Pairing with my mom this summer.  :-)

Pairing with my mom this summer.  :-)

Understand an object’s point of view.  An object doesn’t know how it will be messaged.  It just does what it does.
It is imperative that an architect of a system have the ability to put on the limited perspective of each moving part.

Understand an object’s point of view.  An object doesn’t know how it will be messaged.  It just does what it does.

It is imperative that an architect of a system have the ability to put on the limited perspective of each moving part.

Amick Cottage 2012

Rainbow in Traverse City

Rainbow in Traverse City

The family cottage has never had a mailbox or phone since my Great Grandfather built it in 1936.

Traditionally, it was used in the summer as an escape from the busy, modern life of the 50’s , 60’s, and 70’s. 

Fast forward to 2012.  The Amicks still don’t want a phone number or postal service at their summer get-away.  However, we all communicate on this thing called the Internet, in ways that are borderline telepathic.  Everyone is happy. That is, until we don’t have the Internet.

I do a special kind of construction for a living.  Every day I sit down at my computer and build things on the Internet.  Naturally, my family would leave it to me to equip their antique cottage on the lake with high speed Internet, a task I readily accept. 

For the last 2 years we have been suffering through some of the worst Internet access many of us have seen in a long time. 

There has been only one choice if you want anything resembling high-speed Internet on Torch Lake.  COLI Communications - often refereed to as E.COLI Net by the townies.

But now DSL has arrived.  For everyone, except us.

Again and again, I am told by the phone company that they can’t service us, even if they can service newer houses on either side of us.

I finally tracked down the problem.  It appears that the phone company will not take our money until this property is entered in the United States Postal system.

Can I get in the USPS database?  Nope, not unless I set up a mailbox by the road.

OK…. so I went down to the Gil-Roy’s Got-It hardware store and picked out a classic steel mailbox, and rescued a nice Birch log from the tree that fell near the lake the other year.

I used a chainsaw to create a post on one end.  The final product looks very nice, but it is far from permanent as the Birch will rot out in just a few years.  I figure we can just move it to the woodshed when we close up for the winter, and it can be made to last a whole lot longer with a bigger hole and a bag of cement.

Next up, wait for the mail person to drop a new address card in the box.  I can then fill it out, put it back in the box and put the flag up - no postage necessary.  :-)

Lots of hoops to jump through, but with any luck we will be in the USPS database soon.  I’ll then be able to order DSL - and finally check my email.  I imagine even my priority inbox is getting out of control by now.

I am Esther Maia Amick! And I’m super! And I run fast! And I have mighty math powers! And I’m an expert climber!
Esther - 3 years old - Summer 2012

off road umbrella stroller

found this on my daughters bed this morning. no one was stung.

found this on my daughters bed this morning. no one was stung.

Isabel digging our little camper

We are testing out life on the road with two small girls, 1 and 3 years old.  We are faring alright now, although it was a bit stressful at first until we figured out a few things.  It really helps to be at a place with activities for young kids.  Currently we are staying at the North Texas Jellystone Park.  Lot’s of fun for the kids - and that means fun for us.  Daily hay rides, arts and crafts, game room with lots of other kids, swimming pools and water park.  Esther believes that the water park is the “most funnest place on the whole-whole-whole earth”.

I have found that even though a campground may advertise high speed Internet, it is usually unusable for various reasons.  Subsequently, I have discovered that I do like working at Starbucks and can often get more accomplished here than I could in my own home office - for various reasons.

So in a few days we will leave here and head somewhere else.  Not sure where yet.  The only thing fully known is that we are taking the long slow road to our new home in the Bay Area and hitting Torch Lake, MI at the end of July on the way.  Yes, I know how far out of the way that is. :-)

More soon