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11:02 a.m. - October 23, 2006
Friday? Feh...
You know, Friday is supposed to be the best day of the week.


I had a lot of work to catch up on since I had been out for three days, and then I had to go to Indianapolis to cover a football game, so my time was limited. Also, we had workmen coming into install vinyl flooring in our utility room (where the washer and dryer are and a downstairs toilet) and our storage room (which also houses our litter box).

We just felt that carpet wasn't the right solution for those rooms, especially in the storage room with the cats. Also, we had been waiting for a contractor to show up and see what we needed to do regarding our formal dining room. We want to take the carpet out of that and install some laminate, mainly because of some cat issues. (Sundance is definitely the Beta cat and I think Butch has evicted him from the litter box).

We thought it would be best to board the cats, so I put them into the carrier, and I went off to work a bit early to drop them at the vets. Liz was at home waiting for the installers. Hopefully, we could get all of this work done before we had to get to Kansas and Oklahoma and get our laminate ordered and installed before Thanksgiving.

About the time I got settled in to work, I got a call. Seems that they can't install both rooms at the same time, and since we hadn't gotten all of the stuff out of the storage room, they set to work on the utility room, ripping out the toilet and taking up the carpet.

A half hour later, Liz calls again. Seems they're now on Plan "C", because of an issue. It turns out that the sub-flooring in the utility room isn't quite up to snuff. So that needs to be repaired before they can install the vinyl flooring. But they already took the toilet out. So they put the toilet back IN the room, but didn't re-attach it since we will need to get the sub-flooring corrected.

Meanwhile, under the carpet it was revealed that the utility room had an ugly puke-yellow tile. Lord knows what is under the sub-flooring. Perhaps that's where Jimmy Hoffa is.

Now Liz, who is nursing a back problem thanks to carrying around the girls a lot lately, has to take all of the stuff out of the storage room herself, so they can install the vinyl flooring in there.

So now the dollar signs are starting to cloud over my eyes, and I try to concentrate on work. At lunch Designerchica and I scheduled a visit to the Chinese Buffet, so I could take out all of my frustrations on some General Tso's chicken.

Well, it was a nice lunch. Designerchica was going through the agony of the damned because the owners of her company had left, leaving her in charge, and the client from the depth of Hades had reared her head. So she also was seeking some solace in the guise of Chinese food.

After swapping stories and trading Seinfeld references, we said our goodbyes and I went back to work. The afternoon was fairly decent, with no panicked calls from Liz about them having to go to Plan "Q", so I got home, changed clothes, and then went to pick up the cats at the vet.

I got there, and the helper went back to get Butch and Sundance. So I waited and waited and waited. They had a little stray kitten in the waiting room that was doing kitteny things, so that took my mind off of it.

Finally, the door opens, and she is carrying not one but TWO cat carriers. And our normally quiet, placid cats are mewling and howling like feral wildebeests.

It seems that they had a bit of a disagreement with each other while they were cellmates. Oh, my! So they had to separate them.

Well, I rushed home, and told Liz what the deal was. Katie wanted to immediately play with the cats, but I advised against it, as I think they needed some time alone. They probably went to separate kitty bars where they poured out their tale of woe to the kitty bartender over some catnip.

Instead of relaxing at home a bit with the kidlets before going to Indianapolis, I had to go to Satan's Super Discount Store to get a new litterbox, kitty litter and a new cat carrier, since it was obvious that we needed two from now on.

I drive there and find the pet department and make my requisite purchases. It's a cartful, but it's only four items (I got two boxes of kitty litter) and I go into the 10-items-or-less lane. The store was full of the usual suspects that haunt Satan's Super Discount Store. Flab required; teeth optional.

Well, the cashier scans everything except the carrier, and she's looking for the UPC code sticker. I join in the search. Finally, she gets a manager-type over there (after failing to find the proper phone number to call a manager-type for two minutes, at least) and said manager-type will go back and get her the info. Meanwhile, three sets of customers come up behind me, and soon flee to other lines as it's obvious that I'll be there a while.

Now, what I'm thinking is that manager-type will give the cashier the proper UPC code to enter, and bada-boom bada-bing, I'm done. So after another couple of minutes, she gets a call and is told that she needs to enter 2995.

Ok, so she tries to get that in there. I'm thinking that's the code, and so does she. But the cash register doesn't like it. It's telling her to add an "item description", and those four characters isn't enough. So I say to try two leading zeroes. Well, then it asks for the quantity, and she puts in one.

So now the register says that I bought a 002995 for a penny. I'll take it!

Yet, we know that's not right. So a more senior (as in, been there longer than a week, I'm sure) comes over to help. Seems that the item description is what it is - the actual item description and the quantity is actually the price. So she types in "Cat Carrier" and then 2995 and viola, I have bought a cat carrier for $29.95. Yeesh. I think the Manhattan Project was a simpler process than trying to buy an item for my pet.

Now, that only took 15 minutes, and I was now officially cutting it close. On my way home I call up Designerchica and chastise her for sending her bad vibes my way. She gives categorical deniability about the transference of ill will, and claims that I can't hold the incompetence of Satan's Super Discount Store upon her head. Fair enough.

So I rush home, bring the stuff in, get my notebook and pen, kiss the kids, kiss the wife, and hurry off to Broad Ripple High School.

The game was OK, as in no one was killed. Crawfordsville got creamed 54-7 by one of the best teams in the state, but at least the Homecoming Queen got to kick a final extra point. The coach had the requisite comments about the seniors being good leaders, blah blah and all that. The writer for the other paper and I then dash off to a local McDonald's as they have wi-fi there.

But…you have to plunk down $2.95 to use it, we found out. Well, the hell with you McDonald's, we just won't buy anything to eat there. And we didn't.

So my story was written and now it was time to get back on the road. But first, I needed gas. There's a station nearby that is well lighted and always open, so I stop there. I get out and start pumping gas, and then I hear some random noise in the background. I then recognize a human voice, attached to a human being, who approaches me by saying "Hey bro! Can you help me out?"

It seems that his tale of woe is this: His car, which he has left with the motor running, is almost out of gas and also is running hot and he has to get all the way to Georgetown Road.

Those of you not familiar with Indy, I was at 65th and College. Georgetown is several blocks away to the west. The dude pointed east when he said he had to get to Georgetown. Hmmmm...

I said I didn't have any cash, just my credit card. He said, well, just pull forward when you're done and I'll fill up after you. Um, no thanks dude.

He then tries the same spiel on a couple of others who also give him the bum's rush. I lived in Indy for about six years and hung out in Broad Ripple a lot, but I never got panhandled at a gas station before.

So that was the end of Friday's adventure. Saturday was a good day. We had a contractor actually come by to look at the sub-flooring and the dining room. And it wasn't as expensive as we thought, except that when he went down into the basement he noticed that we had a cracked beam and there was a gap that was obvious. He would need to jack up that beam, let the house settle, then take measures to shore it up with cross beams and what not.

But he said it wouldn't be that expensive. The best news is that he used to own the house about 10 years ago. And down in the basement he saw a ladder that he said, "I've been wondering where that ladder was for years."

Of course, right after we said he could do the work, and he said he'd get on it this week, one of the other contractors called. Well, um...too late dude.

So Friday? Not so good, as you can see. But the rest of the weekend was great, and all I know is that I have family and friends who love me, or at least don’t avoid my calls.

What more could someone ask for?


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