July 5th

The Last But One Day of vacation, as I don’t count the day (or so) of travel as a vacation day. Probably the penultimate diary entry as well, as I’ll probably have just a single one to wrap up when we get back. And that will be that. I’m thinking of collecting a number of pictures (and, when reminded, the videos from when I was snorkeling at Cebu) into a web page. Perhaps without any verbiage or perhaps with some modest context, depending on how I feel. Dunno any timetable, though, and fair warning: I have _yet_ to complete the construction images from our greenhouse pool effort that was done several years ago.

I went for a jog yesterday and am now thinking it was a really dumb thing to do (battling a cold, courtesy of my son, if I didn’t mention that before). The day before I walked as my wife jogged. I felt like jogging then, but didn’t, sure it was a dumb idea. At Leyte Park there’s a circle that goes up and down pretty steep and I today almost made it around thrice. Probably should have stopped with twice. Got a bad cough now (thanks Don!), though I used this somewhat magical material called Katinko to help suppress the urge. It’s a better version of Vicks Vaporub, which is great, but very short lived. When I used it in the past, it was enough to get back to sleep, but it would wear off almost as soon as that happened and I’d cough myself awake again. Katinko has lasted over an hour to sometimes as long as a couple of hours. I can’t stand the smell, but I love being able to sleep, so don’t mind smearing the stuff on my upper lip.

Two days ago, we went to a local mall, Robinsons, and had lunch there, then Don and I watched Incredibles 2. I really enjoyed it, though I felt the first was a bit better. I was also able to guess the bad guy, though Don wasn’t. I suspect it’s simply because I’ve seen so many movies and read so many books that I can tell which trope is in the offering.

My wife met with a couple of her childhood friends and they talked and talked and talked and talked. Over 6 hours, I believe. We were sitting in a restaurant at the other end of the mall and, as an avid people watcher (though I admit my focus is mostly on the attractive female segment) I looked out the window at the too-ings and fro-ings, expecting to enjoy eye candy. I was quite disappointed. At the other end of the mall there were a substantial fraction of pretty girls. After I had a large enough sample, I felt I could definitely conclude that this was the ugly end of the mall. When I brought my observation up to her friends, as predicted my wife objected, yet her friends chimed right in, so now I know my wife was definitely a lot saltier when she was a youth. Anyway, one of her friends (Chinki, I believe is her nickname) laughed and said that the front entrance was for the have-nots. Back here it was for the haves. My blank stare got her to elaborate: in the back, they ‘have cars’ and ‘have money’ so they can park and shop, the ones in the front have no car and generally little money, so they need to use the front. I felt it was a very astute observation.

Other than the jogging yesterday, I don’t think much happened at all. Even with the Katinko, I coughed a lot and just didn’t feel like going out. My wife and son went back to Robinsons where Don watched the latest Jurassic Park (I had/have no interest in seeing it, even on DVD) and she just wandered around window shopping.  She can go shopping all day, yet not purchase anything, and still have a great time. Like my dad and fly fishing.  Catching was just a bonus.


We went to a hotel on the water for a breakfast buffet. Very pretty place. Evidently completely smashed by the typhoon, then, because it was insured (so the story goes, it’s a chain owned by some Koreans), completely rebuilt better than before. The food was OK, but the ambiance was first rate. Then we had to make a number of stops on the way back, so got a partial tour of Leyte. It’s hard to tell when construction has been abandoned. The cider blocks go up ‘brand new’ looking like they’ve been there for a century and everything typically gets a patina of mildew very quickly. I needed to take a brief nap when we got back, now on to finish this entry…

Katinko, btw (just reapplied it), helps clear out the sinuses in addition to suppressing cough. The family swears by it for cramps as well, though my go-to is getting some calcium (before I started to lose some weight, I had to sleep with a bottle of Tums next to the bed due to the acid reflux I usually got at night) and if that doesn’t work, toke up on magnesium and potassium. I try and stay ‘electrolyted up’ during the summer, because I sweat so damn much when I work out.

Anyway, TMI, I’m sure…

Yesterday, whilst lying in bed trying to nap, I came up with some valuable plot additions to my BlueDom sequel and wrote a couple of thousand words. I haven’t quite finished with the original synopsis I had in place, but I’m past the climax anyway, so what’s left is just tidying things up. I’m going to see if I can come up with a few more plot elements before I send it off to my first script dev editor for her feedback. I started to convert some of it into screenplay format suitable for the conversion program to make official. In the past, the page count as displayed in Google docs wasn’t too far off the final formatted page length, which indicates to me I’ll be able to increase the raw page count I have now (37, with perhaps another 5 left to write) to 65-ish (1 page of prose turns into approximately 1.6 pages of screenplay). Still _very_ short from the 100 or so goal I have, so I still need a lot of help.

I haven’t made any more progress on Treasure Hunt. I decided, when I get home, to tweak the program I wrote that pulls each scene out into a series of linked web pages and have it output all the speaking parts and how many lines per. Also, how many pages are in each scene. (So they say, the very best programmers are the laziest and I’ll put my lazy against just about anyone. 😉 That way, it will help me formulate a schedule that I can keep updated by rerunning the program whenever I make changes. I thought, given the highly formulaic nature of screenplays, that it’d be trivial to find out how many lines were on a page (without counting, of course; remember: lazy). It turns out to vary pretty widely, from as many as 70 or even more to as low as 40, occasionally less. Very arcane rules for where to break the page. I believe I can emulate enough of that to get a rough count of lines such that I can plan. My gut is feeling more and more that 4 weekends isn’t an idiotic goal, but there’s still a lot of guess work in my ‘schedule’ at this point.

I assumed that the Tour de France started last weekend (it starts the first weekend of July), but it actually starts this one. Thus, I’ll be able to watch almost the whole thing instead of missing a third (it’s a three week, 2+K mile road race). I sent an email to all the people on my beta reading list telling them that I’ve been a deadbeat the last three weeks and expect to be a deadbeat the next three weeks and might continue to be a deadbeat because of the movie, but all that have got back to me have said they’re willing to wait for my feedback.

I’m ready to go home. Perhaps if we weren’t spending most of our time in the middle of smelly old Tacloban I might not be so eager, but I’m starting to feel a little trapped. Even a little bored.

But not looking forward to the actual travel back home!

Author: Tfoui

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