Saturday, July 01, 2006

Post Eaten by MS Word. Scientists Baffled

I posted an entry the day after my surgery. It wasn't much, but it isn't here. I posted through the Blogger plug-in for MS Word, which seems to have a flaky log-in component. I think I've got it down now, though.

Nothing really much to say. I was drugged (still am, actually) at the time and just popped in to tell everyone that it went swimmingly. No more pilonidal cyst. Unfortunately, the surgeon stitched me back up. This makes for a shorter recovery time (7 to 10 days) but gives me a 50% chance of another pilonidal cyst in the future. I don't like those odds, but it is my own fault for not specifying how I wanted the surgeon to perform the operation. I don't know why, but it seemed presuming of me to tell him how to do his job. In hindsight, I should have ignored that feeling and told him anyway.

Funny story, when telling my wife what I had done, my five-year-old girl will bend over double, showing her rear. She motions over her behind with both hands and says, "They took daddy's parts out of here." Kids say the darndest things, don't they? I'm just waiting for Stacy to tell me that Vicki illustrated my surgery in the middle of church.

I've been up and about a bit too much for the past two days. I am going to be out on my duff for the next couple of days to try to recover a little faster. Whether that means that you will see more inanity or not remains to be, uh, seen.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Initial Thoughts on Superman Returns

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

I'm going to avoid spoilers and try to keep it brief. The acting was pretty good. The action was spectacular. The individual sequences were directed and filmed well. The story sucked. A lot of the characters should not have been who they were, even though the actors portraying them did a good job. As Jon was so kind to point out here, the film seemed to be a morally debasing homage to Richard Donner, director of the first Superman film starring Christopher Reeve. That aside, Routh wasn't half bad; neither was Bosworth. Jon also pointed out something funny about them. Both of them are younger than their counterparts on Smallville, Tom Welling and Erica Durance. I could tell that Kevin Spacey had a great time aping Gene Hackman. James Marsden wasn't nearly as annoying as he is when playing Cyclops, but he still shouldn't have been in the movie. Frank Langella did a fair Perry White. The rest of the cast? Meh. I may post my thoughts on particular story elements in a few weeks after more people have had a chance to watch the movie.

On that note, I am off to bed. Surgery tomorrow, wish me luck.

Oh yeah, his costume was supergay.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Once More Around the Bend

That’s two floods and counting. Last night I went downstairs to check on our impromptu drain cover (a sink drain cover flipped upside down) only to find, to my dismay, that the even more water was leaking through the back door. I had gone down in time enough to stop it from spreading as far this time. Stacy ran down stairs to the sound of my shouted exclamation, “Crap!” Yeah, I’m pretty boring when it comes to curses. Even though it had not spread as far, it seemed like there was more water this time. I was about to open the door to unclog the drain when Stacy serendipitously stopped me. She went outside via the deck door to unclog the drain in case we let more water in by opening the basement door. Lucky she did, because the water was backed up about six inches from the ground, a good four inches above the bottom of the door.

My hotels and diner were ruined! And how did all these people get into my basement?

Stacy unclogged the drain and opened the door. Crisis averted, right? Wrong. After the water got about an inch below the bottom of the door, it stopped draining. The drain wasn’t clogged, though. While I was busily siphoning water out of the carpet, Stacy went into the laundry room across the basement. “Water!” was the next thing I heard. It turns out our sump pump had stopped pumping sump. The three foot well it was in had filled to the brim and just started leaking out onto the floor. My heart sank. It looked like we were in for a nasty flood no matter what we did. The carpet cleaner could only siphon about a gallon of water in five minutes. With the drain and the sump backing up, there was no way we could keep up.

Artist’s depiction of Scott’s broken sump pump

Stacy used the hose attachment to start draining the sump well while I put in an emergency call to her dad. We were sure he would have some good advice. Unfortunately, he could suggest little else beyond getting a new pump and a shop vac as soon as possible. I figured that I’d have to take the pump out to figure out what to buy anyway, so I reached into the water and pulled on the handle. Just as I jostled it, it kicked on. Water began draining out of the sump well faster than you could say, “It works!” which is what I said. As soon as the sump well started draining, so did the back drain. Apparently, it routed straight to the sump well. I also discovered where the sump pump drains, which has me slightly concerned. The steps down to our basement are dug into the earth and reinforced with concrete. This leaves a space of about four feet between the rest of the ground and the deck above. That space is filled with white landscaping rocks and our air conditioner. There is also a pvc pipe jutting from the wall that drains directly into the rocks. As I was working on the carpet after the sump pump crisis, I heard that pipe draining. It turns out the water from the sump well dumps out right there into the rocks.

If you look reeeaaaly closely, you can see the little white rocks

The best I can figure, the builders installed some sort of drainage tiles and the water runs off into the storm drains. Either that, or it contributes to the swamp that is our backyard. If that is the case, then once we reach total saturation, then there is no where for all of the water in our backyard to go but down the stairs, into the drain, back into the sump pump, rinse, repeat, flood. Here’s hoping I won’t be writing a third flood entry.

Unrelated Note Dept.

Stacy called Jon this morning and strong-armed him into seeing Superman Returns with me at a 10:00 PM showing tonight. Apparently the theaters figure that as long as the movie ends after midnight, it is still technically opening on the next day. I wasn’t planning on seeing the movie anytime soon because I have my surgery for the pilonidal cyst tomorrow. I’ll be effectively laid out for the next 7 to 10 days. Jon wasn’t going to see the movie because it stands against everything he knows and loves. Well, everything he knows and loves about Superman, at least. Not one to be deterred, Stacy convinced him to accompany me tonight. She figures I need a night out before I am bed-ridden. I am not going to argue. I’ll leave my thoughts on the movie in my next post.

So gay

Monday, June 26, 2006

And I Wanted to Look Up a Water Sprinkler Supply Store, too!

What kind of genius runs Yellow Book? I’m just asking, because I’m pretty sure that someone possessing a standard level of intelligence in wet weather conditions like say, oh I don’t know, the Flash Flood Warning we’re currently under in Manassas would know that it isn’t a good idea to set out new phone books with no weather proofing. It does not appear that Yellow Book employs people of such brilliance.

Like my ego after bashing an unsuspecting delivery-person on an unread blog, the phone book swelled twice its original size.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Soccer Sucks


That was the sound that literally made me jump minutes ago. Some guy in shorts kicked a ball into a net. Yay. Sports fans will forever mystify me. From where does your obsession with men and balls come? I’m not even making a gay joke here, I really don’t understand. What does that GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL signify in the scheme of things? So the team that you root for, composed of people that just happen to live in the same country, just happens to kick a ball into a net. So what? What did that gain you? What did that gain anyone? Please don’t try to dress any reply up in patriotism. Sports have nothing to do with patriotism. Athletic people are born everywhere. Their existence in a particular country’s team is part of the genetic lottery. It has nothing to do with the country or its ideals. I am fuming just sitting here listening to the sports nerds spouting off behind me. Pointless dialog is to be expected in the NOC, but the level of volume and passion is inexplicable. I have never received a satisfactory explanation behind any sport fan’s obsession. You might as well be in an Apple Jacks commercial. “I just like ‘em because I do.” Fine, like them, just keep it down, dammit. Some people are trying to read comics here.

I Knew I Should've Kept Those High-Waters!

It was a fun time at my house last night, let me tell you! Stacy had been out and about during the day, so she didn’t get to make dinner. Instead, we met at Potbellies for a delicious dinner of PB&J sandwiches (yes, I know we could make those at home, shut it.) Stacy still had an errand to run, so I headed home. I fixed my lunch for the next day then took my Excedrin PM so I could get plenty of sleep before work. Before I headed off to bed, I remembered that Stacy wanted me to check the basement. We had a major rainstorm Thursday night and the drain in our basement entryway got plugged. Only a little bit of water made it into the house, but we didn’t want a repeat.

We got a repeat.

The first sign was my dog’s paw print embedded in the waterlogged carpet at the base of the stairs. By the time I crossed the room to the door, the water was up to the top of my rubber soles. It was lovely. Sure enough, a candy wrapper some kind youth thoughtfully threw over our fence clogged the drain. I spent the next three hours siphoning up what water I could with our carpet cleaner (almost as effective as ZipZaps in finding dog hair, only its much more moist.) Stacy got lost on the way home, so double fun for her. She put the girls to bed before heading to Wally’s World for a dehumidifier and a couple of box fans. By the time she got back, the carpet cleaner was jammed with wet dog hair and I was asleep on my feet. Curse you for being so effective, Excedrin PM! After cleaning out the carpet cleaner, I was barely intelligible. I called work to tell them I’d be late and then headed to bed. I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. Stacy stayed up another three hours until the carpet cleaner got jammed again.

Like I said, fun time!