It looks like both John and Fezzik have a routine down, now. John usually gets up half an hour before I do, rides the exercise bike and then hauls Fezzik indoors, one way or another. Fezzik gets fed, and the two of them have some time together before I actually ever appear. John skipped the bike this morning, as he's been doing it all week and, well, it's his birthday! So I don't blame him at all.
Fezzik chowed down on his breakfast and then, very reluctantly, went outside while John scattered biscuits for him. He went out the front door and both John and I were pretty surprised to find Fezzik at the back door peering into the kitchen to see what we were up to as we got ready to go to work. That was pretty funny and it served to make me feel pretty good about how he was doing.
It was a pretty day. My hands felt pretty good, so, for the first time in a while I got online. Geoff was around and it felt like he really needed to talk through some things, so we did. I overdid it badly. Hands felt a bit like hamburger by the time my review rolled around. I really shouldn't do that.
The review was... mildly weird. It was good in that it was at the top level, in that I really wanted to review the design not the specific code changes I was thinking about doing. The problem was that, once again, Boss Bill had an idea in his head of how things should work and when it was shown to him that the structures that were in place were not the way he thought they should be, he said, pretty straightforwardly, that they sucked. It's bothering me more, I think. Bothers me more and more that there seems to be nothing in the structures that he can say a good thing about. Keeps feeling, more and more, like all he can say are negative things about designs that, fundimentally, do work. They might not be clean, they might not be pretty, but they've worked for years.
The good thing is that after bouncing a lot of stuff off a lot of people, the things that I had left worked better. That the ideas that I got, even from Bill's complaints, made the design better and probably more solid and while it increased my work by about another 90%, it would make for a complete solution. Both frustrating and satisfying as I knew that Bill's schedule for me didn't have even a day of stretch room from the estimates he'd asked for in only a day's time.
When I got out, John was ready to go home. Turn around is fair play, this time. Since it was his birthday, I asked him, for the first time since we found out I was pregnant, where he wanted to go for dinner. Instead of answering, he just started driving. He likes giving me surprises, and small ones like where to eat I don't mind at all. Traffic going up the Diagonal sucked at 5 p.m., but we weren't in any great hurry. We eventually ended up at the Japanese place in Longmont, Sakura, I think. Quite the pleasant surprise.
On the drive up I asked him about his year and he answered that it was very, very good that we did manage to finally catch the baby after all the years of trying. That we'd gone through all the things we had to do and were managing the things that were to come. While it hadn't been up to us only, that we'd done all the things we intended to do was good. Right in front of the restaurant, he cried a little and said that Fezzik's situation was just eating at him, every day, and that was the really sad thing about this birthday. I hugged him solidly and yeah, it is.
John got the tempura and I half wished I'd gotten it when the grilled mackerel I got was really too salty for me. I probably should have just not eaten it and gotten the vegetable tempura or something, but the skin on the mackeral was exactly the taste I'd been looking for and I ate a lot of white rice and plenty of ice water along with my salad and the sadly salty miso soup. After dinner the two of us wandered through the little strip mall there and John had seen a small book, espresso and knitting shop and we went to look. There were some really beautiful things there, but with the way my hands have been, I really didn't want to even try anything. It was fun to look, though, and know that most of the instructions for baby things were things that I could make up off the top of my head.
We went home earlier than we sometimes leave for home from work. Fezzik was waiting for us on the lawn just by the kitchen porch, and he got up and staggered over, weaving a bit more than usual, but managing to get to the foot of the stairs in time for John to carry him up. I helped his rear end while he went for the carpeting and he lay down while I put his dinner together for him. He didn't look like he wanted to get up to eat, so I just put it between his front paws and he ate it that way, spraying rice out of the bowl occassionally. Happy dog.
John got a number of keen presents including a weather monitor that has a remote that sits outside and feeds the inside station all the data. It has tempurature, humidity, and barometer pressure over time. So one can see the changes in pressure over time. It even predicts the next day's weather by the conditions it sees now. That's pretty cool.
Kathy gave John a baby listening kit, where you can both listen and talk to the kid through a speaker set in a belt. The listening is done through earphones and a listener, and John and I were sitting at the kitchen table with the odd thing stuck to my belly. We really couldn't hear all that much and then Fezzik, for some reason, started to bark at us, pretty steadily, when the thing was on. The only thing we could figure out was that he could hear it or something, so I sat down next to Fezzik, put my earphones on him and John happily meandered about with the listener. Fezzik seemed to listen with some appreciation or something. At least he wasn't barking anymore.
When we were done with that and just watching TV, Fezzik started barking at us again, this time with an eye towards the kitchen door. If there was any doubt that we might be able to pick up non-verbal clues, this time with Fezzik really seems to have honed our ability to read Fezzik's non-verbal clues. The baby's will be entirely different, but at least we have a good idea that we might be able to figure them out. I lifted his back end, while John got the door and he went for the kitchen door. I put his bed out there, and he lay on that and barked at things for a while and eventually ended up on the lawn, barking at stuff, I guess. He seemed to be content with that. I wonder if he was telling the neighborhood dogs what weird stuff he'd been hearing...
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