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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Three suitcases and a box...

This was the title of one of the posts on the Simple Living Network forums that really got me thinking along lines that have me ending up here in Honduras.  The original post was by a guy named Jim who lived in Mexico.  He was originally from Canada, and the three suitcases were how many it took to hold everything he owned, except for a box of important papers in a family member's attic back in Canada.  I'm getting closer to a single box of papers (closer, not really close yet), but as for the rest I'm more a two 10'X20' storage unit person than 3 suitcases. 

This weekend I have made a dent in some of the scanning and tossing of papers.  I need to get moving on some of the things I need to accomplish while I'm down here if I want to be ready to head Some Place Else in 6 months.  I am under 200 days left on my contract.  In talking with Turtle Lady this morning on Skype I verbalized some of the things that I need to have resolution on by next September.  It's a lot.  So, I'm motivated now.

The tenants are moving out of my house.  They didn't pay rent this month because, duh, they will be moving.  Ummmm.  You still owe for this month.  It's in the hands of my real estate agent.  She was headed over there today to talk to them.  Also, she will give me an opinion on whether I should sell or rent it out from here on in.  I prefer to sell if I can get much of anything for it.  Insurance is one of the things that renews (or not) in September.

So, life goes on down here.  Weather is lovely.  Not too hot.  I keep cutting deeper into my long sleeved clothes and sending them back.  I truly don't need layers or long sleeves or more than a light rain jacket  It's a constant surprise to me just how little I need.  I do miss wearing my heavier clothes.  Not enough to move back where it snows, though.  The second Gorilla box of stuff got to Mom without incident, so I'm packing another one to send.  My goal, if I have one, is to send 10 of them so as to cut down on stuff here.  I should get rid of most of this stuff.  But, some of it I just can't let go of yet.  The cost of shipping and storage is buying me time.  Yes, buying the time to sort and let go of stuff is expensive.  Apparently it's a price I'm willing to pay.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

slump

I seem to go from slump to slump.  That's one reason I don't blog much for long periods of time.  I learned from going back and reading diaries of mine over the years that they all sounded the same, trying to get housework one, trying to find a job, being low on energy.  So, I quit writing about most of that kind of stuff.  I do still live it, though.  Just fill in the blanks with that stuff when I don't write here.

I am having some strange feelings of having done something right.  My old job in WA is going (ummm, can't really use the term I was about to type in a family-friendly blog...), it's going away.  It will most likely re-emerge after the President signs a new budget, but under a new company.  My old company lost the contract.  So, all my friends on the old contract are lost in limbo.  Meanwhile, I am... working.  Still pulling a paycheck.  This is backwards.  I'm the one who is always scrambling to fill the gaps between paychecks and jobs.  This is where I feel badly that knowing that leaving the US (even though I work for a US company on a US installation) was the best thing I could have done.  I'm still amazed that I actually did it.  Not like me at all.  I am thankful that I will have my next paycheck (I'm assuming that the budget crisis doesn't affect us... guess I should check) and that it will pay off the second credit card, leaving me with 2 to go.

No electricity here yesterday, which was strange.  One of the reasons I stay here in the hotel is that they have backup electricity.  The air conditioning may not work when the town electricity goes off, but everything else does.  I had to use my backpacking stove to make my second cup of coffee.  I found some things in the camping gear I had been looking for, and was amazed at how much I stumbled while using the stove.  Way out of practice.  So that part was all good.  It wasn't too hot, and if I'd needed to get online (which I finally did to talk to Mom on skype) I had 3 laptops charged up and a Tigo stick (usb cell network) and really had no issues.  Electricity came back on right after I ordered a delivery pizza.  So all went well.

Today I can finally get to the scanning that I tried to do a week ago.  Drivers now downloaded, electricity on (for the printer/scanner).  Time to get moving on that stuff that I keep putting off.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Do as I say, not as I do

I work in IT.  I give advice on a daily basis.  A lot of it about how to not lose data.  I have 4 computers here with me.  I have been thinking, a lot before and now after my trip away, that I should pull new images of all of them.  One never knows what might happen down here.  Things get stolen.  Things break.  I thought about it.  But, that's all I did.  I have been scanning documents lately in a vain attempt to go 'paperless'.  I think (hope) that most of what I scanned I also copied to an external drive attached to the computer that I used to scan.  I left that computer on for a few days last week.  I also use it to play games on sometimes.  It's a laptop, which isn't really made to be left on, but it went into hibernation so I wasn't worried.  I finally turned it off a couple of days ago.  Today I turned it on to do some more scanning.  It wouldn't boot.  sigh.

I tried several ways to get into the drive to copy off the files.  A quick check showed that my latest image was a little over 3 months old.  Not too bad.  Luckily my end of year guilt is stronger than the 'I'm going on a trip' guilt.  I had made that backup.  So, the computer is now reset to 3 months ago.  Tomorrow when I'm more fresh I'll update the virus software and reinstall anything that is missing.  And, I'll rescan anything that didn't make it to the external drive.  And I'll image the rest of the computers and copy the contents of the external drive to a second drive.  I have the equipment, I have the software, I have the knowledge.  I just need to do it.

The question of how often should a computer be backed up is answered with 'how much data do you not care if you lose?'

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Revival

The field across the street was used by a noisy circus, and a then a few weeks later less noisy circus.  This week it has had a very loud revival going on.  Lots of music (electrically amplified).  Some yelling.  Last night the speaker spoke English that was translated into Spanish by a female speaker.  He would say a phrase, she would translate, he would speak, she would speak.  I finally fell asleep.  I did think it would be a tad difficult to get the momentum up that one (well, that I...) expects of an Evangelist in full steam when every phrase had to be translated inbetween.  I didn't stay awake to see if that happened.  I found that, unlike the music played upstairs here at the hotel that vibrates through the walls, the speaker could be blocked with ear plugs.  Unfortunately, last night I couldn't find where I'd put them when I took them out the night before.  The pillow worked.  They finish around 10pm, so it's not too bad.