Wednesday, August 26 2020
I drove to the office in Red Hook again to be a man-on-the-ground helping the tax department for crunch time. On the way in, I parked the Leaf at the Red Hook Town Hall (where they have something like six free chargers) and then walked to work carrying my laptop in one arm and a travel mug of tea in the other. It was only a little after 8:00am. The day went much like yesterday, with me solving problems as quickly as I could, periodically redeploying new versions of my tax importing software, "the Taxinator" (named after a homebrewed task management system at Mercy For Animals called "the Taskinator").
In the early afternoon, I set out in my electric scooter (which has been at the office this whole time) to pick up the Leaf and then drive to downtown Red Hook to get a burrito at Bubby's. I hadn't had a burrito there since February, before the pandemic. Things had certainly changed in the intervening months. Most of the chairs had been eliminated from the small dining room, though there were more outdoor eating opportunities on the grass across the street, where several picnic tables had been installed. The hot sauce bar was gone, though the cashier taking my order asked if I wanted hot sauce, and I said that indeed I did. The burrito cost the same as it had in the past, though it came without the big salad they used to include. I'd always found that salad strange and unnecessary, but I was also sad for it not to be there. As for the burrito itself, I could tell that it was smaller than the Bubby's burritos of the Before Times just from its weight. I waited until I was back at the office complex before eating it.
There's a picnic table under some trees on the west end of the complex, and that was where I sat down to eat my lunch. The weather was a bit cool for this time of year, so much so that I wished I was sitting in the sun. As for the burrito, it was rather different from the Bubby's burritos of old. It wasn't just that it was smaller; it had also been made differently. Instead of the usual whole black beans, it was built around a paste of refried beans that came as a bit of a disappointment. Nothing about Bubby's burritos has ever been remarkable; it was always just that they were competently assembled from reasonably-good components. I just don't know if the new refried bean paste qualifies as reasonably-good. As I ate, I read an article at Slate.com entitled "The RNC Has Already Run Out of Things to Say."
When I returned home at the end of the day, Ramona was acting very strangely, shivering from apparent discomfort and then pacing around like she was looking for a solution that couldn't be found. When she finally lay down on the carpet, I gave her a rimadyl (doggy painkiller) and covered her with a blanket. Eventually she started seeming more normal, but it spooked me (and, when she came home, Gretchen). Nothing is obviously wrong with her, but clearly something is. Oddly, though, she goes through normal phases. She'd been on her walk this morning and mined for chipmunks, and in the middle of the night last night I busted her in the yard of our dog-hating neighbor.
Later I had Gretchen help me both disassemble and reassemble the new tub's drain so I could wrap plumbers' tape around its threads. Before installing the new tape, I noticed that the threads already had some sort of compound resembling either rubber cement or clear silicone. Evidently this was the manufacturer's leak-proofing, and it hadn't worked. Happily, my new tape seemed to actually work as leak-proofing, though I'd been overly-cautious when tightening the drain's locking nut, and some slow leaks developed around that, something that was obvious after I'd taken a long leisurely bath.
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