February 26, 2019

That's A Long Time

I can't believe I haven't written anything in The Pond for 12 days.  That never happens.  So anyway.  The weather has continued to be crappy, but nowhere near as bad at it was... only one ice/freezing rain event, for example.  Every day's forecast has been the same: flurries/light snow early, then drying during the day, then more snow/drizzle overnight.  Which really doesn't sound too awful, until you realize that it's just making sidewalks and parking lots into minefields, all set to Bouncing Betty your cane...


*ahem*  Work continues to be a royal PITA.  My numbers continue to drop, while my new boss has had to deal with me during the my worst stretch of health-related problems in years.  They've been very patient, even not throwing a fit when I walk through the door at 1130am.  Well, if they want to fire me, they've got plenty of documentation for violating attendance rules.  So that's "helped" matters immensely... maybe I'm imagining it, but I don't think so. 

And then... then there's the Health Department.  I'm still having to keep them happy with cleanup procedures around Pond Central.  This actually is the biggest stressor in my life right now, to the point where I was awake until nearly 5am this past Sunday/Monday to finish cleaning up/off/whatever the couch area in the living room.  It's right behind my computer chair, so it's a convenient place to put stuff.  That's been done since Day 1 at Pond Central, it's just that this time it hadn't been cleaned up in a few years.  At least they approved the photographs, so that's step three of that process completed.

Between the weather, work, and the WCHD, I've developed a nervous tic, a twitching of my head to the right, as if trying to get hair out of my face... which is certainly where it came from: it's been 9 months since my last haircut.

None of this is fun anymore... at least, not what I call fun.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go get ready for work in the morning.  Because what else do I do?

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February 12, 2019

The Story So Far.

In Minnesota, they have a saying... "there's only three good uses for ice: fishing, hockey, and whiskey."  They know better than to go out in a ice storm, which we had a few days ago, or when it's -35 at noon, which we had a few days ago, or the other ice storm, which I came home early to avoid driving during "rush hour."


And then as a personal "Screw You Wonderduck", I got to work the next day... and it began raining.  DELUGE-level raining.  Well, that's unfortunate, but nothing to worry about.  After all, the temps aren't supposed to begin falling until after midnight or so.  Lo and behold, the weather nabobs had gotten it wrong again.  I left work wearing just the zippered fleece sweatshirt... and it had probably gone down 20 degrees in a couple of hours, AND the wind was gusting around 30 - 40 mph.  I make it to my car despite the little frozen waves on the parking lot surface.  I unlocked the car, pulled on the door handle, and...

....nothing.  Frozen dead shut.  I tried another one, frozen shut and the door handle came off in my hand.  A few of my coworkers stopped to help, ended up losing two more door handles in the process.  I called a taxi.  That's why I didn't get home until well after 11pm, it took quite a while for the taxi to arrive... as you can imagine.  Took a taxi in the next morning, when it was like 5 degrees above zero, and the driver actually helped me get into the SUV.  Because canes and ice don't mix, boys and girls.  At work, my car was sitting in the parking lot, absorbing whatever radiant heat was coming from Our Pal The Sun  ("There is only one God, He is the Sun God. Ra!  Ra!  Ra!") and hopefully melting whatever ice was holding the doors shut.  Around 3pm, I checked, and it opened right up!  Yay.

Finished up my work around 9pm or so, gathered up my stuff, trudged in the "How fscking cold is it" temperature, unlocked me car, and the door was frozen shut.  I trudged back to the office, sat down in the break room, got another taxi from that place I used earlier in the day, they showed up around 11pm.  And then, once we make it to Pond Central, the driver gets out of the van and helps me out (big ice patch).  "Do you want help the rest of the way sir?"  "Sure.  Or you can get back inside the van where it's warm and watch me... that way, I won't die alone."  He laughed, and got me through the Khumbu Icefall.  Yeah, these guys are getting my business from now on.

I chat with Ph.Duck, he'll come out and pick me up for a run to get the unlocked car Saturday morning... at which time I wake up and discover that I am feverish, headachy, very very tired, etc.  So he got it taken care of for me, while I stayed sick Sunday and Monday... and, really, today too.  I didn't get in until 1130am, fever is gone, but now there's signs of a cough building.

It's been one thing after another after another after another for weeks now, and I'm quite stressed.  I'm still functioning, which impresses the hell out of me, because I think I should be hiding under my bed.  Tomorrow is another day.

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February 11, 2019

Alive. Nominally Functional.

Details will follow if I can get them written in my free time.  Because there's quite nothing like getting home from work around 11pm for a few days straight.

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February 02, 2019

Of Work And Weather And Wonderduck Too

Even for the way 2019 has been going thus far, the past week deserves special notice.  To start with, it began to snow Sunday afternoon.  And it didn't stop until mid-morning on Monday.  The weather nabobs suggested we got five or more inches... and I'd agree, if you go with the "or more" part.  


Amusingly, Pond Central's parking lot was in horrible condition... there was some evidence that a plowtruck had come through, but may not have had its blade down... but the Duckmobile was almost totally clear of snow.  No question about going to work, probably could have made it... or maybe not.  Weather nabobs were later saying that Duckford's squadron of snow removal equipment had been badly surprised by the intensity of the snowfall and even major roads had yet to be attended to.  Soon enough, I came to the decision to not risk it and just call in.  Apparently, many people did the same and the office was kinda empty.

Tuesday was chilly, with the forecast calling for record low temps overnight through Thursday.  We'll see.  Got in the Duckmobile, started it up, got my stuff in place (two canes make walking easier, but they're clumsy as hell to put away), and the RPMs slowly died to zero.  Hm.  To be fair, it had been cold-soaking for three days... or maybe it needed oil.  Either way, it started on the second try and kept running.  Sounded a little rough, but when it's cold it always does.  By the time I made it to work, everything seemed fine.  Crossed fingers.  The day at work was... it left something to be desired.  The claims weren't great, but worst of all was my chair.  It was causing me quite a bit of pain... pain that had nothing to do with my leg injury.

See, once it became obvious that I couldn't sleep in my bed, I took up sleepytime residence in a once-comfy wing chair in the living room.  For just a few days short of a month, my days would be spent sitting at work, then coming home and sitting in front of my computer, then sleeping in a chair, then repeat.  I don't know that I've got saddlesores on the back of my legs right where they meet my duckbutt, but there's something back there that'll do until the real thing comes along.  Indeed, that's part of the reason I haven't been blogging much... it's hard to sit at my desk without those hurtin' bad.  The good news is now that I've returned to sleeping lying down, they're starting to not hurt as much.  Anyway....

...leaving work on Tuesday night was something of a shock.  Yes, I know it's going to be cold soon, but I didn't expect there to have been so fast a change in temps. When I got to work, it was rather comfortable.  Leaving work?  Cold, approaching zero in a hurry.  In a surprise manuever however, The Powers That Be at work acknowledged that it was going to be stupidcold the next couple of days, and gave us permission to work from home.  Well!  Cool.  It'll make the morning commute faster, that's for sure.

Wednesday morning my internet connection was dead.  On the plus side, it wasn't just me but a large portion of southeast Duckford, as part of the fiber optic backbone had just up and died, probably from hypothermia.  While it would come back, it wouldn't be until 8pm or so.  So now, instead of working from home, I had to take PTO for the second time that week... and, as it turned out, I didn't have enough to cover both days.  I'm literally not getting paid for one of them.  Wednesday was cold, with a high of -13F.  Thursday was worse.  The low for Thursday was -37F, the coldest Duckford had ever been, period.  Go outside?  Me?  Man, screw that noise.  I had an internet hookup, I could do work!

Friday morning, it turned out that, indeed, it was still assfugly cold (-9F at 9am).  I hobbled my way to the car, got in, cranked it up, and... coughsputtersputter.  Tried again... putting it in gear helped not at all.  Right.  Oil it was, then.  I started her up one more time, hit the gas in reverse, and popped out of my snow-covered spot.  At which point, she died.  Okay, at least I can access the front of the car now.  I then proceeded to put a quart of oil (all I had) into the car... with bare hands... when it was nine degrees below zero.  By the time I had everything buttoned back up, I couldn't feel my fingers... I later found out that the wind chill was -20 at the time.  Started her up one more time, and... presto!  Quieter running, no stalling, problem "solved", at least for the time being.  And it's supposed to be warmer on Monday, so I can drop some more oil in without my hands turning black.

By the way... unexpected problem has cropped up with my canes: they're metal.  Even just driving to work gets them nearly too cold to touch.  Which, considering their job and everything, is unfortunate.

So, my conclusion regarding this week?  

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