It's an annoying dilemma that comes up every weekend. A good number of my friends are active on the Internet in evenings and late nights U.S. times, and that corresponds to late morning to early afternoon my time. So I can connect to Spindizzy and Furry and FurToonia and see friends I don't encounter often enough ... or ... I can go out and do things, for the most part by myself. Do you prefer a real experience you can't share, or virtual experiences with a community?
I don't always pick the same answer, but I am steadily confident I've just chosen the wrong one; such is the nature of decisions. Today, for example, I went to the Jurong Bird Park, which is what the name suggests. I enjoyed it, certainly; they've got a remarkable variety of birds for a pretty compact area, and it's always exciting to see things like flocks of penguins swimming at feeding time. The ``Kings of the Sky'' show of various birds of prey went rather well -- better than when I was last there a few years ago and a large kite, a precision flyer who was swooping just over the heads of the audience to show how well it could hold level, swatted me in the head -- even if my attempts to take photographs were pretty futile. (My camera's not really fast enough to photograph birds. It's a good camera; it's just not good at this.) Also a local -- feral -- kingfisher has learned the times of the bird shows and has started grabbing meat. I got some wonderful below-the-waterline pictures of ducks paddling. And they still have next to the ostriches a small colony of meerkats, I guess on the premise that they're flightless too.
Getting home, I discover on the evening news that a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Sumatra was severe enough that some residents in Singapore felt the tremors. I didn't know a thing about it. They also reported that the list time any tremors were felt in Singapore was ... 16 February. I missed the whole thing.
Also in the main downtown shopping district of Orchard Road -- which I often visit on weekends, but skipped this weekend -- some merchants have set up a man-watching service. Women with boyfriends or husbands who get antsy at shopping trips can leave him off for a few hours; he'll be given a free beer and various games to play until her shopping's done. I don't have anyone to leave me off (I'd rather go to the AppleCentre on Orchard Road -- their pun, not mine -- or Borders or Kinokuniya) and the games seem to be Jenga, but, again, I missed the whole thing.
So did I pick right, going out and missing the experiences?
Trivia: Union County, New Jersey, was formed in 1858 at the behest of Elizabeth residents seeking to secede from Essex County and escape the political domination of Newark. Souce: This Is New Jersey, John T. Cunningham.
Currently Reading: Isaac Asimov: The Complete Stories Volume 2, Isaac Asimov. You know, for all Asimov's disclaiming of literary skill he was rather good at little points like characterization.