So, we're back.

Anybody still here probably has by now noticed that the old site is gone, or at least down. That's partially rue. The short answer is... oh, hell, I don't really have a short answer on this one. When I acquired "menagerie.tf" in 1999, AdamsNames was the company tasked with managing the TLD for the French government. Less than a year later, AdamsNames announced that they were going to be giving up the domain back to the French government for whatever reason, but nobody panic, everyone can still manage their domain for free in the meantime. So, at the time it looked like I had a free domain, so I kept it. Then AdamsNames stopped saying they controlled the .tf TLD, announcing that the French government was now holding it and would be making some policy decisions about it "soon". I couldn't make any changes to the domain any more, but by then I was in the house in Pottstown and everything was good.

Then we moved. More on that in a minute, but the important thing is that the old internet access went away, and new internet access happened at the far end. New company, new IP address. So, I went to find out what happened to the .tf TLD, and I found out that in October of 2004, the French government had generously given the TLD to a company called AFNIC, who announced at the time that they had were putting a freeze on the TLD until they could release some new policies surrounding its occupancy and use "in the coming months".

That was two years ago. They're still working on it.

I sent several letters, or perhaps I should say plusiers de lettres to AFNIC's customer service group trying to get the matter resolved, but after the third time they politely told me non, I gave up. So, to those of you who had e-mail addresses on menagerie.tf, I hate to tell you this, but that address is just... gone. I've pretty much exhausted my options for getting it back, and the people who have the power to restore it to me have flatly said that they're not making any changes at all to the domain entries until they get their policies set. After two years, I have no faith that they're going to get to it any time soon. I could be wrong. I would love to be wrong. I'd be perfectly happy being wrong this time.

In the meantime, we've got some new homes.

For now, the new sites look remarkably like the old one. This will change. I have plans. Big plans. Well, "buni big" plans. Big enough. I'll get to 'em "soon".

We're in Seattle now.

The cross-country drive was an experience I'll not soon forget. I hope I never do, of course, but the vagarities of time and memory ensure that at least some things will fade as the weeks stretch into months and years. A friend of mine once said that memories faded to make room for new ones. Or maybe I just think he said that. It sounds like something he would say, at any rate. Apologies if somebody else did say it and I misattributed it. No apologies if nobody said it and I just gave it away to someone else. I don't need any more profundity for now.

I don't know at this point what I could say about the trip that would really make sense to anyone who hadn't been there. The factual events of the drive itself has been recorded in some detail. The emotional experiences that the trip engendered could not really be communicated without an attempt to recreate the experience, or perhaps access to a cerebrochord and some decent authoring software. I'm not the virtuoso I pretended to be, but I'm willing to learn. All I can say is that in many ways the trip itself and the surrounding events pushed me very far outside my normal comfort zone, and I got to experience a lot of emotional extremes as a result that I might not have had the chance to feel otherwise.

I'm glad in one way that it all happened, but I hope that certain aspects of it never have to happen again.

The rest of the move... is best left forgotten, really. Bad things happened. Emotions flared. Voices and tempers were raised. We spent an extra five or six days in various hotels. In the end, our belongings arrived, and we're fairly certain nothing broke during the move that we weren't sort of expecting to lose. A few dishes and a few bottles of liquid didn't survive, staining a few other boxes an interesting off-red color and leaving glass fragments in our cookware, but nothing broke that we couldn't replace. The important things survived reasonably intact. At this point, I'm honestly thinking it's best if we forget it all. Let the ravages of history claim these dark times, and leave me the happier for their passing.

Seattle is beautiful. I really don't have any better way to put it. Seattle is beautiful. I think, for once, something has lived up to my internal hype.

Two days this week, I biked to work. I didn't Wednesday or Thursday because it was raining and I don't yet have decent gear for riding in active rain, and this morning I was running late because I was sore from the three-mile walk last night to and from the QFC for supplies. Costco's a twenty-minute drive away if we need supplies in bulk, but more often than not I feel better about waiting until the weekend, driving into Seattle proper to go to Pike Place Market and buying local fresh produce from one of the vendor stalls there. The market also has a couple of butchers, a dairy, an Asian market, two or three bakeries, and four coffee shops, of which one is Starbucks #1 if I feel like venerating at the shrine. While I'm there I can grab a coffee and watch the trawlers and boats on the sound and gaze into the fog. There's a family-owned teriyaki place on practically every street corner, and there's a small java shack selling coffee out of a plywood box every five-hundred feet.

The Seattle skyline has trees in it. Actual green trees, visible in the skyline.

Passing through Snoqualmie Pass on our way here initially felt like coming home. It wasn't just the end of a long trip. It was a return to something. My words fail me here, for I really have no expression for it. I once quoted Robin in saying, "you can just visit, but I plan to stay". That's really how it felt, the emotion of discovering a longing for something one has never seen before. This place has felt inviting to me in a way that Texas never did, that Pennsylvania only managed in some rare situations. Jessie and I knew that Pottstown was never a permanent solution, though we thought it would last longer than it did. I don't think either of us regret it being so short, though.

If anything, we're just hoping the house sells quickly, so that we can buy a new one here. Not another short-term one, though. This time... this time I think it's to stay.

Welcome home.

As an aside, some of you have probably noticed that the ranch hasn't seen an update in two months. I had planned on resuming my tracking in October, but the stress of relocation and then the insanity that followed more or less made that a fool's plan. Now with October mostly gone, it'd be rather pointless to start tracking just yet. Come November 1, I'll be back on track. I have some big ideas for how to revamp the site, too, to broaden its appeal.

Fake it 'til you make it.

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