Hey! I'm back... Lots of things to write about, but probably not enough time or energy to get them all down. Here's a summary of thoughts.
First thing is that connecting via GPRS is nice, but it's definitely not as nice as having a full-on ADSL. I really missed being connected (and it was only a week. I'm a lost cause). I'm going to change my email contact info at the top of this page to something like "firstname.lastname@example.org" so I can better weed out the emails from people I know and the random requests I get from Googlers who happen upon this site and drop me notes. It's almost as bad as Spam - especially when I'm paying for the kilobyte for it.
The fire that started Last Thursday in the Repsol refinery was finally put out on Saturday morning. It was *massive*. When the 6th tank (out of 7 that went up in that area) went up, it was a honest to goodness mushroom cloud 10 stories tall. I posted pics of the fire that I took with my camera phone, some through a pair of binoculars (which worked surprisingly well). Repsol and the city lied like rugs throughout the whole ordeal. The fire started with two tanks and everyone was told that it was under complete control the entire time. When the 6th tank blew, it was quite apparent that it was *not* under control. It's a good thing the prevailing winds kept the smoke out of the city for the most part otherwise it could've been a lot worse. The fire was only 3km from the city and right down the road from my in-law's place. We still can't believe it happened during our vacation! Classic bad luck.
It was *hot* down in Puertollano. Think about the hottest you've ever seen and add 10 degrees to it. I've never lived in temperatures like that before - ESPECIALLY without air conditioning. All of Europe has had record temperatures and Southern Spain is no exception, but the thing is that it's already normally insanely hot there during the summer. These past few weeks have just been off the chart. God. It cooled down to like 39 degrees celcius (101 farenheit) the other day and I swear before we checked, we were all talking about how much of a relief it was. Nuts.
What else... Despite my personal feelings about his candidacy, I went to see Arnold's latest (T3) and thought it was pretty great! I really liked the ending a lot, which I didn't see coming at all. We weren't going to see it "just because" but there wasn't anything else at the town's only theater worth seeing, so we went and I'm glad I did. Good flick.
Nice to be home. Glad the place wasn't broken into while we were gone. Madrid (and every other Spanish city) seems like such ripe pickings for thieves this time of year. There's *no one* in this building right now except for us. You could literally break down a door and there'd be no one around to hear it (and my experience with the Spanish is that they don't call the Police for anything anyways).
I broke through a final technical hurdle I had with XAOs the other day and am now busy using it. When I get something actually produced (and thus worked out the rest of the kinks) I'll post it here for peer review.
Alex is going *nuts* having gone from the spacious house with patio and garden that he was at for the past two weeks to the one bedroom apartment we call home. We just got back, tomorrow he's going to be even more nuts as its his 15 month vaccination shots as well. He's *not* going to be a happy puppy. What we're going to do
Okay, that's a good update.