Monday, April 18, 2011

Gone to Carolina in my mind

I apologize for the lack of updates lately. I realize it has been nearly two weeks since I posted, but there really has been little to say. I generally follow a practice of posting here at least once at each location, so if we stay parked for a few weeks, updates tend to be much fewer and further between. In the last two weeks, we have been moving around, but that has mostly been because we are parking on the street and subject to a 72-hour rule.

After my last post, we moved just a few blocks away, to another on-street spot that we thought might be a bit quieter (map). While we certainly had less freeway noise, we were just a few doors from a fence company, which not only moved all its trucks out of its yard and onto the street every morning, but also seemed, from the sound of it, to be having caber-tossing contests every morning using galvanized fence posts. The county maintenance yard next door was similarly noisy, with the road department trucks having backup races at 7am (feep -- feep -- feep). Still, it was quiet overnight, and we stayed our full three days.

We moved right back where we had been for another three days after that, and then moved back down to Mountain View (map), where we'd been once already on this visit. That let us take light-rail downtown for a late dinner on Tuesday with the motorcycle regulars, many of whom attended a dirt-riding seminar at the regularly scheduled dinner time. It turned out that Louise did not need to be in Redwood City last week, so we just stayed in Mountain View until our clock ran out, then moved here to where we sit today, back on the street in Sunnyvale (map).

This was a good jumping-off spot for dinner Friday with a long-time friend in San Jose, as well as for dancing to one of our favorite bands Saturday night on a hilltop overlooking south San Jose. This was the very same band that played at our wedding, and also at my 40th birthday bash lo those many years ago.

Louise needs to be back in Redwood City tomorrow, and we'd already be rolling up that way right now if not for the fact that someone is coming over this evening to Freecycle the fish tank, fish included. We've had this five-gallon tank, or the smaller 3-gallon one that preceded it, on board Odyssey for nearly half a decade now, having introduced it to you in this post. We have five fish at present, some of which have been with us nearly that long, and must be some of the most well-traveled tropical fish in the world. Some of these fish have been to most of the continental US and a good part of Mexico with us.

Louise, who is the fish-keeper, has decided to pass on the tank as a fully working system, complete with fish, to someone who wants it while the fish are still relatively healthy, and everything is working and in good condition. She had also freecycled the older 3-gallon tank a few years ago, but that went empty. We'll miss them, but after five years it was really time to move on. Louise will be happy to have her nightstand back, which has been given over to fish-dom for a long time. I'll be happy to be less worried about bumpy roads, which we quantify nowadays by how much water sloshes out of the tank (we lose almost none in normal driving).

We've been slowly working our way through the list of bay area friends we want to catch up with, meeting with our financial professionals here, and getting projects done around the house. One of those was to replace the blinds; after seven years, the Bali double-cell cellular shades we have were just done. In addition to some streaking from window leaks, which are, thankfully, now behind us, the operating mechanisms had deteriorated over time, and they had become hard to operate and prone to tangling. As long as we were in more or less one place for a few weeks, we decided to special-order some replacements at Lowe's. We waited until they put them on 20%-off sale and then ordered new ones all around; this time we opted for the room-darkening variety in the bedroom. They mostly look just the same as the old ones, but much cleaner and silky smooth to operate.

I've been chipping away at my long list, and had the living room counters covered with project detritus this morning. I've also got several balls in the air regarding appointments over the next couple weeks, and we've been starting to make plans for Trawler Fest in Anacortes mid-May. So of course the phone woke me out of a deep sleep at 5:50 this morning with a call from our Red Cross chapter asking if I could go to North Carolina to respond to the tornadoes there.

At ten till six with no coffee in me I nearly said yes without thinking hard enough. But we've been doing this a long time, and at our level we know that we are never called to a major response by our chapter unless we have already heard about it through other channels. So I had just enough presence of mind to defer it until we could talk to leadership in Washington. It turned out that I was probably not requested for my specific skills but rather my name had simply bubbled to the top of a list of available resources in the midwest. Of course, we're not actually in the midwest right now, even though that's where our chapter is. Ultimately after catching another hour of sleep and another round of back and forth we decided I would go to North Carolina if they needed me there. By the time I got that message back to the chapter, the positions were already filled, and it was unlikely anyway that anyone wanted to pay for cross-country air fare for a lower level position, so I am off the hook.

Before that came to pass, though, it was an adrenaline-filled morning as we pondered what to do with the mess in the living room, how to get ready, and where to park the bus so that it would not have to move in my absence. (Louise can drive the bus just fine, but we also have a borrowed car at the moment, and it is impossible for one person to move both at once.) We'd have to wave off the fish tank exchange, and I probably would not be back in time to make Trawler Fest (not that that matters much).

In any case, at this writing it appears I will not be needed in North Carolina, but our hearts are with all the people affected by the extreme weather events across the country and in North Carolina in particular. We know some of the folks who are responding and you are in good hands. We are there in spirit, wherein comes today's title, with apologies to James Taylor.


  1. Sean,

    Wow you all have got a lot going on. I enjoy reading about your travels.
    Louise I appreciate your comments on my blog very much.


  2. Hi,

    I am honoured to give you the Versatile Blogger Award.

    Please check out the link:

    Have a great day!


  3. Very kind words! It is truly heart-breaking to hear all the stories of people who have been affected by these harsh weather conditions :( hope your journey continues safe, watch out for those dangerous driving people out there! Regards - Max


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