Working vacation

By John Toth

I am on vacation, sort of.

My vacations are really a combination of transferring work to another location and having fun in between. That’s how I did it last year. I published two issues from Europe and one from Colorado.

This year it’s camping, so I am publishing from McKinney Falls State Park in Austin and also taking some time to have a little fun.

I’m getting pretty good at it. It’s a piece of cake now. Last year was a little complicated, but practice makes perfect.

I really like this state park, which is inside Austin city limits. I like the location the best – being in Austin. Downtown is about six miles from here.

When they built the park, it was in the middle of nowhere. Now it’s surrounded by development. But this 700 acres is a beautiful park, with breathtaking scenery and waterfalls.

I don’t mind working under these conditions, especially when it’s really hot outside. While I am waiting for the temperature to cool down a little, I am finishing up a few things, like writing a column, before the paper is zapped to the printer.

It used to be that I had to remain at Bulletin Headquarters to put out an issue, and when I took off, I just skipped that week of publishing. We tried to coordinate our plans with expected slow weeks.

Technology now makes skipping a week unnecessary. In Europe last year, one of the ways I picked which hotels I wanted to stay at was how reliable the wi-fi service was, and whether it was free. It took a while to plan things out, but it was worth it. Everything was filed on time.

Traveling in the U.S. is not that difficult because I always carry a data card with me. It doesn’t matter if the hotel wi-fi goes out. Most of the time I don’t even hook up to it.

I knew that the publishing business had this burden when I got into it 18 years ago. But it’s not work unless you don’t like doing it.

Last year in Colorado, the weather cooperated – it rained for the first two days, so I could get everything done.

So, I was firing up the old computer, when Mr. Ranger Sir knocked on my RV door. He was sweating profusely. I parked my car in the wrong spot. He was upset, but he was kind enough to let me off the hook with a verbal warning.

His last name was Shirley. I read it on his name tag. Shirley, you must be kidding. He said he was not.
We asked if there was ample parking at the waterfalls. He said yes, but questioned why we would drive when it’s healthier to walk.

Because it’s like 100 degrees, sir?

So, the start of this excursion was a bit off. But, it’s still better than last year’s start in Europe, when I stalled my stick shift rental car in the middle of rush hour and almost wiped out a bicyclist in Vienna.

Why would that bicyclist come so close to the car anyway when I was trying to get out of the way of that bus? I had no idea that those lines are for bicyclists. I thought it was just another lane for skinny, tiny European cars. I think they are made out of paper mache.

Next week, I shall continue this column to let you know how things turned out.

Time to enjoy myself. I’m going to swim in the lake. Hey, kid, stop splashing. You’re getting my laptop wet. I’m holding it up as high as I can.

I love vacationing.