July 25, 2005


First thing Saturday--I wasn't really even awake--small children came into the room and asked if I was going to blow the pool up. "::grumble::GIMME SOME DYNAMITE!::grouch::"

"Kids, let Daddy get up so I can go to the bathroom and put on some clothes--and remember, I need to get Mom's paper done, and we have laundry. Now GIT!"

Which they did. Reba fixed breakfast, I gathered clothes, started the jeans, ate, then sat down to fix the paper. This isn't her giant directed study paper I have only just started typing on, it's her research paper that gets produced throughout the year of classes. What I was doing was correcting the corrections from the last submittal, then typing up a three-page addition. Knocked it out with relative dispatch, although I did a bad thing.

See, this paper is supposed to be about determining ways to reduce anxiety amongst elderly folks being admitted to a nursing home. Reba has a rather odd hypothesis and methodology (no, I'm not about to say anything about THAT to her--let her professor tell her) but her data does rely on some observations she's made of folks she sees in her work. "Reba, let me ask you something--don't you think you might need a release from these people if you're going to use their information?"

The look of stone-cold terror on her face was awful--it was obvious she hadn't even thought about it. I KNEW right then I had just made my life infinitely more difficult. Couldn't just keep my trap shut. Couldn't just close my eyes and sigh. NooooOOOOOO! Had to act like this was some sort of a bigger deal than it was.

She paused and then became very agitated and defensive and upset and worried and agitated and defensive and concerned and worried and upset. "Whoa--just ask your professor Monday night what he thinks--don't start worrying now about it." Of course, the time to have thought about this was way at the start, and even if she does need permission, it should be relatively simple to obtain, but she might not, but I knew that now that I'd ruined everything, MY life was going to be a mess of trying to control her emotions.

"Look, don't worry about it until you find out--there's nothing you can do either way about it right now, so don't get all anxious until it's absolutely necessary!"

Thankfully, after several more minutes of high angst and sudden intestinal floppsiness, she had calmed back down and was thinking about rational solutions to the situation. Thank goodness. Maybe my edgy, hard-nosed life philosophy of, "What, me worry!?" is starting to have a positive effect on her. (Actually, I worry a lot, but only about things over which I have some control--everything else? Eh, whatever. I might gripe and complain about such inconsequential junk, but it doesn't keep me awake at night.)

Finished up the corrections and addition, pressed the Print button, sat for a moment to watch the sheets feed into the printer--"DADDY! Are you going to blow up the pool now!?"

"In a bit."

Did some more laundry, got the paper out of the tray, and then, to the garage.



Got the box out from under the pile of stuff I kept putting on top of it in a vain effort to obscure it from the view of curious children. Nice--it has its own battery-operated pump. And I even had four D-cell batt'ries! Of course, my flashlight doesn't work now, but hey.

Took the pile of smelly plaskit outside to the backyard and rolled it out. Moved it here and there to what I could best discern was the most level spot in the yard, which, again, isn't really level. Stuck the blower in the big convenient blow holes and in NO TIME AT ALL, I had a GENUINE 144 INCH LONG dumbbell-shaped swimming hole before me! (Comely blonde on box not included.)

The kids were nearly about to wet their pants with glee. Time enough for that once they get in the pool, though.

Time to fill it up with water. This took nearly thirty minutes. ::sigh:: That sure is a lot of water.

In the intervening time, the kids all ran and got on their swimsuits and sunscreen, while I did more laundry and got my stuff ready for our architect interviews at church. Water finally up to the middle--"KIDS! Come on and--"

"EEEEKKKKKKK! AAAAGHHH! COLD! COLD! AAIIIEEEEEEEEEE!" And that was just Jonathan, whose voice and demeaner changed to a three-year-old girl once he took that first dip into the two feet of ice water. Cat plunged in after him and they shrieked and tumbled and more than likely peed all in the thing. Rebecca and Ashley soon followed, and after some initial squabbles about turf, they all settled down to playing and splashing.

I kissed Reba and went upstairs and showered and got ready to go, came back downstairs, ate some lunch, grabbed all my papers and hit the road. Saturday marked the end of the first week in which I drove the Volvo to work every day. You know, for a 20 year old car with a bunch of miles on it, it's actually a pretty pleasant way to get around. A nice, comfortable, economical cruiser, with operable A/C and well-made controls that still feel nice and tight and new. And with those spiffy new old shiny bits on the wheels, I no longer feel quite so weird driving it. Little bit o' spiff goes a long ways. (And just WAIT until I get the new taillights installed!)

And to church then, parked, and went inside to get ready for our guests.

NEXT: That went well!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 25, 2005 09:56 AM

Good response time on the brakes? Is the acceleration adequate, or do you need to plan ahead of time? Finally, has the inspiration hit you to give it/her a name?

Last year we did the inflatable pool thingy, only one of the bigger ones from Wally World that cost about $100. We also do not have a level spot in the yard, and after two attempts (and failures) to create a level spot, we have resigned ourselves to the community pool.

Posted by: MarcV at July 25, 2005 10:17 AM

Marc, oh, yeah--brakes work just fine--the previous owner had them done before he decided to sell it, so they work great AND don't squeal (a problem area with Volvos). Acceleration is just as peppy as Reba's Focus--same weight, same HP and torque. It's not blinding, but it's more than sufficient for puttering back and forth to work.

THE NAMING--I am still struggling with this one. Since this is the first full week of use, I'm just now really getting used to him. So far, his attitude tends to suggest simple, monosyllabic names--I sorta like Järn.

AS FOR THE POOL, this is the third such beastie we've had over the past years of married life, and possibly the most successful. Which only goes to prove how poor the past attempts have been.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at July 25, 2005 10:49 AM