Well, it HAS been a while, hasn't it.
I've missed the community of bloggy friends and daily visits and ongoing commentaries. Here's a snippet of what I've been up to, no guarantees of any sort of regularity for now... but the daily post isn't coming back for the near future. Still no computer at the apartment, and there is no shortage of overtime to be done working on real work. I was assigned a project on Friday, and asked if it was another hot job. "They're all hot," said the boss.
So, I'm here on a Saturday to try to keep up and wedge in a little post.
A cuppa two tree weeks ago I had yet another trip out east to deal with a project that hadn't died yet. We started it in '05. Final final inspection, and my presence was required. We passed with flying colors, having gotten the inspector, the GC's new personnel, our installer, and our customer all on the same page. The success was overwhelmed by spectacularly bad performance by NWA (aka Nincompoops With Airplanes) yet again. This time it was a legitimate weather problem in my destination, but still... Is it normal to load 150 passengers on an airplane, let them sit a half hour (or until it gets up to appropriate temperature to bake a cinnamon roll, whichever comes first), then unload them, then do it twice more? After that, is it normal to leave the gate to the cheers of all hardy souls who haven't made alternative plans, then sit on the tarmac for 3 hours?
Naturally, all connections were broken. I got to spend quality time in Detroit's Metro Airport again... hours' worth. That's a long-ass airport, with a train running the length of Terminal A. I went to the rebooking gates, but the line stretched all the way past the mid-terminal shops and bars. With an average of 10 minutes per customer, and at least 180 people in line, I figured it'd be better to walk home. Or rent a car, either way. I went up to the nearest gate with an agent and asked if there were any flights to Grand Rapids. He said yes, it was at gate 76 - at the end of the terminal. I finally arrived there 10 minutes later to find the gate had been changed to gate 41, right next door to the rebooking gates. At least the agent at 76 got me a seat before sending me packing again, near the front of the plane. And there was time to have a beer in the only open bar. The plane arrived, it was actually going to leave the airport, and I discovered my seat was in THE front row, 1st class. It was my only time riding with The Privileged Class (did you know 'privilege' means 'private law?' Thanks Terry Pratchett). The flight attendants are way friendlier up front, and they give you snacks and free alcohol if you want it. Even if the 26 minute flight doesn't allow beverage service in the main cabin (where the peasants ride).
One good flight out of four ain't bad... is it?
I've put 1000 miles on the motorcycle since I got it. Everyone I know who has a bike has a story of near-death experiences, but I hoped to be the exception. Last night I decided it'd be a good idea to wear a flashing neon light after a car pulled up behind me in the left-turn lane rather fast. In fact, it pulled up so fast the tires screeched as it stopped centimeters from my taillight. I forgot momentarily that the thing has an engine and tried to paddle it out of the way by foot, like an overturned turtle.
In all the experience has been awesome (nevermind the bug collection on my shirt and knees). The smell of freshly mowed hay in the morning (it's much better before it goes through cows), the subtle changes in temperature I find sailing through forested areas, and the up-close sensation of speed are immensely gratifying. So far I haven't had to ride in the rain, but I got a rain suit just in case a July blizzard pops up. Could happen here.
I'm working overnights at the local Kwikee Mart to pay the new bills. It's changed my outlook about humanity: People are gross. Folks dumping Squishees all over the place, dropping litter as soon as they go out the door, and thieves of all stripes are highly irritating to me. Not to mention lazy or careless coworkers - or manager (the guy could win a Worst Customer Service Ever Award). Although, the drunk people have been highly amusing. There are plenty every night, but especially on Thursdays. The store is at the entrance of the largest apartment complex in Michigan (around 1700 units), so the variety of humanity is stunning. Lots of regulars, but folks just passing through need their Squishee fix too. And when they get sloppy drunk and stagger around the shop, it's usually great fun for at least one of us.One couple was walking around for 20 minutes. The hippie chick was just screaming about the prices of sammiches and candy bars. She was smiling the whole time, but badgering her highly pierced guy friend about every item he touched. She sashayed around in her ragged dress and silver bangles and hemp necklaces, unsatisfied with everything but laughing at it all. Finally their last item was on the counter, and the guy announced that he was gonna turn gay. She shrugged, paid for the stuff, and they left the store. I turned to get some coffee, and I heard her peek in the door and shout, "Hey, Mr. Slurpee Man!" I looked, and she had her tank top over her head, dancing like she was collecting beads on Bourbon Street. I wasn't sure how to respond, so I gave her a friendly wave and they were gone. The hippies too. I observed that my rack is bigger, to my double dismay. More drunk people and boobie stories to come, but I must go... Won't you tell me what you've been up to in the last weekerso?