Thursday, November 30, 2006

More Verbose Updating

So, I'm dealing with a lot of things of a chore type nature and I'm starting to feel a bit behind on all fronts. At home, almost everything is still packed, I have yet to assemble the kids beds (they are sleeping on the air mattress that I was using when I was here alone), and two really big things that we shlepped out here are landfill bound. For those who don't know Schmoopie and I all that well, it was surprising that we needed every inch of that 28 foot moving truck to get moved. We are the sort people that historically and repeatedly would rent a 30'X8'X8' roll off dumpster and purge things. So, having this much crap in the first place is an eye opener. Schmoopie has said that some boxes will remain unpacked until we buy a house, and I'm wondering why we would have things that would fall into that category. On top of all this, I'm hoarking up lung biscuits at a pretty regular pace. I went to work today and was effectively sent home for being so sick and nasty (well, I mean I'm nasty all the time). I could have called in, but being the new guy, I don't want to give the impression that I'm a slacker or hypochondriac. Hell, they may have just sent me home to spare the balance of thier kleenex supply. When mucous hits $.02/ton, I can retire. I exist to make phlegm, you see...

Then there is the matter of my own personal 2001 A Space Odessy monolith. Among the very heaviest things we own is my server rack. It's on caster wheels and is of the six foot variety (versus seven) and so once installed is manageable, but it weighs about 375 pounds. And is in my living room. And is not tested since the move / falling on my right calf. And is the home of my personal domain, So, my prevalent email address is offline until the beast gets moved, and I'm too sick and sore to shlep it. My bet is that I'll have to take everything out of it, and move the rack downstairs empty, then take the guts down an reassemble. Feh. I mean, it's my hobby/career/passion and all, but I'm out of steam in more ways than one.

What else? Oh yeah, we were not told by the Dish network people to take our off-air HD antenna from the old place, so we have very limited Seattle HDTV. I guess I could buy an antenna, but I'm not feeling up to it. Schmoopie left her 12 year old baking stone in the oven at the old place. What do you bet the new owners have no idea the value of that thing and chuck it?
It looks like I'll be going to MA for the second week of December for some EMC SAN training. I'm optimistic I'll be healthy by then. Whew. For now, i'm relaxing and trying to breathe through my nose as much as my circumstances will allow. The Ravens are playing the Bengals in HD, and the cheerleaders are jigly and damp. Life is still good.

Incidentally, is the (NFL) Giants logo
in the same font as the Snickers logo?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Joys of Sharing

Zac gave me a wicked cold. We're all together in Seattle safe and sound, and living in and out of boxes. I know I haven't blogged at my typical rate, but I think I have a bevy of valid excuses. I'll have more to say by the weekend I'm sure. In the meantime, I'm all about orange juice and chicken soup.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hell Hath No Fury Like...

For the benefit of the romantically handicapped, here's a tip- on vacation, don't blow a day waiting in line for a video game and then play it in the hotel room. Here's a link to an eBay auction from such a victimized wife. She's selling an empty soda cup with red straw, a nearly full bag of popcorn, and a Nintendo Wii (dumbest name ever, by the way), all purchased from a Target store while on vacation. The Wii is mentioned only in the fine print, but word spreads on these sorts of things and at this moment the bidding is up to $355. What this woman rally needs is better treatment from her family. I mean damn!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

So, How'd You Spend Your Weekend?

So today I thought I spend some quality time at the hospital, since that's always such a good time. For reasons unknown, my heart rate was intermittantly racing and then returing to normal. This is a departure from the normal crisis, where my heart rate kicks into overdrive and then stays there until adenosine is administered. This was novel and panic inspiring but at least it's over. The medieval barbers at the hospital have no idea what led to this condition, but it seems to have passed. I'm inclined to think it's related to immediate post-prandial upper abdominal distentions (that'd be "gas") based upon my often strange new diet these days (I'm still exploring the eateries, and some are um... volitile). I suppose now I've "christened" the town, so that didn't take too long.
In other news, thankfully yesterday I got all my chores done around here- moved the DSL gear to the basement and spent considerable amounts of time and effort trying to make sense of the nutso phone wiring here. I got all the phone jacks working save one, and I can't seem to see where the line from that outlet goes. This house was built in the '20's and I'm thinking some of this wiring is original. I even attempted a load of laundry (I haven't checked to see if everything is light blue yet). I also went over to Alki beach and was checking that scene out, and it was nice. Had I not been running all over, I'd have taken my camera with me and shared the view. I'll revisit when the family unit gets here and correct this thoughtless neglet for you all.
Tuesday at the crack of freaking dawn, I fly back to Denver to load 'em up and close the sale of the house. I don't expect to have Internet access after Wednesday, so responses will be delayed. Wish me luck (or at least no more vehicular infractions)?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm Baaaaaack!

So I'm back online finally! Whew, that's some bad cold turkey type juju to do to a nerd like me. I'm tweakin' over here. At any rate, it's DSL and features 4Mbps download and 768Kbps upload, which is a significant upload jump versus the old cable modem, and runs about $100 a monthm but thankfully the new employers pays for it. I also get the VOIP phone setup, but don't actually have a phone yet- guess that's a chore for tomorrow. So, once again I can blog more than a link or two sentence paragraph (hear that Schmoopie- you CAN write more as well I'm sure). I can also reconnect to my precious freakout porno stuff, which is a WHOLE (pun intended) more important as Schmoopie is 1300 miles away. Hope I don't get tennis elbow.

Seattle is enjoying the wettest November in history, and potentially the wettest month in history. I'm digging the hell out of that. It's really windy too which is cool as well, and the views are spectacular. One thing I was telling Schmoopie about that I found interesting has to do with resellers/retailers/stores/restaurants/etc. In most towns, you'll find Super/Target/Wal-Mart/K-Mart, Home Depot, Best Buy (and similar) and all of these "big box" stores. They don't exist in Seattle. I mean they are in the metro area, but outside of Seattle proper- in the 'burbs exclusively. The only exceptions seem to be Office Depot/Max, which makes sense. I was looking for a Best Buy (nerd? yes-guilty) and find that I have to go well north or south of town. Suck. Plus- the nearest Chipotle is up by WU, which isn't all that close either. Double suck. The plus side of all of this is that smaller vendors survive and vaariety is abundant, although prices tend to be higher. I'm certainly eating better (lunch today being the exception though- I ate at Taco Time *shudder* I don't see that happening again) and am walking a lot more, and still rank among the slowest walkers in town.

They have soft water here, and that makes taming my moustache more challenging. I may resort to wax or hair care crap as the wind and rain also make it bushy and straight. It's ending up like a bundle of hay on my lip some days. Sheesh.

I'm needing to get a better laptop bag of some type for my work provided MacBook Pro and was leaning toward a slim backpack with a padded sleeve (like what I'm using for my PowerBook), but may go the direction of a courier bag. I saw this and was impressed:

If you have any recommendations for a bag, I'm all ears. I'm also looking for something >$80.

Speaking of work, it's going well I think, but I'm amazed at how much there is to know and keep on top of, and I'm impressed as hell that my predecessor was able to keep thinkgs rolling along. I'm trying to get up to speed on things as needs crop up and even that is a tall order. I was talking with my predecessor about this, as I've been concerned that I haven't been ramping up quickly enough to suit them, (and as I'm thinking this, they let go of the office manager, making me even more paranoid) and he said that the day before he and the biz owner were talking about me and were pleased with my pace and efforts. I confessed that I was under the impression that this job was more managable that it has revealed itself to be, and while I don't feel overwhelmed, was surprised and a little stunned. I told him I was scrutinizing myself in terms of whether or not another IT guy dropped into this scene would be further along by now (factoring in a similar set of setbacks, such as the primary backup sever in town crashing on my second day). There are surely those among you that think my candor is a mistake (and admittedly, honesty has come back to bite me before) but I still think it's the best policy no matter how uncomfortable. In this case it was refreshing as this employer appears to be appreciative and worthy, as my predecessor (okay, that sounds awkward and sucks to type, so let's call him "OG", yes, as in "original gangsta") told me that it was his expectation that any replacement would need 6 months to a year to feel comfortable in the role. Wow. This is a big change and I'm diggin the hell out of it.

In related news, I'll be heading out to the east coast sometime in early to mid December for EMC training. Changes changes changes... Where is the Scotch?

Monday, November 13, 2006

I'm Not Dead- Just Offline For A Spell

Quick Update- In the new house and waiting for the Internet to be installed (slated for Thursday).


Friday, November 10, 2006

Friggin Hysterical

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hangin Our Hats

Yes, I know I haven't posted often lately, and I can explain. The Internet service in this Extended Stay America is gawdawful (maybe even worse than the cable television, but hey, it's only a mere $450 a week-sheesh) and most of my attempted posts have failed. Alternatively, I can post from work, but that's not really why I am there, and I don't know that it'd be smart from a perception point of view. So, the good news is that I've rented a house and will be moving in on the 12th (Sunday), but won't have television or Internet service upon arrival. The Internet (and VOIP phone) will be the first thing and should happen later next week, whereupon I'll have LOADS of time to blog, so hold your horses. If you want to know my new address just email me at stucco at insanepursuits dot com and I'll email it to you. Eventually.

Oh, by the way, we'll be in West Seattle, and the view of Seattle looks like this:

Saturday, November 04, 2006

How Much House?

So I set out today with Mother to find a house for rent and saw one or two suitable places, one place that Schmoopie liked sight (and low ceilings) unseen, and then it happened. In the beautiful and out of financial reach area called Broadview, Mother spotted a house for sale. I hadn't been paying any attention to the places for sale as they are very expensive, and I don't yet have an understanding of the layout of the town. That last point being said, I would take anything in the Broadview area on proximity principle (proximity to Carkeek Park that I mentioned before). So Mother wanted to stop, and we stopped. Turns out it's a really nice brick house painted white with green trim, 2700+ square feet, hardwood floors, ginormous pines in the back, and it also happened to be near to $600,000. Fuck. No way I can afford that. Then I read the flier- 100% finance and interest only financing available. (begin Scooby voice) "Ruugh?" (end Scooby voice). Well, I'm inclined to think this is a bad idea, and I admittedly don't have a solid track record with personal finances. Mother, as is her wont, offered to loan me down payment money, which is ridiculous. That I would want to be beholden to her in that way is absurd. But here is the lingering thought. In a market such as this, I don't expect that a house of this caliber will be within our means (at least comfortably), and south of here in the mighty expensive San Francisco, interest only loans are not uncommon (where the geologic risks are even higher). If we rent a house, we're looking at $1700 - $2000 monthly (for the style and location we seek), but if this same dollar amount can satisfy an interest only mortgage (which may or may not be possible) for a house such as this, then the only remaining risk of note is that the house would depreciate. For frame of reference, this area is tres chic and the modus operandi seems to be to buy a $500,000ish house, scrape the lot flat and build a million dollar (or near to) "Falling Water"-wannabe new post-modern house in that place. The houses in the area are commonly $100,000 more than this one (and for no discernible reason). Yeah, you are maybe thinking by now that I'm rationalizing a bad idea, and I can't say that's not so- I'm trying to make sense of this. It also me be the rationalization of a good idea, and I don't know that I'm informed enough to know the difference. I've seen online mortgage calculators that are frequently contradictory, Some of them show rates that are near to the same rate for a conventional mortgage, making me wonder if accurate, what the hell? Other resources show rates that would be within our (perhaps uncomfortably tight) budget.

The bottom line is this- if you had seen this place, about 12 block from the water, and up high enough to have a heavenly view of the sound (you could see from the house, were it not for the HUGE pine trees- or maybe you can see through them in places) in an awesome neighborhood, dog friendly, and all these amenities, you'd be tortured too...

The hunt continues.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Blogger...

I've been trying to get an entry up here for two days now, and I can't tell if it's the crummy Internet service here at the hotel or if it's Blogger still sucking huevos. I was going to make mention of my current shit list (but hey- this one is official and not of my creation). Basically, the following list of companies wants to make extra special effort to not support or be associated with Air America, or presumably liberal ideologies. So now, in addition to buying a retarded magnetic "ribbon" for your 8 MPG SUV that says "support our/the troops", you can buy shit from these people and take comfort in the fact that you are helping your counrty. Helping your country do what exactly is debatable.

That was my rambling thought for yesterday. Today I pissed off some people on the bus by talking (yes quietly) on the phone. I don't understand this foible. Maybe I should eat some Raisin Bran and really show these tender souls how offensive I can be in confined spaces. They have no idea what fate they are inviting upon themselves.

I've also noticed that I walk slower than every other person in this town. I kinda stick out anyway, as I'm overweight, tall, and oddly moustached (hey- lighen up! These are my charms), whereas the average person here is thin, pale, overcaffeinated, and sports shaved faces and short fuzzy hair. All of this is fine, and I don't mind being the odd man out, but there is one area of obvious discrepancy- my walk. It's a walk, and not a jog. Slow like a Diet Coke burp. The natives walk like I jog. I hold up the flow of foot traffic on the sidewalks here, and they have to make extra efforts to get around me. I like that. I used to drive a VW Van, so this is probably a character trait- big, slow, and challenging to get around.

Otherwise, I'm missing my family like mad and haven't met anyone outside of work yet, and I don't suppose there'll be any personal type friendships from the office. They all seem kinda ordinary and non-violent by my standards. Don't get me wrong- nice folks one and all, but I doubt they'd be up for menacing distant objects with a potato gun. I expect eventually I'll run into the right combination of danger, offensiveness, and whimsy that clicks with me in someone here, and things will be improved. Most of all I need my family out here.