PowerPoint chronicles

I’m finally back from Høstfest.

“Wait!” you reply. Because you’re an intelligent and attentive reader, you seem to recall that I got back a little more than a week ago.

And you are correct, as always. But you know, there’s the physical journey and the spiritual journey. And my spiritual journey lasted through Saturday.

Which is a pretentious way of saying that I wasn’t able to get out of Viking Presenter mode, because I had two – not one, but two – last-minute lecturing gigs last week.

Which, incidentally, explains my blogging silence Thursday and Friday.

Thursday I lectured to a Sons of Norway lodge which happens to meet quite near my house. When I was setting up, I had a (biblical) Job Experience: “The thing which I have greatly feared has come upon me.”

A PowerPoint speaker’s deepest dread is that his equipment will fail him. When I tried to hook my stuff up, it went fine until I tried to use the remote control. I discovered that my laptop was completely frozen up. There was no cursor, and I couldn’t summon one from the depths, however many times I tried restarting it.

So I did the talk from memory, and I charged them half my usual fee, because the only visual they got was a fat man in a tunic. It went OK, but I felt it a smirch on my escutcheon.

At home the laptop worked no better, so I resolved to get a new one. I expect the old one might have been repaired, but I needed one in two days, and I was kind of sick of it anyway. I’d never liked the keyboard action.

So I resorted to Micro Center, the place where the true cognoscenti in these parts do their technology shopping. I selected a new Dell, an upgrade from my previous model.

Then I stayed up till 3:00 a.m., installing software.

Saturday I spoke to the Leif Eriksson Day Dinner of the Icelandic-American Association (and I think, some other groups). The Icelandic Consul himself was in attendance.

And it went great. They were as good a crowd as the pastors I wrote about a while back, which is saying a lot. I spoke on Leif Eriksson, Vinland, and the L’Anse Aux Meadows Viking site. My technology worked a treat. And we had some enjoyable music and a first class cod dinner. I also sold some books and fielded many intelligent questions.

I met a woman who informed me that she’d just had her 700 page book published, which made her now the world’s foremost authority on a very tiny field of law. We agreed that being a world-renowned authority is a solemn burden.

Good times. Tomorrow, back to book reviews.

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