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small white square Five years ago this day I awoke at 4:30 AM with the millions of my fellow Angelenos, as we all experienced the "Northridge" earthquake. I described that day here; three days afterwards I made my already-planned Los Angeles exodus, driving all the way Back East where I'd live `Inside the Beltway' for three more years. I've since returned to the Golden State, where the living is easy. Unfortunately they don't find California's charms all that alluring; things would be even better if friends & family would follow me out here.

small cyan square Or maybe not. Sometimes I forget about the positive aspects of family far away. The situation with my brother J's Big Letter continues to develop. He's allowed me and now N to review it prior to his delivery to our parents - I've been reading N's lengthy responses, and interjecting my own thoughts into the fray. Several years ago (just a few months before the earthquake) after having J and N review it, I myself sent my father a heartfelt, desperate, multi-page Email, hoping for breaks-through in communication and positive change. My experience with the result, which I tried to express to J, was that these emotional Email-bombs are too temporal to cause much effect except some hurt feelings. (They read it and get upset, compose and fire off a response; then forget everything and move on.) J has to get this off his chest, but for my own serenity it's my (perhaps futile) intention to not fully engage with this latest episode of family stress. N turns a nifty phrase with his comment that stopped-up un-dealt-with feelings are like "...mental baggage too large for the overhead compartment."

small violet square At work many hours this weekend, most of which I'm not billing since I feel guilty about screwing around so much pre-Europe, when I should've been focusing on this problem - with a sudden end-of-month deadline announced, desperate efforts were required - I'm glad to report that I finally have a solution, found within small knots of sloppy code, sure signs I've located the damage point of this feature, which has been characterized by the users as "that never works." It does now.

small yellow square Late afternoon yesterday I cruised around the freeways down to SCB <1> watching the mountains of the Diablo Range off in the distance - low flying clouds were passing between the mountains. I located the non-descript multiplex-cinema and bought my ticket for "Babe: Pig in the City" and joined the sparse and mostly very young audience, and we only got one preview, for "Patch Adams". I initially covered my eyes, since its cloying premise nauseates; but then watched so I'd know. Dr. Mork? Please - I think I'd like a second opinion. On the other hand, "Babe" was great, much better and more amazing than the original. The City itself was wonderful, a composite.

small green square Out-Patient Status

Walking is awkward, one foot bulkily bandaged and obviously being favored, but mobility isn't critically impaired - pain not bad at this point. I'm not even all that much slowed down, although more than short distances gets wearying. Worrisome change, perhaps serious, in my exterior infrastructure: the vehicle's "Check Engine" light has come on, and unlike previous illuminations it's staying on. I have a hunch its little icon should be some green dollar signs rather than the orange engine symbol. And it couldn't happen at a worse time, of course - it'll be a while before I can handle the backup transport such a maintenance session requires.

SCB - Stevens Creek Blvd
a long east-west surface artery running between Cupertino and San Jose
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<1> A practice of mine from SoCal is referring to those big broad urban boulevards with three-char "-B"-abbreviations, as follows:
ESB - El Segundo Blvd
LBB - Long Beach Blvd
MBB - Manhattan Beach Blvd
RBB - Redondo Beach Blvd
SMB - Santa Monica Blvd

...SCB now joins this roster.