HAPPY NEW YEAR

2004 ended with a flurry of activity. I completed a second pass on the Ancient Chinese Technology book including adding all the back matter. One more pass and I can turn it in a month early.

The ceiling fan in the kids’ bathroom died recently so Deb decided she was going to replace it herself. Normally, she’s quite good at these things. However, it’s also a given that any job Deb decides needs doing will spiral to encompass many other tasks, none of which were anticipated.

This was no different. First, we started with returning the replacement fan because we got the wrong size. Second, once we got the old fan out of its brackets, we learned this was a task a little beyond her skill level (and way above mine). She had her brother Jim on standby and she called him in. As soon as Jim arrived, he insisted his payment was to be a batch of Katie’s ginger cookies.

As she baked, Jim got to work and sure enough, we had a problem. The fan, which preceded us in this house, was never properly vented. So, Deb had to run out and get a rooftop vent. As the sun was setting and the winter chill filled the air, Jim was atop out roof cutting a hole, setting the vent, and caulking in the shadows.

After that, he got the new fan placed just right and it worked first time out. We invited him to stay for dinner and he accepted, so we wound up starting New Year’s Eve with take-out Chinese food and Ocean’s 11 on DVD, since he’d never seen it all the way through. After Jim left, we then went to the movies to see, what else?, Ocean’s 12. We really wanted to like it despite the cautionary reviews. Well, the reviewers were right. It lacks the charm of the first, has a script that is shoehorned to fit the characters and wastes the combined talents of people whose work I really enjoy.

It ended later than we thought so we were in the car, racing to get home to watch the ball drop, instead hearing it happen on the radio…a first. Happy, tired, and somewhat wired, we arrived home to welcome the new year.

And this morning, with the ladder still in place, and the weather an unseasonably balmy 60, I climbed to the roof to inspect the caulking and while up there, cleaned out the back gutters (which needed attention anyway).

We’re having our annual New Year’s Day Open House in a few hours and that’ll be nice, visiting with people and not going anywhere.