Jan 17, 2009

Lily's Gymnastics

Final class today was something of a class and recital and graduation all rolled up into one!

Jan 14, 2009


Sewer Sitrep

They filled in the Big Hole yesterday, as the pipes from the internal system to the outside line and the outside line to the street are done and buttoned down.

Sadly, the connection to the Main is still nonfunctional, so they're bringing out the road BBQ today and will cook it for a few days.

Even sadder still, we're experiencing our annual January cold snap, and they can't work on the street if it's below zero.  So it's likely there is no work to be done this week.  But... apparently the city pays for the street to get repaired when you put big holes in it like we're going to.  Thanks, taxpayers!  (No, really, thanks!)

And when they filled in the hole the rain garden took a pretty big hit.  Hopefully we'll be able to restore it to its former glory as soon as the spring comes back around.

So now is Day 15 and it looks like we're going to be going into the three week territory.  This makes the baby Jesus cry.

That said, we're taking the odd shower here and there and things seem to be draining slowly.  Not going to test that until the work is done though.

Computers Suck

Our internet connection crapped out, too, so the photo albums won't be working until I get it sorted out.  But between work, my super awesome G1 Android phone, and the, er, local public wireless network we're moderately functional on that front.


My "check engine" light is on in my car.  I should get that looked at, too.  but I don't drive it much these days due to the Bus To Work Walk Home plan - which is going quite well, actually!  And if you go to the very bottom of my blog you can see where I am.  That is, if my phone has a GPS signal.

Anyway, the walking is going great - even in this cold weather.  Actually, I like it better when it's bitter cold or snowy.   There is less likelyhood that there will be Bad Guys about.  That, and I love it when people say "You WHAT?"  I've got my walking gear all figured out and I'm nice and warm even in the coldest of weather.  I have yet to deal with a real stinging windchill, but feel confident I'll be ok.  I've got different layers and/or options for different temps.  In the coldest weather I have a mask (think disposable dust mask from Walgreens), winter hat, balaclava, hood on the jacket, scarf keeping it all nice and snug, and headphones (under the hood, over the balaclava) which actually act as earmuffs, as well.  All that's exposed to the outside air are my eyes sans glasses due to fogging.  I think I scare people.  :)

Jan 13, 2009

My Complaints Of The Morning Journey To Work Written In The Style Of Daniel Defoe, Author of The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.

* In the time of the early morning, that is to say the beginning of the sunswept moments in this Ante Meridian period, it was occasion for me to rise from my bed.  In the usual manner of awaking I took to the wondrous and true form of news gathering that I often frequent for the latest bleating of our world.  Nay, it was my portable cellular based telephone that allowed me to consume the word of the day regarding our meteorological state.  In reviewing the misery of our time in this season beyond the fall but before the spring I did see the number of the temperature preceded by a slight dash -- indicating a negative number, in this case below the lack of a temperature, or zero.  It was the total of nineteen degrees following the preceding negative indicator that alarmed me.  It is the custom of this land in which we habitate through the good will of our Lord that this period of the calendar be of a bitter cold and temperature that tests not only the stamina and attitude.  While the providence of the land within which we find our lives progressing has alarmed us in the past with it's ability to test even the strongest of men, it always comes as a surprise to the common man, that is, it matters not how many experiences one has it is always but a surprise.  [My phone said it was -19 when I woke up]

  Alas the power and might of the wind, that is, the air that blows our ships and sails across this world, the power of nature that one may no more hold sway over but must accept as an element of ones wicked life, surprised me.  It was in the addition of this wind that the temperature dove deeper than the deepest of oceans, nay, lower than the optimism one holds in this barren land and bitter cold time.  For with the complement of the wind it was apparent that the temperature would seem to every man no matter his station or labor in life, that the degrees were more than four and thirty below the marking of zero on His Lords temperature gauge, or thermometer.  [with a windchill of -34]

  True to the misery in which I find my current situation the passage of waters and wastes that we take for granted in our everyday life were as yet enslaved by the blockage and impassibility of our sewer pipe.  Though it was once a thing of ease and convenience, it lay no longer.  Yet we can still see it lay in the hole we dug for it like a grave in the front of our home.  That is, a large pit in our yard on the western, or front, of our hose.  It still lays open like a wound, mocking our very need to allow nature to pass through us.  We must lay our mercy on the kindness and sympathies of our neighbors and friends.  Which is to say the people who live next door to us on the northern and upper side.  I say upper for it is a combination of home and apartment in the style of the duplex and the friends who lay their lives on the upper floor are those friends which we are most want to call our own.  And it was in the time of the year that preceded this year by only a marker of one passing that they too had the misfortune and misery to see which we saw today. For they had the sadness and grief of a spent and failed sewer as well.  It was the good providence of the Lord that they should have hearts as open as possible in a human who has shared the same pain, and thusly I went forth to their domicile in the temperature of four and thirty below the gash of numbers we call degrees in a thermometer.  I showered.  [Sewer still broken, showered at neighbors]

  I shall not worry the reader with the simple details of my cleansing and the mundanities of my dressing, for it was the usual manner and way with which I passed dirt from my body and clothed my nakedness -- if I may say such a crude thing of a willing reader, for I am in a foul humor from my travels yet and not likely to be dressing my words more prettily than I dressed myself -- for this story is not about the preparing of a man for the day, nor is it a tale of woe for one to heap sympathies and weepings on me.  It is a story of a wasted collection of minutes and warmth and happiness, for it is the story of my conveyance to that place which I was wont to refer to as work.  It is the telling of the misery and unhappiness that lay upon me as I stepped so confidently from my doorstep.  [Yeah, mostly a wasted paragraph.]

  It was this thrill of the cold temperatures which I have described above and shall describe again that made me excited and energetic in the shrill morning outsides.  For it was cold enough for the ancestors of our ancestors to have spoken "It is cold, yes!"  Those ancestors who did not have running waters in their houses like streams or rivers of convenience.  Those generations who did not have warm water in which to thrust their hands and wash them of the daily dirt and labor.  Those families who did not have the ease of knowing the very current and very present temperature that I had by means of a device such as a telephone that even lets me speak with those a world far away, not unlike communicating with the deceased.  For when they went upon their doorstep it was not so much colder than their home - having to heat their hearth by manner of burning woods or coals rather than the furnace and radiators which keep the shining of our souls alight during these cold winter seasons.   [Didn't feel THAT cold]

  Upon relaying my bundled and warmed body and soul across the pile of dirt, past the hole in our land so ugly the new fallen snow could not make it pretty again, I made my way through the street to the station at which I would await a bus.  I say I walked in the area of street as the sidewalks which we would normally be accustomed to using were still burdened by the new fallen snow, rather, they were covered by a new layer of annoyance which compounded the collection of snows laying on the bare sidewalks.  For it is in this season quite usual for snow to fall on a weekly, daily, or even hourly basis and not remain clear all the while.  This cold and bitter manna from the heavens does pile up and lay on our sidewalks like the cold lays on our lives.  And being in a lazy mood, being not so excited by the representation of my appearance as I was excited about the extreme in which we discovered our cold, I lay my shoes open like a spent banana peel or rind without tying them and without sealing my lower appendages from the ice and snow.  [Went to the bus stop]

  According to my daily custom, which has not wavered in as long as almost eight fortnights with the exceptions of holidays and other days of merry-making and ignoring those days that I held my person at my own home throughout the day for the benefit of assisting the plumber men who repaired and wrecked my bower so solidly as to result in the lack of the conveniences listed above, I employ passage on a bus in the morning and walk home by night.  All in all above the uncommon I would stand my body there and wait for the transport, or bus as they say in the city, which was number five and thirty over one hundred, for its passage runs to and fro amongst the more gentle folk of the city, passing over and thus providing save harbor from the more restless people of the lower classes and incomes.  And yet it does not charge a higher fare in the custom of the express bus, but reserves itself to stop only in a limited fashion, rather, makes its stoppings and goings a rare occurrence than those of other buses, including the eight and teen bus that makes it route down Nicollet avenue.  I waited there with other passengers for more than ten minutes.  In that sixth of an hour we stood in the dire cold wind in a manner as to turn to face away from the chill of the wind.  In this respect we all appeared as weather vanes, tilting this way and that to avoid our worst temperatures.  And yet the bus that we expected -- that we depended on -- did not arrive.  Nor did it not depart without us above and beyond it's own non-arrival.  Those weary soles with which I waited boarded a following bus which was the aforementioned eight and ten.  I, being of a more logical mind, assumed the typical bus would make its presence known shortly.  It was, sadly, not to be.  It did not arrive nor did it depart, having not arrived.  [The 135 didn't come]

  From this I should have learned and awaited another eight and ten, but my anger was rising and decided in my mind to have a short journey to Nicollet to gather the second route near my house and perhaps find a willing bus ready to take me to my employment.  [Went to Nicollet]

  There approached, after a time, another bus of limited stops, which does not normally engage that stop at which I was present.  But in that it was stopped thusly directly in front of my person and was awaiting traffic to clear since the automobiles were stopped upon the road in a manner of grids and locks, I knocked politely upon his door to hope for possible admittance.  Knowing that the temperature were one and twenty below zero, knowing that he was not moving, and knowing that the other buses of the city were beleaguered by the weather and other cars, yet he still did not yield his blackened heart to see my pity and allow me to join his band of passengers.  Indeed, I was to stand and not board while he stood and not gotten boarded.  I was thusly quite excited by the conversation that we did not have that I almost passed a solitary finger to him by means of gesture, but I was simply too heartbroken to do so.  As it finally left I saw the faces of the souls captured in his hold and they looked at me with such pity and sadness that I fear the drivers karmic fate may have been sealed by all those behind him witnessing his cold heartedness.  [535 blew me off]

  When Finally I was enjoined to a different bus it was the ten and eight bus which stops every few yards.  Though they beg to say they stop every block, or once every street crossing and then some even more, the slowness with which the bus moves and starts and stops makes it feel as though one has been travelling for a long distance, only to be beaten back down upon the shore of hopelessness by the realization that the whole of the bus has merely displaced it's own length but once or twice!  Indeed, this slothfulness was combined with the gluttony of a bus whose predecessors did not do as they were contracted to do, which resulted in a hold of a bus so packed with humanity and the stink of the common man that one would wonder if walking might not have been more comfortable, regardless of the weather.  In as much as the souls on the bus were in a heat of anger for their convenience or rather for their lack of adequate convenience, it become a swamp of heat and humidity inside that vessel.  As more poor passengers joined us the line of journeymen standing became longer and longer until finally the words of the driver and the passengers fought over the remaining few inches of floor.  The driver screamed for the people to move back and the people screamed that they were indeed at the end of their opportunity.  It was a sad sight to see and hear as we all made our way slowly to the city center.  [18 was packed]

  Meanwhile, a travelling girl made her confection audible.  [This girl was chewing her gum really loud and popping it every other chew.  I looked at her like maybe she was annoying me but I don't think it helped.  At least she didn't make the noise more often or louder.  How annoying it that, anyway?  Oh and she and he friend said "he's cute" about a guy who got on the bus but I don't know how they could see that as he was completely covered in winter gear except part of his face.  I suppose that's like how it is in the middle east, isn't it?]

  It is the end of my sad tale.  By and by the vessel emptied itself and I was deposited in the city center, not near my workplace but rather far and away from that place I was heading to.  I took the passages that have been built a full storey above the ground this way and that to finally enter my building, my employer, my job site.  It was here that I finally rested myself at my desk, now a full half of an hour of the day later than one should suppose his self into his work.  It was in this that I realized the providence of the public transportation can be efficient and cheap, or on other days costly in time, money, and spirit.  [Half hour late to work, buses suck sometimes.]

*(I'm listening to the audio book of Robinson Crusoe, and thought it might be fun to do a post in the style of writing that Defoe used.  Common or not at the time, it's a bit annoying.  Yeah, that makes me an idiot for not appreciating classic writing.  Sue me.  Fun though, wasn't it?)

Jan 12, 2009

No News is.. boring

Guy coming out today to set up the "grill" so we can thaw the street. They will then dig in the street and address that issue. Ideally, that'd be the last of it and we'd have water again, possibly as early as Wednesday.

But we've learned not to hold our breath. :)

Meanwhile, our Internet is crapping out at home, so fnirt.com won't be responding/working well. But this blog should be alive.