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In just over three weeks, I turn 40 years old. I'll be spending most of this birthday in the air on the way to London via Cincinatti. And yet I haven't even had time to think about that trip at all.

My main focus - in my minimal free time - has been on the second half of the trip after the British journey. Not only have I been trying to learn all I can about my destinations' things to see and do, but I've also been trying to learn to at least speak some of the local language.

There just does't seem to be enough time. I've been working a lot lately and my "usual" home-based projects are stacking up. It wouldn't be that bad, but the stack of pre-trip books and other reading material is starting to intimidate me!

It's been difficult even to get local errands done. For example, I received my 2-year car registration renewal in the mail almost a month ago. It took me until yesterday to get the required emissions check (you would think the air-quality check stations would keep later open hours for the working crowd). And it took me almost as long to pick up a registered package from the post office. Thank goodness there are 24-hour groceries and restaurants nearby or I'd never get anything to eat!

Even when I try to sleep I can never seem to rest my mind enough to drift off to a peaceful slumber. I usually end up getting up and spending an hour or so working on one of my many personal projects. Lately, that's meant updating portions of my Marillion chronology website. At least I feel like I've accomplished something there.

Right now, I'm trying to "beat the cycle" by remaining awake until I drop. I haven't slept for a little over 42 hours. I can barely keep my eyes open so hopefully I'll fall asleep right away and I'll be refreshed enough to put a big dent in my studies over the weekend.

I just hope there's enough time left. One thing is certain, I'm really going to need this vacation in paradise!

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