Let’s see if this works

My internet has melted, and has been at best intermittent throughout the day, so lemme just throw up a quick proof-of-life before it goes down again: it was brutally hot outdoors today; I think the heat index reached somewhere in the 105-110 range, with tomorrow expected to be just as bad. Amazingly, though, it wasn’t nearly as humid as I was expecting, meaning that outside was unpleasant but not the immediate death I was planning for. We spent the evening in the pool. Not a bad gig, if you can get it.

On returning to normalcy

I feel like I should already know why you get so many pictures of Warren G. Harding if you Google Image Search the word “normalcy,” or at least that I should be able to figure it out if I apply some thought to it, but I’m not going to do that. This post could use some weird, frankly, and that picture is funnier if I don’t know why it came up.

One of my oldest friends passed through town on Friday, and we hung out for a while and chatted on the back porch; the topic of masking did not come up. Yesterday we put the pool up; it’ll likely be a week before we can take a proper swim in it, judging from the weather report, but it’s full already somehow and ready to go, and my wife got to say the words “I’m going to go buy sand and acid” to me earlier today and that was fun for both of us. I mowed the front lawn today (no cicadas yet, but I’m watching) and did some weed whacking and other various Adult Chores, and I was done with my grading within two hours of getting up.

It has, by any account, been a Productive Weekend. I still have some school stuff to do after dinner, but there should be plenty of time for guilt-free video gaming tonight.

I also filled the car up with gas, which is only significant insofar as I needed to break a $20, so I went into the gas station to buy a lemonade, and realized when I was almost inside that I didn’t have a mask on. I shrugged and went in anyway; the county mask ordinance has been cancelled and a two-minute in-and-out at the gas station is about as safe as an indoor interaction can possibly be. If someone had said something to me, I’d have gone and gotten a mask, but no one did. This is the first time I’ve purchased something in a store without some sort of face covering on in well over a year.

(I even did it without any particular self-recrimination about looking exactly like the kind of guy who refuses to wear a mask rather than a vaccinated person who briefly forgot, but I’m blogging about it fifteen minutes later, so maybe I don’t get to pat myself on the back about that one.)

In keeping with the theme of this year, which had about six “first days of school,” this Wednesday represents the first Last Day of School; this year will feature at least three, if not four. My students have their 8th Grade recognition ceremony on Wednesday and are not expected to return to the building afterwards. Friday is the original Last Day of School for everyone else, and since there was a day of school cancelled in January because the entire city lost power, June 1, which is the Tuesday after Memorial Day, is the technical Last Day of School, a day after a three-day weekend where I expect no students at all to attend. Then there’s my Last Day of School, which is June 2, and then I’m off until August, barring a day or so a week where I’ll have various responsibilities that can be done from home and studying for this math test from Hell I have to take sometime.

Bring it on.

In which it’s almost ready

I did promise that I’d post a picture of the pool once it was actually full. The boy has been in it, briefly, but right now we’re making sure all the chemicals are balanced and shit before making it official. We will probably be swimming in it by Monday or so.

(Oh, also: don’t look straight down into a gallon container of muriatic acid to see if you’ve poured out half of it or not. Bad idea! Bad! Don’t do that!)

Anyway. Pool:

I am buying a new ladder today, one more suited for a man of my … robustness, and I plan on spending most of the rest of the day staring at this thing while it sucks all the little tree thingies out of the water. It’s fucking hypnotic, I tell you:

In which I get summer break sorted out

So here’s what I did today. It was supposed to take 45 minutes.

The yard, prepared.
The tarp!
Initial layout of the pool.
My assistant, assisting.
Right here is the 45-minute mark, where the box said we were supposed to be done. Ha! No.
All of the piping and frame in place.
My assistant tests the ladder. It’s sturdy enough but it could be wider; I can see myself having trouble getting *out* of the pool– in will be easy, obviously, because of the water.
It’s gonna be quite a bit deeper than I initially imagined. It won’t be filled to the top, of course, but this is way less of a kiddie pool than I’d pictured.
Starting to put the water in. This will take a REALLY long time to fill. Total elapsed construction time before we started putting water in: about two hours, and not a terribly strenuous two hours, either. Not bad, really.
The filter, and my solution for the fact that the filter really doesn’t want to sit on the ground without falling over.

So, yeah, we’re gonna have a pool in the back yard this summer. Total cost was about $450, and a membership in the local neighborhood pool that we’d have to get in the car to go to is around $325, so I figure even if we only get a couple of seasons out of it it’ll be worth the money. I did the math; it’s a 48″ pool and it’s filling at about 4″ an hour so it’s literally going to take half a damn day to fill it up.

Also, across the 15 feet of the pool we’re only about 1.25″ off from level. I’m pretty certain that’s about as good as it gets in a back yard.

I’ll post another picture or two once it’s actually filled tomorrow, and then there’s chemicals and shit before we can start swimming in it on a regular basis, plus I’m sure it’ll rain for the next two weeks.


How to be an Asshole Without Even Really Trying

63319040.jpg…okay, I know I said I wouldn’t be around much today, but I want to write this down before I forget about it and it won’t take long.

On my list of things to do today was an eye doctor appointment to get fitted with contact lenses so that I can see while I’m swimming.  I’ve worn contacts before; I tend to flip back and forth between contacts and glasses every couple of years or so.  I left with a pair of sample contacts in my prescription and, after thinking about it for a bit, decided to go for a swim.

Why did I think about it?  Because the thought you don’t have a replacement pair, so if you lose a lens in the damn pool you’re going to feel pretty stupid rolled through my head, and I almost decided to give my eyes a couple of days to get re-used to the lenses before swimming.

But I didn’t!

As I was swimming, getting reasonably close to my number of goal laps for the day, I noticed a youngish black kid standing rather nervously at the shallow end of the pool.  There was one open lane and one person in each of the other three, and he was being kind of weirdly fidgety about getting in.  I stood down at the shallow end and gasped for air for a minute or two, waiting to see if he wanted to share my lane, and then swam down to the far end.

As I got down to the far end and turned around, he climbed into the pool, using the ladder, in my lane.

And right about there, at that exact second, I adjusted my goggles and knocked a lens out of place.  It wasn’t out of my eye, but it was seriously not in position any longer, and it wasn’t comfortable at all.  I fiddled with it for a second, realized my chlorine-soaked hands weren’t doing me any good, and bailed.  From the deep end.

Leaving my towel and flip-flops at the other end.

And, as it was starting to hurt, didn’t quite run– the floor’s too slippery for that– but made for the men’s locker room at as high a rate of speed as being half-blind and in bare feet could allow.

It took two or three minutes in the bathroom, maybe, to get the lens back in place, at which point I thought fuck it, I was pretty close to the number of laps I was going to do anyway, and I think I’ve pushed my luck enough.  I went back into the pool area, grabbed my flip-flops and my towel, and went off to the hot tub.  Meanwhile, this kid’s swimming– not in my lane, notably, but sharing the one next to where I was.

It wasn’t until I was in the shower a few minutes after that that I realized that, as far as he could tell, the fat white guy had practically jumped out of the pool and fled as soon as the black teenager had gotten in.  Fled so quickly, in fact, that I’d forgotten to take my shit with me and had had to go back and get it.

So, yeah, that could have gone better.

(Note that I’m fully aware that I am not the center of this kid’s universe and that he probably barely even noticed I was there.  But if he did?  Shit.  It ain’t like I can track him down and apologize.  “Hey, that thing I did, that you might not have even noticed and looked really racist if you did?  Contact lens.  I swear.  Wanna go share the pool so I can prove it?”)