Recently in Ministry of Housinj Category

The Honeymoon is Over


H has figured out that the food bin works similarly to the shower. (Which he loves to open and lick the walls. He's started opening it when people are in it, and staring at them. Rather disconcerting)

I Wondered All Week


...when it should have been obvious.

Ok. Next year. KFOG Kaboom. Party. Our House. d00d.

Those of you who have seen our dining room will understand immediately.

I bet our backyard had a nearly as amazing view, too. So we could grill.

State of the Horus


It's been a grueling few weeks for the little guy. First, I took all of his stuff away. Then I moved him in the middle of the night to a new place. A place with very different (and in a few cases, disturbing) smells and sights. He was just getting comfortable in this new place when I pulled the biggest whoppers of them all. Nothing could have prepared him for the last 48 hours.

First, after several days of getting used to weird smells, he had a "viewing." He saw one of the reasons for the change in the strange smells. One of the closed doors to one of the rooms opened a crack and there was ANOTHER CAT! There was growling and a bit of hissing, and some puffing, but then it was over. Except now he new the terrible secret about that room.

AND THEN, yesterday, he went back into the box, back into the car, and onto a cold table at the Vee-Eee-Tee. She poked and prodded him in all his no-no places (BADTOUCH!BADTOUCH!NOMEANSNO!) and then he got Ess-Aych-Oh-Tee-Ess! He was a very brave boy, but was very happy to be back in the weird, new place after that. Even if one of the rooms might be infested with weird animals.

Commute (pt.2)


Also written started on the train!

It would appear that I didn't take the 9:04 Baby Bullet yesterday. While they have started staggering the stops at which the 3xx trains stop, none of the southbound trains in morning (nor the northbound in the evening) have been staggered to stop at Sunnyvale. (The opposite configurations both have, *grumble*)

I guess the local express was running late, because I arrived after it should have left. The trouble was that there was a train pulling in just as I came down the stairs, and I still needed a ticket, so I didn't have too much time to scrutinize the situation too much.

Today, I definitely got on the right train. It was even better than yesterday. I hadn't been in the new bike cars yet. Facing seats with two power outlets for each set of 4 seats! It was wonderful!

Fortunately, the conductor called out the two next stops, which made me realize that this train wasn't stopping at Sunnyvale. That made me check the schedule, and realize the mistake yesterday. I rode in from Mountain View, rather than taking VTA. I'm pretty sure I beat the light rail to my office. Yay!

Commute (3/30)


[Oops, forgot to post this last night... ed.]

I'm actually writing this on the train. Today was my first day back commuting on Caltrain.

This morning was fantastic! The trip to 22nd St. was all downhill, so it was a breeze. This was good because I got (at most) 4 hours sleep last night, and woke up with just enough time to make the last Baby Bullet at 9:04.

I've ridden the Baby Bullet before, and most of you have heard my "WTF, we're here already?!?" story. It was a very nice ride, but I realized I'd left the power brick for my laptop at home. It was time to get a spare, anyway.

I rode to Sunnyvale instead of Mountain View, to force me to ride in, and it was nice, fun, exciting near misses with stupid drivers yakking on phones while failing to aim their sublimated sexual inadequacies^W^W^Wurban assault vehicles. It was too short, I'm actually thinking I'd more enjoy riding from Mountain View.

Actually, I just realized that once the days get longer, I should consider getting off at San Antonio, and riding through the Baylands to the Stevens Creek Trail! I could have my (very) old commute back! I loved that ride! I still miss that ride.

On the way into work this morning I realized that I had left my light at home. Based on that, I decided to take VTA home rather than ride in the dark.I looked up this evening and realized it was nearly 6pm. I checked the schedules and realized that I had a slim chance (if VTA wasn't in any way delayed) of making the last Baby Bullet if I raced to catch the next light rail train.

The Caltrain wasn't pulling out as we pulled up, as I expected, but I needed to buy a ticket, and the machine didn't work, and it pulled out as I was running to the other one.

The next train didn't stop at 22nd St, so I waited 40 mins (total) for the next one.

Even with all of that, I'm very happy with my commute so far. I know it's still a honeymoon, and I may feel differently in a few months. But right now, I'm REALLY looking forward to working on my own projects (like blogging more regularly) and relaxing.

I may feel differently once I've scaled the hills back to my house.

Update: Holy crap, that hill kicked my ass! The cyclist in me is ashamed at how badly such a "short" hill got to me.

But it hasn't affected my enjoyment of the commute. If anything, I look forward to making that hill my bitch.

Our House


. . . In the middle of the street.

All good things must come to an end. So, too, must my time in Sunnyvale.

I'm sure there are aspects of living in suburban hell that I will miss. (I suspect I'll be seeing a lot less of a few of you and that makes me sad.)

Officially, as of today, I am a resident of San Francisco. I believe my disdain of anything south of 280 is coming along nicely (and has been for years), but can someone tell me where I need to go for my facial hair & sideburn implant? I think I'm going to need help with that one.

We're all set to converge on Potrero Hill:

I've been writing this entry since the middle of February. It started is as a Trackback response to something Sean said, most notably, the last few sentences.

The core of my feelings on this matter have not changed, but most of the window dressing has, so this will probably require some serious editing on my part.

At the core, I know that my survival those first few months would have been nigh impossible without my friends. To all of you I owe a great debt of gratitude. No matter how much I loved my job, and the guys I work with (whom I'm lucky to count amongst my friends), I'd been careening for quite a while and I needed a foundation to land on. It took me some time, but I think I'm on my feet (though I may still be a bit wobbly)

Most of my vacillating during my first draft of this entry revolved around my near-complete ambivalence as to my living situation. I was convinced that my decision was premature (it wasn't) or that it would lead to an inevitable stagnation (the jury's still out on that). Living with Jonah () has worked out better than either of us expected.

All in all, things are good. I still enjoy my job. I'm comfortable where I am, but I know it's not permanent. I have a routine that I need to work on, but on the whole I've been a heck of a lot worse.

February, for example. Looking back from this end of the chasm, many things are clearer now. I refused to let myself miss Chicago, Yojo or any of the rest of the Army of D[ao]rkness. I love them dearly, and I miss them still. I owe them another debt of gratitude for getting me through yet another hard time in my life, as they did so openly and selflessly the last time we shared a mutual tragedy.

Refusing to acknowledge those feelings doesn't make them go away. Nor does rekindling relationships here . . . dishonor or negate those far away.

As with everything, it's a work in progress. Nothing is ever finished.

H-Dog's Big Adventure

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Matt and I spent today snaking cable through the crawl-space under my house. (And I'm very grateful he was there, the second pair of hands really made it possible). We were running cat5e from one of the back bedrooms to the garage. There were a few challenges involved. First, "crawl-space" is a bit of a misnomer. It's more of a "Belly-Slither-Over-Gravel-Space." There's just enough room (in places) to roll over, but that's about it. Next, the shortest path between the two points in question is blocked by quite a bit of ducting. The only real path involves going backwards to the back wall of the foundation, over a tighter spot, down to the far end of the foundation, and then head toward the garage.

It was only after I rounded that final corner that I saw the drain from the kitchen sink bisecting the crawl-space and cutting me off from further progress. In order to get past it I'd have to work halfway back toward the entrance (in the office), and that would make the cable snake all over the place, instead of being a relatively straight shot. Fortunately, Matt suggested I stay where I was, and he managed to use my cable snake to reach me from an external vent that opened right next to the wall of the garage.

As he was trying to get it to me, I turned on the Maglite I'd carried with me, and came face-to-face with a dead, desciated RAT! It was no more than 6 inches from my face, and it's death mask was particularly gruesome. The cable snake kept getting caught on the rough, gravel floor, giving me plenty of time to admire it. Instead, I tried to make out what the snake was catching on, but from my perspective I wasn't able to see it. Instead, what caught my eye was a LARGE pile of snails' shells.

Just as visions of our crawl-space being a rat feeding and breeding ground started to coalesce in the back of my mind, I caught a bit of movement out of the corner of my eye. I came very close to freaking out, feeling trapped under the house with no quick avenue for escape. I shined my light over there and it caught the glow of two eyes looking at me. Too big to be beady, rat eyes. But not too big to be a raccoon, or some other animal. And that DID freak me out. But just as I was about to bolt the body behind the eyes resolved itself as it came toward me.

Horus. We'd been fairly careful keeping the office door closed so he couldn't get in and explore the crawl space, but somehow he'd managed to sneak in anyway. He was intently pawing and nosing (and probably chewing) on something just out of my field of vision. He eventually relented after some loud yelling and banging on my part (I didn't want him to catch something by chewing on a rat.)

He came toward me, but was smart enough to stay out of arm's reach. After trying to grab him a few times, it occured to me that if I did manage to wrestle him, there wasn't anything I could do, I couldn't push him in front of me toward the exit. So I left him to romp. And as he wandered off, he tripped over the cable snake that Matt was having real trouble dislodging, and popped it loose.

I was still under the house when Matt noticed Horus in the yard. Apparently he wormed his way out through the grate Jonah and I had taken off to run the coaxial cable up to the dish on the roof. I wish I'd been able to take a picture. He had a thick halo of cobwebs strung from his wiskers, up to his ear, across to his other ear and down to his wiskers, and he was determined to keep it. Any time either one of us got near him he backed away and ran.

Later in the day, we realized we left every door from the garage to the office (and the crawl-space) open, and horus was nowhere to be found. I ran around the house inside & out a couple times and couldn't find him. I specifically checked under the kitchen table, but apparently I didn't check on the back corner chair, because after I freaked out over him being loose under the house or outside, I found him asleep on that chair. It had been enough excitement for him for one day.

At the end of the day, I had a strand of cat5e run between the office and garage, a string connected to it to pull more cable, and a cat who was thoroughly proud of himself.

Cohen Brothers Ate My Brain


On my first night in our (empty) new house, I decided to watch The Hudsucker Proxy (thanks to Salim, who lent it to me for the plane rides.)

Most of the way through the movie there is a scene that all too aptly captures some of my feelings about my living situation:

Hmm, yes. The "Sunnyvale Rest Home" has come back to claim me.

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This page is a archive of recent entries in the Ministry of Housinj category.

Jobness is the previous category.

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