Wednesday, June 23, 2004

A Blog To Remember
Man has it been a while. Weeks, right? Since I am not going to get any studying done on this lunch break, I might as well update my Blog. It's been so long though, that it's hard to remember where I left off. I created a timeline to help me recount these events accurately. It's been a hell of a few weeks.

You might detect a pattern here. It's a period in my life in which I will recall "things broke down". First our Sump Pump quit working. It's that little device that takes water from your basement and pumps it into the sewage line outside of your home. It prevents floods. Well, our pump started blowing the breaker. And after I took it apart I could see that it was SHOT to hell. It was very wet and rusty inside (should be completely dry and sealed).

Following that failure came the death of my dryer. It was run for a few minutes before making a horrible rattling, and would eventually come to a dead stop. At this point, you had to wait an hour or so to restart it. Pretty soon, you couldn't make it run for even five minutes. Our laundry began to pile up, and my attempts to repair the dryer were futile.

Sometime shortly thereafter, I started a Network+ course ... with one student. Normally I don't mind teaching that class. But I had just taught the very same class the week before. There's nothing like a little redundancy to keep your work interesting.

About halfway through the week, I was driving to work (I was almost there) when I put my gas pedal to the floor (and I mean the floor). Something went snap, and suddenly my pedal was laying flat, and showed no signs of springing back. Pulling off the road I could see that the cable running from my pedal to the engine compartment had snapped. I made a few calls to work, and my boss came to pick me up and drive me to work. Upon telling my student what happened he volunteered to take me to try and fix it. Not having the right tools, or parts for the job, I tried to create a make-shift cable out of electrical wire. It was a no go.

I called my wife, telling her what had happened, and we began to forumalate a plan. This was all happening on the same day that she was to see a specialist about her knee injury. My student was excited at the thought of cutting class short. So I taught for an hour, and released him. I was glad that it had happened because it gave me a chance to accompany my wife to the doctor's office. My mother came along too, because she had planned to drive my wife to the doctors in case they put a cast or a brace on her leg.

The doctors visit was ... interesting. Their waiting room seated about 8 people, in about 10 feet of space. The room was at it's capacity. Over the course of about two hours, the waiting room turned into a platform for political debate between us, a well-to-do black family, and a couple of old redneck women.

Once into the doctors office, we had a nurse come and explain that my wifes family doctor is a complete retard. He had written up a paper on the wrong knee, and sent it to their office. After another hour or so of waiting, the doctor finally came in. He was an evil little man. He reminded me a lot of an angry IT consultant. Perhaps you know the type. They come in, beat up your equipment, tell you that your current installment is hopeless, make fun of your situation, use a lot of bg words in an insulting manner, and then leave you with a bill.

So I watched as this doctor made my wife perform all sorts of painful stretching and twisting excercises before he even looked at the MRI. I'm not sure what the hell he was doing, but it obviously hurt a lot, and he made her do it anyway. He went on to tell her that "females just have bad knees", and that she should learn to live with it. He also spitefully rattled off that his wife had bad knees, as does most of his patients. Which makes sense ... seeing how he is an orthopedic doctor. His reccomendation was to skip surgery, and try physical therapy.

Walking out of the office my mother commented "You missed a golden oppertunity. You had your foot right between that little fuckers knees! You should have kicked him in his little package!". So my wife felt pretty beat up and discouraged, and we all felt pretty pissed off at the way this doctor had spoken to her. What a dick! Perhaps he had a bad day, and decided to take it out on her. Regaurdless, his advice was worthless. She has real injuries (tears and broken cartlidge), and he didn't want to do anything to help her.

On top of all this ... my car was still broken down in a parking lot of a bar near my office. So we parted ways with my mother, and since we still had the kids at my sister in laws house, we headed off to repair the bug. Through an act of God, a local foriegn parts shop actually HAD the part I needed, and once we arrived with it a few hours later I had installed the part in about 2 minutes flat.

Just before installing the part I turned to my wife and said, "I'm going to stick this in ... push it through ... bolt it down like nothin' ... and then you and I are going inside the pub for a beer". Two minutes later, we both smiled as I stood up and got the car going. As she turned to walk back to the Honda I yelled, "You thought I was joking! We're going to have a beer!". The pub, Barleys, makes it's own beer in house ... and it's GOOOOD stuff. I highly reccomend the Oatmeal Stout. Drinking a beer and enjoying each others company let us forget for a moment that my wife had been treated like shit and told to abandon hope just a few hours earlier.

So the rest of the week ended just fine. No major glitches. I was able to end my class early on Friday, and that gave me time to run to the other building and setup a class for the next week. The class I spent hours on would be a room rental for some backwoods Canadian software provider. My class would have to be prepared at home as I ran out of time. It was a quite a lot of setting up ... for another one student class.

Over the weekend I took the dryer apart only to learn that the motor was completely ruined. A new motor would cost about $100.00. A new dryer would cost about $200. A used motor ... was unavailable. We recently found a used one on eBay for $20 + Shipping. Sold! While working on the dryer, my wife ran to the hardware store and picked up a new Sump Pump for $80. I dropped it into place, and plugged it in. Naturally, it runs like a champ.

Since I still had some weekend left, I rebuilt my carbuerator on the Bug and installed new wiper blades. I also put in a new fuel filter. Otherwise, cleaning out the carb and rebuilding it seems rather fruitless. My Bug runs really great! Almost too good. I had to crank the idle WAY down.

So class this week has been all right. My student is very young, and very willing to learn which is nice. She comes from a company whose students I have had before. They are generally bored with the material, and treat the class as a vacation. It probably helps that she is attending University classes. So compared to campus instructors, I'm probably pretty entertaining. I'm not a huge fan of the material, but we are cranking though it and making good time. Being that it's A+ (which I have taught for several years now), I don't need to take any more of my time for 'prepping'. I have been able to do some studying in the evenings this week in preperation for the Windows XP exam (70-270).

And so my wife has revisited her family doctor, and yesterday she saw a specialist that he personally reccomended. This new doctor took the problem very seriously, and upon looking at her MRI scans, he saw some serious problems. He requested immediate surgery! My wife requested some more time so that I could have time to request the day off of work, and so that she would be well for the 4th of July holiday that's right around the corner. Her surgery will be July 9th. They will be doing some laproscopic (?) work on her knee. They plan on sewing down her ligaments to make the work better, remove the nasty cartlidge under her knee, and also scrape the broken stuff from behind her kneecap. It all sounds very painful, and I hope it goes off without a hitch. The doctor can't promise much of anything in the way of a plan, since they may change the plan once they get into the surgery and inspect the damage first hand.

And that brings me to ... today. Right now. Today I updated my Blog. And right now, my student is getting ready to tear apart a PC which marks the end of the Hardware portion of my A+ class. This afternoon we will start the Software side of this class and learn a bit more about Operating Systems.

Whew! I ought to update my Blog more often.

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