Thursday, May 28, 2015

Marco Was a Big Help Today

Every now and then, my younger son, Marco, comes through when you least expect it. And when he does, it's a treat, because he's very focused.

    He came by yesterday to talk about a game he's designing and the challenges it presents. He talked about how he no longer looks at computer games the same way, instead of enjoying playing, he now sees the work that was done to make the game. For instance, one example that wasn't over my head, was that the computer always knows where your player is and will kill it every time--unless you build in a certain number of misses to give the human player a chance. "So it's up to me, the designer, to say that the robot can only hit the human once in four or five or ten times. Otherwise, the robot would always kill the character moved by the human," he said.
    When it was my turn to talk I complained about the house. We've lost shingles, the dogs have eaten through a couple of pipes so that gray water, which we run out of the kitchen sink into the back yard, not just sits under the house. And the dogs are under the house and muddy and I won't let them in wet, and with all the rain we've had on top of the pipes--they also tore the pipe from the washer and dryer that goes into the septic tank so that water just pools up--it's a flipping mess out there. Then the dogs uncovered the septic tank--dug down to it and somehow broke the top so that it's been filling with mud from the rain. And the rain has prevented mowing the lawn. Should I go on? I know other people have it one million times worse than me, but it still sucks to have paid off a house this week that's in such shambles. And it was overwhelming me, because there is all the regular work to keep a house going and the work to pay for everything that has to get done. So yeah, I was feeling sorry for myself. Even though I know most of the people in the world have it harder than me. So I was hating myself for being such a wimp as well.
    And it wasn't a lot of work to fix it. But with my leg and the open wounds, even covered, I can't go anywhere near septic water. 
    Marco to the rescue. Yesterday, after we talked, he said he'd come over today to help. And he did. I told him first thing needed was to cut the grass in the near back yard, so that we could properly lay out new pipes for the gray water. That meant fixing the riding mower, which froze during the last several weeks of rain. He got that done while I cleaned up the near back yard of firework paper, things the new dogs had chewed to pieces--wood, sox, a couple of brushes, grill utensils, a couple of old hoses now filled with holes. Then I rode the thing and did the near back yard while Marco nailed a piece of commercial corrugated plastic over the 6 foot hole in the skirt of our house. Then he installed a new pipe section to the washer/dryer outlet and got that in place. By that time I'd gotten one of the three large far back yards (outside the inner fencing, but inside the outer fencing) cut. Then he laid the pipe in a ditch he dug--a 50-foot ditch just six inches deep to keep the new dogs from tearing it apart again--so that the gray water will now run out past the near back yard. On Monday I've hired people to clean out the septic tank. I bought a new lid. Once that's done, I think the plumbing around here will be back in working order.
    You know, I needed help on this one. I'm very glad Marco volunteered. He came ready to work and worked well. And my leg didn't get exposed to junk that could make it worse. I always love my sons and daughter, Madeleina. But sometimes they really, really come through, and then I love them the same, but add an extra dash of proud to it.

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