November 18th, 2004

As of Wednesday night, we are no longer stealing bandwidth from some kind and probably unknowing neighbor. It turns out that there were two phone lines coming in to the house, a primary and a secondary, and the phone company made the wrong assumption about which was which when they hooked us up. So the reason we didn’t have DSL (or, in fact, any kind of phone signal) was not because the phone company was sluggish and dragging their feet and so forth but because they were less than competent. However, they walked Kurt through going to the junction box and switching which line was live over the (cell) phone and then voila – like magic – we had phone service and DSL. Now you might wonder why we didn’t notice that the telephone wasn’t working. Well, the only conventional phone in the entire house was a completely basic model left in the house by the previous owners which we promptly unplugged (without testing) as soon as we opened the box with the DSL modem. We just don’t normally use a landline anymore. It did not occur to us to even try it. Still, the story ends happily, with all of us now online without much trouble and Kurt easily finding and hooking up our wireless router. I remembered which box it was in and said box was easily accessible to us, which cannot be said for all the boxes currently in this house. So now we’re the one providing the friendly hot spot to our neighbors, should they need it. At least for the time being. So, if you live on my block, feel free to use my internet connection.

Sophia requested The Bojaby (or Bojabi) Tree again tonight. She kept asking Kurt to tell it and he kept telling her he didn’t know it. She was skeptical of this claim at first, but then realized that she didn’t know it either, so he could be telling the truth there. We have very different storytelling styles. He rushes through about 5 stories in 10 minutes, covering everything from Jack and the Beanstalk to the Three Little Pigs to Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I find my memory for most of these stories failing me. I realize in the middle of telling them that I’m leaving a part out, or forgetting the hook, or the main character’s motivations, and don’t tell them efficiently. However, I can tell one or two stories very well. I go into all aspects of my limited repertoire elaborately, with lots of detail, and probably more embellishment than is needed. It takes me about 10 minutes to tell one story. If it isn’t the Bojaby tree story I tell a Princess Monkey Toes story, which I make up, usually starting where I left off last time. I’m so pleased that Sophia gets exposed to different storytelling styles and different stories between the two of us. Tonight she was very involved as I recounted my tale, telling the animals the name of the tree when they’d forgotten it. It was really sweet.

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Orcinus : Home is where the hate is

I’ve only recently started reading this blog, like in the last two weeks or so. I followed it from someone else I read, possibly slacktivist. It’s thoughtful political ruminations, mostly. I link this entry for primarily two reasons:

  1. This guy takes his kid to a Montessori school!
  2. I’ve a longstanding interest in what makes people racist and why people willingly accept the wholesale denigration of entire classes of other people. Living in the South for so many years I’ve encountered countless people who were otherwise bright, generous and good-natured, but inevitably would say something racist that would make me cringe and wonder if I could continue to be on speaking terms with them.

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18 Nov 2004, by

Writing Goggles

One would think that since I’m unemployed I’d have nothing to do, but such is not the case. I’m far busier than I was when I had a job, and I can’t quite figure out the logistics of that. Some of it, of course, is moving related but not all. I should have more free time, not less free time, right? I should also come to the end of a day less exhausted, but that’s not working out yet either.

Today I wrote 2105 words on the story that for a while yesterday was called “Slim Chance” but appears now to have the title “Loyal Companion”. This brings the total number of words for the story to 3939 so far. I am in the conclusion of the story, and don’t expect it to take more than 500 or so words to wrap itself up. Of course, yesterday I thought I stopped writing about 2/3rds of the way through it and I turned out to be less than halfway done, so you may not want to trust my fuzzy authorial impressions.

The interesting thing about beginning to write seriously again is how often I’m wearing my writing goggles away from the keyboard. Everything around me now has a dual purpose. First it informs me of the world around me and secondly it becomes fodder. It’s like seeing double.

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