The Giant Penguin

There’s a giant (six meters high) inflatable penguin here at BrainShare Africa. My buddy Ted (after whom the Reverend Theo Fobius was originally modeled) snuck up behind it and with rhythmic up-and-down rocking motions managed to get it to bounce.

From the front, the bouncing of the giant penguin looked pretty cool. And frightening. Kind of like Gozer had chosen a new form and was out to stomp on churches in a new town.


(p.s. I edited the post with the actual dimensions of the penguin — he’s six meters high, not three.)

Okay, so it’s not as bad as all that…

I’m still in Johannesburg, and BrainShare Africa is actually going pretty well. Sure, sure, I can’t watch movie trailers over the half-meg pipe (“trickle-feed”) we’ve got, but I can update my LiveJournal, check my email, and basically keep my fingers at least halfway on the pulse of the things they’re supposed to be taking the pulse of.

Tomorrow’s 2-hour technical session still threatens to cave my head in, but I’m feeling relaxed about it right now. I expect there’ll be time enough to stress about it tomorrow, right?

I met a South African Schlocker yesterday afternoon at 3pm. We went out and grabbed a bite to eat, while I sketched a caricature of him. “Draw something every day” is a good rule for a cartoonist to live by, and that particular drawing came out quite nicely.

I haven’t drawn anything today, yet. Maybe I’ll doodle on a scratch-pad during the “Meet The Experts” session. It starts in 90 minutes, and promises to be as grueling as ever. There’s nothing like spending three hours being the personal tech-support bizzatch for 600 increasingly inebriated convention delegates, although I’m told that being attacked by pirahnas comes close.

(Okay, nobody actually TOLD me that. The cow I heard it from was in a movie, and all it really said was “moooooo.” It was a pretty stressed out “mooooo,” though.)


Half a WHAT?!?!?

Apparently the convention center only has a half a megabit pipe for internet connectivity. This wouldn’t be so bad if it were just me, but with the crowd of presenters and staff all trying to sync up with their various home offices, that half megabit is like a big juicy porterhouse steak sitting all by itself at the all-you-can-eat buffet. I got a forkful, but I also got someone else’s fork stuck in my hand, and the maitre’d is nowhere to be seen.

I don’t remember it being this bad last year. Same venue, same staff… maybe the construction across the street has forced re-routing of lines or something. Dunno.

Upshot of all this… the presentations I needed to tweak are dependent on data I don’t have access to. Grrr….


Joberg Arrival

I’m here.

I got in last night at 6:15pm local time, 10:15am Utah time. The flight was long — seemingly interminable, with 5 hours to JFK, 7 hours to Dakar, and a final 8 hours to Johannesburg — but the seats were ALL equipped with flat-panel screens, so I got to watch movies to pass the time.

The Return of The King is a great time-passer. I also saw the live-action Peter Pan movie for the first time, and really enjoyed it.

Anyway, upon arrival I found that my usual deal-with-jetlag strategy of getting some natural daylight in the new location was not going to work. It’s winter in this hemisphere, and the sun had already gone down. Ugh.

Ugh Part II: The store that USED to have a wall full of New Rock boots now had a paltry display of seven styles, all basically the same ankle-boot shape. I won’t be buying boots here. I’ll have to see if I can find a place in Amsterdam or Hague that has more selection when I’m over there in a month.

Or maybe… just maybe… I’ll get by with the boots I already own. You know, save the money for milk for the kids and stuff.

Right now I’m sitting in the Sandton Convention Center not preparing my sessions. I need to fix that. It’s 1:00pm local time, and what I really want right now is a nap.


Writer, Illustrator, Consumer