Preparing to board the plane

We will be arriving at the airport in four hours, boarding a plane in six and flying for… well, nearly 18 total.

I managed to get all my needs for two weeks in a smallish backpack (with wheels) and a fanny pack. I wonder how much of it I’ll have wished that I left at home and what I haven’t taken will be sorely missed.

Jane is so excited she can hardly keep still. Michael is anxious to board the plane and BE there. I’m sitting here wondering if Jane knows that the next few hours will mark the end of her nights of solid sleep for many months to come. She spends her time with a grin on her face that couldn’t be scrubbed off.

I’m extremely happy for her, and am looking forward to the trip…All my client work is caught up for the time being and I’ve even taken this opportunity to send in my laptop to have a heat sync checked. It has been shutting down without warning lately. A coolpad, and a fan aimed directly at the hot end hasn’t helped.

I spent several hours on Saturday tricking the system out with performance detailing, and hoped that a few of those would rememdy this problem if it were software related. Apparently, it’s not a software issue. And, it seems to be worse when the CD/DVD burner is running — which screams heat problem to me. We shall see.

Despite this problem, I’ve not been able to live without it long enough for it to be fixed. Now,with the trip, it seems like perfect timing.

Besides, it really ensures that I couldn’t, at the last second, decide that living without a laptop for nearly two weeks would result in DTs and other symptoms of withdrawal that wouldn’t be pretty.

I’ll confess… I’m taking a gameboy. I tried to go low tech. I really did. I bought a couple games for it, and a couple cartridges of Fairly Odd Parents. Normally, I hate modern cartoons. Despise them, but I love this one. My brain goes to mush, surely, but I find myself amused, even though it’s incredibly stupid.

I bought a 3x battery extender and an extra flat battery and got the earphones and the USB charger (figured that would be easier to accomplish while I’m working on a computer at the hotels than a plug up charger (although I brought that too). And, to make myself FEEL better, I bought a really nice leather cover that almost makes it look like a productivity tool.

Now, if I can move my buttons slowly and not talk to my sims and my characters on the screen, perhaps no one will be the wiser.

I’ve purchased game systems for the boys, on multiple occasions, but this is a first for me. And… I’ve tested it out on a couple long car trips lately — I like it! *Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone.*

I have my journal and my two decent pens. I’ve packed light, and even brought old fashioned PAPER books to read.

I have a pocket-sized history of China, a decent guide book for China, a philosophy book (tiny sized) and a pocket sized unabridged copy of Writing Down the Bones.

I’m even carrying a tiny deck of Uno cards and our family travel favorite — the piggie game (don’t ask — it’s cute, but kinda silly and the kids love it). It’s kind of addictive for the adults too.

But I had to have a gadget to use on the plane, in addition to my thumbdrive, of course. I have my thumbdrive outfitted with an e-mail program that will permit me to check my e-mail from any machine with a USB port without requiring an installation, a registry alteration, and without leaving a trace or a footprint on the machine used. And, in addition to the e-mail program, I’m carrying all my essential files on that tiny “lipstick” drive. Just in case I get the chance to rent a computer in the business center of one of the hotels and do a few minor things — when I’m up in the wee hours, because I can’t sleep in what MY body will consider the “middle of the day.”

And yes, all this stuff fits in my bag and fanny pack.

I’ll not be bored on the flight, that much is certain. Once we arrive, we will be running around from one place to another so quickly, I’m sure I’ll not be able to read anything, but on the trip back, I expect to read more. I’ve really been missing good, old fashioned reading. All of my reading time is spent using a monitor these days. Which is one reason I didn’t load a few e-books on my PDA. I wanted to HOLD and FEEL a real book for a change. It’s kinda refreshing.

Maybe I’ll be able to find some of my Christmas gifts while I’m there too. I usually have all that done by now — Heck, it’s usually done in May or June — but this year, with the building of the cabin, the wedding and other unusual expenses related to building a new life and expanding a growing business… well, I’ve put off the shopping.

I knew this trip was coming up, and really hoped to take advantage of that for most of my gifts this year. I’ll have fun looking even if I don’t buy.

I’ve read quite a bit about the places we will be visiting in the last couple days. I wish I’d had more time to do research before the trip. It seemed like something else was always a bit more pressing.

I’ll try to blog more once I’m out of the states, and keep this up to date.

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