Ye Olde
Talbott Blog

Cruising Altitude

I’m feeling particularly cliched at the moment, as I’m writing this 36,000 feet above sea level and about 2100 miles away from my destination, RDU (Raleigh-Durham International Airport, for those of you who aren’t inclined to look up the callsign right now). The sea is the Atlantic, and, if you know anything about my more recent adventures, you’ll know the origination is London — Gatwick Airport, to be exact. In the nearly 2000 miles this giant tube of steel has traveled so far, I’ve finished (reading) a book, watched a movie, eaten lunch and started writing an article. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found a suitable topic for that article, but, no worries, if you won’t tell, neither will I. Together we’ll pretend this article was always intended to be about what my plans are after I arrive back in the States. Back home.

The very first thing I’m going to do is get on my face and kiss the ground. Not. That would be a bit overly-clichéd, and plus, dirt doesn’t taste any better in the US than it does in the UK. Don’t ask how I know that – I just do. To return to the topic at hand, the first thing I’m really going to do is try to make it through customs without any serious mishaps. By “mishaps” I don’t mean mishaps in the clumsy sense, like accidentally dumping the contents of my backpack all over the airport floor. To classify as a mishap, something has to be more out of the ordinary than that. No, I’m talking about a mishap along the lines of the customs guy wanting to see receipts for my purchases. Now, I have not lied on my form… but I did have to estimate as to how much each of the items I acquired cost. Actually, I did better than telling the truth (the human brain is a great rationalizer): I rounded up. I really believe I would be vindicated on close examination of what I’m bringing in to the country, it’s just that both my day and the day of whoever gets stuck with me in customs will be much easier if I don’t have to try to find my receipts. Filing is not my strong point (actually, I don’t think I have a filing point, strong or otherwise).

Once that adventure is behind me (and having written the previous paragraph, I probably will have to find those receipts), the next step will be to find Dad. Depending on how much time I have while waiting for my baggage and standing in line for customs, hopefully I’ll have already called him and let him know I’m on the ground. Since Dad works within about five minutes of the airport, he may have to go around the loop a few dozen times (that translates to about twice around the loop in Chicago; Raleigh’s not that big) before I get to the exit. He’s a patient guy, though. Once I do make it out, we’ll hug, I’ll throw (OK, heave while grunting loudly) my suitcase into the trunk, and we’ll talk all the way back to his office. It’ll be a good talk, and you’ll just have to guess what it’ll be about. This is a journal, not Candid Camera.

There are some very important people in my life, but there’s only one car. This cool, beautiful, green car will be waiting patiently for me at Dad’s office, where I’ll say goodbye to him, turn the key and then freak out for the first few seconds of driving on the right side of the road. That’s “right” as in the descriptor of relative direction and “right” as in “correct”. While I haven’t actually driven while in the UK, I have ridden quite a bit, and since I thought I might drive, I did my best to mentally adjust my model to the wro-, er, left side of the road. It shouldn’t take long to undo, though, and I will then enjoy the drive home immensely. As much as I grouse about driving a long way to work, and as quickly as I’d choose walking every day instead, there’s a simple pleasure in driving that I’ve missed.

Once home I’ll greet the rest of my family, talk with them, unpack, and find something to keep me awake until around 2000 or so. At that point, I will crash in to bed and hopefully be dead to the world until the next morning. Not sleeping much last night should help. Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) I’m going in to the RoleModel Studio where we’re having a Strategic Focus Time (SFT) during the morning. In the afternoon, depending on my energy level, I’ll either go back home and sleep some more, or stick around and do something cool with the guys. Wednesday I’ll return to working at GSK, and then head to church in the evening. Thursday at noon the Apprenticeship Summit will start, and I’ll be pretty deep in to that through Saturday afternoon (although I may try to sneak in a viewing of Attack of the Clones somewhere).

From Sunday on, things become a bit more vague, but I do have some objectives in mind. First of all, there’s a heap of books on a subject of particular interest to me that I ordered over a week ago and am really looking forward to reading. Second, I want to get involved at the church again – really involved, probably in a way that no one (including myself) has quite conceived of yet. Third, I want to see some friends, which will probably involve travel. Fourth, there are some projects that I have neglected over the past few weeks (such as Test::Unit), and some projects that I need to start (such as Test::Accept?). Fifth, I need to get my finances in order, as it really bugs me not knowing quite what they are. Sixth, I need to research journeymanships some more, and perhaps actually put one together for myself.

The final objective deserves a bit more copy. I’ve been reading some books on business (which I hope to write reviews of eventually), and I’m becoming more and more intrigued by the possibility of starting my own. Business, that is (I’d like to write a book about business, too, but I figured I’d try doing it before writing about it). I even have an idea, which I shall not reveal, as to what business I’d like to start. I’ve even lost sleep over this idea, which intrigues me even more (not many things cause me to lose sleep). So, my objective is to research more deeply both the idea and business in general. At the very least, I’d like to write an article about what I discover. Perhaps it will be more than that, though – only time will tell.

It all looks so easy from 36,000 feet, but I know it won’t be. However, I do believe it will be a delight, as I believe what I’ve put here is God’s will for me over the next few weeks and months. James says in chapter four verses thirteen through fifteen, “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” So I sincerely close with, if the Lord wills, I will live, and do these things. What a comfort to know that if this isn’t His will, the direction He provides instead will be even better!

The above has not been edited from the form it was in when I finished it aboard the plane. It’s about three hours following my return, and things have gone mostly according to what I wrote above… so far. But it’s early yet.