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A Good Week’s Bad Start

The plan on Monday was for me to go to class, go to work, and then take the next three days off of both to attend a family reunion on Vashon Island. So instead, I worked all Sunday night on a roramming programming assignment, worked straight through class on Monday on the same, and didn’t make it in to work becuase family members kept showing up at my parent’s house (where I was due to my regular Sunday dinner the previous evening). Suddenly, the family reunion which was supposed to start on Tuesday just sort of spontaneously started. The food was good, though, and I managed to finish the part of the programming assignment I was working on.

Tuesday, I headed off to work, a little later than I was hoping to, but that ended up being a great decision. On the 520 bridge deck, the truck I was driving (both the truck and the Escort were at my place in the U-District due to Mario’s Saturday job with my parents) starting knocking and the engine temperature was getting higher than it should have. By the time I made it to the Bellevue Way exit (which I fortunately took), the knocking was something terrible and, suddenly, the engine stopped and smoke started pouring out of the exhaust and seeping out from the hood and various other crevices.

A call to my dad had him come down to help me out (my parents are great, after all). After refilling the radiator and discovering that, though it didn’t seem to be working terribly well, it wasn’t the actual problem, we discovered that the actual problem was that coolant was leaking directly into the engine. It didn’t make getting the engine started very easy, although we managed, and I was able to drive it from the exit ramp to a parking lot by applying gas and cluth liberally. Along with the smoke pouring out the back, the most interesting part of the ride was when I had to brake, rquiring me to quickly alternate between the gas (to keep the engine running), and the brake (to slow down) all while working the clutch so the engine would maintain rpms without the truck going too fast. Fun times.

Well, after getting the truck safely temporarily parked, my dad took me back to my place, where I jumped in the escort and made it to work about noon (instead of 9:30ish which I would have made it previously, or the 7:00ish that I had hoped for). At any rate, my skills at work were much needed, and I didn’t end up leaving until about 5:30. Since I didn’t want to wait in the ferry during rush hour, and I needed to pick up some foodstuff to take, I wound up at Costco. However, I soon decided that since I would be missing the dinner that night anyway, it didn’t make sense to go until Wednesday, at which point I could make it up to my parent’s house and pick up some food there.

So instead I went to the ongoing TRC hacksession, which ended up being fairly cool. Afterwards, I went with Paul, Rachel and Ian to Ian’s house where we worked on programming stuff until it was pretty late. I swung by my parent’s place, picked up some food, and then talked to Jon to try to make him not feel guilty over Sunday night. So now its time to talk about Sunday night, because this is just one long narrative after all.

— Begin Interlude —

A couple of weeks ago, Shai invited me to see an all-in-one Shakespeare play put on by the three actors of the reduced Shakespeare company. It was pretty good, and during it a girl befriended me. I got her number, though she was gone the next week, so we didn’t see each other again until a week ago, when I invited her to go bowling with some friends who had convinced me to go bowling. She showed up and seemed to hit it off with my friends, although I had no idea the extend until later in the week. So, apparently, Jon and she had, after knowing each other for two-and-a-half long days (although I think Jon claims three), started making out or some such. Now this, you see, I think is just glorious because I had by this time determined that there was nothing going on involving me at any rate. But Jon didn’t know that, so he started feeling all guilty about it.

Jon’s guilt led to a confession to me, which made me laugh actually because it was such a minor thing to me. I had to work quite hard to help him get rid of his guilt. I am still (to this day) not yet done with this task. At any rate, they quickly started having problems, which I really didn’t want to be involved with but who was I kidding, I was right in the middle of it, getting mutiple calls from both each day. Ridiculous. Fortunately, that situation has been fixed (as in, I don’t get too many calls anymore — they still have terribly mismatched expectations).

— End Interlude —

So, after seeing Jon and letting him know that this really wasn’t an issue to me, I took my car, which had started idling very rough (and had me thinking “oh noes!”), back to my place, about 1:00. The following day, I had trouble waking up, and didn’t make it to the ferry — after my first-ever stop at the West Seattle Costco — until about 4:00. Which just so happened to be the same ferry that my wonderful Tech Comm teacher from my first quarter at the UW (the one that helped me with my Engineering admission essays) was on. It was great seeing her again, she’s basically one of my favorite people ever. After the 20-minute ride was over, I cruised on down to Morningside farm, where I arrived with extra food just in time.

The dinner was good, and then after a few family things, my brother and his wife and I played some disc golf, then some horseshoes with some cousins. I worked some more on the programming assignment that night, ate again, then slept. The next morning was all about cleanup, which I participated in heavily. We got to leave about 11:45, made it back to the house, ate, and then I took off to make it to my 6:00 semifinal Ultimate Frisbee game.

At the game we were shorthanded and were slaughtered despite a valiant effort. When it was 9-1, the other team went down to five people, and our five proved to be slightly stronger than their five, but it was way too late, and the final score was somewhere in the vicinity of 14-7. Despite the loss, it ended on a high note for me, as I caught — much to my taller defender’s surprise — the very last toss of the game, for a point. I also was able to tear up my leg a bit from a previous sliding catch attempt (that was unsuccessful).

That night (after an in-person talk with the girl mentioned above) I worked with my CSE partner to turn in our programming assignment. It is a document correlator through wordprint analysis using various data structures. I have previously worked on a similar project, but my failure to strip out high and low frequency words, plus my failure to account for all words, may drastically change the results of my analysis. Of course, I was working without much knowledge of the subject when I worked on it before. This assignment has taught me a lot of better techniques for the analysis.

So, Friday, I hung out with my brother and sister in law and the parents on Lake Washington in canoes and kyaks, where we watched the Blue Angels practice. Then we ate at Dick’s (where they shorted us a cheeseburger), and they left to go to the airport. I then went to Maggiano’s Little Italy with Courtney and Ann. Courtney and I had previously just been up at the Parlour, the billiards hall in Lincoln Square, where we had split some waffle fries. Combined with the earlier dicks fries, my appetite for the much better food we ordered at Maggiano’s was mostly ruined. But the company was unbeatable. We hung out Bellevue as I unsuccessfully tries to convince them to take a trip to the top of the Tower. Then Courtney took us to her under-construction house, I picked up my car, dropped Ann off back in Bellevue, and headed to see my Aunt and Uncle off.

My car’s idle had only gotten worse, and gas fumed could be smelled while idling. Since my uncle knows some things about cars, I asked him and my dad what they thought might be the problem. My uncle speculated on a hose problem, so we popped the hood and not five minutes later discovered the issue. A few nylon wraps later, and the car is idling great once again. Three cheers for Robert!

That brings me to today, where I am now getting ready to head out to Coleman Park on Lake Washington to a barbeque that my roomate is putting on. I’ve never watched the Blue Angels from this side of the lake, so it should be a fun experience.

2 Responses to “A Good Week’s Bad Start”

  1. Bernie Zimmermann Says:

    I couldn’t help but read “roramming” and hear it pronounced in my head the same way that Scooby Doo would say it ;)

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  2. Ryan Says:

    Heh, good catch.

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