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 email@example.com). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.