Monday, July 19, 2010

Back in New Hampshire

We're back. No little elves came and packed up all our stuff for us, so it looks like we'll have to do it ourselves. Again. Still no word on jobs for either of us; thus no idea when we will be moving. We hope to know something definiter (more nearly definite? Sorry; my degree was management...) by the end of this week. Until then, we're hanging loose and stuffing things into big plastic bins.

We did decide on an apartment. It's only 7 miles from one of Debbie's potential jobs, 8 miles from the second, and about the same for one of my potential jobs and walking/biking distance to the second. It's in the "good" part of Sanford, which, given that Sanford has one of the highest per capita crime rates in the nation, doesn't say much. Sanford is sort of like Flint, Michigan with alligators lurking in the drainage ditches. (Seriously. A kid lost a hand swimming in some little pothole while we were there. A wildlife dude shot the gator and recovered the hand, but it was too mangled to reattach.) But the complex seems to be a decent place. People actually know each other, which is unusual for apartments, and there seems to be at least some effort at community rather than just the temporary flop house we currently live in, where most of the residents barely acknowledge we exist.

We did the Universal Studio Islands of Adventure thing on Friday. Two words: Don't bother. Especially at $80+ a head. There isn't much there and what is there doesn't measure up to what the The Mouse delivers on a bad day. Even the brand new Harry Potter stuff just wasn't. For one, there was nobody in costume interacting with the crowds (other than ordering them to get in line). And I realize a lot of it was because it was the new thing, but I simply will not stand in a line in the Florida sun so I can go into a gift shop. It was bad enough that we had to stand in an hour-long line to even get into that section of the park. Not to get on a ride or into a sit-down restaurant, mind you. That was another one- to two-hour line. We stood in line just to be allowed to walk through the Harry Potter Experience. Anyway, hot, loud, crowded and gift shops. That's Universal Studio's idea of a good time. Your mileage may vary. Ours certainly did and not in a good way.

My bike developed a very annoying squeak this morning while out riding. I'm out of dry lube and WD-40 did nothing. Not surprising given that the bearings are sealed. And it's not just a squeak, but grinding as well, which likely means an expensive trip to the bike shop. I haven't put nearly enough miles (and certainly not enough hard miles) on the thing for it to be having these sorts of problems. If it turns out that repairs are going to cost much more than a c-note, I may be looking at a longtail. Cheaper than a second car and useful all year in Florida.

I had a minor tragedy while in Florida. My sandals, which have been to the pyramids of Egypt and the Parthenon, the peaks of Mount Washington and Haleakalā, walked the streets of Pompeii, Ephesus, Venice and the Vatican, gave countless tours of Arcosanti and have trod the streets of a third of the states in the US, gave up the ghost. Not bad for a pair of $5 Walmart specials. Replacing them turned into a bit of a chore. They started giving out on me back when I was working the census, so we shopped around before we left for Florida and couldn't find a single pair of sandals. Lots of flip-flops, but no sandals. I wasn't really surprised as I'm practically the only person in New Hampshire who wears the things. But it wasn't any better in Florida. I finally found sandals (not flip-flops, which take up half the shoe department in every store we visited) at the Lake Mary K-Mart. Exactly two styles and only one in my size. And they cost $20. These puppies better last until I'm dead.

Anyway, fare thee well, my good and faithful servants:


(And yes, you can see the green carpet through the sole of the left sandal. There's some major mileage on those soles.)

Meanwhile, in the Gulf of Mexico, the jubilation over BP finally getting a cap on the main pipe is somewhat muted today as oil started seeping out of the seabed. At least the oil flowing into the Gulf is essentially zero. For now, anyway. Of course, things could be far worse than we've been led to believe. Even if Matt Simmons is a total nut and everything goes exactly right from here on out, this is a long way from over.

You know that game where you try to connect random actors/actresses to Kevin Bacon? Well, you knew someone was going to do it eventually. Yeah. There's an app for that. Enter a name and The Oracle of Bacon will give you that person's Bacon Number (the degrees of separation between that person and Kevin Bacon). For example, Robert Pattinson (aka Sparkle Tits) has a Bacon Number of 2; he was in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix with Gary Oldman, who was in Criminal Law with Kevin Bacon. The site is horribly slow; I'm assuming it's hosted on a small server that is getting its brains beat out with all the traffic. But have faith; it eventually responds.

This is getting rather long, so I'll just cut it off here.

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