Vale George

28 06 2007

I heard some sad news today. George Mena, a Californian technical writer I met at the 2001 STC Conference in Chicago, and with whom I had corresponded on and off over the past 7 or so years, passed away last December aged only 53. Another of the Californian tech writers on one of my email discussion lists found out and posted the sad news.

George was a man who was larger than life in every way. He was a big man with a big heart. He was incredibly knowledgeable about tech writing for manufacturing and the military, and willingly shared his knowledge with our group of lone writers. When you asked a question, George never just gave you a quick answer – he’d give you chapter and verse, with references and citations. Sometimes you just needed a quick answer! Despite the extra information, you always learnt something from George.

I fondly recall meeting him at that conference, and him falling asleep during the very early pre-breakfast business meeting of our Special Interest Group! He really was up long before his usual time. We chuckled over that and gave him a hard time about it! George joined in all the networking activities – at the bar and at the lunches and dinners – and his presence was felt by all who met him.

53 was way too young. Rest in peace, George. You touched many lives.

George’s obituary.

Pirates of the Caribbean 3

28 06 2007

We had to go to Bunbury yesterday to get the annual rustproofing treatment done on our cars. This was a 2+ hour job, so we decided to spend the ‘wait’ time at the local cinema. The Tint-A-Car people drove us to the cinema complex and picked us up, which was good of them!

My husband wanted to see “Pirates 3” and my preference was “Shrek 3”, so we agreed to go our separate ways. However, we both ended up in “Pirates” but only because the session we turned up for was a “Mum and bubs” session for “Shrek” and I couldn’t have coped with a theatre full of squealing and screaming kids, aged 2 to 6.

I hadn’t seen the other “Pirates” so I was a bit concerned that I may not get the storyline as easily as someone who had. Storyline? What storyline?

Seriously though, I enjoyed it! It was a rollicking good romp through some very unlikely situations, but, as with any movie, you should suspend belief and reality as you walk in the door (something I’ve always had problems with… must be the tech writer in me). I thought Johnny Depp was fantastic as Jack Sparrow; Geoffrey Rush was so suited to the weatherbeaten and well-worn pirate character he played; and Keith Richards… well, what can you say about Keif, except that he fitted the part like a glove! But I think my favourite character was the monkey – however, there just wasn’t enough of him.

When we came out, we had some lunch at Mojos in Bunbury, then the storm hit. Wild wind and rain, which didn’t abate the whole 90 minute trip back. All up we got 43mm of rain yesterday (just under 2″ in the old language), which was a well-needed drop for the farmers and the dams. It’s already the end of June and we’ve only had 93mm out of an average 146mm for the month. There’s still two days to go, but I doubt we’ll come anywhere close to the average. And for the whole year so far, we’ve had just under 280mm compared to the mean for the first 6 months of 360mm. Not good.