coronavirus schedule conflict
Thursday, April 30 2020
During this pandemic, it's rare to have any scheduling conflicts, but today I had one. In a Google Hangout, the Ukrainians were going to be demoing the progress they've made on the application Alex and I have been loosely guiding their development of. Meanwhile, Gretchen had scheduled the final walkthrough for our Wall Street house, which would be changing tenants today. That's the house where we had a tenant suddenly chickened out about moving in a pandemic the day after giving us notice of her intent to do so (causing Gretchen to immediately, within hours, secure a replacement). This had resulted in some heated phone calls and a tense exchange of emails, some with increasingly-threatening legalistic language. But in the end, the tenantzilla decided not to fight us.
I was around for just the initial part of the Ukrainian demo, seeing the part where users are administered, and then it was already time to drive to the Wall Street walk-through. On the drive over (in our new Nissan Leaf) I was trying to join the Ukrainian hangout on my phone, but evidently there is something wrong with its cellular radio, because it couldn't make a connection. I banged it against my knee at one point and it suddenly acted like it was receiving data, but then it immediately crapped out again. Gretchen chuckled about the utility of a phone one is forced to bang against hard surfaces.
We arrived at Wall Street in the rain, and both departing tenants were present. Before getting out of our car, we put on both masks and gloves just to make a proper show of pandemic theatre. The tenantzilla had been the skinny American tenant, and today she wasn't particularly talkative, but she was perfectly polite. The other tenant (a French woman whose purchase of a house let to their departure) was as friendly and talkative as ever. I thought we'd just be in, look around, and be out. But no, we stayed long enough for me, waiting out in the car, to have to cross Wall Street and piss into the hedge separating George Washington School (now shuttered) from Hudson Valley Senior Residence. The departing tenants had left the house in immaculate shape, and even removed the raised-bed garden from the front yard.
When we made it back to our house on Hurley Mountain, the Ukrainians were still doing their demo, and my muted presence was still in attendance. I soon chimed in to make a comment, just to see if anyone would react with something like, "Oh! There he is! Where were you?" But nobody did. I'd actually told my boss Alex that I'd be sneaking out to run an errand mid-demo, but it seems I could've gotten away without telling anyone.
This evening Gretchen got a call from the Wall Street house's new tenant while she was making cookies, so I helped her finish balling up the batter to put on cookie sheets so she could drive out to the house and deliver the keys. While she was there, she attempted to fix the long-problematic doorknob on the house's front door, and this left the door un-openable. That wouldn't've been such a problem a group of movers not been en route to the house with a delivery of furniture, and the new tenant was worried about how seriously these movers had taken the coronavirus pandemic. They'd been working without masks and when she'd asked them something about it, they'd seemed shockingly ignorant. So she wanted the delivery to go as quickly as possible, something that couldn't really happen unless the front door could be opened.
So, after Gretchen got home, I drove the Nissan Leaf back out to the Wall Street house. I brought the six-foot step ladder so I could clean out a clogged back gutter; amazingly, I was able to fit it completely inside the Leaf. I said hello to the new tenant at the back door and was immediately greeted by a headache-inducing cacaphony of barking from the tenants' two tiny dogs. Their names were Jason and John, and they were never off-leash, not even in the house.
I turned my attention to the front door, where it seemed like a deadbolt had been closed. But nobody had any key that fit its keyhole. I was able to remove that deadbolt from the inside the door, and only then did I realize that the door was being held shut by another deadbolt, one whose brass handle had come off with the doorknob's so-called "rose" (the plate the doorknob spindle protrudes from). Putting all that back together, I was able to restore nearly all of the door's functionality. I also used a drill to deepen the little pit in the side of the spindle that the doorknob's set-screw is supposed to push into. The only problem was securing the top end of the rose plate; the screw I had was too long and thin. I tried scavenging one from some of the equipment in the basement, but I couldn't find anything quite right. Still, I'd fixed the door enough to give access to coronavirus-ignorant movers.
A hawk, which I think to be a red shouldered hawk, along the Farm Road this afternoon.
I think he or she has a nest because I've seen him or her in the same area multiple times.
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