finding a new home:  After a long drive from Anaheim to Madison, the next morning (Monday, September 14) I found the kind of apartment I wanted — one bedroom on the top floor (3rd) with a balcony — in the neighborhood I wanted.  And with a big tree outside my windows!  Within 24 hours, I found it and decided “yes” so I could unload my totally full car, order-and-install wifi & landline phone.  And relax in my home, breathing a sigh of relief.  Since then I've continued being busy — partly by sorting through everything so I can make progress toward my goals of getting organized and eventually having fewer things* — except that instead of doing what I HAD to do (as in Anaheim), now (in Madison) it's what I WANT to do, and this feels good.  I'm happy and thankful, settling into a new home that I like.     {one advantage of Madison is its cheaper rent (monthly $955 plus about $35 for electricity, and $50 extra for indoor parking) compared with Orange County where this kind of apartment would cost much more.}  {iou - Later this page will have updates, mainly with more photos.}

getting things organized:  * One personal goal is getting things organized so “everything has its place” (a useful principle from Penny Lambright) so I'll have a neat home,* and I can find things now, and later I can look thru each kind-of-thing and decide what to keep, or to give away or throw away.

the best in basketball:  * I want a home that is "neat" and also fun.  Part of my fun is sports (playing when younger, watching now) so after arriving I quickly bought a 4k TV to watch the NBA Playoffs, along with Sling Orange (for TNT & ESPN in semifinals, $30/month) plus a broadcast antenna (for ABC in Finals, $30).  The NBA had an excellent plan and they did it well, with no positive tests for covid in their NBA Bubble, and (in the on-court competitions) an exciting pre-playoff race for 8th place in the West, followed by a full playoff schedule and (for me) a happy ending when it was won by the Lakers.   :<)     {along with me, Mom & Dad were dog lovers, and fans of the Lakers;  in 2006 they got a playful dog (who looked like Toto from Kansas/Oz) and named him Kobe, like the Laker;  more recently, Mom & I got a new dog, fluffy-and-happy Zoe (her name means “life” and she enthusiastically enjoys the simple pleasures of life) and I'm happy & thankful that she has a wonderful new home; story plus cute photos & videos.}     /     update: This year, will the LA Dodgers be the best in baseball?  After 8 years of regular-season success (winning 8 consecutive titles in NL West) and 2 years making it into the World Series (2017 & 2018) but with their season always ending in a loss, will they FINALLY win it all?  They're close in 2020, are back in the World Series (after winning a close Game 7 last night, Oct 18) and now — after being fairly successful for 8 straight years, and coming close but falling short — winning it all would mean a lot to them, so I'm cheering for them to win it, will be very happy for them if they do.   { Oct 27 update: yes, they did it! }


Anaheim vs Madison?   Am I comparing them?  Yes and No.  Yes, I'm describing why I like my new home (the apartment, neighborhood, city) but...  No, I'm not saying “Madison is better than Anaheim,” instead I'm just saying “Madison is better for me.”  I really do like many things about Anaheim, Orange County, and (more generally) Southern California.  I understand why many people enjoy living there, why they think it's the best place for them.  It just isn't the best place for me, it isn't where I want to be.


Anaheim to Madison:  My page with stories includes an explanation of why (for the long-term health of my car) I should have chosen the Southern Route instead of driving thru Utah & Colorado.  And now that I've arrived, here are some observations about the natural beauty of Madison, its seasons & weather, and my new neighborhood.


Green & Orange, White & Green:  Madison is a beautiful city, with lakes and other natural blessings.  Inside & outside the city, most areas are “green” with grass and trees.  At this time of year, there also is yellow & orange & red with trees changing to autumn colors.  This is pretty, but also a bit sad because it's a reminder that soon the orange leaves will fall and the city will be “white” with snow, which I really enjoy for awhile, but eventually I'll be looking forward to March-April-May when it gradually becomes green again, and warm.  Among the many things I like about Orange County is its mild climate (typically not too cold, not too hot) but during the past 8 years I've missed the cycle of seasons, especially the joy of springtime when it offers welcome relief from the long cold winter.   {taking time to watch snow [and “see the wind”] in March 2012}

Weather in Anaheim and Madison:  Today (Oct 12) it's 67° with rain, similar to SoCal in the winter, but with occasional thunder – common in the midwest, but rare on the west coast in SoCal or Seattle.  Next week will be cooler, with an average high of 48° that feels cold now (after a summer in Anaheim and a mild early autumn in Madison) but will feel warm (after a winter in Madison) when the temperature rises to 48° in February, fueling our annual anticipations of spring & summer.   /   The TV weather forecasts are very different in SoCal and Madison.  They're typically boring for Southern California — with “more of the same” from April thru October, except for minor morning variety due to May Gray & June Gloom — but with a variety of geographic areas (LA/OC, beaches, inland empire, low desert, high desert, mountains) with each having its own forecast-box on TV.  By contrast, in Madison there is only one geographic area, but there is a wider variety of weather in the summer (with sunny blue skies, plus rains & some thunderstorms) and winter (with lots of snow & occasional ice) and our radar map gets to show its full range of colors, including not just the green-yellow-orange-red (for rain) we see in Anaheim, but also blue-pink-purple (for snow & ice).

My Neighborhood – Hilldale in Madison:  During my first 24 years in Madison (1989 to 2013) I lived near U of Wisconsin, at distances of only 0.7 mile to the south [for 2 years] near Vilas Park & Zoo, then 1.4 miles east [8 years] a few houses from Lake Mendota with sunset-watching in Summer 1996,  0.7 mile west [4 years] in an area with many beautiful houses & yards, and 0.1 mile south of Union South [10 years] at Orchard & Spring.  This time I'm a little further away, 2.5 miles west.  Why?  It's partly because I no longer teach in the UW Chemistry Dept (so there is no need to frequently get there quickly by riding a bike) but also for other reasons.  I like my new neighborhood (map) because of...  its ALTITUDE {it has an “open-air feeling” on a wide plateau-hill (above the surrounding areas of Hilldale) with five apartment complexes similar to mine (Normandy, Sovereign, Carolina, Monticello, Chapel Hill) having large grassy frontyards & courtyards};   and its LOCATION – as you can see on this map, it's close to...   PARKS {especially Rennebohm Park [my photos-page for it shows the park & my apartment's location (at the "o" labeled "Home" on Sheboygan Avenue) within Carolina Apartments] but also other parks [to west & east] and [to north] Blackhawk Country Club [golf course,...] and Lake Mendota};   STORES {Hilldale Shopping Center [.5 mile away downhill, with many small stores, including Apple Store, UW Bookstore, AMC Theaters, plus Target & Ace Hardware, ...],  USPS [.4 mile],  UW Credit Union & Walgreens & Pick 'n Save (large grocery store) & McDonald's [.8 mile],  Starbucks & Whole Foods [1.1 mile] with Amazon Locker;   and farther away, UW Hospital [2.0 miles] & UW Campus [2.5-3.5 miles],  downtown {State Capital, Monona Terrace,... [4 miles]},  Olbrich Botanical Gardens [7 miles],  MSN Airport & East Towne Mall [9 miles],  and [3 milesfrom here in opposite direction] West Towne Mall.  There will be plenty of fascinating places to explore by driving & walking, riding bus (from nearby stops on Sheboygan Ave, for 7 routes going eastward [to UW & downtown & beyond] and westward, plus a “church bus” from UW to Blackhawk Church) and especially by riding bicycle — an excellent machine (are wheels the best human invention?) for exploration trips over medium-short distances ranging from a few blocks to a few miles.


Here are two views from my balcony, of my tree and the two courtyards, near and far:

sewing machine   sewing machine
The photos above are Sep 15, and below are Oct 20, with fewer leaves on my tree, none on faraway trees.    /    I.O.U. – By the end of April, I'll post my photos of icicles & white snow, and then green springtime!
sewing machine   sewing machine
sewing machine   sewing machine