Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Life - Furnace and Laptop

Last night I came home wanting to rest, relax, and do a bit of training on the bike. I'd been feeling cold at work and I wanted to go home, warm up, and do a good ride.

I also thought I could also initiate rebuilding the troublesome laptop we bought recently - I think one of the updates failed midstream and left the laptop in an unstable state, and we have little enough saved on it that rebuilding it would be painless.

So when the missus called just before I left work to report no heat in the house, well, it put a brake to my plans.

After trying the emergency reset button once (and only once), we sat and waited for the oil folks to show up. I didn't feel like training in the room next to the furnace - my double secret training meant hiding my training from the oil folks.

Now, contrary to the other night, we could get hold of them, and they promised a technician in "2 to 4 hours".


We all bundled up. You could tell it was cold because the kitties would tuck their paws under their bodies, resembling a furry little corning hen with a cat head. The missus made some hot coffee and, while warming up dinner, I added 30 to 60 seconds to my standard microwave times.

About an hour later a guy showed up. And like our previous experiences, he was polite, professional, and got the job done. I may not like the oil company's way of doing things but their staff has always been exemplary.

He replaced a bad solenoid, one that prevented the furnace from firing, we had heat, the furnace rumbled comfortably, the pipes did their "tick ticking", and the kittens could sprawl out again.

With that out of the way, we could get on with life. I think it'd dropped to the low 50s in the house, and we were both too tired to do much of anything. For sure I was exhausted, and I called off my ride. I decided that it would be a good time to rebuild the quirky laptop. It had a lot of weird symptoms - can't bring up Task Manager, updates fail, doesn't reboot, all sorts of "virus-like" things (yes, there is antivirus on it). So I backed up data onto CDRs and an SD card, kicked off the rebuild, and waited.

I spent the next hour or two installing various drivers, unwilling to let it on the network until it was mostly built. This morning I still had about six drivers to install, but after that I can start running updates and such.

In real life, in real projects, there are only so many hours in a day. If something unexpected pops up and starts taking up that time, you lose it. It's gone, never to be recovered. When things like that happen I mentally shift my calender over one day. It could be car related, maybe computer, even bike related, but my schedule moves over to the next day.

(Bethel can't be moved over, hence stressing over it.)

Yesterday felt like one of those lost days. I had a few things planned, written down, stuff I wanted to do. But with the unexpected tossed in my face, I had to write off the evening. My calender shifted over one day.

It's tough when these things happen, but you have to get back up and keep going. I didn't think of it too much until a little incident today, a good incident.

Today a guy came in, introduced himself to me. Ends up he's the father of a Junior racer, former 'cross champion to be precise. We saw the kid riding on Sunday, spinning along, Verge gear on, 80 pounds of bike racer taking advantage of a 40 degree day. The dad told me a short story of one of his races.

His son started off well but took a tumble, apparently bending something up front - the front wheel rubbed the brakes hard. He ran to the pits and climbed off the bike, ready to give up. His field was gone, and the following field also passed him.

That's when someone pointed out the wheel was just cockeyed in the frame.

They straighted out the wheel and the kid jumped back in the race. He spent a lap lamenting his crash, complaining the whole time, but at the bell he woke up. Gritting his teeth, he raced the last lap of the race.

In that last lap he passed 22 racers. His tally? 46 racers in two laps.

He got 6th.

He could have easily given up after that crash and perceived mechanical, but he didn't. Instead he got up and kept going. And though it took him a lap to mentally recover from the setback, once he finally got into the groove, he was unstoppable.

The kicker? He was all of twelve years old.

So, tonight, I'll go home. I have to do some kitty stuff, move some little stuff around, and then I'll ride. I'll do a good, hard ride, like I wanted to yesterday.

Because I can learn a lesson from a 12 year old's experience. You may experience a setback but that's okay.

You just get back on the bike and keep pedaling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So often bike lessons are life lessons. Learning from a junior racer makes it even more powerful. Glad you got back on the bike, if only metaphorically speaking (for now).