Fishin' Accomplished

On Memorial Day, my dad and I took Sam up to a lake for his first real fishing experience. And on his first cast, he caught this little guy:

[caption id="attachment_1838" align="aligncenter" width="523" caption="I defy you to find a more patriotic image than this."][/caption]




In the end that was the only fish we took home. There were tons of little fish biting, but they were too small to keep. Still, our goal was to get Sam a fish, so that was accomplished.

Now, here’s another funny story. Katie had a rough experience at the grocery store on Friday. She locked Allison in the car in the parking lot, but fortunately an off-duty policeman helped her unlock the door. Then, when she got home, she saw that a gallon of milk had broken open and spilled all over the trunk. When I got home, she told me what had happened and said that she had cleaned it up as best she could. Knowing her superhuman cleaning abilities, I didn’t think about it much anymore. The car smelled bad, but I figured it would go away.

Then on Sunday we had some friends over for dinner, and we were outside talking when all of a sudden I realized that there was a problem. I opened the trunk and found that Katie hadn’t thought about the spare tire compartment. I opened it up and found a lovely little reservoir of two-day-old milk that would have rotted throughout the summer. But we eventually managed to get that cleaned up as well, and now I’m hoping the smell won’t last forever.

Rattle Stomp Rattle

I have a very comfortable pair of shoes that I wear even though they have gotten a bit old and ragged. The heels have worn down to the point at which rocks can get into those little air pockets in the sole:

The weird thing is that rocks get into your shoe that are way bigger than the little holes should ever be able to accommodate. But they rattle all around when I walk, making it sound like I'm carrying a ton of Yapese change. So the only way to get them out is to enlarge the holes even more, allowing yet more rocks to get in. It truly is a vicious cycle.

Schadenfreude

I'm not looking up the spelling to see if it's correct. But sometimes it’s fun to take pleasure in others’ misery. What I really want to see, just once, is one of the people driving like an idiot on the freeway every day actually get pulled over. I've never seen it yet. Or how about someone I know, whom I overheard talking about how easy it is to know where the police will be, and how he can’t understand how anyone gets pulled over? Can’t he get pulled over, please?

But that’s my thing. What kind of misery would you like to see others suffer?

You Snooze, You Lose

I woke up at 6:20 this morning, decided "Nope," and set my alarm for 20 minutes later. Then I had a dream in which I lost Allison in a huge, crowded church building and was running around frantically, trying to find her. I was even crying in the dream. Everyone else was being spectacularly unhelpful, and finally I went into the women's bathroom (which was an enormous open room in which the stalls lines the wall and had velvet curtains instead of doors), and she was in there, just fine.

The lesson here is that the snooze button is dangerous.

Too Tired to Think of a Title

I feel like I've been complaining a lot lately. So let's get started.

Last weekend we went down to southern Utah for the wedding of Katie's sister. On Friday we packed up the car, got in and... the car wouldn't start. Eventually we sorted out that the battery had been drained the night before, when Katie had the doors open for a long time vacuuming it. So I got it  jump-started it, and we were off.

Everything went fine until that night, when we finally got the kids to sleep in the motel room (which is always a challenge). I didn't get much sleep because I was in the bed with Allison, and she rolled around all night. In addition, there was a screaming baby in the room next to us that was apparently up all night too. The next day we discovered that it was in fact screaming triplets. And the people kept their door open all morning to more effectively share the joy with the world.

The wedding itself went fine, and they had a nice outdoor reception with beautiful weather. But that day Sam's ear started hurting, and by that evening it was really causing him problems. We got about an hour of sleep before he woke up screaming. We had dosed him with acetaminophen before bed, and not enough time had passed to give him more, so after being up for a while I eventually had to make a pharmacy run at about 2:30 for some ibuprofen. After that we managed another 3 hours or so, until he was up screaming again.

And so Mother's Day dawned with us even more tired. We rushed to get checked out of our room, and finally found an Instacare that was open. The doctor saw how bad his ear infection was (it in fact started draining that morning) and prescribed a couple of antibiotics and Tylenol with codeine. The pharmacy down there was unable to get our insurance to work, so I paid the cash price for the Tylenol, figuring we could fill the antibiotic later in  the day near home.

We said goodbye to the family and headed north again, until we had a tire blow out on the freeway about 25 miles away from Beaver. (The funny thing was, I had been feeling pessimistic earlier and had told Katie that I was sure the car would break down.) So I got to change a tire on the freeway with the cars whizzing by a couple feet from me. (It was one of the 80 mph test areas, naturally. And I learned something interesting. You know how they say when you're up high you should avoid looking down? Well, don't look back at freeway traffic speeding by your head, either.) The spare tire got us to the shop in Beaver minutes before they closed (shout-out to Katie's brother Carlin, who made some calls and found an open shop while I changed the tire). $400 later (another of the tires was close to going, and it had a nail in it too) we were on our way again.

We had planned to go up to Salt Lake for dinner with my parents, but it was 8:00 before we got to Lehi, so that wasn't going to happen. And neither was the last pharmacy run for Sam, which will have to wait for tomorrow. And now I'm going to bed.

I'm torn between gratitude that we survived, and frustration at how generally crappy the weekend was. I think I'll go the "let's forget this experience ever happened, and never speak of it again" route.

A couple other details I forgot: The tire blowout shredded our bumper and destroyed the brake light. On Mythbusters they showed how a tire blowout from a truck in front of you could go right through your windshield and kill you. Also, Sam slept all day in the car, so he wasn't tired at bedtime. Katie very kindly allowed me to go to bed so I could get up for work this morning (insert comment about how terrible I am for allowing her to do that on Mother's Day).

A Toadal Surprise

We spent the weekend in southern Utah, because Katie's sister got married. In the sprinkler valve box at her parents' house, we found a little surprise.

None of the pictures I took turned out very clear, but this is a little toad. It was a cute, fat little thing.


And another cute, fat little thing:

Oh, I'm just kidding. But it made for a nice segue.

Wait, Wait, Wait

One of the advantages of getting a bit older is that waiting a few weeks for something doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Even 7 or 8 years ago, if I had to wait for something, it was a horrible, long ordeal. And now, while I can’t say I am 100% patient and calm, it’s less of a big deal. Possibly because my memory is also less sharp than it once was, so it’s easier to forget that I’m waiting for something anyway.

Also, when I was a teenager my friends told me I sounded like a duck when I said, "Wait, wait, wait."

Saturday Is a Special Day

Are you ready to laugh? At me, I mean.

Last year I got our sprinklers all in, except for our little flower bed in the front. I had stubbed it with a pipe so all I needed to add was a drip line for the plants. Then this spring I decided that I needed an extra part to make it work (a pressure reducer, if you care, so all that pressure going through one tiny area wouldn’t blow out the pipe). So I went and got the parts, which required several fittings to make the right pipes connect. Then on Saturday I had to dig a short distance from the flower bed from the main line and add the fittings there. I hooked everything back up, turned on the water, and… nothing happened. I realized that I had left the valve closed at the main box. I went back to open it and discovered that I had put the pressure reducer on that end of the line last year. So I wasted the money on the parts, I wasted the time on the digging, and then the drip line didn’t seem to be working anyway.

I called my dad, and he suggested that having the extra pressure reducer on the line was maybe making the pressure too low for the water to bleed out of the drip line. So I cut it off and hooked things up again. Still no dice. I knew it had water in the line, but nothing was happening. After some discussion with neighbors, it appears that line doesn’t actually drip the water, but you have to add some little drip lines or whatever right at the location of the plants themselves, for things to work (this was not explained by the guys who sold me the parts). So in the end I bought parts I didn’t need, wasted time hooking them up, and then didn’t even get the parts that I did need. And it was all done on the day I was supposed to be running the marathon but couldn’t because I messed up my knee. Happy day!

Get Rich Quick

Okay, in terms of "the good of humanity" and all that, it's important to cure diseases like cancer. But if you want to help improve the quality of life for a larger portion of the population, and invigorate the economy, someone please figure out a way to safely tranquilize children at night. Whoever does that will become a billionaire overnight, I guarantee.