In the last couple of days I have been able to strike a few things off the "Things I Have Done" list. This list is not to be confused with the "Things I Would Like To Do" list (currently topping that list is "sex with identical twin acrobats"), as will soon become clear.
As I mention from time to time on this here blog, I play Australian Rules Football for our local team (yes, Aussie Rules is played in the US). Members of the team are actually spread over a large-ish geographic area, so we have three different training sessions. The one I attend (and occasionally run) is on the National Mall. It's a surreal experience to be playing this very Australian game with the Capitol Building at one end, the Washington Monument at the other, flanked on both sides by the Smithsonian.
Besides the scenery, training on the National Mall has some minor issues. It's a public area, so it's "first come, first served". As the warmer weather rolls around we are not the only group looking for space. In addition to us there are innumerable kickball and softball league games going on, everyone looking for their piece of the Mall. The other pain can be the fact that quite a lot of events are held on this piece of ground. These are normally not held during the week, but quite often all sorts of activity is taking place to either set up or take down infrastructure for one gathering or another.
These two issues combined can sometimes make things a little dicey. This week, for example, we managed to snag a nice chunk of ground that was surrounded by large tents in various states of construction, plus a few generators and miscellaneous gear. Not too annoying as we had more than enough space for our training drills requring more space.
painful part was that it was our first training session of the year... nice and hot and humid. Not a lot of fun as we ran around and sweltered in humidity you could cut with a knife. I'd be mad at the coach for making us run around like that in those conditions, but since I was the one running the training session I couldn't say much. Though I did. That bitch, what was he thinking?
We finished off the sessionwith a "kicking for goal" drill which is a bit of fun (and which I tend to win ;) ), letting us cool down and practice a much-needed skill. After that was finished we went back to our bags to get changed, and to see who was keen to go for the bar for a beer or three. Changing after footy training is usually a must as you're most likely drenched with sweat... and on a day with DC heat and humidity it's not "most likely", it's just a matter of degree. No problems, as I bring a change of clothes, and using the style honed from years of playing in Australia I jump out of my icky training togs into some fresh clothes.
This week there were only a few guys able to go back to the bar (some people had something called "work", others had made promises to people they referred to as "wives" and "girlfriends"). As we were ribbing those who weren't hanging around, a few guys looked at something over my shoulder. I turned around to see one of DC's finest in his Police Truck.
"What are you doing?!" the copper called out from the cab of his vehicle. Being the guy in charge I wandered over, wondering if we had somehow annoyed the DC Police by training around generators and the like. I don't know what the Public Liability laws are, so who knows.
"Sorry?" I answered, continuing to walk towards the now stationary truck.
"I said, what are you doing?"
"I'm not sure what you mean."
There was a slight pause.
"Did you just drop your drawers?!"
"Yeah, I just got changed."
OK, that was a little surprising. The copper must have been watching pretty freaking closely to register the 0.003 of a second before I had my boxers on.
"That's an arrestable offense," the copper said, as he started to open the door of his truck.
"Oh great," I thought to myself, "last thing I need is some bored cop who wants to drill me for getting changed." It was also at that point that I realised that the copper in question seemed pretty outraged. Oh well.
"Do you have any ID?"
I reached for my wallet, totally aware that the only photo ID I had was my Australian driver's license... the same license which gets rejected by a bar once in a blue moon (not realising what they are doing to their profit margin, I might add). As I handed my Aussie license over to Officer Outrage I warned him that it was the only ID I had. Predictably the cop looked at it like it was some sub-standard fake ID, and I was a college freshman trying to buy a fifth of Jack Daniels.
"Do you have any local ID?"
"No sir, this is the only ID I have."
A few moments pass.
"You don't have any local ID?"
A real sharp one, this guy.
"I have my passport, but that's at my house."
"No local ID?"
"The only thing I have is my passport, and I would have to go back to my house and get it."
"No you wouldn't, you'd have to get someone to bring it for you, because you'd be in the cellblock."
It took a moment or so before I realised that Office Outrage didn't want to take me to the cellblock, he just wanted to issue me a ticket, have a bit of a rant, and then go back to whatever boring cop stuff he was doing before. The problem was that me having ID of less value to him than a library card from Bumfuck, Idaho was throwing a wrench into these plans. Not to mention I didn't seem to be generating the appropriate amount of fear he seemed to be looking for.
A few moments passed as the copper turned my ID over a few times. He eventually came to a decision.
"Stay right here," he commanded, getting into his truck, and winding up the tinted window. Unable to see into the cab, I stood silently, trying to stop myself from striking some pose that reflected my inner thoughts. After a couple of minutes the window wound down.
"It's your lucky day," Officer Outrage began. "I'm letting you off with a warning. You've got three minutes to get out of here before I change my mind."
"Yes sir," I said, taking my ID and heading back to my bag. Gathering up my things, I could only come to the conclusion that Officer Outrage had sat in his cab, doing nothing except stewing that he couldn't just hit me with a ticket, while hoping that I was at least freaking out a little bit about whatever he was doing in there. No dice.
Wandering to the bar I recounted to my team-mates what exactly had taken place.
"What a douchebag," one stated, shaking his head in wonder.
My thoughts exactly.
* * * * * * * *
"But wait Garthmeister J,. I thought you said there were a couple of things from the last few days which you could strike off The List!"
Yes, yes, I hear you. It's true, being able to tick the box next to "Almost Get Arrested for Indecent Exposure on The National Mall" was not the only result of my week. I'll 'fess up to this one too, though it doesn't quite have the glamour of my previous incident.
Yesterday was a normal Thursday afternoon at work. I was wandering back to my desk from a meeting, which had interrupted by schedule of "trying to do as little as possible while actually achieving all of my employment objectives". Once I arrived back at my desk I put on my headphones and fired up the latest Basketball Jones
podcast (the second-best Canadian-made podcast available on these here internets, the best being, of course, Brent Stacks' and Cincinnati Sean's "Lord Admiral's Card Club
"). As the always amusing basketball goodness began, I reached over for the large cup of water next to me... and manged to dump most of it all over my laptop.
As I raced to turn the laptop off I saw it bluescreen before the monitor went blank. I ripped out all of the cords, and looked at it for a couple of moments in horror. Then, inevitably, I began to giggle. I quickly grabbed anything absorbent within reach and did as much as I could. I then turned the laptop upside down on my chair, went and grabbed some serviettes, and continued doing what I could.
But the fact of the matter was my laptop was now inoperable. And it was just after 2pm.
Fortunate Fact No. 1: I have an emergency auxiliary PC in my cube. Ostensibly I got it to allow me to do some testing, but even after that period I have been able to keep it for my own ends. The only unfortunate thing is that it is set-up so I can't install anything, or make any registry changes, so it is essentially lobotomised. But I can still access Web Outlook and do a few things.
Fortunate Fact No. 2: I actually have a second work laptop which I keep at home; it's my original work laptop, which I had for a few months before inheriting a co-worker's laptop when they upgraded. I am 90% sure that no one at work who cares knows about this second laptop. I keep it at home so I don't have to lug my laptop inbetween work those weeks when I am on call (which is half the time).
Given these two things, I immediately had a plan of action: try and see out the day doing what I could by using the emergency auxiliary PC, then taking the rather drenched laptop home and begin attempting to dry it out, while bringing my other work laptop from home to the office for Friday.
So after fleeing work early yesterday and arriving home I took out the battery, the cdrom drive, retrieved my fan (which has a flat front) and placed it squarely on top of the wet laptop. I left the fan running on high until I crashed for the night, and gave it another short session this morning before I left for the office with the second laptop. And yes, in case you're wondering, I am using the second work laptop to type these words.
I should also mention that I have also managed to do all of this without anyone noticing (besides my good mate who is also a co-worker, who I had to tell immediately). I keep waiting for someone to ask me why my laptop seems to have a different resolution all of a sudden, but it hasn't happened yet.
I'm away for the weekend, arriving back in town on Sunday, when I will apply the fan once more. I figure I will try and see if I can rename the poor laptop "Lazarus" on Monday morning, before I head to work. If it doesn't boot up I get to call it "Poseidon", and come up with a good story to tell my IT people. I'm leaning towards using the "I'm a moron" defence, but we'll see how it goes.
I'm hoping I don't get to strike any other items off The List for a little while at least.
* * * * * * * *
So, poker! You might be wondering if all this Ying in the real world has resulted in some extra Yang in the virtual poker world. No dice, it's been Ying all the way. Bubbling in the WWdN on Tuesday, busting out with two tables to go in The Mookie, and bubbling in two $30+3 SnGs on Stars last night have all contributed to the minor downswing I am experiencing at the moment. I'm not panicking or worrying as of yet, but no one likes being at the wrong end of Lady Variance. We'll see if I can start my rally on Sunday when I return. Just after I continue drying out my laptop.