Thursday, February 24, 2005

The miracles (sometimes) of technology

24 February 2005

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - All of the devices we rely on (like the photo program I use to upload shots for this blog) are marvelous - when they work.

And when they don't work, well, they wreak havoc on the timestream and what was supposed to be a five-minute job, coupled with the tapping keys for the morning blog turns into a nightmare hour of computer crashing, creative cursing, and complete collapse.

But after an hour, I haven't lost my ability to illiterate. (Gawd..)

The day started with a headbanger of a headache from sitting at this keyboard too much last night, tracking down old amigos who I feared might be communing with Hunter S. Thompson. The wonders of the Internet served me well, but the combination of Two-Buck-Chuck vino, the eyestrain, and the late hours gave me a crasher.

That God for the gift of tea with caffeine.

The Mexico sojourn has been delayed for about a week -- Sabbatical has a full complement crew working hard and it's probably better for El Capitan to stay in Sacramento and work on the stories that have been hanging fire. The respite also spells time to visit Jack London State Park to say hello to the remains of the writer who launched me from adolescence. Picked on by bullies (who don't seem so fearful 40 years later), London's life taught me to turn around and look that kind of person in the eye.

In a conversation this past week, the topic of writers and how tortured many of them seem (or seemed) came up. HST blew his brains out, ditto for Ernest Hemingway. Jack London pushed himself so hard (and drank way too much - see John Barleycorn, his best book) that he died at 40, his body used up.

"I would rather be ashes than dust," London once wrote. "I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot."

Burn baby burn. It's worth taking the chance.


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