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Sunday, June 30, 2013


It took a long time, this year, for summer to break through, Texan style, but when it finally showed it, it came with a vengeance.  (Hence the very disorganised post that follows.)  With last weeks events well and truly behind us, I decided not to waste my time with time wasters, and chose to say, 'no thank you' to all solicitation calls.  

I had prepared one of my 'all in' stews for Monday night, and was slightly amused at the traditional English winter comfort food being eaten in temperatures that were, according to all the television analysts, 'breaking records'.  We were due to have the hottest week recorded in June since records began.  However, (although it is not - for those energy conservationists who may start to complain) the air conditioning could have been set at zero, and our stew could have been enjoyed in Arctic conditions.  Instead, it was at a comfortable temperature, and after my daily constitutional in the pool, I set about dishing up the feast.  The winter vegetables that I use to make this culinary delight, are disappearing off the shelves, and the season for grilling is upon me.  The crock pot (slow cooker) is looking forward to its summer hibernation, and the neighbours are preparing themselves for charred nostrils!  Rutabagas are being quashed (sorry!) and are giving way to more varieties of lettuce and berries.  (I had commented on a facebook post about a friends evening meal, and mentioned that my discovery of rainbow chard, golden beets, tomatilloes and coyote squash, had changed my gastronomic abilities. My friend Lesley asked, 'do you cook coyote's?', and I had replied, 'only when squashed!'.)   

The heat seems to do nothing to squash my appetite, and the offer of breakfast tacos was not refused.  Slimming down for bikini weather appears to be a myth where I am concerned!  The week continued to get hotter; moods started to mellow. 

By the time Friday had arrived, the walk from the house to the car, and from the car to the office, seemed to be over a mile.  It was officially the hottest June day EVER!  (What did people have to talk about before records began! - 'Was it this hot last year?'  'Dunno!  I knew I should have written it down'.  'Hey, why don't we start a chart; waddya think?'  'Naw, no one will ever be interested in that sort of thing!')  Before the triple digits started to shine on the temperature gauges, Samantha took me downtown to my least favourite building, to pick up some documents.  My shoes made everyone aware of my existence, as they hit the marble tiles, and each footstep echoed throughout the ground floor.  People actually turned to see what was going on!  I made it up to the 17th floor, and into the cool interior of the attorneys office.  The papers were not at the front desk, and the receptionist asked if I knew who it was that was supposed to have left them.  I did.  My contact was April.  Unfortunately, along with the mellow comes the meltdown.  It is true that heat slows me down, in every respect.  The mouth to brain (and vice versa) function went on it's go slow.  Perhaps, when she asked, 'do you know which April?', the response, 'I don't know, 1925'?, was not the right one.  Fortunately, the heat appears to affect most people in the same way, and the 'Huh?' I received was a chance to start over.  The comment of, 'cute shoes', was the cue that my misunderstood wit was not taken the wrong way! 

The day did not get much better, as by lunchtime we were having intermittent Internet service.  The 'helpdesk' gave a few unhelpful pieces of advice, the latter causing the whole system to crash and burn.  Dana disappeared for about thirty minutes, and went to buy a new piece of equipment, which appeared not to work.  Samantha's suggestion of having to 'install' it first, fell of deaf ears to begin with, but finally, after half an hour of failed attempts, he handed the project over.  After Samantha left the office, the job fell on to me to complete.  In order to get the equipment to work, it had to first be 'set up' on an individual machine, then it could be connected to the network.  Being the technical expert that I am, I searched through the scraps of paper that had been discarded, and came across the one that said, 'if you need assistance, please call...........'.  Asking Dana to 'humour me, and check the box, again, to see if there is a disc', he handed me the silver spherical object, and I placed it into my laptop, before calling the number on the card.  'I am so pleased I am talking to a woman', was all I could say, after the attempts to activate the system failed again and again, the reason for which was because the cable connecting the equipment was still in Samantha's laptop and not mine! 

I had suggested around 2pm, that Dana go home with the 'guys', access the Internet there, download the projects, dispatch the servers, and call in the information for me to put into our database computers.  He could also suggest that some things be faxed, to save time, and I could remain at work to answer the phones.  At 2pm this seemed like a ridiculous suggestion.  By 4:30pm, Dana came up with a brilliant solution.  He could go home, access the Internet, download the projects, dispatch the servers, and then come back to the office at the end of the day, so that we could put the details into the database!  My husband is nothing if not brilliant!  'Oh shut up', was said in a very humble, and perhaps even loving, way, when I commented, 'now why didn't I think of that'. 

By Saturday, the temperature had risen again, and the advice on how to stay cool, and hydrated, was being blasted from every audio and visual component.  I was meeting a friend for brunch, and we chose to ignore the suggestions, by sitting outside, albeit in the shade, and where there was a bit of a breeze.  (My 'friend' is the wife of one of our process servers, and we have, over the last nine years, said 'we must get together'.  I think the six hours we spent chatting confirmed that we probably should have done it earlier!)  I came home to Samantha and Dana, sitting waiting for me, in the cool of the house, repeating, 'oooh she has a friend!'  I chose to ignore the sarcasm, and headed for the pool, and swam for quite some time!  Apparently, the technician that was dispatched after an hour of chatting to the very nice lady in El Paso, was more successful in reconnecting our business lifeline, by fixing the fault on the line, as well as exchanging all our 'boxes' for a new and improved router. 
Last night, the welcome storms came in, and this morning, the temperature has dropped to mid nineties.  I still cannot fathom saying that 94 is a relief!  I am off to help another 'friend' pack up her house for her impending move.  Next week, apparently, will get warmer again, just in time for Independence Day, when the whole country takes a day off for my birthday.  As usual, I foresee that being ..... another story!

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