It might've taken me nearly six months, but today I posted nine (9) photos, all encoded to high-quality settings (with Adobe Fireworks). Each one weighs in at ~150 KB.
Recently in moving Category
» There I was .. sitting in the passenger seat of an SUV as we cruised down the highway. Chatting with the driver. Yackety-yak. When out-of-the blue I ask, "Is your cell phone in your pocket?"
My friend feels around. Yeah, it's there.
Silence .. as I start wondering .. "how come me to ask that?"
I mean » how come I asked right at that time .. in the middle of another thought? The question seemed to come from nowhere .. from left-field, so to speak.
So much so that it caught my attention .. and made me wonder.
I know why I was curious. Because there's no center divider on this particular road. And one small distraction (.. such as fumbling for a ringing cell .. or hurrying to answer it before the caller hangs up) can be tragic .. as cars & trucks (big-rigs) woosh by. So close.
Most major roads here in California have a center divider (.. often adorned with trees or flowers). But not this one.
Sometimes he places his cell in the dashboard cubby .. so he doesnt have to dig for it when it rings. It can be difficult to dig deep in your pocket while seated and driving at highway speeds (.. something I'd seen before, that made me uncomfortable.)
So that's my motivation for asking. But the timing. And how the thought seemed to come out of nowhere.
While I'm thinking about how the question seemed to pop into my head .. his cell rings. (I sh!t you not.)
Of course, he knows where it is .. cuz he just felt-around and found it. He retrieved it from his pocket and handed it to me. (Illegal to talk on your cell while driving here in California .. even tho everybody does it.)
As he hands me the phone, I say (surprised at the timing), "That was a good trick, huh?" =)
"Yeah," he says. (It was. Maybe 30 secs elapsed between the time I asked and when his cell rang .. 45 max.)
» Took a walk after dinner last night, just before sunset. The area here is truly beautiful. You dont realize how much until you get out of the car and go for a walk. Bit of a jungle feel. Tall palm trees rising up from deep, plunging valleys .. full of lush, leafy vegetation.
'Hilly' is a word I might use. Doubt there's a single flat spot for miles (in every direction) that wasnt put there by a bulldozer.
Impressive, sprawling estates are found everywhere the eye wanders. No two on the same plane.
Some cover hilltops; others sit camouflaged beneath dense vegetation. (Can only see part of their roofs.) Many in between. Every place different. Custom.
From this lofty perch, I look down on more homes than up at (altitude). Cooler breezes blow higher up.
The place here is so nice that it feels .. too nice. Know what I mean? Like I dont deserve to live in something so nice, so palatial. But I'll do my best to get accustomed. =)
For years I lived, stationed aboard a nuclear submarine, with nothing but a bunk and the 8-inch deep compartment you find fixed beneath it (.. to store all my clothes & personal belongings).
When two guys share the same bunk, that's called "hot-racking" .. cuz the bed (your "rack") is still warm when you climb in after standing watch (» Machinery II - lower level, feed station).
Flip the pillow over to get rid of your bunk-mate's drool and say 'good-night' to the boys in your section. (* more nuke sub watch-standing lore at the end of today's entry.)
Meanwhile the place here is so big that it took me a few days to learn my way around. Contrast.
My room has a ceiling fan that actually works. It rotates without wobbling or making noise. Didnt know such a thing existed. I'm not used to houses where everything is new (.. and works).
While laying there, looking up at the fan as it spins, I sometimes think of the opening scene in Apocalypse Now .. one of my favorite movies. [ "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." and "Charlie dont surf!" ]
Cant get over how smoothly all the drawers slide in & out. Sometimes I just sit there, opening & closing the drawers in the desks of the office (adjacent) .. open & close, open & close. Beautiful craftsmanship. Remarkably smooth mechanism.
"Here, let me help you up."
A giant picture window at the far end of the house displays a view so spectacular .. that it makes your knees weak as you step thru the front door. Boom! "Sorry 'bout that, dude. Here, let me help you up."
The best view is actually from the kitchen sink, a corner sink that has been turned to face the corner. No struts to support the corner joint. All window. All glass. All view, from both sides of the corner. Best in the house. A view of the distant mountains. (We fight over who gets to wash the dishes.)
» Biggest problem I had with moving to the new place came when it was time to send mail. I normally send mail thru Radified's own SMTP mail server (Linux-based .. physically located downtown Chicago).
Normally I call my ISP and have them unblock port 25. But this is a DSL line with dynamic IP's, which they unblock on an IP basis.
They told me I'd have to upgrade to a "Business account" if I wanted to "unblock port 25 for unrestricted access." (Uh, can you say, 'reading from a script?)
I can tell when they assign us a new IP, cuz I have to "update session" .. by providing my password at the Rad forums. That's a security feature. Change your IP and you're no longer trustworthy.
Far as I can tell, we get a new IP on a daily basis. Which involves losing our connection for a minute or two.
After beating my head against a wall for a couple of days .. listening to their litany of pre-recorded menu's (.. I hate those things) .. and going thru a few levels of their tech support .. I finally got hold of a supervisor .. who actually knew something. (Hallelujah, brother!)
Once I learned they *cant* (not wont) unblock port 25, I started plan-B .. which is obviously where I shoulda started.
There I found an icon for "Service Manager" .. and THAT's where I found an option to enable Port-26 (.. or whatever port you might prefer).
But ISPs dont normally block port 26, so that's why it's the default alternate SMTP outgoing mail port.
Did I just say, 'default alternate'?
Notice where it says:
Allow exim to listen on port 26. Useful for providers that block port 25.
» First post from the new digs. Currently connected to the Net via an external USB wireless adapter (.. thanks to Dirk). Connection strength fluctuates between 'Very Good' and 'Excellent' .. depending whether the doors are open. (DSL router in an adjacent room.)
Met some of the neighbors today. They helped me pick my first avocado. Fruit trees galore. Made some yummy puttanesca last night for my first meal here.
Most striking is how quiet it is. You hear nothing but the sound of the wind blowing thru the big avocado trees, rustling their leaves.
Gets surprisingly chilly at night. Owls hoot & screech. (Well, something out there is screeching.) Coyotes howl. Lots of wildlife, especially at night.
Tears of Gratitude
Almost cried leaving the old place. Walked the entire length of the interior, letting my fingertips brush against the inside walls, as I said a little prayer (.. after everything had been removed, just before I closed the door and shut it for the last time) .. thanking God .. for the gift of being able to stay at that magical place .. a place of refuge & protection for me.
[ Everybody who came over would say things like, "Wow, this is a really-nice place." Tell me about it. I took a bunch of photos a few days before we left. To show the Bug when he gets older. Should he forget. ]
Felt like God picked me up and dropped me there. Wasnt looking for it. Didnt ask for it. Heck, I didnt even know a place like that existed. Just seemed to happen into it.
Even if I could afford a place like that (.. which I cant), I couldnt buy one .. cuz you cant find a place like that anymore. They dont make 'em .. homes with 50 years of love poured into them. Developers love to get ahold of properties like that, bulldoze them to the ground, and build multiple home$ on them. (But that's another story.)
Anyway, my point is .. when people repeatedly make false accusations about you, it's helpful to have reputable folks (such as a retired judge & his wife) close by .. people who can step forward as witnesses and say, "That's a bunch of baloney." And if that place happens to be a refuge of beauty, so much the better.
» I'm tired. Been tired for a week. Woke sore this morning. Muscles ache. Had to sleep all night .. just to rest enough to know how whupped I really am. Advil helps. Takes the edge off. Better living thru chemistry. Every day the Advil-eating seems to start a little earlier.
My first thought after waking » Another day of box-slinging to look forward to.
Might as well get after it .. cuz if I lay here another 10 minutes, I might not be able to move.
That's the trick with moving » keep moving. Keep plodding. Perpetual motion. Slow but steady.
I'm reminded of a quote by Bukowski:
"Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I'm not going to make it, but you laugh inside -- remembering all the times you've felt that way." =)
Almost done. Home stretch. Few more days (.. hopefully). I could sleep for a week.
There's always more junk than you remember you had. And you always need one more day to move it all. (Oh, I think the Advil's starting to wear off.)
My secret to moving? » Ziplock bags. Ziplock heavy-duty freezer bags are your friends. All sizes, but especially the gallon-size. Makes it easy to gather up all those loose ends. Plus it's nice to be able to SEE INSIDE (..which you cant do with a box).
And you can never have a dumpster that's "too big" .. to throw out all your junk .. or too many boxes, especially the small ones.
Most people have a hard time throwing stuff away. But I can tell you that you dont really need it. If fact, it's just weighing you down (.. servicing it, both physically & psychically). The stuff we own starts to own us.
Happy Father's Day to Me
For Father's day the Bug gave me a 1-inch by 2-inch laminated card .. attached to a key-chain .. that read (in his own handwriting) »
I love you, bab. You are the best dad. Hape fathers da.
Hape = happy. The d's are backward in the first 'dad'. =) Too precious. May be the most precious thing I own. He printed his name on the reverse side.
I've never seen him on Father's day .. ever. (Nor Christmas.) Could be worse, I guess .. for him.
» This is the first entry I've ever written without an Internet connection. Feels weird. We're moving, so the ISP account was cancelled. Later I will find a connection and post this.
Early last night I was wandering the neighborhood, laptop in hand .. checking the strength of the various wireless signals I found there.
Lots of them. Only one was unsecured, but it's signal was too weak to sustain a connection.
So I started knocking on doors & ringing doorbells. You know .. like the neighbor who comes looking for a cup of sugar.
"Excuse me. I live right over there and we're moving next week, so our internet was canceled. Do you happen to have a wireless connection I could piggy-back on for a few days?"
Everybody seemed eager to help, but nobody could remember where they put their WEP password. I finally gave up waiting while they looked.
One guy said he gave his password to his neighbor. He called her to ask if she still had it, but she wasnt home, so he left a message. Lets hope.
Guess I could just run a 100-foot length of CAT5 network cabling over the fence from the neighbor's house. But I'm not that desperate. (Yet.)
None of the connections were very strong. And even the ones identified as 'good' (while standing in front of their house) .. would fluctuate.
Anyway, it feels weird to write this with no internet connection. I will not be able to search for and add related graphics & images. With writing, I've found .. you need to stay in practice .. to keep the gears oiled. Or they start to rust. So writing seems more important than posting. But an audience always adds the thrill of exposure.
Guinness Book of Records
I have moved (so far) 25 times since my 18th birthday. I grew up in the same house my whole life .. but after that » on the move. A rolling stone gathers no moss. This will be move 26.
Do you know anyone who has made more moves (.. since turning 18)? Nobody I know does.
I'm gonna call the folks at Guinness. Perhaps I qualify for an entry in their book of records. The Dog may have me beat, but the only 'Guinness' he cares about flows out of a chrome tap.
Every time I move, I gain more admiration for Gandhi .. who, when he died, had only 7 possessions. A bowl, a robe, a holy book, pair of sandals, bifocals and a couple other things.