new york city!

I did that get home in the middle of the night thing again but this time it was because my train from New York City got in to Rutland at around midnight and then I had to drive an hour home. This time I did not nearly hit a moose. I also had a new EVDO card for my laptop which meant that I was online for a lot of the train trip which made it go a lot faster. Sneaky bossman, giving me new ways to work.

The trip to New York was a flyby, in on Wednesday, out on Friday. I was talking to some people about “digital nomadism” and I’d like to say that it was for some sociology white paper, but it was really for a Dell ad. I’ll let you know if my yammering face is going to be on the web somewhere. You know how I like to talk.

The photos from my NY trip are online here. I managed to see a lot of friends and go a lot of places in such a short time. The weather was great and I was feeling pretty good. I even charted my walking routes using which told me that I’d walked about seven miles in two days which told me that it was okay to eat rice krispie treats on the train on the way home.

Once I got home I had my obligatory all-online day. I used it this time to upgrade my main blogs to the latest WordPress and put my photos from DNC 2004 online. I had them up before in a sort of php-run photo essay, but now they’re on Flickr, tagged and everything. Today was Art Day over at Kelly and Forrest and we all went over there to do projects. I’ve been sending out change of address postcards so I made a bunch more today. My apologies to those of you who get a few of them because I’ve forgotten I already sent you one. I sure do have a ton of stamps.

I have no real plans for Labor Day — or as I call it Fake American Labor Day — except to shake my fist at all the places that are closed. I’ve got to get the house in decent shape for the weekend since I’m having people over to give me a birthday high five on Saturday [my real birthday is Friday]. If you’re in the area, consider a trip over.

on leisure


I pretty much skipped the Virgo Month of Leisure last year and decided to get my lifeguard certificate instead. Two years ago Ola hadn’t yet left for the Peace Corps and I was preparing to caretake her house and greet my new roommate. I also made a list of what I’ve been doing about this time every year since 1998.

In 1998 I celebrated my 30th birthday in Guatemala and was pretty pleased with how it all went down. This year I’ll be celebrating my 40th, from my new apartment here in Vermont, and I’m also feeling pretty pleased. I’ll save the list-making for a few weeks from now, but this is just a peek at whether I’ll pull off any leisure time in the next thirty days.

As I’ve mentioned, I haven’t been working at the tech center this Summer which has been pretty good. It’s enabled me to unpack slowly and get settled here. I don’t start any real travelling-for-work for a few weeks, though I was in Maine last weekend and I’m doing a flyby to New York City at the end of next week. September will see me in Potsdam New York, Sacramento California and Marquette Michigan but then I’m not going anyplace far until I go to Kansas in October. I’m a little better equipped for travelling now also. I have a lightweight laptop and I just got an EVDO card from “work” [MetaFilter: the job that doesn’t seem like a job] so I can connect from pretty much anyplace, even the dead zones in my apartment where my cell phone doesn’t work.

So, I suspect the next week or so may actually be leisurely, after that it’s anyone’s guess. Here are a few links to other things you might like to look at.

I came home from the transfer station today [i.e. the dump] and there was a little paper bag of cucumbers on my steps. They were delicious.


guess which box is mine?

I didn’t realize until I actually went to get my mail that Box 345 may have been empty for a reason…. Not totally sure what is going on here, but they said they’d fix it.

three moves equals one house fire

the last known photo of my data....

I’m not sure why this phrase isn’t all over the Internet but my folks always say that three moves equals one house fire. This is especially true if a move is accompanied by a data disaster. But let me back up and let me tell you about my backups.

This is the first time I’ve moved in to my own apartment. I’ve lived alone before in various ways (caretaker of an Odd Fellows Hall, caretaker for Ola’s place, first or last roommate in an apartment share, bought a house) but not me and my stuff moving into an empty place. It’s sort of neat. The space is nice and I’ve put some photos up. Moving day was amazing. Ten people and six cars and most stuff was moved in about 45 minutes. There was a short list of post move-in problems including the landlady’s smoke detector beeping non-stop for the first few days, a little bit of leaking during the downpour (renter’s insurance on the way!) and a collapse of the shelves in the closet which were holding my stereo equipment (yes I am old enough to have stereo equipment) also since repaired. Fortunately, the closet is also one of the guestrooms, so there was a mattress on the floor and my stereo is fine. I’m not sure if I mentioned, but the camera I dropped in the toilet last week is also fine.

I was not so lucky with my hard drive. I was using my laptop, just plugged into the wall, in an old house while a roofer used power equipment outside. Past experience has shown me that this is a bad idea. However, a lesson you learn once every ten years tends to not sink in well. At some point my laptop’s hard drive stopped working and did not start working again. I have spare laptops. I even have backups. However, my backups are a few months old meaning I’m missing a chunk of photos, chat transcripts, work documents, calendar junk and stuff I probably don’t even remember. I thought I could tough it through this, but I’m rethinking that position. This is a problem money can solve and I may want to use some of my money to solve it. If anyone has suggestions for decent data recovery places, please feel free to let me know.

Otherwise unpacking and readjusting is going well. I slept in my new apartment finally. It’s hella quiet and dark here which pleases me. I’m still trying to figure out how to create counterspace in my kitchen and maximize the very few grounded outlets here. I think I’ve learned which corner of the house my cell phone actually works in and the wifi I share with my landlady seems to work well as long as she’s not on the phone, which may be good enough. I’m getting okay with being only approximately contactable. I mentioned this on Twitter a while ago (re: Neal Stephenson) and wound up getting namechecked on 43 Folders. Woo. Maybe it will catch on. If not, postcards always reach me, albeit slowly.


I decided to get a post office box again even though I don’t need one because I do enough workish-stuff through the mail that having a non-home place to get mail seems like a good idea. In the post-9/11 world, you need to prove what your home address is to get a PO box. Since I got the PO box before I moved, and I can’t get mail delivered to my house in Bethel, I had to get a note from Ola saying that I live here. Ola thought this was amusing and scrawled me a note in pencil. The post office found this amusing but what could they do, say “go back and have her type this”?

My new mailing address has a nice sort of number pattern to it. Box 345, Randolph VT 05060. The box has a combination (letters instead of numbers) so I don’t need to carry a key around with me. Today is moving day.