Sunday, September 21, 2008

Almost Home

After several solid days of unpacking, the house is finally near to looking like a "home". The furniture is in it's place, and I have stopped moving knick-knacks from surface to surface and some have found their homes. Most of the art work remains in their protective packing materials, but that's the only thing still in boxes. Luckily, I had George home for the whole weekend, and he played a critical role is putting together the office. The boys have computers AND internet access! There was much rejoicing.

A more important and startling accomplishment came last night when George worked on hooking up all the equipment that goes along with the TV. We have had TV access for a while, but now we have the DVD player, processor, Olive and the speakers are working. We go through this drill every time we move. It generally takes George a couple of days and at least two trips to a components store before we are fully operational. For some reason, plugs go missing, wires are too short or there is just a gremlin in the works. The startling accomplishment was that the whole shebang worked THE VERY FIRST TIME. Frankly, it shocked the shit out of both George and I. The only things that still need work are 1) our universal remote uses a UK plug, so for the time being we are destined to try to find the right remote for the right activity -- inevitably getting it wrong at least once before locating the correct button, and 2) we needed to hook up the GIANT processor instead of the nice compact processor for the same reason as #1. The plug for the remote can be purchased at Radio Shack, but the processor needs a professional to switch the whole thing from 240 to 110.

Usually, George would be excited and pumped to run off the Radio Shack today to get the plug for the remote. What's more fun than getting electronic stuff to work?? However, while he was able to get the TV up and running on try #1 yesterday, he wasn't so lucky with the computer stuff. It took three trips to the store get stuff to hook up the computers and printers. Three trips down and up the Hill of Misery. The H.O.M. is what leads from our house to our cute little shopping street in West Portal.

The walk down the HOM is a pleasant stroll through a nice leafy neighborhood. The walk UP the hill is done without any concern to the scenery. You're just trying to catch your breath. Head down and one foot in front of the other. It's a beast. The first block up from West Portal is just down right nasty and the next three blocks are a steady relentless incline. After a month and half I am finally getting used to it. I can no longer physically see my heart beating through my shirt and breathing in does not feel like shards of glass. Those first few weeks when I had to travel down there at least twice a day carrying a laptop back and forth were serious heart attack danger treks. I got soft walking the level terrain in both Frankfurt and London.

Of course, we do have the option of driving down the hill. This is California for Pete's Sake!! It's a full 4 blocks to the shopping area, not to mention another three blocks of stores that need to be traversed. I haven't checked any laws yet, but I suspect that it may be illegal to walk that kind of distance when you have a perfectly good car with a California license plate. Still, the true urban dweller way-of-life is still ingrained in us and we can't bring ourselves to do it. So we will continue to trek the H.O.M. and for the time being live life without the new plug for the remote until one of us gets up a little more energy.

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