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Monday, February 16, 2004

The next time I go on and on about how wonderful it is living out here in the country, remind me about today. I'm ready to see the whole back yard covered in concrete and the driveway paved over with asphalt.

It probably rained just as much in town as it did out here. I know it started last night because I could hear it before I went to bed. It must have stormed the whole night and all morning. There's no other explanation for the thorough drenching my yard and garden got from it.

Maybe some city driveways were flooded and some plants drowned. But at least those folks have municipal water that they can count on. They don't have to contend with a chancy septic system running on saturated ground water. Nothing works quite right when it's this wet. I stepped into the shower this morning and was wading in ankle-deep water before I could even reach for the soap.

There was one thing worse than that, though.

If you've never spent a day stranded without a working toilet, either you've never had a flush toilet to begin with, or you've never had one that didn't do its most basic duty. Mine runs a little slowly under the best conditions. Today it sputtered and spat back at me. That's a quite unpleasant experience.

After I poured bucket after bucket of water into the toilet bowl (and at least there was no shortage of free water), it would settle down every so often. If I never had to use it again, everything would have been fine.

But, you know, it just doesn't work that way. All that water flowing down off the eaves outside my window makes me thirsty, and one thing leads to another. The more you want not to have to deal with it, the more pressing the urge becomes. I had to fight with that toilet every time, all day long, just to keep it from getting massively, disgustingly worse.

So that's how I spent my holiday. I did get some work done, more than I expected even. The only phone calls were from people I really wanted to talk to (that is, not the Boss or his overly agitated son). I worked so long and hard that I had to get up and walk around to rest my back. That doesn't happen on ordinary days, when I get interrupted so often.

And maybe the rain helped me get more work done. I certainly wasn't tempted to run out and do any errands, and with the holiday there was no need to go to the post office anyway. Still, given the alternative, on the whole I'd rather be living on higher, drier (or more civilized) ground, at least for today.

The long range forecast still shows rain the rest of the week, and not just showers, either. Real, steady, hard rain, the kind we had all day today. The kind that leaves ponds and puddles all over the yard. I'm not sure how much more the ground can absorb. I'm not sure how much more I can absorb, either.

16 February 2004

I stuck the camera out the door to take this unaimed shot, but I couldn't click the shutter before the lens got spotted.

One good thing came out of this. Because I had to pour so much water into the toilet, the shower curtain was drawn back for easy access to the faucet. That's how, when I walked into the bathroom tonight, I happened to see three slugs crawling on my shower tile. I can only imagine how bad it might have been by morning, if I hadn't exterminated them tonight and sterilized everything in sight.

Okay, maybe that's not such a good thing. It made me keep wanting to go back in there for further inspections.

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Tonight I finally got a chance to watch the Oscar-nominated Seabiscuit. It has elements of great storytelling and elements of great filmmaking. Sometimes these elements are at cross-purposes, but for all its flaws, this is a movie you can love, like the horse itself. Three magnificent performances by the lead human actors help, but it's the relentless race toward the stirring finish that gives the film its emotional impact.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Aggrieved
"I don't even like perfection, let alone require it. As long as I can ignore it or work around it, it's not really a problem."

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Maybe I'll go to Amsterdam and maybe I'll go to Rome
And rent me a grand piano and put some flowers 'round my room.