Altering Habits

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Scotty's Place





2008-02-11, 1:29 p.m.


First things first. Wimpy old schools are closed today. It was 3 degrees this morning, with wind chills down around 25 or 30 (yeah, pretty good breeze) I was in the locker room at the gym, trying to strip down so I could shower when I heard my phone buzzing. It was Cindy, pointing out the fact that she gets to stay cozied up in the nice warm bed, while Im out in the 3 degree heat wave, trotting off to the gym and work.

What a weekend though. It started early, at 3:30 Friday when I got a call from Cindy. Seems The Bob was having a rough day or three and had been acting out a bit lately. I ended up leaving work early so I could go over there and try to calm him down some.

Turns out that we read a little more into what we were told than what was actually happening. Regardless, Bob was clearly agitated, and in dire need of a little time with a friendly face and some calming words. Things he claimed were missing? All found, except for his wallet. Again. This time, there was a possibility that he lost it on a group trip to a local grocery store with his photo ID, ATM card, health insurance card and a Discover card.

Got home Friday evening and cancelled all (both) of his cards. Learned something in the process. When I called the bank to cancel his ATM card, I identified myself as the son-in-law with power of attorney and signatory on the account. Well turns out I can have the card de-activated, but in order to have a new card sent the actual account owner (The Bob) has to authorize it. How would they know? Well, by asking some super secret validation questions, that only the account owner would know. I didnt push the point, figured Id have Bob call Monday or so and get the new card going.

However, when I called Discover, I introduced myself as Bob. Answered all the validation questions (SSN, last two addresses, DoB all simple stuff) and got the original card turned off and have all the account info moved to a new account. The new card is on its way today. Ill be calling the bank later today too and getting that card sent. Meet the new Bob. Heh.

Zach was in town this weekend, so we put him and his young back and arms to good use. Decided to bite the bullet and just pull down the entire ceiling and north and west walls in the kitchen. Itll be so much easier to run wiring for the new lighting.

Did get all the wiring run for the recessed lights. Also got 2/3 of the ceiling dry walled. Did you know that 4 x 12 sheets of inch drywall are really heavy? Especially when you have to hold them up over your head till the helper (Cindy) gets the dead man (a handy little inanimate support) in position? My arms are whipped.

Then you get to mess with hanging all the recessed lighting. Where youre working with your arms up over your head. Again. By the time we got to diner last night, I was about ready to ask Cindy to feed me because my arms were useless. Well, not useless actually, but it would have been a pretty lame pity play, so I skipped it and fed myself.

Almost had a major meltdown Saturday too. After heading back out to the countertop place (and selecting a new slab from which to cut our counters), Zach & I tackled the kitchen wiring. The old main kitchen light can be operated from 3 different switches. Very handy. Until you have to figure out what goes where. Plus there were a few other things in the wiring I wanted to clean up namely two buried junction boxes. Not good to have those. So were tracing the wiring, figuring where the power feeds come from, which are switch feeds, who goes where, whats doing whom, in general building up a false sense of security about our knowledge of the wiring in the house. Please to note Zach is a civil engineer and only got through his electronics classes at school because his roomie was a good guy an EE student from SU. Any successes at wiring are obviously all due to me, and the mistakes are all Zachs. Really. (Truth be told the mistakes are, of course, all mine.)

Made a decision to re-route the supposed feed to a closet light. This made it possible to eliminate one of the buried boxes. Get all the wiring re-done, go downstairs and flip the switch. No sparks (good). No lights (bad). This is when the sphincter puckering starts to happen. Its getting late, were already working under temporary lighting, and weve apparently spent a couple of hours talking ourselves into the best way to hose up the lighting. Pretty sweet.

It actually only took a few minutes of serious thinking to figure out what went wrong. Took about another 30 minutes to correct it. Unfortunately, now well have TWO spare outlet boxes up above the cabinets on the south wall. Ought to come in handy for those #$&@^% Christmas houses Cindy insists we put up. Always a silver lining, right?

So Saturday was tough to swallow. Lots of time, little to show for it. Except we have counter tops selected, maybe some back splash tiles (onyx! Way cool. Quote coming tomorrow) and at least the damn kitchen lights work. Sunday was nicer. Lots of drywall up, working lights, and some decisions on the rest of the electric.

Tonight Im taking off so I can get bills paid and home banking done. Plus I have to run out to The Bobs and refill his meds. Were taking steps to have someone supervise his medicine taking too. Its become too apparent that he isnt taking his meds as regularly as he should. Two of them are blood pressure meds (not critical) and two are for memory/brain function. While not critical to health, if the memory meds arent taken properly they arent as effective. Bob needs all the help he can get there, so its time to get him supervised. Weve warmed him up to the idea, but it still might take a little getting used to. Its just another layer of independence being stripped away . . .

Well. Got a job transition to finish. Too many people clamoring for time. 3 bosses at work, Cindy, the kitchen. I will be SO GLAD when April is here and I can go hop on my bike and get away for a few (or 5) hours. Hope the kitchen is done by then.

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