The Better Half
Okay! Back to the grind! Man, am I looking forward to that stack on my desk that got shoved aside when the auditors showed up last Friday. Not...
...but with the rest I got this weekend, it should be an okay day. Saturday turned into the type of workday I like; I handled a bunch of little nagging projects that had been hang around for a while and even got to play some on the testbed box.
Sunday I came home from church expecting to find the first game around 3-17 at the half; I was blown away by the 7-3 score. Okay, maybe there'll actually be a game today! Oh, yeah, that took care of the early afternoon... Late afternoon, I faded out during The Inevitable Rams Win; but that was probably a good thing as Shelley and I had a business meeting at church that took up most of the evening. ..and that was fun; financial sheets to go over.
Didn't I just do some of that on Friday???
Some excitement around the old homestead last night: the rancho lost power right in the middle of sittin' down to a home-cooked meal... Now, Ma and the youngest just aren't at their best under these sorts of conditions; they tend to fret a bit and worry their little hearts about the darndest things, like light and heat and plumbing and such... Junior, on the other hand, he can make a Dad right proud! Yeah, I know, he's always worried about them tornados sweeping across the prairies; but when things hit the fan, he's right there helping to fasten the storm windows and gettin' the lanterns lit.
The first clue we had that things weren't going well was when the power only flickered back for an instant after the initial kick off. That's usually a sign the power crews are going to have to saddle up and ride instead of letting the equipment try to burn through the problem. ...and last night couldn't have been more inhospitable for them: we were looking at snow advisories here on the valley floor.
I gave it another few minutes while my eyes adjusted and then headed off to gather up the candles and such that we have put away for these times. Mom's been through one or two; but when I was workin' on the fire department out in the oil fields in the western part of the county, power'd come and go like like your paycheck down at the Longbranch... So, there's candles and battery-operated radios and a lantern or two just sittin' in a cupboard waitin' for their call. ...and I'd already laid a fire in the hearth so's we could have some heat in case the snow did start to fall.
Coupla' candles in the kitchen and I could see to dish up some more grub from the stove; couple more and the bathrooms had a nice warm light cast off them mirrors ("Hey, Ma, y'all come back here for a little while!" "Hey, just what do you mean, 'old goat'???" "I can't help it if I stocked in scented candles...")
So, were all settled in all nice and cozy, with Mom a'rockin' the youngest 'cause he just ain't sure about all this and he wants things like they are in the big city. ...an' I'm back to chowin' down 'cause I can't see any of that food a'goin' to waste. ...and Junior? Heck, he's off rescuin' the neighborhood! Yeah, he saw the sweet young thing livin' next door show up and figured out she couldn't get her bronco in the barn 'cause the electric door opener wouldn't work, so he ups an offers our place for the evening. ...and when she said she'd check in after her night class, he wandered over to the widow-lady on the other side (only a widow until her husband gets home from work around midnight) and offered our hospitality to her and her two youngin's. She brought one o' them electic lanterns over and her kids and ours played board games for the duration while the ladies rocked and chatted for a spell.
I checked in with the nice automatic lady at the power company (gosh, I miss ol' Suzie; she was always good for some gossip when you called in) and found out about forty square miles on this side of the county was affected. Whooeee; that's a lot of people out in the flats to go with us city folk sittin' here on the edge of town...
Power came back on about an hour later and we started breakin' down the emergency goods and storin' them away for the next big one. I think the youngin's had a good time. ...but I wish to heck Ma hadn't blown out that last scented candle.
Man, it was so cold here today, the citrus growers didn't even bother to turn the fans on... That pretty well means they gave up. I just hope they got the crop in over the last week or so. How cold was it? Well, when I went out to go to the car this morning, last night's fog had frozen and was coating everything in sight. That's cold enough for me...
...but it wasn't all that cold in the dealer room at the DMV this morning (yeah, that's how I started my day. ...and I ended it at the dentist); that actually went off okay. Maybe I'll send some flowers over before the replacement fleet units start to arrive. Sometimes they get real tired of seeing me <g>.
...and Janeen has learned Dan's rule #405 from last year: "Never let them know when you're going on vacation!" The word is out and anyone with any agenda is trying to shove it in front of her before she leaves. ...and as she tries to get her files back in order from the auditor's visits this week.
Ah, well, maybe Thursday will be calmer...
Well, I tried my hand at Googlewhacking yesterday after it came up on the backchannel and came away with at best a tie... I went for "bandersnatch" and "blowhard" and indeed came up with a unique hit. ...but my victory speech was cut short when I noticed one of the words wasn't underlined as valid in Google's cross check with Dictionary.com. I appealed to Merriam-Webster, the tool I use in my writings, but was turned down...
Heartbroken, I struggled off to the DMV for my next defeat. Perhaps, that was why they treated me so kindly yesterday: they could see I was a wreck...
"Lewis Carroll" and "Larry Niven"...
Hmmm... Done any archive burning under Windows XP? Had any problems? Wonder why???
Energy savings/cost containment: Joe came in a earlier to show me the date he'd put on an "energy efficient" fluorescent lamp we'd put in one row of outside fixtures for testing: "November 1998". Yeah, I'd say we got our money's worth: no reduction in light output, fifteen watts versus sixty, and no more changing bulbs every time the voltage spliked here in the warehouse district...
I thought Friday was over; but as I was leaving to head home to blade, the receptionist handed me a memo fresh off the copier: it seems the local agency (read: city) that handles the parking for our staff let us know at 1500 Friday that we could no longer park in the lot we've been using and would have to use a new alternative lot a few blocks farther away starting Monday... That shouldn't have been a problem; but since we've been working with them for the last six months, you'd think the concept of 'reasonable notice' would have floated through someone's mind... Sheesh.
I'm calmer today, but I'm also glad I'm not the guy having to handle the notifications to our field crews and those in the office who leave before I do. As it is, I barely missed the cut. Blading helped, as did a very quiet evening. ...and today turned into a kick back day with me once again playing shuttle bus to the basketball camp, picking up Bradley from a friend's house and hauling the family off to dinner with another couple from church. All in all, a very nice follow-up to a roughish week.
Now to see what Sunday will bring...
Well, if you didn't get sucked into the Unofficial American Holiday today, you missed one heck of a football game. Usually, my interest in the superbowl is at best marginal since it's often a done deal; but after watching the playoffs this year, I thought New England might at least bring a little something different to the table. "Chaa...", as the kids locally are saying this year (keep up folks: it's like "Duh!", only with a lot more 'you have got to be kidding me; you aren't that stupid, are you?' built in).
Then there was the pregame patriotic theme that seemed to work well, and the retirement of Pat Summerall from broadcasting after his half-century association with football. ...and the last twenty-one years working with John Madden.
...and lest we forget: the commercials. Yeah, some real losers in there, but Budweiser put out an extension to their current series that worked well enough for me. ...and if you were busy launching rockets over Puget Sound, you missed my personal favorite: Kevin Bacon playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon to provide enough identification to cash a check...
All in all, a decent way to end the weekend...
All content Copyright 1999->2002 Daniel C. Bowman. All rights reserved.