Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 507

Well, it's back to the real world. When I climbed up on the roof this morning to remove the standing water that had accumulated while I was gone, I was immediately stung multiple times on the face by a swarm of bees that was hovering over a nearby puddle of water. Welcome home, I guess. We had all sorts of problems with bees last year, and it looks like they're back again. These were particularly tenacious bees and they wouldn't leave me alone until I was off the roof and back inside again. I'm going to have to find a way to get rid of these critters for good. If they'll sting me, they'll probably sting the dogs as well. Since the dogs are much smaller, a lot of bee stings could really be dangerous for them.

I little later when I went out to water the lawn, I picked up the sprinkler to move it somewhere else and found a snake coiled underneath. I like animals but I'm definitely not fond of insects and snakes. Texas has an abundance of both and I really wish they'd all just move to Oklahoma or something.

I still have no idea how I'm going to get paid for my week in Houston. I made a few inquiries this morning and ended up with this sinking feeling that I'm not going to get a check for quite a while. The Germans seem to think that their Houston office is supposed to pay me using the booth contractor's credit card, but when I called the Houston office, they told me to send my invoice to Germany. This has happened to me before, so I'm really not all that surprised. Often, long after I have finished a job, someone will tell me that I'm not even on the approved vendor list. I always get paid eventually, but it takes so long that I'm never sure what I'm actually going to get. Sometimes the project is bid in Euros and by the time I get paid, the value of the dollar has changed. Occasionally this works to my benefit, but other times it doesn't. I really need to build in an extra 10% into my bid price to cover the aggravation.

I did manage to get unpacked today. I took a bunch of dirty clothes to the dry cleaner. I put the cameras and electronics away. I was just about to call the video camera manufacturer and demand a replacement camera because I kept having problems with monitoring audio while I was in Houston. I tested the camera one more time however, and discovered that the problem was with me, not the camera. All the control buttons on this tiny camera are extremely close together, kind of like they are on a Blackberry. It's way too small for me. Evidently, when I hit the record button, I would also sometimes hit the audio monitor button and turn off the sound to my headphones. I didn't realize this at the time unfortunately. Luckily, all the recordings came out fine. Everything was being recorded correctly. I just wasn't hearing it while I was filming.

Janet decided to clean my office while I was gone. Now I can't find anything. She says this is for my own good and that we can't live in this kind of mess any longer. When someone says something is for your own good, it usually isn't.

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