Robert (Bro. Pepper-spray of Reasoned Discussion) (montecristo) wrote,
Robert (Bro. Pepper-spray of Reasoned Discussion)

Altered States Serendipity

It's been a fairly cool spring so far. Where is all of that supposed global warming? I'm not complaining though, for what it's worth. I'm happy enough not enduring a heat wave especially before I get the air conditioning installed in the house.

Shannon and I were talking about allusion and watching the old A-Ha video for "Take On Me" and I pointed out that the end of the music video was an allusion to a scene in a 1980 movie called "Altered States" In an amazingly funny coincidence, we were rooting around in the bargain DVD movie bin at the grocery a day later we found that very movie. How weird. It was the last copy of it in the bin. I just finished watching it again. It is as weird and crazy as I remembered.

It's been an interesting week. I'm trying to wrap up some upgrades on the M-Series Switch Control for the Toronto office. It's been a bear. It's complicated, poorly documented, and an archaic design. It's thrown me a few curve balls and the thing is late. Fortunately, I believe I am on top of it now and I am beginning the tedious work of testing and building a release and installation package for the software. This job keeps stretching my brains, which is one of the reasons I enjoy doing it.

Just before the start of last week, the landlady called and wanted to bring her mother and her mother's boyfriend, both of whom have construction experience, over to look at the house. She's planning all kinds of upgrades and improvements and repairs. I tried to talk her into coming next week but her mother was going to be out of town, so I relented. I spent much of the hours not at work last week cleaning up the house and getting it presentable for viewing. I took last Friday off and even went and picked up Shannon from Sacramento on Wednesday night to help me put things in order. She stayed until Sunday. Shannon did a fantastic job. Between the two of us, the place looks better, inside and out, than it has in years. The landlady did not seem displeased, so apparently, she's happy with things here, which is good. She's arranging to do all sorts of stuff. Among the projects planned are:

  1. Replace the furnace.

  2. Replace the water chiller with central air conditioning.

  3. Re-pipe the house plumbing.

  4. Replace the driveway.

  5. Install a sprinkler system.

  6. Replace all of the window screens.

It should be a pretty interesting summer here.

Jackie moved into a new apartment last Friday. She wanted some moving help, but Shannon and I were busy at my house, walking the landlady around, answering questions and talking to contractors. Saturday, she had appointments, so we didn't see her then. On Sunday, after we'd finished our laundry we drove up and helped Jackie get settled into her new place. I'm not really sure about the neighborhood. It's renovated project housing but it's new renovation and nice. It's all gated and Jackie's apartment is small but roomy enough for her and Xander. Xander has his own room. We went shopping and Jackie picked out a bunch of supplies and essentials. At the end of the day, we went to Hometown Buffet and gorged. Heh. I'd never eaten there before. The food's not bad.

To top everything off, the car has decided to have a breakdown...right in time for a smog check and registration time. Apparently the catalytic converter has become gummed up and it's backing exhaust gases into the engine. This means no power to accelerate or go up hills. That's going to be not a small repair bill. Actually, I'm going to have to trade the thing for a newer machine in sooner or later. It's a 2002 model and it has 280 thousand miles on it. It's been surprisingly reliable and low maintenance in the years I've had it but I don't suspect that there's a lot of life left in the car without getting into some expensive work. I've got to get shopping and taking stock of my options. I haven't bought a new machine in years.

Tags: family and friends, movies, reminiscence

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