Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Waaay back, before my lapse in blogging, I got the fiat to engaged in yet another karate test. This time, however, I was to be in the good company of the Tyrannical Twins of Tang So Doo. They would be testing up for their Yellow belt and I was going to take my licks and move to the Green Belt level. Short story long, they got their belts and were able to break boards to complete the test. More or less. Alexis had a bout of stage fright that she needed to work though. In the end, the Meticulous Mrs took enough pictures as an effort to document the event so that if stacked, they would certainly reach the moon. Now that I am at the 6th GUP, I'll start to learn some staff forms. My initial attempts were comical at best. I proceeded to vitiate the form with hideous efficiency. I'll need to create a new cheat sheet and get a staff with a giant L and R printed on it so I can readily determine my left from my right. Being borderline ambidextrous can really make coordinated activities like this look as though I'm channeling the Keystone Cops. I'll be promoted to the pantheon of Bombastic Bumblers. I'll be fine so long as I do not crack myself in the brain-pan too often. Maybe I should get a Nerf staff for this.
In the work department, everything is going swimmingly. I'm now the 'go-to' guy with the new java/hibernate/eclipse/weaver/JSF development environment since I managed to survive one of the first scrum projects that the group has been involved in. On top of that, I was awarded a stock option and got a bonus for my efforts. Yes, I was about as stunned as anyone else. I'm not really used to all these incentives. On top of this, I'm being sent off for Advanced Java Methodology training over the next three days. Perhaps they think I am some sort of closet bon vivant who needs the extra incentives to keep my mind on my work. Certainly, the manor kitchen is redolent with scrumptious odors and sapid dishes roll forth like some fairy-tale magic machine borne from the imagination of the most voracious sybarite. However, I do not think that I am any manner of sordid Roman emperor who requires the most fantastic spectacles to keep me distracted. Not that I'm complaining mind you, I was just looking for an opportunity to use a lot of 25 cent words to befuddle you with my linguistic spaghetti.
On the agricultural front, the crops are coming in quite well. I do have a small infestation of cabbage caterpillars to contend with though. They are making short work of the broccoli and cabbage so I'm spending much-too-much time picking them off by hand. Jake seems to take a perverse joy in their capture as I present them for interrogation within the 'viewing chamber'. They are well fed and tenderly fawned over till it is time to go inside. After that, they are left to the magnification of the blazing sun and replaced with fresh
victims ... volunteers ... the next day. regarding the non-edible vegetation, much fertilizer and insecticide has been applied and the new key-ignition lawnmower have been in quite practical use of late. The 700 yards of mulch has been spread out across the land and a veritable quilt of blossoming beauty has covered the rolling hills of the Haupertonian empire like the sylvan setting of the Elysian Fields. We expect that the sugar snap peas will be sprinkled with fairy dust and the tomatoes will be tended by unicorns and sprites.
Quirky news: I cannot get a tankless water heater due to the exhaust requirements. Ghaaa. It's not worth the risk of having one 'illegally' installed only to have the Manor filled with carbon monoxide just to save a few coins. No, after trying and failing to find a system that will function within the realm ancient of the manor architecture, I was resigned to sticking with the retro-tech of the standard tank-bearing installation. I had planned on calling our local plumber and having him install one sometime this summer, but those plans too were pummeled by the acrimonious assault of the fickle fates. Early Monday morning ... Memorial Day ... the Mrs wakes me from a deep sleep to let me know that there are strange noises issuing forth from the utility room in basement level A17. Mind you, the Grandparental Units were down for a visit and the Twins were sufficiently distracted so I was certain that any gremlin type activity would be at it's nadir for the weekend. I lumber down to the bowels of the manor and begin my decomposition of the issue. Surely enough, the damn thing was gurgling away as if it were constantly being drained. And the floor was wet. Hrmmmm. At 0100 hours, there should be very little pull on the hot water supply so what-ever could be the issue. Oh, look at that, inside the burner compartment there appears to be a tiny rainstorm. Hmm, and the pilot light is extinguished. After a few moments, the facts coagulate and I deduce that there is a major leak going on and I should really turn off the gas and water supplies to this foundering appliance. This, of course, means no hot water for the next morning. Cold showers for everyone! I go back to bed but sleep eludes me and the ramifications of this disaster roll though my addled mind. The next day, Gramps and I head off to the Local Home Depot Temple to pick up a 40 gal tank and a connection kit for 400$ or so dollars. About 3.5 hours later, the hot water was flowing again. It should not have gone that smoothly. Some where, some time, the universe will take revenge on me for having such good fortune so I will try to lessen the blow by not taunting the fates.
Future news; we will be heading off to Minnesota at the end of next month. More on that as events unravel.
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