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Digital Dinosaurs.

There is a cartoon series that has gone from the funny pages here in the US a number of years ago named “Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Watterson. Calvin was a boy that had an incredible imagination very often focused on dinosaurs, particularly T-Rexes of the most outrageous kind.
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Written by Xwindowsjunkie on

There is a cartoon series that has gone from the funny pages here in the US a number of years ago named “Calvin and Hobbes” by Bill Watterson. Calvin was a boy that had an incredible imagination very often focused on dinosaurs, particularly T-Rexes of the most outrageous kind. In one strip he had them flying F15's and crashing after dogfighting some unknown and unnamed enemy. The problem was that the T-Rexes didn't have long enough arms to control the fighter very well!

What was often Calvin's downfall was that his internal virtual reality caused him trouble with his school teacher or his only known unbeatable nemesis, Susy. She was a girl his age yet his superior in practically every way as girls often are as they grow up. She became the practical realist peer that would dash or at the very least intrude on Calvin's adventures and drag him back to earth. Yet she accepted Hobbes as real. Hobbes thought she was cute. And she was also the only one that Calvin played or interacted with in the strip.

Hobbes is Calvin's constant companion, except at school. He was an imaginary tiger who's physical manifestation was a stuffed tiger with whom Calvin would converse, compete and invent games with. Hobbes was more than the Jimminy Cricket, or voice of reason inside Calvin. In some ways he was the impending onset of maturity. Calvin and Hobbes would work out all sorts of problems and issues, often with disastrous results, usually due to the complete domination of gravity as a physical force with Calvin's refusal to listen to reason or to Hobbes. To me what was especially appealing about Calvin and Hobbes was that together they could create entire worlds together. Calvin is a nascent engineer.

In some ways my digital dinosaur heritage and my attraction to Calvin is obvious. Multi-tasking to me means multiple processors or computers. Recycling means getting the computer cast-offs from friends or work and making them productive at home. A lot of my computing horsepower is re-worked junk. Building alternative power projects using junk computers to control them is fun for me. I've watched a few episodes of a British series that featured competing teams going into junkyards and building working machines out of the trash they find in the junkyard. I found that show fun and very entertaining. So none of this digi-mania is optimum but it allows for creative outlets that often don't happen at work.

Where this long train is leading is that I've observed more than one IT guy go through burnout. The one characteristic they share is no life outside of work. I do not profess that messing with computers at home is the best formula for others. But if you are feeling the strain of the tedium at work, deliberately get out of the office early one day a week and go do something different you've never done before or something you are interested in. It doesn't matter what it is. Find the balance point between Susy, Hobbes and Calvin that works for you.

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