Family & Friends


On the way out of the office to the structure fire last night, I knocked over a plastic shelf that someone’s lead technician (you know who you are) had left propped against the door to the kitchen.

On my return, I stopped at the house to grab a beer (okay, two) and returned to the office. Striding confidently through the dark kitchen at the office, I stepped on the shelf which shot out from under me.

Kicking both feet high in the air and throwing my keys across the room, I ended up flat on my back on the floor. Happily I did not split my head open nor drop either beer.

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Filth in San Francisco
October 24, 2009

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The person on the left is my dad.  He is pictured with a friend on the front step of his house in Pocomoke City, Maryland.  The friend went on to be successful in entertainment.  There is no way that anyone outside of my family will ever guess who it is.  No way.

I’d rather not have paid thousands of dollars to have someone dig a hole in my yard, pour rocks in, and fill the hole in again, but so be it. It’s certainly nice to have the potty working again.

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The good part was that the septic started backing up on Sunday, just as Rabid and the ‘springs were leaving for Cub Scout camp. The septic was totally out of service until Wednesday, when I had the tank pumped. It would have been rough if everyone had been home. I was able to use the potty at the office.

Rabid and company return home tonight and will find everything in good working order other than the new dirt patch in the back yard.

– The rarely-used two-year-old Vista machine in my SF room has gone bad.
– My Translink card has gone bad.
– My new Mac has still not shipped. For some reason, I can’t just pick one up at the Apple store.

On the other hand…
– Casio has (after six months) replaced a camera that was stepped on at a fire. For free. And overnighted it to me (well, the the office in Vermont).
– I bought a used bike to commute with in SF. Yesterday I rode 1.1 miles to the ferry, then one mile to the office, then eleven miles back across the Golden Gate, Presidio, GG Park, Panhandle, Haight. Two things I have discovered about biking in SF; 1) the wind is always against you, 2) SF has more uphill than downhill. Not sure how that works, but it sure seems to be the case.
– My iPhone developer program details have been straightened out.

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O2, ready for the cotillion
May 1, 2009

On Monday, I took O2 to cotillion practice. We picked up his tux (pics later) and then I was free for an hour and a half before I had to pick him up. I fortuitously had a book in my bag; I so very rarely read for pleasure these days that it was a bit unusual for me to have such a thing. In any event, I went to the diner and had a lovely dinner while reading something that had nothing to do with computers.

The book, FWIW, is Population: 485 by Michael Perry. I bought it a few weeks ago in an airport someplace and read part of it on the plane. The book is autobiographical and is about the author who moves back to his hometown and joins the local fire department. Some of his insights are very interesting; some of the things he says about small-town life in general and small-town fire/EMS in particular ring very true.

After dinner I drove back to the school where cotillion practice was being held and sprawled on the grass until it was time to get O2. Spring seems to have been leapfrogged by summer; the night was very warm and it was a pleasure to lie in the grass and indulge in something totally non-work-related.

I picked up O2 and we headed home. It was still light out though getting towards dusk.

I noticed blue lights in my rearview mirror; a police car was two cars behind and trying to pass the car between my truck and the police car. I was totally unconcerned as I was not doing anything wrong; I was even driving uncharacteristically slowly while enjoying the weather.

The police car passed the car behind me and I prepared to pull off on the shoulder to let him pass. The blue lights went off and the car settled in behind me; I realized that for some reason, I was the subject of the police officer’s attention.

After a few moments, the lights came back on. I pulled to the side of the road, turned off the truck, put my wallet on the dashboard, and put my hands back on the steering wheel. O2 was incredulous that we had been pulled over.

The officer came up to the truck window. He was quite friendly and asked if I knew why I had been pulled over. I said that I did not. The officer said that it was state law that drivers must have their headlights on 30 minutes before sundown. Could I please produce my license? Oh, and isn’t the weather beautiful?

I was shocked and annoyed although the cop was, as I said, quite friendly. The car behind me, the car the cop passed to pull me over, did not have its headlights on. Clearly I was being profiled; pulled over for driving a polka-dotted truck.

But I said nothing. I handed over my license. The officer went back to his car to run my license. O2 was annoyed at the delay and the injustice.

After some time, the officer came back. I knew what information he had been given; he would know that I had a red-light permit for the truck; he would know that I was given a warning in that town a few years ago for going through an intersection while the light was orange.  No arrests; no DUIs, no outstanding warrants.

He returned my license, cheerfully told me to have a good day, and returned to his car. He didn’t ticket me, issue a warning, or even advise me to turn on my headlights. Nothing.

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