Well I stayed away from a lot of “optional” things that I do each day, like turning on the TV, hanging out in chat rooms, etc. It turns out I got a lot more done. Wow. Seems obvious, eh? Yeah, I suppose it is. But it’s easy to get distracted these days. There are so many cool things to do, and friends are only a mouse-click away, so quite often the whole day passes and the To Do list just gets longer instead of shorter.

Anyway, one of the things I managed to finish was creating a photo book at Future Photo and order it. I’ve been meaning to make a proper portfolio for ages. Believe it or not, there are people out there who don’t use computers much, so I have to cater to them somewhat. The problem is that I can’t stand making albums out of real prints. Either you have to use those plastic sleeves that interfere with the viewing of the photo, or you have to use those annoying sticky corners that either let go of the photo at an inopportune time, or fall off of the page altogether. And then you either have too many pages in the album, in which case there are empty pages or sleeves, or you have not enough, in which case you can’t put all the photos in that you want. This custom photo book solved the problem. For a little bit more money ($60.99) than a nice-quality photo album, you get a hardcover book with 40 pages. I can’t wait to see it.

Last Chance to SeeI’m reading a great book right now. It’s Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams. It’s his first non-fiction book that I’ve read. It might be his only non-fiction book. I can’t remember. Anyway, it’s basically a travel journal of his trip around the world with a zoologist, seeking out extremely rare and endangered species. What an amazing writer this man was. He died very young, and that always made me quite sad, because I think he could have accomplished so much more (like making a proper script for the HHGTTG movie).

However, even having just read a few chapters of this book, I see that Douglas Adams really lived life to the fullest. It wasn’t that his lifestyle was extravagant or reckless or even dangerous… it’s just that he absorbed and understood things in a way that most people don’t. He was a charming philosopher and the way he conveyed his thoughts is so eloquent and humourous that you can’t help but share his point of view. There are a lot of themes that I recognize from the HHGTTG too, like the fact that we’re descended from monkeys, and that we’re uncomfortable being face to face with our food while it’s still alive. This passage from Last Chance to See reminds me of the scene from The Restaurant at the End of the Universe where Arthur, Ford and Trillian meet the cow that they’re going to have for dinner.

The four chickens sat in the prow of the boat and watched us.
One of the more disturbing aspects of travel in remote areas is the necessity of taking your food with you in non-perishable form. For Westerners who are used to getting their chickens wrapped in polythene from the supermarket it is an uncomfortable experience to share a long ride on a small boat with four live chickens who are eyeing you with a deep and dreadful suspicion which you are in no position to allay.

Despite the fact that an Indonesian island chicken has probably had a much more natural and pleasant life than one raised on a battery farm in England, people who wouldn’t think twice about buying something oven-ready become much more upset about a chicken that they’ve been on a boat with, so there is probably buried in the Western psyche a deep taboo about eating anything you’ve been introduced to socially.

I’m not done the book yet but I already can recommend it thoroughly.

Ok. So I started talking about how productive I was today, and then I just spent quite a long time in the middle of the afternoon writing a blog entry. Shh…