Monday, March 04, 2013

Curmudgeon grouses his way into another work week

I wrote last month about our electrical problems at the Curmudgeon estate. Nearly all of the second floor suddenly lost power; we couldn't reset the circuit breaker. We could hear the short circuit 'popping' in the wall. We had the electrician in to try and remedy the problem, and he jiggled the wires for a while, trying to trace back the fault. Suddenly the power went on again but without, and the electrician would be the first to confirm this, him doing anything that he could identify as a repair of the problem. He told us straight out it wouldn't last; he was hoping, he said at the time, to get safely back to his truck before it went out again.

Well, it lasted a little longer than that. The "fix" lasted nearly four weeks, in fact, until Saturday afternoon.

Oh, it was an eventful weekend at the Curmudgeon home. Olaf brought the baby downstairs on Saturday morning. He started by walking down the stairs. Unfortunately, he was paying too much attention to the baby and not enough to his own feet. He finished by sliding down on his back. The good news was he didn't drop the baby. But the noise made by the impact, and then his shout, and then the baby screaming... well, my nerves were shot. I didn't think I could get jumpier. And then the power went out.

Ours is now something of a split-level home, conventional on the bottom, Amish on top. The electrician (with whom I'd spoken recently to tentatively schedule the rewiring of the second floor for the week of March 11) has agreed to try and move us up on the schedule -- but we'll probably be showering in the dark most of the week. It will be especially challenging to shave.

Oh, and guess what? We're supposed to get another six to 10 inches of snow in Chicago tomorrow.

By Sunday morning, Olaf was moving so gingerly that we finally persuaded him to see a doctor. X-rays were taken. He did rupture a disk; he does not appear to have bruised a kidney. But the bruise is so deep and so painful that the doctor prescribed a pretty high dose of Norco -- and the opiates seemed to do little good yesterday.

The good news is that Olaf made it to work this morning. The bad news is, despite our suggestions, he was not driven there by Younger Daughter. Younger Daughter was awake in time, and willing to take him. But Olaf slept in my recliner yesterday evening, and he had the heating pad working along with the pain pills, and he felt much his normal self when he awoke. Long Suffering Spouse and I could hear him tromping up and down the stairs this morning shortly after 5:00 a.m. (he has to be at work by 6:00) and we could literally hear that he was greatly improved. But we figure he'll crash at some point today -- and we'd prefer he not be behind the wheel of a car when it happens.

There are times when I think if we didn't have stress in our lives we wouldn't have anything at all.

What I'd like to be more nervous about is Youngest Son. He's in Florida this week for spring training with the rest of the South Janesville College baseball team (as I've renamed his school) hoping to get in games for meaningful innings and impress his coaching staff under game conditions. The team had their first game yesterday -- but he didn't get in. He didn't mind so much -- it's cold in central Florida, he told me, something I knew from watching the MLB network. MLB showed a couple of Phillies-Blue Jays spring training games this weekend, with temperatures around 50 and the wind howling.

Long Suffering Spouse and I went to spring training once when Middle Son was in college; I don't see how we'll ever make it during Youngest Son's college career. I feel bad about it -- a lot of team parents did find a way to go -- but I can't possibly afford it. So, for Youngest Son, I have to worry long distance.

I could go down the list. Older Daughter is making herself crazy because she wants to be pregnant and it's not happening. One of her best friends from high school, just married last summer, is now on the nest. It's not that Older Daughter's friend was bragging about it. Older Daughter is so highly tuned on this issue that she heard something in her friend's voice on the telephone. She put two and two together and nagged and prodded and eventually dragged the facts from her friend -- Older Daughter thus becoming the first person to find out about that impending blessed event besides the prospective parents and their doctor. Then she cried for 24 hours. Why do that to yourself? Long Suffering Spouse is near tears every time she talks to Older Daughter, and they talk every day, sometimes three and four times a day.

And Long Suffering Spouse is herself highly stressed at work. With all that was going on in the house this weekend, she still managed to work 20 or 30 hours on school stuff. The 8th grade boys consider themselves through with school even though it's only March. They've figured out that, thanks to my wife's hard work, they're likely to place out of Spanish I in high school -- and they don't like that, not one little bit. They don't want to be challenged by an honors course; they'd rather get an easy A repeating stuff they (however reluctantly) learned from my wife. So the kids are digging in to prevent this -- I can't help but wonder what their parents would think if they knew. These poor parents will spend $10,000 or $12,000 on high school tuition next year; wouldn't you think they would want their kids to do as much, get as much, know as much as possible before getting there?

But I can -- and should -- do a separate post or two about Long Suffering Spouse's school problems.

For now, I'll close. I need to check that third party website that interposes itself between me and my one new insurance client and see if they've constructed still another frivolous reason to reject my latest bill. I have one bill pending for about $800 on which I seem to have spent $1,000 worth of time just trying to get past the bogus 'client review' process. So far.


Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

awww rats curmy! sorry.


Anonymous said...

Curmy, I just saw a TV segment on Cleveland Clinic about a new way to help people become pregnant. They claim they are having great success with it even for couples who have already tried and failed at other things. Im sorry I don't remember what it is called but Im sure you can find it via their website. Maybe something to check into and share with older daughter?