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Vacation coming up

I've been so focused on getting ready for Brazil that I haven't been thinking much about our upcoming family vacation. I've wanted to have my presentations ready to go, so I've been completely focused on that. I'm nearly there.

I've got two presentations roughed out: one about using reasoning problems in class and another about using technology to support local group activity. I'm relatively pleased with both of them. I'm about half way done with the last one, which will be a summary about local groups in the US. I've been struggling with how to deal with the meat of it, but I think I've got it figured out.

I've also been working on getting an old laptop set up to take with me to do the presentations. I've got an old G3 Lombard set up with OS X and OpenOffice. Unfortunately, it's a bit memory starved, so I've been trying to minimize the memory footprint of the system. I set up X11 to run rootless and used Tinkertool to let me turn off the finder. It's slow, but it appears to be competent to run the presentations. My contact said that I should be prepared to connect to the projector using S-VHS, which I think means S-Video. The Lombard has an S-Video port and I tested it last night to make sure I could get the whole thing to work. Charlie was impressed I could make my presentation show up on the TV. I could have left it set up with OS 9, but then I couldn't use OpenOffice or a modern web-browser.

Not everything is going perfectly, however. My visa to go to Brazil still hasn't arrived. I would feel a lot better if it arrived before I have to go on vacation. Furthermore, it turns out that the airline I bought my tickets from is operating under bankruptcy protection and is having terrible problems. I hope there will be a plane there when I go to New York, but it's not at all a sure thing. I'm just looking at it as an adventure and will try to be ready to roll with whatever happens.