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Taking a Minute (or 40)
2008-10-22, 10:49 p.m.

Day 1522

Before I get to the meat of todays missive, can I say just one word? SNOW. Not a lot, but visible flakes this morning. Even last night, as the rain was splatting on my windshield I could see that there was some ďstructureĒ inside the drops. We had a very hard frost Saturday night/Sunday morning, but snow already? Weíre still due for Indian summer!! Please!?!?!

Gah! Lunchtime Blog surfing took another hit yesterday. Now, not only is my access to D-land sites blocked, Blogger sites have been snuffed out too. Used to be I could read, just not comment. Now I canít even read. The only places I can get to are individual domains (to a point. Some, like the one Circe uses are blocked too) and Wordpress sites. Not sure how long the wordpress access is going to last either.

This means that I have to surf from home. This is technically feasible but practically challenging. No one likes to share a room with someone thatís absorbed in an individual activity unless itís individual activities that are shared. Cindy, fortunately or not, is not at all interested in this blogging/on line journal thing. So itís become something we donít share. Sort of a blessing as it gives me a place to vent my spleen, but, again, itís something we canít, or donít share.

Aaaaaaaaaanyhow.

Had an interesting thing happen last Thursday. Bowling went ok. I was +5 pins total on my average for the night, averaged 189 for the three games. Lefty? Feckin unconscious. His low game was something like 244. Ended up with 760 for the night, averaging 253 per game. Theoretically, he had an 800 series (sort of a Holy Grail for your high end bowlers) in his sights till midway through the third game. Itís fun to watch. Iíll have to have one of the boys video us bowling one of these days.

The interesting thing though happened prior to bowling. Yeah, I know. As fascinating as it is reading about someone bowling really well, something even more interesting (or disgusting) happened earlier. Way earlier. Being October and in the northeast (Yíall knew that right?), itís really dark until ohhhhh, 7:15ish. On Thursdayís Cindy & I compete for the shower in our bathroom. Loser has to go to the other bathroom upstairs. That particular morning, I won. So I finish my shower, grab a pair of jeans out of me dresser and commence to dress for the day. I wore more than just jeans, but those are key in this tale.

I leave the house, stop on my way in to work to grab a cuppa joe at a gas station near the house. ($1.45 for a 20 ounce cup that doesnít taste like it was filtered through some street bums dirty underwear. Take that St@rbux!!) Meander in to work. Fire up my Ďputer, wander out to get yet another cuppa from our break area. Get back to my desk, plop down and start the reading of the morning emails. I notice something smells kinda funky. Sorta like that street bums coffee filter. (Eeeww).

Then, a colleague comes into my office, helps himself to me visitors chair and we start discussing the problem(s) du jour. I sorta glanced down and noticed that my left pants leg looked a little off color. Brownish tinged. Hmmmm. Something made me take a good look at my right pants leg. There I saw, right at the knee, a HUGE mud & grass stain. The kind you might get if you had say, kneeled down on the wet ground while transplanting bushes or perennials or something along those lines.

I put that funky smell, the grass stain and Ericís recent trouble with our washing machine all together and came up with one very disturbing conclusion. Our washer was busted. I called Cindy and related my tale of woe. She laughed. Canít fault her, but geeze, how about a little sensitivity? Then (THEN) she related how she thought the washer had been unusually quiet last weekend. Like sheíd fill it, close the lid, but never really did hear the agitator start to run. Also Ė recently weíve had trouble with the tub draining. The timer goes round & round, but itís not draining the water at the end of the rinse cycle. Sometimes.

So. It appears that our washer is filling up, sitting there for 10 minutes, draining, refilling, sitting there for a few more minutes, draining (sometimes), spinning, then rinsing again Ė all without actually agitating the clothes. I think I know why my pants were still stained and funky.

The pants problem was easily remedied. I went to Bon Ton for lunch and got some pants. Bon Ton is only a couple of miles from work, vs a 8+ mile trip home. To get clothes that were probably still dirty. Yeah Ė new would work.

Now the washer weíve had since the second year in our first house in Scottsville. So, near as we can tell, itís about 25 years old. I donít think it owes us anything. The dryer is actually a year older, but itís still limping along, for now. Weíre actively looking at new washers & dryers, but Cindy doesnít want to put them downstairs. We have been planning on building a first floor laundry for some time now. What with the current state of things Ė thereís no time like the present for getting started.

Saturday morning I was at the local home improvement joint loading up on supplies. After unloading, the first order of business was cracking open the ceiling in order to put in the necessary supports for the new wall. Of course, during the last 6 inches of cutting I saw this nice little spark. Sure as, well, shit, I hacked my way partly through a cable, cutting the hot lead to a few circuits. Turns out the affected areas were the upstairs bath, one wall of the master bedroom and the overhead lights in the garage. Nothing there was slowing me down, so I went ahead with the wall work.

Come Sunday afternoon, after the Bills beat San Diego!! I had to come to grips with the cable Iíd cut. The lack of power in the bedroom meant that our alarm clocks werenít functional. Come Monday morning, that was going to be a problem. I finally got the problem fixed but ended up replacing a cable that didnít need replacement. Got fooled by a ground fault interrupter. Took me the better part of an hour to figure that out. My only consolation is that in the process of fixing the problem Iíd caused, we ended up with a legal 4 banger outlet on the wall at the head of the bed. No more coiled up extension cord needed to boost the outlet count.

Now Iíve got to figure out how to get in a few days vacation to combine with the few weekends there are before appliances start arriving (tentatively 11/8) Everything absolutely must be dine prior to 11/15 because thatís opening day of deer season, and I have an uncontrollable urge to be hanging out in a tree stand that morning. Donít necessarily have to shoot anything, but I really do enjoy my tree time.

Work? Been a real battleground. Tons to do, insane schedules, cranky vendors, too many meetings. Makes it hard to get to the gym even. I can hit 2 Ė 3 spin classes a week, but thatís only slowing down the rate of decay. I need to get in a few solid months to start rebuilding my base for the next riding season.

Well Ė thatíll have to do for now. Rumor has it that I may have the bandwidth to drop in tomorrow night. Might even out in a picture of the latest wreck weíve created. Itís like living in a loft thatís constantly being worked on. Next year? Outdoor projects only.


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