One Hour at a Time

May 24, 2010 · 0 comments

Blogging at 5AM is a first for me, so please bear with me, dear reader.

I had a 4AM conference call with Taiwan this morning.  I woke up around 11AM yesterday (Sunday) and took care of my weekend errands.  I’d been stressing all weekend about how I was going to work a 4AM conference call.  My hours are kind of screwy at work right now because the projects I’m working on are for clients in Taiwan – which is 12 hours ahead of us here on the East Coast of North America.  So I’m usually up until around midnight conversing via email with my clients, then getting into work around 10 or 10:30AM and working a full day.  When I get in, I have plenty of emails to answer from the Taiwan-afternoon, as well as regular US-related tasks.  All that aside, I’m asleep at 4AM any day of the week.  And I’m REALLY not any good at waking up early – especially not extra early.

Anyway, with the exception of the stress on Sunday afternoon, this weekend was a good one for me.  It didn’t start out that way.

My plan was to leave work around noon or 1PM on Friday – I only had a couple of hours worth of work to bang out – and head straight up to the Adirondacks to meet my buddy SoloJoe.  We were going to camp Friday night, bag about 4 peaks on Saturday, camp Saturday night, and possibly bag two more on Sunday before coming home.  Well, I didn’t get out of work until 6:30 on Friday, so that plan was shot to sh*t.  It was just as well, because I was answering emails all night on Friday and even a few on Saturday night.

After work on Friday, I had dinner with my friend Emily – we used to do dinner or coffee every Friday, but we’ve both been busy (at the same times and different ones) for the past couple of months, so we haven’t had a chance to get together in a while.  Hanging out with Em was really good for me – we don’t/can’t really bullshit each other, so when we catch up, it’s like a recharge and evaluation session.  Pretty cool.  I went home afterward and read my book for a bit before falling asleep – it was a long, tough week.

Saturday morning, Scott and I drove up to the Catskills and bagged SW Hunter.  Scott now has 9 peaks left for his 3500 Club membership.  The hike was 7 miles long with a decent vertical gain, but I still felt like going for a run when I got home.  I talked a lot about winter hiking while we were on the trail.  Seven miles in the snow is a lot harder than seven miles without it.  I guess I’m in pretty good (hiking) shape.  My eye is ok – whether it was camping in the ‘dacks or hiking in the Cats, I was kind of nervous about re-opening the scratched cornea again.  But I didn’t, which is pretty sweet.

Saturday night was work emails and some time at the Ridgewood Starbucks with Scott and Jeanne – Scott and I ended up back at my place talking hiking gear until pretty late.  I need to get a new sleeping bag – one that doesn’t weigh (literally) 12.5 pounds.

Yesterday – which is really still today for me – I got up around 11, did my regular weekend shite (laundry, clean, car wash, etc.), had lunch with Scott, and went into the office around 5.  I was there until about 10, when I headed home to eat and shower.  I was back in the office around midnight and worked until the call at 4AM.  Hell, I’m STILL in the fucken office.

And this is where the “one hour at a time” thing comes in:  I’ve spent the last 5 hours not thinking about anything but the hour I was in.  I really should be exhausted and about to pass out, but I’m doing ok so far.  I’ve gotten quite a bit of work done and really only need to make it another couple of hours before my co-workers start to show up.  Once they do, I’m going to be like “peace out, I’ve been here all night”.  I might even just send an “OOO” email instead of a “WFH” email.

The only thing keeping me from going home and catching some Zs right now is that I have a bunch of things that have to get done during business hours (because they require other people).  I have a blast email that needs to be sent out, but I need one of the tech guys to post a document on the company website so that I can use the hyperlink in the blast.  I have no idea when those fuckers will get in.  =/

Oh, and I have to go to the Mini dealership this morning because the hatchback fell off my car while I was at the carwash today (Sunday).  About a month back, when I was on my way home from hiking in the ‘dacks with SoloJoe (and had newly re-opened my scratched cornea), some dickhead in a Rav4 backed into me at a rest stop on the Thruway.  I had a dent in my trunk, but didn’t think much more of it.  I got his insurance information and a week or two later bought one of those dent-puller-outer kits (haven’t finished using it, though).  My trunk has been getting harder and harder to close, and today while I was at the car wash, it wouldn’t close at all.  As I was trying to align the little male(ish) part on the hatchback with the female(ish) part on the car (and you know I haven’t gotten any in a while, ’cause that sounds pretty sexy to me), the top left hinge snapped and the hatchback basically fell into my hands.  It was still attached by the top right hinge, but if I let go, that probably would have snapped too. 

And I’m talking metal here.  Snapped.  Not a broken hinge at some stress point, a two-inch wide piece of metal that holds the trunk onto the car snapped.  Metal.  W.  T.  F. 

So, being resourceful, I dug out my Y chromosome and, using my fingers and Leatherman, pulled some pieces off the trunk that were messing with my alignment job (those pneumatic things that hold the trunk open when both the hinges are working properly), and jammed the fucking thing back into place.  Whereupon I alternately cussed at it and pleaded with it to not fall off once I started driving again.  It’s on pretty tight, but I’m still a bit nervous about it.  It’s going to be expensive to fix the hinge, but even more so if the hatchback falls off while I’m driving on the highway (and even more so if there’s a short bus full of special kids behind me when it does).

I’ve been thinking about getting a new Mini for a while lately anyway.  I’m only getting around 26-28 miles per gallon, and my other Mini got 30 just riding around town.  I dig the Liquid Yellow – they don’t make Minis in that color anymore – but I also dig some of the features on the newer Coopers. 

So we’ll see.  I’m going to swing by the dealership this morning and get an estimate on fixing the trunk and see if they have anything on the lot they’re willing to sell me for wicked dirt cheap.  I hate – with a passion – the fuckers at Pr*st*ge Mini in P*r*mus NJ.  Well, maybe just the guys in the service department.  Actually, it’s just this one guy, and I don’t really hate him.  He’s just the object of my disappointment in myself for not being very good at standing up for myself when it comes to auto repair. 

Anyway, my plan is to walk in there, find a salesperson, and tell them that I’d be happy to drive away from their lot with a new Mini if they can keep my monthly payments at, around or below what they are now.  And that’s $400, which means they can screw with the numbers any way they want – $18k over 5 years with a 15% interest rate (yeah, I know that blows, but my credit ain’t all that great), or $20k at 10% over 5 years, or $22k at <gasp> 6%.  I’m not that picky and I don’t mind getting fucked a little, as long as the whole thing is over quickly and I get a stick shift, leather seats and a moon roof (in a Cooper that’s 2008-ish or newer).

So yeah, I’ve got about 3 hours before the dealership opens.  And maybe 2 hours before my boss gets into the office.  Hell, I should probably leave here around 8 anyway, if I want to make it to the dealership by the time they open. 


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