Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Hello? Hello? Mothership, please come in?

"Hello? Hello? Mothership, please come in? Whattinhellwasthat! Shit! Shit!"

"Aw hell! Another cheap-ass Skoda Planetary Drive exploded. How the hell are we supposed to get home now? Tell ya what, aim for - uh - *that* system there in that Milky Way looking galaxy, yeah, the one about 9 billion lightyears away. We can camp there until help arrives, there's a good Z-cch!-Tzzpian. Yeah. Of course it's uninhabited."

If Only Mr Magoo had had - this:

This is pretty much the logical development for an ageing population that don't want to give up their independence and freedom despite the fading reflexes/faculties. My father still drove up until just short of his 80th birthday, and he remained a good driver up until a major stroke prevented the possibility of further driving. My stepmother on the other hand, would have forgotten she was in the driver's seat except for the sound of screaming passengers... (Actually, and very sensibly, she didn't drive anyway. Dad was Designated Driver 99% of the time.)

But cars are already smart enough to sense anmals and pedestrians on the road, detect white lines, avoid kerbs and other vehicles, and stay within GPS-defined speed zones. And, of course, they can find their way to the shops and back. The only thing that prevents self-driving cars is the innate human distrust of surrendering control over our lives to anyone or anything else. Same thing that prevents us liking driverless trains and pilotless airplanes. (Both of which are now possible, too. )

So I hope this technology is available in cars soon, because I like the idea of reading a book while the car takes me to the capuccino strip or wherever...

Monday, 17 December 2007

Shamefaced Post. *blush*

I've been under a lot of time squeeze despite being pretty much a man of leisure. There have also been a few medical problems, and of course the normal things don't stop piling up.

I've written a short story about life in Second Life, within SL, and it's available for free in there but I'm trying to keep it as in "insider" book and am writing the second one. While it's planned that each book is only a bit longer than a short story and just under novella length, that too still takes time and resources. If you want a copy, contact Teddlesruss Vollmar in-world and get a free copy to read.

Went for a beaut holiday in the rainforest-like jungle of tingle trees around Pemberton and Walpole, stayed at a cabins in the forest, and had a wonderful, if off-grid, time. Lots of photos on Flickr including the magpie feeding - as blurred as it is that's my favourite shot of the holiday.

Check the pictures, we had an awesome couple of days, and went as far SE as Albany, which is for all the world like an Australianised Greek island fishing town, sprawling up the hill as it does. The Treetop Walk over the valley in the tingle forest is a must-do, as are visits to the Meadery to sample some honey products including honey mead, and the towns along the way all have spots that are charming and different, from the organic produce store in Denmark to the dinosaur museum and bird sanctuary outside Walpole.

Well worth your time to go down and stay in the lower SW for a few days - at rates as low as $79 for a two bedroom cabin or $99 for a three bedroom, you can enjoy a few days here, buy local produce (like the excellent beef and fresher than fresh vegetables) and prepare it in the kitchen of your cabin. Next time, I'm taking fishing gear too, because apparently there's nice local fish to be had at the beaches, which are no more than 10km off the highway most places.

Internet? Where we were was so isolated that there wasn't a phone in sight, perfect for a complete unplug - but that said, there are hotspots around, and many cabin rental places come with some form of Internet connectivity. If you must... We went to Albany and I sat in an Internet cafe for 40 minutes checking my email and IM, and that was quite enough...

Anyhow - that's why I've been slack with the blog, and what's more I can't promise that the situation will improve. But I can promise that I'll try, and that's what I'll do.