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2 August: Sunday

La Quinta, California: A big day in our family. Our grandson, Leo, turned 9 today! Due to COVID, he celebrated with only his immediate family, but Lenny and Lisa made sure we all were able to virtually celebrate with him. (More on this below.)

Our plan for the day was to have a day of a rest, after going non-stop for over two weeks. The pile of boxes to unpack is nearing next-to-nothing. There are still cabinets/closets to organize, but not much. The cable guy was coming at 3p, so we went to the bus to fetch a few last-minute things (again). I put these items in the car, and Dave hopped on his bicycle to ride to our new house. (My turn sometime this week for my bike.) Of course, because he is, after-all, Dave... 18 miles later (our new house is about 2 miles from the Motorcoach Country Club), he returned.

But we did relax a bit today and Dave watched several hours of the golf tournament on television. Thing is, we are going to bed so early, and without lowering the shades in the master bedroom, we are waking with the chickens... doves... cowbirds... hawks... well, you get the idea. Early.

The cable guy did arrive at 3p, shrouded in gloves, booties, and a mask. He knew before he even entered our house what the issue would be. These houses (most of the 400 in the development), were all wired the same way: one outlet for cable; another for satellite. (Our house does have a satellite dish on the roof. We will not use the dish.) The houses were also wired for some-sort of TV/WiFi that no longer exists (or maybe was for a LAN/ethernet connection?). Not sure. Can't remember back to the caveman days. The tech's biggest issue was we have about a dozen live cable outlets, but were only using two for television (we have two televisions) and one for WiFi. The tech disabled all the TV cable lines we were not using, making the signal to the two televisions stronger. To reach our CABLE COMMAND CENTER, the poor guy had to hang-out in the master closet. The ceiling in the master closet is 14 feet, and the wired cluster is nearly to the ceiling. This is what he found after removing the door/cover:

Is this even safe?

I know you guys all watched the news and saw how the astronauts had a safe water landing today. Now you know where the technology was hiding for this event. In our closet.

So this crazy mess of wires was our first odd discovery of the day. Then we discovered another odd thing: when I was checking the cabinet housing all the TV equipment - cable box, Samsung control box, and Blu-Ray player - I just happened to notice something else. On the inside of the doors to the cabinets are a bit of unfinished business:

That's pretty safe, right?

How did any home inspector miss this? There are three sets of these open nails on the inside facade of the built-in media cabinet in the family room. Three! If we tried to pound/bend the nail down, I am afraid it would open-up wounds on the front side of the cheaply-made cabinet. Who would leave open nails in a cabinet??? Luckily, there is enough Styrofoam in our garage recycling bin these days, Dave will be able to fashion three Styrofoam rectangles to push into the open daggers, which will make a safe covering, without having to risk damaging the shoddy cabinets.

After an hour or so, the Spectrum tech was able to get us up and running! Our new country club has just made a group deal with Spectrum, so all residents (using Spectrum) are getting new cable boxes SOME TIME SOON, and maybe we will be able to get the new cable boxes working ourownselves. Or not.

Since it was on the national news this evening, maybe you heard about the Apple Fire burning thousands of acres between Los Angeles and Palm Springs? It is out of control. Thousands evacuated. The wind is blowing the smoke directly east into the Coachella Valley, and the skies have been covered with a smoky layer all day.

So scary! Keep the firefighters - and all the people in emergency shelters (during a pandemic!) - in your prayers tonight. How frightening.

I made a salad (duh) and a pizza, using the frozen dough from our CSA box two weeks ago. Really a very good dough, and so easy to roll paper-thin. Just red sauce, cheese, and basil tonight.

Third odd discovery of the day: I was wiping-down the counter around the cooktop in the kitchen island, and noticed a mysterious hidden button. I pushed the button and a down-draft fan rose from behind the the burners! Yeah! We could see down-draft venting in the cabinet under the cooktop (we had a downdraft in Portland), but had yet to find a button for the vent fan until tonight. This one is a bit ancient, and has another (kinda hidden) dial on the right side of the down-draft to operate the fan. Who knew? Explains a lot.

This guy is 9 today! How did it happen? Our beloved boy is growing up so fast. What a perfect combination he is of his mom and dad! Leo is energetic, musical, Oregon Duck/sports-crazy, creative, funny, loving, and a devoted brother. He loves to read, play the piano, and is now in a serious project with his friends (via ZOOM) to direct and produce a film. This evening, both sets of grandparents (Lenny's parents live in DC) sang Happy Birthday to Leo and watched him blow-out candles on cupcakes (decorated by Lucy) via FaceTime. What a wonderful thing that we happen to live in the age of technology during this pandemic, so we can still share family milestones, though apart.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEO!

Until my next update, I remain, your rested correspondent.