Saturday, July 04, 2015

The Week in Review

Happy Fourth of July!

Saturday heat

My first appointment of Saturday was a photo op at a ranch very close to home at 9 a.m., and it was already in the 80s when I got there. The photo didn't take too long, we just had to wait for a few people to show up, then I was off to the next town over to get two photos at a disc golf tournament.

I'd never been to that particular park before, but I was able to find it without difficulty. Then I headed down to chat with a former mayor who I'd met at the Rotary meeting a couple of weeks ago. The ex-mayor was watching a "hole" at the disc golf course. This was the first year they tried disc golf instead of traditional golf, and it was a decent success. While there were only three teams, people who normally couldn't have afforded golf equipment or training were able to play, since almost anyone can throw a Frisbee.

While I was there, for about an hour or so, I kept getting handed water bottles from ice chests, which I drank gratefully. It was very warm and getting warmer the entire time I was there. By the time I left, all I wanted to do was get into my air conditioned car and stop sweating.

As I reached the parking lot, a pick-up truck pulled in and a man jumped out, threw a bag of household trash into one of the containers, glared at me and drove off. His children stared out the truck windows at me with wide eyes. I wonder if they knew what papa was doing is a crime? I can understand not wanting to pay for garbage pick-up, but when you produce garbage, it costs money to have it dealt with. Tossing it in a community trash can is cheating the system and putting your burden on every other taxpayer. While I'm moderately certain I kept my face neutral when I witnessed the guy's crime, I wonder if he saw my disgust somehow? It hardly matters. I didn't take his license plate number and I didn't report him. I was too hot and tired. Maybe next time.

Once I was done with that, I was free until the Ale Fest, which started at 4 p.m. On Friday the editor had told me not to get to the event until about 6:30, once it had started to cool off and many attendees had a chance to get a drink into them. About 6:15 the publisher texted me to ask why I wasn't there, so I texted back what the editor had said, and noted I was on my way.

I prepped carefully, loading up my Liberty Bottle with cold water and ice. I had been drinking water steadily since I got home from my morning events, so I was fairly sure I was well-hydrated. I left my wonderful air conditioned home and drove downtown, where the temperature was well over 100F. I parked at the newspaper office and walked the block to the festival, which was in full swing. I was a little surprised at how many people where there, more surprised at how many were just arriving. My publisher was helping at a stand and carrying bags of ice, he told me the festival was just starting to pick up, now that it was cooler by a few degrees.

I stuck around for about an hour, taking pictures and talking with people. I managed to get a taste of a wood fired pizza (yum) and a sample salted caramel ice cream cone (also yum). I got completely through my water bottle, ice and all, and when the bottle was empty it was definitely time to leave. The festival was in a fenced in area downtown (due to alcohol being served) and so I had to walk all the way around the fence to get out. I started back to my car and felt really faint. I realized I needed AC now and there were only two choices. One was a bar that I've never gone in, the other was the frozen yogurt shop. The choice was easy.

I found the AC vent and stood under it while the gal at the counter asked me if it was hot out. I told her I was seriously afraid I wasn't going to make it half a block to my car without cooling down a bit first. She took care of another customer, and by then I'd managed to make up a frozen yogurt for myself. Between the AC vent and the frozen treat, I got my body temperature down to a normal level. Then I headed back out into it, back to my car and finally home.

I drank more water once I was home, trying not to overdo it. But I got really sick anyway after I'd sat for about an hour. I noticed Inkwell watching me carefully, as if there was something seriously wrong. After another hour or so I started to feel human again, although I had a low level nausea the whole night and well into Sunday.

Record-breaking heat

I stayed inside all day on Sunday. Well, I stepped outside once, to take the garbage out. That was it. As it turned out, Sunday was really hot over much of the state, although it was actually warmer here in town on Saturday (figures). There was some record-breaking going on over the weekend as far as high temperatures were concerned. I just didn't deal with it at all. Thank goodness the AC works well.

Inkwell and I lounged the entire day. I spent too much time working on my Hugo packet, reading and reviewing stuff. I also spent too much time on File 770 reading comments and commenting myself. I didn't mean to get involved in the commentary... but they were talking about Doctor Who! And other stuff I like! And I've been reading so much Hugo stuff, including the EPH proposal to fight slates... so I kinda burst at the seams and wrote too much over in the comments section.

I also wasn't feeling well thanks to overheating on Saturday, so I really took it easy. Inkwell was my timer, making sure I got up on a regular basis to move around and do thing (like feed him), else I might have just lain in bed all day. Eric got home from the PBS drive in Tacoma in the afternoon/evening. I got to bed a little late because I was reading one of the Hugo novel nominations and it was actually good, but once I actually fell asleep I managed to sleep well.

Morning comes too early

Monday was a difficult wake-up day, but I was only about 5 minutes late to work despite struggling to get through my morning routine. I got the photos from the weekend processed by the photo guy and wrote up my cutlines (captions) and my police reports. I was done before deadline. Then I headed over to the high school to check out a baseball camp that I was supposed to do a photo page on.

I was unsure if the baseball camp had been canceled when I reached the field because there were only a couple of cars in the parking lot. As it turned out, only four boys had shown up for the first day of camp. I got a few photos, got their names, then headed back to the office before I got too hot.

The remainder of the morning was sorting out the week's assignments and e-mailing folks for information on stories running later. I took off for lunch a bit after 11 a.m. and found a feisty Inkwell, who wanted to attack both his humans whenever they walked by, and a tired Eric, still recovering from the pledge drive. I had a small meal, read a little, then got back to work. It was significantly warmer outside when I headed back to work.

I didn't end up staying long. My stomach was bothering me, so I left as soon as I was sure I was all caught up. I had a massive stomach-ache the entire evening. I thought I was hungry, but when I ate I felt slightly nauseous as well as in pain. I just figured it would pass, and eventually got to bed.


I woke up Tuesday with the same stomach-ache, only an order of magnitude worse. It continued to bother me. I attempted to get up, then decided against it. My efforts to call in sick were stymied by nobody answering the phone at the office for awhile. Eventually I got through, reported in sick and went back to sleep. Several hours later I was able to get up, but I still hurt.

It was too hot upstairs to stay in bed, so I sat in my chair downstairs and read. I had to keep stopping because the nausea would overtake me. Fortunately, I didn't have any severe incidents, just a lot of pain and nausea. Eric made me some soup for lunch when it became clear I was getting light-headed, but it took me awhile to eat it all. It stayed down, but it sure seemed like it didn't want to stay down.

I was able to sleep for awhile in mid-afternoon, then had a late dinner of mac&cheese. I stayed up a bit later than usual due to the long nap, and took some painkiller before going to bed. Thanks to the painkiller, I think, I slept solidly.

Up on Wednesday, I didn't dare miss another day of work. I forced myself to go, even though I was only feeling marginally better than Tuesday. I got through deadline without incident, then headed out to get more baseball camp photos. I nearly passed out once I was there and in the heat. I got my water bottle and sat in the shade until I felt better, then got some decent photos thanks to the coach. When I went back out to my car I discovered that it had been watered by the sprinkler system, including a bit getting into the open driver's side window. *sigh*

Back at work I tried to get through Thursday's stuff, but things just weren't pulling together. I only had a couple of things to, but I just couldn't get them done. I went home for lunch, eating some toast with organic honey on it. For whatever reason, that stuff cut through the pain in my stomach and I finally started to feel ok again. Next time maybe I'll start with the honey.

Ending the week

When I got back to work I forced myself to write crap until I got past it and into writing that was passable (although, as it turned out, very much in need of editing). I had one story that was ok, but really needed a comment from the subject of the article. I had called him and hadn't gotten a response, so I called him back and asked him my specific questions and asked him to email or call my cell phone with the answers. Then I went home.

I check my work email obsessively when I'm at home, and late in the evening the subject of the article emailed me the perfect response. So perfect it shattered what I'd written before, since it made more sense to structure the story around his quotes. I was very pleased.

Up on Thursday, feeling considerably better than Wednesday, I got through deadline in very good time, including talking with someone at the sheriff's office almost an hour before she was supposedly at work. Thursday afternoon was quick and easy, although the heat made it difficult to go outside for any reason. Then the day was done and with it, the week. Half the staff had Friday off due to the Independence Day holiday, and I was on the half that had Friday. The other half of the staff has Monday off.

I didn't go to bed Thursday night, instead I stayed up until about 3 a.m. reading Hugo packet stuff. I eventually turned in, only to get woken by the cat at 5 a.m. He was escorted out the door by a grumbly Laura, who then shut the bedroom door... to Inkwell's great disgust. As it turned out, Eric didn't get up early either, and Inky had a late breakfast, in part because he woke me up early.

Once I did get up, hubby and I did the weekly shopping. I did not enjoy going out in the heat, but since I wasn't working I put on shorts, which I almost never do, and it wasn't quite as bad. I plan to wear shorts to the events I'm covering today.

We watched Guardians of the Galaxy in the evening, and otherwise had a generally quiet and calm day.

My schedule for Independence day includes a morning event in about an hour and three hours coving the evening events, including fireworks. I only hope I can work out how to get some good fireworks shots on my D3100.