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Getting Caught Up
June 23, 2000

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I started writing this on June 9th. I continued it on June 12th. I wrote more on June 20th, balancing on the cusp of Summer. Now, it is June 23rd, and Summer has officially come in. Though it's been a strange summer, with hot, summerlike weather being crossed by cold, rainy weather all along. We keep having the feeling like the summer's just waiting to start, but summer should start weeks before the actual Solstice. By the time it gets here, we're going to feel gypped.

But it's a good Summer. There have been those few hot, sunny days that make me glad for my Air Conditioner, which is all I ask of Summer. The chance to go outside into gorgeous, moist weather, do things, and walk into my apartment and feel that woosh of Theater-like air conditioning -- a threshold of cool, dry air that soothes my hot, tired body. And so with a good summer comes summer projects and work, and this is an exceptionally busy time at the Office, and so it's been fourteen days since you've heard from me. Sorry about that.

There have been things to keep me busy, of course. And things that will keep me busy in the coming days. And it's been long enough that I'm probably forgetting a dozen things I meant to journal, but we'll catch up or not. Though some projects have been stepping forward...

First and foremost, I'm working on a journal related project where I copied out all the entries from April 18, 1999 (the beginning) to June 2, 2000. I then stripped out all the extraneous words from the entries. Things like "Previous, Next, Journal Home" and the like, from the bottom of each entry.

In raw text, the total wordcount of this journal from 4/18/1999 to 7/2/2000 is two hundred thousand, six hundred and twenty-eight words. In traditional double-spaced typewritten pages of the sort you never see any more, that's eight hundred and three pages. In single spaced-with-space-between-paragraphs Times New Roman, it's four hundred and twenty eight pages.

Any way you look at it, that's a ton of words for a year-plus's output. And it's all free, too. Go figure.

Then there are the changes in my life. They go from the sublime to the profound. The one I thought would be major was a change of work computer. My work computer is a Powerbook, always, so changing it actually means changing a major component of my life-space. This is the machine I take with me on the road. It's the machine I throw into the Targus bag and carry down to Dover to drink coffee and write with. It's the machine I fall back on when I go home to Maine. It carries a melange of my writing, my work, my records and twiddles and amusements. To move from one Powerbook to another means several days of file moving, of discarding old programs and files, and taking the time to put new, updated ones on the system in their place. To pick and choose what I want, what I need and what I can have. And always -- always -- there are problems.

This time, I'm moving into a shiny new Y2K Powerbook Firewire -- the king of Apple's Portable line. I've got a hundred and ninety-two megabytes of pure, uncut RAM in the thing, purring alongside a 400 mhz G3 processor. Oh, there are (slightly) faster Powerbooks, but the differences are minute. With the new model comes Firewire ports and USB ports (I have a Wacom tablet and mouse already attached to it at work) and the processing power to try new things. Like voice recognition and dictation. The Academy's been strong to find and have decent Voice-to-Text for years now, for kids who have problems with typing (or a broken arm). So, I've been working with ViaVoice by IBM.

Surprisingly, it works like a freakin' charm. I dictated fifteen hundred words to it last night, with an error rate considerably lower than a PalmPilot. And I wasn't dictating normal stuff. I actually worked on an article I've been playing with for In Nomine. Trust me, when you can teach the software to recognize "Seraphim" and "Metatron" quickly and easily, the software is pretty good.

I had a problem with Eudora for quite a bit, finally solved by calling their Tech Support. (It pays to actually buy the software, y'know it?) It seems there's an extension called URL Access in MacOS 9.0.4 that conflicts with Eudora. Disable it, and all is well.

Of course, I'm running it at home with no troubles, but who am I to argue with Tech Support?

The weird thing is, all this is secondary to the main Thingy right now, which is Moving.

Not to a new computer. To a new apartment.

See, I'm in Academy Housing. Specifically, I'm in a Studio Apartment. And for two years, I've liked it a lot. It's warm, it's convenient, it's easy to get around... but it's small. And there's literally no place to store stuff. None. So I've had stuff in boxes forever, often sitting around near the walls because I have nothing better to do with it.

So, I put in for a new apartment this year. I've got a couple of years seniority now and have earned the right to upgrade if an upgrade became available, which was something of an if.

Well, it came through on Wednesday. I was invited to go look at Apartments. I did so, and chose a nice one bedroom. It has advantages (like multiple rooms, storage space, a full kitchen, a bathtub and -- a-ahem -- a washer and dryer in the apartment) and disadvantages (like the fact that it's a bit run down and has electrical wiring from the freakin' stone age).

Still, the problems would be surmountable with time (and money), so I agreed.

"Great!" Sarah, the Academy person showing me the place said. "We need you to move this weekend!"

So, I've been just a scosh busy of late. Have to arrange for the Satellite dish to be moved, for the new electrical boxes to be put in (I can't plug my computers into what's there now -- I'd fry the machines, burn down the house and die horribly in my sleep), get stuff moved over, and figure out some way to get the Leviathan that is my desk from one apartment to the other.

So, I should be totally moved by the end of next Monday, whereupon I will be using the new Powerbook a lot (as it will be 1-2 weeks before the electrical work's done). At the same time, I'll be listening to a lot of radio, as the DiSH won't be hooked up and installed until next Friday. And with luck, I won't need the air conditioner right away -- see electricity above.

In the meantime, I'm busy. Very busy.

This all misses the week or so I was really very sick -- not heart related stuff, just the good ol' respiratory illnesses one comes to expect from living in the Northeast -- and the beginning of this year's Brewster Summer Institute (I taught an all day class on the care and feeding of Powerbook computers, as I always do). It misses Titan A.E. and Shanghai Noon, which we saw (Van, Mason and I for the former, just Van and I for the latter) and recommend. It misses my Sister and her family coming up, most of whom are here for the Summer (but for George, who must return home and work) and the fun evening I had with them. It misses getting my car inspected for a recall which turned out not to apply to me, the epic battle to get a loaner car and the grand Health Food Store Adventure. And, it misses Virtual Game Station.

Mmm... Virtual Game Station....

And now, I've spent all the time I can on this, I'm afraid. So -- see you next time. I'll try to make it less than three weeks, I promise. I don't promise to succeed, but I promise to try. I'll also use the Weblog more, to keep folks up to immediate date. I hope. We'll see. It's not just you, I swear. I've been bad about e-mail too. No really. I swear.

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