Busy busy busy

August 04, 2003

Well, I just got Internet setup at my new place in California. Let me apologize right away for what is sure to be a sporadic post. There's a lot of ground to cover.

The move was relatively painless (save the emotional part of it obviously). Most everything went as planned. The flight from Dallas to California (Orlando-Dallas-San Jose) felt like it was never going to end — my anticipation/anxiety had taken over. I got into California around noon on Saturday and have spent the last couple of days running around the valley looking for essential things (bed, desk, chairs, food, women, etc.).

The weather has been absolutely incredible. I have to start getting used to the fact that just because it's a little windy outside doesn't mean that a thunderstorm is approaching. Apparently, it doesn't rain much, if at all, here in the valley during the summer. This is in stark contrast to Florida, where it rains every single day in the summer, and often more than once.

I find myself constantly licking my lips and looking for something to drink. It's pretty dry out here.

While on the subject of the valley, let me discuss the traffic situation. There is a stoplight every eighth of a mile. I'm being completely serious. It absolutely amazes me how many stoplights they can fit into a given area. I thought there were laws that limited things like that. I just don't get it. Driving around here is simply an exercise in downshifting and braking. It's absurd.

Speaking of traffic, let's talk about cars for a minute. I've been here for less than three days and have already seen four, brand-new, convertible Ferraris. It's completely insane. It really is a waste to have such a nice car only to be held back by the damn stoplights; they probably never get out of second gear in the valley. I guess they take them out to the Pacific Coast Highway, or any one of the other perfect driving strips I'm yet to discover, and let 'em loose. Around here Ferraris are like BMWs and BMWs are like Hondas. There's so much money I can't see straight — I can't imagine what it must have been like during the whole dot-com boom.

Stevens Creek Boulevard, one of the main roads in the valley and about a half-mile from my place, has to be the car dealership capital of the world. Not only does it have all of your usual suspects (Lexus, Honda, Acura, Mazda, etc.), but it also has Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, and two Hummer dealerships that are no more than 300 feet from each other.

Today, the bed arrived, the digital cable/cable Internet was setup, and all my boxes from back home (I shipped seven big ones through UPS) were delivered. Just to let everyone know, Comcast knows nothing about Mac OS X. You wouldn't believe the lengths I went to just to "register" the cable modem (after which I knew I would simply be able to connect it to my wireless router and never have to deal with their alternative-OS-hating tech-support again). To make a long story short, the lady that came out to install the modem (*cough* plug into the wall) and digital cable knew absolutely nothing about OS X and told me that the install CD was for Windows only (I later realized that the CD actually contained some OS X software). So, she told me that I had to call customer service to get instructions on how to register the modem without Windows. The first lady I got knew nothing. She told me that there is a way to register the modem without the CD, but that it would require me to change my proxy settings so that we could do some stuff over the web. Not a problem. Oh wait, slight problem, she doesn't know what those settings need to be, which kind of makes sense when you think about it, I mean, after all, she's tech-support. Ridiculous. After trying a billion things with her, she tells me that she doesn't know what to do and is going to pass me up to "more advanced" support. She also tells me that this wouldn't be immediate, but rather I would be called within 24 hours by a "technician." This didn't sit well with me and so I set off to fix the problem on my own, armed with the IP of the server that I was supposed to get to through the proxy that they couldn't tell me the address of. Needless to say, I figured out a way around all the hoopla in about 20 minutes and even called tech-support to offer some tips that they might want to give to future OS X customers. Tips that would actually help them get on the network, unlike tech-support, who think that Windows is the only operating system out there (I know, I know, Windows really isn't an OS, but for the sake of argument...   :P). There's actually quite a bit more to the story but I recall saying "to make a long story short" somewhere up there.  :)

I got a new desk yesterday. I had my eye on it for quite some time, but unfortunately it was sold out when I got to Crate and Barrel. They had three at this store when I called a couple of weeks ago, but of course they sold their last two the morning of the day that I went to buy it. After calling all the C&B stores in the Bay Area and finding out that they were sold out everywhere, I decided to head back to the store nearest me and order it. The lady went to the back of the store to look and see how long it would take to arrive from the warehouse. She came back and said she actually had one in stock. It had arrived earlier that day (probably someone else's, but we both ignored the possibility).

It's a great desk and looks awesome with the PowerBook. The one problem I have with it is that because the top is tempered glass, and my mouse is optical, I'm going to have to buy a mousepad — I haven't used a mousepad in five+ years and have grown rather fond of not having to have it on the desk.

As a lot of you know from my e-mail about the number change, I recently got a new mobile phone; no surprise there. I plan to put up a short review of the Sony Ericsson T616 later in the week after I've had a chance to play with it some more. So far I have no complaints. I've been waiting for this for a while (bottom of page).

Well, it's been a ridiculously busy few days and I can't wait to take a shower and sleep in a bed. I've had to take baths the past couple of days because my apartment complex kept forgetting to bring me a damn shower rod. Also, I've been sleeping on the floor (without pillows) the past couple of nights because I didn't have a bed. Tonight's going to be great — hot shower + new pillowtop bed. Good night.

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