I’m still up in the air as to whether or not it’s a good thing when your weekend is so packed full that it blasts by at somewhere around mach one-point-five… On one hand, you have a lot of fun. But time flies when you’re having fun, so on the other hand your weekend seems unnaturally short.
Saturday morning started off as near to perfect as I could ask for – it was a beautiful morning, the sun was rising through the woods behind my home, and Kelly showed up with bagels and juice just minutes before my alarm clock was scheduled to wake me up far less pleasantly.
I headed for the NYSACA gun show at the dome after tucking Kelly in for bed, and in addition to one of these, I managed to find a Uniflow powder thrower for $12. Better than spending $70 on a new one! From there, it was back home, then grocery shopping, then a slew of errands before heading down to the ambulance base.
Of course then, the fun was just beginning. The shift was pretty quiet until we got a call for a woman struck in the head with a ladder about an hour before midnight. It was a pretty routine job until she went unresponsive on us in the truck. She woke up a few minutes later, and this happened a couple of times. Made for an interesting ride to the hospital – and it got even more interesting when – as we were rockin’ up the highway at 65mph – she woke up pissed… very unhappy to be there!
The rest of the shift was uneventful, and from 8:00am ’till 7:00pm Sunday, Kelly and I went through Basic Pistol training at our local gun club. I took it quite some time ago, and it was cool to sit in once again and see how much of the technique has become second-nature in the months since. There are plenty of photos hosted over at
http://medicdave.dotphoto.com/! Pay extra-close attention to the shot of Kelly entitled “kelly_rocks” – that shot grouping makes it clear that she’s not one to mess with!
Yeah, I guess a fly-by weekend is a good thing every so often!
Well, my self-induced renewed interest in “shutterbugging” seems to be paying off, at least in the proverbial sense. On Wednesday, I borrowed a Canon 10D with a 28-135mm lens from work. Yesterday, with every ball in someone else’s court, I took the afternoon off and headed out in search of A Few Good Images…
First, I headed to Mt. Hope Cemetary. Those who remember the “old” daverea.com may recall the gallery that I posted with photos taken there on a trip with my old room mate Brett. Heck, he may still have a gallery from that field trip on his web site.
The real gem of the day, however, was when I decided to head over to the rowing club where Kelly and I are members. There, I found one of our local high school crews practicing, as well as the “outrigger canoe” club and several private scullers… in all, a virtual cornucopoea of photos waiting to be captured!
You can view the photos – and buy prints, if you’d like – at the dotPhoto.com gallery.
I think I’m gradually finding a niche in the big buffet line of the photographic world. I’ve tried shooting in all sorts of different areas – from action shots to sports to portraits to nature. I’ve tried for the “geometric look”, artsy blurriness, macro photography and sillouettes. But at the end of the day, when I pull my images into the computer and begin to browse, the personality shots are the ones I almost always like the best…
OK, OK, so I didn’t get around to posting an update last night as promised. At any rate, the window repair went great yesterday. After installing the new bracket-and-motor-and-cable assembly, I tested it out and put the rest of the door back together. Everything looks to seal up just fine, and the window works perfectly.
Cost at a mechanic’s shop: $290 part + $120 labor
Cost to do it myself: $65 part + a couple of scratches on my right hand
It’s too much in either case, since the only thing that was broken was a string of steel cable that costs about a dollar to make, and should have sold for less than ten bucks. But that’s the auto industry for ya…
Funny thing… it’s really hard to get obscure car parts on a Sunday. You start with the big parts stores like AutoZone and Pep Boys, but they inevitably don’t have what you need. So you hit up the dealerships, but what few dealers are open Sundays apparently give their parts departments the day off. My solution to the imminent unavailability of the part was to shovel the innards of my door into the foot well and go inside for a root beer. I rigged up the window with a bungee cord so that it stayed most of the way up, locked the car, and hoped for the best.
This morning, I tackled the task of finding the part. After calling a few of the bigger parts places around town – the guys who sell to the mechanics – I found myself dialing the ominous digits to reach … dum dum dum! … the dealer. They empathetically informed me that the cable I need – a fifty-cent string of steel cable with two-penny round retaining nuts on each end – is only sold as an assembly. That means it comes with the motor, with the gearhead, with the sliding track and with the spiral drive unit. Oh, and that means it costs $291. At that price, it should come with a new friggin’ window.
Next stop – the salvage yards. I called around Rochester with no luck … evidently they’re all on the same computer system and they all came up with beans. Finally, a guy out in Brockport offered to sell me the whole deal, pulled from a wreck, for $65. God bless whoever wrecked their Intrigue for the salvation of my checking account…
Now, the plan is, to bug out of work at about 3pm and head home to install the new part. It should be a pretty easy job, just pick out what’s left of the “donor” Intrigue’s window glass, bolt everything together and plug in the wires. I guess the upside of buying the whole kluge is that I don’t have to re-route the cable through the brakcets (which are packed with white lithium grease) and I don’t have to re-wrap it around the drive spindle just the right way…
If all goes well, I’ll be able to post an update (and maybe some pics?) once I get down to the ambulance base tonight… to be continued!
It’s basic cause and effect people. And when it comes to life in general, the causes are always changing and their effects generally stay the same. So you know you’re growing – as a person, as a professional, as a boyfriend, whatever – when the causes keep coming at you and the effects change…
You know things are about to turn ugly when assorted members of your ambulance either don’t show up for thier shifts, or tell you they’d rather just be friends. But you know things are swinging towards the side of sanity when you don’t lose any sleep over it.
You know things are stacked against you when you close your car door and the window drops about 3 inches, then flops around loose in the tracks when you try to move it with your hand. But you know there’s more to serendipity than just bad luck when your all-day class gets rescheduled and you end up with an entire beautiful sunny Sunday to fix the damn thing.
Along that theme, you know you’re either getting bolder or stupider when the aforementioned automobile window problem occurs, and instead of whining about it and preparing to shell out three hundred clams to some crooked garage, you pace for a moment then rip the door open yourself. I think I can blame that one squarely on my friend Jason, who does all his own car work, and who somehow managed to convince me (probably taking advantage of my occasional adventurously irrational streak) that I could do the same thing.
Most importantly, you know things – important things – about you are growing up when you have a day filled with 180-degree expectation cancellations at every turn, and you still manage to enjoy it.
I’m going grocery shopping now.
Yesterday, the Rochester City Council released a report that chastized our [expletive deleted] mayor for gutting the police department despite consistently rising crime rates. On the very same day (still yesterday!) Mayor Johnson wrigged his way to the business end of a podium, aimed himself in the general direction of the TV lights, and told us all that the #1 priority for the City of Rochester is getting our fast ferry running again.
You see, the City of Rochester, and Monroe County, not to mention the People’s Republic of New York, have all dumped a lot of money into “our fast ferry”. Millions of dollars. And when the private venture that operates it shut it down last week, all of a sudden a lot of politicians got very upset. Now I’m all for having a ferry between here and Toronto. I’m all for successful business (ad)ventures and I’m all for saying “nice job” when something works out.
But something strikes me funny about this little situation that our elected critters have gotten us all into. Our city schools are near the worst in the state. Only Buffalo has crappier public education. The district is being audited by the Department of Education. There have been four home invasions this week, and all of them involved armed thugs and tied-up residents in neighborhoods outside the crime belt. The police department has just issued a press release encouraging parents to walk their children to their school bus stops, since “this is the season for sexual predators”.
Yet our “top priority” is a shuttle boat that (until last week) ran back and forth between here and Toronto. No, it’s not getting our county’s $2M budget deficit under control. No, it’s not reappropriating misdirected funds away from stupid projects and toward the police department, or the schools. No, it’s not repealing worthless laws that require residents to lock up their guns (and their safety).
I have a grand idea. I already pay fees for water, and electricity, and sewers, and trash collection. How’s about you cut my taxes in half. Put the half I give you toward filling pot-holes and trimming the shrubs at the park. I’ll invest the other half in an alarm system for my home, the collection plate at my church (because they give my money to worthy charities, so you don’t have to give my money to crackheads) and some plane tickets to visit the states that I could to move to once I finally have enough money to leave this socialist barnyard of a state.
I recently received an e-mail from my aunt, who recently moved to Florida. She said they’d been without running water for several days, and had to take sponge baths to keep clean and non-stinky whilst without air conditioning…
I did not, however, think the same problem would affect me!
Let’s start at the beginning – last night. The overnight crew for the ambulance called in sick, so Jason and I ended up covering the shift. We started out the evening at my place, however, with a trip to Mark’s Texas Hots for dinner. Accordingly, Jason left his van there since he had school this morning anyway – why bother taking two vehicles?
We headed for the base, had a zero-call shift, and hauled back up to my place at 5:00 this morning. By 5:30 we had both crashed on some manner of horizontal surface (being exhausted and all) and at 7:00 my alarm went off. I forfeited the first shower to Jason, since he had to be at class at 8:00. But no shower occurred. In fact, no water usage of any kind occurred. Because when you turned the faucet on, nothing came out.
Yes, apparently all that construction work we drove by on the way to Mark’s Texas Hots was water-related. And after I finished using stove-heated Brita water to wash my face and brush my teeth, I headed to work and drove by at least one pump pulling large amounts of water out of a manhole on Clinton Ave.
Great. Just goes to show you how hopelessly dependent we are on our utilities. And how retarded we get when they’re suddenly absent.