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October 9, 2000
two years ago
three years ago

Running Around

So the flooring guys were supposed to be here at 9. So John got us up around 7 and he finished some things while I showered. That's when we realized that they weren't coming until 9, and he'd originally thought it would be sometime after 8, around 8:30 or something. So we had a little time and no kitchen, as all the drawers and cabinets had been taped shut so that dust and stuff wouldn't get into them. No silverware, no dishes, and nothing to clean anything we might use anyway, so, pretty obviously, no breakfast and nearly no time with only half an hour, as if we went to Jeanette's eatery, it would be at least an hour.

John thought a bit and piled me into Borax and we showed up at the Erie Mall, a.k.a. the Conoco station, which had a mini-mart that had, of course, donuts and coffee. So I got two donuts and a decaf coffee, while John got real coffee and his apple fritter, and then we zoomed back to the house to wait for them for a while longer. I ate happily, Fezzik watched me closely, so I gave him some donut to eat with his breakfast. He really liked that, but completely ignored his food as he knew something was up.

Given that the main rooms of the main floor were completely different, echoingly empty in the case of the dining room, I wasn't that surprised that Fezzik knew something was up. He paced around a lot and went right through some of John's plastic, and only went faster when I yelled at him. I think he's a little upset at all the change, but not badly. Just frazzled more than unhappy. He greeted the flooring guys with his usual enthusiasm when they finally arrived at 9:30. One of the guys burbled on to me about how *huge* our dog was. The same guy also went into ecstasies on seeing the Stoat in the garage. He loved Land Rovers and was just amazed to see so many in the same place, which boded well for how our floors would be done.

The head guy talked everything through with John and I, everything they were going to do, what it was that they hoped they wouldn't do, and went through why we had to stay away and for how long and whether or not they needed heat for certain days. The whole briefing and turning over the check for the first half took well over half an hour, so we didn't get to leave until after 10. Fezzik was, therefore, delivered to his daytime home around 10:20. Debbie and Matt were kind enough to lend us their yard, and Fezzik took to it pretty well. He didn't much like the gravel, as he kept losing his hind legs there, but the grass and the porch and all the trees were all things he took to immediately. He looked pretty happy roaming about, so we left him there and went, finally, to work.

Though, once there, Bob pinged me to see if we wanted to go to KT's for lunch, early, to beat the rush. I had to laugh a little, but John agreed and so we went with Usman and James, and it was a really nice lunch outside, in the Fall sunshine. Warm enough to eat outside, cool enough to enjoy it a lot.

Once back at work, I went immediately to work assessing risk and problems and the extent of a problem I had only glanced at before. It was good to focus and I pretty much turned up, with a lot of questions for a lot of people, that my original estimate of three weeks for the one problem really was about right. And it was going to be three weeks if I'd started it today just as if I'd started it months ago. So it was possible to write the hardest problem off. It was refreshing to have Bill say, very reasonably, that it would probably be better if we did the two easier ones and had two problems fixed rather than only tackle the hard one and have nothing fixed by the real deadline.

I like that. I really, truly liked that, 'cause it really does give engineering some say in what's reasonable to do, rather than only chasing what everyone else wants done even if it's not something that's even possible.

It also relieved the worst of my anxiety about the whole thing, which, I guess, was the point of the exercise as Boss Bill understood the problem. So I only have one other problem to chase and it's actually looking mildly doable. Hoorah!

The evening was a bit of a running circus. We went to the hotel, unloaded all the stuff out of the back of Borax and then stopped by the lobby. The Homewood Suites do an evening snack kinda thing that can substitute for a dinner if you don't care what you eat so long as it's body fuel. It's paid for as part of the rent, along with a substantial breakfast buffet. Tonight was soup and salad and it was a rather noncommittal brown soup with sparse beans, vegetables, and lots of salt. The salad was just lettuce, pinkish tomatoes, croutons, and a single kind of dressing. There were also a few odd starch based salads that I didn't much like the look of, so I avoided them. It was food. Just. Good enough to fill up and get on with what we needed to do. So we ate and then zoomed over to McGuckins and got John more masking tape as he had a few areas he still needed to mask but had run out of tape. Then back to Debbie's house, where we rounded up the black Fezzik from the darkening yard, and loaded him into the back of the truck.

Then we sped home. They were only going to lay the flooring today, not do the sanding or the finishing, yet, so we were safe in the house. Fezzik came in with us, but we had to watch him really closely, as he's used to wandering wherever he wants to go. At one point he kept trying to walk on the new floor and first John blocked him and told him no, and he stayed for a bit. Then he tried again, and I told him no, but he kept going, so I yelled at him and then had to grab him when he tried to bolt for it. He looked fairly bewildered, but when I turned him around he accepted going out the front door instead of going out the back the way he wanted to go. He immediately stumbled down the stairs from the front, barked to tell the neighborhood he was there and went up onto the back porch to lie there and watch John work from outside, which was entirely acceptable. I felt a little bit bad about yelling at him, but he seemed pretty content when he finally got where he wanted to go, even if he'd wanted to go the easy route. Given that John was walking around on the new floor, I could also see why Fezzik was confused.

I whirled about doing a list of things that I'd come up with during the day, including packing for the Seattle trip because on Friday we're just not really going to be able to come into the house, still. It'll still be fumed up. Fezzik's just going to the Goodell's and we'll be taking off. When I was done, John was still moving the stove, so I went downstairs and played to another safe point in Final Fantasy VII. It's the last time I'll see the whole console until sometime next week, as I didn't really want to bring it to the hotel with us. Too much to deal with. By then it was nine at night, and we were all beat, so we went back to the hotel. We took Fezzik for a walk right when we got there and then again just before going to bed, with a lot of Monday Night Football in between. I was pretty impressed that MNF's game was really, really close.

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