Archive for July, 2011

Vacation Time

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Vacation time. That’s what this feels like.

Actually, I’m working twenty hours a week, teaching GMAT and GRE Prep for Kaplan Graduate Testing. And we’re still unpacking boxes – just this morning, I emptied a dozen boxes in the office.

But it feel like vacation. The fact is my adult life has been full of serious responsibility — companies, employees, creditors and investors. I’ve had to worry in some way, shape or form every day since founding my first firm in Taiwan in 1989. No one depends on me in quite that way right now.

Today, there is a clear plan — prepare for law school, which starts in 19 days. The family is safe and comfortable in its new surroundings. We’ve been exploring the territory (Sacramento, Truckee and Lake Tahoe this past weekend). And no one needs anything from me (save two dozen students who require ministrations four nights a week).

In my adult life, I’ve had only one paid holiday. RUI Apple Computer Moscow gave me two weeks paid leave in the summer of 1993. I flew to Bali free first class as frequent flyer number 56 on Czech Airlines. I read The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Paul Kennedy (purchased in Singapore) on the beach. I rented a motorcycle and purchased a painting –virtually the sole physical momento of my nine odd years abroad from 1986 to 1995. It was all good fun, but I don’t think my life has been lessened for not having more such holidays.

More updates later.

First Ride on the Davis Greenbelt

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

I’m not naturally a bike-oriented person, but I’m utterly floored by the bike lanes that run through Davis’ Greenbelt. They are a completely separate reality from the normal car-centric California city. You ride on the lanes and are surrounded by trees, birds and pass through numerous parks, playgrounds and schools — all without ever even seeing a car. Watch a little of our first ride below.



Life in Davis – Day 2

Monday, July 11th, 2011

We’re here. Both trucks unloaded. Most of the furniture has been built, but boxes abound. Internet installed ten minutes ago – the house has a brain! More later.

Day 1

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Clean up day. All major items complete. Now to strip out the last items: hall closet, upstairs linen cabinet, backyard goods and items strewn in different rooms. Refrigerator to be emptied, TV pulled down, dog house cleaned, cellular repeater removed. Internet will stay up until Saturday morning (it’s only a small “G” wireless router hooked into a Verizon digital feed). Generally, things have gone well so far.

Day 2

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Kitchen is nearly complete. Tomorrow is clean-up day (completing the million small jobs that are left over now that the big ones are done). Then Friday is the day to pack the moving truck. Busy, busy, busy.

Day 4

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Office is bare from wall to wall. Master bedroom closet is bare. Master bedroom virtually down. Boys clothing is packed. Six boxes of shoes packed. Girls’ room tomorrow, along with Toy Area. Kitchen is slated for Wednesday. Made a preliminary estimate of size for the truck. It’s going to be a tight fit.

Moving – Day 5 and counting

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Text only entry here. Boxes are being packed and labeled. Ikea furniture dissembled. Everything is being staged in the garage. 26 foot truck appearing on Friday to load. Anything not on the truck is left behind. Clothes, kitchen stuff, computers, pets, … everything we have is being accounted for. A very stressful time.

Not that we’re unhappy with the final destination or why we’re headed there. But moving from the family’s home base of six plus years is tough. And the space we’ve allotted ourselves is limited. Does Barbie make the cut? What about BBQ tools I haven’t used for two years? Do I really need two Linux servers?

The office was taken apart today. External drives (which provide backup and are the sole storage point of most video) are gone. HD computer monitor is now packed. Precious desk (a trophy of an earlier business triumph) is now taken apart.

Time to move.

Last Air Conditioner Day in Temecula

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011


It’s the last day of running the air conditioner here in Temecula. Forecasts call for cooler temperatures during the rest of our packing adventure, so this is it.

By way of explanation, unlike my native Midwest, Temecula has a hot, dry climate. Further, there is a daily onshore breeze from the Pacific. The breeze cools the area so that even 95 degrees does not feel tremendously hot, unless you are directly beneath the sun.

Over the years, we established the routine of running the air conditioning only when temperatures are predicted over 100 degrees. Which makes this the last time to run air conditioning in the waning days of the Temecula-based Steussy Ranch.