Saturday, April 30, 2011

Another nice day... Sandy Bay. But we didn't soak up much of the spring sunshine.

D. and I spent much of the glorious, sunny afternoon indoors, getting the framing up for the Sumptuous Office Complex.

To be fair, I have to say D. did the lion's (lioness's?) share of the hard work, cutting the 2x4s, flailing away with a small sledgehammer when our measurements proved too precise and things needed to be, shall we say, "persuaded" into place. She knows how to do this stuff, and I cringe when I consider what it would look like if I had gone ahead, in full bull-in-china-shop mode, and slapped the thing together myself.

Nonetheless, a few hours' work brought forth a pretty nifty result....

The more we do, the less fits into a photo....

Down at the far left end of this sturdy and remarkably plumb structure is the doorway. The framing is essentially complete, with headers fastened to the joists above and sill plates ditto to the floor. Wiring, wall covering, ceiling, paint and floor coverings will soon follow.

It's going to be a busy place down there, what with the stonemasons, sculptors, plasterers and fresco artists all doing their respective things. I'm thinking Sistine Chapel here, Jim....

Actually, I'm also thinking it will be good simply to have the space done up enough to use. There's work to do now*, and more likely in the near future.

This is fun!

* My favorite former client is now a former and current client, dropping some rather remunerative work on me, with discussions about further projects continuing. Oddly enough, the move seems to have helped; not only am I in a better position mood-wise to write -- it's a Temperamental Artist thing, baby -- but the magazine has two editors nearby (in the same state, anyway, and it's small compared to my previous states) who seem more inclined to deal with me...should they want a face-to-face meeting, it's a fairly short trip now.  I'm digging that, as my bank account and D. will, as well....

Friday, April 29, 2011

Saying goodbye, saying hello.

I finally ended a 23-year relationship with my former bank yesterday. Actually, it was longer than that; I was using yet another bank that was swallowed up by the Stagecoach & Horses bank, and didn't bother to shop around when informed that they were my "new" bank.

The relationship -- banks are big on that "relationship" stuff, but mine didn't think I was worth relating to -- ended the way it had always been: with a heavy dose of frustration on my part. They don't make it easy to close accounts, hiding the information in obscure corners on their website and denying access via their automated "customer service" phone line ("I'm sorry, that is not an available hear your account status, blahblahblah...."), forcing me finally to send an email demanding that they close my accounts. Whereupon, I got an email from the customer service center (in India, I think, as the email started out "Hi, my name is Seth and I am here to help you...") and the deed was finally done. Only took a couple of hours.

My new bank, which D. also uses, is a small, conservative and local institution. Opening an account was simple; the hardest part was the activation of my debit card. Old Bank was satisfied if you stuck the thing in an ATM and chose your PIN there. Not this one. After said card arrived in the mail, I had to trot down to the bank in person -- only a 10-minute walk, which I enjoyed -- and have the customer service lady crank it up for me. After, that is, I signed in the bank's book that I was me, had the card and wanted it activated.

Ah, the human touch.


Also got my driver's license today. My new home state offers what it calls "conversion" of an out-of-state license, which struck me as a very civilized procedure. Hand in old license, fill out form, take eye test, pay fee and have photo taken for new license, which will supposedly arrive in five days. No written test, driving test, or any of that other folderol I recently went through elsewhere. Only took a few minutes, too. And the clerk said "Welcome to [my new home state]" when we finished....

The only agonizing element was the cost of the conversion. It would have bought me three licenses in my Old Home State, four in my recent Transient State. Oh, well.

Still, I left the Registry of Motor Vehicles a happy boy.

PARENTHETICAL NEWS-YOU-CAN'T-USE THOUGHT: That name strikes me as strangely archaic, as many names do here. Something one might have seen in Colonial days, like "Informer of Deer," a sort-of game warden's job which, in fact, was held in a nearby town at one time by one Lord Timothy Dexter....

So now I have my driver's license, bank account and library card. I guess I'm really here!

And, if anyone asks, I can prove it, Jim....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Surreal time in Ipswich

Sunday afternoon got a bit strange when D. took me into Darkest Ipswich to visit a place called New England Biolab.

No fences, guard towers or (obvious) cameras greeted us when we turned onto the grounds of what was once a large private estate. In fact, the grounds are still well-kept, and the Biolab Boss Man apparently lives in the former family manor house....

There's also a modern glass-and-metal building where the boffins hang out, but I like this one better.

I haven't the slightest idea what the Biolab produces -- I read a description, and now have a headache and know less than when I started -- but have a sneaking suspicion there's some spooky stuff going on out there in the middle of all that empty acreage....

I was told that these are guinea fowl, but suspect they are actually genetically modified sparrows....

Someone in Biolab-land likes art (my guess would be the owner, who has also established a charitable foundation), and the grounds are dotted with oddball sculptures.

PARENTHETICAL I-DIG-WEIRDNESS THOUGHT: Or are they Biolab projects gone horribly wrong?

A golden frog decorates the research building....

And a horse wanders in the meadow....

There's an octopus, too....

Since I had a strange feeling that one or more of the Roswell Alien Cadavers were being studied in the research building, I couldn't help but wonder if this was a work of art or a spore cluster from the planet Veeblefetzer-9....

Despite my usual paranoia running at full steam, I don't think we were bombarded with any form of radiation, subjected to any otherworldly probes, implanted with alien communication devices or otherwise genetically altered in any way.

I'm pretty sure of that. No reason to worry at all. I'll keep you posted on that....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Yes, it was Easter here in Sandy Bay, too. Also the birthday of A., D.'s daughter.

Since it was a lovely spring morning -- t-shirt weather, after two weeks of major chillage -- I wandered out to shoot a few photos. Here are two:

I'll be entering this contest next year, you can bet....

Your basic No Comment-style photo....

Shot a few more this afternoon, but they're for tomorrow....

In the meantime, I need to rest up from the day's fun.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Eat your heart out, Mike Holmes!

Substantial progress was made today on the Mr Scribbler Luxury Office Suite in the cellar of the D. Building!

A total of 13 2x4s (pressure-treated, of course, since it can get dampish down there), three sheets of 4x8 plywood and innumerable screws have created the floor. To further protect the wood from the ravages of errant water intrusion, the whole assemblage is raised slightly off the existing floor by some lightweight spacers.

It's almost dead-on flat -- the deviation isn't noticeable except to a carpenter's level -- and quite sturdy.

The various objects on the floor, placed there to weight down areas where the spacers were glued to the frame, will of course be moved before the sumptuous final covering is put down. D.'s workbench (one of several) will probably stay where it is.

Next step: framing in the walls and probably applying sealer and paint to the cement walls. Oh, yes, and installing a door. Unless, that is, the final wall section ends up being installed with me inside, in which case we may get into a weird kind of Edgar Allen Poe bag....

Won't be easy to get photos of the finished space. I'll have to play with my photo program's "stitching" feature to show as much as I can.

Once again, I have to give major credit for the speed and quality of the work to D. I'm used to disassembling and rebuilding things other people have made, while she can work wonders with raw lumber. She is also precise, while I tend to hit things with a hammer and saw off ends that stick out. Plans? Not this boy....

PARENTHETICAL WHERE-YOU-ARE-IS-WHERE-YOU-ARE THOUGHT: My abode Where the Ghetto Meets the Sea measured roughly 10x18, which included my desk, four bookcases and a queen-size bed. An 8x12 office, devoted only to writing -- and the odd item or two that won't fit upstairs -- seems like unbelievable luxury.

It's going to be a nice place to work, in a wonderful place to live.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

World Headquarters!

Yes, demolition has begun for the new Mr Scribbler World Headquarters*! Construction is scheduled to begin as early as tomorrow....

At the moment, the new Nerve Center of my would-be empire is cleverly disguised as the corner of a rather capacious cellar, which also houses D's shop and her art space, not to mention a heating-oil tank, water heater and washer and dryer.

Nonetheless, even though at the moment D's work area is threatening to burst its borders, she wanted me to have a place where I could work comfortably and access whatever research materials and books I might need, and came up with a nice plan of walls and floor to make it seem like an office and not a corner of the cellar. I've never had such a thing before, I must say.

A few hours before the photo was taken, the piles of random lumber on the floor had been assembled into an odd-looking but functional pair of workbenches. Some clever engineering -- and a boatload of drywall screws -- had gone into making such a disparate bunch of scraps stand on their own and actually bear weight. It was almost a shame to take them down.

But there's no stopping the Tide of Progress. Now that the necessary wood has been delivered to create a proper raised floor, we've cleared the area (including the small stepladder and the parts from a player-piano mechanism) and are ready to start fitting things together. After that, walls, a door -- the workshop sometimes produces noticeable quantities of sawdust, and current opinion is that computers don't like sawdust -- plus a desk, bookshelf and a cable connecting me to the Interwebz.

Today, office space,

PARENTHETICAL A-MAN'S-GOTTA-DO-WHAT-A-MAN'S-GOTTA-DO THOUGHT: There are rumors swirling that I am on the edge of getting enough work to keep me busy for a while and refresh the depleted coffers. Alas, no one has offered me an advance to write the definitive biography of Lord Timothy Dexter, whom you have recently met if you've been keeping up with me, or Brother Curtis Springer, former proprietor of a gospel-style religious radio program and of Zzyzx Mineral Springs in the California desert. I'm afraid my literary interests these days run closer to subjects like these gentlemen than the things I've been writing about for a quarter-century. But I've been typecast and, like Ol' Blue Eyes singing "New York, New York" to the paying customers long after it must have made him cringe to hear the band swing into the intro, I'm in it for the spondulix, Jim....

Anyway, it's just another case of D. making me feel far more than welcome here. I wouldn't ask for this kind of effort from her, but she offered. Despite my protestations that I can write anywhere, including the current location for the 'puter,  she seems to know that I'll do better when I'm comfortable.

Hope she's noticed that that's happening already. I am comfortable, and I am doing better. Neither she nor anyone who knows me has seen me when I was feeling so comfortable, happy and "at home."

Simply because it's a totally new thing for me.

More updates to follow as the massive construction project continues. I'll interrupt regular programming with Breaking News any time....

* A wholly-owned subsidiary of Scribbler Interplanetary Ventures, Ltd.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The First in the East and Me

I first encountered Lord Timothy Dexter when, at age 10 or so, I was devouring my parents' bookshelves. There, I found a book called The Square Pegs*. In it, author Irving Wallace explored the lives of several wonderful American eccentrics, including John Cleves Symmes (who theorized that the Earth was made up of hollow concentric spheres, that a far different race of beings lived in the middle, and that this world-within-a-world could be accessed through a hole in the North Pole; he petitioned Congress for finances to allow him to find and enter the hole), George Francis Train (the man who, among other things, was the real-life inspiration for Phileas Fogg, the hero of Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) and "Emperor" Norton of San Francisco.

But the last chapter in the book was devoted to one Lord Timothy Dexter, who seemed the most colorful of them all. He had shipped New England-style warming pans, cats and wool mittens to the Caribbean and coals to Newcastle (England), and profited from each cargo. He was not considered worthy of respect or liking, was not even thought to be especially intelligent, but acted as if he was all those things and more. He staged his own funeral some time before his death, and seemed to be enjoying the festivities until he noticed that his wife Elizabeth (the Ghost) wasn't showing signs of remorse, whereupon he caned her. His shouts and her screams put a damper on the wake.

Above all, there was A Pickle for the Knowing Ones. Only slightly harder to decipher than the Dead Sea Scrolls, it was a revelation to me, a budding author. Wallace tended to clean up the spelling and "peper and solt" the text with punctuation in his excerpts, but I wasn't fooled. I was enchanted by the snippets of the original he published verbatim. Eventually, I read it all.

In sum, the Dexter saga was good medicine for someone whose level of self-esteem varied, then and now. I took Dexter's words to heart: "forder a grate good man Came to see me Not Long sence I told sade man I had many Innemys he sade be Cos you are toue onnest to be beloved you dont gine in Comon ways with Rougs"

Even before I came to Sandy Bay, D. knew that I was a Dexterphile of the first order. She promised to take me to Dexter's stomping grounds at the first opportunity and sent me a copy of Pickle to keep me happy until I got there.

So on Sunday last, just a few days after my arrival, we drove to Newburyport. And there, at the corner of High Street and Dexter's Lane, was the house. It had survived the years well; save for the loss of Dexter's Mouseum -- sold at auction in 1807 -- it looked just as it did in his day. I could almost feel his presence.

It was, in sum, my own pilgrimage to Graceland. I made a solemn vow to the Lottery Gods that, given the right numbers for a large enough jackpot, I would not only buy the house, but would also recreate the Mouseum as it was, perhaps adding only a statue of myself. I think Dexter would approve.

The day was not over. D. knew how to get to Old Hill Burying Ground, where Dexter's mortal remains are interred. We entered the graveyard and began a search for his stone. We spent quite a bit of time hunting for him, found many fascinating grave markers along the way and even found his name on a plaque on the "gate," but seemed destined to leave finding him for another day.

At last, as we were almost ready to admit defeat, I found him.

The marble over his grave showed the wear of 205 years, but I was able to (barely) make out his name. Next to him, a near-identical stone for the Ghost, who died three years later in 1809. His son Samuel (1807) and "dafter" Nancy (1856) are there as well, but their graves are unmarked.

I like to think the shade of Lord Timothy Dexter knew we were there to visit him.

*The book is still available from time to time through such booksellers as or similar sites. I recommend it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The First in the East

Last Sunday, D. and I made a pilgrimage to Newburyport, Massachusetts. It's a nice little town, but I would have felt no great compulsion to go there so soon after arriving in Sandy Bay except that it was the place where one of my literary favorites, Lord Timothy Dexter, lived, worked and wrote.

Before I tell his story -- in some cases, in his own words -- I should emphasize that being a fan of Dexter's writing does not mean I chose to emulate him. As you'll soon find out, that would be near-impossible. What I admire is what might best be called his "spirit." He was a self-made (partially) man with a large ego and a desire to Be Somebody. Sadly for him, he was also what used to be called a "crank," and thus was almost universally despised by all who knew him.

In fact, what drew me to Dexter was the total story, not just his writing.... 

Born in 1748, he started out as a farm laborer, then became an apprentice tanner. After completing his apprenticeship, he engaged in what he called "spekellation," buying worthless Revolutionary War-era "Continental" currency with the view that the U.S. government would offer an exchange for dollars, which they did. That allowed him to finance a shipping business; he sent ships laden with odd cargoes hither and yon without any apparent planning on his part, often with astonishing success. At one point he bought up all the whalebone he could find; strangely enough, his cornering of the market coincided with the increasing popularity of women's corsets, which needed whalebone for stays. From this deal alone, he earned more than a "tun" of silver.

By the time he was 25, Dexter had moved to Newburyport, bought a mansion, and married Elizabeth Frothingham, a wealthy widow. While he accumulated a fortune, he was unable to become part of the local high society, and indeed left town for a time in disgust, settling on a large estate in New Hampshire. He returned, bought another mansion on High Street, and began to write letters to the local newspaper.

His literary ambitions thus sparked, he then proceeded to write a book. A Pickle For the Knowing Ones; or Plain Truths in a Homespun Dress. This was first published in 1798, and has been available in one edition or another ever since. (My own copy, a gift from D., a replica of the 1848 edition, is currently available at obscure bookstores.)

Rather than describe his writing, it seems better to put a few lines here, beginning at the start of the book with Dexter's own explanation of his "royal" status, combined with the announcement that he would soon be establishing a museum at his High Street home:

IME the first Lord in the younited States of A mericary Now of Newburyport it is the voise of the peopel and I cant Help it and so Let it goue Now as I must be Lord there will foller many more Lords pretty soune for it dont hurt A Cat Nor the mouse Nor the son Nor the water Nor the Eare then goue on all is Easey Now bons broaken all is well all in Love Now I be gin to Lay the corner ston and the kee ston with grat Remembrence of my father Jorge Washington the grate herow 17 sentreys past before we found so good a father to his shildren and Now gone to Rest1 Now to shoue my Love to my father and grate Caricters I will shoue the world one of the grate Wonders of the world in 15 months if now man mourders me in Dors or out Dors such A mouserum on Earth will annonce O Lord thou knowest to be troue fourder hear me good Lord I am A goueing to Let or shildren know Now to see good Lord what has bin in the world grat wase back to owr forefathers

It will not have escaped anyone's attention that the author's spelling is hit-or-miss, his capitalization is erratic, and punctuation is nonexistent. This may help explain why Pickle is not to be found in the world's great libraries. And yet, beyond eye-strain, his "style" adds a certain charm to the book.

Note also that "now man" "mourdered" Dexter, not "in Dors and out Dors," and what would come to be known as "Dexter's Mouseum" -- by him, at any rate -- was indeed at least partially completed:

Aside from four carved lions and two effigies of  Lord Timothy Dexter himself, the wooden statues included familiar American heroes such as Washington, Jefferson, John Jay and other Dexterian favorites such as "Loues 16" and "the grate bonepartey." One statue represented a corn planter for reasons known only to Dexter....

Did Dexter's book achieve his intended purpose ("I wans to make my Enemys grin in time Lik A Cat over A hot pudding and goue Away and hang there heads Doun Like a Dogg bin After sheep gilty")? We will never know. He did go on to expound on other matters before completing the final page, including excoriation of the town leaders in Newburyport for not sending enough watchmen on patrol. He also included dissertations on colleges and "preasts" (disliking both), verbally attacked his "dafter's" suitor, one Abraham Bishop -- they were, apparently married for a time -- and complained about his wife, whom he dubbed "the Ghost."

By the time one has read through all 32 pages of Pickle, one thing is clear, even if Dexter's words and thoughts are not: as a writer, the man was unique. His style is instantly recognizable, and attempting to emulate it is folly. One might copy, for example, Clive Cussler; all that is required is to forget all you learned about the English Language after the age of six or so. Other writers' styles can be faked by ignoring words of more than three syllables and all rules of logic or, conversely, by never using words of less than three syllables and searching the far corners of the dictionary for esoteric verbiage. None of that helps to unlock the key to Lord Dexter.

Before I close -- and there will be a Part Two, in which I lay down a little more history and discuss Timothy and Me (and, of course, D.) -- I should also note that one of the "revised" editions of Pickle that appeared during Dexter's lifetime had an appendix from the author that shows a sensitivity rare in authors, then and now:

fouder mister printer the Nowing ones complane of my book the fust edition had no stops I put in A Nuf here and thay may peper and solt it as they plese”
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About the title of this post: In a not-at-all-rare burst of what I'd call honesty -- and others would, I guess, call unwarranted arrogance -- Timothy Dexter described himself as "First in the East, First in the West and Greatest Philosopher in the Western World." Even while saying so, he laid down a challenge to prove him wrong:

I --- I --- me T Dexter of N Port Desires Any man or men on the gloube to Exseede me as to what I have Rote in my Littel book, and what I can Rite Consarning Nater and the sole and the frame of man … I am the old plane Tim to see any felosofer in the world

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For my almost-neighbor...

...who lives a long block away and whom I have yet to see here in Sandy Bay. I have, however, walked by her house several times, met her husband and his mother...oh, yeah: I've heard her dogs barking, too....

Anyway. She didn't know where the shoes-on-a-wire in the previous post are located. Maybe this will help....

An omen?

Naaah. I don't believe in 'em.

PARENTHETICAL DON'T-STEP-UNDER-A-LADDER THOUGHT: Okay, so if someone handed me a nice seven-figure check -- one that could be, you know, cashed and all, I'd sure as heck say that was an omen telling me I would soon rush out and buy an Audi R8 Spyder, but that's not the same thing....

Anyway, when D. and I went out for a stroll in Sandy Bay last night, she spotted something long-time reader will know was a photographic favorite of mine. In fact, it was only quick work by maintenance crews in my area -- thus cutting off (so to speak) my supply of subjects -- that made me abandon what scholars and gallery-watchers will one day call my "Shoe Period."

Dry spell over!

Assuming they last for a while, or that whoever put them there discovers that a Famous Photographer is once again incorporating them into his work and decides to advance the cause of Fine Art and slings a few more pair around, I'll try to combine them with Local Color, as I did before.

Since that's not happening yet, I hereby add another -- shall we say -- an example of local quaintness....

No, I haven't been in that shop, nor is it likely I ever will be. Might stroll by and listen once in a while, though.

PARENTHETICAL PUBLIC-SERVICE-MESSAGE THOUGHT: I'm still working on the post related to Sunday's visit to my literary hero's home town. Be patient, please....

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Now that I'm here... was time to hit the road, though not far.

Something much discussed long before I came to Sandy Bay was my appreciation for a literary giant who lived -- and wrote -- in a town that is, if not exactly nearby, within reasonable driving distance.

Today, we decided to head that way. Of course there were a few practical matters to take care of en route, one of which led to tonight's first photo. D. is doing some historical research on a particular individual and found a house where his father lived for a couple of years in the late 1700s. That's apparently enough to earn one a historical plaque for a house in these parts. So she wanted to get a couple of photos.

While she was taking care of that, I found another "first" for me: A kittycat living in a 250 year-old house, and here she (?) is, looking as if she would have belonged in that window the day the house was first occupied....

Not much later, we arrived at our destination and, for the first time, I was able to "meet" the author of whom I have so long been in absolute awe....

I'm stalling a bit. The story will take some explaining, some excerpts of the man's work will have to be supplied, and some work must be done to improve a couple of images. One or two illustrations from his day will be added as well, in what I expect will be a two (or more)-part posting here. Can't get that done tonight.

Mainly, I just wanted to get it on record that it was another superb day for me in the New World.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Home Port... last!

Okay, so I have been here for three days already, but much of that time has been devoted to, well, decompression after the events of the past year. Aside from flying here from Where I Used to Live -- for once, a singularly uneventful trip, if you ignore having to get up at the ungodly hour of 2:30 AM to catch a 4:00 shuttle to the airport for a 6:20 flight, which is a time when I'm generally not breathing, much less awake and functional -- the settling-in process has begun, which is never speedy.

But it has been better than my high expectations, One of the important matters was adjusting to a major dose of culture shock. I am, though I consider myself a worldly-type guy -- I've thought of changing my name to Mr International Man, and you may call me that if you wish -- essentially a child of the West: Los Angeles area, where anything built before, say, 1950, is seen as rivaling Stonehenge age-wise and, more recently, Texas, which in the area I lived in seemed approximately of the same vintage as suburban L.A.

Conversely, Where I Am Now feels closer in age to Colonial Williamsburg and Plimouth Plantation. It's my contention that, if one were to erase cars and pavement from downtown photos, there would be precious little difference between April 7, 2011 and April 7, 1811. Or 1751, comes to that.

I like that. It speaks to the part of me that appreciates the comforting combination of small towns and history.

Consider this photo, which I took this morning whilst we were out for a stroll (this is a walking kind of town, bless it):

Despite my photographic ineptness in this instance -- and I will deny ever saying that I am somehow less than a veritable Matthew Brady or Ansel Adams, so you didn't see it here -- the "Central Garage" at the right looks as if the snout of a 1937 Ford should be pointing from one of its doors. Or a 1909 Model T. And the town, the whole area for miles around, is just dripping with Colonial-style houses and buildings you would see in pre-photographic illustrations. Many are sure to be livening up more future posts than you can imagine.

PARENTHETICAL I-WILL-BE-A-TOURIST-IF-I-LIVE-HERE-THE-REST-OF-MY-LIFE NOTE: The one who invited me here, and makes this home instead of just place to exist, is a long-time resident of this town and region. I live in constant fear of her rolling her eyes every time I, like Toody -- or was it Muldoon? -- of Car 54, Where Are You? fame, look at some old building, historical plaque or cemetery and say "oooh! Ooooh!" Can't help myself....

Okay, so the neighborhood-type photo above is only the first of what is sure to be a torrent of photos of Home Port. In time, most all y'all (yes, I'll still say that) will know where I am. I'm a latecomer -- I wasn't here when the first resident set up some sort of housekeeping in 1690, and in this part of the country, length of residence is everything -- but I intend to get deeply into the lore of this place, which seems, so far, to have many features that make it perfect for me.

PARENTHETICAL I-COMPLY-WITH-THE-LAW THOUGHT: From what I've seen and have been told, I'm sure the town has an ordinance on its books requiring any photographer to shoot this building. Why else would it be called "Motif #1?" Ordinarily, I would ignore any structure that had to do with fish unless it was made of metal and said "Star-Kist" on the side, but who am I to ignore a building that has apparently been seen on postcards, photos and paintings around the world and probably on several neighboring plants? So here it is:

The ocean's on the wrong side of the land -- I'm used to seeing it in the West, not East -- and the weather is a bit more rugged than I'm used to, but I'm kinda thinking I belong here. All I have to do is convince the natives.

More to come, and soon. I'm enjoying this place....

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Heading for...

Not, you understand, on the board for Selchow & Righter's long-lived "Backgammon Game of India," though the events of the past year have been rather Parcheesi-like in some respects, what with sometimes being blocked in my attempts to land at "Home," plus other leaps forward, steps back, and adventures both bad and good.

All y'all are probably aware that I have a rather specific definition of the word "home," and have sometimes gone through contortions to use other words and phrases to describe my residences: house, place where I'm staying, and so forth. Home is where one is wanted, where one wants to be and feels most comfortable.

So this time, judging from all external indicators and, most of all, that little voice deep inside that tries (not always successfully) to warn me when I'm about to commit a major act of dumbness, I can happily say I'm headed home.

All of my problems are not magically solved by this move. Just some of the most important (mainly involved with such issues as happiness, mental comfort, and the like) will be taken care of by the 1500-mile excursion. Still, I'll have a lot of effort to put out -- yes, work is starting to dribble in, and more seems to be headed my way -- and some sacrifices to make before everything is straightened out properly.

It is, however, a positive move, one I'm looking forward to with more enthusiasm than any I've made in, well, many years.

I hadn't intended to write about this yet, but it appears my computer will likely head out tomorrow via truck to make the journey I will soon be making by air. That's going to drive me temporarily nuts, as I use the little gadget quite a bit, for work and play alike, and wasn't quite ready to yank its cable and stuff it in a stout box.

You may notice I'm not saying where I'm going. No real reason for that, except I'm not there yet. It's a superstition of mine, I guess, to not talk much about things before they happen. When I'm settled in and start posting photos and stories again -- more often than I have of late, I think -- it will be immediately obvious to some where the Secret Operations Center is located. All will be revealed at the proper moment....

Am I going to miss Where I Am Now? Not too much. I knew it was a transitional place and, in time, realized the day would soon arrive when I'd need to be moving on.

Which is what I will be doing in just a few short days.

Home. I like the sound of that.

Too bad it has taken me 60 years to get there, Jim. But better late than never.