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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You Dub

Drove to Seattle this weekend to deliver darling daughter to the University of Washington for early fall start. There was some question as to whether all of her stuff would fit inside the mom-mobile, or if I would have to mount the Yakima Rocket Box to the roof. In the end, it all fit inside, though there was no room for dearest brother. That suited him just fine, he had no interest in this expedition. We drove up Saturday evening. Traffic was tolerable. Three hours from our door to the garage entrance of the Watertown Hotel, which was about six blocks from the dorm.

None of this pull up out front, go inside to check in and then back out to park the car. We pull up to garage door, press the button on the intercom, talk to the clerk for 30 seconds, and up goes the door. Drive inside, park, grab our gear and head for the elevators. Parking in the garage looked really tight, or it would have been if it was full. Fortunately, it was less than half full, so it was easy to park. I imagine we will find out just how tight it is when we come back next month for the Oregon-Washington football game.

Our room was really big, maybe twice as big as normal. There were a number of odd features, like the frosted glass porthole in the bathroom door, the heavy shades on the windows and the enormous full length mirror apparently leaning against the wall. It must have been close on to four feet wide and seven feet tall. It was actually attached to the wall at the top, so it was in no danger of falling. There were a couple of windows that looked out onto the alley, though we were high enough up that we could see over the adjacent houses. Not really much to see from our side though. The windows tilted inward to open a bit at the top for ventilation.

The big window had a label that indicated it could be used as an emergency exit (only if there was someone outside to catch you, it was a long drop to the ground), but I could not figure out how you were supposed to open it. Maybe if I was in a panic I would simple jerk it open, but it wasn't apparent to me how you were supposed to get to fully open. Or maybe they only open from the outside, which would make a certain amount of sense.

We went out to dinner at Mamma Melina Italian Ristorante. It was late, they were full and we had to wait a few minutes until they could clear a table for us. It was very loud inside. Lots of people talking and a guy playing the piano and singing. The music varied. Mostly it was pop, but occasional there would be something that sounded like opera. There was an older guy there singing the opera pieces. He had quite the voice. All in all very pleasant.

Anne went for an eighteen mile run this morning and something happened to her knee so if she moved it the wrong way it give her a jolt of pain. If she moved it the right way it was fine. Of course, it was near impossible to tell just what the wrong way was so we would hobble along and then she would hesitate and grimace, and then we would hobble along some more. I offered to go get the car, but she declined. She did ask for a beer from the gas station though, which I was happy enough to buy for her. Couldn't buy single bottles from a six pack. I don't know whether this was state law or store policy. We can buy single bottles at our local grocery store back home. So I bought one of the double size bottles (they are not quite a quart), which they do sell separately.

Lander Hall

Check-in time at the dorm was for 8 AM. By the time we got there they were already in full swing. Parking lot was full, cars were queued up waiting to get in. I found a spot on the street at the end of the block and Kathryn went off to retrieve her keys. I rounded up a cart and presently we were lined up for the elevator. After the first trip in the elevator, everything else goes up on foot. There are two elevators and one small set of fire stairs, and they were well used. There was an additional staircase at the far end of the floor, but you could only gain entrance from the second floor up. There was no access from the main floor, and the door at the ground floor opened to the outside and it was locked from the outside. I suppose I could have blocked it open, but inside it smelled of urine. Not the most appealing place.

Anyway I ended up making several trips up the fire stairs carrying darling daughters stuff. One trip with a couple of duffel bags containing her matched set of blacksmithing anvils left me out of breath, so much so that another parent inquired if I was okay. I was fine. Matter of fact I haven't enjoyed myself so much since I don't know when. I probably made half a dozen trips up and down six flights of stairs.

Another trip I am carrying a big box in my arms. The fire stairs are kind of narrow. They are wide enough for two normal (sub-normal?) people to pass, but not if they are carrying big honking boxes. Most people coming down stop on the landings to let the people carrying stuff up the stairs go by. But here comes this little wisp of a woman thinking she can slide by between me and the wall. I was tempted to crush her for her impudence, but with a tremendous effort I controlled myself. Even so she was forced to turn sideways in order to get by. I think she escaped with only minor scrapes. Dang these little skinny people.

There was also the furniture shoving contest. The default furniture arrangement was unacceptable. Everything had to be moved from where it was to somewhere else. Since there was so much stuff, we had to elevate the bed so there would be more storage underneath. Eventually, that decision was reversed, and the bed had to be set back down to it's original height. It wasn't too much work to change the height. Simply a matter of unscrewing four bolts, having a helper help hold the bed up while you pulled the bolts out, setting the frame to the new height, pushing the bolts in and then tightening them up again. Repeat for the other end.

Simple enough until the thread at the tip of one bolt gets buggered and then it's a struggle to get that bolt started. I ended up clearing the buggered thread with the can opener blade on my screwdriver. Bit of a trick without my glasses. Sometimes I could see the problem, sometimes I couldn't. Pressing the bolt in the gap in the can opener blade and then turning it seemed to clear the damaged thread because I was able to screw it into the hole.

In between all this there is quite a bit of down time for me. The girls are fussing about putting things away and they don't want the big sweaty Daddy getting in the way. It's hot in the dorm so I am glad to go outside. But outside it's starting to rain. I find the one spot on the whole outside of the dorm where I can sit down, out of the way and out of the rain. I think the architect must have screwed up. If they had been on their toes I am sure they would not have let this spot slip in. There is a curb along the walkway to the rear entrance of the main floor. Just before the walkway reaches the end of it's cover, it turns to stairs and goes down half a flight. Right at this point there is a place where the curb is high enough to be called a seat. It is about a foot short of the end of the overhang, so it stays dry. I spent a while just sitting there.

Naturally we had forgotten something so we had to make a trip to Target, which meant getting on the freeway and driving about four miles North. Target is in a big block size multi-story building with a several other stores and a parking garage. First time I had seen this arrangement. I took a nap in the car while the girls did their thing. Time to leave and it's creepy crawly most of the way down. Getting in was a piece of cake, but in the meantime the place has gotten substantially busier and we have to wait for people pulling in and pulling out. It could have been aggravating, but I was too tired for it to bother me.

Back to the dorm and power strip won't plug into the wall. Some of the outlets are three pronged, but the nearby one is only two pronged. The power strip is three pronged. This is not going to work. Something will have to be done.

Eventually it is time to go. We say our goodbyes and drive home in the rain. 28 hours elapsed time.

Update December 2016 replaced missing pictures.

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