Friday, September 28, 2007


"It is good to debate the mysteries of prayer, to ponder the profundities of prayer, to learn the methods of prayer. It is better to pray.

"Prayer is a little like an automobile: you do not have to understand everything about its inner workings for it to get you somewhere."

--Richard J. Foster
in "Devotional Classics"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

something random i think i'm going to miss

Most nights around this time, if I'm awake (which I frequently--okay, usually--am), I hear the street cleaner go by. The street cleaner is this little, boxy, orange vehicle that comes out at night to clean the streets of Chemnitz (kind of like the robot mice in the house in the nuclear disaster area in one of Ray Bradbury's short stories, but a lot less morbid).

The street cleaner has a huge, round brush and an assortment of other cleansing nozzles, gizmos and whatsits attached to its underside. So at night, when all the good little children are asleep, and naughty little Courtney is yet again putting off going to bed, the street cleaner whirs and whines its way up our street and then, awhile later, back down again on the other side.

The whirring and whining kind of make for a melancholy sound. I wish I could say that the thing chuckles to itself or something equally quirky, but it doesn't. It just whines and whirs and sounds kind of like a big, sad vacuum cleaner from a distance. This is one of those sounds that, for me, is distinctly Germany. It's a sound I think I'm going to miss.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

today is Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Ahoy, mateys! Just wanted to point out briefly that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (TLAPD)! Follow the link if you wanna know more.

In the meantime, this sinus infection is keepn' me shivers timbered....or me timbers shivered.....or somesuch. But it's not too bad this time--I'm on antibiotics, and I still feel human. Arrrrrr!

I hope you scurvy bilge rats are haulin' your bunts well up today!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

yuckiness and fun stuff

This way. Today I come to listen there is very next this that my body says to me so he should know only, all the work I can actually cost without erasing. And for what listening so much important? Well, we will only say that it had four magnificently gunk-without month, and yesterday afternoon since went to sleep, my period of the elegance was finally (and, he might add, it is very sharp).

Ich nehme an, dass von einer intellektuellen Einstellung es ziemlich faszinierend ist, wie schnell diese Kurve-Infektionen herankommen. Ich kann vollkommen fein sein, mich groß, lah Di dah fühlen, und zwei Stunden später wird alles über meiner Lippenlinie behindert, und mein Hals wird geschlossen angeschwollen. Ja ist es ganz recht faszinierend. Wirklich faszinierend. Oh, die Heiterkeit der Biologie. Blech.

--> I assume, that intellectual hiring it will be charming enough, as fast these infections of a curve come nearer. I can be quite thin, on a maximum, lah, di dah me feels, and two hours later, to all stir on my line of lips, and my neck becomes closed, up. It is absolutely absolutely charming. Really charming. Oh, gaiety of biology. A leaf.

Die Arbeit ist das, was mir gefallen würde fähig sein, heute, zu machen, die Arbeit der Überredung "sie bereiten den Stock auf die Bewegung vor". Da dieser riesig die Bewegung und die möglich schwere Erhebung braucht, weiß ich nicht, wenn mein Körper in diesem Feinem mitarbeiten wird, infectiony Tag. Wir werden sehen. Mittlerweile, erhöhe ich Selbst Übertragungen Dopamin um mein Gehirn für unterhalten durch den Übersetzer in Linie. Vielleicht wird er ihm die Leute manche Lachen auch geben.

--> The work is that what I would like is able, today, to do, the work of the persuading "they prepare the floor for the movement". Because this needs gigantically the movement and the possibly heavy elevation, I do not know if my body co-operates in this fine, infectiony day. We will see. Meanwhile, I Myself raise transference dopamine by my brain for maintained by the translator in line. Maybe he will also give him the people some puddles.

Vorwärts! Die Anfragen der Arbeit! Aufzeichung-ho!

--> Forward! The requests of the work! The list ho!

And, for those who have difficulties deciphering the online translator’s ciphers, here it all is again in real English:

So. Today I get to listen very closely to what my body is telling me, so that I will know just how much work I can do without wearing myself out. And why is this listening so important? Well, let’s just say that I’ve had four gloriously gunk-free months, and last night, as I was getting ready for bed, my grace period was finally (and, might I add, quite abruptly) up.

I suppose that from an intellectual standpoint, it’s rather fascinating how rapidly these sinus infections come on. I can be perfectly fine, feel great, lah di dah, and two hours later everything above my lipline is clogged up and my throat is swollen shut. Yeah, that’s fascinating all right. *REALLY* fascinating. Oh, the joys of biology. Blech.

The work I would like to be able to do today is work of the prepare-apartment-for-move persuasion. Since that requires a lot of movement and possibly heavy lifting, I don’t know if my body will cooperate on this fine, infectiony day. We shall see. In the meantime, I’m increasing dopamine transmissions in my brain by amusing myself with the online translator. Maybe it’ll give you people a few laughs as well.

Onward! Work calls! Tally-ho!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Found this in an old email from Bri today:

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, 'I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out'?


setting healthy boundaries

Just something I consciously thought of that I wanted to record for future reminding:

Other people have the right to be sad that Ed and I are moving from Chemnitz. They also have the right to express this sadness.

Other people have a right to be happy that we're coming to Oklahoma. They also have the right to express this happiness.

My emotions and my thoughts about moving should not depend on the emotions or the thoughts of others. If they do depend on the emotions and thoughts of others, this means that I am choosing not to set healthy boundaries.

I have the right to be sad that we are moving from Chemnitz. I have the right to be upset that I have to be separated from my friends. I have the right to be frustrated that our necessary decisions have led to this. I have the right to express these things.

I also have the right to be excited about the future positives of living in Oklahoma. And I have the right to express that excitement.

I have the right to say that I am looking forward to good times and grand adventures, and I have the right to say that leaving Chemnitz tears me up inside. I am allowed to feel these things.

weathering weirdness

I just read the following in a Yahoo! news article:

"Last winter — when spring blossoms popped up all over the Austrian Alps, Geneva's official chestnut tree sprouted leaves and flowers, and Swedes were still picking mushrooms well into December — was Europe's warmest in 500 years, [says Christian Pfister, a climate historian at the University of Bern]. It came after the hottest autumn in a millennium and was followed by one of the balmiest Aprils on record."

And in Saxony at least, that balmy April has, in the meantime, turned into a rather chilly September. Today is nice, the sun is out, and the air smells fresh but not autumn-crisp. But we're supposed to have rain again starting tomorrow.

I think I'm ready to live in Hawaii now. ;o)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

funny foibles and so forth

The following is part of a comment I left on Alisha's blog and considered worth immortalizing here:

I compulsively count stairs. In our stairwell, three of our staircases have nine stairs each, one staircase has ten stairs, and the one leading to the back door has five stairs. That's 42, which is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. I remain, therefore, convinced that counting stairs (and other things) is a worthwhile pastime.

And if I step on a crack in the sidewalk with my left foot, I have to step on a crack with my right foot, too. Otherwise, I feel unbalanced. I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable psychological explanation for this, but I haven't found it yet. ;o)

In other news, I'm working on finishing ETM homework this week, so I might not be able to continue regaling you with tall tales of traveling. Day Three, however, *is* written, so if I can get around to working with the pictures, I'll post that sometime this week.

Generall overall mood: melancholy and lethargic because I have too much to do and have passed the point at which the workload is a motivating challenge. Instead, it has become an overwhelming task of monumental proportions, leaving me feeling drained and nearly unable to concentrate on anything that I actually need to be doing.

Part of the reason I've taken on so much and am procrastinating about it is that the workload and the procrastination are providing an escape from having to think about what's coming ( --> moving).

However, don't feel sorry for me, Gentle Readers. I'll be fine eventually. :o)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

interlude: sweetness and haircut

Here are a card and flowers from my sweet husband:

The card is from sheepworld, and it reads, "I am always there for you!"

And voilà! The haircut. ;o)

Addendum: Just noticed that I posted something about sheepworld exactly one year ago today. How weird is that.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

UK Trip--Day Two

Day Two
Tuesday, August 14

Today is the day of education! Patrick, Ed, and I take the train from Peterborough to King’s Cross Station in London. A brisk walk, and we are at the British Library.
Patrick is the Director of Studies at the British Bible School, and he will now show us and give us explanations of some of the most important documents in existence today.

Currently, the Library is putting on an exhibit relating to three major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam... The documents that are of interest to us are not in the same places that they usually are, so Patrick leads us on a merry hunt, narrating as he goes. He has given us a pamphlet pertaining to what we are seeing, and I hastily check things off and make notes as we go along. (Unfortunately, taking pictures here is not allowed, so I have no accompanying illustrations.) We see:

--> London Codex or British Museum Codex (Oriental Hebrew Bible), ca. A.D. 950, which contains most of the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). We see Exodus 20.

--> Codex Sinaiticus, ca. A.D. 340, the oldest “complete” manuscript in Greek (“complete” because some scholars question this). We see Mark 15 (I think) through 16:8 and Luke 1:1-18.

--> Codex Alexandrinus, ca. A.D. 450, which contains most of the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) and the New Testament.

--> P18, a papyrus fragment of Revelation 1:4-7 in Greek, 3rd or 4th century, from Oxyrhynchus, Egypt.

--> Old Latin Genesis 5:29 through 6:2, 5th century, also from Oxyrhynchus.

--> Lindisfarne Gospels, ca. A.D. 700, in Latin. Made by Bishop Eadfrith of Lindisfarne. In the tenth century, a priest named Aldred wrote an Old English translation in the margins.

--> Dead Sea Scrolls, Psalms 31 and 33 from Cave 4, A.D. 50.

--> Samaritan Pentateuch, ca. 14th century A.D.

--> The “Unknown Gospel,” 2nd century A.D., from Egypt.

--> P45, a papyrus manuscript from the Chester Beatty Collection, ca. A.D. 250. Luke 13:6-24 and 11:50 through 12:12

--> Gutenberg Bible, the first large book that Johannes Gutenberg printed on his moveable type press in 1454-55.

I am stunned by the historical magnitude of it all. The manuscripts I am seeing are merely a drop in the bucket compared to the total number of Biblical manuscripts housed in museums worldwide. So many documents confirming the age and reliability of the Old and New Testaments…and yet people refuse to believe in the Bible’s veracity. All over the world, children are learning historical “facts” that are based on only a few confirming documents. Bruce M. Metzger of Princeton says, “The quantity of New Testament material is almost embarrassing in comparison with other works of antiquity.” And yet, people choose to believe that these works of antiquity are reliable and that the Bible is not. I stand in the British Library, looking at these ancient proofs, and marvel at the blindness of man.

My only regret in viewing this wonderful exhibit is that I cannot photograph it.

As a fun aside, we enter the John Ritblatt Gallery, which usually houses some of the Biblical manuscripts that have been moved and are currently part of the exhibit we just left. The Ritblatt Gallery also houses, among lots of other neat things, original manuscripts of Beatles lyrics (one song is scrawled on a napkin); Mozart, Bach, and Chopin originals; and a letter from King George III to the American colonies, warning the upstart rebels against sedition. We smile as Patrick tells us that we are merely loyal subject who have finally come home to England. ;o)

Before leaving the Library, we encounter a most peculiar sight: an optical illusion picture by Patrick Hughes entitled (appropriately, I believe) “Paradoxymoron.” Looking at it from the front, we see what seems to be a perfectly normal painting.

Walking slowly past it, we realize that the picture is changing: following us not with “eyes” but with entire bookshelves! Every viewing angle gives us a different picture, but always one of extreme depth.

The sign beneath the picture read, “Please do not touch,” and I can understand why: The depth of the picture is so deceptively real, it seems we could reach right into that miniature library and pull a tiny book from its shelf.


Finally, a view from the side reveals the secret:

We spend about ten minutes walking back and forth in front of this painting. We attract a small crowd. ;o)

We lunch at what I think is the English equivalent of “fast-food”; and since the proprietors are of Eastern persuasion and serve quite a few dishes seasoned with curry, I conclude that this is an Indian establishment. Ed braves the curry and orders a so seasoned, very spicy baked potato, while Patrick and I content ourselves with “second breakfast”: eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns. Tea is, of course, a staple of every meal. And of every in-between, for that matter. ;o) Ed and I particularly enjoy the smoke-freeness and the fresh air blowing through from the open doors. It’s nice to eat a meal in public without having to breathe the unwelcome nicotine exhalations of strangers. I long for Germany to follow the UK’s lead.

After lunch, we head over to the British Museum. And here, I can snap pictures to my heart’s content. (I'll refrain from posting them here, though, as I'm not sure I'm allowed to display them outside of my home.) The Museum is hums and buzzes with human life moving in and out between and around exhibits of the lives of humans long crumbled to dust. The Egyptian exhibits draw a particularly large number of viewers, and we have to fight our way through the crowds in order to get to the rooms that are of greater interest to us.

I am thankful for Patrick’s guidance, for he can point out to us the special gems in this vast horde of archaeological wealth. Without his expertise, we would be lost, doomed merely to wander about, not really knowing what we’re seeing, unable to grasp the significance of even a minute part of what the Museum has to offer. Patrick can give us at least an inkling of the meaning of what he shows us and how it relates to our lives--and to humanity worldwide--today. We see:

--> Amarna Letters, 14th century B.C., from vassals to Amenhotep III, Akehenaton and Tutankhamun, kings of Egypt.

--> Clay Model of Sheep’s Liver, which priests used to tell the future and interpret prophecy. No wonder Nebuchadnezzar’s magicians couldn’t figure out his dreams! (see Daniel 2)

--> Human-headed Winged Lions, portal guardians from the throne room of Ashurnasirpal II, king of Assyria from 884-859 B.C. and the father of Shalmaneser III.

--> Black Obelisk (ca. 827 B.C.) of Shalmaneser III, king of Assyria from 858-824 B.C. Among other things, the obelisk depicts Jehu, king of Israel, bringing tribute to Shalmaneser (see 2. Kings 9 and 17).

--> Balawat Gates from the palace of Shalmaneser III.

--> Samaria Ivories, probably 8th century B.C., probably similar to what Ahab used in his ivory house (see 1. Kings 2:39).

--> Human-headed Winged Bulls of Sargon II, king of Assyria from 722-705 B.C. (see Isaiah 20) and father of Sennacherib. The bulls stood in Sargon’s palace, built around 710 B.C.

--> Sculptured panels of the Capture of Lachish by Sennacherib, king of Assyria, 705-681 B.C. Judah rebelled, so Sennacherib went on a campaign to destoy Judah’s fortified cities. This did not include Jerusalem, as Sennacherib’s army died before he could destroy the city (see 2. Kings 18-19 and 2. Chron. 32). Otherwise, these panels would probably depict the fall of Jerusalem, since Jerusalem was a far more important city than Lachish.

--> Sennacherib Prism, or Taylor Prism, on which Sennacherib recorded his first eight military campaigns. He writes of Hezekiah, king of Judah from ca. 715-687 B.C.

--> Phoenician Warship Relief of a ship built for Sennacherib.

--> Sculptured panels of Ashurbanipal’s Royal Lion Hunt. Ashurbanipal was king of Assyria ca. 669-627 B.C., and he was the grandson of Sennacherib.

--> Bethlehem Tomb Artifacts, from the 7th century B.C.

--> Royal Steward Inscription, from 7th century B.C., possibly of Shebna, steward of King Hezekiah (see Isaiah 22:15f, 2. Kings 18:18).

--> Lachish Letters, from before 586 B.C., and Figurines from Lachish, showing idol worship of the Judeans.

--> Cyrus Cylinder, on which Cyrus, king of Persia (549-530 B.C.) recorded his conquest of Babylon. He decreed that the Jews could return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and the temple (see Ezra 2 and 6:3-5).

--> Darius Seal, which belonged to Darius I, king of Persia from 522 to ca. 485 B.C. He made sure the decrees of Cyrus concerned the Jews were implemented (see Ezra 4-6).

--> Column-drum from the Ephesian temple of Artemis (aka Diana), ca. 320 B.C. (see Acts 19).

--> The Rosetta Stone, 196 B.C., inscribed in hieroglyphic and demotic Egyptian and in uncial Greek.

--> Other sights: Nebuchadnezzar’s Bricks; the Flood Tablet (Gilgamesh Epic) made for Ashurbanipal in the 7th century B.C.; the Babylonian Chronicle, 605-595 B.C.; and a Glazed Brick Panel from the palace of Darius I, father of Xerxes (Esther 2:16-23, Neh. 1:1).

Thoughts are still whirling like mad through my head, similar to those I was having at the British Library. My faith in God and in the inspiration of scripture is not dependent on these archaeological findings… But all of these artifacts do answer some of the questions that others have asked me and that I have asked myself over the years. God has allowed nature and history to leave behind these tantalizing clues, openly displayed on the other side of clear glass, pointing in the direction of truth and certainty. I examine Shalmaneser’s Black Obelisk, studying the image of King Jehu of Israel bringing tribute. This is the only known depiction of an Israelite king. I look at his bowed head, and suddenly I’m able to picture so much better the things I read in the Old Testament. If Israel had turned to God for strength instead of to the Assyrian king, how different our history would have been!

As we depart the Museum, we take a very welcome break in the "Friends of the British Museum" Room, courtesy of Patrick's "Friends" membership. It's great to know people in high places! ;o) My feet are very thankful, as they have now been throbbing their tired displeasure at me for quite some time. And a cup of coffee hits just the perfect spot.

On the way back to the Boyns’ house, we take a train from King’s Cross again. Naturally, we must stop to admire “Platform 9 ¾” of “Harry Potter” fame. I’m disappointed that the “platform” is not situated in a pillar, as it is in the films, but rather in a blank wall. However, the half of a luggage cart, bolted to the wall and apparently “disappearing” into it, is amusing enough. Ed and Patrick tease me into following the example of other apparent HP fans: I stand at the cart, as though pushing it into the wall at a dead run, and throw an exuberant glance over my shoulder so that Ed can take a picture. I feel silly, but agree with the men that if I don’t do it, I’ll fly back home next week regretting it. ;o)

Monday, September 03, 2007

UK Trip--Day One

Day One
Monday, August 13

We arrive at the Stansted airport and immediately get in the customs line for those of non-European-Union persuasion. Foolishly, we think that because this line is shorter than the line for European Union members, we will get through customs and to the baggage claim rather more quickly than the EU people. Not so. Our line might be shorter, but the customs officials are scrutinizing each of us far more carefully than they scrutinize their fellow EU members. Rightfully so. Ed and I confuse the customs agent a bit when we explain that we live in Germany. Our American passports would seem to belie this. By the time we get through to baggage claim, ours are two of the few suitcases left on the carousel. Just as well, as this means we don’t have to wait for our luggage!

When we exit the gate area, the first person we don’t see is Patrick. We stand gawking for a few minutes, thinking that if he is here, he will be able to spot us, as we’re making ourselves somewhat obvious. Not so this time, either. We leave the airport and look for him outside. Oodles of people, and I’m sure most of them are English, but none of them are the Englishman we’re looking for. Ed rings Patrick up on his cell phone. Where are we? Suddenly, the cell phone has become a walkie-talkie, and Ed and Patrick are giving each other a play-by-play as we (hopefully) begin to move in his general direction. Finally, we spot him, and he spots us. Jolly good! (By the end of this trip, I will have picked up a few local words and phrases, and “jolly good” will have become a particular favorite.)

On to Cambridge, where we sightsee the university. Patrick’s daughter Shanae is a student here, so he’s well-equipped to give us a tour and a welcome explanation of the university system. Shanae belongs to Newnham College, which does not denote a particular area of study; rather, it designates the house she lives in. Patrick ponders trying to pop in for a look inside, but we decide it might seem slightly odd for a student’s father to be poking around during summer holidays. Ed and I offer to play the Confused American Tourists bit, but we decide to leave this particular adventure for another day.

At least we get to see the beautiful grounds of Newnham College, and I think that this would be the perfect place for an afternoon of reading in a sunny, grassy nook.

We also see Queen’s College, King’s College, Trinity College, and St. John’s College. All from the outside, you understand, as these college grounds are not open to the public.

Outside of King’s College, we find a Victorian post box:
a public mailbox still bearing the designation of Her Royal Highness, Queen Victoria. Most other post boxes carry the name of Queen Elizabeth II, so this one is special.

Patrick tells us that at least once per semester, each college has a formal dinner, complete with multiple-course meals. Shanae’s college, Newnham, is an all-girls college (they even have their own private library), so she and her fellows wear ballgowns under their formal university robes (gowns in England; and they are open to the front instead of covering everything the way American robes do). Of course, the girls are welcome to invite male guests to their dinners. But a ticket (which members as well as non-members of the college must buy) can run several hundred pounds. (I believe Patrick said that attendance at one dinner per year is required.) Some of the wealthier colleges, such as King's and St. John's, can even afford for well-known bands to play at their formals. I think that I could get used to the fun of the occasional formal dinner, but the price would be somewhat prohibitive!

Soon, we come to The Backs, which is the back of Queen’s, King’s, St. John’s, and Trinity. Along The Backs flows the River Cam, which is, of course, the namesake of Cambridge.

Patrick and Ed, with the River Cam in the background.  

Here, one can go “punting.” Punts are boats which are poled up and down the river. The punter drives a long pole into the riverbed and pushes the punt along. This requires strong arms and a good sense of balance!
The punter can get himself into trouble if he passes under a bridge and gets the pole stuck lengthwise between bridge and riverbed! Then he must make a choice: keep hold of the pole and be pulled off the boat as it continues to drift, or leave the pole behind, stuck, and stay on the boat without a method of propulsion. Either way, he must wait for rescue from some kind, punting soul. I regret very much that we don’t have time to try this out ourselves! (The punting, of course, not the getting-stuck part.)

Walking around downtown Cambridge brings us two highly memorable experiences: One, we encounter a fudge shop purporting to sell the best fudge in the world. Naturally, Ed and I must try some. This is also an opportunity for me to get rid of some of the UK change bequeathed to me by other Uk-adventurers of my acquaintance (a.k.a. my parents). The coins are unfamiliar; I stand there, counting them out into the hand of my mortified husband, and feel like a foreigner. Go figure. ;o) The shopgirl has a great attitude about it, though, even when my 50p coins prove to be the old kind only accepted by banks. We buy the fudge--three varieties turn out to be irresistible--and troop outside again. Much to Patrick's delight, our first English fudge experience is most excellent. (In fact, it's good enough that we will manage to make it last several weeks!)

The other new experience brought to us by irrepressible Cambridge is the street performer. Patrick calls him a "busker"; the name alone would have been newness enough for us. But this busker brings it all to new heights of "nouveau": His stage of choice is the interior of a litter bin! With the neck of the guitar sticking out one side and an elbow out the other, he's playing and singing as though sitting inside a garbage can were the most natural thing in the world.
I ask Patrick if this is normal behavior for British buskers, but even Parick is nonplussed. I give the busker points for originality, as well as some of my change (though I'm not obnoxious enough to give him the useless 50p coins). ;o)

We wind up our evening at the Boynses’ home in Peterborough. We walk in, and the first thing I hear is the music of KT Tunstall issuing from somewhere in the back of the house. June, Patrick’s wife, has dinner ready for us: lasagna with all the trappings, and real custard for dessert! We enjoy a great meal and fun fellowship with Patrick and June and their two teens, son Aubrey and daughter Rachelle. (Shanae is on a summer mission in India.) Afterward, Patrick shows us a video he has made, featuring some of the things we will see at the British Library and the British Museum tomorrow. I go to bed feeling at home.

Courtney and Ed at the River Cam

UK Trip--a few preliminary remarks

So. Due to popular demand (voiced to me by multiple people in person, if not on this blog), I'm gonna start "reporting" on the mid-August vacation Ed and I took to the United Kingdom. We'd been planning this trip for over a year, and it was my Christmas present from Ed last year. So by the time we actually got to go, I was as excited as Snickers when it's time to leave for her Sunday walk and the dumb humans can't find the leash. Getting to go to London and Scotland really swung my verge, if you will. ;o)

A few preliminary remarks about the vacation, or "holiday," as they say in the UK: This was the first real vacation that Ed and I have had since my parents took us to Ireland five years ago. Yeah, we've had a few trips to Oklahoma since then, and we've taken "mini-vays" (mini-vacations = day trips or weekend trips) to various places, but nothing like a real, frolicking, get-away-from-everything, see-something-totally-new, get-into-another-world kind of vacation. The trips to the States are never vacations because they're more "business" than pleasure. And four of my trips to the States have been for family medical emergencies or deaths. All in all, it would be nice to take a trip to the States that actually involved anything like a vacation!

Also, this was the very first vacation Ed and I have been on together, just the two of us, since our honeymoon (almost nine years ago!). So we've been rather overdue for something like this!

And a few prelims about my vacation "blopgost": It's gonna be a lot, it's gonna take me some time to finish writing it, and I seriously doubt that most of you will want to read all of it. However, I'll be posting it piece by piece, so maybe that'll keep it from being too overwhelming. ;o)


Saturday, September 01, 2007

lifecasting: not for the faint of heart (i guess)

A couple of days ago, I saw a report on Yahoo! about a phenomenon called "lifecasting": People strap cameras to their heads and broadcast their lives over the Internet 24/7. In a way, this has been done before by those who set up 24-hour webcams in their dorm rooms, office cubicles, refrigerators, what-have-you. The difference here is that lifecasting is mobile; people are broadcasting their lives as they live them, outside of their homes, everywhere they go.

Call me antiquated, but I think this is kind of odd. The word "nutty" comes to mind. Yeah, I'm kind of indulging voyeurism by having a journal that is accessible to the world (see: blog) and by reading other people's blogs. However, I do not record every moment of my private life here, and I don't read every moment of other people's private lives. Lifecasters have no private lives.

The only time this one guy turns his camera off is when he goes into public restrooms, because otherwise he'd be breaking the law. Even when he's having sex with his date, he leaves the camera on, though it's turned toward the wall with the mic off. That's something anyway, I suppose.

Another lifecaster allows her viewers to give her direction on what to do. If they say, "Buy and drink a cappucino," she buys and drinks a cappucino. (She carries her laptop around with her so that she can remain in constant contact with her viewers.) So far, she refuses to obey orders to take off her clothes in front of a mirror, but I wonder how long this resolution will last.

Lifecasting, to me, is just a bizarre phenomenon. It's like "Big Brother" on steroids. I suppose George Orwell would be thrilled.