October 22, 2002 - Tuesday
The first thing I do when I arrive at work
is turn on the radio. No, I donít mean the local oldies station. Iím
talking about those two-way ďWalkie TalkieĒ type radios. Youíve probably
seen those non descript maintenance people wandering around shopping
malls and theme parks with radios clipped to their belts. Iím one of those
guys. Listening to the morning chatter on the radio can give good clues
to how my day will go. Any comments relating to water will get my
attention. My ears perk up if I hear the guys refer to things like,
ďpipeĒ, ďfloodĒ or ďbreakĒ. I donít hear anything but those key words
sounding an alarm about something that might need my attention.
I flipped on the radio this morning just in time to hear a conversation
that ended with, ď...8 inch main break on the mall.Ē Those words tell me a
lot. I'm responsible for some 8 inch water mains but theyíre not on the
mall. If it's on the Main Mall then this emergency would involve domestic
water which meant the plumbers would be handling it. It turned out to be a
nasty break which required shutting water off to 5 buildings for 7 hrs..
On a campus that handles 40 thousands students through out the day, a
building without water can be a major problem. As you probably guessed,
Iím talking about restrooms and the ensuing complications that arise when
toilets canít be flushed promptly.
I know what itís like to be responsible for buildings being shut down due
to a water main break. The tension level rises 50 percent and managers
start pacing around asking, "Is it fixed yet?" This time my sympathies
went out to the plumbers, but for me, it was an opportunity. It isnít
every day that water to half the campus is shut down so I hopped in my
truck and began work on a critical valve that normally wouldn't be shut
off. A bit of digging, a packing nut gasket and we have one less leaking
valve on campus.
Water Main Break (Yep, right in one of our rose gardens)
Today's 2 hour commute
wasnít quite as satisfying as my day at work. We stopped at Wal-Mart where
I bought some Levis. Dang, Iíll never see size 34 again!
1966 Ė Saturday
Well, guess what, Iím off to Japan! Father got a job at Yokohama last
Thursday. Things have been happening so fast I hardly know where to begin,
First of all last Thursday afternoon mother told me that father got a
telegram from some company she thought had to do with the job in Japan
father wanted. Later that night father came home and we found out all the
He has been accepted at some company (I still donít know what it is) and
the people from this company are very anxious to get him. Father leaves in
about three weeks to check it out and find a house.
I must say Iím still in a daze. It all happened so fast. One moment Iím
nice and secure in my own house and the next Iím off to some foreign
country I know nothing about. I know if father came in now and said we
couldnít go Iíd be disappointed but still Iím very frightened of whatís
going to happen when we get there. Itís been a long time since father was
in the navy and Iím out of practice for loosing friends and finding new
My main fear is the school. If it wasnít for high school Iíd be packing
and raring to go. Father says there are lots of Americans over there with
American schools and teachers but what will they be like? Will they be
friendly, weird, smart, stupid? Will they where the same kind of clothes
as mine and talk the same?
I keep telling my self how lucky I am and how this is just like a movie. I
know itís childish but it helps. One thing Iím very happy about is that
Barry will be able to go over for a little while. Weíve always been very
close just like Wally and Beaver on TV. Having him along until weíre
settled should make everything a lot easier on me.
It seems like I've already started one of my life's dream. If you remember
back to my last entry I said I wanted to see Samoa and other countries.
Mother brought up something that really makes me happy. She said Barry and
I could take a ship to Hawaii and from there to Samoa. After staying at
Samoa for a few weeks we'd go on to Japan. I can't think of anything that
would be more fun. The best of all we'd be alone. No parents to tell us
what and when to do things.
As it is now it is planned that father will leave in two or three weeks,
Barry and I right after Sheila's wedding and mother sometime close to
I've noticed one thing since all this has happened. I've begun to go into
a shell. I talk less and seem to be getting more shy and self conscious. I
hope what is happening doesn't make me more of a dull person.
I know this last entry is very mixed up and incorrect but I'm kind of