We EST bloggers don't get the same love from the WordPress folks as WordCamp, but we do have the most regular meetups on the planet.  The Philadelphia WordPress meetup is next Saturday, the 19th. Plan ahead!  The New York City WordPress meetup is also next Saturday, the 19th. Ja, their organizer, has some info on last month's NYC meetup and what you might expect from this month.  Sadly, there will be no meetups for me this month, since I'm still in the process of moving. Hopefully things will be back to normal in September, and I'll be able to catch up with you all then.

I don't remember the last time I brushed my hair.  I mean, I don't remember the last time I brushed my hair with the intent of putting it in order. I admit to maybe trying to pull a brush through my hair in mild curiosity, but never with intent.  It's curious. It's not a deliberate thing, it's just that I can seem to tossle my hair into "good enough" positions that I don't need to arrange it with purpose - or tools.  Currently, my hair is reasonably short. It's about 4 inches long in most places. I occasionally put some goo in it to keep it from flying all around, and I commonly say to Berta, "How can you let me go out of the house with my hair looking like this?" In any case, it doesn't take any effort to make it look tamed.  Some folks are surprised to learn that my hair used to be really, really long. When I started college I had long hair, and it grew down to the small of my back. Even back then, I didn't do much combing. It just always sort of came untangled by pulling my fingers through it.  Some folks are surprised to learn that my hair used to be really spikey. Back in high school (in the 80's darn it - I have an excuse!) I had spiked hair. It was crunchy. Once again, not too much maintenence involved.  Through all of these variances in hair styles, I've not had a lot of maintenance needs.  Looking at the mirror today, I think it's time for a haircut. Maybe I'll head back to really short. Maintenance may no longer be an issue at all.

Living in two houses is for the birds.  We've spent the past two days carting smaller breakable or odd-shaped things to the new house. We've put quite a few miles on Berta's car doing it. We've managed to get a reasonable chunk of things into the house to start off, and the place is slowly becoming livable. And that's the problem, really.  Just as soon as you start to get comfortable with the idea that you're going to live there, you realize that, for example, there are no chairs. There is no kitchen table. The bathroom works, and it's stocked with toilet paper (a terrible thing to be missing on the first day in) but there is no hand towel.  Figuring out which switch works which light is an exercise requiring patience. You'll notice that some lights have switches with a little slider along the side, and others have a turning knob that toggles when you push it, and still others are just a glowing switch that doesn't toggle as much as slowly make things get brighter and then snap into full brightness. You'll also be disturbed by switches in your basement near wall panels that are sealed shut with paint that do nothing when you toggle them.

The living room carpet is a decent berber that looks beautiful at first gaze, and then turns evil as you become more intimate with it. First, you notice that it's texture makes it look a little dirty. Then you realize that it is a little dirty. Then you realize that it's a bit sticky to the touch. Then you realize that it's not comfortable to lay on at all. Then you're wondering if you can get a discount on carpet if you do three rooms instead of two.  Standing in the driveway in the late afternoon yields many fruitful results. We met Bob and five kids from our street (whose names will hopefully eventually be etched into my memory) riding bikes by standing near the basketball hoop. Inez from across the street is very friendly (and generous with tomatoes), and we finally met her husband Jerry while out to dinner tonight, who had previously only been a distant figure. Ross lives across the street, and I think we saw him again after we met him with a wife and a couple kids. Jack has a 19 month old, which left a much different impression when he said it slowly - invoking "19 year old" in my brain before I heard "month" - and made me happy to realize that Riley would have a friend his age nearby.  All of the neighbors that we've met so far have been really friendly, and I'm looking forward to meeting the others and spending time getting to know everone better.  Of course, spending time around the house is difficult to do without a bed.  We've been making one or two trips between the houses, perhaps giving the kids a bath in the new house, then driving back home at night to sleep. One of our biggest irritations these days is that there is no furniture in the new house.  There is no place to put most of the boxed items that we've moved. There are no shelves. There are no book cases. There is no rack on which to place the new entertainment devices. (Some of the boxes of new things I ordered were just sitting on the front porch the other day.) And there are no beds, so there's no staying over night.  I suppose if we had all of those things, we'd be moved in and there would be no need to return to the old house at all. Hopefully all of that will be remedied on Wednesday.  Tomorrow - Dish Network install in the afternoon. Riley looks like he has an ear issue again, so Berta will take him over to the doctor at some point.  Tuesday - Washer and Dryer install. By Tuesday night, everything in the old house needs to be in boxes for the movers on Wednesday. We're pretty well on our way.  The computer will probably be disassembled sometime soon, meaning no internet for a few days. I'll be posting and collecting email via phone. Yes, I'm an addict.

Yesterday, the Dish Network folks showed up early within their delivery window, installed better components than what their online ordering system forced me into, installed two dishes and all of the inside wiring (including running a new cable and phone line), and were gone within three hours leaving me with crystal-clear high-definition TV in four rooms.  The delivery of our new washer and dryer from Home Depot took a terrible turn this morning when I received a call from a woman saying essentially, "Your washer fell off the truck and we won't be delivering anything to you today."

She said that someone would call back in a few days to schedule a new delivery. While I would expect this if my washer was as damaged as what she implied by "fell off the truck", I was still not happy about having reserved from 9am to 1pm for this delivery in the middle of my move schedule. Being that this was their fault, and not some simple issue of the item arriving and being rejected by me for some reason of defect, I felt entitled to some compensation for my time. Of course, it would take much more effort to get it.  I asked her about compensation, and as I expected, she couldn't do anything for me. So I asked to speak to her supervisor, hoping to get some resolution.  Chris was nice the first time we talked, and was amused that the washer had "fallen off the truck". He said he would try to find out what was going on. We were mysteriously disconnected while I was on hold.  I had a few other calls to make, and then I called Chris back to get an update. He was apparently still trying to figure out what truck had my appliances. What an organized operation he's got goinng on there! He said he would call back.  Later, I received a call from another of the delivery company's operators. She said that our unit had a scrape along the side. She couldn't explain how that happened, in spite of the earlier call saying that it fell off the truck.  I told her that it was my guess that the washer had, as the first person who called me this morning had told me, fallen off the truck. Ok, let me talk to your supervisor...  Chris, who was supposed to call me back, eventually came on the line. I explained that I was told that the unit was described as "dropped", and that the orignal operator implied that the appliance would not be acceptable, and would not be delivered. Now I was being told that it wasn't so bad, and that they would refund some of my money if I took the damaged washer. Still, I paid for a new washer, not one that had fallen off a truck and had a gash on the side.  Chris started into a rant about truck sized and delivery schedules. He said things about how he doesn't know if a truck loads a unit from the ramp. He attempted to play off the word "dropped" as loading bay jargon for "never picked up for delivery". For a supervisor, he sure wasn't doing any supervising, and now he was trying to befuddle me with irrelevant nonsense.  I explained again that I wanted to know why a washer that was completely unacceptable this morning because it was dropped would now be ok with a only a visible scratch down the side. Even if "dropped" did mean what he said, that doesn't explain why he laughed when I first told him, the operator implied that there was damage (by scheduling delivery of a new washer), or why this brand new washer had a scratch. I asked how I was going to be compensated for my wasted time due to his company's negligence (as opposed to the apparently frequent but trivial - in his mind - "accidental" damage).  He hung up on me.  And so, we're moving into a house with no washer or dryer, no plan to have a washer or dryer, and no real convenient way to wash or dry clothing. I called Home Depot to ask if there was any other company who could deliver the appliances, but they only use this one delivery place. I would lodge a complaint with Home Depot, but the clothes I'm wearing are already sweaty from moving things all day.  I don't want a gift card "sorry" anyway. I needed a washer today.

I found a box in the garage while we were moving (actually, I kew it was there all along) that belonged to my grandfather, which I took for my own after he died. In it I put all of those things that I held precious during my teen years living at home.  Assuming you had a box that contained a volume of 6×3x9 inches, what would you put inside it that would represent the most significant things about your life that you would want to remember?