Things have cer­tainly been crazy as of late. Being elec­ted onto the SLUG Com­mit­tee (at the March AGM) has giv­en me a great­er appre­ci­ation of loc­al com­munity issues and of what it takes to co-ordin­ate a group. At the same time, man­aging the Linux Aus­tralia stand at Open CeBIT has also been a tre­mend­ous learn­ing exper­i­ence. My offi­cial report is here.

I’ve had a few requests to elab­or­ate upon the ‘brush with death’ men­tioned in that mes­sage. Driv­ing home after the second day of CeBIT, I exper­i­enced a car acci­dent. While trav­el­ling at at least 60km/​h, I some­how lost con­scious­ness, and woke up phoughed into the side of anoth­er car. For­tu­nately, the car was parked and unoc­cu­pied. Nobody was involved aside from myself. The car was a write-off, but the pas­sen­ger cab­in was fully intact and I exper­i­enced no injur­ies. The oth­er car was part of a com­pany fleet, and its cus­todi­an was­n’t bothered much at all. Insur­ance took care of the costs on both sides.

I was quite shaken after the crash, and I very nearly did­n’t go to CeBIT the next day. After being cleared by a para­med­ic and two doc­tors (one on the night of the crash and anoth­er the fol­low­ing morn­ing), I decided that I was­n’t going to let this get in my way. It was prob­ably the best decision that I made, since it forced me to get back on my feet doing some­thing that I love, rather than sit­ting at home in misery. I was unable to mod­er­ate the Linux Aus­tralia pan­el dis­cus­sion that I had helped to organ­ise, but I was there at the stand just like on the pre­vi­ous two days.

Oth­er­wise, CeBIT was a resound­ing suc­cess. It proved to be a fant­ast­ic spring­board for us to launch the inaug­ur­al SLUG Boot­camp. More on this later.

I can­’t fully explain why I blacked out in the first place. When I was young­er, I would occa­sion­ally black out under cer­tain cir­cum­stances. Neur­o­lo­gists at the time could­n’t identi­fy what it was, but told me not to worry about it. I was prob­ably just exhausted, from the exhib­it­ing all day, the plan­ning in the lead-up to the event, my new job, TAFE, and vari­ous oth­er things. The doc­tors that I spoke with agreed with me that it was prob­ably just a microsleep.

I’m still recov­er­ing from the after-effects of the acci­dent. I get stressed more eas­ily when driv­ing, but I can feel that slowly reced­ing with time. Most of all, I feel excep­tion­ally lucky that I did­n’t hurt myself or any­one else. 


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Manic May / Sridhar Dhanapalan by Sridhar Dhanapalan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.
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