Travel down under

So here I am with a few spare minutes in the terminal room in Brisbane, and feeling compelled to do an LJ update, so here goes….

Pulled an all nighter on Saturday (2/2) trying to finish up everything critical that has to be done at home before I leave for Australia. Showed up at church on Sunday at 7 a.m. to make sure that our supply priest didn’t need any help with the early service (Linda, our rector, was in Florida dealing with her mother’s funeral who very suddenly and unexpectedly passed away last week), and to install a new printer in the church office (since the 3 year old HP printer also suddenly but not-so-unexpectedly also passed away last week).

After church, went home and finished packing, and then hurried to the airport to catch my flight to Brisbane. The flights was largely uneventful, although I had a bit of a scare in LA due to the fact that you have to leave the secure area when transfering between a domestic and international flight, and the security screening line was insanely long. But that’s a long and unpleasant story which I’ll omit…

While in the air, I watched Shrek, which I had missed while it was in the movies. It was a really good movie, which I throughly enjoyed. I reflected on a bit about how I wish I had someone to go to see movies with, and how maybe I should just go and see movies by myself, since seeing more movies in theaters would be a Good Thing.

While on the flight, I also started on “The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living”, by the Dalai Lama. Definitely a very good read, and very thought provoking. Sample nugget from the first few chapters: An important thing to consider is the difference between pleasure and happiness, and something can bring one but not the other.

Arrived in Brisbane, and checked into the Rydges hotel on the South Bank region, which is very cleverly located on the southern bank of the Brisbane River, across from downtown. There is a very convenient “City Cat” service between the hotel and the University, where the conference is held. Travelling down the river on a catamaran is really nice. Brisbane is really, really beautiful, in general. I wish I knew how to scuba dive, and had the time so I could spend some time exploring the Great Barrier Reef….. maybe next time.

The conference is a lot of fun; it’s really good to meet lots of neat folks. Unfortunately network access is limited (only one gigabyte of network bandwidth spread across all of the conference attendees on each day), and so I’m definitely less able to keep up with what’s going on in the rest of the world. Also, talking to people at the conference tends to remind me of all of the other projects that I really want to get done, and I’m feeling frustrated that I don’t have enough time to do everything that I’d like to do. Must learn how to accept the fact that I Can’t Do Everything.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. More later….