After we gorged and came back to the office I spent the remainder of the day working on the active message situation I described in the previous post. I got everything done and purring along and hit the door running at 1600 hours precisely. That's the problem, though -- I was still so sluggish from my large meal that I quite literally hit the door. You see, because of the security system we actually have to turn the door handle to unlock the door from the door frame. This particular door handle sometimes likes to stick, going down halfway and then wedging just shy of the point where the latch is actually fully retracted. This very situation happened to me today... I was walking towards the door at a good pace, reached out, turned the handle, got stuck and promptly slammed face-first into the door. For a moment I was horribly confused -- I thought maybe somebody was playing a "prank" by holding the door closed from the other side (it opens "out" into the elevator lobby). The few remaining brain cells that were still awake quickly dismissed that scenario because there was no rational reason for anybody to be doing such a thing. I took a step back and stared at the handle, which seemed to be turned far enough, then gave the door another push. Nothing! Utterly befuddled by my inability to work a door I had to step back another foot or so and try the whole thing again. This time I managed to not only turn the handle the whole way, I also managed to open the door.
Of course, when I looked over my shoulder I noticed that one of the upper managers had been standing behind me. Judging by the grin on his face I would say it's a safe bet he saw the whole thing. I award major points to Rich for not laughing aloud at me.
The drive home was uneventful. I took 294 home instead of 290, and managed to avoid the congestion from the construction... by trading it off for completely outrageous congestion on the residential roads. I came home to find out that Ra had thrown up right next to his food bowl. Correction, next to and in. I just can't win.
After I got home I watched a bit of TV, then pulled out the bass. I practiced for forty-five minutes and was rather pleased to see that I'm definitely getting back into my groove after the brief hiatus I took from practicing. I'm even managing to hit the strings with something like consistency. Unfortunately for me I'm still having a heck of a time reading musical notes, and I've completely tapped out the book I bought for self-teaching. I may very well need to consider taking a few private lessons. Since Sam Ash is having a sale on the 14th I'll be over at the store to pick up a few goodies (something to tune with, some new strings, etc), which should present me with an opportunity to scout out potential instructors and do some price research.
After the guitar came an hour of treadmill time. I didn't select any DVDs to watch tonight, I instead surfed around the TV. I watched an episode of The Osbournes from the second season, then some of The Real World. I particularly dislike The Real World, Road Rules and most of the other drek that MTV is turning out these days (although I do have a soft spot in my heart still for that animated cynic, Daria.) After the treadmill I ran through a couple other quick exercises, then took a walk down the street to CVS. I wanted to procure a soda for myself and thought some time outdoors would provide a good cool-down after the workout. When I got home from that mini-walk I sat outside on the porch and sipped my drink, swatting the mosquitos that were drawn to my presumably tasty blood. I knew we'd get the little buggers eventually, but I was rather hoping that with the cool wet weather we'd be able to keep them away for just a bit longer. I guess the warm snap we had yesterday woke the first generation of the season from their slumber. Yay.
Something good to remember: New Year's Eve, 1995. I was in an ice shanty (rented from Twin Pines Resort) on Lake Millacs with my friend and then-coworker Brian Kiesner along with Brian's brother. The weather outside was bitingly cold but our shanty was warm and well-lit. We'd taken along two of my snowmobiles for recreation and general transportation while we spent the extended weekend hanging out, sledding, fishing, drinking and talking. The best part was the night we rode in to the bar for drinks on New Year's Eve itself. It was about 10:30 at night, we were one of the few groups of fishermen who were up and moving about, and the weather had changed just enough to cause a heavy fog to come down over the lake. It hovered over the ice that coated the lake, thick and dense as cotton batting. We had to drive the sleds very slowly because you couldn't see more than a foot or two ahead of you, and we didn't want to hit anything. Several times we had to stop to wipe the partially-frozen fog from the visors on our helmets. It was frustrating at the time because of how slow we were going, but looking back on it I really did love every minute of it. The dark and the fog made the night mysterious, the ride was full of uncertainty and even danger, and while the company was good the chance to sit alone on my sled gave me some time to myself, allowing me to think and reflect on my life. It was, overall, one of the best memories I have from that particular era.
But we paid the price of time