Snow gets the finger

So I’ll start with a quick recap of past events. Adam has already mentioned some things, and I’m certain Joel will have something to say about it soon enough, but anyway, here’s it is.

Monday was typical, with a few exceptions: 1) I had started that diet dealie, so I was eating more.. or at least that’s what I thought I was going to be doing. It turns out that those portions aren’t very big. So I woke up, and had a “meal”, then headed on to the meeting point. By the time I got there, I was starving. Now this is something new for me. I recall being hungry a few times in the past. Perhaps I had forgotten to eat for a day or two, or that period of time between ordering and actually receiving an Aurelio’s pizza. Then there was that day my young people’s group went on a day long canoe trip, and I didn’t eat before. I recall being quite hungry then. But here I was, having eaten plenty on Sunday, and after one small meal on Monday, I was already starving. It was an odd, and frightening omen.

We get to work, and all is fine. I’m hungry, but oh well. It turns out that coffee and hot chocolate are not “Authorized” consumables. I had wisely gotten myself addicted to coffee at Apachecon, and have been using said beverage to resurrect my sad soul each morning. So without any morning beverage, I was kinda out of it for a while.(Morning Beverage –> Take 1 part caffeine, 3 parts sugar, combine, heat, then stir. Taste is irrelevant.). We did the normal 2 episodes of Scrubs for lunch as well, which continues to be one of the high-points of the day. Work itself continues to go fairly well. I’m doing a lot of PHP and Perl coding, and it’s finally to the point where I can just sort of imagine what the PHP ought to look like (e.g. there ought to be a function named foo that does bar) and be right most of the time. I like that. It’s also nice finally getting things organized. Some day in the future, when someone asks a question about copyrights, publishers, or available versions, it won’t send me scrambling for piles upon piles of papers stacked in a file cabinet somewhere, I’ll be able to click on a link, and show them. And then, my mission on this planet having been completed, I will likely simply burst into flames and disappear, to return only when my services are once again needed.

So where was I? Oh yeah, work. So the rest of work was alright. Every time I started to get pretty hungry it was time for another “meal”, which satiated me for a good 5 or 6 minutes, and I’m fairly certain I was eating more than I was supposed to for some of those meals anyway. (for lunch I had 4 lean Ham on wheat sandwiches and some Mandarin oranges.). So we headed home, and then I had to figure out the whole weight lifting deal (what exercises I was going to be doing, etc.) I finally got that figured out, and then lifted for a while, took a shower, and right around then Cathy came over. So I spent the rest of the evening hanging out with her, and Robb, and for a part of the time Swac. Conversations with Cathy are always a treat, because she’s willing to be honest about everything, which I’ve found is pretty rare. She’s willing to say things about herself that she knows aren’t necessarily good or right, but are, nevertheless, true. That kind of honestly makes it a lot easier for someone else, (i.e. Me) to then go ahead and say what’s going on in my mind, knowing full we that if other people were to hear these kind of things I’d be either ostracized or ridiculed mercilessly. It helps that both Cathy and I are classic over-analyzers, putting the weight of the world on our shoulders with every situation, certain that its failure will mean the destruction of mankind, and never quite satisfied with its success. I’ve known Cathy for a few years now, and her encouragement and support through the past few years, and the past year in particular, has really helped me through some pretty trying and frustrating times. If you’re lucky enough to get a Cathy in your life, it’s your responsibility to make sure she stays in your life.

So Tuesday morning I woke up… late. I ended up watching a few Home Movies before going to sleep, and perhaps that wasn’t wise. Oh well. Thankfully, Dave and Joel were running a little behind, so we met up at the meeting point as normal, and then Joel drove us all to work. I again bemoaned my lack of a morning beverage, but the hunger thing wasn’t nearly as bad by Tuesday. I spent all day Tuesday answering email, as I’d been putting that off for a while to work on more interesting things. Back in the day, when I was handling a lot more email each day, I’d get pretty frustrated and angry at humanity (well, the vocal-idiotic portion of humanity, which, sadly, seems to be a pretty healthy chunk of the world), and it would come to the point where I’d have to write two emails to a number of people. The first was a direct response to them, pointing out why what they said was either wrong, flawed, or just plain asinine. Having completed this email, I’d delete it, and then compose the actual reply, thanking them for “their interest in the Bible Gateway.”. It’s the laziness of people that gets to me sometimes. I understand and accept the fact that not everybody understands everything, or can figure everything out. I also understand that if there is a sizable portion of the population that can not use or can not understand something I am responsible for, then it was my failure, and not theirs. That’s all fine and good, and I can handle that. But if you are sending me an email asking a question, and that exact word for word question is printed in Big Bold letters directly above the form in which you filled out your question, I’ll be forced to hate you forever. I’m very thankful that I’ve now got Dave to weed out a lot of these wretched emails, leaving me to answer mainly technical, audio, and copyright type questions, but every now and then I get one that sends up a warning flare. “Don’t make me angry. You..wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

So I spent all day answering email, which was fine. For lunch it was more Scrubs, and I had a Spicy Chicken sandwich (just the chicken, and lettuce on wheat bread) and it was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. (BDF let me have one of his fries, and the joy experienced by eating it was nothing short of orgasmic… See, I’ve gone and shared too much now, haven’t I?)

Eventually it was time to go, so we packed up and headed to Joel’s car. Soon after we started out, I fell asleep, which was nice, because ever since the whole ditch incident I’ve not been able to sleep in the car: every slight slide or turn sending my heart racing. I woke up to us stopped on the side of the road. I was confused. Joel mentioned something about oil lights and so forth. I still had no clue where we were. Turns out we were on I-96 Eastbound, about a mile short of the Alpine exist (and my car.) It was starting to snow. So after some talking, Dave called up his insurance, as they did the road side dealie, and after about 10 minutes of talking, he had a tow truck on route to us (so we were told). It would take 60 minutes, he was told, for it to arrive. It was snowing hard. After some more waiting, and more talking, we decided on a plan. I would get a ride from someone, go to Joel’s house, and when he and Dave had been towed to a car fix-it place, I’d pick them up, and take them back to Joel’s house. Sounds fine and dandy. So eventually we got a hold of Brian, and he showed up, picked me up, and we took off. Turns out the road* was horrible. Horrible. (* I can not with certainty say that where we were driving was the road. We made it alright, so I’m just assuming it was). So he got me to Home Depot, helped me brush off (aka: shovel out) my car, and off we went. I headed towards Joel’s place, and the roads were still bad, but thankfully 196 was completely abandoned. I got a call from Joel, and he gave me directions to some car fix-it place, and I kinda understood it. I took the College exit, and then took a right on Michigan. From that point on everything became a bit sketchy, as road signs were no longer readable. Eventually I headed down a fairly steep hill (I think I was on Bridge street), and after I got into a “seedier” part of town, I decided I was lost, and turned around. Just then I got a call from Joel, indicating that the place I was heading towards (in theory) no longer exists, and that I should go somewhere else. He then explained where the place was, and it was back by his house. As I got off the phone, I approached that hill…

When I lived in Cleveland, our house was on top of a fairly steep hill. Our driveway was very, very steep. In the winter, snow would fall, and the driveway would get slick and icy. Driving up this driveway was an adventure. Sometimes the adventure ended with the car still at the bottom of this hill. Sometimes the adventure takes a very, very long time.

So I approached this hill with trepidation. After stopping at the red light at the base of the hill, I started on up, moving slowly. As I continued up, my progress seemed to slow, regardless of my acceleration. Weaving back and forth in increase traction worked for a little while, but eventually, I just wasn’t moving forward at all… and then I started sliding backwards. I was not pleased. Hazards went on, and I threw it in park. The car behind me started to pass me, but quickly found the error of his ways, as he started sliding backwards as well. So I put it back in drive, and made amazing progress in the wrong direction. Back in park. Some words were said, feelings were hurt, but I think my car and me are back on speaking terms. Third time being a charm, I slid it into drive, only I stopped in reverse for a second, and my car jumped backwards a bit, and I felt some traction, so I pounded it into drive, and gunned it, and the car bolted forward, and I was off, the momentum carrying me much of the way up the hill. From that point on, traffic lights were optional. If I was going downhill, I’d try to stop for a light, but if I slid by, it wasn’t a big deal. Uphill, I didn’t even pretend. Soon I was back in familiar ground, and I found the place, and picked up Joel and Dave. From there it was off to Joel’s house, where Dave took off. Adam, Joel, and I walked to Tuuk and Mark’s place, and the other Mark was present. I watched myself rise and fall from glory while playing Super Bust-A-Move 2. Sometimes it’s frustrating to realize how stupid I can be. While we were inside the wind really started to pick up. I’m not talking just little gusts, either, there were whole piles of snow that were completely relocated. With this in mind, we thought it a wise idea to walk/run to the Pickwick. The run was actually fun, but very, very cold. Because it was so windy, gasping for breath resulted in little more than hurt lungs. Eventually we made it to the Pick, and enjoyed our well deserved reward, and after an hour or so, walked back to Tuuk and Mark’s, and then back on to Joel’s house. Throughout this evening, I was quoted as saying “I’m not going in to work tomorrow.”. After losing repeatedly to Joel in Tetris, I headed off to sleep.

I woke up to the phone ringing sometime after 6. It was Brian. We would not have to go in to work today, we could work from home. There was much rejoicing. After some more sleep, I got to work. Dave showed up, and so he and I worked in Joel and Adam’s living room much of the day. (I had nicely parked in front of Adam, so he was unable to drive to work as well. Yeah, he was appreciative.) I finally made it home around 3 or so, did some more work, ate some meals, lifted weights for a while, then headed off to Steve and Julie’s place for Ed, which was pretty good. Then we played euchre for a while, and I headed on home, After failing to sleep, I started to watch some West Wing episodes I’d not yet had a chance to watch. That leads us to the present, as I’m nearing the end of the 2nd episode, and I’m quite tired. Once it’s done, hopefully I’ll go to sleep.. so I’m going to stop.

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