Journal Entry: June 8, 2009

Last Thursday night we had D– over to babysit AB so T– and I could go out on a date. When we started trying to decide where to go for dinner, though, we both thought pizza sounded best, so we just ordered in and shared with D– and AB. Then he took her outside to play and we went shopping.

I’ve been looking for new short sleeve dress shirts to wear to work, and T– has been looking for maternity dresses for the summer. We hit Old Navy, then Gordman’s, then Best Buy (which was a total bust), and then Wal-Mart where T– finally found some stuff she liked. I also hit the snowcone stand for a Tiger’s Blood, and filled up the car for T–.

We got home after nine, but AB was still awake and in crisis mode. She couldn’t find her white pacifier. She had the orange one, but she needed the white one, too. We had no luck finding it, but I got her distracted enough that she finally forgot about it and fell asleep.

Friday morning I stuck around the house long enough to have breakfast with T– and AB before they got on the road. They spent the weekend down in Texas, going to my aunt’s birthday party in Houston (with a scheduled stop in Dallas to spend some time with my grandma. I stayed home and went to work.

I met D– for lunch, then in the afternoon I got a haircut, grabbed some snacks and drinks for our party, and even got started wiring the new office. We had put in network and cable connections in the old office closet to set up a distribution point for our router and cable modem. When we switched AB’s room and the office, though, it became inconvenient to have to go in there to deal with networking issues.

So my project for the weekend was to move the two existing network connections and the cable connection from the old office closet to the new one, and add a new network and cable connection on the wall in the new office. I also decided to install a new electrical outlet in the new closet, because I had much easier access to the wall in this closet than I’d had in the other one.

Friday afternoon I didn’t get much of it done, but I did find the locations for the two junction boxes in the closet and cut the holes in the wall. I also got in the attic for a few minutes to scout out the setup up there, and that was awful. I hate working in the attic.

After that I had to call it quits and get cleaned up because we had our June Poker Night scheduled to take advantage of the wives and kids being out of town (my sister took her family down to the same birthday party). We met at their house, and K–, D–, and B– joined us. N– came over for dinner, too, and they brought us Steve’s Rib, which is currently my favorite barbecue. It was awesome.

We watched some Simpsons and Family Guy, and then most of the original Batman movie, and then more Family Guy. Oh, and we played some Texas Hold ‘Em. I won out, but then B– beat me when we switched to Blackjack. Ah well. It was a fun night.

Saturday I got up around eight because I knew my plans for the day involved attic time and I wanted to get to it before it got really hot. K– came over to help out while N– went shopping for baby clothes nearby, so I put him to work on the electrical outlets while I finished setting up the network connections, then finally (and reluctantly) went up into the attic to drill a hole and feed the two new connections down the wall.

Turns out our air conditioner is situated directly over the office wall. It took me about half an hour to figure that out, searching with my fingertips under the mountains of insulation to try to find the top cap — trying to guess distances based on the paltry landmarks up there — K– finally had to come up to help and we found a spot about eight inches long in which I could place the drop. Anything to the north of that would have been in the living room, and anything to the south was trapped under hundreds of pounds of sheet metal and blower fans.

Then I finally got to do the actual work, and that only took a few minutes. I put the hole through the cap, K– went down and cut the square out of the drywall (and I could immediately see the light from the room below), and then I fed the cables down until he could pull them through into the office.

All told I spent more than an hour up in the attic, crouched and supporting my weight on the narrow edges of two-by-fours. Once I got back down into the office, it was just a matter of terminating ends, plugging them into faceplates, and cleaning up. We did about half of that, tested out all the connections we’d made (except the cable modem connection, it turned out), and then ran up to Panera to meet D– for lunch. That was about noon, and I was completely exhausted.

After lunch, though, I had plans. I’d been supposed to meet Toby for some programming last Saturday afternoon, while I was in charge of AB, but I’d postponed that because I thought she was sick and didn’t want to fight with her all afternoon. So this Saturday I got home from lunch, grabbed my laptop, and then jumped in the car to head to Norman.

It was fun. We spent the afternoon modeling furniture for a game we’re going to make AB, and while we were at it he turned on Madagascar II for the kids. I’d never seen it, so I paid about as much attention to that as to the work he was doing. Both were pretty entertaining. His wife got home around five and we had an Asian pot roast for supper that was awesome, and then Toby and I went to see Star Trek, which she’d gone to see without him earlier in the week.

It was great on a second viewing. Definitely one worth watching on the big screen. Toby really enjoyed it, too. We got back to his house around nine and spent a few more minutes talking before I headed home. I got in at about ten, totally exhausted and quite ready for bed.

Then I spent six hours playing computer games.

That wasn’t actually as accidental as it sounds. On the drive home I called D– and invited him over for some multiplayer Civ, deciding in a casual, off-hand way that I could sleep for half the day Sunday, skipping church in the process. So D– met me at the house, and we took three tries to get a game set up right, and then we were off and running.

I did discover, while I was waiting for him to prosecute a war against the Incas, that my internet connection was down. Our network connection was fine, but there was no link to the outside world. I restarted the cable modem, and then got back to the game. An hour later it finally had a connection, and that one stayed live (but weak) for the rest of the night.

I finally went to bed a little after four, looking forward to a really, really late morning.

So T– called me five hours later, discovered I was asleep, and graciously agreed to call back later. I couldn’t get back to sleep after that, though, so I got up, cleaned up, and went to church after all. The sermon was a pretty good one, and I got some writing done on the next Ghost Targets book, so in the end I’m glad of the way the morning turned out. I was really dragging all day, though.

After church K– and N– invited us over for a cookout (specifically hot dogs and brats), and that was delicious. Then D– and I went back to the house to finish our game of Civ. I took a stab at fixing my internet connection first, by reterminating the input cable. When I hooked it back up it wouldn’t connect, though, same as the night before. We went ahead and started playing our game.

Half an hour later I checked on it again and it finally had a connection, and this time it was fantastic. We played all day, stopping only to order a pizza around six, and at about eleven we found ourselves master of half the world, with three nations our vassals and modern armies capable of annihilating any opposition already in transports headed for the other hemisphere, when England suddenly and unexpectedly won a cultural victory. Lame!

We left it at that, though. D– headed home, and I spent a little while getting the house cleaned up for T–‘s return. I finished off the network connection in the office, vaccuumed up all the drywall dust from all the wall-carving we’d done, cleaned out the trash, loaded and ran the dishwasher, dragged the garbage out to the curb for an early pickup, and then finally crashed in bed after midnight.

The weekend was equal parts productive and awesome. There’s very little overlap between those two, but the total is one I’m pretty happy with. I’m looking forward to T– and AB getting home this afternoon, though. Even busy as I was, I found plenty of time to miss them.

Other than that, it’s just things and stuff.