champagne from the back of the fridge
Tuesday, September 18 2012
At some point this morning Gretchen came into the laboratory with a happy look on her face, reminding me of the bottle of champagne we've had in the back of the refrigerator for seven or eight years waiting for the day when her book-sized manuscript of poems was accepted for publication. Evidently today was that day. Gretchen got an email from a prospective press confirming that her book would be published in 2014. In our little world, this was big news, and definitely put a bounce in Gretchen's step for the rest of the day. We decided to wait until after she gave her poetry workshop this evening to drink the champagne; days begun with a bottle of champagne tend to be somewhat unproductive.
It was relentlessly rainy today, which meant I couldn't finish work on the little greenhouse deck I'd started. It also meant that we couldn't just put Ramona out on the east deck to attend to her business. I tried hanging out with her in the garage, but evidently a watched dog never poops.
During the poetry workshop, winds and rain combined to momentarily interrupt the power. Usually when this happens, that's it, the power is out for hours. But this time it stayed on. Nevertheless, Gretchen wisely gathered up the flashlights and lanterns that would have allowed the poetry workshop to continue in darkness.
Unfortunately, the internet died when the power died but it didn't come back up. It didn't take long for me to determine that the problem was on the Verizon end of the phone line; indeed, we still had a good DSL connection. I checked the local WiFi hotspots with my rotator-mounted parabolic dish and determined that all of our neighbors (all of whom also get their internet via Verizon DSL) had the same problem. Verizon's problem was actually so fundamental that it also affected internet reception via cellphone. I tried calling Verizon to report the problem, but the ordeal of jumping through their diagnostic hoops when I knew the problem was on their end was too much to endure, so I hung up on the tech support guy (who sounded like he had years of experience working in Indian call centers).
By this point the poetry workshop had disbanded and Gretchen and I were sitting on the couch drinking that eight or nine year old champagne (technically it was Austrian "sparkling wine" and had no vintage date). It tasted a little off, like perhaps it had gone somewhat bad over the years. But that was solved by adding some concentrated cranberry juice. At some point Liza, our 19 year old student houseguest, arrived after her evening classes.
Later Gretchen went upstairs to watch teevee on the big screen while I snuggled with Ramona and watched different programming on the downstairs 13 inch Sony Trinitron. It turns out that it is possible for our DVR (a ViP 722) to simultaneously stream two separate video streams from its hard drive storage. I hadn't thought this was possible because I hadn't been able to watch separate live streams, though (since it has two satellite receivers) that should also be possible.
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