Sunday, April 03, 2011

Roma, Day 2: Travel Notes, the Mundane

We'll get to the ancients in a bit. They can wait ... to paraphrase a well known Roman quote, then were what we are and we will become what they are, but in the meanwhile we still have this business of living to get after.

I am sitting in the rooftop garden of the Hotel Smeraldo. After yesterday's grueling pace, the prior's night's inadequate sleep, and a last minute nasty surprise, I did manage 8 full hours of deep sleep. Notwithstanding that the mattress is so hard that a Prussian soldier would find it challenging, and that my rib cage aches as a result, I am filled with the optimism of feeling rested. So I have decided to tarry a bit this morning, and reflect on travel, the ancients, and, of course, myself. Because traveling alone is really designed to foreground the dialectic of introspection and reflection. In other words, no matter how vast the experience, you can't quite stop wondering what it all means in terms of the life that you live.

The little disaster is that my laptop's power cable suddenly stopped working. I am pretty sure that it is just a broken wire inside the cable because there was the tiniest little sound at the moment it occurred. But there is also the possibility that the internal power supply to the laptop is gone. In any event, it means I have 91% of a battery that drains like a cracked sink. I do not want to download photos onto a machine that might die; it is four year's old and it would be a challenge to find someone else with a similar laptop in order to power up my battery for future work. I'll just have to wait until I get home to determine if I am suddenly, after the "big trip" in the market for a new laptop. In the meanwhile, than gawd for the iPad, and photographs wil have to stay on their chips until I return.

This forces another accommodation. I normally burst shoot three exposures of anything, with an auto brackete of plus and minus a third of a stop. Mostly the minus 1/3 tends to work out, even for low light shots, partly for the saturation value, and partly because the second exposure tends to have less camera shake. Yesterday I shot over 1600 exposures!! But even on an 8 gig card, that will be too many for 4 days shooting. I have three cameras with me ... o the joys of 21st century middle-class consumerism ... so I am going to retire the middle camera, and hope to get by with 2 8-gig chips for the rest of the ride. I'll make a call on Tuesday as to whether or not I can get through the Wednesday trip to Florence with merely 7,000 exposures!!

So, notes to self ... remember the polarizing filter next time. The time for a new laptop may not coincide with my carefully arranging spending plans. Splurge on extra ships. You didn't need the middle camera anyway.

A little not to my fellow editor friends: given that I writing this on an iPad and that the interface is challenging and that I am sitting in the last little bit of shade before mean mother sun makes it impossible to see the screen, I am not going to do a lot of copy editing. I will re-read and correct in the safety and langour of home.

No photos, per above!

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