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Wm! and Alx! have finished packing and are currently enjoying that new blog smell over at The Permanent Home of T & E.  The new site took the better part of Alx!’s day to set up, but we’re finally done kicking the tires and are ready to open our doors.


All the content from this blog is over there now, and this message will stay up for one week and then this iteration of the blog will be deleted.  Hope you like our new place as much as we do!



– Your Intrepid Editors, Wm! and Alx!


Trial and Errors Visits LA: Day 5

I spent yesterday and today visiting an old friend in San Diego. I hit traffic going down, and I hit traffic coming back. I came home and my housemates had gone into my room to feed my (apparently very vocally upset) cat (and I felt so bad about it). I guess that’s life in southern California.

Tomorrow is the big day — first day at work! I’m so excited! It’s Alx!’s first day, too.

Trial and Error Visits LA: Why?!

I should have mentioned, of course, the reason why T&E (well, half of T&E, anyway) is in LA. I’m starting a summer job on Monday with a government agency. I’ll blog about it here. I’ll keep it somewhat somewhat vague, but I’ll share what I feel I can.

Trial and Error Visits LA: Day 1 of ?

Today is my first full day in LA. I’ve spent the last week trying to get down here, and I might spend the next three months trying to get home.

I spent all last Wednesday moving the stuff that’s too big to fit in my car and not important enough to move to LA with me. My furniture and a few boxes of stuff went to my storage unit (with the help of my friends Aaron and Rachel), leaving behind what I thought was just enough stuff to fit in my car and take to California.

Turns out I’m very bad at judging these things.

Loading my car should have taken three hours, by my calculations. As it was, it took about eight, not including all of the other running around I had to do on Thursday. By the time night fell on Thursday (by which point, since my dome light was obscured and there was no outdoor lighting, I was forced to stop loading my car), I still had another four hours worth of work ahead of me.

There’s somethig about the kitchen that defies making predictions about how much is there and how long it will take. Maybe it’s all the cabinets.

With the car fully loaded (with the exception of the front seat, which was set aside for my cat DJ), I finally got on the road on Friday afternoon, about 18 hours later than I’d planned. I had planned to spend Thursday night at a friend’s house in Corvallis, OR, but that of course fell through when it became 10 PM Thursday and I still had another three hours of loading to do.

My first stop was in Yreka, CA. In a minor triumph, my little car made it through the entire state of Oregon (and about a third of the state of Washington) without refueling. They say that the mandatory attendant gas pumping in Oregon doesn’t affect the price of gas that much, but I’m still skeptical.

After spending the night in Yreka (at a discount motel with no appreciable air conditioning), DJ and I headed down to th Bay Area, which is where I grew up. I’d set up a Facebook event for people to come and say hi at a bar near where I went to community college, but only one person showed up. I guess you really can’t go home again. I did, however, go on a Segway tour of San Francisco on Sunday, so I did have a good time all the same. (I checked — the ones in Seattle are somehow more expensive.)

My friends with whom I stayed in the Bay Area had a cat of their own (so DJ couldn’t be out and about unsupervised) and an air mattress for me to sleep on (so DJ couldn’t sleep with me, since kitty claws and inflatable things are incompatible). Poor DJ spent most of last weekend locked up in the guest bathroom. I felt so bad for him — he would let out these loud pathetic cries (not bad for a deaf cat).

We left for LA yesterday afternoon, taking I-5 (sorry, I’m in SoCal now: The 5) the whole way down. DJ was much calmer on this leg of the trip than he had been before. Maybe he was more used to the carrier and the car, maybe he was just glad to be out of that bathroom. We didn’t hit traffic until we got into downtown LA. The community where I’m staying is east of the city, so we had to go downtown and then take another freeway heading away from downtown which was, at that time of day, overtaken with going-home commuters).

I arrived last night and promptly turned the cat loose in my room since he hadn’t been able to use the litter box all afternoon. I tried to sign on to my housemates’ wifi network, only to be met with, ‘oh we don’t have a wifi connection’. (Seriously? What is this, 2003?) They also like their TV loud in the living room (right outside my door), so I picked up some earplugs rather than make a big deal out of it.

Today I went up to Costco and picked up some delicious breakfasty things. I also spent an hour or two at Starbucks, using their wifi so I could update my e-mail (well, update it better than I could on my phone, anyway) and clean out my Google Reader.

Lessons learned?

Pack your car up first. Do this before you make any assumptions about how much stuff you can fit in it.

Get a bigger storage unit. No, even bigger than that. They give you the first month free, so use the money you save to get a bigger unit.

Do not drive large rental trucks up 35th Ave NE in Seattle. It looks wide enough, but it isn’t.

Feed the cat. He gets meowy if you don’t.

If you forget the food bag (stupid), treats do not count as food.

He won’t use the litter box at rest areas, so don’t even bother.

For all his meowing, the cat is more resilient than you think.

Make sure the rental agreement says ‘includes wifi’.

Leave enough time to take to Goodwill the stuff that won’t fit in storage and won’t fit in your car.

Just because you’re on the road doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want. Bleh.

Everything that sucks about the Bay Area is everything that sucks about LA. But that’s about it — one isn’t really better than the other. Years of antipathy towards southern California seem silly now, since brown hills all start to look alike after two years in green rainy Seattle.

Alx! is the best BFFLS ever.

Remember, You Were Just Arresting Him…

First, read/watch this:

Accused rapist attacked by victim’s husband, friend

Then read this:

RCW 9A.16.020

This makes me mad. I think the husband and his friend showed considerable restraint, given that the suspected rapist is still breathing. So remember, if you come home and you find someone has just raped your spouse, you were “detaining” him after the fact. That’s why he looks like that.

The New UK Government

The new ruling coalition is talking about fixing the term of a parliament at five years. I don’t see this holding up — the Tories and the Lib Dems are just too strange bedfellows for this coalition to last through the rest of 2010, let alone five years. The Tories are going to stall on the parliamentary terms measure, which will cause the coalition to fall apart. The Tories will try to avoid a no-confidence motion as long as possible; Cameron will likely ask for a dissolution after the U.S. midterm elections give him a sense of the way the political winds are blowing on this side of the Atlantic.

Can we please SHUT THE HELL UP…

… about who Elena Kagan may or may not like to bone?! What difference does it make? And who cares that she was never a judge? Bill Rehnquist was never a judge, either, and he was quite the conservative darling (until relatively late in his career on the Court).

Even if Elena Kagan is gay (and who really knows, it’s her personal life), why would that be a bad thing? Why should it matter one way or the other? Do people think there’s some vast gay conspiracy to get one of Them on the Supreme Court? How would you like it if someone asked you who you preferred to have sex with in order to get a job? (This is not illegal under federal law right now, by the way, in the absence of ENDA.)

There was a time when people were ashamed of being ignorant. Now there are corners of this country where people wear their ignorance as a mark of pride.

If you’re going to criticize Elena Kagan, criticize her for the fact that she’s one more New Yorker on a Court already full of New Yorkers (Scalia was born in New Jersey but grew up in Queens, Sotomayor’s from the Bronx, Ginsburg is from Brooklyn). Expect the next nominee to come from Staten Island.