Street views

Google maps has a new feature, I think called street views. The deal is that they drove around this truck with a dozen cameras coming out of it at every angle, and circled around the streets of various cities, shooting digital images. Then they stitched it all together, and in a google map, you can click a thing and see a panoramic image of the street, as if you were standing at a point and looking around. It’s a very interesting project, but I’ve found if you’re oddly nostalgic and possibly a bit homesick for things of the past, it’s absolutely depressing. I put in the address of my last apartment in New York, and I can totally “stand” on Grand Street and look up and see our old deck and our window AC unit jutting out of the living room. Luckily, they do not have maps of Seattle or Bloomington.

I’m not really homesick or anything. It’s just that there is enough distance between me and New York that it has become an abstract concept. And Denver has not taken on enough of an identity yet that I have dreams in the middle of the night and I see this as home in them. (Actually, the house where I grew up in Indiana always seems to be the default stage for my dreams, and after asking around, I guess that’s not too unusual.) I think being crippled for the last month has put a damper on a lot of my plans to explore the city. But it’ll figure itself out. I have a lot coming up in the next couple of months, so that’s cool.

Yes, I’m still a cripple. I finished taking my course of prednisone, which all but cured the foot. And when it was done, it gradually reversed course, and I’m back where I started. I will call the doc when they open and try to get this figured out. In the meantime, I have been drinking a lot of tart cherry juice. The stuff is absolutely horrid by itself, but I mix it with Sprite and it isn’t bad. Cherries are supposed to cure gout, and it’s easier to drink an ounce of juice than it is to eat a pound of cherries.

We drove to Evergreen this weekend (the town, not the college). It is amazing how you can get in a car in downtown Denver and drive for 45 minutes and be in the middle of absolutely nowhere, on a windy little road going up the side of a mountain, with drop-dead views of the Rockies and running rapids and wild buffalo and tons of trees older than this country. In New York, if you had a car, within an hour you’d be lucky to make it to the Jersey side of the Holland tunnel. We’ve been taking a lot of drives like this lately, and they’re always awesome. The only problem is that we’re debating where and when to buy a house, and it’s tempting to buy some really cool log cabin/ski lodge looking thing on the side of a mountain somewhere, but spending two hours a day commuting would not be good. I really want to buy a dumpy place in town, the worst house in the best neighborhood, and then fix it up. Then later, maybe get a place in the hills. I’m becoming disillusioned with the 40 acres, especially since there’s no water and no trees and it would be a constant struggle to do anything there, and meanwhile there’s all this land full of giant trees and roaring water up here. So, who knows.

Speaking of roaring water, there was this bizarro hail storm yesterday. It was 100% clear, then around noon, the sky got pitch black and there were all of these close lightning strikes. The sky opened up, and this hail started. It looked like someone was pouring coarse rock salt over everything – the parking lot across the street and the cars in it were completely covered. There were these pings on the glass, like someone was throwing rocks at the apartment, and the street turned into a giant river with this influx of water and ice. See here for some pictures of it.

I think I’m ditching flickr, and I’m trying to figure out what features are lacking from my shitty php scripts in my photo dir. I know, many. But I should work on that instead of giving yahoo money. I have been brushing up on my php these days and I have a few mock projects that are going okay. Nothing usable, just portfolio fodder. But the more I learn php, the more I realize I could never do it for a living. I dunno.

Okay, I need to get working.