August 2010


My current job started when I was hired on a particular contract. People came and went except for me and things were successuful enough that the governemt customer extended our deadlines several times until we had been working about seven years. That’s got to be some kind of record for this sort of thing. But it finally ended last week. The final deadline came and we wound the effort up.

Hopefully, well get a chance to do something similar on a regular basis but until then I’ve been reassigned to do some R&D which should be fun. I’ve moved to another desk in another building so I get to work with some other people which is also good.

Kinda excited.

For the last month or more, it’s been super hot which caused me to abandon all my outdoor activities in-place.  This has meant that my fence project has languished even in its last stage and there are tools all over the patio table.  And the last couple of weeks have been over 100 degrees every day with some days reaching 106.  This has caused us to hunker down inside almost as if it were the dead of winter with snow on the ground.

I’ve been working on my sprinkler system a little since, because of the heat, I finally needed to start watering.  I’ve done this in the early mornings and it was hot even then.  I did make a delightful discovery though – that if it’s really hot and dry, you can pretty much just unscrew the old sprinkler heads without digging them out and screw new ones down into the hole.  With the dirt as tightly packed and dry as it is, no loose dirt falls down into the pipe.  So I’ve replaced about five heads and the system is now back to its former grandeur with one glaring exception:  the shutoff valve.

This valve is leaking around the valve stem which means that I have to shut off the system at the street every time I finish using it, otherwise, the access well fills up with water and much water gets wasted as it trickles down the street. So I have that project that needs to be tackled but until then I can just go turn it on when I need it. 

We’ve been watching a great deal of TV.  Mel set up the DVR to record a number of shows she was interested in and those piled up some weeks ago and we’ve been working off this queue.  Plus, I was given the first five seasons of The Office for father’s day and we’ve been watching those too.  I’m content to take those at a leisurely pace but Evan decided that he needed to get caught up on all his pop culture at once and so watched them all in a marathon session so he could converse knowledgeably when he got to college.  Erin has ignored the whole thing and gone to be with friends who generally play “Call of Duty” when she has not been curled up with her recently purchased Nook reading ebooks.

I hope the high temps are over for the year although we can’t reasonably expect the temperature to go below a high of 90 until the end of September.  Still, a do-it-yourselfer like me can dream of working outside again.

We installed Evan in the dorm yesterday (Sunday).  He requested early move-in due to his involvement with CRU; he is organizing some freshman things to do and seeking other kids interested in a Bible study that he’s leading.  If it weren’t for this, he would be moving in middle-to-late week or I guess if it weren’t for his involvement in this, he wouldn’t be living on campus at all.   Then we’d move in at our own convenience.  As it was, there were many freshmen moving in yesterday and we got to take advantage of their supreme organization.  We were shuttled into a spot next to the door and several RAs and whatnot came and unloaded our car and took the stuff up to his room for us.  That was nice.

It didn’t take long.  He unpacked his stuff enough to let us take all the boxes back to the car and then we went to lunch at the Catfish Hole (obviously a local favorite amongst the after-church crowd).  They had great hushpuppies which were unlimited in number.  Usually a barrage of fried food like that will cause me to have some stomach issues but not yesterday.  So it was a good day all around.

Add to that the fact that it was cloudy in the morning and whatever weather system that was supposed to move in last night came through early and cooled things off.  The temperature had been over 105 every day last week but yesterday it barely topped 90.  This was a huge blessing for us as we moved Evan’s stuff around.  It was this event that ruined my lower back last year which I’m only now recovering from so I did almost nothing yesterday.  I didn’t feel nearly as worthless as I should have.

So now the boy’s installed again at the university and he’s taking almost all hard engineering classes so it should be a banner year for him.  He will succeed or fail this year – and I think he’ll succeed. 

He very much enjoyed his missionary type work this summer but I hope he’s now resigned to devote himself to engineering and try to land an internship next summer.  Based on his comments about working with obstreperous young boys, I’d say that he’s ready to do engineering professionally for awhile and leave this sort of ministry to the school-teacher-minded people.

I haven’t been updating this for a couple of weeks or more and that’s too bad since much has been happening.  With Evan in college and heading toward his days of interning and with Erin going into her senior year of high school, it’s been a bit busy even though we’re in the boring part of late summer.  Well, I’ll just do what I can.

In my defense, I’ve had a great deal to do at work and it has required me to be away from my desk all of the time so I guess I’ve fallen out of the habit of thinking about blogging.

We returned to OSU last Wednesday so Erin could see all of the aerospace engineering department as well as talk to the scholarship folks. It went extremely well.

They of course scheduled a full day of activities for us including a few things we weren’t Interetested in but we also had a “student ambassador” who was guiding us around so we used his knowledge to play fast and loose with the itenerary. He was really nice and super helpful.

We had a very long meeting with an aero prof and while touring the wind tunnel, ran into a coworker who is working on his Ph.D. We were shown the student machine shop and by the end of it Erin was ready to start college right then.

Our meeting with the scholarship guy was very encouraging as well so we’re heading into Erin’s senior year with high hopes for the future.

The end of summer that is.

Mel starts back to work today since the schools are opening soon. She’s not too thrilled but then who is ever thrilled to return to work?

Erin continues to work at the pools but is gearing up to return to school in a couple of weeks.

Evan is back from Colorado and lifeguarding the second half of the summer and we’ve been preparing for his return to school by reserving his books and gathering all that stuff he needs like a new printer, bike rack, etc.

And amid all this it is over 100 degrees outside. So Mel has been staying inside and doing freer chores than normal in an effort to enjoy the last remaining days of vacation. Yesterday we watched a bunch of episodes of The Office on DVD for example.

This only affects me indirectly. I haven’t had a summer break since 1986 so I barely remember more than two weeks off at a time but I remember them fondly.