Life in the West

Meeting people

Thursday evening I wrote from on-board a Southwest Airlines flight. I thought I'd spend the flight reading the excellent Pro Drupal Development book that I'd picked up earlier in the week. Instead I spent the flight talking with Paul Engemann, Larry King's brother-in-law, and the wife of a pilot on the way to support her husband's run in the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run. The wide-ranging discussion covered everything from raising kids to traveling the globe and even multi-level marketing. While not as productive in the work-a-day-world sense the conversation was an enjoyable break.

Going home

Last weekend we took a trip to Colorado. It was the first time I'd been back since we packed up the house and moved to my native Nevada over three years ago. Colorado is one addicting place. Walking along the Platte River and remembering what an REI flagship store is like were great reminders.

Living in a small town

Yesterday the phone rang and the caller reminded me just what a special place living in a rural area is. "Is that your Honda parked at the corner?" a neighbor asked. I thought for a moment and answered that it likely was. Sarah was heading over the hill with a colleague and likely parked near the intersection to save some mileage and pick up the car on the way home. "Do you need help getting it home? Is everything OK?" were the next words from my neighbor.

This is what living in the Rural West is all about. With the engine still warm a neighbor had seen the car and called to see if they could help. In helping out a neighbor recently after their shop was broken into Sarah said "We take care of our own". In rural towns that is absolutely true. It is good to be home.

Compact fluorescent light

"How many bloggers does it take to screw in a light bulb?" Seth Godin asked last week. Godin's post is an attempt to virally blog the benefits of compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent (CF) light bulbs were once more expensive up front but money savers long term. Today they are not so expensive up front (averaging $2 each) and as Godin puts it "If we switched all our bulbs, we could stop importing oil altogether. Without giving up one Hummer."

I'm afraid we won't be adding to the numbers of CF bulbs in use. That comes from the fact that all the bulbs we can use CF bulbs in are already CF. The one that isn't is the light in the oven. A few small desk lamps also run bulbs that there is no CF equivalent for. As those lamps are replaced the bulbs will be of a type compatible with CF bulbs.

Black Friday

I almost made it through one of the busiest shopping days of the year with no purchases. Almost. It turns out I spent $50 in postage for a non-profit I work for. So I didn't escape from the spending frenzy but I did do all my shopping from home. A quick trip to the post office and the letters were all on their way.

The mail today brought the first holiday letter of the year. A friend from high school sent their letter out becoming the first reminder how far behind I am, on the 2005 letter that is.

Today did bring the realization that I've never worked for an institution that did not have a two-break for Thanksgiving. One more reason that I best avoid retail.

Always On

Tonight I wanted to send an IM to a colleague. It occurs to me that in the past I could have sent a message to someone who is "away" and not thought a lot more about it. In 2006 however, the "away" status really means "set to forward to my cell phone". With this feature IM is now always on. A boon to the ability to reach someone anytime anywhere, but not so great when it comes to leaving a quick one-line compliment on a job well done.


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