Friday, November 28, 2003


Three weeks after moving in, we finally have internet access in the house. I'll resist the urge to use multiple exclamation points, lest I be revealed as overly dependent.

We'd had a cable modem in the old place, so as an existing customer I expected a fairly easy transition. This is because I'm new to planet earth and I don't know how things work here. I was thrown off because Comcast is "a cable company dedicated to changing the way you think about your cable company."

When we moved in, cable TV was already working, but my cable modem couldn't connect. A nice tech came out and said he just had to remove a filter from The Green Box Out Front and we'd be all set. However, he found The Green Box to be a foot deeper in the soil than it was supposed to be. The tech said he couldn't open it, and illustrated by pulling on the front panel.
"No problem," he said, "I'll just transfer this to Construction, in a couple days they'll send out a truck and raise the pedestal. Then they'll remove the filter and you'll be all set." Still giddy from the oxygen levels on this planet, I bought into his scheme.
Thus began three weeks of Fun on the Phone, in which we were ensured, time after time, that we'd hear from people who, in retrospect, I suspect never existed. The snickers in the background should have tipped me off.
Today, a different nice tech came out, and within several minutes he determined two things. First, it's really easy to open The Green Box despite its depth in the soil. He just pulled on the rear panel, not the front one. Thus, the filter was trivially accessible all along.
Second, he found that the filter wasn't in The Green Box anyway, but was instead in a panel in the side of our house, protected by obscure Flat Head Screwdriver technology.
So it was a wild goose chase, or possibly a red herring. I'm too busy to figure out the difference, because I'm so online now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Fractions of an acre.

The house is almost entirely unpacked. All that remains is the office, which is a big mess, and half of the garage, which is filled with empty boxes. I haven't bothered to set up the office since Comcast is seriously dragging their feet on our internet service. It's kind of sad that I don't feel much need to set up the computer in the absence of connectivity.

Emma's first birthday party was Sunday, and we had a bunch of people over. (Well, about 14 people, but that's a lot for us.) One person saw our back yard and said "Whoah, it's like I'm back in the midwest!" That was either hyperbole or a very bad memory. Ours is a very nice yard by the standards of this area, but it's nothing compared to elsewhere. The bay area has lots of ways of distorting your perception, and this is one of them.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Five fingers, five binary digits, 0-31. Obviously.

Not normally the kind of thing I go for, and quite a bit later than everyone else, but I finally got around to taking The Geek Test. Some friends of mine scored in the 30's and 40's, so I figured I should find out where I fall.

I'm at 23.27416%: Geek. I scored high in the computer-heavy sections, but a lot of the rest was left blank. A few random things like "I watch documentaries" and "I've read [Asimov/Lovecraft/Tolkien]" and "I've studied a language on my own."

'Course, there was only one check-box next to "I program." I suspect that, if I could put the appropriate number of checks next to that, I'd score much higher.

And they didn't even include "I have a weblog", "I've written my own weblog framework", or "I've created a programming language specifically for web programming", all of which should rightly cast me into the bowels of Pathetic Geek Hell.

Unless "I'm married" and "I have a kid" can reduce your score. Dunno.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Ah, homeownershiphood.

I've discovered a surefire way to make it rain. All I have to do is move.

Earlier this year we moved from a one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom apartment in the same complex. We asked two friends to help, and they generously obliged. On moving day, it rained.

This past weekend, we moved into our new house. We had scheduled a truck and one of the aforementioned friends to help us move. On the day (Saturday), it rained. A lot. We moved quickly, though, dodging raindrops, so there's no water damage to speak of.

The funny thing is that it doesn't rain very often around here.

Anyway, we're sleeping at the new house now. We're still battling to get phone service hooked up, which is worrisome since we have all sorts of deliveries and service installations coming in the next few days. Plus we need to hire an electrician to deal with crappy wiring and pest control to deal with minor dryrot and some engineers to do seismic retrofitting (all of which which we knew about when we bought). Plus we should figure out what's up with the garage door (it doesn't open consistently).

On the plus side, the baby seems to love the new house, and has had no trouble adapting. 'Course, maybe she just thinks we're on vacation and is expecting to return "home" soon. Or maybe she's too distracted by all the boxes and general disarray, and the fact that her parents are too busy to say "Emma, don't climb on the pile of CD's, DVD's, VHS tapes, and casettes! Stop throwing them on the tile floor, I don't care how cool the sound is." It's like a field day for her.

Plus the stairs. She loves the stairs. And she's surprisingly good at using them, for somebody who can't even walk consistenly yet. We still stand nearby as she goes up and down, but we pretty much never have to intervene. Survival instinct: check.