Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, February 21, 2005

To Marvin’s

Gonna buy me a stupid messy wax ring and be done with this mess! Down to the foot of the hill, grumbling all the way, walked in to the nearly deserted Marvin’s, went to the plumbing aisle, and…

No wax rings.


I tell you what, sometimes it just doesn’t pay to have a Get Things Done Initiative.

I looked around some more, and down on the bottom of the shelf was a complete toilet repair kit, with new wall escutcheon, new shutoff valve, new bolts, new supply line, and a new wax ring. ::sigh:: Well, I wasn’t about to drive anywhere else, so I went ahead and got all the stuff I didn’t need to get the one thing I did need, paid, and went home.

Slapped the nasty icky thing on, grabbed the toilet, lowered it down ever so gently, and felt it smoosh home. Sat down on it and smooshed some more, and then ran the nuts down on the bolts and everything was home free. Except. Well, it was still just about an eighth of an inch too high, and it rocked back and forth a tiny bit. I found my floor sample and wedged it under the front edge, and got a wood paint stirrer and wedged it under the back edge. Perfect. Absolutely bloody perfect. The whole room now has an aspect not unlike something you would see in Redneck Engineering magazine. I don’t care. At least now I don’t have to hear about how inconvenient it is to run upstairs with a full bladder.

“Can we go skating now?”

“Who are you?”

“Daaaaaad--I got my room cleaned up real good! Can we go to the Skate Station now? PLEAAAAAAASE?”

I went upstairs and looked around. Little stinkers actually had done some work, although Jonathan still had bits of paper scattered around the room, and some toys, and some clothes. Much like it usually is, except not quite so deep. I told them to get the rest of the mess picked up, and along about 4 in the afternoon, they were finally good to go.

I packed Cat and Jonathan into the Focus--Ashley’s much too grown-up and mature to have to be seen with them, and Rebecca was still feeling bad from her bout of Friday sickness, and Mom was still working through her computer assignment, so it was just us kids.

Back down to the foot of the hill to the wondrous Playstation (Where the Fun is Always in Motion!), parked, and walked in to be greeted by a little old lady whose first words were, “WE’RE ABOUT TO CLOSE! YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO DO ANYTHING! NO TIME TO SKATER OR NOTHING!” She must have seen my look of puzzlement, because she went into much greater detail that the place was closing at five like it did every Saturday, like it has since it’s been in business. “Laser tag?” “WELL, YOU CAN GO LOOK, BUT THEY’RE PROBABLY READY TO STOP, TOO!”

Kids in tow, we walked in and on back toward the laser tag place, and then the oddest thing I think I have ever had happen to me (and that’s saying something) happened, when one of the guys who works there amongst the general mayhem and bedlam pointed at my head and said, “SIR! WE HAVE A RULE ABOUT NO HATS INSIDE THE BUILDING! CAN YOU TAKE YOUR CAP OFF!?”

Well, certainly, my friend--no use setting off a gang-war by my insistence on wearing a ball cap with an American flag on the front. (Later when I got home, I read the brochure I picked up, and sure enough, it’s right there in the rules, right above the thing that says shirts are supposed to be tucked in. Yet another infraction that I committed, although one thankfully I was not called to account for.)

The girl at the laser tag counter said they had a group in the room and it probably wasn’t going to finish up until nearly five. “MAYBE YOU SHOULD COME BACK TOMORROW!?”

Maybe. But someone was surely going to be disappointed. I tried my luck again with the old lady at the front, but she was steadfast in her refusal to sell the kids a skate pass, so I distracted them with the promise of playing some video games. They played a couple of things, but their favorite is skeeball, mainly because it spits out tickets faster than anything else. So, they took turns playing that, while I fended off a little feral boy with a fat grimy face and a buzz cut who wandered over to where Catherine was playing and started to take one of her balls. “SORRY, BUDDY! BUT, THAT’S HER BALL--YOU HAVE TO GO PLAY ON YOUR OWN MACHINE, OKAY?!” He looked at me like I’d grown a third eyeball. I don’t know where his parent(s) were, but he latched onto us like a limpet. We went and got some more tokens and came back to play some more, and there he was again. “KIN I HAVE A TOKEN?” “YES! GO GET ONE FROM YOUR PARENTS!” He finally wandered off.

And, then, it was time for the place to close (temporarily--they open back up at 7:00, but I didn’t let anyone in my crew know that) and we went on to get our tickets redeemed. Jonathan got six army men and a Chinese finger prison, and Cat got three Hershey’s kisses and a Chinese finger prison, and I got a headache the size of all outdoors.

Back up to the top of the hill, and fixed myself a nice Motrin and Diet Coke cocktail. Mmmm.

Suppertime then, then baths and beddie-bye for them all, and yet more computing dilemmas to be solved. Most of which could have been solved had someone not been so very frightened of computers.

Up early Sunday, turned on Good Morning, America and listened to the guy who secretly taped George Bush, yawned, took my shower, got everyone else up and dressed and fed, on to church, taught the kids about Timothy and Lois and Eunice, had an abbreviated worship service because our preacher has managed to come down with some sort of respiratory crud (imagine that!), and then on back to home for a little while. “Can we go skate now, Daddy?”


Daddy really just wanted to vegetate, and there was also the issue of getting the rest of the laundry folded, so I managed to forestall skating by promising to do it this upcoming Saturday instead, and with the promise of letting them watch First Daughter, yet another in a long string of movies about a Fresh-Faced Late-Teen Girl On the Verge of Womanhood Who Has an Emotionally-Distant (Yet Loving) Father Who Is Very Powerful, Requiring That The Girl Adhere to an Artificially High Standard of Conduct, When All She Really Wants is to Just Be A Regular Teen Girl and Take XTC. Well, maybe not the last part.(See also Chasing Liberty, Princess Diary, etc., etc.)

Anyway, it was just crap of a particularly clueless and ill-begotten nature, which meant that our resident 14 year old LOVED it. I folded clothes and read the newspaper. And then, after THAT was over, it was time for Jonathan and Daddy to pick a movie.

Yep, as promised, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure! Let me tell you, Keanu’s a heck of a lot more fun in this than The Matrix, and it’s quite notable for the appearance of the gamine Jane Wiedlin of the Go-Gos as Jean d’Arc.

Boy was quite taken with the whole experience. Dude.

Time to head back to church then, and then back home, and then, finally to bed.

And now, here we all are again. I think I’ll see if I can find something to eat that doesn’t taste like paste.

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