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In Cairo, settled in a big hotel+casino (only foreigners allowed) when not dodging traffic in an armoured SUV with an armed driver as escort, visiting companies that in most cases were set up by Lebanese or Syrian exiles, discussing Saudi Iranian politics over coffee, and how Dubai is going to implode in any moment now, considering that our host set up a Dubai subsidiary five years ago when he expected Egypt to implode, any moment now...

 

And some details you will not see in the Western news, such as a potential war over a dam in Ethiopia, halving the Nile flow... Or the horror show that used to be Lybia.

 

If a visit falls through on Thursday I might be able to see the pyramids and Tutankhamon's room, before flying to Rome. There may be photos, if I am lucky.

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Back home, though feeling a bit under the weather. There must have been something dodgy either in the fast food shawarma, eaten in the traffic jam to the airport, or in Alitalia's business class lasagna. It is not as clear cut as it may seem... Got six free hours yesterday morning, so we got one hour at the Pyramids and five hours in traffic. Still breathkaking, like few human made objects are.

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Today is the two-year anniversary of the MinoBot Move. 

Two years ago today, we packed up our 5-year-old and 2-year-old, two duffel bags, 4 backpacks, and a suitcase with our stuff and boarded a plane from Honolulu to Hilo.
We were officially homeless for 7 weeks - first camping out of the back of the Mazda Tribute we bought at the airport (via craigslist), then when that truck suddenly and with great finality DIED we stayed in hotels for a couple nights while finding a replacement vehicle, and then camping out of our right-side-drive Saturn hatchback. When that car decided to be finicky about running we put out a distress signal on a local homeschooling Facebook group and were rescued by two families - one let us stay in their home for 3 days and the other fixed our car. 

The mechanic's family offered to let us stay with them so we lived in the front room of their home (two adults, 3 teenagers, 2 kids, a baby, 5 cats, a dog, + us). We found a place to live after 3 weeks of that and then we spent a solid month getting the "new" place clean (I have photos that look like they are stills from the show "Hoarders"...) and liveable enough to call it home.

Oh, and TM finished Neofeud and released it during this time as well. 
O.O

Two years later I can say I have no regrets at all. Honolulu was slowly draining the life from us - it wasn't living, just existing. With all it's hardships and uncertainty, I'd pick life on the east side of the Big Island, with our seven cats and happy kids, every time.
 

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5 hours ago, GreenRobot said:

Honolulu was slowly draining the life from us - it wasn't living, just existing.

I can totally see how that place would do that to you. Having now been there it seems quite soulless and very geared toward the 1%. While we were there the strike of hotel workers was going on. The chants and slogans were clear signs of extreme inequality. So I can only imagine how hard it must be for local people to even survive there. We actually spent most of our time in the north shore area - only really spent a day in Honolulu itself - in a very residential area and even there the inequality was fairly obvious. I did like the natural beauty of the island, and the people we met were extremely nice. But the vibe overall ... I don't know but for some reason, it really didn't sit well with us. 

 

I really do regret that we couldn't come down to the big island :/  So close yet so far away. In hindsight, had we realized what Oahu was like, we probably would have planned the whole trip differently.

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Islands are often weird in that way.  You have extreme levels of inequality that in other setting are expressed spatially, the poorest people live far away from amenities and wealthier neighborhoods.  Islands don't typically have that kind of pattern, you might have pockets of extreme poverty interspersed with relative wealth.  This creates a number of problems, since a lot of programs to address inequality are spatially distributed.  But I also imagine it creates a bizzarro kind of feeling to live there.  You can literally be starving in your one room rental over the Trader Joe's and to programs that are intended to address poverty you are invisible, since the median income of your neighborhood is still pretty high.  Perversely, its even worse when much of the population is non-white, because it can further obscure real need.

 

I am glad to hear that you are happy, and doing well.

Edited by editengine
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  • 3 weeks later...

Then a good friend came in to town to attend a work thing.

 

https://ncrc.org/conference/

 

IMG_2271.thumb.JPG.565b25f5f5440f3eab8aa33dcdde5304.JPG

 

Today I will also be on a radio program today some of you might know.

 

https://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2019-03-26/district-of-gentrification-how-washington-d-c-became-the-most-gentrified-city-in-the-u-s

 

On it I will shamelessly take credit for some great work my team and I did.

 

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So...

     Been quite a year for old Boogerhead.

     After 21 years, I finally paid off my student loan! They'd been garnishing my check for a year, so I have literally nothing in savings but as of January 3rd, I have no debt, either. That's a weird feeling for me. I have a list of folks who have helped me out over the years, and appreciation might take a while, but it is coming.

     Also, my lease is up at the end of this month. We tried to move out last year due to the idiotically high rent we'd been trapped into paying. (The mom n' pop operation that accepted us sold to a Chinese/Canadian property management company...) Rents were still skyrocketing last year, so we waited it out. This year we found a 2 bedroom house that's over 130 square feet larger and $200 less a month. 

     All this has left me reeling a bit. We move in on April Fool's Day, which if you know me is more than a little appropriate... 

     I am also finishing up my first year in a new role for Nordstrom. I was promoted last April to facilities coordinator, but I am no longer a store employee. The facilities I coordinate are their fashion photography studio, known as "Studio N". I had to get a driver's license for this position, something I haven't possessed since 1994. A year in, and still have a clean driving record...

     My next goal is a truck...

     All in all, i seem to have saved my growth for 2019.

     w00t!

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Got this email

 

We're writing about the order you placed on October 01, 2018 (Order# 113-9814357-0396253). Unfortunately, the release date for the item(s) listed below has changed, and we need to provide you with a new delivery estimate based on the new release date:

        

  Gibson, William "Agency"

    Estimated arrival date: January 21, 2020

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