I tell you, I leave town for a week to get in a little R&R, and it seems as though the earth spun off its axis. The Democrats took over both Houses of Congress, Britney announced she and K Fed were splitting up, we announced a $10M investment in 3D virtual worlds (including an expanded presence in Second Life), and now word on the street is that we're making a bid for a stake in China's Guangdong Development Bank.
As a colleague related to me in an email, "maybe you should go on vacation more often."
Although I made jokes before my departure to go scuba diving (click here for a glance of me surfing over the stunning underwater coral life in Bonaire) about having limited Internet access in the Dutch Antilles, the reality was much worse than the fantasy.
As opposed to last year in Belize, I had no wi-fi either close to or near my room. In fact, there was hardly any wi-fi anywhere on Bonaire island.
Upon visiting the main town of Kralendijk, which was right down the street from our hotel, I was able to track down wi-fi and land-based Internet access for the princely sum of $10.00/hour, but ended up using a similar service in the business center of our hotel.
When the Internet is $10.00/hour, I noticed that my surfing habits changed dramatically. I bolted in an out of email accounts, quickly scanning for relevancy and darting in and out of accounts. You'd be surprised how efficient you can be when the Internet equivalency of a NYC taxicab meter is running.
Honestly, I didn't miss it, although being out for six business days one realizes what a huge Alaskan pipeline of information flow one misses, what between all the email, the blogs, the online media, etc. I felt like I was on another planet. And to some extent I was.
All this changed, of course, the moment I stopped off in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the lobby of the Sheraton hotel had a lightening fast, free wi-fi connection that allowed me to refresh my IP-constipated Macbook.
The damage? A little over 300 work emails. But that's okay...it was like inhaling 100% oxygen!
And I consider myself lucky: both that I had only that many emails, but more importantly, that I was able to (mostly) disconnect from the e-umbilical cord for a few days.
But it's also nice to be reconnected. I'll be in a painful catch-up mode for the next few days, but the hurt of the withdrawal was worth the price of swimming with the sea creatures (no sting rays!) undisturbed by the outside world.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a bit of email to get through.[Read More]