the first sunny day after over a week of grey skies, but the soil is really red, the fields are popping green, and the sky was bright blue. Wayfare remarked that she thought it might be an anneurism, but we both thought it looked like that today. As a testament to the accumulated stretch of wet weather, when I rode my bike across the lawn to get to the laneway the ground went “splurt sploosh” underneath me, and the trench my tires pressed into the ground could still be seen at the end of the day — I think it may be permanent.

I’ve been trying to relax, play some games, enjoy the outdoors, read some books, and sleep in… but I can’t help but check my email before going to bed. It never seems to have good news these days. On the markets, I saw tonight that my Capital Power is going to be acquired at a non-existent premium ($19.40 when it was $21 just a few months ago), which I guess isn’t terrible news since I was looking for something to sell anyway (still no jobs lined up), though I really thought it was worth more than that. Also, I just got the news that Paulson has sold all his Sino-Forest, which, rightly or wrongly, is probably going to close the book on that story. Though I’ve taken my all-too-painful lumps on that one, I know at least one person took a small speculative position after the MW story broke, in part on my “analysis” of the situation.

On the science side, I just got an email that my paper was rejected. Again. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong with this paper. Well, I do know: I have a whole list of things from the reviewers. But I don’t know why they’re flat-out rejecting it based on that list, when all kinds of other crap gets published. Nothing there seemed like it couldn’t be fixed in revisions. Ugh.

Still no date set for my exam, either.

Anyway, I installed Portal 2 on my laptop a fair while back, and hadn’t had a chance to play it at all. Finally on vacation, I burned through it over the last two days. Good fun: the writers for that one are top-notch. There were one or two points in the gameplay where I started to get really frustrated by how particular the portal gun was about which surfaces were suitable for creating portals — and one or two where the lack of portal-able surfaces made a puzzle perhaps easier than it should have been (“well, I guess I have to put a portal there since it’s the only damned spot on that whole side of the room that’ll take a portal”).

I also brought Assassin’s Creed and Fable 2 with me, but I think the next few days will be spent with books since we brought about two dozen of those with us, and because Wayfare wants silence, and unlike my laptop, the TV doesn’t have a headphone jack. Speaking of headphones, I borrowed Wayfare’s Sony earbud ones and was really impressed with how ergonomic they were. The little straight bit sticking out of the buds for the wires is asymmetric and fits perfectly into the little gap between that little bit to the front of the ear (I keep trying to call it the preauricular point, but that’s at the base of that little projection) and the rest of the outer ear. I don’t wear headphones that often: I have the earbuds that came with my blackberry just in case I do want them at some point, but none of the 3 sizes of earbud insert stays in my ear very well, and then I also have a large set of noise-cancelling headphones that I remember to pack for plane trips, but not road trips. I may have to invest in a good set of earbuds.

And remember: while I’m gone comments are disabled. Feel free to email me though!

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