I Love Video

Unlocked cell phone. Burmese sim. Internet plan. It’s the third world in the Twenty First Century.

Screenshot 2015-02-09 23.56

My friends are cruising the Irrawaddy River in Burma/Myanmar. Their ship is docked in Bagan, It is an exotic place.

I’m treated to photos and travelogues as they explore the world. I love it.

And then tonight, she called on Skype. I expected voice, but there she was on my screen from their cabin.

Unlocked cell phone. Burmese sim. Internet plan. It’s the third world in the Twenty First Century.

She proceed to take me on a tour of the ship.

We went up and down, through hallways and up stairs, into and out of parlors and dining rooms. She walked me down the gangway so I could see the ship itself.

“It’s my friend from California,” she said, while passing some perplexed shipmates.

They only cruise during daylight. The river is too dangerous after dark with many uncharted sand bars.

It is a shallow draft, flat bottom boat. It was built to cruise this fabled river.

What an absolutely cool call! We live in amazing times.

Almost Gone

I’m pretty much done packing. The plane leaves at noon.

I hope Stef doesn’t read this. I’m starting to pack like her. No, not clothes, but my stuff weighs more.

For Clicky, I’ve got the tripod and monopod, five lenses and a flash unit. Oh – there’s the Gorilla Pod too. I normally carry three batteries and charger plus 3.5 Gb in compact flash memory cards.

I’ve got a computer and cell phone plus cables for both. Ditto with a GPS unit. And, on top of that, there are the army of power plugs and power bugs.

Stef passed her old iPod down to me. I’ve downloaded enough podcasts to fly to Burma. The iPod travels with earbuds and a cable. Though pink, it is now hidden in a black rubber skin, lest anyone question my masculinity.

This is nuts. All this stuff. Even I can see that, but I’m obsessed. It’s an illness.

The weather has been horrendous out west. San Francisco had 60+ mph gusts on Friday. The system is moving down the coast, though it’s weakening. I expect the pilot will be forced to wrestle the plane to the ground as we land at LAX.

We will chase the Sun, flying west at about 500 mph. It’s a losing battle. The Sun’s faster and won’t be stopping at Midway.

Even with three time zones, the clock will read 4:30 PM when we put down.

My plane flies from Hartford to Los Angeles with that stop in Chicago. Somehow, I’ve gotten it in my head to post a blog entry from my airplane seat as the plane briefly empties while we are on the ground in Chicago. My cellphone will act as the modem, bringing the Internet to my laptop.

Now I’m worried I’ve forgotten something.

The Good And Bad of User Supplied Content

I’ve just watched ABC News reporter Jim Sciutto’s package from Myanmar (Burma). The story is powerfully told from a place most of us know little about. And it’s an important story.