Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Week in Review

It's been a hectic week. I had been creating posts daily and saving them for when I had time, but between sick kids, work, snow, more snow, I never had a chance to post it, so here is the past week in review.

Sunday 1/11/2009
Sunday..........Saturday night Scott had asked if he could have friends over to play Left 4 Dead. I arose early enough to clean the kitchen, living room, dining room, ride the exercise bike, and get cleaned up. Two of Scott's friends arrived around 12:30 PM bringing with them an additional copy of Left 4 Dead which was used in the XBOX 360 in the family room.

Scott, Danielle, and I stayed up in the living room using the XBOX there while his two friends played in the family room downstairs giving us our own four player game. For the next five and a half hours severe insanity resulted as we played on the Expert setting trying to finish the No Mercy campaign. Scott wanted an award that you got for completing any campaign on the Expert setting which is next to impossible as we found out. From time to time I handed my controller to Danielle and let her play a bit since she enjoys the game too. Scott was constantly yelling commands down to his friends and they were yelling other things back. It was most amusing and fun to be a part of their game.

Around 2:30 we took a pizza break as I had ordered cheese pizza, bread sticks, and antipasto from Vitale's. After chowing down the gaming continued amidst much yelling, screaming, and amplified sound thanks to the surround system in the living room.

Scott and one of his friends got the award while the other and myself died moments before the rescue, thus robbing us of the achievement!

A bit after 6 PM the friends departed and we settled in to enjoy the rest of the evening, enjoying some left over chicken soup which I had made Saturday night.

Of course it started snowing again and around 8 PM I get a call from the X who has been sick for several days now. My older son Christopher was supposed to be heading back to college and his car would not start, so, she wanted to know if I could follow the tow truck down to the car repair place since AAA towing has a policy stating they can't just drop a car there without the owner being there to insure it is safely locked if the business is closed.

The roads were in bad shape but we made the trip to and from there with no incidents and I returned home to relax for the rest of the evening.

Monday 1/12/2009
Danielle was so dizzy and had such a bad headache she stayed home from school. Scott had a major sore throat, headache and was all congested so he stayed home as well. I wonder if he caught the bug his Mom had Saturday night when he went to her house to try jump-starting Christopher's car.

Since both kids were home and feeling so bad I opted to work from home so I could take care of them when they got up. I took a lunch break and rode the exercise bike around 11:30 AM and afterward as both kids were up I made them some quick pancakes for lunch before returning to work.

After work hours were over I snow blowed the driveway and headed off to Forest Hills Foods for some provisioning, and no sooner after arriving home and getting out of my wet clothes the phone rang, the X wanting to know if I could take Christopher to pickup his car, which I did, after suiting back up for the cold. Timing is everything!

Arriving back home I watched some TV with Scott and Danielle, and then made Kraft Velveeta Shells and Cheese for dinner which they really love. Everyone was in bed at 10:30 PM, and looking outside my window before I retired I saw the snow was once again falling down.......

Tuesday 1/13/2009
It never ceases to amaze me the way they decide if the schools should be closed. Close to half a foot of snow fell last night and it was still falling when I got up. School was not canceled and there was not even a two hour delay! There have been other mornings where the roads were not half this bad and school has been delayed! Making sure Danielle and Scott were up and able to go to school I headed out, clearing off Scott's car and a path to it before departing.

Enjoying a haphazard ride to work because the roads were terrible, I managed to arrive In one piece and began preparing for my first meeting of the day. My phone rings and it is Danielle informing me Scott's car won't turn over! Timing is everything!!

I headed out onto roads that were already worse in condition then my trip into work. I got home and picked up the kids, heading slowly and carefully to their school. I did not just want to jump start Scott and send him on his way because i was 99% sure he needs a new battery and I did not want him to be stranded at school later.

The traffic was terrible and there was a huge line of cars waiting to turn left on a hill at one point. Of course the Mustang does not like hills in the snow....but we managed to get up it, and I dropped the kids off at school about 10 minutes past the start of their first class.

I headed home figuring I could join the meeting I was already late for from my house. This would get me into the call and webex a good 20 minutes sooner than if I went all the way back to work. I was that thrilled on the prospect of that since the roads were really bad now and it was still snowing.

At one point while not driving too fast and while being careful, coming out of a turn I slid into the oncoming traffic on one of the larger roads. The Powers That Be were in my camp as I missed colliding with anything and was able to come out of the slide and quickly get back on the right side of the road, though I was quite shaken!

I joined my meeting about 15 minutes late, and during a break in meetings at 11 AM I went out, chiseled open the ice and snow encrusted hood of Scott's 98 Plymouth Breeze, and managed to get the charger on it. THUNK! said the meter of the charger as it pinged on the 12 AMP draw mark of the meter!

During my lunch break at noon I rode the exercise bike and then called Costco to see if they have a battery for Scott's car; they do, so we will be heading over there around 3:30 PM.

I went out and snow blowed around 3 PM, and I also started Scott's car and ran it long enough to heat it up and melt the ice on the windows and wind shield. After Scott and Danielle got in from school we headed out. The sun was shining (quite the contrast to the stormy start of the day) and the temperature was barely 20 degrees.

When I called Costco I neglected to ask the $20 question, "Do you install car batteries", the answer to this was "No". Scott's car has a very weird battery mount and you actually need to take off the front tire on the drivers side of the car to replace the battery. Due to the cold weather and lack of heated garage I chose to opt out on doing this myself.

We went down to Sears where they do install the battery and after selecting the sensibly priced battery with the 3 year warranty we headed off to dinner. Since there were people in front of us and it was going to take at least 90 minutes for his car to be done, we had dinner at Red Robin and then did some shopping at the mall. We got Scott's car and he headed back to my house while Danielle and I stopped at Steak and Shake to get the X some dinner since she was still sick. We dropped that at her house and were back home by 7, We then watches Run, Fat Boy, Run which was most enjoyable. It's a story of Boy meets girl, gets her pregnant, abandons her at the alter, and five years later tries to get her back. This was followed by two new episodes of Scrubs.

Wednesday 1/14/2009
The overnight temperature according to the weather report was -4 in my area. A couple of inches of snow fell, as it is so powdery and fluffy because of the cold I left it where it is figuring the wind may take care of most of it!

In retrospect I hear in Minnesota the temperature in some spots hit -44, so, while my weather may feel cold to me and alarm my friend David on the West Coast, I can put the cold here in greater perspective, but, really one must wonder what kind of person lives in an area that gets that cold!?? I'm having enough trouble with the few degrees below zero and single digit temperatures.

After work the kids and I played some Left 4 Dead, while Scott and Danielle finished up after Danielle and I had played I made a quick pot of pre-packaged Ramon soup for us, omitting some of the supplied (high! Repeat HIGH! in sodium) spice packets with my own salt free mixture. I also added about a pound of frozen boneless skinless check breast meat.

We enjoyed that, and a bit later we watched the new Futurama episode Bender's Game which was excellent. Lord of the Rings fans will not want to miss the parody of that epic saga that is done by the Futurama characters!

Scott and I played a little more Left for Dead after the movie while Danielle talked on the phone, and then we all retired.

Thursday 1/15/2009
A Balmy -1 degree temperature overnight, it was warming nicely and was about 4 degrees when I left the house.

After work Scott came home and wanted to watch an episode of The Simpsons before he went to work which we did. I also loaned him my heavy ski gloves since it was only 5 degrees out and his job has him outside a fair portion of his 4 hour shift. He departed for work and Danielle and I played a campaign of Left 4 Dead before heading over to Meijer to pick up some supplies. Forest Hills Food does not have the fat free powdered Cheddar cheese we like to use on popcorn or the dry cat food and treats that Tails likes. Danielle also wanted a CD by The Fray for the song she and her friend were going to sing in the talent show, but they did not have it.

We stopped at Wendy's for dinner and then headed home. Scott got home around 8:30 with an order of lo mein for himself and the three of us watched Worst Week which is an excellent comedy series. I ordered the CD Danielle had wanted off of Amazon and then Scott I played a campaign of Left 4 Dead after which we all retired.

Friday 1/16/2009
Danielle was knocking on my bathroom door early this AM as I was getting ready for work, evidently she needed some 'supplies' from her Mom's house since she ran out at mine. As the local store was still closed we had no choice.

Because of the -2 temperature and the ice crystals in the air a rare treat for the eyes awaited us; all light sources were reflecting straight up! It was most spectacular and I sight I've only seen once or twice before!

I waited in the car while Danielle went into her Mom's house and then we headed back to my place where I finished getting dressed (imagine my state of undress in this cold weather if you will because we had to rush to get back home in time for her to ride to school with her brother!) and I headed off to work.

The weather says a warming trend is upon us. It will not drop below zero this night but stay nice and toasty at 6 above, with temps in the teens tomorrow, and 30 by Sunday! Break out the Sandals and shorts my friends!

After work, I went home and relaxed a bit, watching some TV and puttering about on the computer. Danielle had gone to a friends right after school and would be dropped off at her Moms since it is the start of the X's week.

Scott arrived home around 5:15 PM upset because he did not get a document signed for work at school. Periodically he has to have the school certify that he is attending school regularly. He can be dismissed if he does not have it done. Of course, he could have easily done this...but you know how teenagers are. I am thinking if he explains he simply forgot they will give him a chance Monday at worst case not let him work this weekend.

Scot and I watched an episode of The Simpsons and I made sliders (mini cheeseburgers) for my dinner using lean ground beef and 2% cheddar cheese slices. They were very good.

The X called at 6:30 because I had told her Danielle was getting dropped off around dinner time (so I thought Danielle had said). I had also told Danielle to tell her Mom where she was going and details since she would be in her Mom's custody that evening.

Well, 7:30 PM and Danielle was not answering her cell (it was obviously off since it was going straight to voice mail) and we could no find the current school directory at either house (evidenced at my residence by drawers hastily dumped on the floor to reveal contents, etc.) and we did not have a home phone number for her friend in this age of cell phones.

I was able to find a Google maps printout from the first time I took Danielle to her friends house (I stand by my philosophy of not throwing things out! It's not laziness! It's forward planning!) and giving the address to the X she was able to gt a hold of Danielle by looking up the phone number based on the address.

Danielle's phone was low on battery so she had turned it off in direct violation of the "You've got a cell phone whose primary purpose is for communicating with Mom and Dad!" accord of 2008. The X and I were steamed and I suggested we remove text messaging from Danielle's phone since that's all she does with every free moment, even walking down the snow packed street one day in front of my house!

Suggested removing I say because the phone is on the X's service. It it was my service texting would be gone already.

Anyway, Danielle located, I tried to settle down for the remainder of the evening enjoying some TV and time on the computer, which I re-partitioned in preparation for installation of Windows 7.

Bed was not until 1 AM as I decided around midnight to pickup the mess my earlier search had done, and do a sink load of dirty dishes since the kids were gone and it would not fill up again with just myself at home.


David Louis Harter said...


That is an excellent retelling of the week's events. Reading it put me "right in the action," so to speak.

Brrrr. I certainly wish you and your family well, through all the snow, ice, cold, sickness, and dead batteries!

- David

Chris said...

If you call snow and weather action I take my hat off to you my friend! I am SICK of it! :)

I am pleased you enjoyed the post......and of course there will be at least another couple of inches of snow today! Yay?

David Louis Harter said...


It is 50° at 5:07 this morning. It appears we are in for yet another sweltering day!

- David