lightning, Spanish, and cowboy electricianship
Monday, May 24 2004
Gretchen's parents left this morning sometime after we'd gone off to our Spanish class. You know how the Japanese and Walmart have perfected "just in time" delivery, using the transportation system as their warehouses? Well, I've perfected "just in time" homework completion, sometimes finishing my assignments as other students are being called upon to read from theirs. This is not something that is new to me; it was a staple of my school habits back in high school (in college my habits were more, let us say, fatalistic).
My day was much more frantic and action-packed than normal. A list should suffice:
- 1:00pm: I receive a call from Julie at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. She says the barn was hit by lightning and a computer wasn't functioning. I'd planned to go to Saugerties, so I say I'll stop there on the way to see what I can do.
- 1:30pm: Buy ceiling fan extender rods for today's cowboy electrician gig.
- 2:30pm: The CAS computer doesn't respond to a replacement power supply (it's a Dell that apparently uses a standard ATX power supply), so I decide to take it with me.
- 2:45pm: Kathy (the CAS director) gives me lemonade and tells me that one of the guys in the barn was sitting on a metal chair when the lightning hit and felt the juice flow through his body.
- 3:00pm: I inspect a cowboy electrician gig in Saugerties. Ceiling fans needed at a common house in a hippie commune. Determine I can't do it today because of unexpected complications. Rescheduled for Friday.
- 3:40pm: Passing the State Police barracks on US 209 just north of downtown Hurley, I see smoke pouring from a spot in an empty field. Since it is raining at the time, I determine that the field must have just been struck by lightning.
- 4:00pm: I fill out two forms to claim rebates for purchases made from Tiger Direct. Usual cursing because of slow, crash-prone Adobe Acrobat.
- 4:45pm: By fax, I receive a contract for a new full-time remote transatlantic-transcontinental web development job I'm being hired to undertake. Sign and fax back.
- 5:00pm: Walk dogs in the woods. Remove large fallen tree from side trail using my bare hands.
- 6:00pm: Drive to Riverside Park (within the broadcast area of WGUS) and replace a motherboard in a computer running Windows XP.
- 6:30pm: Windows XP fails to boot with new motherboard. Forced to reinstall Windows.
- 7:00pm: I watch Hardball With Chris Matthews with client, who says she actually knows Chris Matthews. She also fixes me a gin and tonic and we shout anti-Bush epithets at the television.
- 7:40pm: Windows installation fails three quarters of the way through, and I am forced to reboot computer. It resumes installation gracefully, but at a point 20 minutes prior to the point at which it had crashed.
- 8:00pm: Bush gives his address to the Army War College. This time epithets can be hurled at the man himself, paper cutout though he may be.
- 8:15pm: Windows XP installation completes successfully. I collect money (cash) and go home.
- 10:20pm: Too tired to stay up, I go to bed. I put off all my Spanish homework for tomorrow. Gretchen coerces me into studying Spanish a little before I fall asleep.
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