July 19, 2005

Back to home then on Saturday--

--did some laundry, got at least 3/4 of the kids to go ahead and take their baths and wash their hairs, and got ready to hit the road again, this time with a stop at Target for a small gift for the birthday gal we were going to visit. This took a very long time, which I spent in the van with Cat and Rebecca, who were nice and quiet and occupied with the mobile child de-stimulation unit, i.e., the DVD player.

Reba came back out with several other things, which explains (partially) why it took so long, then we were off again to mine and Reba’s old stomping grounds. Bought some chicken at the KFC--seemingly one of the few eating joints that had not been converted in the past few years to either a car title pawnshop or a video bingo arcade or just a regular pawnshop or simply been shuttered and left to rot. It used to be much nicer. Lunch, etc., then home. And that’s all I will say about that. Although, as I mentioned this morning, I was very polite. I’m just that way, you know.

Made a stop by the hospital on the way back to visit for a bit with Reba’s aunt, then on to home where there was some more laundry to wash, ate some supper in there sometime, went to beddie-bye, then up early Sunday for church. Both of Catherine’s teachers were out of town (and gave a week’s notice! Hooray!) so I plugged myself in as the substitute. This was the first time I’ve ever taught Catherine before, but she was actually very good. Cute, and attentive, and following along pretty well as we went over the story of Joshua and Jericho. Had a lot of visitors this time, for some reason. Two were the boys I’ve had in there before who in the past have been quite a handful with their yalping and inability to be human. Another two were a brother and sister team.

Quite a couple, they were.

Not sure of their exact ages--somewhere between 8 and 11 or so. But just OH so bored by this whole ordeal. The boy was worse--too much time spent watching television, where all 10 year olds have the glib wit and wisdom of 50 year old Hollywood sitcom writers. This ain’t Hollywood, Junior. And maybe I’m just an old fart, but don’t you think wearing that stupid ball cap to class is just a bit too much? (I’m actually asking this of your parents, sonny--you people let him act like this!?) His sister was of a similar demeanor, at least at the beginning. Really a very pretty little girl, and full of ennuiful attitude, just like her favorite episode of whatever teen crap is on The WB this week. But, as the class went on, she actually started paying attention, because she would ask and answer questions and was looking at me when I talked.

After my stunning and insightful declamation regarding the military exigencies of the Israelite conquest of Canaan vis-a-vis the fall of Jericho (as well a very deft bit of misdirection on my part to keep from having to explain what sort of job Rahab did as a harlot), we all did our fill-in-the-blank worksheets together, and that was pretty fun as well. Then, the bell rang, and as the kids all filed out, Smart Aleck Hat Boy said, “Dude, do we have to KEEP these papers?!” “DUDE! First of all, my name isn’t “dude,” and second of all, you sure DO have to keep them! Thanks for being one of our visitors today!” His sister was much nicer.

Worship, then off to the other side of the county one more time. Ashley’s going to spend some more days with her grandparents, so we went and had lunch with them and dropped her off. And that’s about it again. As usual, I was unfailingly polite.

Left there and headed home, did some minor errands, went back to church for the evening service, where I got to lead singing, and managed to do pretty good for once. Well enough to where two people said it sounded pretty good (thankfully leaving out the “for once” part to spare my feelings.) Supper then at the Asian buffet place, then home, to bed, and up early MONDAY for my free day to gambol and play and get continuing education credits! WHEEEEEE!

It was a seminar about Alabama’s Energy Conservation Code, which was developed by one of my Building Science professors down at Auburn, Dr. Bob Aderholdt. He’s a great fellow--if you ever meet him, be sure to get him to tell you the story about when he was an undergrad and a campus policeman “chased” him and his friends all the way to Tuskegee.

Anyway, the code is intended to make sure that any projects in the state that fall under the purview of the State Building Commission (all state-owned or funded buildings; hotels; motels; schools; and movie theaters) are energy efficient. Dr. Bob’s worked on this for a long time--going through a sample building and applying the code was part of one of his courses for us way back when I was at Auburn. The code was recently updated, and this seminar (sponsored by ADECA) was intended to publicize it a bit and go over some of the changes.

Boy, I sure do wish the author had been around to talk about it. He could make anything entertaining. As it was, the entertainment was provided by three engineers, all of whom were dry to the point of complete desiccation. If there was ever such a thing as negative humidity, they had it. In spades. Eight hours of recitation of the ASHRAE HVAC code, which sounds about like this:

“Boilers, as defined in Section blah blah blah blah point three, shall not be blah blah unless they are in unenclosed areas covered under Table 3 point blah point blah, in which case they may be provided blah blah blah blah blah or an equivalent blah, without blah. EXCEPTIONS: No boiler blah blah blah blah blah blah with gas or electric motors blah blah blah blah without first blah blah blah.”

Hey guys, I can read the code myself. A side benefit being that I am much less likely to put myself to sleep.

The second peeve I had was that everyone seemed to think the entire ABECC was new. It’s not. Been around a long time, and if you’ve ever done any of the listed building types I mentioned before, you’ve had to do the submittal for it.

Third peeve, the kludgy teleconference hardware. We had the professors, which was bad enough, but I pity the poor remote-location folks in Huntsville, Montgomery and Mobile who had to watch and interact with them over the teevee.

Fourth peeve, the old loud guy whose phone rang in the middle of a particularly exciting part of the lecture, who then proceeded to ANSWER his phone, and TALK on it, then decided the professor was being too loud so he went out into the hallway outside the door and began to SHOUT INTO THE PHONE AS LOUD AS HE COULD WITH HIS WITHERED AND PALSIED LUNGS! I went to the door and motioned for him to go on out the other door because he was disturbing my nap.

Fifth peeve was the old guy I’ve talked about before who shows up at these things, apparently so everyone will know what a clueless jackass he is. Always spouting off about stuff he should know as an architect, and obviously doesn’t. Although now he’s taken to calling himself a construction manager. Which was funny, because I imagine he’s even more incompetent at that, and also because one of the instructors had a question for specifically for CMs, and directed it to him, because the professor thought he might know the answer. HAH! As if. The old moron just sat there like a lump. Teach him for getting all uppity and acting like he’s something he’s not.

SIXTH peeve was the insistence on all three of the presenters to pronounce “vestibule” as if it were the word “vegetable.” Not VEST’abyool, but VEST’ible.

PEEVE No. 7 was the lack of hot chicks.

Peeve Eight was the lack of anything to read. We had the PowerPoint notes, but most of them were so tiny that they were unreadable.

The best part? Over soon enough for me to be able to run by the scrapyard!


Next: Lovely Stainless Steel!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 19, 2005 04:09 PM

Methinks the possum doth protest too much. What is the deal with all this politeness thou claimest? ;)

Posted by: Lenise at July 20, 2005 09:50 AM

There is a lot of history in this situation that will never be reported herein. History, of a sort that could give rise to some rather pointed remarks on my part, if I so chose to make them. Normal humans might be forgiven an occasional flash of disgruntlement, but given the way in which things work, I have decided it best that I swallow all that and be as pleasant as a calm spring day. Unhealthy? Oh sure. But better than the potential fallout.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 20, 2005 10:05 AM