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Courtney

Courtney

   Met up with Courtney in Madison, and latter Aidan.  We had some East African food for dinner, which I had never tried before.  But I was an instant fan, and will have to try that again sometime.
   We went out of Indian food this evening and met up with Tyson.  I then bought Tyson's old laptop off him.  Jai will get my old laptop (Tyson's old, old laptop) and I upgrade.  The new laptop is larger (I like a large system) and has a CPU with virtualization, which will be nice.
   Today Ollie and I cut a whole in the floor to fix this.  This sewer pipe has been dripping into the crawl space for some time now, but I couldn't get anyone to come to the house to look at it.  No one wanted to get into a crawl space with sewage, even if there was money involved.  I know very little about pluming and hate doing it.  I knew that from under the house I wouldn't be able to do anything.  So I crawled to where the leak was and drilled a hole through the floor.  Then Ollie cut out a section of floor so we could do some surgery.
   Turns out the leak was caused by a failed joint.  The pipe pulled out slightly, causing it to drip.  The setup in the picture shows our fix.  What I beleive happened is the pipe coming form the washer was unable to flex like the other pipes because that pipe goes through the king beam.  Thus, as the house heated and cooled, the pipe was stressed until the join gave out.  To fix this, we cut the bad pipe, re-glued the join, and then added a flexible coupling.  This coupling should take the stress of the house shifting around much better then the ridged pipe.
   We patched the whole in the floor, but now we need to clean up the linoleum. 
   I did a small photo shoot with Desirae this evening, trying to capture her many tattoos.  I'm fairly pleased with the results, although I lost some of pictures to blur.  For lighting I used my 6500k full-spectrum florescent fixture.  I tried to emphasize line shapes, focusing on getting tattoos in each shot.  The session wasn't very long, but I did get a lot of posses.
   My god daughter Aislinn opening up her xmass gift.  I got her the most banned book of 2008--a kids book titled "And Tango Makes Three."  It's about penguins, and the story is really cute.  Tango came from an orphan egg, hatched by two male penguins who had built a nest, and were trying to hatch an egg.  Both being male, there was no egg.  So they nursed a rock that resembled an egg.  When the zoo keeper gave them Tango's egg, they took turns looking after it, hatched it, and raised the baby chick.  That, with illustrations of penguins, is pretty much the whole story.
   I first herd of the book in a banned book reading at my school.  I loved the story decided my god daughter needed some dissident material in her reading library.  She didn't seem to have any odd reactions at all, which I figured would be the case.  But I think that's the point: there isn't anything unusual about it.  If people never see something growing up, they might think it'd odd the first time they are exposed to it, or beleive it's odd if someone tells them it is.  However, if you grow up around something that is a social taboo, you are more likely not to find it all that weird when you get older.  I grew up a vegetarian.  Latter in life I saw people going vegetarian or vegan as a way to make a statement.  That statement didn't seem too radical to me--I had done the vegetarian thing for around 16 years.  There were some people though giving up meat was a huge lifestyle change, and one that would be difficult to make. 
   I knew the weather was suppose to be bad, so for my last day of work before the winter shutdown I kept the radar on my screen the whole day--and it just kept getting worse.  Normally I work until 4:15pm, which gives me the 8 3/4 hours a day I need for in order to take a half Friday.  However, with the radar of impending doom, I decided to cut out at 3:00pm.
   The drive was white-knuckle pretty much the entire way back home.  Eve (my car) needs new tires, so I knew my control wouldn't be all that great.  I knew the drive would be a challange.  As I left, my roommate was pulling in.  He called me to tell me I had a headlight out--not a good way to start a long drive on a bad weather night.  I wanted new headlights anyway as the ones I had were really dim.  So I stopped off at an auto parts store and picked up the brightest (and also most expensive) bulbs they had.  I'm glad I did--they helped a lot.
   Most of the Iowa drive happened between 50 and 60 MPH.  I had two lanes and at this point, it was mostly rain with a thin layer of ice.  I had control for gentle turns, but stopping and quick maneuvering was out of the question.  As I started into Wisconsin, the rain turned to snow, and before too long, the roads started to accumulate a frozen mix of ice and snow.  My speeds dropped to around 40 to 45 MPH.  On hills, Eve would often break free and spin.  With all the road noise, I could not hear the engine RPM increasing.  My only indication that I was spinning was be looking at RPM and MPH, which would shoot way up.
   I drive Hwy 11 most of the way through Wisconsin, and in Brodhead I switch do Hwy 80.  Hwy 11 was hard driving, but hwy 80 was much worse.  Despite only going around 40 MPH, I drifted into the shoulder a couple of times.  Each time, letting off the gas and allowing the road to slow me down gave me back control, but it was a little nerve racking.  Usually I take Beloit Newerk Road from hwy 80 to hwy 51 to get to the Garage.  But I decided that if hwy 80 was this bad, Beloit Newerk was likely worse.  So, I went to visit Tazz right away.
   The trip was around 4 hours, but honestly I don't know how much more.  I was glad to be done for the evening, but the weather wouldn't be clearing up the next couple days, and I have more driving yet to do.