Biography, Technical

Field Report

Walnut Creek 20/Nov/04 — Highs and lows in the rugged terrian around Mount Diablo. I took a new job in San Ramon, which is known for being a nice, quietly dead town. Fifteen miles up the road is Walnut Creek, where Yayoi and I have selected an apartment very close to the BART.

When Yayoi came out, everything was beautiful. I rented a car from Thrifty but they cajoled me in to spending a little extra for a convertible. Normally, I might frown at the excess, but what better way to welcome my new bride to California? She has school and can not join me out here ’til December, but she was able to spend a few days out here. The first two days I had to work, and she trudged around Walnut Creek in the rain evaluating housing options. On the weekend it cleared up and we decided on a two bedroom place with a pool and a hot-tub for the modest rent of $1200.

Then, as the sun was shining on the newly verdant hills, and the leaves were turning colors, we hopped in the convertible and drove to the top of Mount Diablo. We surveyed the land as man has surveyed this territory for hundreds of years, if not more, from the tallest peak in the land. It was quite the honeymoon, for it is about a week after we were married that I had landed this job in California.

I haven’t had much time for the Internet lately. At work, I have much bandwidth, but I have a sophisticated environment to learn from the guy I am replacing. We are cut from very similar cloth, in terms of technology preference, age, and cultural inclinations. I am taking over an environment that is very similar to something I would have built — a lot of the pieces I have used before, but it is one thing to know the pieces, and quite another to understand what has been composed of them. It is a formidable task, but I am uniquely suited to it.

One difference between my predecessor and I is that he prefers to work in a cave-like environment. Whereas now that he has handed over the office to me, the shades are drawn upon a beautiful view of Mount Diablo. It is more impressive then the view of Mount Diablo from our apartment in Walnut Creek, which helped us pick the place. Yayoi says that since she spends a lot of time studying at home, it is favorable to have a nice view.

But the apartment has been more frustrating than not. They haven’t fixed any of the glitches — I’ll write up a formal request once I get some free time at work — it has taken them all week to get the maintenance guy to take a crack at wiring the phone jacks, which he did wrong, concluding that I have to call Pacific Bell to activate dialtone on the line. Well, that should happen today — they can activate from the CO. I re-wired the jacks and I only hope the maintenance guy at least knew enough to try and incorrectly wire the correct pair. (There are six pairs in the wall, and I am on orange-white.)

Meanwhile, I have 6Mb DSL coming from Speakeasy, courtesy work. They sent a self-install kit, which was received by the building office on Thursday. Except that they don’t have the package. She tried blaming UPS. I called UPS and then I dropped by this coffee shop and payed a few bucks to use their wireless . . . the package was indeed delivered on Thursday, so I’ll have to go back there and give them a polite hard time about it.

The DSL installer will be by on Tuesday. I am wondering if I’ll have DSL before I manage to get the local telephone service. At any rate, I need Internet access at home, not merely for my own geek lifestyle, but because I’m on-call with my employer. Why else would they give me such insane bandwidth?

But it is nice to get out of the house. Here at the cafe I got not only a cappucino, a pain-au-chocolate, and some Internet access, but I had an opportunity to quietly admire a cute, too-young-for-me woman who wore white tights with the hem on the back of the leg, tracing the way up to her short, white skirt, which she used to quietly brag at me about her deliciously beefy thighs. It is the sexiest thing I’ve seen since I had Yayoi with me, and a nice break from my recently monkish existence.

Today is Saturday. I did the laundry yesterday, so what else to do today? Time to head home, try and call some old friends, and hopefully ride the BART somewhere more interesting than Walnut Creek, which is a decent town, but as a co-worker confessed to me on Thursday, a little too “soccer mom.”

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Categories: Biography, Technical

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