Sunday, December 29, 2013

Moving Day and Tim Duffrin has Left the Building!

We're still waiting for our Forester to be fixed. The service department at Miller Hill Subaru originally said we could expect it to be done this past Thursday but the motor head they received from the parts dealer had a warped valve-something-or-other and they couldn't use it. Christmas week isn't a good week for ordering anything and expecting it to be expedited. And so we wait. Hopefully sometime this coming week we'll have our car back.

We had our quietest Christmas ever in the more than 14 years we've been married. Tammy was working in her office while Rachel was at her dad's house. I threw my bike in the back of my truck and headed down to the river for a few hours of fun on the trails. I fell so many times trying to establish new tracks in the 3 inches of snow we'd gotten Christmas Eve. They were easy falls that mostly happened because I couldn't unclip from my pedals fast enough to get a foot down to keep from falling. After trading notes with another fat-tire rider (at the 1:45 mark of the video link) I decided to adopt his strategy and go with platform pedals and a snowboot rather than a cycling shoe/boot. This way I can get my foot down much more quickly. I visited a forum and found where a lot of other riders have adopted the same strategy.

Rachel is in her senior year of college and it appears the chances that she'll be doing any more extended stays with us is pretty remote. So, with that understanding we loaded up most of her belongings from her room and transported them to Rochester and her new digs where she just made her 7th move in a little more than 3 years.

It was a smooth move on both ends because of the help of her friends pitching in to on-load and off-load her belongings from the 14 foot U-Haul truck we rented. I didn't sense any melancholiness from either Rachel or Tammy as this anticipated day seemed to pass without much reflection. I suppose she's been physically absent from our lives long enough that it takes the sting out of it.

Tammy would like to make Rachel's room into some kind of crafting room with a futon to open up for overnight guests.

Rachel hosted a party for several high-school friends Friday night. I enjoyed answering the door and seeing their faces again and catching up with each of them as they stepped inside.

I was their designated driver as the party was to move to Babe's in downtown Lakeville later in the night. Kevin and Justin were happy to ride in the bed of my truck in the freezing cold so we used it rather than the loaner Forester we're sheltering in our garage. They're college kids and this is totally normal behavior, no?

I worked the all-night shift with Tim Duffrin last Tuesday night. It was his last shift before taking a week off and then retiring after a little more than 25 years as a controller. Tim was instrumental in getting us internet access at work in our geek-room and maintaining it; something I think most of us take for granted but something that was no easy accomplishment. He was also the guy who made the most effort to follow through on safety issues that many of the rest of us didn't have enough passion for to pursue.

I always enjoyed working with him. He was a very competent controller who quietly went about his business. I'd take a facility full of Tims any day.

Tim has a hobby-farm and an endless list of stuff to keep him plenty busy and happy in the years to come. I don't suspect he'll allow too much grass to grow under his feet.

I was back on the trails Friday afternoon for a ride that was ridiculously fun! I come back on such a high sometimes from being down there and this was one of those times. The temp was above freezing for what seemed like the first time in months and many other fat-tire bikes had been out there packing the trail nicely which made for excellent riding conditions. The best snow riding I've done yet!

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