Friday, November 30, 2007

The Desk Jockey Pt. 3

The Mariachi fast asleep after a long day at battle in the office. The Mariachi gives and gives and gives... the world just takes and takes and takes.

But our hero will be ready again tomorrow. For he is always ready to pick up the phone and answer it with a calm and clear tone so that we can plainly understand him; he is always ready to type as fast and as efficiently as possible so that we can quickly comprehend his emails; he is always ready to perform office yoga so that he can last the day in complete and utter awareness.

Little else is known of El Mariachi, Man of Mystery. But if you dare, you might find him pounding the miles away on the treadmill in Acey Ducey.

The Desk Jockey Pt. 2

El Mariachi performing his daily morning "psych up session" before he strikes out upon the world...

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Desk Jockey

He is known simply as "El Mariachi," this merchant of whirly bird airtime. Little is known of the mariachi, except for his ill temperment and otherwise quiet disposition. But if you study El Mariachi from a distance, you will see him for the maestro that he truly is...

Every morning, in the Antarctic pre-dawn, El Mariachi begins the careful inspection of his stable and familiar steed. He checks for the usual stress fractures, keyboard placement, mouse laser accuracy and monitor angle. The morning's frost hangs heavy in the office coating his desk which gleams back at him with the flirtatious glance of a fair woman. Confident, he glides into place in front of the workstation. The mariachi's steady hands depress the ignition button fastened to the front plastic faceplate. The chassis crackles as the CPU fans stutter and rattle to life, gaining a steady hum. He leans back in his seat and patiently waits as his black and silver Hewlet Packard d510 Convertible Mini Tower nervously shakes itself awake. With a single beep, it acknowledges a successful POST negotiation and begins to load the Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack "el numero dos" operating system. When the logon prompt finally appears, the mariachi raises his palms with the care and grace of an orchestral conductor - his digits outstretched - he deftly applies the three finger salute against the well worn keyboard's surface. CTRL, ALT, DEL. Windows reloads his trusted and familiar instrument panel. The mariachi begins to taxi onto the information superhighway as he double right clicks the Outlook desktop shortcut, then double right clicking the Internet Explorer icon which he will guide to his Gmail account. With his workstation at full stride, he glances outside his cockpit window studying all the factors comprising his surrounding conditions like the wind speed, visual range and air temp. El mariachi is finally ready for the adventure that lie ahead of him and his mounted steed. The telephone rings and the mariachi answers, he hears the sound of eager grantees anticipating his very breath...

The rest of his days are filled with the cacaphony of mouse clicks, both right and left, and the clatter of keys on his keyboard. El Mariachi is an aritst and mindful desk jockey clearing numerous paths for scientists bound for far off places.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Road Tripping New Zealand: part 2 pics

Road Trippin New Zealand: Chapter 2

I hit the gas and immediately felt the frail Super Windy wallow in the squishing gravel beneath my tyres. I pressed the reluctant Toyota further, correcting and recorrecting while bearing even harder on the gas pedal. The car bucked and heaved as we progressed, groaning under the pressure until finally popping up and over the far shoal. Shocked at my progress and proud of the mighty Windy, I retraced the previously laid tire ruts back to my original path where I resumed the road less traveled. Mt Hutt was waiting and the rain was near once again.

Pinning my hopes on the advise of the already gone hippie roadmates, I took a steady deep breath and began to chart my forthcoming uncharted territory ahead. The landscape rose around me to my sides creating a broad but steep sided valley covered from head to toe in tussocks or grass... which is where the name for this preserve came from "National Tussock Preserve". Convenient. The Super Windy and I carried on the gravel road with a leisurely pace which i had privately hoped would spare me any further flat tyres. Emptiness soon saturated the hills and valleys with which i quietly traversed. There were no others in this far away place and the silence felt total and complete. Sans the usual ringing in my ears (thank you late 90's Metallica concert). I had no idea exactly how long this road would go or how bad it would get, but these feelings were slowly washed away by the overwhelming beauty before me and a quiet sense of rightful place. Inside I knew that this was my place and my time to see it. I was designed to be there at that time in history.

Miles and miles clocked away as i moved from one tussock coated valley to the next. It wasn't too long however until the wildlands began to fade and humanity's influence once again seeped its way into my consciousness. The gravel road was replaced with pavement as i passed well kept grazing pastures. These passed onto a remote homesite which marked the end of that road's length. I took the left turn my map told me to take and I carried on to Mt. Hutt.

I picked up my pace as nightfall would be coming soon. The extra speed and smooth roads allowed me to dig deep in the Super Windy's bounty of power ;-) threading my way through forested glens at full stride. Up until i came across a bridge crossing. The twilight was dimly passing by i knew i wanted a quick break before i searched for a proper place to rest. The bridge itself was typical for NZ, single lane, wooden and painted white to contrast against the world it soared above. The water below it was typical NZ as well, deep silvery turquoise showcasing it's silty glacial sediment caught in rolling suspension. The river was broad and fast moving. It looked absolutely great for kayaking. But without a kayak and without much light, i gathered myself and carried on for the town of Methven.

Methven is Mt Hutt's "resort community" located an incredibly convenient 45 minutes away from the ski area it professed its love towards. I found the town quietly shutting down for the evening as I scanned its businesses for a modest home. The only place I found was an overpriced (but comfortable and friendly) hotel which came complete with a communal kitchen... located across the street shrouded in complete darkness. The lone kitchen served me well though, as it allowed me to cook a decent meal which I quickly consumed. I made my way to my room and fell fast asleep amidst thoughts of the lofty snow covered peaks of Canterbury. Mt. Hutt was only 8 hours away.