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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Itís a good thing Christmas was Monday (and that it lasted only one day), because the last two days would have been a baaaaad time to host a party. Yesterday it rained steadily all day, hard at times, and my driveway was mostly underwater. Worse, the walkway from the drive to the house was a big puddle. How wonderful it would have been for everyone in the family to have to trek through that slop.

And so we come to today. The rain stopped, and the sky was clear. The sky was clear because the wind blew everything out of it. It was howling from the time it woke me up early this morning (grrrr) to the middle of the afternoon, when it eased up some. Soon after I got up I heard a crash on the back porch. I looked out and saw that the ceramic thermometer was in several pieces.

In a way, thatís okay, because it never showed the correct temperature. According to its dial, it was always 38ļF. Still, it was a nice decorative piece. Now itís trash (although after Christmas I have no room in either my garbage can or my recycle container).

That wasnít the worst of it, though. The lights flickered once as a warning, and then I lost all power. Although I can barely afford to miss any work time right now, I was ready to write off the day until it all came back a few minutes later. And then, as soon as I had the computer rebooted and all the clocks reset, the power went off again.

It was like that all morning and most of the afternoon. Sometimes it would go off for a few seconds, sometimes for a few minutes. Exercising either super-sized hopefulness or astonishing stupidity, I reset the clocks every time. Thereís one on the microwave, one on the coffee maker, one on the clock radio by my bed, one on the phone, and one big one in the middle of the living room. The VCR clock resets itself automatically. Iím keeping that VCR, even though I hardly use it any more.

It was a little hard to get through the day, but at least I felt better, having slept for almost six straight hours last night. Itís incredible what a little sleep can do. And itís amazing how much easier sleep comes when you havenít had any for about 72 hours. Iím still a little drained, but I canít imagine how I would have coped with the outage if not for those few hours of sleep.

On top of everything else, I was trying to do the payroll, having received the time cards via fax just before noon. This was the day the checks were supposed to be mailed, so you can imagine how frustrating it is to have to wait for the computer to reboot and reload and open programs a dozen times in one day. Oh, didnít I mention that? It was at least ten or twelve times that the power went out and came back on today. Fun times.




25 December 2006

Tammy's boys: Dakota, D.J., Aiden and David.



Naturally, I tried to contact the power company. They werenít aware of my problem, the recorded voice told me, but I was encouraged to leave my phone number so that they could call me back to get the information. Needless to say, Iím still waiting for that call back. I donít think they did anything, because when I made my second trip out this afternoon, to mail off the paychecks, the power lines were still sagging over the roadway. I can say I tried to get the word out. For the sake of the people who live next to those leaning poles, I hope someone was more successful than I was.




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Stuff

Obviously, there was news yesterday after all, but when I wrote my entry I hadnít yet heard of the death of Gerald Ford. The ex-president was kind of revered in his old age as a man who steadied the country at a turbulent time. If we needed someone who didnít have an oversized ego or flamboyant personality, then I guess we did get the right guy at the right time. Nightline had a lovely tribute to him last night, but I think they underplayed how much his pardon of Nixon led to his loss to Jimmy Carter in 1976. They did pick up his debate statement that Eastern Europe was not under Communist domination, though, and that didnít help his credibility much at the time. How times have changed. Nowadays we apparently value cluelessness in a president much more than we did then.

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One year ago: Experience
"I feel as if Iím balancing on a limb thatís about to break off the tree. The easiest thing would be to let myself fall, but I have to do what it takes to make sure I donít."

Two years ago: Buckets
"You wouldnít want to visit me just now."

Three years ago: Hibernate
"It's a good thing the days are getting longer now, because I have a hard time seeing well enough to work after the sun starts to go down."

Four years ago: Evil Mary and Uncle Bob
"There's no war in the neighborhood, just a constant irritation. If we can get a little perverse pleasure out of it, maybe we can stand to live with it a little longer."

Five years ago: Grasshopper
"I'm not exactly proud to be a grasshopper, but I don't aspire to be an ant, either. Or an anteater."

Six years ago: The Cookie Crumbles
"I tell myself what you would tell me, if you dared (or cared) to give advice. Get over it."


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