I brought this up in 2005 and I think it bears repeating, especially as I hear it more and more from insanely intelligent people I work with on a daily basis: Please quit using the phrase “your guys’s” in any context or situation possible. e.g., “I want to send your guys’s information via email.” FUCK YOU. I’m currently sitting in an Asana training course and the woman leading the session has used it twice in five minutes. I might have to murder someone; it’s like someone is shoving a chainsaw in my ear.
Thanksgiving morning is here, and this is the first year in a long time that we’re not with family. Finn started with a cold early last week and coughed on Jen several times; this developed into COVID, which was helpfully confirmed by a note from the school two days after we quarantined Finn. Thanks for that speedy notification, guys. They’ve both been squirreled away in separate bedrooms since last Thursday, depending on Captain Chaos here to keep them fed. Overall it’s been OK; Finn seems to be on the mend but Jen lost her sense of taste and smell several days ago and keeps spiking a fever, so there’s no end in sight for her. I’ve been running up and down the stairs and washing my hands constantly trying to avoid the ‘Rona again—we’ve all been boosted, but ‘Rona don’t care—hopefully at least Finn can join me today for a Thanksgiving feast downstairs.
I’ve cooked many a turkey dinner myself over the years, starting in 1996 when I’d bought my house in Canton, but I had no desire to do it this year. Wisely I punted and ordered a dinner for 4 from the restaurant down the street where we get coffee and breakfast. It’s all packed neatly in the IH fridge in the garage waiting to be heated and served. Running errands yesterday, I stumbled upon two 12-packs of Founder’s All-Day Hazy IPA, something I’ve only seen once before. I drink their regular All-Day, well, regularly, but this is only made in small batches so it’s wise to jump on when you see it. I hemmed and hawed and then bought the only two cases they had, feeling smug with myself.
With the spare time I had at the end of the day Tuesday, I finally got off my ass and did something with some designs I’d built last year: I put up ten Scout shirt designs on Threadless, announced it through Instagram, and pointed it back to the Old Line State Binders site I’ve had live for a year but never done anything with. The legalities of using the IH logo are tricky, and I don’t want to make anyone mad, so I’m not using it or the logo script anywhere. I’ve been nervous about sharing these but I figure what the hell; I’m not doing anything else with them and it’s about time they made me a little money. I’ve made a couple of orders already; we’ll see if anything happens. Now that I’ve begun, I’ve got some ideas for other shirts in the works.
Update 5PM: Finn is officially clear, but Jen is still positive. We busted into our premade holiday meal and everyone demolished their plates; the only thing that went untouched was something called “sauerkraut with apples”, which smelled about as bad as you might imagine from that description.
Saturday was almost 70˚ here in Maryland, a rare treat for November, and the last warm day forecasted for a while. So I got outside and made the most of it. The first task of the day was to help move frozen turkeys from our church to another one down the street for their Thanksgiving food giveaway. I got the Scout gassed up, bought some coffee, and pulled up to the house behind the church just in time to throw 15 frozen birds in the back. The destination church was the one we volunteered at last year, spending the whole morning to help sort and organize meals in bags and then hand them out as cars drove through the parking lot. This year they’d presorted everything so I dropped the birds off and wished everyone a happy holiday; they had things well in hand without me getting in the way.
From there I stopped at home to see the girls, and then loaded the truck up with the girl, the dog, and a load of crap for the dump. After pitching a bunch of garbage, we stopped at the bakery up the street for donuts, then hit the Home Depot for a ceiling fan to be installed in the hallway upstairs.
I didn’t want to miss out on the weather, so I went out to the garage and started organizing. Years ago, when we were trying to insulate the front porch, I wound up with about thirty sheets of unfaced insulation that I couldn’t use elsewhere so I stored it up in the attic of the garage. I’ve been meaning to get up there and clean it out for years, but working with insulation is one of my least favorite jobs so I’ve been putting it off. I’m also at the point where my available space in the garage is at its lowest point ever, so something had to give. With mask and gloves I pulled all the bales down and bagged them up for disposal, then hauled both Scout windshields, the spare gas tank, and several other bulky items up and out of the way. I have to go up and organize things better, but it’s a good start and it frees up a lot of space on the floor.
Before the sun went down, I threw the breaker for the vestigial knob-and-tube wires on the second floor and disassembled the ceiling fan left over from the Doctor’s ownership. When I repainted the hallway up there last summer I hit it with the ladder and cracked one of the blades; no great loss there. The new fan is a three-blade unit with a remote control but the genius engineers didn’t build the remote circuitry inside the fan housing—it’s a separate box that gets wired in between the fan and the power line. Because this house is 100 years old and it’s all plaster and lathe, I have no way of stuffing the box up into the eaves without doing major surgery, something I’d like to avoid for now. So it’s hung and wired until I can get back up there in more daylight and cut a fucking hole in my ceiling to make it work properly.
The plan for this Sunday was to clear a bunch of small items off the to-do list; thankfully the weather was sunny so it wasn’t a chilly chore day. We started out with a walk downtown for coffee and empanadas with Hazel, who had been denied a morning walk for multiple reasons most of the week. After pulling the Scout out and taking care of some business there, I culled through a bunch of old computer and electronic gear to figure out what needs to go and what can stay. Then I replaced the taillight bulb in the Accord, which attracted a cop and a repair order last week, and put the storm windows in on the porch. Pretty standard stuff. I’m trying to be OK with a slow day because yesterday I drove down to Bob’s house to continue work on the upstairs hallway, where the rest of the wallpaper needed to come down and I had to smooth out the giant canyons in the drywall left behind. Between the gallons of wallpaper paste used and the temperature Bob had his thermostat set at, I was dehydrated and sore by the time I was ready to leave.
I went in and got my dual booster/flu shot yesterday afternoon, after weeks of thinking about it, putting it off, and getting mad at myself for having procrastinated. My flu shot is in the left arm, and the booster is in the right, so I fully suspect I’ll be unable to eat food with my own arms tomorrow and possibly down with a reaction. We’ll see how I respond to the double-whammy.
Update: 99 degree fever and a headache. I’m sitting in on some meetings from bed but feeling pretty lousy.
Three years into COVID, I remain thankful we bought this house and rehabbed the front porch into a home office; I would have gone crazy working from the dining room table for this long. One slight drawback to this room is that it was built from an outdoor porch, and despite all of my efforts to weatherproof and insulate it, it remains about 5˚ cooler than the rest of the house. As a human being who is always cold, this sucks for me in the wintertime. As a result, I’ve spent the last couple of days wearing a pair of sweats Jen got for me last Christmas. They’re black and are lined with faux-sheepskin fleece, so they keep my legs warm at all times. I think I need to go back to Amazon and order five more pair: If I keep wearing these every day they’re going to stand up on their own.
© 2022 Bill Dugan