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November 22, 2000
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Quiet Workplace

Fezzik was really tired this morning. He only ate part of his breakfast, and his right cheek was still completely swollen. I was pretty sad when we put him out on the front porch and he pretty much lay right where we put him. John went out and scattered biscuits around, and it cheered me up when I saw that he was scooting around on his tummy, going after the biscuits. We left water both at the ground level and on the porch so that he wouldn't have to do stairs in order to get water. There was still snow on the north side of everything. The whole shadow of the house, the southern fence, and even the Green Monster protected a reservoir of snow with a nice icy crust that Fezzik could wallow about in and crunch if he wanted to eat more snow.

I went to work thinking that it was a very good thing that John and I hadn't gone to Orycon. It was starting to look like we'd been around for the last weekend that Fezzik was mostly mobile because of that decision. I brought the cookies, a half pound of the Callebaut chocolates, and a few of the chocolate covered cherries for some of the people I wanted to try one. The chocolate covered cherries are actually locally grown cherries that are soaked in brandy for three months before they are coated with bittersweet chocolate. After being coated, the flesh of the cherry shrivels, releasing the brandy into the chocolate shell. It is an astonishing thing to eat.

I found out yesterday that Jenny had broken her collarbone in a soccer game, so I brought her two cookies and two cherries, which she appreciated. John had an 8:00 meeting, so I let him have the cookies first, and he came back after the meeting saying everyone really enjoyed them. My engineering meeting was at 10, and my crew nearly finished off all the cookies. I had two and a half cookies left, so brought two of those over to Debbie's office along with more of the chocolate covered cherries. Bob got his half pound box, and was grateful for the break on shipping. Mei should really enjoy the gift.

Most of the crew was leaving early sometime today, so didn't want to take the time for lunch. John managed to round up several people that did want to go to lunch. One of the local folks suggested that we go to the Walnut Cafe, which shouldn't be confused with the Walnut Brewery. The Walnut Cafe turns out to be mostly vegetarian cafe with lots of interesting breakfast things, and interesting lunch menu, and a note from the restaurant owner to any woman using the woman's restaurant stop using her toilet if you have bulimia and to get help. That was possibly the most bizarre sign I've ever seen in anyone's restaurant.

The espresso bar was fully stocked, and had a tremendous selection of drinks. The breakfast menu at a really large range of French toast, pancakes, and waffles in various flavors, fruits, and combinations. There was meat on the menu, but it took that obvious back seat to the various vegetarian dishes, sandwiches, and large selection of salads. There was a very intriguing ELT or eggplant, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, but I was really in the mood for the vegetarian Sloppy Joe. It turned out really good. The texture of the mixture was actually very meat like, and the barbecue sauce was tangy and sweet and went really well on the toasted soft roll. The steamed, spiced cider was excellent as well. I was intrigued by a blueberry cornbread, and ordered a chunk to try, but it turned out to be pretty dry and almost severely salty. The folks that went to lunch ended up being seven total, including Jenny and her father who was visiting for Thanksgiving. Two were from other departments, and it was nice to actually talk with people outside our group in a social situation.

All the way back to the car, we walked by The Back Store. In the window was an exercise ball. Ever since trying out Lauren's exercise ball, I have been wanting one, so we stepped into the store and I asked for a ball. The guy behind the counter asked me how tall I was, and then went into the back room where I heard an air compressor starting up. I guess he decided to fill one of the correct sized balls for me to try out, but I started to write a check for the ball before it was even inflated. So, instead, we walked out with a ball that was already inflated. It's actually much larger than Lauren's, which shouldn't be a surprise because my legs are so much longer, and I was relieved when it actually fit into the back seat of the Passat.

Back to work. I actually did quite a lot in the afternoon. My hands weren't bothering me too much, and I had a good number of specific things I had to do. My hands were bad enough to make going online impossible, so there were no distractions and no possible distractions, especially since nearly everyone at work was gone. I was completely done with a minor code rewrite by four. I found John with Mason and Jerry all grouped together, I made the comment that it must be a requirement for all build Czars to still be at work at 4 PM on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. These guys work really hard, and I shouldn't make too much fun of that, but it was pretty striking. We went home soon after that, and actually stopped at the Safeway to do a little shopping and buy root beer, fresh spinach, and a few other things for the weekend. John really wanted to make a banana cream pie for tomorrow, what with Ray requesting it, so we made sure we had fresh eggs for the merengue.

When John opened the door for Fezzik, Fezzik managed to march right into the house without any help. The swelling on the right side of his face had gone down a little bit, but he was still drooling a little from that side. He downed his dinner with gusto and without falling down, and then cheerfully planted himself on the floor between the living room and the dining room. John's stomach was feeling kind of queasy, so he didn't want me to make dinner for him. He also had plenty of work that he wanted to do, so I let him work on the laptop while I made myself a little dinner. I had a craving for browned butter and mizithra cheese on spaghetti, and balanced that relatively nutrition free part of my dinner with a spinach salad with Stilton. Fezzik cheerfully planted himself next to my chair, and ate spinach, spaghetti, and whatever bread I would give him. He was actually pretty happy even without the full usage of his back legs.

The evening was more of the usual. John worked some. We watched some TV. We helped Fezzik go in and out and then back in and then out again. There was one moment when it really looked like he wanted down the stairs, so we carried him down and he walked with John all the way to the far end of the driveway, sometimes dragging a hind foot or two, before he found a spot he really wanted to use. He came back and just looked at us when he got to the stairs, so we slung him up them. John ate fairly late. Fezzik ended up on the kitchen porch, because he wanted to be there. It's actually fairly easy, now, to tell where he wants to go, because when we pick up his rear end he now knows to move his front legs in the direction he wants to go. So he heads for the door he really wants to go out of and we do our best to get all the obstacles, i.e. doors, chairs, and anything lying on the floor, out of his way. It's made for a particularly neat house.

I am really unsure of how long this is going to last. So far, Fezzik hasn't lost all his mobility. He isn't soiling himself, yet, so he has enough to do what he really needs to do. It is, however, pretty difficult having him need help to get around. Then again, sometimes I think the only times that he really needs help is when we are in a hurry, when he can take all the time he wants he seems to be able to get anywhere he wants to be. So far. We'll see how this goes.

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