Thursday, December 13, 2012

So How's Your Week Been?

This post has nothing to do with sword and sorcery, fantasy, historical adventure, publishing, books, or anything else commonly covered here.  I'm going to kvetch because Murphy has been with me.  It's more legally and morally acceptable than going postal.  So if you want to skip this one, I'm fine with that.  You won't be missing much.  Really.

So over Friday I take the car into the shop for some major repairs that I expect to set me back to the tune of four figures (that I don't exactly have but still cheaper than another car).  I take my wife back to work and return to the office.  I'd finished checking the lab grades for one of the courses, compiled them based on lecture section rather than lab section, and was about to send the grades to the lecture instructors when a small mob of students showed up with grievances about about one of the TAs.  They were a polite mob, having left their torches and pitchforks at home, opting for dialogue.  Long story short, after the Grievance Committee left, I notified the lecture instructors that I would be adjusting the grades for one TA and grades would be delivered later.  This headache has continued all week, isn't over, and shows signs of expanding.  All I can say about this matter is that a few graduate students will be getting detailed memos explaining that they will be working more closely with me next semester than they're going to enjoy, following the list of detailed job duties to the letter, and sign here please to indicate that you acknowledge the consequences of departing these guidelines.

My car was ready to be picked up Tuesday, and at considerably less than I thought it would cost me.  I paid for the repairs and left the car there to be picked up later.  In spite of having numerous super powers, driving two cars at the same time isn't one of them.  The problem?  One of the elders at my church had passed away unexpectedly over the weekend.  I was supposed to take a meal to the family at 5:00 so they could get to the visitation on time, and they live in a small town about 20 miles away.  I'd arranged to drop my son off from school at my wife's work, and the two of them would walk to a sandwich shop nearby and eat.  I should get back about the time they finished eating, would pick them up, and go collect my car.  Everything went according to plan until I pulled up to the family's house to drop off the food.  I heard a loud hissing as I stepped out of the car.  I fervently hoped I had parked on top of a large snake that wasn't averse to cold weather.  No such luck.  I'd hit something (could even see the puncture).  By the time I'd taken the food into the house, the tire was flat.  While I was changing the tire, people started showing up from the community to pay their respects to the family.  Awkward.  Needless to say, once I found a place to air up the doughnut to full pressure, I was a little late picking up my wife.  I'd called her, and she was very understanding.

Our church has a number of small groups that meet throughout the week, and we host one.  Last night was supposed to be our Christmas party, which I had been looking forward to.  We've been having some trouble with the heater not coming on when it's supposed to.  When I came home at noon to change clothes for the funeral, the temperature was in the low 60s in the house.  I called my HVAC guy, who is in the process of moving to a city a couple of hours away.  (Long story.)  He was in town, and agreed to come over later when he finished some stuff.  The repairs took longer than anticipated, spilling into the party time.  He was almost done when a delicate part broke, and no one in town had a replacement.  I spent the rest of the evening helping him try to find someone with the part so we could have heat last night.  (We didn't, but we will tonight.)  From the laughter coming from the next room, I assume everyone else at the party was having a good time.  I certainly wasn't. 

Let's not even get into my misreading the science fair timeline, telling my son a major component he hadn't started on wasn't due yet, and discovering just before the party it was due this morning.

Between everything happening that was unanticipated, I haven't gotten much accomplished this week.  I've not even started on the edits for the lab manual, never mind getting enough reading done to do any blogging.  And it will be the weekend at the earliest before I can work on finishing that story I have to submit this month.  Work on the Sooper Seekrit Project (number 1, that is) has ground to a halt.

Now this sounds like a lot of bitching and moaning, and it is.  Everything could have been a lot worse.  I'm not out nearly as much money as I thought I would be, nights don't get that cold here, and I was able to throw a party for my friends that they enjoyed and see hear them have a great time.  I have family, friends, a roof over my head, food on the table, stable employment, plenty of reading material, and a great online community.  Not a lot to complain about when I really think of it and compare myself to most people, certainly most people in other countries.  This week has been a pimple of life.  Pimples seem bigger than they are, but once they're gone, you hardly know they were there.  That's this week.  So up yours, Murphy.

If you've actually read this far, thanks for letting me vent.  Now i need to get back to work, which in this case is waiting for the repairman. 


  1. Rough week, I hope it gets better for you.

    A tiny kvetch for me would be work today. I ran a simple command with a tool, got all the data I needed in XML format.

    Knowing what I then needed to do, I attempt to acquire the same data via our wrapper code.

    Two & half hours later, I realized I can't get the data with our "building block" code at all. So, it's really not much use at all when going to direct to the command line is simpler, easier, and gives me what I want.

    The whole point of developing the module was to get everyone world-wide to use the same methods. If it isn't easy, no one will bother.

    1. True. One of the reasons I didn't pursue programming was the frustration factor.

  2. Venting is good. Here's hoping there's no repeat in the upcoming weeks.

  3. Thanks, guys. It's amazing how much better I felt once I published this post. Things have settled down and are running much more smoothly.