Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I have been in Colorado Springs for one week, and have worked every day since arriving. I find the focus of being away from such ephemera as my favourite newspaper and radio channel very energising, and feel a genuine enthusiasm for my work and warmth towards my colleagues. This is reciprocated - they feel like old friends, and there were even "welcome back" gifts for colleague E. and mysef waiting on our desks. I am surrounded in my workplace by people and machines I find fascinating and want to learn how to work with.

To a Briton, the scale and form of this place is hard to identify - the sun is turning my skin ruddy while the mountains remain snowcapped and there were even drifts blowing around like smoke from lava this morning. Every few blocks the same names repeat themselves - there are more MacDonalds than in the Aberdeen phone book. I'm eating well - Agilent Technologies' lunchtime burritos and Ruby Tuesday's sublime salad bar being good opportunities to avoid those staples, beef and cheese. And I've consumed 2 glasses of wine and 3 pints of cider (cider! yes! at Jack Quinn's Irish Pub) and no more in the last week.

All this vocational and epicurian distraction leaves little room for immersion in the cultural bivouac I packed, although I was adequately entertained by William Boyd's Armadillo (although it's very much in the Charlie Higson or David Baddiel mode) and am presently being drawn in to The Rotter's Club by Jonathan Coe, which I bought solely because it contains a fictional review of Tales From Topographic Oceans.

Speaking of music, currently on heavy rotation in my brain (and occasionally on MP3) are

  1. Trey Gunn - Raw Power
  2. Suzanne Vega - Songs In Red and Gray
  3. Tony Levin - World Diary (and I've just ordered his other two)
  4. JS Bach - Goldberg Variations
and of course, always, the music of King Crimson and Marillion, men who do it because they're good at it.

I have been saving all my quarters to use in the laundromat at the place I'm staying, and left them in a neat pile in my room. Whoever cleaned my room today assumed they were a tip and took them. Try doing that in Britain.

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