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Farewell, New York

I know I'm a little out of the loop lately, but you know what? You can find a thousand other bloggers to provide running commentary of the DNC, but where else can you find hot topics like what I'm about to relate in this post?

First off, I didn't even see Kerry's speech last night. As I mentioned earlier, my wife and I have been knee-deep in the whole "moving" process, and I haven't had time to even hook up the TV yet, much less have the cable guy out.

At first I was disappointed to have to miss the "climax" of the convention, so to speak, but then I learned it was going to weigh in at 55 minutes long. And those are 55 Kerry minutes, mind you. That's, what, 8 or 9 hours in real time? That sounds like a torture greater than what we just endured on move night.

One of the constant themes of this blog over its lifetime has been to chronicle the thoughts and reactions of a Southern libertarian living in New York City. On Wednesday, however, my wife and I moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, so I guess that changes things.

Alternatively, I could take the same approach as my wife, a Manhattanite from way back. She is still going to insist, when asked, that she lives in New York. She maintains that Hoboken is a de facto part of Manhattan, a sort of "West Soho", or at the very least another borough. She has a point. We are closer to many of our favorite New York City destinations than we were when we actually lived in the city, and we have breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline right across the Hudson here. So I may well follow her lead and consider myself an honorary New Yorker. Just as long as the New York Department of Revenue doesn't consider me one!

We were moved on Wednesday, by Chris Rock's uncle (seriously). He and his crew were great, but we hit a few snags. The first was a typical one. It was that sickening moment when you realize that you actually own about twelve times as much shit as you thought you did, and you go through the following stages of acceptance:

  1. What the hell is all this shit?
  2. Where the hell did it come from?
  3. Hell, I guess I'll just have to move it and sort it out later!

This, accompanied by another trip to vacate our Manhattan storage unit, necessitated two trips from the West Side to Hoboken, through the Lincoln Tunnel, and one of them during rush hour.

The trip was further complicated by obnoxious, power-tripping Hoboken cops. I think the cops in Hoboken are kind of like the Maytag repairman (wasn't that Gordon Jump, by the way?). They don't have much to do, and if they see a car double parked for two seconds, they get all excited because it's a rare chance to act like a cop and bust some heads.

This is very different from across the Hudson in New York, where double parking is a birthright. My street in Hoboken is admittedly narrow, but even so, with the moving van double-parked in front of our new place, there was still enough room for even oversized vehicles to squeeze around.

The cops would hear none of it, however, and they threw on lights and sirens and harassed poor Uncle Rock out of the street and down the block, from where we had to carry our tons of shit to our new house by hand truck, sometimes in the rain. This process took until after 2 AM. I am not lying.

But it's over, thank God, although I'm still tired and achy, and the house is stacked floor-to-ceiling with boxes that probably won't be fully unpacked for another month, and we're still in the process of setting up basic services. Nevertheless, we're pretty excited about our new place.

And to show you what a complete geek I am, here's something else I'm excited about. For those who don't know, I was a nuclear physicist in a former life. For the past 20 years, my all-time favorite calculator has been the HP 15C scientific calculator:

I use it all the time, and it still works like a champ, and I swear it seems like I've only changed the batteries at most 3 times during the past two decades. As much as I love it, however, I've always been terrified that one day it will finally give up the ghost, and it will be impossible to replace, since HP no longer produced Reverse Polish Notation calculators.

But that was then! This is now! HP now has the 33s RPN scientific calculator, and I just bought one:

So far, I like it, although I still prefer the "sideways" 15C. The new model is much lighter, and I recognize that should be considered "progress", but I kind of miss the "heft", if you know what I mean. It's just not as satisfying to hold. The keys are good, because they're nice and clicky (more so than they appeared in the catalog picture). I need to get used to the new display, however. I found the older one to be crisper and cleaner, oddly enough.

Ah well! That's about all that's happening in my life right now. So, to all the ships at sea, and all the ho's in Hoboken, I'll talk with you again soon, and things will return slowly to normal as I begin to emerge.