Too much time since my last update.
Sunday, yesterday, Penny drove me to the Max station in Orenco. Notable, this was the first time she has driven since last year when it became very uncomfortable for her to drive -- we did not, at that time, suspect that she was carrying around an endometrial tumor about the size of a small apple in her uterus. The utter lack of pain gave a sense of great relief, but it wa accompanied by the less comforting knowledge that something in her lower bowel is quite rudely bleeding, and she would have to see the doctor again on on Monday, today that is, to get it checked out.
I spent an hour waiting at PDX - Portland International Airport - where I enjoyed the greasy wonder that is the Wendy's Bacon Double Cheeseburger, w/fries and a Diet Dead Coke. There was, I suspected, no actual dinner planned, as I would be arriving in GAG (Spokane Airport) at sometime after 7pm.
Except for the frenzied braking and overshoot of the turnoff on landing, which required the pilot to turn around and go back up the runway to get to the terminal, all was fairly pleasant.
I found the guy who met me - Michael's bro-in-law - and learned that Michael was not there to meet me because of a family tradition. He was fixing his sister Michelle and bil Derek's wireless networking. This was an interesting futility so I joined the fun, and we found that not only was the cable modem busted so it would only do USB connections, but one of the cables in the house was also bogus and would not carry a sufficient signal to allow the cable modem to work.
As expected no meal, but Derek had offered a stop @ a fastfood place; I declined on grounds that my burger was still very much with me. Michelle had made a delicious apple-huckleberry pie, crust not as good as Penny's.
Oh- they have a modest $750K+ bungalo, 3-levels, in Post Falls Idaho, on the Spokane River, with a private dock out onto the reservoir above the flood control dam. Very nice house. Subtle.
Talked for a couple hours with Michael about the next day, about how he's over-committed his time and is going to end up going postal if he isn't careful, and how
Got to sleep around 11:30.
Woke at 6:00am. Breakfast was a choice of Colonic Cleansing Multi-fiber Scouring Flakes, or Choco-sugar Candy Breakfast Bombs.
I chose the clean bowel club, and we drove east to Kellogg. A small town once, built by primarily italian immigrant miners who used state of the art smelting techniques to extract huge amounts of lead and rock and cyanide and junk into the air and water, leaving them with relatively small amounts of silver and gold. That ended with the sixties, the mines failed, the return on expense became too great. The town survived on lumber mills for a while, timber harvesting being the second big deal, and as the area slowly recovered from the fine poison mist that had been sprayed out for years, the tourist industry became more viable. Meanwhile, starting in the sixties, my friend Michael's father Dave Smith built his business (a modest car dealership) into a HUGE, very successful, very customer-oriented dealership which has, over time, become the largest economic force in the area, and one of the largest car dealerships in the US, measured by volume.
I spent the day either waiting for, or talking to, two men. Doug is the parts department manager, a true genius at customer service and sales. Type A is too mild for him. Dave C. is the IT manager, and a very good one at that, though he seems to me to be a bit on the 'cannot delegate' side of things.
Anyway, we talk for a few hours, probing for what it is they really want to do, get a good idea, and then start trying to figure out what sources they want to use to get the data.
Around 1:30, six hours since breakfast, we get lunch. Michael wanted to eat with family members, but all are very busy since they have lost the entier morning to a business meeting (which is why we spent so much time waiting!) I had a very nice fresh-ground burger with bacon and cheese and deepfried mushrooms, and a fresh-picked huckleberry shake. Yes, like Oregon's Tualatin valley with strawberries in spring, the Idaho panhandle in fall has huckleberries - not to be escaped, nor (if you are an afficionado) would you want to.
After lunch we spend another hour or so with Doug, figuring out what his short and long term goals are for his part of the project, and then Michael wants to go talk to Dave some more... it's been a long day already, and Dave's getting ready to go home, so we exchange information and head out.
I seem to have made a positive impression on both men. We worked out a general idea for what they wanted to do, and how we'd do it, though Michael believes there is still considerably more left to figure out, and he's correct. He was planning to be there tomorrow as well, and I think that's a good idea.
So... Around 4:30, to get into Spokane by 5, an hour before the plane leaves, I hop into a van driven by an older guy, who was one of Michael's father's friends from church - we have a great conversation, very neat fellow, and he promises to pray for Penny too.
And, I'm getting some strong feelings of 'rightness' about doing this work for the car dealership.
I have a 'Sausage' grilled on a bun for dinner, then go wait for the plane. Eventually, it arrives, and I'm the first one aboard after the old lady - I move immediately to the seat by the wing exit which has EXTRA LEG ROOM YES!~ and half-drowse all the way back to Portland.
And, get to the train just in time to miss the one that's there while getting a ticket. And you know that if I just got on, it would be Bad. I swap to the Blue line (goes all the way to Hillsboro) losing an added 15 minutes, and arrive at the station just before Penny, and find to my amusement that a friend of mine is also on the train, and I didn't notice him there.
So. It's going to be an interesting tomorrow. Wake up early. Go to work, ask to leave early for medical appointment. If they OK it, I'm golden, if not, I'll take an absence, because Penny has to be driven to Portland so they can see what's bleeding inside her insides. Hopefully, nothing serious, and they can fix it fast so she'll be able to handle the radiation treatments that start next week.
And, either Thursday or Sunday, I get together with Michael and we work out a project plan.
This is going to be FUN.
Yawn. Sleep time. It's now midnight, after the edit.