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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Pseydtonne's LiveJournal:

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Friday, August 24th, 2012
5:01 pm
Open letter to the GOP leadership on the eve of their convention
We Democrats cannot believe the gift you have provided us this week.

We were going to lay low, sink into ice cream and worry about the congressional elections next month. Next week is the RNC Convention in Tampa: it used to be bad form to confront a party during its spotlight week, but it also used to be bad form to question the citizenship of the president.

So instead you gave us anti-science, pro-rape and lots of other reasons that no woman will be voting for at least a few of your candidates when you need them badly. Thanks!

Thank you for giving our party another four years in the White House and possibly strengthening our stance in the Senate. We'll be sure to... ummm... probably get more grief from the House. I was going to say "push through the vaguest liberal plans possible," but that still won't happen. Nixon came up with the fundamental parts of the health care plan and you're still against it. You'd probably call Goldwater a panty-waist liberal now, if he hadn't been from Arizona.

We understand that it's no fun to come up with substantive ideas when there are actual problems, so you'd rather wait out this election. You're at risk of the Tea Party fracturing you, so you need to keep everyone just happy enough. Hating Obama unifies the GOP more than getting any of your team into office.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to put gay marriage into our platform. We're eager to see how you respond next week. Heck, you may even choose to oppose mixed-race marriages and . You've already chosen to come out against the Seventeeth Amendment, because you hate seeing people vote for their representatives.

Also, I need to give the GOP props for its work week closer: Romney hinting at birtherism to distract from Akin and that John Bircher judge in Texas proposing to train for a civil war after Obama hands the U.S. to the UN.

If you're a moderate Republican, this must be worse than watching the Red Sox this year.

Current Mood: I enjoyed volunteering at KCRW
Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
5:00 pm
Why doesn't Romney want to be elected?
Ever since he became the statistical nominee of the GOP, Mitt Romney has been saying weird things. Why pick a fight with fellow Olympic organizers? Why pretend you have no clue when your tax-dodging horse will be competing? Why go to Israel and propose moving our embassy to Jerusalem? [Thanks to arib for checking me on that.] Why... frankly, why say anything?

We barely noticed him while he was Governor of Massachusetts for four years -- except when he came up with the health insurance plan he now opposes. Back in 2004 he had ninety days to offer a case to the highest court in the commonwealth, the Supreme Judicial Court, against the institution of same-sex marriage. He did nothing and that was excellent. We knew more about the lieutenant governor because she was pregnant and commuted from the far end of the state (to most Bostonians, that made her a New Yorker).

Speaking of running mates: everyone wants to augur the name of his veep pick. Romney's choice for vice presidential running mate has nothing to do with getting more moderates to support him. It's about getting the person that would draw the most conservatives to the polls in swing states. Romney is a deep-down moderate, which is odd for a Mormon but not for a crazy-rich investment specialist (if Jesus shows up next week, 30-year Treasury Notes are wastes of money). He needs someone that will make the Tea Party folks feel better and not sit out the election.

Does that sound logical? Not really. If he were to pick someone that would actually help the nation, he'd be sitting down with General Petraeus and they'd have a plan. However Romney has no real platform: he has been wanting to be president and has not thought beyond that point.

I was reading an article in Esquire online about the conservative side of the GOP since McGovern lost to Nixon in 1972. The premise is that they built their coffers and may have simply outgrown the GOP and reason. There is a lot more to the article, and that got me thinking.

It seems crazy to the rest of us that Romney would not try to cater to the middle, unless he doesn't care whether he gets elected. Perhaps his job is to keep the GOP from splintering into the Tea Party and the Guys with the Elephant Trademark. The GOP has to survive as a brand and a business or it cannot control Congress or the red states. This unfortunately means catering to the grandchildren of the John Birch Society (literally, if you think about the father of the Koch brothers). Unlike the last time the GOP fell apart in 1964, the reactionaries have money.

Did he pay taxes during the years he won't tell us about? Probably. Were they proportional to his income or capital gains? Probably not, but that's not illegal. It's just not very moral of a man from a religion that prides itself on shunning white lies. It's also not the attitude you want from a president: he should be interested in providing a tax base. Otherwise they'll have to use their own funds to repave all the roads to those dachas.

Perhaps he has compartmentalized his task. Getting elected would be accidental, possibly detrimental to the GOP's cohesion. After all, then they couldn't focus anger at a Democrat president and they'd have to work on something -- and they're not ready for that right now.

Current Mood: like the penny dropped
Friday, July 27th, 2012
10:56 am
It's been two month since I posted. Sorry -- I've been frighteningly busy.

The country continues to be insane. We may have infected our North American neighbors, which would not be a first.

Meanwhile I'm enjoying Los Angeles. The missus and I flew east on Independence Day to keep our parents from getting angry with us and to attend my 20th high school reunion. All went well, except for the clot of crying babies around my seat on one of the return flights. Earplugs for the win.

I have plenty to tell. Oh, and no we didn't have time to see anyone in Boston. Maybe I'll write a real post this weekend.

"Best is the enemy of good". I keep wanting to do perfect art, instead of getting through my dogwater. I need to turn the microphone on more often, use the Soundcloud channel I made but put nothing on. Heck, I need to type LJ entries, whether I get comments or not.

As of Sunday 5 August (nine days from today), I will have left Boston a year ago. it's mind-blowing how much I've come to like my life here.

I also bought an HD Radio to try that out, and built my first Gentoo box in seven years because I need a PXE server. Then there was the helicopter during a phone call to my dad. Such tales to tell...
Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
3:39 pm
Showing off the two forties
Last Tuesday I threw away an old tee shirt. It was a good shirt in its time: thick cotton, a strong olive, with a ring collar. It has some drops from bleaching, so it had become a shirt the missus declared I could only wear around the house. It's big and comfy, has no holes and otherwise felt fine.

I wore it to the gym on Tuesday evening. By the time I was done with my workout, I had this tent hanging from my chest. The ring collar was soaked from sweat, pulling the entire shirt down my chest. When I looked in the mirror, I saw this shapeless sack from my upper chest to a semi-slutty hemline. It made me look fatter because it showed no sign of human in the sack: my head and chest were lost in an olive sea.

I couldn't stand the schvitz weight, so I took it off and used it as a towel. I took another look at it and realized it couldn't serve me as clothing anymore. So I stuck it in the trash can before I could think about it.

I've only lost a pound from six weeks of going to the gym. However I already have these shapes under my skin that I haven't seen in a long time. My legs feel strong, the muscles winning more space. A week ago I slapped my gut and it felt a bit hard -- it definitely didn't make the loud, wet noise I expected. I am a long way from a six-pack, but I've got two 40-ounce bottles.

The gym has become an important part of my life again, as I assumed it would. Over the last six weeks I had stabilized a pattern of going every third day. I spend 20 to 30 minutes on Nautilus equipment followed by 50 minutes of treadmill. It's a great way to unload stress.

Now I work out every other day, which was my original plan. Once I get a several weeks of this, I plan to add a half-day so that I'm hitting four days each week. I have also been speeding up the treadmill. I can't resist watching my spare tire shrink.

Current Mood: energetic
Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
9:43 am
The hard sell, the poorly-priced sell, the non-sale
I have a few things that I should tell you about:

  1. I joined a gym a few weeks ago. It had been several years since I did weights and crunches on a regular basis.

    When I walked into this modern Gold's in Hollywood (in the original offices for Technicolor on Cole & Romaine), I felt like I'd landed in an episode of The Jetsons. They have lots of newer equipment, so I've been learning. They also have TVs built into the treadmills: two episodes of South Park have never been so useful to my health.

    I got a good deal on the membership: I paid for a year and got three free months, bringing the net to $32/month. However I was unaware of their frightening up-sell practice on extra services. They give you a free personal trainer session, which was amazing for me. Then they bring in a separate person to tell you the price, which is more than I pay for my car note each month. It was a painful 45 minutes of this guy not letting me leave until I played up my blood sugar dropping. I haven't had such a painful sales experience since I tried to buy a Japanese car.

  2. The Los Angeles Times web site now has a limit of 15 free articles per month. They have an introductory deal of 99¢ for the first four weeks, but then it jumps to $4 per week after that. I'm not certain their paper is worth that: the far-superior New York Times only charges $3.75 per week for a digital subscription.

    I've figured that the LA Times does not use a cookie to track this, because deleting them did not change anything. However they seem to track it based on your browser, so I will be swapping browsers each week to read the paper.

  3. Another pastime in Los Angeles is figuring out how hard an upcoming movie will flop solely based on its ad campaign. When I see too many billboards for one flick but the ads are all the same, I can tell it'll be a flop.

    John Carter, or "Ishtar on Mars" as the New York Times called it, is an excellent example. They bought loop space on the video billboard at the Target on Santa Monica & La Brea. The last thing to buy so much bandwidth there was Contagion, and the latest is Wrath of the Titans. If you look at those ads, would you know it was based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs series? No, you'd think it was about Jimmy Carter's fictional older brother getting chased by yeti revenuers. The flick cost $350 million to make and couldn't get buzz in an apiary.

    When your movie is on every bus shelter in Hollywood and West Hollywood then can't be found elsewhere, that means they did the minimum necessary to promote it and people in the business can see it. Hey, director about to flop? Here's proof you did work. Don't ask for any more work until you've paid us back.

    You might have a real movie if they're willing to displace the fashion billboard on the southwest corner of Santa Monica and La Cienega (which sounds like a fine band name when translated: Saint Monica and the Swamp).

-dans un marais de joncs mauvais, i'y avait..., Ps/d

Current Mood: productive
Monday, February 13th, 2012
8:22 pm
Daniel Jan Walikis had died.
Dan Jan, creator and long-time host of the European Ethnic Melodies Show on WHRW Binghamton, has died suddenly today. The information I had is that he had a heart attack at his computer.

He hosted his program every week, never missed a show and had been Public Affairs Director at the station during my time. He didn't just host: he prepped amazing amounts of material, found music from all over, talked as fast as lightning and radiated happiness. He had recently retired as a history teacher at Windsor High School.

His son has also been "the fourth Goo", a session man and important part of the Goo Goo Dolls.

His show would normally have been tomorrow, a Tuesday evening tradition. I can't make it back east to give my respects in person.

He would start and end the show with greetings in various eastern European languages. Na peezh, good sir.

Current Mood: sad
Monday, January 23rd, 2012
1:43 pm
second trip to San Diego: much nicer in daylight, in Balboa Park, on trolley, without douchebags
ceruleanbluegal had to check out some exhibits in San Diego before they closed. Thus she took the train down Friday morning and I came down Friday evening. We spent the weekend without a car and without problems getting around. San Diego is not perfect for going car-free, but it's far nicer than Los Angeles for seeing a lot of the place.

Everyone knows about San Diego's trolleys. They opened their first modern LRT line in 1981 and the network has grown slowly but solidly since then. However it's not a lattice as much as it is serpentine, covering downtown in confusing loops but otherwise handling a huge amount of suburban turf. You can live far from downtown and commute easily by trolley. However you can also wait a while at night or on a weekend. The transit system's web site is great when you're looking up things at home, but it's not quite smartphone-ready. Nevertheless they have more of the necessary mentality to make progress than LA does: they thought about tourists wanting to go to the zoo, they thought about commuters in El Cajon and Chula Vista, and they're still observing.

Now for the rest of the city. It's pretty. It's not like LA. It has plenty of sprawl and expressways, but it has the coverage sufficient to get you through it. It has Balboa Park, which looks like a primordial realm just north east of downtown and close enough to the airport. It's home to one of the largest and nicest zoos in the U.S., and that only takes up about a fifth of the space. There is a parkways running through it, one that passes way below the lovely viaduct where the views of the valley are stunning and occasionally punctuated by Southwest Airline's colors.

Balboa Park, which honestly I didn't want to leave, was home of the 1915 Panama-California Expo. The Mission-style buildings are still there and kept in gorgeous condition. The sculpture gardens, the side museums, the colonnade, the... skip work, I just wanna go back...

The missus went out to La Jolla, a ritzy near-suburb along the Pacific, while I was in the park. We went to Old Town, then went to Coronado to see the famous hotel. It's a Belle Epoque hotel, but it's more like a cruise ship that got embedded in the shore. Classy, expensive, well-kept and yet right along the ocean.

We did not get to see enough, just enough to know we want to visit again. I've convinced her that we should head to Ensenada in Baja, about an hour south of Tijuana. Neither of us are interested in that Niagara Falls tourist trap, but we both want in on the grilled fish scene along the lower coast.

By the way, taking the train to San Diego is cost-effective. Most of the hotels downtown want $26 to park each day and the drive along I-5 is hellish traffic all the way. For $36 each we rode in new train cars and didn't have to stress.

Current Mood: calm
Thursday, January 19th, 2012
12:20 pm
To everyone that my Gmail account just spammed
I have no idea what just happened, and I honestly don't have time to gather the list of emailed people and ping all of you. I am neck-deep in work. To be specific: I as a human sent no one an empty PDF. I fear some list of mine got copied and sent some potentially malicious PDF to everyone. I wasn't even logged into my Gmail session when it happened. Please accept my apology for now. I will have to investigate later. -Dante

Current Mood: aggravated
Saturday, November 12th, 2011
3:30 am
End of the quarter, waiting for an idea
I've now been living in West Hollywood for three months as of this hour. I arrived a few minutes after 4 am PDT on Friday 12 August 2011.

I still have stories to tell about the drive out here, about the doldrums of working from home, about our recent prep for Jupiter Jane Thuglife (my fiancee's kitty) as she will arrive from Conway NH on Monday night.

However it's raining outside. I felt strangely happy as I sat in a tented hookah bar in North Hollywood, sipping hot chocolate and reading Edge City while the rain battered the tarp and scared the teeny boppers.

A couple of them were fascinated by me. It probably helped that I was wearing my now-oversized velour jacket and twice their age. One kid was telling me about spending three years in a private school in the DR, memorizing the Bible and getting a lot of rulers to the thighs. Another was planning to get a tattoo on the inside of his lip in a few minutes and kept asking me about writing. He was in NA: I always have a soft spot for youngsters that go straight edge so they can remember not to do other things.

I drove various San Fernando Valley freeways in the rain. When I got home, I pulled into my carport and rolled down the windows. I was listening to a really good set on KXLU and nodding out.

I've been thinking a lot about community, how I miss mine even though I don't miss the metropolis of Boston. I still don't feel at home here, but I don't think about going back. I feel like I missed something in the middle, on the road.

KCRW is having a live broadcast from noon to 10 pm at Amoeba Records on Sunset & Cahuenga. Rollins will be spinning live. I... cannot... resist... the neck...

Current Mood: I've missed you, rain
Sunday, November 6th, 2011
1:41 am
Written during the hidden hour, Pacific edition
If you've been reading for a few years, you know that I like to write a posting during the hour we get back at the end of Daylight Savings Time. This is a special edition, since I'm writing this three hours later than previous years now that I live in Los Angeles.

I've been having an enjoyable but normal day. We slept until noon, then had technical difficulties with breakfast. It seems the bacon grease was scalding the eggs and... well, perhaps it's just Treyf World Problems.

Then we went to the Farmers Market on Fairfax south of Beverly. This hasn't been an actual farmers' market since... the 50s? Imagine a Taschen stall in front of Faneuil Hall and the food that isn't as much for tourists. There is a ritzy, ridiculous mall with a slow double-decker trolley and... it didn't matter. We met my dear's friend from grad school and his friend for three hours of beer and French dip sammtiches.

Farmers Market has one of the cruelest parking lots I've ever seen. I once drove around the three lanes for twenty minutes, constantly getting screwed out of one space after another. So we walked there and staggered back. It was a lovely evening, other than the police helicopter circling the block to the east of ours for ten minutes. What criminal mastermind decided to hole up on Stanley Ave between Romaine and Santa Monica? I should try to follow the spot light next time.

We got home, had some naked time and passed out a while. Then came Henry Rollins on KCRW. His show was excellent this week: an hour of stuff by Texan musicians, which opened with "Sweat Loaf" by the Butthole Surfers. Then he had another hour with stuff from Thailand, Turkey and Detroit. There is a new Fall album and he played the one track that doesn't sound like typical Mark E. "Dictator that Won't Die" Smith: his wife singing.

We watched Thursday's episodes of The Daily Show and Colbert Report and ate home made quiche. Then we watched two episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which I hadn't seen before but I liked instantly. Oh, to choose between chimichongas and crack...

I'm wrapping up by playing Angry Birds while my dear tries to get her iPhone 4G-s to handle the spoken question "how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck would?" (It's answer was 42.)

I'm in West Hollywood but I'm having a surprisingly suburban weekend. Tomorrow I drop off an old TV and brace the bookshelves to the wall because we'll soon have our cat here.

So, how are y'all doin'? Drop me a line!

-an hour behind Arizona, Ps/d

Current Mood: mellow
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
3:10 pm
My smart phone is like a computer, except I'm not really root
Some Android apps won't let you move them from the phone's built-in storage (only 512 MB and also serves as RAM) to the SD card (8 GB). This is lazy coding.

I moved as many apps to my SD card as I could -- it's got nearly 7 GB free. However some apps do not allow me the option to move them. There is a button in the settings, but it stays gray.

I understand when the more central applications won't move: Google pieces, firmware. However Facebook isn't central, so I've uninstalled it. Heck, I'd only been using FB once a month until recently and this doesn't make me want to shift.

This neglect isn't specific to bigger companies. Fandango's app, which is plenty useful in a town full of movie houses, let me move it to the card. So did most of the bulky or sillier items:

  • Evernote for keeping notes anywhere online;
  • reddit for falling asleep;
  • space junk which is wicked cool, well made and a blast on clear nights;
  • Super sudoku;
  • Trip Advisor;
  • Carrr Matey, which uses GPS to mark where you parked and set how long you have left in the meter.

But LA Weekly won't move? C'mon, that's fluff I keep because I may want to get jealous of shows I don't have time to attend.

Anyone else annoyed by this aspect of smart phone maintenance?

Update: allow me to put this in a way that sales critters will understand.

My phone doesn't have enough space to keep your app if you don't let me store it off the main memory. I can't find out whether I'll have room for you app until I download it. This means I may not try your app, and you won't get my traffic.

This applies to Google Labs as well. Google+ wants nearly 10 MB of main memory. If I keep using it as little as I have, I may take that 2% back.

Do you expect me to put your locomotive in my dining room?

Current Mood: irritated
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
10:18 am
It's raining in Los Angeles!
Here is an idea how infrequent and special this morning's rain is:

1) Jack FM, the local no-DJ-just-some-old-rock station (same as Mike FM in Boston), had a special ID at the top of the hour: "KCBS FM, coming to you from a leaky, rainy shack in Culver City". Then came a montage from songs mentioning rain, including of course "It Never Rains in California", "I'm Only Happy When It Rains". I think "Cold November Rain" was in there. It was nicely done.

2) Traffic is a nightmare, from the looks of it on Sigalert.

3) It's cool enough that I'm wearing long trousers indoors. Anyone that knows me well knows the significance.

It rained very briefly last week -- about three minutes, not even enough to wet the entire driveway. I'd heard about such tiny rains when I was a kid, where some hundredth of an inch of rain happens. I was fascinated because I had no idea how it was possible. It was cute but kinda sad.

If only I didn't want to pass out. But hey, I picked up a Technics SL-D2 for $50 this weekend and a new cartridge. I've done a basic alignment and everything sounds nice. I'm glad to have my vinyl records in play again.

-from a cute apartment in West Hollywood, Ps/d

Current Mood: awake
Thursday, September 22nd, 2011
11:30 am
I miss humans, but fog will do...
I've been living in West Hollywood for six weeks as of tomorrow. I still have other stories about this being written, but I needed to take a few minutes this morning and tell you about the suckiest part of telecommuting: the lack of visible coworkers.

I'm way too social a critter to telecommute. My work output has been very good, but I face a wall all day. Then my darling comes home from her day at a real office and has to brace herself for my desperate unload. "Look a real human! So, I had this happen, and this, and..."

So I've decided to take more breaks and spend them outside the apartment. it's easy to leave first-floor apartment half a block from Santa Monica Boulevard and see a couple different worlds.

Today I didn't boot up very well. I needed a pulse. I also realized there is a certain chain coffee shop two blocks away. So I got on my sandals and headed out. Then I realized I hadn't worn these sandals in a year or two and I didn't want to break them in again right now, so I went back and put socks and sneakers on.

I had only seen the overcast mornings from my apartment. When I got to the corner I saw actual fog. Then I made it to Fairfax and could look up and down the hillside: real fog all over the place! It looked beautiful -- West Hollywood in gray tones that I remember from home. The intersection with Melrose, four blocks down Fairfax, was just barely visible instead of glaringly near. The Hollywood Hills were a single line of green and brown drawn along the gray sky merely a mile or two away. It felt more like being in Brattleboro or Sherbrooke than the second-largest metropolitan area in Jesus's Fave Nation.

I also saw the diorama ad for the new TV show "Pan Am" hanging in the bus shelter. This is a much cooler ad than the one Sienna and I have been calling Teen Girl Squad.

The fog cleared within half an hour. Everything looks bright and normal again. For twenty minutes, I was having a Raymond Chandler morning.

Current Mood: rebuilding self-esteem
Monday, September 19th, 2011
9:02 pm
Overcast tease
On Thursday and Friday I awakened to an overcast, gloomy sky. If I were still in Boston, I would have assume it was going to rain soon. I'd feel the rain in my psyche and get ready to hate the lack of sun.

However in Los Angeles, this only means there was leftover humidity that the sun would dry out by noon. We've had some version of the same thing most mornings of the five weeks I've been here, but the last couple had been the most... promising.

I want it to rain. I want to see the soot on the ground. I want to hear the accidents during those first twenty minutes of oily residue on the roads. I want a cataclysm because it's something different.

Instead the sky is merely teasing me. "You want rain, like it'll cure you? Fool."

Friday was the weirdest day so far. The sky neither cleared up nor rained, staying the same level of overcast all day. Then Saturday and Sunday were lovely.

I'm brewing a theory about Angelinos and their wussiness about temperature. (I also think it should be "Angelinoi", as if the word were Greek.) it's not humid, so a hot day isn't as hot and most days are in the 70s.

We leave our windows open for days on end, until the groundskeepers show up and spray water wantonly (which I've now learned that happens on Mondays). It's slightly cooler but not cold at night. You can get away with wearing bed clothes all day, outside and in. Every apartment becomes a Florida room.

Thus Angeloids lose any sense of body temperature perspective. A change of thirty degrees is radical instead of expected. The body feels cold over minor drops.

People talk a lot about the weather here. They're hoping it'll hear them and give them something different.

Current Mood: blah
Thursday, September 8th, 2011
4:58 pm
Fourth week of telecommuting, as the author goes a little loopy
Cold coffee? Add some more milk and a hint of sugar and it can be okay.

Cold coffee with horchata? Most righteous.

Would horchata be available in half-gallon cartons at major supermarkets in Southern California? Absolutely.

Would it be better to make some new friends and have somewhere to go after not leaving the desk for the majority of the last three days? Yes.

Is the missus coming home late? Indeed.

Do I still own a car, whether one of the tires has a slow leak? Rear passenger, yeah.

Does the Fry's in the deep heart of the Valley have a special on Intel Core i5 CPUs for fiddy bucks? Woodland Hills, off the Venture Freeway.

What about the Fry's that looks like "The Day the Earth Stood Still" in Burbank? Nope, out of stock.

How about Manhattan Beach, which only requires surface streets? Fairfax to La Cienega, shunt down to Sepulveda.

But I asked whether that Fry's store has them in stock? Sorry, yes. Yes it does.

So, like, leave in an hour or something, find a quesadilla on the way? Sounds great!

Don't forget to put some air in the tire, eh? Right, thanks dude!

However, does that actually get you talking to humans? Uhhh... no. It does not.

Do you need a CPU? No, not even that one. It's not really an i5 either -- it just came up on the search.

Do you need to buy anything? I need speakers. Dang do I.

Well, how about shopping for those instead? Can do!

Not only that? The missus could get value from the purchase as well. We could watch movies.

-antistrophe, Dante

Current Mood: cabin fever
Wednesday, September 7th, 2011
12:20 pm
Jeeze, plenty to tell
I've been working hard again, so I've been reading but not updating. I have lots of stories to tell.

The apartment is coming together. About 85% of the shelving we own is up and usable. However the fiancee and I are bibliophiles, so we'll need to get more.

I have an office in my apartment, although things still need to be unpacked and organized. In the last couple days I got the desks uncovered from several layers of boxes and moved my temporary desk to the street. Unfortunately it's the hottest room in the house, so I have to run the window AC unit all day.

Important lessons for now:

  • Outlet wall plates are 22¢ each. It had therapeutic to scrape three layers of paint off one with a box cutter, but I work for a living.
  • Next time we move, I'll add a month to however long I think it'll take me to pack.
  • We will hire movers next time. I don't have enough time to pack, move and unpack while working an adult job.
  • Bring an overshirt to keep warm if you're outdoors at night, even in the summer. This would've been ridiculous to say in the east. However the ground loses all heat at night and the sky is clear, so you go from "my the sun is high" to "let's lean against that taco truck's front hood or we'll die from hypothermia" at an all-day concert.
  • When two of your favorite bands are playing at exactly the same time at the same festival, always go see the one you haven't seen live before.
  • Dead Milkmen live? Totally worth missing Death From Above 1979 to see. (fangirl715 will understand.)

I'll tell you all more stories soon, such as:

  1. The last days of the Westward Trek;
  2. How not to move stuff you bought on Craig's List;
  3. Fiancee and I discover that Der Wienerschnitzel is pure love;
  4. Related tales of trying local burgers and Mexican food;
  5. Hardware store battles;
  6. Supermarkets and their best qualities;
  7. Boston driving skills come in handy in Hollywood;
  8. Checking out the stand-up comedy scene; and
  9. The Ed Hardy Car (which I promise will be the best tale of all).
Comment on which ones you'd like to read most and I will eventually comply.

-sorry about all the weather and geology I displaced, Dante

Current Mood: chipper
Friday, August 19th, 2011
1:28 pm
Overworked and unrelated changes since the move
I've been working at home for a week. It's been overwhelming, mostly because I had things out of order before I moved. I'll go into details about it once I actually have any idea what works or doesn't.

I have to tell you about something I learned and had never heard about before I got here. While I knew the weather didn't change much, I hadn't realized what this does to a car.

Back in the northeast, it rains. Maybe it won't rain for a few days, but it happens enough. Rain has some useful qualities, such as cleaning the dust out of the air and giving a blunt sort of wash to a car.

I have a carport slot behind my building. I was excited at first because it meant the car would be in the shade when i wasn't using it. These are very common for apartment buildings here: something without a garage door but otherwise hides a car from the elements. Unfortunately I've had to park on the street when the shipping containers are here, so I've been parking under a tree across the street.

Since it doesn't rain, the occasional bird dropping, acidic berries and smog never get washed away. I hadn't driven for a couple days, so I was shocked to see the intense dust on the rear window.

This explains a lot about car wash popularity here. I'd always wondered why so many people were into car washing in a place that has drought restrictions. Cars don't rust from the bottom out here -- they either get waxed frequently and last forever or get their finishes ruined and look matte.

I can't wait to make some new friends. Sienna and I love each other but need new talk partners. We're having Sunday brunch with a college friend of hers and I'm heading to a French chat group meeting on Wednesday. Any other ideas for finding lecture victims would be appreciated.

-back to work work work and Spongebob in the evening, Dante

Current Mood: busy
Thursday, August 18th, 2011
12:43 am
I made it home on Friday the 12th at 4 am Pacific
I drove 800 miles on Thursday: Albuquerque to Los Angeles. It turned out the hard part wasn't the desert.

I got the best hotel deal of the trip in Albuquerque: forty-one bucks total. Mind you, that Red Roof Inn needs to be revamped or at least have the sink fixed. However I got a good night's sleep and used the old-school heat lamp (the kind hotels used to have so you could try your hair faster) to dry the passenger-side floor mat.

Then I went looking for a supermarket and breakfast. I found a decent Mexican market with limes for ten cents each, but it didn't have much else for fruit. While they had pineapple soda and a great spice selection, they didn't have what I needed.

I'll tell you all more another time. I've been working my ass off since Monday and I didn't want anyone to think I died.
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
3:27 am
My visit to the scene of a crime
I almost forgot about this! Okay, you heard about those brothers and sister from Florida that got trapped off in Colorado yesterday? They ran a high-speed chase along I-25 south and were stopped in Walsenburg.

I was driving that way later in the afternoon. There were alerts about detours due to site cleanup, so I was worried. Instead I hit a lot of traffic north of there, then came to the FLIPPED VEHICLE still on its back at the side of the onramp.

Here's my observation, since I followed the same path later that day. Two miles before that site, I-25 south makes two switchbacks along a steep incline. It's flat leading up to that, but I noticed because I had a very hard time getting back up to speed through there when I had taken the previous exit and got back on. The trucks were struggling.

Normally the speed limit is 75 through there, which means most folks are going about 80 -- or they would be if it weren't for construction right before there. How did they have a 100 MPH chase through there when the road requires some concentration?

Oh, I also had the opportunity to see the convoy of police SUVs dragging them away. It must've taken a while to clean up, because it was 5 pm by then.
3:03 am
About to make the left turn at Albuquerque
I'm in a Red Roof Inn just off I-25 in Albuquerque. I have no clue whether the Isotopes won today. I have yet to make a left turn: the hotel was a right just after a straight service road.

In the morning I have some catching up to do. I only drove 435 miles today, whereas I had hoped to drive 600. This means I have almost exactly 800 miles to cover if I want to get to my new home before Friday. Unfortunately said miles are through several types of desert, including the Petrified Forest (rock on!) and the Mojave. I am scared of overexposure to the sun: more on that later.

New Mexico is more of the high plains, at least in the north. It's obviously drier than Colorado. It's also noticeably poorer. The altitude is making me a little nutty, or perhaps that's the sun poisoning I didn't notice until night time.

I got out of the car for dinner in Santa Fe. I must've sounded anxious and crazy when I found out the "road house" was closed. Some middle-aged woman took pity on me and direct action: she told me where to go and got them to give me a muffin. I hadn't realized I was out of it until then.

When I got to the open restaurant in town, I was almost hallucinating. I ate my salad and downed two iced teas (I had to add my own sugar) so fast. That waiter gave me directions and I tipped him well.

Then I drove another hour without a problem. When I got out of the car, I was suddenly out of it again. I couldn't even tell you how I'm typing this right now except as a note to the world that I live.

Tomorrow I will get breakfast, then look for a supermarket to get a couple jugs of water, a bag of ice and fresh fruit. I found one on 4th Street NW, the left turn I take before getting on the interstate.

I will continue moving, pausing as necessary and taking advantage of gaining one final hour as I enter Arizona. I will take I-40 to the end, then I-15 to the 10 to the Hollywood Freeway to Santa Monica Blvd. I will soon reach my new life.

Once my brain is working, I'll upload the photos I took of sunset.
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