Which leads to a tale in which I show great presence of mind and consume a lot of whiskey in a very short time.
Doubtless you recall my interest in all things "Steampunk" (see my previous blogs Steampunk Computers, Steampunk Motorcycles, Steampunk Watches, and Steampunk Mice).
Well, I'm currently working on my own "back-burner" Steampunk project with a couple of friends (I'll tell you more about this when the time is ripe). The point is that one of these guys – Joe – lives in England just outside of London. Joe just emailed me to say:
We had an earthquake at 1 a.m. this morning. Scared the %^*# out of me. I know we have them here from time to time and have felt one before, but not like this ... the @!#$% bed moved and I'm not exactly light!
Eeeeek. That took me back to one of my trips to Japan around 20 years ago as I pen these words. I was relaxing in a chair reading a book in my room on something like the 30th floor of a mega-hotel when the windows started to rattle. For a second or so I thought it was the wind, but then the whole room started to sway back and forth by a surprisingly large amount – much like a ship in an unruly sea.
Looking back, I think I showed great presence of mind. I hadn't touched the mini-bar up to that time because it was so outrageously expensive (I can't remember exactly how much things cost, but the price tag on a miniature bottle of scotch was MUCH more than in an equivalent mini-bar in a hotel room in the UK or the USA, and they are bad enough).
As soon as the earthquake started my brain went into overdrive. I quickly evaluated all the possibilities – realized that I had no chance to retreat to the lower levels and exit the building before the hotel collapsed to the ground (if that was what it intended to do) – so I leapt across the bed like an Olympic athlete and in a few seconds had quaffed all of the miniatures of scotch like a champion ("quaffing" is like regular drinking except that you tend to spill more down your chest).
My reasoning at the time was that if I died they (whoever "they" were) could bill me for my mini-bar usage at their leisure; alternatively, if I survived, I could care less about the bill...
... of course, that was before I saw the bill...
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.