Five things for the week

  1. We finally braved the California DMV* (without an appointment, nonetheless less) to get our California driver’s licenses and license plates. We are now “California official”, or at least, official again. It’s a weird thing to focus on but, I feel more at home knowing my license and car tags say “California” on them again.
  2. I finally (I hope) cleaned up my iTunes library. Having multiple backups in multiple locations definitely came in handy. Let that be a lesson to any reading this; keep multiple backups in multiple locations for everything important to you. I lost maybe ~10 songs in the process but, can always rip them from CDs again. I’m also just waiting for iTunes to screw it all up again. The plus side of doing this (it took half a day) was that I got to listen to a lot of music that I had almost forgotten that I had.
  3. A friend, from Denmark, is staying with us tonight. It’s fun to catch up and, later, wander around the city with her. Haven’t seen her in 5 years, since our time in Korea.
  4. I’m writing this while sitting outside on my patio, in the cool quiet morning. I need to write/work outside more often.
  5. I’m slightly annoyed that I didn’t have a (new) picture to include with this post. Need to change that for the next time.

 


*There is much hoopla over how efficient the DMV is, including wait times and overall confusion for customers. The soonest available appointment that we could get would have been the end of November, which is what made us decide to brave the lines. All said and done, it took about 2.5 hours to get through everything. Not horrible but, we are definitely thankful it’s done.

Making my own work culture

IMG_0014.jpg

We have a strange work culture. Yesterday was a holiday (I prefer Indigenous Peoples’ Day) yet, emails and text messages and (yes, even some) phone calls were still flying.

I have a ton of work to do, not to mention (as you can see from the picture) quite a lot to cleanup around my overall setup. The whole home office is still a work in progress*. But, you know what? I took my holiday.

The computers remained off yesterday. Well, with the exception of my home PC. I needed some gaming time** on my day off.

I need to carry this momentum to setting overall working hours, and finding ways to turn off. I need to take breaks throughout the day, specifically make an effort to get outside more. I would love to separate my work and personal computing environments but, until I get that mansion with a hundred rooms, they’ll remain together for now.

 


* I anticipate that it will be for quite some time. The desk is a lot less cluttered than it was last week. I still need to mount the monitor (left) and clean up the cabling behind it. It will accommodate my 1) home PC, 2) Nintendo Switch, and 3) Work Surface Pro 4. The wires below the desk need a lot of cleanup but, that will come last once I get the desk arranged the way I want it.

**I’m really relly addicted to Jurassic World Evolution. I even think about it when I’m not playing it. And yes, there may have been a dream or two that involved it.

Five things for the week

Chile relleños

  1. The biggest deterrent from moving is, well… moving. Especially between different states. There’s just so much to take care of. It’s a good reminder of how broken government *cough*DMV*cough* entities are.
  2. Chile rellenos, tamales, and tacos. Those are my Mexican food vices. Now you know.
  3. I’m gathering as much as I can in preparation for e-waste recycling. I scheduled a pickup for this coming Tuesday, and am treating this as a huge opportunity to downsize, clean, and reorganize.
  4. I’m highly irritated with Apple iTunes… it has absolutely destroyed my music library. Album cover to title tracks to playlists and more… obliterated. I don’t even know where to begin with sorting this all out.
  5.  The home office is starting to take shape. At least, I like the way that it is starting to take shape. There are still some tweaks and adjustments I need to make, mostly in the name of comfort. Working from home full time has changed the way I want to approach the machines/monitors on my desk. Again. ,mostly driven by the need to be more comfortable. Also driven by the need to reduce distractions.

Five things for the week

  1. No picture ready for this post is a good indicator that I need to step up my photo game so that I don’t run into this same issue next week. I could post another food pic but, nah.
  2. I’m beginning to appreciate curated email newsletters again though, it’s still rough trying to find ones that I actually enjoy/look forward to. It also makes me wonder if I need to even bother with a newsletter of my own given that I’m not entirely positive that I would be able to keep it interesting from issue to issue.
  3. Playing Jurassic World: Evolution (PC) and it’s so what I wanted in this game it’s not even funny. I’m tempted to buy Forza Horizon 4 because I love the open world concept in a driving game. It’s cathartic to drive through farmers’ fields with a Ferrari.
  4. Damn, it feels really good to be back in California. My mind and body health is definitely improving.
  5. In another life, I think I would have become a chef.

Valley Queen

I’m adding this track to the list of songs* to write scenes to. Also, Valley Queen has been added to my list of favorite music groups. Check them out.

 

 

*I started a list of songs that I want to write scenes to. You know, scenes… like what you see in movies where there is little dialog (if any) and the combination of music and visuals speak for themselves. I do that, in my head, a lot when I listen to music. It’s about time I start putting those to paper.

Had I more optimism…

Untitled

The hotel we stayed at was two blocks away from the Watergate. The Watergate has a great rooftop bar so, a few of us decided to head over to unwind. When we arrived, we were disheartened to find out that the rooftop was rented out to a private party for the evening. So, we settled for drinks inside the lobby-level bar.

The trip was not something that I was looking forward to. It felt like I had just left the area (we completed our cross-country drive four weeks before), and we were living in between rentals while waiting for escrow to close on our own home. The week that I was needed in DC just so happened to be the week that escrow was slated to close, we would be able to move in, and our moving truck would arrive. I didn’t want to work-travel while all of that was happening. I didn’t want to leave M to deal with everything herself.

It all worked out, though. Really well, in fact. In large part because my wife is freakin’ awesome and so very capable. I worry too much. The meetings/workshop that required the travel was extremely beneficial as well. It was sorely needed and extremely helpful for my team and I to complete the next series of steps and goals. Worth it.

In hindsight, I wish I would have had more faith in things working out for the better, and thus been able to fully enjoy, in the moment, the old fashioned I sipped at the Watergate that evening.

Sacramento, CA

River scene

I took the above photo a few weekends ago, while M and I wandered around downtown and old town Sacramento. I’m falling for this city; I think it’s an underrated California “gem”. It fits what she and I were looking for.

We wanted a small-big city. Though I will always love Southern California (Ventura County, Greater Los Angeles), and it’s urban sprawl and wonderful diversity, I wanted something more… rural? Not sure if that’s the right word. I wanted a place where I could get “city life” yet still be amongst farms.

This is it. We’re in suburban Sacramento, just a 7-minute drive to downtown. Our neighborhood is uber quiet, across form a park, and filled with young families. On weekends and evenings, we can jet into the city to get our culture (food, events, sports, shopping, etc.) without much fuss. Dinners out are awesome; just a $5-10 Lyft ride so we both can drink and laugh and enjoy without much worry about finding/paying for parking or DUIs.

The rivers (Sacramento and American) are gorgeous. Folsom Lake is so close, too. No shortage of recreational and scenic waterscapes around here.

We’re a quick drive to the bay area, Redwood National Park, Yosemite, Santa Cruz/Monterey, and more. A little longer, and we can drive to Southern CA, Portland, and more places our family and friends are in. It’s central to the people and places we want in our lives.

Now that we have the location settled, it’s time we start taking advantage. Quality of life… that’s what all of this is about.

Five things for the week

Simple

  1. Why am I driving myself crazy trying to figure out which iPhone XS to upgrade to (XS or XS Max) when it’s absolutely not even something that is necessary to do?!? I’m perfectly fine with what I have. Stop it. Just, stop.
  2. There’s so much more out there that I want to spend my brain power, money, and time on.
  3. It felt really good to wake up on a Saturday and cook breakfast in my own kitchen, in my own home.
  4. Create create create.
  5. My tendency is to overcomplicate things because sometimes my brain cannot comprehend that some things are just easy. Plain and simple, some things are just easy. I don’t need elaborate dinners every night. I don’t need complicated workflow processes. I don’t need separate software to journal versus take notes versus track tasks. It’s all so crazy.

 

No more pizza boxes (for a while)

I’m just so happy that our refrigerator doesn’t have some portion of leftover pizza in it.

Six weeks. Six weeks living out of a suitcase, jumping from hotels to rentals and back to hotels. All in all it could have been worse. And, we did land in our own home (the moving truck finally arrived yesterday, after almost a week of “clamping” in our living room).

Six weeks of eating out, ordering delivery, or fumbling through small kitchenettes to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And pizza… Lord, so much pizza.

Sounds like I’m complaining, right? Sounds like I have no right to complain, as some of this stuff described above sounds like someone else’s dream vacation/staycation?

The root of it all (yes, my complaining) is that we finally are home; we can establish some roots. We plan to be here for the foreseeable future. We’re happy to be back on the west coast, in California, living in the Pacific time zone. We’re happy to be much closer to our family and friends.

And we’re happy to take that break from pizza.

Wired

There are speakers in the ceiling!

The new home is prepared with 6 speakers, in the ceiling, throughout the living room. When it comes to audio, I am clueless. I have lived 40 years of life being perfectly content with built-in speakers and headphones. And now, I have a home with recessed ceiling speakers and this series of ports.

Something new to learn about and figure out. I want to take advantage of this but not sure how. Help?

Also, the new home is wired with Ethernet cable. Every room has an Ethernet port. My dream. This is something I know about.

Missing material things

We’re in this weird place where we are living in our new home but our things haven’t yet arrived. The moving truck is still working its way across country (from Virginia). I miss our stuff. I’m craving all of our kitchen equipment because I’m getting really tired of eating out, and desperately want to get back to cooking.

I’m missing the dining room table and chairs. A couch would be nice. Our bed… Lord, I miss our bed. An air mattress will only take you so far.

I’m also missing my Kindle (Voyage). I keep kicking myself for packing it rather than keeping it with me. I thought that my iPad would suffice but, I just like the experience on the Kindle better. It’s focused reading. The iPad is a distraction, since I do so many things on it.

What we miss most of all is the feeling of being settled. It was a positive, incremental step moving out of a rental and into our own home. But we don’t feel settled. At least, not until we have out things and I’m able to put our pictures on the walls.