Saturday, July 30, 2011

Much has happened these last two weeks!
There are a few things that I can't blog about in order to protect the privacy of those involved, but there was so much stuff going on that I have plenty of other things that I can talk about.

First off, my father had a heart attack a couple of days after I posted my last post. He's doing as doing as well as can be expected for someone who cannot have any surgery. His first heart attack was over 40 years ago and the treatment this time is pretty much the same, except instead of spending 30 days in the hospital, he was sent home after 1/2 a week. Mind you, getting sent home right away is a huge improvement for the patient over staying in the hospital for a month, but the whole rest/recuperation, nitroglycerin for the angina pain and "hope for the best" type of treatment is straight from 40 years ago. But since there was no surgery or other obvious treatment, we have to keep reminding him of that old 30 days in the hospital routine when he gets frustrated that he's not bouncing back right away. There's a whole lot of saying, "No, you can't do that yet!" Hmm... in retrospect, maybe locking them up in a hospital for 30 days had some merit.

Then, the day after my father had his heart attack, I learned that the technical writer they had hired at work had accepted another job and was leaving at the end of the month instead of the end of October. As a result, I moved to the IT department full time this week and starting next Monday, I'm totally my own as the sole tech writer without the benefit of those three months of training. Ack!

But despite my father's heart attack, I have managed to cram an incredible amount of information into my head in the last two weeks. A bit of it was about technical writing, but much of it was researching software programs for code documentation and then learning how to use them (the tech writer had not used them before either.) In order to do that I had to learn a bit about the code I'm going to be documenting as well as test a multitude of software options in order to decide the best one to use. In addition, some of that code documentation was due by yesterday (I met the deadline) and I also had to learn a few other things there were not related to technical writing in order to provide backup for an IT person who was on vacation this week.

It was a pretty wild ride these last two weeks and yesterday evening, I was winding down with a old friend of mine by reviewing my two week cram session. I was also expressing my doubts about being able to do this new job and he just laughed and said, "Of course you can do it, because you are crazy smart." That made me laugh too because I've never considered myself "smart" and if he had just said "smart" or "super smart" then I would have immediately disagreed, but I was okay with "crazy smart". And that's the great thing about old friends, after so many, many years they know you well enough to know exactly what to say when you need a boost.

And in other news, a sad thing happened this week when my next-door neighbors, D&S, moved away to another place on Wednesday. They couldn't hang with the recent lot rent increase and found another place that is $200/month cheaper. They tried really hard to get me to move with them, but their new place doesn't allow dogs. We do plan to stay in touch and they are close enough that I can visit them on a weekend. Still, I will miss the day-to-day contact we used to have.

And with the recent monthly lot rent increase, I'm not likely to have another long-term neighbor any time soon. Many of the old-timers that have been in the RV park for years have pulled out this month. It will be interesting to see how the RV park culture changes if it ends up being mostly short-timers in the future.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

P for payday instead of F for Friday. Finances were very tight this pay period because back on the 1st I found out that my rent had gone up $75 and I didn't have any wiggle room to allow for that. It was tough, but I did not have to sacrifice my somewhat expensive morning coffee having stocked up on it a while back when it was on sale so I weathered it okay. Now, I did have money in a savings account that I could have drawn out, but I purposely made doing that as difficult as possible by placing it in a bank that I could not easily get to in person during business hours and I had no way to electronically access the money, also done on purpose. That way, on a hot day when a cold beer really seemed like the best idea in the world, I couldn't give into the temptation to pull money out to buy a six pack. And there were a lot of hot days since we've had 14 consecutive days of temperatures over 100 degrees.

My poor little air conditioner unit in my RV is working overtime, but it's still usually 86 degrees inside when I get home from work. Normally that would feel pretty comfortable to my heat-loving self, but the office I work in is a damn freezer and that's what I get used to during the day so it feels really warm to me when I get home. Seriously, almost every chair in every cubicle at work has a blanket or a jacket draped over it. It might be over a hundred degrees outside, but we are wearing jackets inside - how screwed up is that?

Oh, and I got off early today so it was late afternoon instead of evening when I took the trash out to the dumpster and as usual, I was barefoot, not thinking about how hot the asphalt paving would be at that time of day when it was 103 degrees outside. And so yeah, I burned the bottoms of my feet. Not fun. There was a time when I was a kid that I could have walked that stretch without any ill effects, but these days of wearing shoes in a office every day, well, it was sizzle time. I've got too thick a callous on my feet to end up with any blisters, but it's still quite the burn. Oops.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Very nice 4th of July
I was off work today and I continued my long time tradition of grilling hot dogs on the 4th of July. I don't know why or where it came from, but at some point after moving out from my parent's house and setting out on my own, I decided that I needed to grill hot dogs on the 4th of July. And I've pretty much done that every year since.

Usually, it's just me solo, doing the hot dog thing, but this year I got my RV park neighbors in on it. And so a bunch of folks came by; I grilled a lot of hot dogs; we all drank many a beer and had great conversation for hours. No fireworks because of the extreme fire danger during the current drought, but still a good time was had by all. And there was an extra bonus - everyone helped to clean up the mess and cart off the trash before we all headed off to bed! Awesome.