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Editor's Note: What I am Not Going to do on My Vacation

Sep 04, 2009, 23:04 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

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by Carla Schroder
Managing Editor

I am not going to take a computer with me.

I am not going to post a play-by-play of my activities on Facebook.

No live photos on Facebook either.

I am not going to go near email, Twitter, IRC, IM, or even a cell phone.

I am not going to give in to the little workaholic fiend that sits on my left shoulder and whispers "Go ahead, check in and see how work is going. It won't hurt to look and it will only take a minute."

What will I do?

Read paper books.

Sightsee.

Take pictures of splendid scenery.

Listen to music with all of my attention. I usually have something playing while I work, but that's just not the same as getting rid of all distractions, settling down and listening without interruptions or distractions.

It's a bit late to share a summer reading list, but what the heck, books are always good:

Bill Pronzini's "Nameless Detective" series. I've read all of them several times, and he's still cranking them out. A great series that holds up with time. I can never decide which I like more, a series where everything is frozen in a particular era, or where the characters and settings change and grow over time. The Nameless Detective has aged well.

"Job's Body" by Deane Juhan is the absolute all-time best physiology book. If you want to understand how your body really works and advance beyond the shallow, inaccurate over-simplified mechanical models that we are usually taught, this is the book for you. It is anything but a dull read; it is darn near poetic as this snippet on connective tissue shows:

"From jellyfish to human beings, connective tissue is the primary organ of structure, gluing cells into discrete colonies, defining their shapes, forming them into functional units, and suspending them together in the correct relationships within the organism. It supports and contains every cell and every drop of fluid that is in us. And in addition to simply containing all our fluids, the toughness of this tissue is responsible for creating the hydrostatic pressure which helps to hold the entire body erect and support its three-dimensional volume."

I'm a big fan of Loren Eisley. He was an anthropologist and a gifted observer and writer. If you haven't read his works before, start with his book "The Immense Journey" and beeline to "The Bird and the Machine." It's a beautiful story of the capture, and impulsive release, of a small hawk:

"I was young then and had seen little of the world, but when I heard that cry my heart turned over. It was not the cry of the hawk I had captured...Straight out of the sun's eye, where she must have been soaring restlessly above us for untold hours, hurtled his mate. and from far up, ringing from peak to peak of the summits over us, came a cry of such unutterable and ecstatic joy that it sounds down across the years and tingles among the cups on my breakfast table."

These are rich times for finding good music, thanks to Sirius, Pandora, Last.fm, CDBaby, Magnatune, and other new music distributors that thankfully have sprung up to fill the huge gaping hole left by the wasteland that is called commercial radio.

Well that's enough blathering, I am out of here for a whole week. Have a great weekend, and for everyone who celebrates Labor Day enjoy your holiday. Or not, as it pleases you :)