Thursday, August 24, 2006

Day 27, Thursday- A very bad, no good, rotten day

I rolled out of bed this morning, bright and early, and ready to kick some serious home-improvement butt. I got dressed and padded down the stairs in my socks. I hit the bottom step and placed my foot solidly in dog puke.

Dog puke. With crayon bits.

Cleaned up the dog vomit, changed my socks, and went to make some coffee. There was no coffee. None. Zilch. This is bad for most people, but after 26 days of hell, this was a personal catastrophe.


I decided to get some coffee down at the Rusty Cup and move on with life. Chemo Clem and I headed out, detouring through downtown for the required coffee. Hey- guess which dog ate crayons and had got sick the night before? The same one that barfed in the car this morning- luckily she was nice enough to barf on the garbage bags I was taking to the house- so the mess wasn’t bad at all.

The stink was terrible, however.

Feel bad for the poor city worker that has to change that can liner. OK, maybe not.

So, the dog and I went to the house. Left the windows down in the van and went inside. I grabbed the can of Killz and a cheap-o sponge paint-smearing device and went to work priming some doors. I managed to put a second coat on three doors.

That’s when the sponge disintegrated all over the door.

I spent about thirty minutes picking sponge bits off the door, and then decided to move on. That’s a benefit of having a house like this; you can always move on.

Abby had been playing “push on the crack in the broken window and see if we can open a vein” the night before, so I decided to change out that pane of glass. I carefully scraped away the old glazing, taking care not to damage the glass any further.

At that moment, the glass imploded.

I finished removing the glazing, and then swept up the microscopic bits of glass from the four corners of the girls’ bedroom. I picked up the new pane of glass and went to install it.

It was two inches too big. Never had that problem before.

I set the glass down and walked to the front of the house. That’s when my boss showed up. She didn’t have Bowpicker, and looked as if she was also having a rough time at it. Turns out that one of the remote sites was down and I needed to come down to the office.

I was getting ready to cut some other glass, so I said I would be down in a few minutes. I made my first cut and the glass snapped cleanly at the mark. Feeling brave, I made the second cut.

The glass shattered.

I cleaned things up a bit, locked the house, and then headed down the hill. I took the rest of the glass to a shop to be cut, and went to the office. I grabbed some files on a thumb drive and headed to the remote site.

It was "drive like a complete and total idiot" day in Astoria, so I carefully made my way through the cars with out-of-state plates and went to the remote site.

The DSL connection was bad. Stupid Qwest.

I checked the VPN box, and called back to the office. I was going to check the modem, but I did not have a spare to test with. I called the office and the boss agreed to call Qwest for me.

I went home for lunch, stopping by the time-sink to pick up Clem. I let her go into the back yard and tossed a Hot Pocket in the microwave.

It exploded. My stupid lunch blew up.

I cleaned the microwave, taking care to scrape the processed cheese food off the door. I ate the remains of my lunch and chased it with a flat cherry seltzer. That’s when I remembered the DSL modem sitting idle on the backup Internet connection in the server room at the office.

I headed back to the office, went into the server room and grabbed the modem. I went upstairs to let the boss know I was heading out.

That’s when Andrea slammed the door in my face. Thanks Dora!

It was at this point that I learned that Qwest thought the problem was with the line, so I did not need to worry about heading over. I also found out that the blog didn’t update last night. I put the modem back on my desk and went back home.

The wife- needing to run errands- dropped me off at the house. I went back to work, hanging sheetrock in the bathroom. I wasn’t there very long when there was a knock at the door.

It was the boss’ husband.

The problem with the DSL line had been corrected (it was the modem) and the site was still unable to connect. The boss' spousal unit came in and looked around, then said:

“Wow- you’ve got your work cut out, don’t you?”

That’s what everyone says as soon as they clear the living room. Never “what’s done looks good” or “I can see some progress.” Oh well.

I needed to finish up a couple of things; in particular I wanted to finish removing the medicine cabinet in the bathroom- it was about halfway out. I grabbed it and pulled hard.

That’s when my finger got wedged between the wall and the cabinet.

Not a little, either. Thing was wedged in there. Couldn’t push the cabinet back, hurt to move it forward. So I did what any idiot with high pain tolerance would do- I pulled the cabinet out over my finger.

I just got feeling back in that digit- it was better numb.

Now I figure I’ve got a 50/50 chance of keeping my fingernail. I locked up and I walked down to the office. Not having the car, I lucked out and got the nastiest car in the fleet. I returned to the remote site, fixed the problem, restored connectivity and started to head back.

The van would not go into reverse.

A couple of the guys helped me push the car back out of the parking space and I was off. I dropped off keys and walked home.

I cut another piece of sheetrock and started to hang it up. That’s when the wife showed up. One piece of sheetrock up. We went home for dinner.

I made myself a bacon cheeseburger (heavy on the bacon, with cream cheese on the bottom bun instead of mayonnaise- don't knock it until you try it) and sat down to eat. That’s when the phone rang.

It was the office. The stupid internet was down.

I finished my now-cold burger, then went back to the office. I replaced the backup modem and called Charter Business. Turns out it was a widespread outage, and that connectivity would be restored before morning.

Shocker. Truly a worthless ISP.

Returned to the house. My lovely bride have purchased coffee for me. I looked and found a can (yes CAN) of Kirkland coffee. I decided to give it a test.

Wow. It tastes almost, but not quite, completely unlike coffee.

Now I’m faced with the knowledge that there is “always tomorrow.” I’m not sure if I should hope for the best or just hang myself.

Total costs: $1,891 ($1 for coffee)


At 10:53 PM, Blogger Oregon Coast said...

Look. Just a few more days and then we can buy your namby-pamby fruity-tooty coffee that costs a fortune.


In the meantime, I swept up all the glass...

At 12:07 AM, Anonymous wende said...

OMG, Smack Carrie for buying you canned coffee.

CARRIE... the man needs the real thing if you want that house fixed. The kids don't need to eat... Sheesh.

At 12:28 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Just the cap on my day. Can you believe it?

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous AbbieNormal said...

I happen to quite like the Kirkland in the brown can and I know good coffee when I taste it, Tom. Kinda like you happen to know.... well what is it that you know? Oh yeah, sounds like you know "Bobert" pretty well and the proper use of a microwave whilst heating 'hot pockets' and using to heat up aerosol paints and what the hell is the "time sink". I am venturing a guess it has to do with every "time" you bump into the freakin' thing....

And, even though Kirkland is pretty good on its own, but if you can splurge a little, it tastes even better if you go to the store and use the grind-it-yourself feature on the machine and choose the blackest roast you can (I like French Roast) then grind the crap out of it on "espresso" setting. Then carefully 'fold' in with your can of Kirkland Brown. Voila !

Dont comment until you've tried it.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Tom said...

I know about mixing the coffee- I actually do it quite a lot- my problems with the can purchased yesterday are two-fold:

1. It is a seven pound can. That’s way too much. It will go stale (no room in the freezer).
2. No beans to cut it with. The stuff is bitter by itself.

A time sink is a geek term for a project that consumes unbounded amounts of time. Just like a heat sink disperses heat, this house disburses time.


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