Letters to Holly

Friday, August 29

Counting the Hours.

We are packed and strapped. As soon as I leave work, we head to Atlanta.

Your Sis is dragging. The start of school always comes too early, and she calls it a night earlier and earlier. She suggested her kids watch the Obama speech last night, but she thought it was at 9. She was nodding off at 8. She stayed awake until the very start of the speech, but was out within minutes. I taped it for her.

It was as solid as speech as he can give. He addressed the most common criticisms -- national security, patriotism, ego -- with a novel vigor, and it was good to see. The spectacle of a packed football stadium to hear one man speak is reminiscent of the Billy Graham Crusades our local ABC affiliate has broadcast for 30+ years.

McCain announces his VP choice today, and unless it's Bruce Willis or Ronald Reagan, it's unlikely it'll excite the party. I heard Newt Gingrich's name yesterday, but he carries the same baggage as Thompson and Giuliani: very messy marriages and affairs. Also, the "wither on the vine" sound bite about Social Security from the mid-'90s will hurt his renewed national presence.

If I were him, I'd pick a radio-host with a clean background. But they don't exist. Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage -- they're dingy, and they have no experience away from the microphone. A former governor is almost a certainty, but it can't be Arnold. I think McCain is screwed here.

Picture of the Day

Thursday, August 28

Almost Ready

We both rushed home to check the floors. Everything was dry, and we breathed a sigh of relief.

Your Sis is finishing up the costumes. She's sewing holster straps to a pants leg. I tried to affix it with a velcro strap, but it wouldn't stay in place. I really need to learn how to sew. Her costume is finito, and we'll pack tonight. We signed up to join the Saturday parade of costumes through downtown Atlanta, weather permitting, of course.

As befits a teacher in this area, she doesn't have Labor Day off. We'll drive back Sunday.

The convention speeches have been solid, if generally bland, material. The former president once again showed how invigorating a president can be when he can string along three sentences. Biden wasn't bad. Watching the delegates officially name Obama as the nominee was a truly historic moment unfortunately bogged down by theatrical blowhards. The speech tonight (in a football stadium) ought to be incredible.

I have no idea who McCain can pick to rile up energy for his ticket. The lone celebrity Republicans -- Giuliani, Thompson -- are worthless for a national election. Huckabee and Romney are damaged goods. His best bet might have been Condi Rice, but her tenure as state secretary has been lackluster, and she's never held an elected office outside of college. The guy is screwed.

Picture of the Day

Wednesday, August 27

Fucking Finally.

We thought we had everything squared away Monday. The floor was practically dry, and the restoration folks would take away the giant, loud fans the next day. But we discovered accidentally where all the water was coming from. When the plumbers took away the old heater, they didn't cap the pipes. Whenever we used our faucets, residual pressure was indeed shoving water out the open pipes and onto the floor. We discovered new saturation after I made dinner Monday night and rushed to dry the floor. We couldn't use our sinks and our only source of water was the laundry sink as it has the old-fashion two-valve plumbing. The cold water was independent of the hot, and using that valve wouldn't goose the pipe pressure.

The plumbers came out Tuesday morning to cap the pipes. The restorers took away the fans. I called the plumbers to get the new heater installed, and they arrived at 1 p.m. By 3:30, we had a new heater, installed to code with a new expansion pack, and we could now use our showers, sinks, and laundry machines. Except for the ductwork that stills needs replacing, all is back to normal.

I've watched the convention coverage and was wowed by Hillary's speech last night. Her best delivery and energy level yet. She has to get a Cabinet job out of this.

Our DragonCon costumes are 85% done. We leave Friday night.

Picture of the Day
This is me after chasing repair service all day.

Monday, August 25

Catching Up

-We're still drying the floors.
-The restorers think the excess water is the fault on residual pressure inside the pipes.
-The floors might be all dry tomorrow, and the fans will be gone. The laundry room will be reassembled, and we'll have our washer and dryer back.
- We can then contact the plumber to install a water tank. We'll probably have to rework the laundry room to accommodate the now-required pressure expansion tank. This won't fit in the heater closet. It will either stretch into the laundry room (causing the appliances to move down the wall) or the storage room (going through the dry wall).
- We'll still need to fix the soaked ductwork.

But we're still going to DragonCon this weekend. We worked on costumes for the last few days.

Picture of the Day
Jabba the Victorian Hutt