Sunday, October 22, 2006

Back after a month

It's been more than a month since I have posted here or at the Wyrdsmiths group blog. I knew when I started both projects that I needed to post regularly. A blog without regular activity is a blog that people are not going to revisit. I can rely on the other Wyrdsmiths on the group blog. But here I am on my own.

What happened? Patrick and I drove to the Black Hills the third week of September. We were only gone five or six days, but a lot of driving was involved. The trip from the Twin Cities to western South Dakota is between ten and twelve hours one way, and while we were in the Black Hills we did a lot of driving. We are not hikers. Instead, we do scenic drives -- through the Badlands and Custer State Park, along the Needles highway and through Spearfish Canyon. It was very nice, but a bit hectic, and we are not as young as we used to be. Maybe we should take more restful vacations, but we seem to like long drives. We certainly love the Black Hills and the Badlands National Monument.

Patrick got laid off the first week of September, and we needed to get away from that fact. He had been at his job twelve years by his count and is well into his 50s, which makes finding a new job somewhat problematic -- especially a job in his line of work, which is specialized. He is (as far as I can tell) THE expert in Minnesota on single adults who are homeless.

His former employers laid him off so they could sink more money into their new program for homeless single adults, which came out of the program he had built from nothing starting ten + years ago. A year and a half ago, they took his program away from him and turned it into something entirely new, which had no place for him. Since he had worked for them so long and was the state expert on adult homelessness, they kept him on the payroll, while they took apart most of what he'd done for ten years and more.

Then they created a new job for him doing outreach and advocacy around issues of homelessness. This was fine, because he is really interested in doing policy work. It's great to help individual homeless people, but we also need to end the problem of homelessness. People shouldn't be living under bridges anywhere and especially not in Minnesota, where you can still freeze to death outside in the winter.

But then Pat's former employers decided they couldn't afford to fund the new position and laid him off.

There is more to the story, but why dwell on bad times that are over?

So we went west and looked at bison, pronghorns, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, wild turkeys and wild burros. Both of us took pictures. I will post a few of the better ones here soon.

Anyway, we got back, and I got a cold. Amazing how hard a virus can hit. I was sick for more than a week. I finally feel pretty good today.

I had turned my desk top off when we left for South Dakota, something I rarely do. When we got back and I turned it on, it didn't seem quite right. While I was fighting the cold, Patrick was struggling with the computer, which behaved more and more strangely. He finally ended by erasing and restoring from the install disks, doing this three times before he finally gave up. We took it in the Apple Store Saturday, and the guy at the Genius Bar said, "It sounds like a hard drive problem." So Moby Mac (the great white desk top) is currently getting a new hard drive, more memory and an upgrade to Tiger. I gave the poor thing a pat before we left it. "Everything will be fine, Moby."

Is this enough to explain a month of silence? I could add that my day job has been stressful lately.

15 Comments:

Blogger Sean M. Murphy said...

Well, welcome back, Eleanor. Big Moby'll make it back, and the viruses will subside, and life will go on "much as it has this past age", if I may borrow a line from LoTR. Good to hear that you're feeling better, too.

Ditto the day job.

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