I didn't get out of work as early as I had expected to because I had a number of problems come across my plate in the afternoon. I think it was sometime around 1:30 PM when I finally got out of the office, although I'm not entirely sure because I never really got a good look at the clock. The trip home to the apartment was a quick and easy one because the rush-hour traffic hadn't really started yet. I got home within 40 minutes and said hello to Roho before checking up on Ra and trying to see how he had been doing. When I went to look at his water bowl I found that he'd moved one of his toys. I was surprised and suspicious to say the least, and I was right to feel that way... when I lifted it up I found a small amount of vomit underneath, which of course needed to be cleaned up. Out came the paper towels, the tepid water and the peppermint soap again. It's amazing just how good that soap really is! I should find out who makes it and post it here so that anybody who needs to clean pet stains up or deal with stains in general on their rugs and upholstery can give it a try. It seems to work miracles when Ra or Cailet get sick.
After I'd cleaned up that mess and gotten the carpet somewhat dry again I reclined on the couch and watched TV for a few hours. At one point Roho went off to take a nap since he was still fighting off the effects of the stomach flu he seems to have contracted sometime Wednesday night, which meant I pretty much had control of the TV. It still strikes me as remarkable how little there is that plays on cable, even in this day and age of digital cable that delivers something like 140 channels and 30 music selections. Ugh! I wanted to watch a DVD but couldn't decide which one to choose, so I ended up defaulting to the local FOX affiliate and watching the continuing live coverage of the military action in Iraq. I'm still not sure what to make of this whole situation. On one hand it seems we weren't kidding that Iraq had failed to disarm: by treaty Saddam wasn't to have missiles that had over a 93 mile range, but the multiple launches on Kuwait indicate he still has a good portion of his old stockpile from 91 with distance capabilities of 300+ miles. So yeah, we're sort of vindicated there because he's proving us right... but we had to invade his country to get him to break them out, so... I dunno. I guess time will tell on this whole matter. I still don't have a feeling that we're doing the entirely right thing with our actions, especially when it seems a good portion of the world is telling us we're overreacting. On the other hand, sometimes doing the "right thing" makes you the unpopular kid in class, but you have to go ahead and do it anyway.
Politics are never simple.
Around 5:00 PM Roho and I gathered our things and climbed into his car to make the trip down to Midway airport to pick up points. We figured that since he would be arriving around 6:15 we'd have an hour and a half to get down there to collect him, which seemed like plenty of time to combat rush-hour traffic. Boy, were we wrong. I knew as soon as we got onto I-294 and it was stop-and-go 10+ miles before the toll booth that we were in for a long ride, and I wasn't too far off. It took us over 45 minutes to travel something on the order of 28 miles! And then, strangely... the traffic disappeared. There was no major accident, no construction, no mass exodus at a particular exit. The traffic just all disappeared, and suddenly the highways were moving smoothly again! I couldn't believe it. We made it down to the airport sometime around 6:48 in the evening, and were surprised to learn that Points had just arrived because his flight had been delayed. We did a quick round of introductions, got back to the car and made our way through the neighborhood streets to I-55. It's amazing how much Midway has changed since I was last there. It still has the feel of a podunk airport, but it's gotten a lot bigger and a lot cleaner with regards to the parking and baggage claim areas. I'm sure if I ever fly out of there again it'll be an interesting experience to go through the terminal area.
I tried to get us home in as quick a manner as possible. enveri had asked if we were all doing our usual tonight, and we told her that it seemed like a good idea. We were going to be squeezed on time so the plan was adjusted that we would meet up at Bumpers so that we could all beat the cover. Could I get us there before 8:00 PM? I thought so, and made my best effort to do so, although I had to break a few minor traffic laws in my attempt. I made really good time on the tollway, but unfortunately because of the traffic lights we had to navigate afterwards we got in about a minute too late to avoid paying the cover charge. What stung me the most about it is that the bouncer who was examining IDs and accepting cover told us he recognized us so we didn't have to produce our driver licenses... but we still had to pay the charge!
We shot pool for about an hour, and it turns out that Points had been something of a pool god some time ago, but hadn't played in a number of years. He still made Roho and I look like total losers, though that's really not such a difficult job....
After pool we went to our usual restaurant hangout and ordered dinner. Points managed to work our poor waitress into hysterical laughter, and I was surprised by how many of our little jokes she caught. She went from Stephen King's "IT" to Dexter's Lab, a connection I certainly hadn't expected anybody to make. The conversation was light and pleasant, and each time the waitress came back we gave her a good giggle. Finally we finished, paid our bill and drove home where it was time for quick introductions to the various pets and then bed. I slept pretty well, although Ra started kneading my throat sometime around 6:00 AM this morning, which I think is why I had a very vivid dream that the Care Bears were trying to strangle me.
I have a very frightening imagination.
Today's plan is to wait until aureth shows up, and then go to BD's for lunch. Anything after that will be totally unscripted, but I'm sure we'll come up with something enjoyable to do. I'm on call this weekend, as I mentioned before, and tonight is the night we do the big data center shut-down so they can hook in our new power grid. If anything goes wrong it is very likely I'll have to go in. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea for me to zip in there anyway, I could show the gang all the great new toys we have installed. Hmmm, field trip to my workplace, anyone?
You are like a hurricane