Thursday, December 13, 2007

Momma Has A Brand New Throne

subtitled: The Heartwarming Tale of a Woman, Her New Toilet, and The Man Who Loves Her

sub-subtitled: The Week From Hell, Part 1

Some weeks try a man's patience.

Some weeks drive a man to drink.

This week is just about ready to drive me to drink, except that I am too worn out to get into any trouble. So I think that I will just go to bed early tonight.

As many of you folks know, Yours Truly has become a full-time RV'er and lives in what is essentially a large bus. That right there has its own set of pros and cons and tall tales.

She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have been reconditioning this thing for about 2 years. It's a wonderful piece of machinery, but it's almost 25 years old so it's got its quirks. And that's putting it mildly.

We decided to replace the carpet with a combination of what they call pre-engineered wood flooring, with is pretty neat stuff incidentally, and a cork flooring product that is intended for industrial applications such as restaurants. The cork floor went into the bathroom and bedroom and that was our big project during Thanksgiving.

I am happy to report that the floor looks nice and that I still have all of my fingers.

As part of that project I removed the original RV toilet. Let me tell you brother, that taking out a 25 year old toilet is definitely taking one's life into one's own hands. Armed with rubber gloves and a mask, that wasn't fun. I felt like Ed Norton, Jackie Gleason's sewer-working pal from the Honeymooners. Egads!

The original toilet had a couple of leaks (thankfully all of the clean water variety) and I repaired those leaks. But when I was reinstalling the toilet a third leak occurred and that was the death sentence for that sucker.

So we bought a new, fancier toilet. Or "terlet" as we say here in the Righteous South.

Late on Sunday night we were still struggling with the terlet. It was installed, but we still didn't have the proper water hose. So rather than move the motorhome away from our workshop, schlep across town, and drive back another 30-40 miles I decided to take part of Monday off and get the job done once and for all.

And let's put things this-a-way. Screwing around with that toilet has been about the highlight and most satisfying part of my week so far. Things have been that tough around here!

I had promised myself that I would update the blog at least twice a week. You will notice that this is Thursday and well ... here we are. No tales of travel, motorcycles, UFO's, computers, outrageous living, silly guy stuff, and any of those good things. Nutin'.

A few weeks ago the server at The Day Job crashed. I will give you, Gentle Reader, three guesses as to whose responsibility that is. Three guesses, and as they say in the bars, the first two guesses don't count.

At some point the outside service that provides our POP3 mail decided to quit for seemingly no reason. Then, after about 24 hours, it magically started up again. The admins there claim to be completely puzzled and saying that it didn't impact any of their other customers.

And on our end everyone is looking at ol' John and asking "Where is my email?" You would almost think that if it was old style postal mail they would wonder if I had stolen the company mail bag.

And then, for the last two days we have been struggling with an Internet outage. Never mind that 1) we were in the middle of changing from one service provider to another, 2) the company that we went with is in the middle of a merger and it turns out that their records aren't in synch and they keep confuzing us with another company in the Heathen Northeast, 3) Said Large Phone Company has tech support scattered throughout the planet and the ones in the Phillipines that I got shuffled to literally couldn't understand what I was very plainly saying (and in some cases shouting), and 4) we were told that a fiber optic cable got cut but now I wonder if that wasn't just an excuse for the phone tech to avoid saying that they didn't have a clue.

Oh, and the registrar of our DNS records, for you geeks, is yet another entity and they didn't seem to be awake either.

All in all it's been a hellacious week.

So I am going to take tomorrow off in order to plan and plot something Bigger and Better.

All kidding aside, it's been a tough week, but a productive week. I stayed out way too late one night at a bar but came away with a 23 chapter outline for a fictional book that I am working on, almost as a dare. And yeah, after I got some sleep the frickin' thing still read pretty well.

I have been writing in biker bars using a laptop for years. Lately I've been using an EVDO card to get my Internet access so I, and about a dozen of my closest friends and fellow drinkers, can surf the 'net from the comfort of our bar stools. Lately, I'm not the only one there with a similar setup. This world is getting weird, I'll tell ya.

So you have to laugh at this nonsense. When life gets you down, you just have to keep plugging away and remember your goals. And work towards them. Even if your only goal in life is to make it to the end of the next NASCAR broadcast. Or to find the last piece of Three Stooges memorabilia on eBay. Whatever turns your crank, you have to keep at it.

That, and having a few beers at the end of the day doesn't hurt a bit either.

If nothing else, if you are a writer, you can always reflect and realize that you meet the most interesting characters in pubs and if that doesn't inspire your fictional characters then nothing will.

When life gives you lemons, the wise man makes lemonade. And he has a big smile on his face as he's stirring up those lemons.

--PirateJohn-- (the *NEW* blog) (my website) (the infamous joke list)


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