how we communicate

With all of my years in high tech before my layoff an important skill I learned was to understand how each individual best communicates. This was even more important during the last several years when I was working primarily and then exclusively remotely. Some people communicate fine by email. With others it’s best to set up a phone call.

So it is as we have engaged in the process of heading south.

signgoneJeff, our listing realtor up here, communicates very well by email. He does a great job of providing clear instructions in an email. For more urgent matters he’s great with instant messaging. And sometimes he knows that it’s best to get on the phone, as when we were making the final decision on which offer to accept.

Dorothy, our realtor in Hemet, puts up with email, but I rarely see an email from her longer than one or two lines. She is great on the phone, but first and foremost, she is an in-person kind of person.

My sister-in-law Bobbie, who has done a tremendous job of helping us out in this transition, is great on the phone. She doesn’t have an email account that she actively monitors, but a recent development is that she will text. I think that has to do with the fact that texting is probably the only effective way for her to communicate with her son and granddaughter. But it works well with me as well.

I glad that I am flexible. I can use any of those methods and am comfortable doing so. It makes life easier.

when our technology fails us

I’m always highly dependent on my email, especially so of late, as Terry and I sell one house and buy another. I was therefore annoyed last week when I started getting intermittent error messages for my primary email account. Then, on Friday morning, Outlook told me that it could not connect either to send or to receive. All this as I was trying to be accessible to move things ahead on both houses.

modemandrouterI got on the phone with my email hosting provider and we determined that everything was fine with my account and that the server was up. So I spoke with support at my cable company, which provides our Internet access. The agent was adamant that they neither would nor could block access in that way. I also noted that I couldn’t get email from that account on my iPhone via WiFi, but when I turned off WiFi it came through fine on the cellular network.

If it wasn’t my hosting provider, and it wasn’t my cable provider, it had to be my router.

I connected my desktop computer directly to the cable modem, bypassing the router. The email came through just fine.


When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
—Sherlock Holmes

I did a complete power cycle on both the cable modem and the router and now all seems to be well. But I still have no clue as to why my router would suddenly, inexplicably start blocking access to my email server. Really, it’s kind of creepy. Creepy in a 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL 9000 sort of way.

I’m glad it’s working now.

Sacred Music Friday: Christ is Alive, another version

While looking for “Christ is Alive” set to Truro, which l shared last week, I found this piece of the same name performed by the Graduate Choir NZ. It’s rather nice. I like it.

leaving the stairs behind

MSJFor the past almost eighteen years we have lived in a two-story house. For the most part we have enjoyed it. I love my second floor loft office and will hate to leave it behind. My loft and the master bedroom face west, and we have seen some beautiful sunsets. In fact, being on the second floor and facing west has been a marvelous way to experience the changing of the seasons.

Still a two-story house has its disadvantages. When coming home from a trip we have luggage to carry up the stairs. I’m always leaving something on my desk that I want to take downstairs, and that means a trip back up the stairs. Moving heavy furniture or appliances up or down the stairs is a pain.

I think we’re going to enjoy having all of our rooms on a single level in our new home.

conserving water

When Governor Brown first announced cuts to water usage last year we took the mandate seriously, although many did not. The Santa Clara County Water District requested a 20% cut in usage. Most months we managed a 50% cut.

MSJWhen we put our house on the market our realtor’s wife, responsible for design and appearance, told Terry that we needed to water the lawn every other day. “What the hell!” I wanted to shout. “Don’t you know that we’re in the middle of a severe drought?”

But I held my tongue.

Our new house in the gated Four Seasons 55+ community, comes, of course, with its CC&R’s, rules, regulations, and committees. I was wondering how  we would manage water savings down there. The back yard is very low maintenance with very little in the way of water requirements. The front yard has this big, huge lawn.

I called the front desk at the community and asked about artificial turf. The woman there told me that the association permitted artificial turf and had a set of guidelines for installing it.

That is very good news.

an end to sneezing and snuffling

MSJTerry and I both do our share of sneezing and snuffling here in Gilroy. I have my generic version Claritin and Terry has her Zyrtec. We both have our Fluticasone spray, the generic version of Flonase. My medical record calls it rhinitis.

But you know what? When we are in Hemet neither of us experiences that.

That is going to be a really nice change!

changing our patterns

For as long as Terry and I have been married, longer in fact, we have had our own bathrooms. When we rented the house in Mountain View there was a bathroom off the master bedroom and a full bath right next door. I took the master bath and Terry took the full bath. The same thing here in Gilroy. The master bed and bath are essentially one large room and there is a full bath next door. I use the master bath and Terry uses the full bath next door.

MSJOur joke has long been that sharing the same bathroom (as in a hotel) is our form of roughing it.

We’re going to have to change that perspective in our new house. The second bath is on the other side of the house, next to the second bedroom. We’re going to have to figure out how to share the master bath. Fortunately the two sinks are separated by the shower.

It will be a different way of doing things.