Saturday, September 12, 2009

First you got the 'tah'

...and I really want to follow with the "dah", but I'm blocked at every turn. Hopefully the day won't escalate beyond these minor

...I just opened the laptop and reflect a bit on the irony of reading the above in the emergency room at St. Vincent's Hospital. It's about 2 hours after I wrote that.

At the time the nuisances I was coping with were:

Gary left with Scott to take the new light rail line down to Clackamas. It had seemed that Connor wanted to go, but then he opted to wait for a phone call and the possibility of an overnight guest.

Sigh. I wanted him to go...I have a bit of a cold and some quiet time was appealing.

Later yet: 9:03 pm

Yish. What a day. Trying to not dwell on what could have been...

OK. Connor decided to stay home. While dealing with that I decided to download the pictures from the Canon in order to get the latest taken of the house where the trim in front has been completed. That was to be the "dah!" Gary told me I could remove the data card from the camera, plug it in to his laptop, download it, and email the picture to my laptop. This was a better alternative than directly plugging the camera into my laptop because Gary has 380 pictures in it from his last trip to Asia that my i-photo program has to churn through, even though I've instructed it to not import them. It's time consuming and so cumbersome it's hardly worth going thru just to obtain 2 or 3 pictures of the finished house.

I go in the office. I remove the data card; find the slot in Gary's laptop, turn it on. Up comes Gary's 2 accounts, one for personal, one business. It wants a password.

Why did Gary tell me to do this if it was password protected and he didn't give me the password?

I stare at the clue, trying to think like Gary. What could the hint postn be referring to? All I can think is post-9/11. I pick up the phone and call him. He didn't take the cell; I hear it ringing in the other room. I sigh and turn off his computer. I pick up the camera to replace the card and see the battery is absent. I look for the battery charger and see the battery and the indicator light on it is amber. Sigh.

So I decide to go try to pull the data off an old mac desktop we have had since 1999. Some of my earlier journals from St. Louis are in it as well as a bunch of pictures I scanned in. Lots of emails. Gary keeps wanting to get rid of it and I want to get the good stuff first. I can't seem to find a disk that it will read and allow me to transfer; I decide to try a thumb drive.

The tower and an enormous monitor are crammed into the boys' closet downstairs. I pull them out and reinvent the wheel on how to connect them. Then I stare...there is no obvious "on" button. I run my hands over the tower, the keyboard. I feel like a chimpanzee as I turn the tower from side to side; lay it down and look at the bottom. What's worse is that I know there's a way to turn it on because I went through all this before stumbling upon the secret the last time I tried to retrieve data. I give up and go to look for the manual. I look in the TV room which was once a rough workshop before we partially finished it (and before we ran out of money) when we moved in 4 years ago. The shelves are blocked by all the heavy table saws and other garage stuff that have been sitting there since we cleaned out the shed in preparation of moving it before starting digging the foundation for the garage. I see a keyboard and wonder if that's the key to turning the thing on. I can't reach it, and I can't get close enough to climb up because of all the junk.

I've been thwarted so far at every damn turn.

It takes a tricky maneuver to secure the keyboard, but I finally have it. I take it into the bedroom and plug it in, but still have no clue how to turn it on. I'd really hoped to not have to look for the manual again. It seemed I'd seen it everywhere, stumbled over it, until I actually needed it.

I'm ready to give up. I take one last look at the back of the tower and push something that looks like a screw hole up by the cable that connects it with the monitor. The Mac-tone rings. OK; I got it on; I watch expectantly. What comes up is the crude image of a disk with a question mark blinking in the middle.

This time I do give up and go into the laundry. The catbox has been used, obviously many times. I'm already aggravated with Connor who had picked up the phone when it rang earlier, expecting his friend. Instead it was for me, and he thrust it at me when my mouth was full. I said, "find out who it is and tell them I'll call them back". Instead he pushed it in my face. Now I was seriously irritated and again told him, in full hearing of whoever it was on the other end to QUIT and find out who it was and tell them I'd call back. He spoke into the phone, and then hung up without finding out who it was.

One of Connor's jobs is to clean the catbox. I asked him to do so and he said OK. Then nothing happened.

I was so wishing he'd gone with his dad.

I went upstairs to take him to task and found him lying on my bed. He said he'd fallen on his skateboard and hit his portable rail with his back and banged his elbow again.

His elbow.

A few days before Labor Day he went with a buddy to an indoor skatepark. In his zeal to ollie the '7 steps' he flung himself down them again and again, falling and banging his elbow in the process. That night he had an enormous swelling, and the next day we took him to his pediatrician. X-ray revealed no broken bones and the most likely diagnosis was a bursitis. The prescription was to rest.

Then the asphalt paving went in and the concrete floor of the new garage was cured enough to use. Skateboard heaven. The buddy he'd hoped to have over tonight was to help him try it out.

He couldn't resist getting a little foretaste while waiting for the call.

So, as I was talking to him in bed the phone rang and it was my friend calling back from earlier. She's from Idaho, and working an on-call physical therapy position at the coast, but was in town and wanted to know if it was ok to come up.

She'd probably been here about 45 minutes when the phone rang again. I was deep into a story for Cheri that I can't even remember because Connor interrupted me. When I sternly told him I was talking he asserted himself, insisted this was a justified interruption. One of his friends was on the phone and he and his dad's car had either been towed or stolen from a soccer game and could I come and get them. I excused myself and got on the phone and talked with the dad.

They were at the Delta Park soccer field, probably about 20 or 30 min away. He was supposed to be at a wedding, that very minute, and everyone he'd tried to call was at that wedding. I ascertained where in the park they were and asked where they needed to go. He said his mother's house in Tigard. I gulped...that was a REALLY long way. I excused myself for a minute because Connor was complaining about his arm, and when I got back on the phone I suggested just taking him either to his house or to his ex-wife's. Then I got off the phone with him and went to say goodbye to Cheri.

We said our goodbyes and uneasily I heard the phone ring a few more times inside. I went in and Connor was grimacing and saying his arm really hurt. I was startled when I saw how much the swelling/deformity and discoloration had increased. He was asking me for codeine. The phone rang. It was his friends' dad, saying I didn't need to come after all because he'd gotten hold of his ex-wife who was on her way. So that freed me to take Connor to the ER.

So far the best thing that had happened this day, besides a good cup of coffee, was the satisfaction of Cheri telling me how much she liked the color of the house when the next door neighbor was in earshot, having gotten her mail.

The next best thing was that his arm still wasn't broken, or dislocated, as the swelling had led me to fear. It seemed unlikely it was dislocated, given his description of how he'd hit it, but I'd feared a painful procedure for him. Instead, he raved over the "hospitable" time he'd had: cocooned in a hospital bed once we got a room inside the ER, complete with full cable TV and getting wheeled in it into x-ray. We left with strict instructions for NO SKATEBOARDING for 4-6 weeks, and injunctions to rest it.

It was a very busy ER and we moved through relatively smoothly. Still, it took about 3 hours from walk-in to walk-out.

What a day.

Here is the "dah" *

*Except for the fact that on the east side of the house the painting under the eaves is yet to do. The ground falls away steeply there, so the ladder set-up is crucial and tricky. We've done the painting ourselves, but I'm not averse to letting some fearless college kid do it. Otherwise I fear it may be years before this job is technically "done".

**Objects are still redder than they appear.

***Driveway is steeper than it appears, but considerably flattened out. It had been gravel, the kind that people consistently dug ruts into as they'd spin their wheels trying to climb out.


Lavender Luz said...

Chuckling at the chimpanzee reference. I've done the same thing.

What a frustrating day! Do you guys have this newfangled thing called "taxis" there? Have Soccer Dad google the concept.

Glad Connor is OK after all. I hope you get some time to yourself soon.

Have they started school? How's the dojo going?

Ailey said...

Yes, glad Connor is ok. Poor guy-4-6 weeks of no skateboarding will be tortuous to him, no? What a day indeed. The house looks good though and you lived to tell.


Sheri said...

Sorry to hear about Connor's elbow and that he can't skate for 4-6 weeks. That probably hurts worse than the bruising!

My boys used to watch a TV program of nasty accidents that skateboarders have. I walked in one time and they kept showing the kid falling over and over and over again while they told the story. It was awful.

I'm sending you and Connor loving, healing energy.

excavator said...

Lavender--I didn't go further with the chimpanzee reference, you know where the screeching and pounding with sticks happens.

Thanks, everyone, for your best wishes for Connor.

Sheri, I can't ever bear to look at the pictures of skateboarding injuries, crashes and crack-ups, let alone the Youtubes and television programs. I won't even go to the Dew events any more. Why should I watch some mother's son trying to mutilate himself?