Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wet Dreams

I had a little nocturnal adventure last night. We've installed a water alarm in the basement so we know when we start to get water. Then we can drop an extra sump pump before we get 4 feet of water (yes, we've had 4 FEET of water in our basement more than once.) I woke up about 4:30 AM and thought I heard the alarm going off. I went to check and we had about an inch of water over the entire floor. I confirmed that both pumps were running and then tried to determine if the water was rising or falling. I was finally able to ascertain that it was, in fact, rising. So I got the extra sump pump from the garage, swapped my nightshirt for a T-shirt out of the laundry basket, and swapped my slippers for my Crocs (yes, I was wearing pants, I did remember to put those on along with my glasses before departing the bedroom.) I went out and cut the plastic over the basement window (we've broken it so many times we've stopped having glass or plexiglass installed, heavy plastic sheeting is cheaper...). Of course, my father-in-law just fixed it on Tuesday. I then had to drop the sump pump into the basement. It took some wrestling but I managed to get it through the hole and into the basement (all of this is made more difficult by the fact that the window is in a below grade well.) I plugged it in and...nothing. Back into the basement I went. I reset the breaker and still nothing. Back upstairs to change plugs. Back into the basement to jiggle the float on the pump. That made the pump kick on which made the tubing come flying back into the basement. Back outside, pull up the pump, grab the tubing, weight it down with pieces of firewood, and drop the pump again. Back into the basement to jiggle the float. Finally success. Of course, by now I am my very own wet T-shirt contest. I was soaked to the skin. I got dried off and got back into bed about 5:50 AM. The best part of it? The Wife never knew I got up and the BIL didn't wake up either.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This evening I was retrieving messages from home voice mail and there was a message for The Wife that said "it is affirmative that you call today." WTF?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Snake Wrangler

I am the mighty snake wrangler. On Friday The Wife and I were getting ready to leave for 5 days on Martha's Vineyard with the MOH and her family (PreppyMan, Minime, WeeXman) and I needed to get something from the basement. Upon descending the stairs I noticed that the snake had made his way across the basement and was far away from both sump pits but under some shelves. I did my new trick of tapping the floor with a stick (this time the squeegee) and determined that the snake was indeed still alive. I decided it was time to remove the snake. I put on my leather gloves and used the squeegee to bring the snake out into the open. I scared myself at that point because I looked at the shape of the snake's head and decided it could be poisonous. I couldn't grab the snake behind its head so I pinned it down with the squeegee (the snake did NOT like that) and managed to get ahold of it. I carried it upstairs (all the while it was trying to bite me and I was glad I had put on the gloves). The Wife bravely held the door open and I took the snake out and released him into our front yard. Hopefully he won't come back.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


This will not seem like such a big deal to those of you who don't know me in reality but I just bought 2 suits (separates really) and 4 shirts to go with them. I did this after discovering at my co-workers wedding that the waistband on the pants of my silk suit was shot. I have business travel coming up over the next several months and I need stuff to wear. I was agonizing over the purchase and The Wife declared that she was sick of my old suits and I must buy new ones. She also declared that in the Spring I will be buying new warm weather business attire. I have owned these suits since I started working in my current profession and that was 10+ years ago.

The wedding was fine. The priest was obsessed with celibacy and wouldn't shut up during his homily. It was almost 90 out and the church was not air conditioned. There was also a heroin bust in the parking lot during the wedding. We walked out to discover several police officers searching the weeds along the parking lot for the heroin that had been dumped. We then saw a handcuffed guy whose car was getting searched and 4 police cars in the midst of an arrest at a gas station. All in the 2 miles from church to reception site. The Bride and Groom taped a cute (and very brief) video and then they had childhood and more recent photos on a loop. We sat with a group of the Groom's childhood friends and their spouses and another couple from our town. The food was good and the music was set at a level so you could talk during dinner. We left about 9 PM because The Wife needed to change her meds (and we wanted to watch the Phillies game.)

I have not spent any significant time in Pittsburgh as an adult. Yesterday I took a walk. The riverfront (Allegheny River) is awesome. I walked from our hotel across the Roberto Clemente Bridge to PNC park (and the statue of Roberto Clemente). PNC Park was open so I wandered in and had a look at the field. Note to self: Must attend baseball game there sometime. Then I went down the stairs to the river front and walked along the river to Heinz Field. Up the steps and back (in the shade) towards PNC park, the bridge, and the hotel. There was a regatta taking place so there were people and shells all over the place. I would have hung around if I had more time. The Wife and I also had a very good dinner on Friday night at a restaurant called "Christos." It was a hole in the wall tucked in between two other restaurants but it was such a find. Really great authentic Greek food at a low price. We both had greek salads, hummus and pita, and The Wife had Kreatospita (sp?) with veggies and I had a greek sampler platter with gyro, tzatziki, pita, grape leaves, and rice pilaf. The owner of Christos cooked for Jackie Onasis for 2 years when she lived in Greece and created a dessert for her so I had that. It was great. Hard to describe because the description doesn't do it justice. Just YUM.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Road Trip

Today The Wife and I are off to Pittsburgh for a wedding. I've never been a big fan of weddings (probably because most of my early experiences with weddings were the extremely boring weddings of my MUCH older cousins AND it involved getting dressed up and wearing dresses.) I'm having mixed feelings about this wedding. It requires a long drive but I have the day off so we can go early. I know both bride and groom (I work with the groom) but not anyone else who is attending the wedding. I have to get dressed up but I have a nice silk suit I can wear. I hate the way the silk suit looks on me and there is no but. Many things come down to that. I don't want to go because I have to wear clothes I don't think I look good in. The other day I went to get the mail in a white T-shirt and my comfy knit pants and I felt like Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski. I'm going to feel like Tony Curtis in "Some Like It Hot" on Saturday. I need a tailor (and lots of money.)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Snake update

There is no update. I am afraid to go into the basement to see if the snake is still there.

Go Phillies!

The Phillies have won the NL East for the first time since 1993. The Mets had the worst collapse by any team by losing a 6.5 game lead with 17 games to play (I think it was the worst, if not worst, it was close.) Jimmy Rollins looks like a damned prophet now. I can't wait for Wednesday.