Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
2004-07-15
  Memory is a funny thing
I have a lot of boring days. Days where I get up, chase the kids around, pickup cereal off the floor during breakfast, go downstairs and work, have some nilla wafers or cheezits for lunch, stare out the window at the breeze blowing the trees around in the afternoon, write some more code, go upstairs and chase the kids around some more, sit and watch baby doolittle for the 800th time, tuck them in bed, go back downstairs and work some more, and then finally go to sleep around 2am. But those aren't the days one remembers.

Today I was reading some older posts of the Pork Tornado who is kind of a kindred spirit, except he's single, and more funny. He was talking about a series of events that had put him in a bad mood, and he was hoping the adventure was over:

The thing is, I knew I shouldn’t have gotten out of bed yesterday. I just had that feeling. I got in the car, backed up about three feet and realized I had gotten a nail in my tire the day before when I went to clean my old apartment so I could turn the keys in ...

Luckily, I always keep a can of that aerosol tire sealant stuff in my car. If you don’t do that, you need to. That is twice it has saved me from having to change a tire or have the car towed. What it didn’t save me from was locking my keys in the car (with the car running) while I fixed the tire.

I also keep a spare car key in my wallet for just such an eventuality. I stopped and thought about how much of my time and energy is devoted to protecting myself from myself. Didn’t do much for my mood.

Its the trials and tribulations that we remember, chuckling at (if enough time has passed), and maybe tell to our grandkids. This story reminded me of the last time JonMarie locked her keys in the car.

Now since moving to the sticks I don't normally lock my car, and JonMarie doesn't really either, but cars these days have gotten way too smart for their own good. They figure that every driver must live in an urban hell and assume the need to lock themselves at the slightest sign of trouble, like say the opening and closing of a door. Our new toyota is so annoying that if you unlock the door but don't open it right away, the car will lock the door again for you. But it was our previous car that caused JonMarie some severe grief.

JonMarie never really liked her '96 grand am. Perhaps it was partially because we got it used, and maybe some of it was that it was only a four cylinder so it didn't have much pep. But it also was new enough that it had that lock-the-doors-for-you-even-when-you-don't-want-it-to feature. So, one particular morning I was downstairs working and I get a call from JonMarie--she's at the Mobil station and she's locked out of her car. I didn't even wait for her to finish talking, but hung up and dashed out of the house with keys to her car (and mine) and zoomed down the road to the Mobil. I was in quite a hurry, not because of what she said, but because of what I she hadn't. She had said, "I'm locked out of the car," not "Me and the kids are locked out of the car," which meant the kids were still in the car.

So in two minutes, I pulled up to the car wash behind the Mobil to find JonMarie standing besides the running Grand Am with two kids inside, in their car seats, staring out and wondering what's going to happen next. I unlock her door for her, and after a few choice words about the situation and the car, she settled in and continued on with her chores.

That's the kind of adventure you remember, and depending on the severity of the crisis, can look back years (or maybe decades) later and laugh about. In this case everything turned out fine without any real crisis, so we can look back and laugh after a few years. The time my parents left me and my sisters in the car, on a side of a steep hill at Shasta lake, and we managed to take the car out of park and disengage the emergency brake; well, maybe I better wait a few more decades before reminding my Dad about that adventure.

 
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Life in the middle of nowhere, remote programming to try and support it, startups, children, and some tinkering when I get a chance.

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Blogroll
Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
How to save the world
Dave Pollard working on changing the world .. one partially baked idea at a time.
SnowDeal
Eric Snowdeal IV - born 15 weeks too soon, now living a normal baby life.
Land and Hold Short
The life of a pilot.

The best of?
Jan '04
The second best villain of all times.

Feb '04
Oops I dropped by satellite.
New Jets create excitement in the air.
The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
Scramjets take to the air
Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

May '04
Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

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