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Montecristo Captain Quixote

montecristo

The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world


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Montecristo Captain Quixote
montecristo

Goin' into the backyard and disappear

It's been a very busy, eventful May so far. Surprisingly, May opened a bit wetter, cloudier, and chillier this year. Of course, the rain is always welcome in this state. We have to keep those crazy, desert-dwelling Los Angelenos hydrated, don't you know. The furnace was running as late as the first week of May. Fortunately, it's off now. It warmed considerably up since then. I've had the water chiller running a couple of times, coming home to an overly-toasty house. May has been acting more like March here. Fortunately, the climate has moderated over the past couple of days and we have nice spring weather now.

I've been trying to put this place in order. It's a perennial project with me. I still don't know what to do with this place. I suppose I could strip the place down to its spartan essentials and then maybe I'd get some ideas. I tend to treat my environment rather cavalierly, or perhaps lackadaisically.

The month got off to a bang. On the first, my mom broke her left shoulder — the other one, naturally. I have weird parents. They were going to go get fish sandwiches...at 1 AM. They were down in the garage when Mom got spooked by a rampaging centipede. She's such a bug-o-phobe. She lost her balance and fell, breaking her left shoulder in five places. Ever since that transient ischemic attack last year her sense of balance has gone right out the window, and she's got some osteoporosis going on as well. It's scary, the physical and mental insults with which older people have to cope. At least my parents' mental acuity is still sharp. I got a call from Dad when Mom was getting the surgery to replace the joint later in the day. Unbelievably, they kept Mom at the hospital for only a day. At the time when she fell, my dad had been driving the truck out of the garage and he became so distracted by what was going on with my mom he ran the truck into one of the walls and damaged it. I call them almost every day. Mom tells me that her shoulder still hurts like hell. I think the truck is out of the shop tomorrow.

On the second, FedEx delivered a Dell Studio 17 laptop computer, courtesy of my parents. I have better parents than I deserve, and I'm a pretty good guy, if I do say so myself. Mom was shopping and decided to jump on a bargain she saw and decided that I needed a laptop computer as well. Bless her impulsive little heart. It's a damn nice machine. I went to Frys Electronics and got a case for it, as well as a new, faster cable modem and a wireless router. I'm sitting here in my bedroom as I type this. I may come to the point where I never sit at my desktop again, since I can access its drive over the network anyway.

On the fifth, I took a vacation day and had the brake work done on the car. I also had the oil changed and the alternator and timing belts replaced before the decrepit, way overdue for replacement, timing belt broke and left me with engine damage. I tell my daughters not to play on luck. I should heed my own advice. Valve damage costs more than an overdraft fee. Fortunately for me though, I am often in a better position financially to survive my foolhardiness, and in this case, I was lucky and got the thing replaced before it disintegrated on me on the highway somewhere and royally screwed things up. Even so, the eight hundred dollars worth of car work was a nasty expense to eat this month. Ouch.

I spent the evening of the fifth supplying tech support for Dad's computer. That gets a little frustrating sometimes. For starters, he's 2500 miles away and I can't see what's going on. Also, Dad is an incorrigible tinkerer. The man is fearless and much less cautious than I would be in his shoes. Sometimes he monkeys with things on his computer that are better left until he understands more of what he's doing...but that's the way my Dad learns, by getting his hands on something and working on it. Darned Meyers-Briggs "S" types. It works for him, it's just that sometimes, he can create another new tech support problem while in the middle of attempting to fix one. I get impatient with him sometimes when trying to help him out and I feel like an asshole about it later. He doesn't deserve it, although sometimes, I think I have come to a much better understanding of how he used to get frustrated with my thinking when trying to help me with my mathematics when I was in school. We approach problems from very different perspectives. I think we respect each others competencies but sometimes we each don't act like it when dealing with the other.

That first week of the month the insomnia decided to act up. I ran a couple of nights on three hours sleep, at best. The evening of the fifth I fell asleep on the couch after talking to Dad and puttering around with my own new computer. I woke up around 2 AM from a really weird dream I can't remember except for a strangely haunting song which ran through it. The tune, which is nothing I've ever heard before, I think, is vaguely reminiscent of the style of the group, Yes. The chorus went: "Goin' into the backyard and disappear..."

On Wednesday, the sixth, Jackie called and needed some money. It was for prom and senior picture expenses. She is determined to celebrate her senior high school year, even though she technically graduated in January and has been taking college classes since then. Ah well, you only do this stuff once and I am inordinately proud of her. Dad, the lovable ATM, the only money love can buy, supplied her with what she required. She called again on the twelfth as well. This time it was for drugs — Excedrin headache pills and antibiotics the doctor had prescribed for whatever it is that has stricken everyone in the house. I wish she would learn to manage her checkbook a little better and call me before she gets an overdraft. I tried to tell her that and that she should have come to me before she got an overdraft fee and she came back with how she needed to write the check at the time and that she didn't expect another check that she had written to clear so soon. That makes my brain short out.