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April 9, 1999
a year ago


Two more full days of meetings with marketing and the other engineers. It's working out beautifully, all in all. The conversations are clear and direct and it's looking like marketing has a clear idea of what we can and cannot do and is preparing the way for other folks to understand the limitations and the capabilities.

This is a good thing. The hard thing has been all the tradeoffs between keeping old users happy and not completely hamstringing what we already have that works. Trying to please everyone will make a suite that will work for no one, so the main idea, now is to get it all to play together happily.

Ryan bought a house!! While he was here on his house hunting trip, it was a good thing. We got to see it Wednesday night, just before everyone came over, but at the gut level I'm finally getting it. That we'll have someone moving here from there and that things will be good. They'll be a close resource instead of a remote one.

One really awful thing that's happened was that last night, i.e. Thursday night, Fezzik didn't want to come out with us when John and I went outside to stack all the moving boxes filled with moving paper out on the end of the driveway. We actually have garbage pickup once a week, now. A sheer luxury, something we haven't had for about a decade. We used to just keep all our garbage and then go to the dump about once a month or even once every two months if we weren't wasteful about it. Turned out that about half our 'garbage' was actually recyclable, and the other half we could compact into a bunch of old garbage cans, most of which ended up in the dump on the very last day we were in Redmond.

The new service was willing to take any moving materials we had, so that was very cool, and we built a mountain of it all at the end of the driveway. Fezzik, however, just lay on his bed and refused to move.

Friday morning, John, as usual, woke up before I did. When he stepped out the door, I heard him sigh.

Yes. John is not like most mortals. Most people, when they sigh, it doesn't mean all that much. A minor annoyance, a bit of tiredness, a little ennui, or perhaps just a need for air. When John sighs, however, I know something is terribly wrong. It's entirely due to his normal optimism. When something little goes wrong, he just does something about it, or laughs and tackles it. It's only when something really depresses or shakes him that he actually sighs.

I couldn't stand it. I had to get up, and as I was putting on a robe, I heard him sigh again. So I crept up to our bedroom door, opened it a crack and asked, "What is it?"

He answered in a really dead voice, "Fezzik had diarrhea."

Ow. I crept back into the master suite, put on my contacts, brushed my teeth, put myself together, hoping, against hope, that he'd have it cleaned up by the time I got out there. No such luck. Fezzik had tracked the stuff all over the livingroom, diningroom, kitchen, foyar, and in front of the master suite door. John had a lot of it picked up; but all the hard surfaces needed disinfection and the diningroom carpet was just totally and completely awful. John got the bulk of it off the carpets; but there was no help for it, we had to get a carpet cleaner.

I went to all the hard floors with a mop and a couple of buckets, one with bleach and the other with rinse water and went over all the floors to disinfect them thoroughly.

All this before an all-day meeting.

On the way home, we went south instead of east, and dropped by the Eagle down in Louiseville. There we bought a cart load of things that we needed for the house, that John had on his list, and we were able to rent a carpet cleaner, spot cleaner, and a brush and rubber gloves.

There was no way I was going to be able to eat a thing while the carpet was the way it was, so I just got the brush and the spot remover out the moment we walked in the door and I set to all the damage with the brush and soap. John took all the carpet pieces that had been distributed about, and washed them with the carpet cleaner, hanging them up on the fences outside. Good thing today was sunny and not that windy.

Thursday morning saw a really awful wind storm. Bob went out to walk in it and said he was nearly blown away. Turns out that semi-trucks were blown over on the freeways, and that a brick wall was even blown over somewhere. But by noon, lunch time, it wasn't bad at all and the sun had come out.

Luckily, Friday evening was pretty calm and clear out. I'm still entirely unused to the angle of the sun. I'm used to it being still fairly low on the horizon in Seattle, here it's high up. At 5pm, it's about where I'd have originally guessed was 2 p.m. in Seattle. It's disorienting, sometimes.

Eventually, it wasn't as awful as my stomach and brain thought it should be. It was just, basically, dirt clotted in the carpet, and while I took the proper precautions, after that it was just scrubbing dirt out of the carpet. John used the carpet cleaner to get hot liquid into the carpet, we let it sit a moment, and then I used the brush and the more concentrated cleaner to really get at the worst of it. Loosened it all up and got it to come out of the carpet some so that the cleaner could just woosh it all away.

Fezzik was really, really quiet and really really good while we were doing all this. He just stayed out of our way and watched, on the most part, very quietly. Eventually, it was all gone. The carpets were mildly damp and as far as I could tell, they were as clean as they were going to get. A glass of red wine that John had spilled while Walt and Cathie were here had left something of a stain, but with all the extra passes and washing, it went right away. That was very cool.

It felt really good to bring order out of that particular kind of chaos.

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