Bulk update

Lastlastlast week JR, Matt, HAL and I went rock climbing at MetroRock in Everett, kind of like a meta-birthday party. This was fun. I haven’t done any serious climbing since high school, and had to relearn all the knots, etc. Here at least they believed in actual fabricated harnesses; we didn’t have to go all retro and tie our own out of seat belt material (yes, it can and has been done, go LTHS). Also, did some hanging out with Kr*, who amazingly hasn’t thrown me to the curb yet ;), and (re-)discovered the suck that is the Green Line. I thought it would be better than the suck of trying to find parking near BC, but I guess not really. My train got delayed by half an hour by a Medical Emergency at the next station. For a while visions of a tattoo-clad SuicideGirl throwing herself in front of a train wandered in my head, but after a while of sitting in the train with nothing much to do except chat with the driver, it was found that an old lady slipped and fell on the train one station ahead of us. Apparently, when this happens, by MBTA policy everything must grind to a halt, stopping trains until both paramedics and MBTA officials and a replacement driver arrive on the scene. Yes, even if some crack-addled nutjob hurts himself rolling down the aisles and beaning himself at the end of the car, you’ll find the hapless driver in the fishbowl of Park Street(?) getting an interrogation and drug test, because of the very slim but nonzero possiblility that the accident can be blamed on the driver (e.g. old lady fell because he hit the gas too fast). Yeah, I’m pretty glad that my biggest worries at work are Mechies or magazine salesmen harassing me while I’m trying to get actual Stuff done.

We also celebrated the waning summer with a big BBQ of uber-thick cuts of beef (or beef tatake, as I “cook” ’em ;) and a Costco of slow-cooked pork ribs. Of course lacking any sort of furniture to accommodate this many people, I ghettoed something together. The seating was mostly milk crates and two collapsible chairs; this posh dining table is an old trash-rescued closet door with its hinges resting on a trash barrel on either end. But the ribs and sides were tasty :-) Including a pretty good Aunt Token’s Cornbread and Kr*’s kick-ass potato salad. There was a mild scare when the oven decided to hold the ribs hostage! There’s this little lever that locks the door shut, which I thought was for just locking the door shut while you cook (the oven’s old and the door doesn’t close as fully as it probably should, unless the lock lever is pulled). Apparently though, this is probably meant to go with the self-cleaning feature (where it heats up to solar-flare temperatures and literally vaporizes any accumulated cruft), and, when engaged, has some thermally-activated mechanism that locks the door closed until the oven cools off. Luckily we were slow-cooking the ribs at low temperature, so it didn’t take that long for the oven to cool off a bit and they didn’t mind an extra 15 minutes or so in there. The door unlocked while we were in the middle of disassembling the top of the oven to get at the thermal latch and disable it (which is still a good idea, see my past rants on gadgets overriding their owners’ decisions).

Zipped off on short notice to Roanoke to do some testing, as mentioned here. Turns out I didn’t get steel-toe shitkickers, but plenty of G-W swag instead (rotating mint project enclosure! Plus a free hat, tire pressure gauge and a huge tin of VA’s finest peanuts. The testing went much smoother than I had anticipated, given previous experiences, and I can now say I’ve ridden in the engine cab of a rolling locomotive. There was enough time left over to catch a nice lunch, get some reading in and play a substantial amount of Mario Kart DS. (Of course, the minute I’m back in the office production is crawling down my throat with a new CNC router emergency, but that’s a rant for another day!)

Last weekend, off to Connecticut for Kr*’s friend’s graduation party. Good times, open cooler, almost Olympic sized swimming pool in the backyard and some crazy-ass beachball volleyball.

Finally making some small progress on the house thing. We’ve got enough dinnerware to go around, and as of a couple days ago, with the help of JR and Kr*, (via the Ikea Experience) a big dining room table and chairs (plus 150XP in 2-Door Nissan Furniture Tetris :P, and enough Gorilla Glue on my hands to ensure no more Traffic Finger for the next 2 months). I even got real ambitious and cleaned about a hundred years’ dust off the crazy retro chandelier. Procedure: Unhook all the glassy bits, throw in a bucket with dish soap, turn garden hose on OMGWTFJET setting and blast the shit off them (mabye fill the bucket 1/3 and shake them around for a minute to be sure). A bunch of those little hooks come out, but they’re solid metal, so as long as your bucket isn’t ridiculously short they’ll stay around the bottom of the bucket and not get lost. Dump off all the suds and dust-water, reclaim your glass and metally bits and you’re done. Tonight JR and I (with some help from HAL and LE) ripped up the upstairs bedroom carpets, cutting them into strip rolls and taping up for the garbage man. We’ll find out next week if said garbage man will take them (old carpeting and underfoam may be considered Construction Trash and need some special dick-sucking permit). Found some critters living within, inclunding a silverfish and a couple beetles (last month during initial carpet yanking; became plant food) and a spider tonight that just got squished and rolled. Maybe the crazy apartment lady was onto something with the whole carpet thing.

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