site maintenance

I don’t know why I decided to do some site maintenance today but I did. I used to be into all the nuts and bolts of computers and operating systems. Now . . . not so much.

Worrying about updating my PHP version and making sure I had HTTPS enabled . .  feh!

I did it all but it was difficult. There is so much you can do but, honestly, the site does what I need. I ran a backup and a couple of other things but that’s about it. Thanks to all those who read these posts.

two months!

Holy maroly, it’s been almost two months since I posted here. Is anyone still checking on me here? If you have been, thank you. I’m going to try to briefly explain what has happened.

Sepi and I moved into our new home Sept 1. It was her home for many years but she has only lived in a small apartment in the house for around 9 years. The larger part of the house has been rented to a succession of tenants. Our first day was spent ripping out the old carpet and hauling new flooring up to the main living area. Two weeks later, I moved myself out of my apartment. The floor wasn’t done so everything was provisional.

I worked on the floor as I had time but I was quite busy with work so it went slowly. It wasn’t until the first weekend of October that we cracked Sepi’s stored furniture in the garage and brought it upstairs

(draft from November 2018. Now I can let two months go by without writing about it. I still feel bad, but I don’t write about it.)

gifts

We’ve gotten a lot of gifts for our wedding but today I want to talk about some gifts we gave to others. Specifically, a gift we gave to our officiant, Willie Brown.

Willie, of course, is the classic man who has everything. Sepi and I had coffee on Sunday with another politician who knows Willie. We asked what she thought. She was a stumped as we were. ‘A tie?’, was all she could come up with.

We went to Macys, then Nordstrom, looking for ties without success. Even the nicer ones were made in China and I wasn’t going to give Mayor Willie Brown a tie made overseas. Sepi texted back to her friend our dilemma and got back an address in the outer Sunset.

Well, it’s Sunday afternoon after 3 pm. Our meeting with Willie was the next day. We didn’t want to wait the gift until the day of the wedding; there would be too much else happening then. So, we headed out to the Sunset.

In the Sunset nowadays there are mini neighborhood centers all over. This was one of them. A block with a hip restaurant, a gift shop, a church, a yoga place, a surf shop . . . and another little shop with what appeared to be more gifts.

I still had ties on my mind so I was puzzled when I went in. I didn’t see any ties! Well, I was here, I might as well see what they had.

It wasn’t a gift shop, except in the very broad sense of the word. It was the shop of an artist couple: a painter and her print-maker husband. Their paintings and prints were all San Francisco themed. Sepi liked the one that was an image of a bear holding a map of California with the slogan ‘I Love California’.

(a draft from 4 days before the wedding. Amazing that I got even this much done. I was sure I had a photo of Willie and Sepi and the painting but I can’t find it.)

Christmas

I feel like I should recognize Christmas with a post. I don’t have much to say, though. I got out a couple of good posts last week about how I’ve been dealing with the season.

I did get it together to find gifts for

(a draft from December 2016. We’ll never know who the gifts were for! Could be a lesson there. BTW, this Permalink is titled ‘Christmas-2’ so there’s another post about Christmas somewhere.)

writing

So as soon as I put in the title of this post, I get what’s called a ‘permalink’ which seems to be the filename of the post in the mysterious mess which is this blog page(s). Today is ends in ‘writing-2’. Oh, have I used this title before? A quick search shows me that I have 15 instances of using the word ‘writing’ including once in a title.

Hmm. I was going to ruminate on writing in general, how a writer must write in a sort of vacuum for a long time before he or she gets any feedback as to the value of said writing. It shouldn’t be a surprise. Most public activities have thousands of hours of preparation before anything is seen by the public. Musicians, truck drivers, baseball players, secretaries

(draft from December 2016.)

‘I don’t know how you do it’

‘I don’t know how you do it.’

It’s a statement I’ve heard many times since returning to work after Zach’s death. I mention it now because of something Jeremy talked about in his post.

He talked about having to go to the scene of an accident where someone was killed and noticing the similarities to the scene of Zach’s, yet not giving in to grief because he had a job to do.

(a draft from September 2016. Jeremy was still working for the Atlanta Fire Department at this time.)

July 4th

I’m down at Mom & Dad’s on the evening of the 4th because I finally got fed up last year in Pacifica. Despite a ‘zero tolerance’ policy, Pacifica has more fireworks on July 4th than any place I’ve ever been to. Actually, last year was only the last straw. I had noticed from the first year I was in Pacifica for the 4th, that big bombs were common for days before the 4th. That’s in addition to the many ‘safe and sane’ fireworks everywhere.

This year it hadn’t been so bad but last night at around 11 pm a series of a dozen or so large explosions went off seemingly right outside my bedroom window. Thanks, assholes.

(a draft from July 2016)

Belief

I haven’t looked up the definition of belief. I wanted to try it myself. It’s hard to do without a circular reference. Here is what I’ve come up with:

’Belief is holding to be true something for which there is no objective truth.’

This definition is full of problems, I know, but I’m going to run with it. Belief is usually applied to religion, as in, ‘I believe in God’. I think most people would agree that it is impossible to find and objective truth about God, especially a Christian God (capital ‘G’).

But I don’t want to go down that particular rabbit hole today. Many people better than I have debated this issue without satisfactory resolution. I want to pivot to another kind of belief.

Typically, we say that something is true when we see it. Or when we can touch it. We have to be in the presence of our reality for it to be true. At the same time, we believe certain things to be true even when we can’t see them directly. I believe there is an airport on the other side of San Bruno Mountain because I have seen it many times and it is reasonable to expect that it exists when I can’t see it. Airplanes fly over my house all the time which tend to support the notion that an airport is nearby.

I woke up this morning with the knowledge that a belief that I had previously held was gone. I believed in the existence of democracy in America. I believed that at the root of our political system, the people had a voice and that our representatives in government were responsive to that voice.

Is there an objective truth to this notion? I used to think so but events of the past year have made me question that. I want to use the phrase ‘cognitive dissonance’ but that is hifalutin and I don’t think I can defend a definition of that.

When a large group of people act as if they are experiencing a different reality than me, I am at a loss to explain that. Anyway, I can only speak for myself. Today, in my reality, my belief is that we do not have a functioning democracy in America.

I’ve opened up this huge can of worms and now they have grown into snakes and crawling all over the living room. I think I’d better stop now. I’m not prepared to write a whole treatise on belief and perception of reality. I will continue to live what I hope is a righteous life. My seed is sown, for better or worse. I live to contribute my wisdom, if that’s what it is, can be transmitted to the following generations.

Wisdom or folly or silliness, I send myself into the future with these writings. I believe in the future.

Farsi

I was going to write about learning Farsi, but just as I was getting started, Sepi got her phone call from distant parts. Today, it’s Tehran, Gothenburg, and Kish Island (Iran). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Farideh from Montreal showing up any time. It’s ‘The Gang’, Sepi’s phrase for her sisters and cousins who talk regularly via WhatsApp.

Almost always just women, they usually start their call by asking about ‘Daryoosh!’ I learned early on how to say ‘hello’, ‘how are you’ and ‘I am fine, thank you’ in Farsi.

Unfortunately, I seemed to be stalled there. Sepi told me the other day how to say, ‘It’s nice to see you,’ but it hasn’t stuck. I found a really nice web site with Farsi phrases but almost never go to it. You’d think I’d be motivated to learn with all these interesting Farsi speakers to talk to.

The calls are almost always fun, with several people talking at once in happy voices. There have been serious moments, such as when Sepi’s aunt was dying last summer but mostly it’s just people happy being together. One cousin got COVID but seems to have gotten through the worst of it. Sepi’s sister, Mali, was sad when her niece left Iran for Canada but she puts on a brave face. Mali’s own children – with a grandchild on the way – are all still in Tehran.

I’ll keep at it. It’s likely that there will be many more such calls in the months ahead. We can’t go to Iran, but Canada and Sweden are on our short list of places to visit when it is safe to do so.

The other day, Badri, who lives in Gothenburg, tried to teach me some Swedish words. Aieee!