Archive for March 31st, 2004

The Electronic Village has Power Laws


The Electronic Village has it’s rules and regulations. No food or drinks at the station. No e-Mail or web access. Basically the place exists for demos of small-cap or homemade learning software.

The No Web prohibition is particularly galling since most of the good learning and teaching resources available today ARE ON THE NET. But even within the techno-elite of our chosen profession, wrong-thinking pigneadedness seems to be endemic. Technically we are beaking this rule, as we merrily blog here in the corner, but we will be damned if we are going to shell out 6 bucks an hour on TOP of the $400 conference fee, etc. to pay for the Conference Center’s wireless access, so the Electronic Village Interactive Lab (EVIL) is the last resort. We’ll try to be terse as we may be booted at any minute.

On the other hand, we can always cloak outself in righteous indignation. After all, we just finished PRESENTING on blogging at the EVIL, we should have a moral if not regulatory right to blog the proceedings. Or we could claim to be press filing under deadline. True, if self-imposed.

We will have to leave here soon anyway, they have a formal presentation scheduled. We need to eat and find a hotel and then sleep. We are starting to hallucinate again, mostly aural, hearing our cell phone, people calling our name, strange music where there is none. Not entirely unpleasant but disconcerting when one is trying to get things done in a professional mileu. More later.


Live from Long Beach



Popping back up this morning from beautiful Southern California, we are officially in “Arnold Country” now. Got in late last night and of course, with the convention in full swingy, 7,000 wacky ESL eccentrics swarming over this small city, there were no rooms at the inn.

Drove around til we found a dive, with a “Vacancy” sign semi-lit outside. Not the same as the pictured one, but close enough. The ammenities were limited to a single Pepsi machine groaning forelornly under a stairwell. In the bathroom they had flimsy plastic cups actually wrapped in plastic bags. Mondo hygenic. Took our medicine dry and checked out before 7.

The Blogging presentation this morning was hectic but energized. ESL teachers are incapable of listening to anything without constantly asking questions. Since people were free to come and go during the session, we had to answer the question “What is a Blog” about 27 times. Here’s hoping our enthusiasm and personal magnatism compensated for lack of sleep and occasional incoherence.

Turns out the “complete” wi-fi access here at the Convention Center costs $5.95 an hour (Visa and Mastercard accepted, of course). Rumor has it that the city itself has some kind of free municiple wi-fi access downtown, which we will try to find later. As a dyed it the wool northeasterner, the Dowbrigade doubts Californian cities even HAVE downtowns…..