Emptying Boxes

August 5th, 2007  |  Published in etc

We’ve been moved in to the new pad for about a week now. Or rather, we’ve been living here for about a week now … we’re still not moved in.

Some things from the move that have been sitting in the draft folder for a week:

Recycling Places

Far West Fibers, right across the street from the west side of Reed College, is awesome for recycling. I took two carloads of scrap paper, corrugated boxes and miscellaneous plastic there. It was easy to sort and I felt better getting rid of scrap junk mail via somewhere besides curbside recycling.

Freegeek is equally awesome they took the haul I detailed, plus a second small load of CD cases, old CDs and a WebTV I’ve been carrying around with me since Ft. Bragg. The WebTV got its own write-in line on the manifest. I also dropped off the ADM3A+. More on that in a bit.

Moving Services

Craigslist is a wonderful resource for hiring people to do things for you, but that doesn’t make the people you end up hiring wonderful. I don’t want to go into this one because a. I’m still stewing and b. I don’t have the time or patience to write up an appropriate list of charges. Nerdmeyr may be willing, at some point, to tell her own tale. We both had bad Craigslist weeks. Well … she had a bad one, mine balanced out. Hang-time update: Amy told some of her tale while this entry sat in the draft queue.

U-Haul … U-Haul has full embraced the accessorized services economy. You go to the Web site, rent your truck, get an offer to “super-size” it, then get a prepopulated form to order boxes, tape, twine, furniture blankets, etc. based on the size of your truck. They helpfully offer to ship it for guaranteed arrival at a specific time. If you just go with their suggestions, you walk in for the $29.95 in-town truck, you walk out with over $600 in truck and accessories.

The Incredibles

Because I hadn’t seen either of the Toy Story movies 30 times each, or “Over the Hedge” maybe a dozen times, when I first saw “The Incredibles” in the theater I didn’t really understand why it represented a reasonable solution to the problems posed by human forms in CG features. Now, having seen it four times in the last week (in snatches, between box loads, plus one full viewing, plus an exhausted night in front of the special features), I get it. What’s awesome is that even with those absurd cartoon physiques, the characters become more and more believable as people with each passing minute. I’ve seen the Toy Story movies a multitude of times and I become more and more resistant to Andy or the other human characters each time I see them (though Big Al and the toy repair guy in TSII work better, and are more plainly cartoonized).

On the other hand, The Incredibles has an obvious ideological tilt that may or may not resonate with you, and it expresses itself unfairly enough to mar the overall movie a little. Not enough to launch a boycott or foam at the mouth at a party … hell … we bought it. But enough to make me sorry the director’s gifts for expressing social philosophy didn’t match his skill at moviemaking. Some of the added material on the DVD shows the director was hoping to get in some licks on the Mommy Wars, too, and that material is written even more, er, cartoonishly than the “Kal-El Shrugged” bits that did make it in. The commentary around those sequences doesn’t address why they were cut, but I’d guess someone realized they were too much.

In fact, seeing those cut scenes reminded me why I quit reading parenting bbs’s before Ben was even born. I never found a space where people were very good at affirming their own choices without demeaning the choices of others.

The ADM3a+ & the Tandys

When I describe the ADM3a+ to people, they either nod quickly to move me along or nod appreciatively.

I got mine as a castoff from a small oil company. I plugged it into a 1200 baud modem and it was the window through which I experienced my first Unix system in 1991-2. I read Usenet with tin, read my mail with elm, and I used it to play around on a Dune MUD (where I authored a chunk of the Landsraad assembly hall, complete with functioning cones of silence). Oh … and I used it for the old Unix “talk,” as well. Eventually, post-Army and ca. 1999, it ended up being plugged into the back of a Linux machine so I could run shell stuff while Al played KDE solitaire or surfed.

If it hadn’t been for the ADM, I don’t know whether the Unix way would have stuck as thoroughly, so a case could be made that it had a pretty big impact on what I ended up doing later on. So getting rid of it was sort of a big deal because it seemed like a thing that was important to me.

I thought about trying to find a buyer, but it seemed like a lot of effort for something I had no idea how to price. I ended up dropping it off at Freegeek, reasoning that if it had a chance to be found by someone who would know what it was from a historical point of view and maybe appreciate it, Freegeek was the place for that to happen. And if that someone didn’t happen along, at least it would end its life as an assembly of parts responsibly, instead of in a landfill.

I’ve still got the Tandy WP2 and Radio Shack Model 102 sitting here in the house. I’m mailing the 102 to Brian Proffitt. 102s were issued to writers in the newspaper chain we worked at together in 1991. He was in town for OSCON during our move week and we went out for dinner his last night. When I told him I had one laying around his eyes lit up and he said he’d love to show his daughter what we once had to deal with. The WP2 … I’m guessing I’ll put it up on the Free Stuff section of Craigslist. Someone will be thrilled. It’s interesting to see that the whole “single-function portable word processor” concept lives on.

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