Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Excuse Number One

As I said earlier, I've been carefully considering what I should and shouldn't say about my recent unexplained absence from the blogosphere.

There are a number of reasons, not all of which I am sure I want to explain, but I'll start with the easiest one:

We went camping for ten days.

Even though we were camping, I had to work almost the entire time we were gone.  Although I was supposed to have Labor Day weekend off, things went awry at work, and I ended up working for a good chunk of the weekend.  I'd previously planned to work the Tuesday-Friday after Labor Day, but the problem at work really messed up my plans.  Still, I managed to get all my work done, despite the fact that we were in a remote area, by forwarding all my calls to my cell phone, and using a wireless, cellular modem for my Internet connectivity.

It worked surprisingly well.  I'm glad we had the foresight to purchase the wireless modem last year, as I would have had to cancel my Labor Day plans without it.

Despite the work crisis, we did manage to have quite a bit of fun.  All of our cooked meals were prepared over the campfire, and we ate pretty darn well.  We consumed more than our fair share of dead cows and baked potatoes, and I made several treats in our RV's oven.  I baked muffins, cupcakes and even a birthday cake for a friend who was celebrating.  (A commercial cake mix and homemade butter cream frosting to the rescue!)

This trip I started to realize that cooking over a fire is really more of an art than a science, and that I'm getting pretty decent at it.  I learned a few things about the characteristics of fire, and that it's not absolutely necessary to have the perfect bed of coals to grill a steak.  Potatoes, on the other hand, do require coals to be completely happy.

Cavemen don't got nothin' on me when it comes to cooking over a fire, that's for sure!

Another big plus was that this camping trip was meltdown-free.  The kid managed to make it for ten whole days without name-calling, throwing temper tantrums, making threats or becoming violent.  Even more amazing, she was actually helpful for most of the trip.

We had a lot of fun, but things didn't always go quite as planned.  Our RV's toilet crapped out quit working on day one, so we had to deal with the inconvenience of having to flush by pouring water into the bowl.  Still, the toilet worked well enough to spare us from a long hike to the campground's restrooms, or resorting to bush-wacking as our not-so-nice neighbors did.

The big thing I learned from this trip was that I can work from the road, even under less-than-optimal conditions.  I was happy to see that I was able to fix our work-related disaster without having to drive home.  When I left, I had a substantial backup plan worked out, just in case.  If my portable Internet connection hadn't worked, I had two other potential Internet hotspot locations lined up.  If those hadn't panned out, then I would have had to drive home.

But it all worked out.  I also learned that having to work from the campground is less fun than having time off, but it's still better than having to cancel a planned trip.  Still, I'm going to do everything in my power to try to avoid work/camping collisions from happening, as it doesn't make a lot of sense to pay for a campsite just so I can sit in the RV and work all day.

So that's my blogging excuse for today.  I'll probably have more, later.

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