Sunday, February 06, 2005

A Report from the South

We have finally moved >95% of our crap into our rent house and plan to actually sleep there tonight. The only things left are the computers, but being that our desk fell apart on the trip over, we aren't in that big of a hurry. Plus, our amazingly efficient telco (BellSouth) won't be able to flip a switch for another two days, despite the fact that we placed the order for phone service over a week ago. So -- no Internet unless we walk down the street to use my mother-in-law's AOL account (AOL -- hurk). AND, we're having to change our primary ISP to Netscape just to be able to call a local number. Otherwise we'll either spend a fortune in long distance bills or we will have to pay at least $38 more per month for a local area calling plan. Ridiculous. I hate phone companies.

As far as the house goes, it's ugly. It works, don't get me wrong, but there's just not that much going for it in the Looks department. There are holes punched in two of the doors, there's a very noticeable crack in the ceiling, the floor is peeling in several locations, and the outside is about as interesting as a block of unpainted wood.

Julie has been busting her cute tush getting the house into shape. She's been scrubbing the floors, bathrooms, walls, and shelves. She's also been hauling boxes, unpacking, organizing, and all the other tedious jobs that make me want to leave it all behind and buy everything new at the new location. Her hands are raw from all the work she's been doing. It almost makes me want to get up from my lawn chair and do some work, but then I think of my marguarita getting warm and sit back down.

I'm not looking forward to the lawn care. One benefit of apartments is that you don't have to attend to the lawn, and if something on the inside breaks you can simply call maintenance. Not that they will necessarily DO anything, but you have the peace of mind from knowing that you made the call.

We also have to deal with the train tracks less than a quarter mile from the house. It's definitely noticeable from within the house, but not nearly as bad as we thought it might be.
On the Plus side, we don't have neighbors pressed up against our walls. I was working on something inside a couple of days ago and the stream of conciousness went something like this:


Oh, crud, I'd better keep it down or I might disturb the neighbors

Wait, our nearest neighbor is 50 feet and two exterior walls away



Plus, we don't have to worry about any industrious Chinese-restaurant owners or juvenile delinquent punks stomping around over our heads. The only residents above us are the spiders crawling around in the fiberglass insulation, and they walk pretty quietly.

On the whole we are extremely happy to be out of north Louisiana. There were several people from the area we'll miss, but we have a lot of friends and virtually all our family down here. Plus, at least we can minimize the number of people speaking "faux Cajun". There were some places up north that did a pretty good job of boiling crawfish, so here's credit where credit is due.

Being an IT consultant again is taking some getting used to. So far the others, including the partners, seem to be pretty cool. The worst thing I've had to deal with so far is a slow computer that belonged to a part-owner of the company. I had to spend hours fighting with a stupid Windows 98 machine that took 10 minutes to boot and, if I was lucky, booted properly once out of every four or five times. I spent the better part of a day on this thing and it wasn't even billable. However, the other jobs seem to be going pretty well. The biggest downside to this job is that a lot of nights will be spent either working or studying.

I also might be making a return entry to the teaching profession. A friend of my mother-in-law wants to learn more about her computer but is somewhat beyond the beginner's level, and expressed some interest when Julie mentioned that I was interested in teaching similar classes. Assuming I have the time, teaching individual classes could be a lucrative sideline and extra money is very welcome right now.

Jude is sick again. He seems to be running a slight fever and is blowing snot everywhere. It hasn't slowed him down too much and he's definitely not sleeping any later, more's the pity. I just hope Julie doesn't pick up whatever he has.

We are now smack in the middle of Mardi Gras season. Unfortunately, we cannot partake in any of the festivities because of the unpacking and organizing that must take place. We even got an invitation to ride in a float in a parade (beer provided!), but we'll probably have to turn it down. I weep as I write this.

And that's the latest update from south central Louisiana. I cannot thank all of you enough for your prayers and well-wishes. May God bless every one of you with wisdom and love.

*----------------- UPDATE 2/7/05 -----------------*
This morning we were woken by strange noises coming from above our heads. My reflex thought was, "!#*&$#!" neighbors!" My next thought, as consciousness slowly appeared, was, "There is a large and frisky animal in our attic." It turned out to be Option C: The neighbor's cat and another cat had climbed onto our roof and were engaged in an epic battle. Knights in full battle armor don't hold a candle to fighting cats when it comes to making noise.

There is a small bayou that runs next to the railroad tracks behind our rent house. In the evenings, assuming a lack of trains and fighting cats, the air is filled with the beautiful noise of tiny frogs. I love to sit back and listen to them. Well, I will enjoy this once we are finished unpacking.


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