Home > Uncategorized > A bad day gets better

A bad day gets better

I’ve been down with a cold for most of the week, and what with still being in an emotionally fragile state, being cooped up here alone for a few days hasn’t been good for my peace of mind.  When I’m forced to be sedentary for days, the nervous energy builds up and I get kind of on edge.  (Well, my “kind of on edge” is probably more like “extremely on edge” by most people’s standards.)  And it didn’t help that my DSL connection has been dropping out intermittently for the past few days, and especially today.  I’ve found that sometimes jiggling the receiver on my desk phone helps clear it up, even though it’s not dial-up — I’m not sure why that works, but sometimes it seems to.  But not so much today, and I got so frustrated with the constant loss of connection that I almost tried to snap the phone’s handset in half like a twig.  (Which isn’t quite as crazy as it sounds; I’ve been thinking I need a new desk phone, so I’m on the verge of considering this one expendable.)  Anyway, I was really an emotional wreck this morning.  Even reading one of my favorite books, Superman: Miracle Monday by Elliott S! Maggin (available here along with numerous other Maggin Superman stories), didn’t cheer me up.  (Admittedly, I don’t like MM as much as Maggin’s first Superman novel Last Son of Krypton.  But it has some lovely moments.)

So even though I wasn’t sure I was up to it, I decided to take a walk to the park.  And there were some really pretty clouds in the sky.

Clouds 9/4/10

So that was nice and calming to look at for a while.

As I continued my walk, heading up toward the university, I realized it was getting close to lunchtime and I decided to eat out.  Rather than going to one of my usual places like Panera, I decided on impulse to go to the Five Guys, where I got a hot dog a while back, and to try an actual honest-to-gosh hamburger.  Now, I mostly gave up red meat years ago for health reasons, and once I’d done so, when I occasionally got the urge to try a Big Boy or something for old time’s sake, I found I didn’t care for the taste as much as I remembered.  So I kinda stopped trying.  But a few months ago at Shore Leave, as I mentioned at the time, I was in a situation where a hamburger was the best available option for a timely lunch, and I thought it was not bad.  So I decided to follow up on that and see if Five Guys’ reputation for hamburgers was deserved.  I got what they call a “small” hamburger, one 1/4-lb patty instead of two, with cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and grilled onions, along with their usual exorbitant amount of fries.  And it was really a very good hamburger.  It would be trivial to say it’s the best one I’ve had in years, since it’s only like the third one I’ve had in years and the first of those was pretty bad, but it was so enjoyable that I thanked the staff on my way out.  I had a bit over half the fries that came with it and took the rest home for later.

So I was feeling better after my trip.  Then the mail came — and my long-overdue outline advance for DTI: Watching the Clock was in it, along with the second disc of The Middleman from Netflix.  It was just past noon, and when I checked my bank hours online, I discovered that the branch over in Hyde Park was open until 1.  So I drove over there and deposited the check.  And I figured while I was in the area, I should go to Staples.  My printer has been pretty much on its last legs, and my scanner died years ago, so I wanted to get one thing that did both and clear up some space.  The store clerk directed me to a reasonably priced, reasonably sized one on sale, I asked a bunch of questions, and it seemed to be the closest thing available to what I needed.  So I bought it and started heading homeward.

Well, kind of homeward.  I was heading toward an intersection where I’d have three choices: go down to the freeway to take the quick way home, make a left and take the more leisurely (though more direct) route home, or stop in the mall by that intersection and browse around the Joseph-Beth bookstore for a while.   As I neared the intersection, I realized I was feeling a little fatigued, so I decided stopping for a rest was a good idea.  So I spent some time browsing.  Then I went back to the car, but I was still feeling sleepy.  I needed caffeine and/or sugar to give me a boost.  So I walked over to the Starbuck’s in the mall and had an iced tea lemonade (in a size which I will properly designate as “small” no matter what overaggrandizing label they insist on using — really, how stupid is it that both their smaller sizes are given names that mean “large?”) and a blueberry scone.  Thusly caffeinated and ensconed, I drove home by the non-freeway route… but instead of taking the direct route along Madison to Woodburn to Taft to Calhoun, I decided just for old times’ sake to try a different route, basically the reverse of the school-bus route I used to take home from high school — which, come to think of it, would probably be the same route I used to go from home to school, but I don’t really recall that end of it.  Mainly I remember the route because sometimes I walked home, even though home was a 50-minute walk away.  Ahh, those were the days.  I wish my knees could still handle 50 minutes of nonstop walking.  They can handle close to that if I’m in good condition and I pace myself, but not quite.

So anyway, I decided to veer right on Dana and then turn onto Duck Creek Road, following it toward Montgomery.  As I approached Montgomery, I realized I didn’t quite remember where to go from there, but I figured I’d wing it; I’ve been around the general area enough over the years that I was sure I’d recognize something.  I was pretty sure I was supposed to turn left onto Montgomery, and that proved correct, because Montgomery then became Gilbert and that eventually brought me to the area around campus, at which point it was a familiar route back home.

So after a while, I decided to unpack the printer/scanner/copier and see about setting it up.  I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box and discovered that the printer and its accessories, instead of being wrapped in throwaway plastic bags, were protected in a “greener” way, wrapped in a reusable tote bag and accessory pouch!  That’s a really nice bonus.   As for the printer, I had relatively little trouble setting it up, aside from an initial problem getting it to recognize that I’d installed the ink cartridges, which I cleared up just by turning it off and on again.  So far it seems to work fine, and I’ll just have to remember to try to use it more regularly to keep the cartridges from clogging.  I hope I don’t have too many problems acclimating to an HP printer after using an Epson for so long.

Now my main question is, how do I dispose of the old printer and scanner?  I’ll have to see if I can find better alternatives than just tossing them out.

So anyway, for dinner I decided to have a turkey sandwich and the leftover french fries.  So I looked online (between connection dropouts, which I was able to tolerate somewhat better than I did this morning) and found instructions for reheating fries in a toaster oven (place on the tray, coat somewhat liberally in cooking spray, heat at 350-400 for 3-5 minutes depending on preferred crispness).  It worked fine, and I had my dinner while watching The Middleman.  I watched two episodes straight through, but decided to save the other two for tomorrow.  The episodes on the first disc were a little underwhelming to revisit, but by this point they were hitting their stride.  Art Crawl!  Sheer elegance in its simplicity!  Half a drake deep!  Mutual of Omaha, how I miss this show.

So the day got off to a rocky start, the culmination of a less-than-stellar week, but it turned out pretty nicely overall.

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  1. Barrie Suddery
    September 5, 2010 at 5:18 am

    I’m sure that there are companies who’ll take your old printer and scanner off your hands and either refurbish them for donation to the third world or for recycling.

  2. September 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    If you’re looking for a method of centralizing the info on drop-off points for such e-waste to recommend to your municipal/state government, I might suggest taking a look at dowhatyoucan.ca to see if it might be adapted.

  1. September 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm

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