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Murph’s back!

I’ll explain Murphy later. In short he’s my guardian angel. But he’s more like a guardian pixie. He likes to humble me through bizarre life lessons. He also likes to screw with me. For instance, this weekend I bought a 11.4cm x 8.2cm notebook to carry with me at all times. When I have a thought that I don’t seen to Jott, I write it in the book. It becomes an ongoing list of things I won’t forget. A notebook like this quickly becomes invaluable. When it is not on my person, it lives to the left of my keyboard. That’s it. It’s either beside my keyboard or on my body; except right now! Right now I have no clue where it is and I need the gd thing right now! There is too much at stake right now in my life to have little distractions like this messing with me.

Last night I did a massive cleaning on my office which implies the notebook could have been moved but it was. I know didn’t move it and I’ve looked everywhere that it might have landed. Everytime I try to implement a system to reorganize my life, someone or something tears it to shreds. Guess this 3 day experiment failed. Back to RTM and Jott I suppose.

Update: The child sized notebook apparently walked by itself into a child’s room and was quickly discovered after I offered to do the finder’s chores today. I think I just taught my children embezzlement.

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Of Being Dad

My life is written like a sitcom. Today is critically important that I be working on a client’s project so I am trying to get the children out of the house as quickly as possible and they are moving slower than ever! Amy likes the Dannables yogurts in her lunch. Yesterday we had about 6 of these in the fridge. This morning none! All the jellos and snacks I normally put in her lunch are raided and of course I’d already cooked her hot dog so telling her to buy lunch today really wasn’t an option. I suppose the dogs would have enjoyed the hot dog. I decide to send money so she can buy milk and I decide on raisins. Raisins, we all know, stick together in the box. So before opening the box I shake it vigorously. Apparently the previous raisin eater did not secure the cap so raisins went flying all over the kitchen. I suppose Murphy is trying to tell me to lighten up and not be so stressed over today.

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Hit from behind

We were on Lyons View Rd, where the wealthy houses are, and a garden truck backs into the road with the aid of a home owner motioning to stop traffic. I’m not going to drive through that large truck nor race around the back of it so I slow to a stop only to heard the dreaded squeal of tires. Some college girl decides she wants to park in the back of our van instead of the parking garage at the mall where she was heading. So much for the joyously good mood I was in. When I heard the tires I released the brake and accelerated a little so the impact was minor. I’m sure we will be sore and I am worried about the children but we turned down the ambulance and have decided not to see the doctors. The bumper hangs a little lower on the back right corner but it is almost unnoticeable. I heard the squeal. I just couldn’t find her in the rear view mirror. Something was wrong. I should have been able to see this coming and move out of the way!

She couldn't stopDamage not really noticableHe backs into her doorThe Benz made this dent in her car

We pulled into the Cherokee Bigotry Club because state law says if no one is hurt we clear the scene. Their big parking lot made sense. I point at some damage on her car and she says, "that’s from a different one." While waiting for the police to show up, a Mercedes Benz backs into the driver’s door of the college girl. That’s when I started looking for the cameras because surely this was a joke! After waiting a bit, the old guy in the Benz who owns a construction company doing work at the country club lectured us about being on private property and drove off. I took a moment to give him a few lecturing words of my own before he drove away.

Dammit. Now I have to spend the next 5 years berating myself and trying to figure out what I could have done differently to prevent this!

Update: I should add that when I called non-emergency I got no answer so I had to use 911 which the automated system put me on hold.

Update: Body shop said the bumper did its job and there is no damage to repair.

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Procrastinate and Pay

I knew the forecast. Odds were rain would come last night and I still had the driveway covered with stuff from the garage. Mother Nature had been kind to me and gave sunshine so I could get caught up on work. Throughout the day I would go to the driveway and pull in an item or two. I should have taken 20 minutes and gotten it all in. Last night, Mother Nature watered the remaining stuff. Doesn’t look like anything is damaged terribly. Will let the sun dry things today and throw away anything that took significant damage.

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No A/C Stinks

I’ve been sweating so badly in this shirt that it has started to smell like a moldy tent.

The repair man’s supplier finally came through. We will be upgraded from a 10 SEER unit to a 13 SEER.

Today, it is rare to see systems rated below SEER 9 in the United States because aging, existing units are being replaced with new, higher efficiency units. The United States now requires that residential systems manufactured after 2005 have a minimum SEER rating of 13… [Source]

I rush the estimate to our very kind insurance agent who ala Brazil cannot find my record at first then finds it offering me a Coke and, along with his Oscar winning smile, utters, "uh oh. Bad news." Hold it! When a guy has been in deadly heat for over two weeks and you have just exclaimed, "you’ve been without air for two weeks!" do not follow it with "bad news." Turns out he wrote his last check yesterday. He thought he had another checkbook but said the local claims office will have to get in touch with me and that I should hear from them within the next 24 hours. Yes, story of my life! None-the-less, I am thrilled!

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I’m sorry I stole your cat

Gray the cat

So last night I’m on the phone with the sheriff’s office when a car pulls up and a stranger approaches our house. The lady quickly approaches in tears and starts asking about our outdoor cat. She describes it in explicit details while wiping her eyes. I excuse myself and tell the officer on the phone that she can cancel the 2 week property watch I was scheduling.

Being slow on the uptake, and after hearing several sobbing, "I’m sorry"s, I prepare myself for the words, "I killed your cat." Of course, had I remembered why I was talking to the sheriff’s office in the first place, the story would have been instantly clear to me. See, 15 minutes prior (roughly 11pm), Tommy calmly came downstairs and told me, "someone just came up to our porch, crouched down like they were sneaking, then saw me through the window and ran back to their car and drove off." I start thinking that maybe talking to Say Uncle about improving our home arsenal would be a good idea. I prepare myself for the worse and walk outside expecting to see toilet paper in the trees or maybe the kids sandbox missing. I couldn’t find anything. Maybe they were scoping us out. That’s when I called the sheriff. They immediately put us on a property watch and promised a cruiser would go past the house several times in the night. But my concern was for my family’s safety while I’m incommunicado in the West Virginia mountains next week. The sheriff transfers me to another department which schedules property watches for up to two weeks. That’s when this lady approached my house. I have to say, it was comforting having an officer listening in while our conversation began.

As it turns out, one of her 10 cats went missing about two weeks ago. Her pet psychic explained that the cat was ok and still near her house. Ah! The pet psychic. That certainly explained how she was able to find a dark gray cat on a county road (ie. no street lights), on a moonless night with the porch lights turned off. She showed me a picture of her cat which was strikingly similar to my cat. Mark points out that she probably knew how to find the cat by remembering where she took the picture during a previous day.

I ponder offering to let her keep the cat but she breaks into explaining that she knew it wasn’t her cat when she got home and it started acting strange. Ok. That translates to "she start tearing things up and peeing everywhere." That would be because she’s feral, a huntress, and abhors the indoors. She literally would rather be out in a tornado than come into the house (that’s a real example!).

I’m sure the cat was in her trunk and she was just going to release it but saw the porch lights on and knew she was busted. So she offered to go get the cat and bring it back (ie. drive out of sight, get the cat out of the trunk, make a U-turn and come back). I have to say I was impressed with how she held the cat to her and didn’t get shredded into a bloody pulp. She handed her to me and I took her with extreme trepidation! This is the cat that has killed a rabbit, squirrels, and two bats. I like my arms!

I suggested that her pet psychic could still be correct and told her about the crawl space access in the abandoned house on the corner where my animals have been trapped before. She went on her way and after a little debate, I called the non-emergency number to cancel the night’s property watch and explain to the sheriff that the stolen goods had been returned.

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Just My Luck

What kind of luck do I have? It’s actually rather good luck but sometimes that is hard to keep in prospective. Murph was in rare form last night. I step away from the computer only to return to black monitors. The power is gone. I try turning on the box and reseting it and I get nothing. I finally figure out that the UPS/SurgeProtector has died died died. A fruitless search for an extra surge protector/power strip leaves me ready to go to Walmart to buy one then I cast eyes on a 3 pronged extension cord. How fortunate! So I plug the extension cord, sans surge protection, into a wall outlet and boot the computer. As the computer is coming up, the entire house goes dark. My first thought, "would the power company cut us off at midnight?!?" Two minutes later the power returns but it takes another 4 hours of troubleshooting to get my computer to actually boot.

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Because I’m a man

There comes a time everyday in a man’s life where he has to stop and ask himself, "Have I done anything to aggrivate my wife today? Should I?" Mine came a few minutes ago as I snickered and revelled at how fun a little demolition would be today. I wised up quickly and decided that I should stay focused on the project at hand which happens to be some cleaning so that I can actually get to the project at hand. However, something had to be done with the stupid energy that was built-up in preparation to do some demolition. As we know, energy must conserved so when stupid energy is generated, stupid energy must be used. So, as I ask outloud, "What’s this switch do?" I quickly remember that most of my home computer network profoundly sits on a single circuit that is connected to a light switch beside the garage door. I guess the tape keeping the switch in the on position should have been a clue. Doh.

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Being Tested

I have a guardian angel. His name is Murph. I named him after Murphy of the Law. Murphy likes to teach me things like Humilty. At 18, while driving my restored Triumph Spitfire 1500 around Memphis I passed another Spitfire that still had work to be done and I commented to myself, "one day yours will look this good." Moments later I wrecked my car. That was Murphy! He frequently tests me at the most inopportune moments. Like last night.

I have a client that I love. They don’t necessarily pay well but I find them very pleasant. I’ll be surprised if they ever work with me again. I’ve dragged what should have been a blink of the eye project on for too long.

Last night I settled in to complete their current project only to find that the washing machine discharge had popped out of the pipe and emptied an entire load into the basement. Murph in action. He helped get some things thrown out that were just taking up space in the basement being ignored. Why did he choose last night? Because I was ready to pop. My stress levels were maxed. I was spending more time fretting than doing. So Murph threw on that last straw to show that things could be worse.

To make his point, he added a punctuation mark this morning. I tried waking at 1:30am and finally rose at 4am. I was cheerful, already solved my programming problem in my head and just needed to type it out, and walked assuredly toward my desk only to simultaneously hear "squish" and feel that icky sensation as the heal of my dress shoes settled into dog poop. His message was clear. Let’s keep things in perspective and not lose our cool over the stuff life puts in our path.