Why AD Will Never Fix Anything Again.

Selfie!

Yesterday, my wife complained that the washing machine was taking forever to fill on the cold cycle. Knowing nothing about washing machines but knowing how to use Google, as well as believing myself to be fairly handy in such things, I checked it out. I turned off the water and pulled out the screens in the hose fittings. Sure enough, one of them was clogged up with gunk. I cleaned it out, hooked it all back up, and tested it.

Hooray! Hero!

This morning, somewhere around 6am, I hear a chirping sound. Getting up to investigate, I realize that it is the Carbon Monoxide detector’s ‘low battery’ alarm. I started down the hall to pluck it down and replace the battery.

“Splish.”

My bare foot meets water on the carpet of the hall. My first reaction was “Damn it, the cat peed on the rug?” Which was odd, since- despite being a gross barf-bag, Hobbes never pees outside of the box. I flicked the light on to investigate and fear gripped me immediately.

An 8×3 foot section of the hallway was a swamp. Like, stepping down saw water seep up through my toes. A leak? No way.

Yes way. Quick investigation of the fitting that I ‘fixed’ the day before found exactly that. A leak. Water had been leaking from the fitting all night long, spreading across the linoleum in the alcove where the washer is, and into the hallway, completely soaking the rug and pad underneath. I made a futile attempt to sop up what I could, but that was worthless. We’re talking a LOT of water.

I tightened the fitting on the washer, pulled up the rug and realized this was a major job. The soaked pad had to be replaced and the carpet dried.

So, somewhere around 7am, I’m making a trip to Lowe’s for a new pad and the hardware store to rent a wet-vac to suck up as much water as we can.

5 hours later, here I sit. The pad has been replaced, we’re down 4 or 5 rolls of paper towel, the wet vac has been returned, and a dehumidifier is running full bore to draw out the last of the moisture that was too stubborn for the wet vac to pick up. The ONLY saving grace was that the sub floor of the hallway was linoleum too, so there isn’t going to be any damage to the floor itself.

All because I fixed a hose fitting. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a doctor. With a track record like this, you might come to me with a twisted ankle and I’d amputate both legs. Mechanic would be just as bad.

“Yes ma’am, you’ve got brand new brakes, you can have it back as soon as the fire is out.” 

Time to re-evaluate my handiness.

Lost Word

I was writing my post yesterday, and came to a brick wall with one of the words I wanted to use. I was reaching for something very specific, and while I knew it existed…I couldn’t find the word I wanted. I went so far as to web search synonyms of the word I wanted in the event that it would pop up in front of me, but the more I struggled to find it, the more it slipped away.

Eventually, I gave up, dissected the sentence, and transplanted some replacement words in there, which worked, but didn’t have the same impact that I wanted.

For the rest of the afternoon, I chewed on the circumstances, trying to find what I was looking for. It never came, and it drove me insane all day long.

Then, at some point last night- either while dreaming, or while in a sleep-deprived, zombie-like state thanks to Mini-Me still being sick, I found it. It came into my head. It was there. I had it. Huzzah!

As of this morning though, when I got up and began to move around again….It’s gone. I don’t plan on going back to edit yesterday’s post, but dammit, I want that word back. I want the satisfaction of knowing that I was able to finally succeed in hunting it down after such a struggle.

Maybe I’ll stop trying to hard and focus on something else- like the fact that it decided to start snowing like a bastard AFTER I got to work this morning, and if it keeps up like this, I’ll go to sleep tonight to the soft hum of a server rack.

More Barf

If you don’t have children, this might come as a shock, but parenthood is less glamor and more goo. I’d say it isn’t an institution for the weak, but in all honesty, thanks to the boundless and undying love you’ll have for your child, you become a bit desensitized to even the worst leakage, seepage, and outright explosions that your biologic successors are capable of producing- surprising though they may be.

I regaled you a while back about how I was holding Mini-Me a while back and he decided to ralph up a good amount, which ran down the back of my shirt and into my underwear.

Last night, he woke up around 4:30am. He’s getting better at sleeping through the night, but occasionally will wake up and need to be put back to sleep.

I hear him cry a bit over the monitor, and got up to go in with him. He’s standing in the dark, waiting for me.

“Daaaayee..”
“Hey bud, what’s the matter?” I reached down to pick him up and am immediately met by some unseen wetness on his arm.
“Oh no, you’re soaked. Did you pee?”
“No. I not wet.” Sure enough, his pajama pants were dry. What the….Oh. Oh no. Not again.
I picked him up, stripped the shirt off of him, placed him on the futon, and flicked on the light to see a good portion of his dinner reincarnated onto his bed sheet, as well as a Mickey Mouse stuffed animal. I stripped him, changed him, pulled the bedsheet, and lay with him on the futon.

“Dayee? A Ceen? (Clean)”
“Yeah. you’re clean.”
“Why?”
“You barfed.”
“Oh. Sowee.”
“Its okay little guy, does your tummy hurt?”
“Yeah.”
“Okay, lay with daddy, get some more sleep.”

I don’t think he ever actually went back to sleep. He dozed for a while, but never got a good amount of shut-eye after that. I know this because somewhere around 5am, while I think he’s out- I sneezed. From the dark, a tiny little voice pipes up: “Bess you.”

Right around then I realized that while I cleaned him up, I hadn’t washed my hands after coming in contact with the vom. This is where the parental numbness comes in. Rather than dump the little sicko down and rush off to the bathroom, I said “Eh” – and tried to get some rest. Gross? Yeah. But let’s face it- from the second you decide to HAVE kids, ‘gross’ is a part of your life for a very long time, and you get used to it. Poop, pee, puke, and other unnamed and inexplicable things become as second nature you as brushing teeth or having lunch.

So now I’m at work, my day having started at 4:30am with some vomit, which is bad enough. My wife’s day has taken a horrible turn, because apparently not only has the little guy barfed twice more….but so did the cat.

If something good is going to happen to balance out what today has started off as, it’s gonna be REAL good.

I Deleted a Voicemail

A few weeks back I sent in a canvas letter for a job opening.
Not just ANY job opening- but it was for literally exactly the job I want, for exactly where I wanted to do it. ‘Dream Job’ if such a thing exists.

I’ve been waiting to hear back from them, to find out if my application has been accepted and if I move on to the interview process.

I’ve been waiting almost a month.

Two weeks ago, I was working at the Day Job, where cell service is crap. I was playing phone tag with a rep from one of the software companies who was ‘urgently trying to get in touch with me regarding the account’ So I dropped what I was doing and played phone tag with her.

At one point, I was using a landline to access my cell phone’s voicemail. An email from the rep told me she had left me a message. When I logged into the voicemail box, there were three messages. One from the PD regarding a meeting I already knew about. The second one started with a few beeps, boops, and random noises, so I deleted it before it was over. The third was the message I was looking for.

….it turns out the rep was new to the company and wanted to introduce herself to me. All that urgency for literally nothing at all.

Every day that passes without my hearing from that prospective job, I wonder more and more if that message I deleted in my rush to get to another message that was falsely advertised as ‘important’ wasn’t the one I was waiting for.

If it turns out that I deleted my one lead to the very job I’ve been pining for all this time….I’ll never have been so mad at a stranger in all my life. Or myself for that matter.

I’m praying that the delay in contact is due to the usual red tape that goes along with the hiring process….and not that I vaporized my only chance by being duped.

The Mystery of the Drunk Plow Driver

We dodged a bullet last night. The mega-storm which was supposed to have railed us with snow swung out to sea a hundred miles or so. While the eastern seaboard did manage to get a good amount of snow, our totals inland were much lower than anticipated. I slipped and slid on the way home a bit from the light covering we had, but after I got in at midnight, we apparently didn’t get much more snow at all.

The Narrator has a snow day. The school I work at isn’t closed….again…so I need to go in, but I’m waiting until I see a snow plow before I leave.

When I got up this morning around 6:30 and flicked on the front porch light to see how much we had gotten. I didn’t see much. My footprints from last night were still very clear, a light dusting covered the front porch, the plow tracks through the front yard were still clear as day….

Wait…..What?

I looked again.

Someone….had driven a snow plow through our front yard, pushing a pile to within a few feet of the house.

HUH?

There was no rhyme or reason to it. Firstly, there wasn’t enough snow in the driveway to necessitate needing THAT plowed.
Secondly, I shovel. We haven’t hired anyone to plow us out. Thirdly, who the hell was out plowing in a non-storm sometime after midnight when I went to bed? Lastly- we live on a dead end road that has a total of 6 houses…with us being the ONLY full time residents here…so it seems to me like it was completely accidental that the plow driver was here at all.

The only explanation is that alcohol was a factor. I’m only slightly annoyed- more so that he missed the driveway than he was here at all.

Strange.

Okay, I Admit it. I Have a Problem.

I sat down with Mini-Me last night to read him his bedtime stories. He picks out a cute little rendition of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and a small A-B-C book.

We got through the first and started in on the ABCs.

The first page:

Me: “Okay, ‘A’ is for….”
Mini-Me: “Uh….. Appah!”
Me: “Good! ‘B’ is for…..”
Mini-Me: “Bah!”
Me: “Nice! and ‘C’ is for….”
Mini-Me: “Coffee!”

…He’s not wrong I suppose.

Modeling

No, not the kind that involves clothing, or lack thereof. I’m prohibited by law from doing that. Nobody wants to see that. Instead, I’m talking about the art of Hobby Modeling.

Despite never being really good at it, I used to love putting together models as a kid. My favorite were the airplanes, but I tried my hand at all of it. My paint jobs were shoddy, I used too much glue, and I had approximately 4% of the patience needed to do them properly. As a result, my World War 2 fighter planes looked a bit like they had been hit with antiaircraft fire already, my cars all needed alignments and significant body work, and the handful of sailing ships I took a run at….well, they were all post-combat where they’d seen a number of devastating broad-sides.

A while back, I posted about the wooden pirate ship model that The Narrator and I did together, and that kicked off the old interest. For Christmas, he asked for his first model, and we picked up a snap-together P-51 mustang that turned out really nice.

I decided that we’d take a run at a proper model. Glue, Paint, Patience. Surely we could do it, right?

A trip to Amazon found a company that makes starter kits of all kinds. Airplanes, tanks, cars, ships, submarines…the works. To my surprise, The Narrator selected the Volkswagen Beetle. It came with the paint and glue it needed, so that was just fine.

When the kit came, it was clear why it was only $12 and a ‘starter set’ The quality was lousy. In spite of it being a ‘skill level 1- beginner’ there were still pieces that I needed tweezers to hold onto while they were glued to the car. The part-sheets were a mess, with the pieces being completely engulfed in that thin plastic garbage that needed to be cut away.

The Narrator did a lot of the parts painting on the sheets while I did most of the gluing. He glued some of the big parts, and nobody had their fingers stuck together even once.

The end result?


You’ll notice two things right away- the ‘unique’ racing stripe….that I wish I could tell you was the work of the 5 year old, but was mine. Completely mine. I tried a technique that I hadn’t used in nearly fifteen years without practicing first, and this was the result. Also, that there are no side windows. This is because we decided that it was going to be a summer-time car, and the windows would be rolled down. It had nothing at all to do with daddy getting glue on the inside of the ‘glass’ and smudging it so bad that it looked like the car was being hot-boxed by a couple of hippies from the side. Nope, not in the least.

From a modeler’s standpoint- the thing is a disaster.
From a parenting standpoint- absolute victory. The Narrator has the same level of patience I used to, so we rushed a bit, and as a result, the paint is sloppy, we used too much glue, and there are some pieces that ended up in the garbage. But he loves the thing and is already planning on more racing stripes.

The way I see it, we’ll screw up these little practice kits now, so that when he gets older we can sit down and do the 900+ piece Millennium Falcon I saw on Amazon for around $400 and get it perfectly right….or at least finish a B-17 bomber to the level of quality that isn’t an insult to an entire generation of war veterans.

The Ant Farm

Right before Christmas this year, my sister found out that she had purchased something for The Narrator that “Santa” had already bought him….Poor communication on the part of Santa to be honest.

My sister then told us that she had actually planned on buying him an ant farm, knowing how curious and interested in such things he is, but she was a bit worried about us not being thrilled with it. In actuality, we decided that would have been a great idea, so even though she needed to return the original gift, she was able to go back to her original plan.

A fun aside before I move on with the story, I took my mother-in-law over to visit my parents later that day, and my sister was talking about the ant farm. My mother-in-law, who is a bit of a know it all immediately chimed in. “Oh, Kim would never allow that, you’re crazy!” -To which my sister told her that my wife already approved the idea and was excited about it. Watching my mother-in-law clumsily backpedal and try to save face was the best part of my holiday.

Anyway.

The farm and the ants were delivered finally delivered. The company that shipped the ants needed to wait a bit for the weather to warm up so we didn’t get a tube of dead bugs.

We set up the farm yesterday, with daddy being in charge of dumping the squiggling mass of insects out of the tube which was marked “Caution! Ants May Sting!” Thankfully, I was able to divert from type and managed not to let loose any red stinging ants into the house.

The ant farm has had the desired effect. Our curious and analytical five year old has been awash with questions and is transfixed by the little plastic ecosystem that now resides on one of our cabinets….just out of reach for the two year old- because where I succeeded in releasing the stinging bugs into the farm, Mini-Me will absolutely succeed in releasing them into the living room.

More importantly than The Narrator’s interest in the thing- My wife and I are totally amazed by it, and we’ve probably spent more time watching the studious little bugs dig into the gel (which they can eat, so forgetting to feed them isn’t an issue) and work on their little tunnels.

So, in spite of the gift being a little late for Christmas, it is nonetheless a smash hit in the house….as long as I can keep it from ACTUALLY becoming a smash that is.

How to Immediately Chill a Room

Wife: “Please don’t walk around in the living room in your boots.”

Son: “Why?”

Wife: “Because you shouldn’t be walking around with boots on in the house, you’ll get the carpet dirty or wet, and I asked you not to.”

Son: “But daddy walks around in his shoes all the time.”

Wife: “Daddy is an adult and I can’t tell him what to do.”

Me: “Since when?”

Despite the heat being on, the temperature in the living room dropped several degrees, to the point where I ran out the door for work in an effort to get warm.