This evening I'm catching up a few matters prior to taking a few days off work. It's a bit curious taking time off so soon after a holiday, but in my mind, I rationalize the holiday season as a pleasant but mildly tiring time of much socializing, while the upcoming brief vacation will be a time of much rest.
Tomorrow we arise very early to catch a plane east to the Bahamas. I have already mapped out the key questions--will my cell phone work? (the answer seems to be either "no", or "no, unless I want to pay a fortune to the local government telephone company"); what is the best way to call the USA? (as is usual, the answer seems to be "buy a local phone card and use the phone company's phone, but never pick up one's hotel phone for anything but the wake-up call"), and is there a cyber cafe from which I can pick up my e mail? (the answer here seems to be "yes", although the website for the provider seems to be down, never a good sign). I have various work things on hand in case I need to leap tall buildings or some such while I'm gone.
Although we are avid snorkelers, the weather sounds a bit cool now, and we'll have to see if this is a snorkeling holiday or merely a hiking holiday. Today was a very warm day in Texas, so I'm not sure we are going to a place much warmer than the place we are leaving. But the vegetation should be more than a bit greener.
I have this fantasy that something about our paperwork will prove to have a shortcoming, and we will be stranded in the Miami airport, but I have this secondary fantasy about driving down to the Everglades if this happens, so my fantasy life has already solved my fantasy anguish.
Big Lots had a pre-Christmas sale on huge, clunky plastic-y 10 x 50 binoculars. Although I have a new Christmas pair of 10 x 25 portables, my "cheap French binoculars" of indeterminate power but immense ebay cool, and my standard 8 x 25 pair of portables, I have this hankering to own a 20 dollar pair of cheap, clunky, plastic but relatively high power binoculars.
Some years ago, my wife and I flew down to Belize to snorkel, roughly during this time of year. It was a trip whose telling is worth more space than it will get in this post, but I remember standing in the waiting area of the Houston airport talking to a group of Texas schoolteachers who were going birding in the Belize jungle. Their plan sounded so old-fashioned--a mosquito-net tent in the middle of nowhere, sets of huge binoculars, and careful glances that treat the world as one huge aviary. I love birds and butterflies, but as is so often the case with me, I have little training in what is what. I am a bit better with fish identification in that part of the world, but I have learned that underwater fish identification skills are of little use in bird-watching.
Someday, I'd like huge astronomical 20 x 80 binoculars, so that I could take the measure of the deep night sky. But for now, I'll settle for 10 x 50, provided they are cheaply made and cheaply priced.
Would you like a postcard from our Bahamas vacation? If I can get on line on vacation, then I'll be able to send one from our destination. If not, it will look like a Bahamas postcard, but have a Texas postmark. But what could be better than that? If you'd like one, leave your address here (feel free to insert work addresses and such, I have no real "interest" in personal info, and this poll's results will be visible only to me).
What would you do if the water was too cold to snorkel?
I know that for some of you I "should have" your address, but I won't be carrying any address books (not that I keep an address book, other than my internet filing cabinet), so please log in accordingly if you'd like a card. I am not sure if non-LJ folks can fill in responses, so feel free to e mail me at email@example.com if you'd prefer to do so.