Dear Mole: Trailer Trash

Dear Mole,

Where were we again? Oh, right — I sold my car, they raised my rent, ain’t got no job, oh woe is Mudge!

Hey, if you’re going to publicize your troubles online like you’re writing a bad country and western song, you gotta own it, right?

Speaking of country and western songs, I must once again paraphrase the late Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (who, in turn, was famously paraphrased by the late Neil Peart): plus ça change plus c’est la même chose.

That single-wide trailer up there is my new home. Jesse’s, too. My dad bought it for me and it’s situated in the mountains about 10 miles outside of Albuquerque. That white shit on the ground is snow because Cedar Crest, NM is 6,500 feet above sea level. The trailer park looks like a campground and my place is all the way at the end with a rock wall encircling the back yard that overlooks the Sandia and Manzano Mountains.

And I’ve just enough to spare to buy myself a shitty used car so’s I can journey into Albuquerque when I need to forage for groceries and, um…*cough*…supplies.

For the time being, I won’t be inviting Bubbles to move into a shed in the yard with his cats nor will I let Ricky sleep in his car in the driveway. Leahy and Randy are watching.

So I’ve nearly achieved my dream of becoming a mountain hermit. And this is but a scant mile away from my new mountain hermitage:

Fucking Burger Boy.

Entropy, Cohesion, Repeat ad infinitum,

‘Mudge

Paying homage to Lord Internet

It must have been my taunting of the Season of Chill that brought its own chill to my home and work environment this last week. Not more than twenty-four hours after my last post my area suffered what they call an Ice Storm. First came the meager snow, far from the epic house-high accumulations of which I wrote. Then came the freezing rain, rain that starts as water 5000 feet up, but due to the cold lower layer, freezes on contact. Well, it froze to the snowy branches of thousands of trees, trees that had long enjoyed a leisurely lean out over open fields and roadways.

And then this legion of woody soldiers all began to fall. And fall they did. By the hundreds.

Big, fifty to eighty year-old trees fell into roads and onto houses and cars and onto fields and open-spaces everywhere. If the tree was “branchy” and lopsided then it probably lost major branchage if not outright fell over.

Fortunately, the power returned the next day. But the internet did not. Six days later it’s finally been restored. I’ve had to drive over to a friend’s and work from their bedroom as their net connection remained viable. I mean, I work from home, but if I can’t connect… “Sorry, Mole, you’re no good to us — disconnected.”

Spending the evenings watching old DVDs (Harry Potter), as the cable was also kaput, was nice. But, oy, when you’re jonesing for the juice and even the cell-tower’s data is temporarily wounded, no power, no net, no cell-coverage… It felt like the 90’s. The 1890’s that is.

How good we have it. How much we take for granted. Sure got cold. Maybe if it hadn’t been winter…


Oh, and WP’s Block Editor really does suck. If Microsoft Word had used such an idiotic block metaphor it would have died along with Clippy. No editor worth its salt forces such a paradigm on users. Adding blocks TO a document is vastly different than forcing all content to be blocks. If Word or Google GDocs ever adopted such a draconian technique I’d go back to writing in Notepad.
I suspect WP might have done this to make it easier to inject ads into posts as content is schlepped around the net.


Forecast: A wintry mix

By morning, a dusting of snow had softened winter’s dark lines and sharp angles. Throughout the day, the storm sifted down a deafening silence of eyelash soft flurries. When we awoke the next day we reveled in the blurry white embrace of a rounded world. Fence posts topped with mushroom perfection. Cedars and firs bowing with their pillowed gifts. All things flat had gained marshmallow hats and the unbroken smoothness of the streets and yards beckoned for footprints. We obliged them.

By the third morning, with the plows having somehow missed our street, if not our town, and the snow never quitting its powdered sugar descent, worry snuck in. By week’s end we began to plan our escape. When we ventured to trench our way beyond our side door, we got as far as the street before turning back. Too much to shovel, too soft to wade through, exhaustion overwhelmed us. We’d hoped to break through to some gap, some sign of rescue. Only the occasional hallo from a neighbor, no, we’ve neither seen nor heard from anyone but you and us.

Twelve days now and our homemade snowshoes are ready. We’re leaving out the second story window over the garage. We wear our ski clothes and goggles as the blizzard conditions have scarcely let up. The power has been out for days, but the gas stove has kept us alive. We boiled snow and ate down our stores, cans and sacks we never imagined we’d use but are grateful for their presence. Thank god for our ancestors’ habits. Whoever thought lima beans could taste so good?

It took all day, but we’re finally to the grocery store. There’s a ramp down to the entrance and there are lanterns burning inside. National Guard soldiers keep the peace, they nod to us as we traipse into the dimly lit entry way. We can buy only so much, and the selection is limited, but we’re relieved there’s anything at all.

We’re told to head to the high school where most of the town has gathered for warmth and food. Generators are running and the place is ready for us.

We spend the night, and the next. The snow never quits. We stay until supplies, the Guard says, that should have arrived, never show up. You might be better off fending for yourselves, they tell us. We take what they offer, and the remaining supplies we didn’t share and head back toward home. We have trouble navigating as the snow covers the street signs and what looks like a road is just an open patch without trees. But we make it.

A few neighbors have candles burning in third story windows, their second stories are mostly buried. We, ourselves, only have an attic. We have to dig down to reenter our window. With the stove fired up and warm porridge in our bellies we sit on cushions and blankets in the attic and stare out the circular window at the snow that continues to fall.

Heads down, grinding away at Rust

A quick update: I’ll be heads down, brain elsewhere for another month, at least. Here’s a diagram I whipped together that illustrates a tiny piece of the puzzle we’re trying to work on. SLA = Service Level Agreement. The names of these “things” are nothing you’ve probably run into, but they’re substantial parts of my coding universe now.