Archive for October 2010


(40%) I’ve never been the one to say, “I work best under pressure.”  It is, in fact, usually calamitous.  But I’m flying home from Detroit to Seattle, and I was comped for free wi-fi, so I’ve set myself this task: to write and publish a blog post before my Macbook battery runs out.  And, be advised that my battery guage diminishes faster than the gas gauge on a Ford Explorer.

(38%) So I’m at the end of a week’s travel.  It began at 3:30 am last Tuesday, when a shuttle picked me up for a 6am flight to Orlando, where I attended a software conference.  There’s just not much to write about that.  I attended a session on inventory costing which was very beneficial, but would be a recipe for further alienation here.

(36%) Flew Thursday night from Orlando to Columbus, where my brother had been working all week, and we spent Friday touring the new student union on the Ohio State campus, then dinner and an impromptu appearance at a Columbus Blue Jackets game. My first in-person NHL game.  Impressive skating and puck-handling.  The obligatory glove-and-helmet-disrobing fight, which had no discernible cause, got over with in the first period.  Perhaps the Blue Jackets spent all their passion in that pas-de-deux, because they went on to lose 6-1, including goals allowed to a short-handed Calgary team, and another with 12 seconds left.

(32%) Saturday was the piece-de-resistance: the Ohio State-Purdue football game.  I was extended the privilege to purchase a pair of tickets to the game due to my winning the lottery conducted for alumni of my caste (those who give $10 - $25 bucks, usually by the accident of answering the phone in time).  The seats were awfully good - 4 rows from the top of C-Deck, smack on the 30-yard-line.   We attended the marching band’s pregame rehearsal/concert in St. John Arena called Skull Session, which is attended by 10,000 - 12,000 people.  By bro’s old band buddy had saved us seats in the front row, and we reveled in the band’s extraordinary sound.  (I’ll post video later)

(27%) After the game, we drove up to Perrysburg to visit our mom and to complete some chores that we’d started on our last visit over Labor Day weekend.  Both of her bathroom fans, installed when my parents built the house in 1961, had failed, and we had managed over Labor Day to remove them and their housings, only to find that nothing at Lowe’s would fit into the same space.  We struggled a bit at that time, then solemnly promised to finish the job on our next visit (each hoping, of course, that the other one would be making that visit alone).

(23%) We worked part of Saturday and a lot of the day Sunday.  One of the new fans would not work at all, and we had started to think that we would have to engage an electrician to find the problem.  Meanwhile, we had discovered a problem with one of mom’s downspouts that, left untended, had the potential to wash dirt away from the foundation.  The house is already experiencing an alarming amount of settling (it’s brick, so the evidence is impossible to ignore).  Another trip to Lowe’s, and we got started on that chore just as, of course, it started raining.  We fitted a new length of aluminum downspout and reattached it to a drain as lightning and thunder crashed all around us.

(19%, red warning) Then the power went out.  Like it’s going to here soon.  We worked inside on the fan problem by flashlight, and wer giving up when my bro discovered a severed wire to a switch that was almost certainly our culprit.  We patched in a new length of wire and bolted everything together.  We wouldn’t know, however, whether we’d been successful until the power came back on.

(17%) We enjoyed the rest of the evening socializing with Mom with candles burning, and imbibing sports the old-fashioned way: listening to the Packers-Vikings game on a battery-operated radio.  We took a walk along the darkened street and watched a gorgeous full moon rise above storm clouds, one house flickering inside with candlelight, the next alit from the hum of a gas generator.  More than 4 hours later, the power came back on.  We reluctantly snuffed all the candles and plugged the critical electronics back in, then walked upstairs.  The errant bathroom fan was purring beneficently. We declared the weekend a success.

(12%) Scene.  And I’m not editing.