Backward Rain

  December 5, 2002


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Thursday, December 05, 2002

Tight Fit

Another day, another bomb scare. Today the physics building was evacuated, surrounded by police and checked out by a bomb sniffing dog. As usual it was a false alarm and later a student was arrested for making the threat. He had called from a pay phone in the cafeteria and was even captured on video making the call. I thought physics students were smarter than that.

Another student was having a bad day as well. He tried to drive his truck and camper through the parking structure. Can you say tight squeeze? That was good for about an hour of entertainment till the campus police let the air out of his tires so he could back out. No damage to the parking structure.

At home weíve been dealing with the routine domestic events that everyone goes through. Picked up a new stove from Sears and installed it last night. Since we live in the boondocks I donít bother trying to get them to deliver. If it can fit on the back of my pickup, I can haul it myself. The hard part is getting Catherine to carry it inside.

We lost power to the north side of the property today. Thatís the side with the main well and freezer so Iíll be staying home tomorrow to track down the problem. Most likely itís a bad circuit breaker and Iíve become quite handy at replacing them. Before we moved to the country I didnít know circuit breakers could go bad but over the last ten years I must have replaced at least six. We have three wells and several out buildings, all with separate sources of power. I handle electric and plumbing repairs and Catherine does the carpentry. No kidding. I couldnít drive a nail straight if my life depended on it. My motto is measure three times, cut three times, get pissed off and force it.

Iím still mourning the loss of Clancy. I canít stop looking for him at the back door. Clancy came to us when his original owner passed away and I did my best to spoil him over the last 5 years. I liked to refer to him as ďthe cat who can do no wrong.Ē No more cats for us. Itís too dangerous up here. I suppose a dog could handle himself against the coyotes but weíre not here enough and I hate leaving pets by themselves all day. No matter what anyone says, they get lonely.


Didn't have a chance to get a photo of the camper jammed in the parking structure. Had to settle for an interesting picture of my desk at work


July 2, 1966 Ė Saturday

I realize itís been a long time since I wrote last but too many disappointing things have been happening. Iíll start from the beginning.

On June 25 my sister was married. It was a great wedding with Barry as best man and me as the usher. I was more nervous than the bride groom. Everything went ok during the wedding and afterwards we went to the reception. I had a great time there talking to friends and snitching a little Champaign when possible. I must admit that I had a better time than I thought you could have at that type of party. After the reception Barry, Noel and I went to the Del Coronado (a fancy hotel where a lot of movie stars and rich people hang out) dressed in full tuxedos. It was fun to walk around making people think we were movie stars. Three people thought Barry was getting married and they congratulated him.

We then went over to the officers club on the base and had a great dinner. Dick Van Dyke was in town for a movie premier and he went to the club but we were too early. Mother saw him later on that evening.

Well, hereís where things get bad. When I got home that night I could hardly sleep because I was so excited about the trip to Japan. When I got up things began to crumble. I overheard father, who had returned from Japan a few days earlier, talking to mother about Japan. It seems itís no different from what Mrs. Nixon said it was, in fact even worse. After we came home from church father told us the whole trip was off.
You can imagine how I felt. After months of preparing and looking forward, it all crumbled. Iíve never been more disappointed in my life. The reason we didnít go was because the country is a mess. The houses are tiny, the weather terrible, the job no good and a thousand other things I donít feel like talking about.

Thatís it. Everything is over. Barry got his old job back in the forest service, Sheilaís gone and Iím left here, sitting in Coronado with a whole summer ahead with nothing to do.

After father told us we werenít going I was sitting in the living room feeling miserable. Then Barry brought up the idea of me helping some friends of ours pick avocadoes up in Santa Barbara. The fact of a trip to Japan being lowered to picking avocadoes in Santa Barbara sounded so ridiculous that I couldnít control myself. I laughed like Iíve never laughed before. I must have spent a half hour walking around the house in complete hysteria. After calming down I went to my room and cried for the first time in years.

continued next entry

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