May 25, 1999
My schedule had five and a half hours of meetings today. Hopefully they'll end after tomorrow. Things are getting hammared to the point where it's gotta end.
John did the last of the espresso this morning, and we had nice lattes going to work. It was, however, a lot of work and the coordination of steaming the milk and brewing has to be pretty fine, given that the boiler is always delivering steam, even when I don't really *want* anymore going through the coffee, there isn't that much choice if I want to steam more stuff. It's just the way this espresso maker is made. The one at work has a switch where one can switch between steaming and brewing and it's also got a pump system instead of a boiler system, so one can always add water.
I wanted to try the old machine to see if I wanted to keep using it instead of getting a new one, as we'd been thinking about just getting a new one. I'm still unsure, as this puppy *works*, it's just a bit of a pain. The one at work is a lot easier, but it is the community machine and I am aware of how much time it takes to get it to work. And it would be nice to have the caffiene before hitting work.
The meetings actually did most of what they were supposed to do, i.e. get to the point where we had to make the hard decisions and all the information was out on the table. Communication is hard work. Good work, though, because then we won't have the situation we had at Minc, where all of engineering worked their butts off for a year, and then, at the end of all that, the VP of Marketing said, "We can't sell what you just made." Here, Marketing knows beforehand and both groups can take the steps to make the product into something viable.
We managed to get home early because John's first meeting was at 8 a.m.. Ooof.
One most absolutely excellent thing was that Carl sent me a whole bundle of comicbooks! Yay! The comics are here! The comics are here! I bounced around all over, and John laughed and Fezzik ran circles around me, which was fun.
Loren followed us home and then took away our shedful of packing materials, all the boxes, most all of the packing paper and seperators. It was kinda odd watching it all go away, but kinda good, too, as it cleared space for the John Deere lawn tractor.
The grass had gotten pretty long in the last week and a half, so John suggested that it needed cutting. So I hopped on and rode for most of the evening, cut everything except the strip along the east side of the property (there are like 40 trees planted in that area, so it's hard to get through) and left the cuttings to mulch and compost on the lawn itself. Erie had had a clean-up day and the garbage folks were hauling away 10+ bags of garden waste from anyone and everyone that had it out for free. So we just put the last of our clippings out and they disappeared neatly. We don't really have a garden that could use compost, yet, so it seemed early to go through all that. The only thing that could use it was the lawn itself, and once the worst of it was cut, the subsequent cuttings mulched small enough to just be left on the grass as eventual fertilizer. I could also see the stuff just holding moisture to the ground as well, so that's good. Fezzik keeps eating the grass here, so we don't put anything on it. So this might help at least feed the grass with the stuff it really needs.
We parked the mower in the shed just as the sun was going down. Dinner was quick, leftover green chile stew and quesadillas. Yum. Ha. I mowed an acre of lawn *and* cooked! Then I even cleaned out both my Pelikan 600 and my Herbin demonstrator, as both were empty of ink. I found out, by accident, that the 600's feed actually just unscrews, easily, so I was able to clean out the barrel thoroughly. That was pretty cool and very smooth. I then filled up my Waterman, swabbed out all the caps of all the pens, though the transparent Herbin was easy to see that it was clean, and felt much better about myself when all that was finished. I then used the Waterman to write for a while, and let the feed get inked thoroughly before setting it, upright, in my work bag for use tomorrow. Yeah, I like my pens usable. I should probably tell David that I do use it a lot and love it.
One scary thing is that I discovered a patch of very soft tissue on Fezzik's belly, it feels like a giant blister under the skin, about three inches long and a good inch and a half wide. We're going to watch it for the next few days, and then get him to a vet if it gets worse or something. He hasn't been acting any different recently, and I haven't seen this thing at all when I last toppled him to brush him thoroughly, which was just a few days ago, so I don't think it's something really bad or something that's been going on for a while. But it's worrisome all the same.