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Saturday, April 15, 2006

News and Stories

I'll start with the news first. There is going to be a Crimson City anthology in 2007!!! All five authors from the original series will be part of it. Yea!

Now for the first story. My furniture saga continues. I picked out a new computer desk, one of those kits that need to assembled. My dad began the project on Thursday. He has everything laid out on the left side of the room, but I want it on the right. We move all the pieces over--they were heavy!--and discover that the desk leg is going to hit the vent. Not good because the desk is heavy even without computer equipment on it. He whips out the tape measure and we discover if it's on the left, it's clear of the vent, so we move all the pieces back to the other side.

That isn't the saga part. It's after we've moved everything that my dad points out the damage to the desk top. There's a slice into the plastic edge covering, one that I'd be sure to hook clothes on--or cut myself on--regularly. My dad says he'll sand it down.

I'm looking at the desk thinking that would look so ugly sanded down. We start talking about something else and he mentions that the instruction booklet say to call the manufacturer for parts issues not the store. The light bulb goes off over my head. Why don't we see if they'll replace the damaged desktop piece?

They will. It will take 2 week to arrive. In the meantime, I have pieces of desk all over the floor of the computer room. Oh, well. Better to have a nice desk, right?

Part 2 of the furniture saga. My dad has two bar stools assembled. One of them really rocks, but he says, the other one is even. (There's a way to adjust the rocking, BTW, not a flaw in the chair.) So he lowers the one he says doesn't rock to the floor and guess what? It rocks! Just a little bit, but still...

And the 24 inch bar stools are too short for my island countertop. :-( I've been debating whether or not keep them, but I probably will. Reasons: 1) I will almost never sit on them. Guests will have to deal with the short height. :-) 2) Price. I paid less than half of what bar stools usually cost. Believe me, I priced those things everywhere and they're very expensive! This was a hell of a deal. 3) I ordered them online and do not want to pay for shipping back to Home Depot . 4) Three of the chairs are now assembled and I don't want to ask my dad to take them apart and pack everything up again.

Yesterday, my dad had a lodge guy come over to "help" him assemble stuff. Another lodge guy came over too--probably because his wife is hosting Easter dinner and he didn't want to do anymore cleaning. How much did these three lodge members accomplish in the hours they were together? One bar stool was put together. My dad confessed that they mostly stood around drinking coffee and talking about their lodge.

And now my second story. I meant to post about this yesterday, but I was too busy talking about how, well, busy I am. :-) I'm driving home from work Thursday afternoon and I see brake lights coming on. This is unusual to be at a dead stop this early in the day at this spot on the freeway, although it always slows down at this point. It's stop and go--mostly stop--for miles and miles. I flip around trying to get a traffic report, but why would we possibly report traffic this early in the day even if there is a major traffic event taking place? Minnesota makes me nuts sometimes. They do continual traffic coverage if a big accident happens after 3pm, but if it happens before then, you're on your own.

I finally see flashing lights up in the distance and realize it's on the other side of the freeway. This is a good thing because it means my side is only a gawker slow down. Much better than being on the side with the actual accident. When I got closer, I saw why everyone was gawking. Heck, I gawked too. This isn't something you see very often.

There, stuck under one of the bridges, is a backhoe. Some rocket scientist driving a semi with a piece of heavy equipment on the flatbed, tried to drive a 17 foot backhoe underneath a 16 foot bridge--or however tall everything was.

He sliced through the first metal beam, heavily damaged the second and did significant damage to a third before coming to a stop. When I went by, the backhoe was still stuck underneath the bridge. They had to cut it apart, I heard, to get it out. As I went beneath the bridge myself--and gawked--I look up to where the MNDOT guys are doing repairs. I can see the sky through the bridge. Yes, the backhoe ripped up the concrete street above the freeway as it tore through the bridge.

Traffic on that side of the freeway was down to one lane. It's very busy heading that direction at that time of night and these people were backed up for miles and miles and miles. And of course, without a traffic report, no one knew what was happening, where it was happening, or knew to get off and take an alternate route.

Anyway, I'm still horribly busy, but I made a decision yesterday to get as much done on my To Do List as possible. That I would feel much better if I didn't have all these things in the back of my mind while I was trying to write. I did pretty good, if I do say so myself. I finished up my galley for the August book and that will go in the mail today, I took care of a few other issues that were pending and I checked into hiring someone to do the design on my bookmarks for me. I normally do it myself, but I just don't have time and graphics work always takes me a long, long while because I'm not real good at it. I have to get some info together, but this should take me less time than trying to do it myself.

There isn't much that I can delegate, but every little bit helps, right?