Monday, 27 September 2010

Data Crash!

So... I've been nursing my laptop along for the past year and a half... maybe even closer to 2 years, now.  It's been really wanting to roll over and play dead.  But, I have been doing all sorts to make it last as long as possible.  However, all things must come to an end.  And the end has come for my computer!  It has officially died.  This past week I went to turn it on one morning, and it said, "Nope.  I'm not playing."  It has refused to load ever since.  *sigh*  Fortunately, since I'm staying with my sister for the moment, I'm not without computer facilities.  However, I do miss the laptop mobility!  When my boxes arrive from the UK (fingers crossed for this week) I'll get my tiny laptop back.  It's not really a good substitute computer for me, but it works great for mobile internet! 

FORTUNATELY, I have everything backed up on both my external hard drive, and an internet backup service.  So, I'm good as far as my data goes!
So, since I have to replace my laptop, I figured, I might as well do it right.  So I've given my brother-in-law the specs on what I need, and he's come up with a plan of action.  He's going to build me one!  Yeay!  Once I find a place to live I'll be ordering my new computer parts.  So exciting!  Sad when the old one dies, but this new one will be SO much fun!

Friday, 17 September 2010


I've arrived.  It was quite an exhausting trip.  But, not bad.  I left my house in England at 4.30 in the morning.  Caught the 4.45 train to London, Liverpool St.  Then caught the Tube to Faringdon Station and jumped on the Themeslink to Gatwick.  That got me to Gatwick for 7.00.  Got checked in, no problem.  I was flying standby again (one of my friends calls it "High Class Hitchhiking"), so I didn't know if I'd get on the plane until just before they closed the flight.  But, fortunately, YEAY! they let me on.  And, not just 'let me on'.  They let me on in 1st class!  Wooo hoo!  This is a wonderful thing.  Especially since I hadn't slept at all the night before!  I slept for about half the flight, had some decent food, and watched a couple of films. 

Funny side note - when I was filling out the Customs form, they ask what you're bringing into the US.  And, I could NOT remember what was in my suitcases!  I'd packed them so long ago (4 - 6 weeks) that I totally couldn't remember what was in these bags, and what I'd shipped!  Ooops.  Well, not a big deal, anyway, because if you've owned it for more than 12 months, you don't have to declare it.

Got through Customs in Atlanta, and all the sudden . . . I hear my name!  I look up and there was my friend, V!  She's my "dealer" - my Delta Connection.  She's my wonderful friend that lets me fly on her Buddy Pass.  Bless her cotton socks!  She flew from Louisiana to Georgia to meet my plane!  Isn't she a sweetie?

Here's the photo she took of my plane landing:

And here's a photo of me coming through security:

And finally, here's a photo of me and V together!

I have good friends!  She's such a sweetie!  It was such a wonderful surprise (she had mentioned she might come meet me, but I'd forgotten til I was ON the plane!) to see her gorgeous face.  We sat in the terminal and she had lunch and I had a Diet Coke. And we had a great little chat.  All the sudden, she's saying, "Well, my flight's going to be leaving here shortly, so we'd better get down to the gate."  I was like, "WHAT?!?  Already?"  Seriously, it felt like we'd been there 2 seconds, not an hour and a half!  So not enough time with the fabulous Miss Onigar!

After V got off, I was just kicking around the terminal for an hour.  And then... I didn't get on the plane :(  They didn't have room for me.  Oh well!  So I went down to the next terminal/gate and waited an hour.  And didn't get on there, either!  This was totally dejavu from the last trip I had through Atlanta!  I got on the London leg fine, couldn't get on the first 2 flights from Atlanta, and only BARELY got on the 3rd flight!  It was seriously a close thing!  The gate agents were standing there, in the corridor, checking to see if anyone was legging it down the concourse trying to make the flight.  Since they weren't the put me on the plane instead.  I was literally the last person to get on!  I curled up against the side of the plane, and fell asleep before the fasten seat belt sign went off.... and didn't wake up til I heard the Captain say they were turning them back on because we were coming in for landing!  I was very tired!  I've only managed to sleep in coach (for more than just a few minutes) once before.  Mind you, I wasn't complaining about being in coach.  I was just glad to be on the plane!  And the sleeping was wonderful! 

Anyway, I did manage to arrive to Salt Lake safe and sound.  I've been trying to get my feet back under me, but I'm afraid it's been quite a challenge.  Babies make a lot of noise in the middle of the night!  (Not complaining about that,either!)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Waiting for My Taxi

It's done.  I've got everything packed up, packed away, sold off or shipped out.  I'm just sitting here waiting for my taxi to the train station.  It's only a mile, but . . . at 4.20am, and with luggage, I don't fancy walking down to the station on my own.  My flight's at 9.00am, from Gatwick, changing planes at Atlanta.  Let's hope we don't have a repeat of my last visit through Atlanta: stuck for 5 days and ending up in a different country than originally intending!  Yep, let's hope that doesn't happen again!  I'd also love it if I got put in business class.  After the week I've had, I'd really like to sleep on the flight!  Anyway, I'm off shortly.  Very strange feeling.

Monday, 13 September 2010


As a missionary, my companions always laughed at me.  I'd get the call that I was going to be moving to a new area, and I'd start packing.  No problem.  I'd get 85-90% done.... and freak.  Why?  No idea.  I get overwhelmed by the last 10-15%.  Silly, true, but that's me!  And, true to form, I've got about 90% done for my move.... and I'm fighting a panic attack.  *breathe*

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Remebering 9/11

As it's the 9th Anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, I've been thinking about the effect it has had on our world.

There are no words to describe what kind of event that was.  "Tragedy" "Horror" "Terrible" None of these words are able to convey the enormity of the event.  And, that's a good thing.  If we had the words to talk about it, we'd be living in a world where it was commonplace.  For anyone who's interested in the academics of how we discuss extraordinary events, Gail Jefferson's article, At First I Thought: A Normalising Device for Extraordinary Events, is a fascinating read.  And, even though it's an academic article, it's not an esoteric read.  The language is very down to earth and readable.

Tragic as that day was, there was some good that came out of it.  The individual stories of heroism, strength and fortitude.  The stories of those who sacrificed themselves on the 4th plane, refusing to be the tool of those who would do evil.  The stories of those who risked everything to help as many people escape the towers, many of whom did not make it themselves.  And, of course, the marvelous miracles of those who helped and did escape.  To you, whether you've dedicated your lives to helping others as emergency response personnel, or whether you're the average joe who stepped up on that anything-but-average day, I thank you.  I thank you for not being human - for being super-human and doing what needed to be done.  Some of those acts were extraordinarily dangerous.  Others were quiet.  All were heroic.

Friday, 10 September 2010

T-Minus 5 Days!

I'm down to 5 days before I move!  That's frightening!  I've got so much left to do.... aaaaak!

Off to go do!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Change Is in the Wind

Ok, way back in . . . May? I said something about the fact that changes were coming, which was a good part of why I had been rather absent from my blog. Some of you will already be aware of what this change is, since you've been helping me deal with it or get ready for it. But, for those who don't know, here's the official announcement.

I'm leaving England and moving back to the United States.

This was not a decision I made lightly. It came after nearly a year of consideration.  I really feel like it's the right decision, but at the same time, my heart is breaking.

My move date is 15 September, and I'm heading to Salt Lake.  My sister lives there, and I'm due to be an auntie (Today!  She's at Labour & Delivery as I'm writing this!) so there's a dual pull there.  My plan is to be there for a year, and then see where I need to go, what I need to do at that point.