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March 3, 1999
a year ago

Reality Check


The 520 bridge was blown so hard last night that it was closed for the commute this morning. Power is out all over the area. We don't have power, yet, but we're kinda used to that. The trees, you know, they eat the power lines when they roar from all the wind. Or something like that. With all the trees in the area, all the overhead lines get stomped on in heavy wind storms, and the roots prevent getting good underground lines in that aren't choked to death by more roots.

The wind and the weather really gave me something of a reality check. This is close to existance. This is something that affects all the lives in the area. This is something that's more important than my worries. It was nice to just calm down and relax into the insanity of getting cut off from power and still going out and doing things or trying to.

Fezzik really didn't want to go out today, but he eventually got onto his feet and got out. I think that playing with Rosa, he's kinda tired and sore. The worrisome bit was him not eating his dinner or his breakfast. He might have a cold or something.

The drive to the Volkswagon place was... frustrating, to put it bluntly. There are only two bridges over Lake Washington, and to shut one down completely screwed up all the commuting patterns all over the area. Completely stopped traffic on 520 nearly to Redmond. We finally had to get off it and go cross-town to get anywhere at all. Turns out that 405 and 5 leading to I-90 were similarly blocked. This is what happens when there are only a very few roads across major land obsticles. Anyway. It was awful. Took us an hour to go somewhere that is normally a twenty minute drive.

Getting back to Redmond was a snap, though. As the traffic was all stopped up the other way. Power was out over half of Redmond, though, and it included a medical clinic that John wanted to stop at to get them to look at his eye. It was bothering him from the night before, and bothered him even more during the drive. So I got to drive the Range Rover back to Redmond and be startled by the clutch and the gear shift which is entirely different than the Passat. I'd gotten used to my car, and this truck was such a monster in comparison.

Power was also out at Victor's and the power coverage was spotty. Turns out that there was definitely power at work. The high winds are supposed to last through this afternoon, then there's supposed to be thunderstorms. My computer hadn't even blinked all night, which was something of a relief.

I think I'll put this partially completed bit up while I can, I don't know when I'll be able to finish it or if the power will go out during the day, so I might as well put up what I have.

Well, lunch was an odd affair. We'd invited all the guys that had jobs elsewhere already and all the folks that were still in the building to the lunch at a dim sum place. Most of the folks hadn't eaten much dim sum before, so it was kind of an adventure for them. Nobel Court does probably the only good dim sum on the Eastside, and we enjoyed what they had to offer. The food was great, the conversations were pretty good, the problem was that John was really suffering over his eye.

After lunch, we got him to the clinic, and I went back to work in order to pick up the car to go get him. The HealthSouth clinics used to be darned quick, but by the time we got through the chaotic mess of Redmond and I got back to the clinic I saw John running back to the clinic parking lot. He was trying to call me. Turned out that the backlog at the Redmond clinic was so huge that they were telling people to go to Bellevue. The additional overflow then backlogged the Bellevue clinic and we sat there for quite some time before we got called. That was rough.

The assistant did some vision tests, then the doc came and did a nicely thorough exam of John's eye. It was really cool having the florescent dye in his eye and then looking at it through black light. I had to hold the light for the doc when she rolled back his eyelid to see under that. There was damage to the cornea. When John got dirt in this eye some of it must have scratched the lense and it really was painful. And with the dye, I could see the channel where the dye wasn't going anywhere, and it would just float and move around the rest of the eye. That was pretty cool.

It's always nice to know.

So they washed it out with saline, and it's all clean and still hurting now. He has numb drops for the eye and some pain killers to help with tonight when he tries to go to sleep. I remember what it was like to have a scratch, and it wasn't much fun. Especially when trying to work. Really reminded me of just how much more important health is than any of this other stuff. Reality check.

Shot most of the afternoon, but it didn't really matter in many ways. It was good to get it taken care of and know what was going on. But when I did get back I remembered a small scrap of code that had to go in. And I actually put a piece of code in and it worked. Miracle of miracles. It's been a while since I had enough brain for any piece of code at all.

Tea and chocolate Balance bars for the afternoon. Grey, rainy day again, with the water sheeting out of the sky. Puddles everywhere, and the incessent patter of water on various surfaces. John's promised that I'll get a rain sound machine when we move to Boulder so I can actually go to sleep after we move out. It'll be something that I'll miss way too much when I get there, I think. Then again, maybe not.

It's an odd emotional teetertotter going on in my head. On one side is sorrow and loss and anger and on the otherside is breathless anticipation and this feeling that I just might be able to do more than I've ever done before if I just reach out and grab it. There is, sadly, this one motivational poster that I saw in all the airplane Sky Mall magazines that my mind has latched onto. It's this gorgeous rendition of an iceberg, with the little tiny top over the surface of the water and the body of it, all deep blues, impossible turquoises, and transluscent solidity, under the water. And it's a poster about imagination, and that it's seeing what's beyond the surface. Now *that* is cool. That is something I'd want in my office, either at home or right out in the open and public at work.

Anyway. Next week we're getting marketing guys to beat up on the MRL. Yow. Real requirements, real people, real goals. Yeesh. This is going to be luxury, not to have to make 'em up ourselves with no real data. How cool.

Well, I'll sign off again, and close this off, maybe I'll see you tomorrow, maybe not.

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