Sunday, April 20, 2008

Today is the Day

Every year at roughly this time, the farm store here in town runs its equivalent of an office pool. Staff and customers place bets as to the exact date and time when the mountain of plowed snow in their parking lot melts completely into a puddle.

The farm store snow still has a long way to go before it hits the dirt, but today -- after four successive days of warm and sunny weather -- the last filthy remnants of snow in our yard finally disappeared. I've been so deathly freakin' sick of winter that I feel as though I've won the office pool myself.

The dogs have been celebrating the advent of spring in their own fashion. They've started new holes in the mud in the dog yard, for which I'll have to buy more rocks and topsoil. They have also been more vocal about getting me to join in the fun outside, too. I throw the ball for Dinah several times a day, and that always precipitates a game of chase between Herself and one of the boys. This morning, Dinah and Seamus had such a great time playing chase and wrestling in the mud that I entirely forgot to rush back into the house for the camera. They were just too much fun to watch.

This is the time when installing a doggie door proves to be a smart move. The pups are in and out and in and out and in and out all day long. I want to say that I love the new metal storm doggie door, but it hasn't weathered the season as well as one would hope, given the outrageous price I paid for a custom-sized, custom-installed specimen.

Lowe's is like some of the guys I've dated in the distant past. They'll charm the pants off you, vowing that their customer service people will never sleep again until you can honestly say that everything is just plain frickin' wonderful with the product.

Once you say yes, and they have you where they want you, they'll install the thing, call once to see if you're happy, and grin while cashing your check. However, if anything goes wrong after that -- warranty or no warranty -- they dematerialize. I can't believe that the customer service people are on lunch break 24x7, but it sure seems that way.

Our door is beautiful, and the installation seemed to go pretty well. However, neither the doggie door nor the storm door close properly any more. They clicked into place perfectly for the first month or so, but now I can push or pull with all my might on the door and it just won't close. Calls to Lowe's return the equivalent of, "Of course I still love you, baby, but can't you see I'm busy right now? We'll get together soon, I promise." I've heard that before. The least they could have done was kiss me first.

Lots of Music News

Greg, who is sitting in the office as I write, reports that the new NYC venue for the recording of the Sax Quartet looks good, and the recording engineer is a good one. The producer didn't give a date yet, but it looks as though it will happen within the next couple of months.

One of the members of the New Hudson Sax Quartet just emailed him that he's coming to Bowdoin next week with another new music ensemble. Greg plans to go up there with the score of Louis, Louis and go over it with the group.

The Man has been busy with a new piece that has captured his attention and energies of late. Its working title is Thouros and Phosphoros, and it's based on the story of the same name from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Before he mentioned the project to me, Greg had had no idea how much I love Ovid's poetry in general and the Metamorphoses in particular. One of my "someday" projects is a collaboration with an artist friend of mine to produce a story based on the tale of Philemon and Baucis from the same work.

Busier Than a One-Legged Man in a Butt-Kicking Contest

I used to have a boss at Digital (in one of my many incarnations there) who used that phrase every time things got a little hectic around the office, and it never failed to crack me up. I still can't borrow it myself without giggling just a little.

Anyway, it sure describes things around the homestead right about now. Work's pretty steady and gaining in momentum, plus the Web site stuff is beginning to take off. I still maintain all of the sites I ever did, plus I've taken on two new sites and a redesign for one friend of mine, and a brandy-new site for a mutual friend of ours. Not to mention the fact that both Greg's and my sites are in dire need of a redesign that brings them out of the 1990s. My site, while still a useful resource that gets a lot of hits from information seekers, isn't exactly the type of site that cries out, "Look at me -- I'm a Web design expert!".

I've also picked up yet another CGC testing gig since my last post. I knew that I would be testing for another POC graduating class in Kittery next month and for NEOESR in June. Since then, I've also been asked to test at the Meet the Breeds event in Scarborough on June 8. It's all good; we can never have too many Canine Good Citizens out there.

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