The town where beloved friends call home has been shaken to it's foundations: literally. We live with earthquakes all the time in New Zealand - grown up with earthquake drills rather than fire drills. So ingrain is the training in fact, each account in the last ten days since this disaster has someone saying "..and I dived under my desk..." and in some cases, that simple action has saved their lives.
But sadly, not everyone.
My feet weren't on the ground when it happened. I was mid-flight from Auckland to Melbourne. Landing to tweets about the quake, I thought it was 'just' more aftershocks. Loading a twitpic to see the spire of Christchurch Cathedral gone, I attracted the attention of most of the cafe patrons with my loud and explicit exclaimation as I realised this shake wasn't 'just' another aftershock. It was a big, shallow, 6.3/7G nightmare.
Besides the shakes, what's the haps?
So Webstock was mind-blowingly good. I know I can't live at Webstock all the time but by gods I miss being there.
I had to give a talk at the general Staff Meeting at work on Tuesday about my adventures across the Tasman. I used the theme "Planet Webstock" which was introduced by the conference's second speaker, Michael Koziarski. It illuminated what Webstock brought home with crystal clarity to me - at my work: I am alone. I am the only animal of my species during my work days. Even IT doesn't align with web here - the internet is locked down, there is a lot of fear associated with access; it is never the first port of call for information; Wikipedia is treated as an 'unreliable' source due to the crowdsourcing philosophy at its creation; it is thought that if people had access they'd just download porn and infect the servers with viruses. There is a lack of conceptual understanding around almost everything web which means I seem like an alien to many. I am regarded as an expert, a geek, a 'special' person - but also regarded very definately different.
At Webstock I was 'same' - I was home.
Goodness, just typing that makes me feel isolated.
Back in my day
Many, many millions of years ago I had my first 'proper' job in a draughting office. I loved my job. LOVED my job. First I was a Clerk/Girl Friday but that only lasted a few months before I started an apprenticeship to learn to be a draughtsman.
But that's not the point my my tangent. The point is that in that first year of my apprenticeship I got sick - very sick. Because I loved my job so much, I kept going to work when a more adult person would have stayed at home. The illness slammed me into submission sometime after lunch on the day I ought to have called in sick - I was hot, and unwell, and (frankly) a bit dilerious - my vision tunnelled and I was very sensitive to the light coming in from our huge glass windows. I crawled under my drawing board - it was cool and dim under there. I crawled under there and I thought after a while I would be okay, I would feel better. I could keep working I just needed some quiet time under my desk.
Now I don't know about you, but to see a colleague crawl under her desk in an office environment is a bit strange.. and while I had a lot of visitors wondering how I was doing, they let me stay there all day until it was home-time where someone from work ended up driving me home. Which was nice, because I lived about 45 minutes away by bus.
....I forget where I was going with that... I think it was emphasising the 'under the desk' training to be safe - or something.
Right now and in the near future
So here we are - it's March 2011. I'm not as far along developing this site and the blog archives as I would have been if I'd actually pulled my finger out and got it done! But in saying that, I am moving forward albeit slowly.
I do have a bunch of ideas I want to think about, write about, segment and share so watch this space: it's gonna be something.