Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still clocking in

No hooky today, not formally anyway. Informally I’ve been barely-here since about 11:20 this morning when the holiday luncheon was being set up, and my hereness has become even more threadbare in the food-coma aftermath.

Some fun facts: the departmental party last week was something we had to pay for ourselves, because getting food and roomspace at a hotel in Crystal City is too expensive to be covered by our office budget, apparently. So in addition to the cash bar, we each had to front $28 ahead of time in order to get a seat at a table, a plate of mediocre sirloin and potatoes and string beans, a slice of pumpkin pie and a cup of coffee. And so it goes. But today’s potluck festivities were practically infinitely larger in terms of meal portions. Fried chicken, buffalo wings, crock pot meatballs (which, truly, are one of those foods that evoke the holidays for me like few others), macaroni salad, crudités, chips and guac, pot roast on potato roll – and that’s just what I personally ate off a buffet that probably included three times that many choices total. Plus I had about 19 different desserts. And what nominal fee was I charged in order to attend this in-house luncheon? $2. A stark contrast, indeed.

Anyway, the threatened absence from work did not materialize, but is still looming, maybe. Long story short, the heating system in our house is starting to shuffle towards the major appliance graveyard, unsurprising really considering the air conditioner was death-rattling this summer and no doubt the two are of an age. My wife and I came downstairs Sunday morning to find a thermostat set at 68 but showing a current temperature of 66, with coolish air blowing out the vents. So we called the same guys who fixed the A/C and the technician (who impressed us to no end simply by coming out within a couple hours on a Sunday) spent some time going over the system and found a malfunctioning circuit control board which needed replacing. We were hoping they would get us a quote on Monday and maybe do the work of replacing it on Tuesday, but that’s not how it went. The quote did come in Monday evening, but once we verified we were willing to buy the part and have it installed we found out that the part needed to be ordered and wouldn’t arrive for 3 days or so. Thus, we wait. Maybe they will be able to do the job on Thursday when my wife will be home on her day off. Maybe I will need to play home-maintenance hooky on Friday. Maybe the work will be done over the coming weekend or next Monday – who knows?

In the mean time, worry not about our relative ability to stay warm with a soon-to-expire heat pump in the basement. We also have a fireplace, and recently received our annual cord of wood to feed it, and when that sucker gets a good blaze going it does a remarkably good job of keeping the house so warm the heat doesn’t even need to kick on. At the very least we can be comfortable in the evenings and a little beyond bedtime; then the fire dies out overnight and mornings are a bit chilly, but only a bit, and I’m so fundamentally anti-mornings anyway that a little extra nip in the air at 5 a.m. doesn’t faze me all that much more than simply being conscious does.

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