Letters to Holly

Monday, October 18

Fixing Stuff

We didn't make it to the school Friday night for homecoming. We decided not to expose the sidekick to the cold night air and instead stayed in to eat pizza.

I got up early the next morning to donate blood. I had set up a 9 am appointment weeks ago, but Your Sister trumped that when she decided to join the motorcycle charity run that morning. I called late Friday to make a new appointment as soon as the donation center opened. I got there at 7:30 and was out by 8:45. No matter how many gurneys are set up, there are only so many interview stations, and donors back up in the waiting area. Appointment times are nothing more than a hope. My scheduled time was vetoed as apheresis donors were bumped ahead to get them started. I understand; it's a longer procedure. I know to expect a wait and always take a book to read (this time, it was a West Wing script book). The nurse commented on how low my blood pressure was (102/66), and My Mom registered concern when I mentioned it over the phone Sunday. I see a GP in two weeks, and I'll ask her if I'm in a safe range. Maybe, to raise it, she'll tell me to eat more junk food.

Your Sister's ride was short, but she was thrilled with it. She noted the established areas for early drop-outs but made her own when she noticed early signs of soreness. Because I had just fed and diapered the mancub, we were able to head out for lunch, and I started a new project.

On Friday, I called the local phone company to ask about relocating the wireless hub. I had hoped that we could simply plug the machines to phone jacks in the house proper, but that was not so. I wanted to set up a service call with the company to set us up properly and was surprised when the service person instead told me how to fix it myself. The surprise melded with worry when she tossed out technical jargon, but she assured me I could do this. If not, she warned, her repair would cost $50 and might be as long as two weeks out. I told her I'd try it and would call her back if I feared the house would burn down.

So on Saturday, I was outside the house with some tools, opening the phone box next to the power meter. In theory, this is simple: a tiny box that looks exactly like a printer cartridge is inserted into a house's phone box and the chosen phone wire is connected to it. That small box allows the line to receive DSL data. Allegedly, all I had to do was find the phone wire connected to the jack I wanted to move the wireless machines to.

Luckily, this was easier than it could have been. The house's original phone lines are all bundled together and they run through the walls. Without any markers, there's no way to know which line goes to which jack. The wire I wanted to use, however, is a new addition; it was run by the satellite TV service and hooked to a jack behind our TV. That line is stapled under our siding and runs into the crawlspace. I only needed to trace the chosen line from the jack back to the phone box. I traded connections, and we now have our router in out living room, providing us with a stronger signal for our PS3 and allowing us to stream Netflix. Done and done. We plan to send a gift certificate to the service lady.

I used the rest of the day to ink the card art. I used pens and felt pretty good about it until I got to eMMA's hair. I am weak at hair. I overworked it. I'll play with it in Photoshop as I color it.

Since scanning this, I tweaked her abs and added a shadow to Focus's face. It was there in pencils, but I held off on inking it. After a day of looking at the image, I added that shadow in ink. I had a much easier time drawing this in a larger size, and I look forward to working on this scale again.

Sunday morning, Your Sister awoke to more clogged ducts and lost all happiness. Because she caught it early, she knew how to tackle the problem before she grew very sore. Massage and heat were applied, and the deputy was put to work. There wasn't much milk available to him, and he cried the whole way through. About two hours into it, I heard a yelp from the guest bedroom and ran in to find Your Sister laughing and, well, streaming. The deputy had swallowed the plug, and milk was shooting out of her like water out of a balloon. It had shocked the baby, as unsolicited, nasal milk shots would to anyone, and Your Sister asked me to make sure it hadn't gotten on the wall behind her. Within 15 minutes, all the pressure was gone. A bib, onesie, and burp cloth were completely soaked. And Your Sister was greatly relieved. No cabbage was harmed. She's still a bit sore, and I bought her red velvet cake as a salve. Also, it might raise my blood pressure. Win-win.

We made the mistake of getting greedy with bedtime for the deputy. He resisted being put down too early, and his new fleece sleep outfit warms him too much. He howled and howled. I've also cemented my notion that he doesn't care for my reading to him. He prefers Your Sister's voice for this, and I'll drop my attempts at it and sing him to sleep. We're also talking about solid food and walkers. We thought he might be teething, but the baby books say this shouldn't happen for another three months. My Mom helpfully informed us that I teethed around three months, so we may be in the thick of it.

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