Posted by: guinness222 | July 1, 2006

Going Down!!!

Man am I glad to be back at sea level! At the 7,000 feet above sea level breathing is a chore. In fact every night I was out there I’d sleep for about four hours and then snap awake feeling almost strangled and have to breath for a while before I could go back to sleep again, and more than once I had to slow down or sit down and catch my breath. At first I got concerned I might be having one of those “shortness of breath” warnings about having a heart attack, then my son told me it happens to everyone at this altitude, that’s why the athletes train ing the high country. Guess what? They can keep it.
Ok it was beautiful, being surrounded by peaks and almost vertical chuncks of earth just rising over you. The greenness of the hills, the old 2002 Olympic event ski jumps and trails so evident on the mountainsides, all “spectacular”, but not my cup of tea. The dryness was also incredible. It’s a constant round of cracked lips, bloody noses, and itchy skin! Enough of my whinning, there’s enough folks living out there that it must be good for them! Thanks for the opportunity to see it all, but the ocean is my grounding point. Sea level is my point of origin.
Folks were extremely polite out there, at every turn. I’d have to say it was one of the friendliest places I’ve been in a while. But much like the sea coast or beach resorts, the real estate out there has gone nuttsy as well. I guess if you are a skier this is your idea of a little piece of heaven, a week-end “get-a-way” etc. The little cottages that the original silver miners built a hundred years ago are selling for as much as beachside cottages here on the Gulf of Mexico. Well I guess the proper summation is simply, “different strokes for different folks.”
I’m glad to be home and back at my own keyboard. I took my laptop and filled a lot of my “waiting time” out there learning new things (“Egad Livingstone,…he can still learn! Astounding hey what?”) I joined one of those music download places. For an old fart it’s great because it seems they have every song and album ever recorded. I down loaded one of my favorites, Chuck Mangione, and completely enjoyed having a grest listen, and having it on my laptop any time I want to listen to it. I played with some pictures we took and realized how woefully short the regular software that come with the digital camera is actually. Guess I’ll be in the market for some of that stuff soon. I used to love taking pictures, and doing picture studies. But I sort of got away from it and all. Maybe I’ll give it a shot and try and get back into it again. In the “neolithic age” back then you had to have your film developed and wait and then realize 75% of what you shot just didn’t meet you expectations, but that’s all gone now with the digital camera. My only peeve is that stupid honking big window thing on the back. I am not comfortable trying to frame a picture with the camera a few feet out on the end of my arm, but the “regualr” view finders on the digital cameras just don’t seem to be good enough to really “see” your shot.
Oh yeah, I made the plunge into the world of “Wi-fi” while I was out there. The hotel had a sign saying it was a wi-fi ready space and when I bought my laptop a year or so ago it came with the “centrino technology” so I said what the hell. It wasn’t anywhere as difficult as I thought to make it work and inside ten minutes I was up and surfing. Maybe I’ll try and use it locally now as well. The local Whataburger is a free wi-fi spot so I’ll try them next.
Well it’s July 3rd today, the town is jammin’ and about a month left til the “young-uns” go back to school and things settle down again. Looks like it’s been a good tourist year thus far, but they aren’t “pre-booking” like they used to before the last two “hurricane years”. It seems it’s a look at the weather for next week, make a couple calls, and we leave tomorrow mode, as opposed to the old model of months of planning reservations fifteen weeks in advance, etc. What it is doing though is putting a huge strain on everything because you never know what’s happening until you are in the thick of it. That means local plans are disrupted, traffic is crazier, and everything builds to a cresendo of noise and aggravation.
For example after I closed up the shop Saturday night I decoded to stop for a pint at my local. Now normally, any time in the year by 9:30 the places are all emptying out and folks are headed back to thier condo’s and hotels to get rested for tomorrow’s assault on the beaches, but not this year. They were still on a wait until after 10 pm for dinner! How crazy is that? I had to stand up and decided that was not my idea of a “brief respite” before heading hime, so I went home.
Well gotta go shower, shave and head out to work and see what earth-shattering crisis occured while I was gone (already heard about six or seven of them while I was on vacation! “Mrs. Jones can’t remember the code to punch in the gate to get to the beach, do you know what it is?” Certainly, I always keep the gate codes for eleven different locations in the forefront of my mind when I’m almost two thousand miles away on vacation, …don’t you?)
More tomorrow.
-30-

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