Sunday, August 19, 2007

Eloquence

Today J and I were at a shopping plaza doing some errands and we were deciding how to arrange the rest of our day. We had decided that we were getting a bit hungry but wanted to go to the pet store first to play with some new kittens that they had in. We figured out what order to do it in and then it was settled.

So how do I phrase it?: "Alright then, let's go to the pet store and get something to eat."

Smooth.

-iRob

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What is it, General?

I can't even get my head down for some much needed rest without Veers pestering me about the comscan report. It's bad enough he woke me, now I have to hear that Admiral Ozzel came out of light-speed too close to the system?

Typical.

-iRob

"What is thy bidding, my master?"
-Darth Vader

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rules

Said to me today, in seriousness:

"Don't put that cheese in your pants."

Sigh.

-iRob

"I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf."
-Robert Bloch

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Robo-Boogie

"Can't we talk to the humans? A little understanding could make things better. Can't we talk to the humans and work together now?"

"No. Because they are dead."



-iRob

"Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat."
-John Lehman

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Roof! The Roof! The Roof is on fire!

Literally.

Well $#!%. For anyone who hasn't heard yet, J and I have been displaced. Our apartment building caught fire on Friday around 1:00pm. Although the building was not completely destroyed, it has been declared uninhabitable. (Dang.)

I got a call from J who was home at the time. It was parade day so she was home - a fact which probably saved our cat. She was next door at her mother's place when the excitement started. By the time she knew what was going on the fire department was there and were denying people entrance to the building - with our cat inside.

I was working when she called, and I dropped everything and left. One thing about this is that J stays extremely calm in emergencies. Deadly calm, actually, so when she said that the building was on fire it was in a very even tone, and I didn't know exactly what to make of it. I wasn't super concerned until I saw the smoke.

The smoke was visible from Crowchild and 17th Avenue - Several miles up the road from the building. That's when my heart sunk. It was only more dramatic and frightening the closer I got. It was like a giant arrow pointing down at our building, probably dozens of meters high.

Once I found J she told me that the cat was trapped inside. We were very worried because although the fire seemed to be on the far side of the building it was on our floor and spreading quickly. I didn't know what to do, so I found a firefighter and explained the situation. After I explained where the unit was, (farthest corner from the fire) and showed him a stairwell far from the fire he agreed to go get the cat. When I started listing her possible hiding places he decided it was fastest to escort me to the fourth floor to get her myself. So we headed upstairs.

It was very noisy and warm, but I couldn't see any fire from where we were. (It would have been around the corner, down the hall.) The hallway was dark but there was still power to our apartment. Oddly, the smoke detector was not sounding - despite having been set off by shower steam several times previously. People were yelling but it didn't seem to be the panicky yelling of a trapped person but rather the controlled yelling of people doing serious work. The smoke was thin enough that it was still possible to see everything normally, but it stung a little to breathe. The cat was under the bed, but didn't seem at all concerned. With the normal amount of effort I was able to cram her in her carrier and we were on our way.

Or so I thought. Before leaving, the Firefighter asked me what had until then always been a rhetorical question: "We are not coming back. This place may well burn. If you want to take anything with you, you have to choose right now.". I ran from room to room but for the life of me nothing occurred to me. J was outside and I was carrying the cat, all I wanted was out. So I said so and we left.

(With 20/20 hindsight, I suppose my medication and J's bridesmaid dress would probably have been acceptable choices. Whoops.)

Once we were clear of the area I stopped and snapped some pictures with my phone. (See my flickr page here for more.) We had to move several times because the wind kept changing directions, and the smoke and mist from the hoses washed over us. Eventually we left the scene when it became apparent that we were more underfoot than helpful. By that time I was pretty tired of waiting to see if our place would burn anyway.

We ended up at sith@heart and A's place, with the clothes on our backs and an angry box of cat. The three of us smelled somewhat of beef jerky, but we were welcomed warmly. We were invited to stay, loaned fresh clothes and told if we needed anything to simply ask. I am extremely, extremely grateful to S@H and A and all others who have offered help in this difficult time. We feel very honored to have such wonderful friends. (Thank you.)

We've also contacted our insurance company to notify them and start making arrangements. They've been extremely helpful and I highly recommend State farm to anyone in the market for more insurance. Ours covers emergency expenses such as clothes, food, emergency accommodations, etc. Also having all of our possessions cleaned, and anything that was lost or damaged replaced. Once the building was declared safe to enter, an appointment was made for a restoration company to come pack up and collect our belongings. The electronics were disassembled and aired, the dishes washed, and the fabric dry cleaned. We feel very well taken care of, even if it is a bit disconcerting to see seven strangers pack up and move in 4 hours what it took us nearly a month to accomplish.

Rumor has it that around nine people in the building didn't have insurance. The Red Cross is setting up a relief fund for those cases. Considering the price of not having it, it's a bargain. Social services has set up a kiosk in the sister building for people having trouble or needing counseling.

In a market that has less than 0.5 percent vacancy, I'm actually amazed that we were able to get as many apartment viewings as we were. (5 in 2 days, mostly thanks to J's mom.) 3 were terrible, 1 not too bad, and 1 was really good. (We took that one.) It needed some love, (a smoker once lived there) but with a little work it turned out great. We took possession the following Saturday, and for a while we lived on an air mattress and two folding chairs. (Very zen.) It's in a high rise overlooking West Hills, around a mile from the place that burned. The rest of our items were delivered later the next week, and we've been slowly unpacking ever since.

The official story is that there was some peat moss that started to smoulder, and ignited a propane tank, lighting the fire. I call it the 'Exploding Dirt Conspiracy Theory'. Sigh.

I've kept up to date with my 365 days project, but that has meant a lot of camera phone pictures without access to my computer or my camera. The lines of communication were always intact, as we only had cell phones and email anyway. Shaw has been out to install our Internet access. Use my Gmail account please, as I don't plan on keeping the others forever.

Stay tuned for updates.

-iRob

P.S. This marks 100 posts. Woo!

"First things first, but not necessarily in that order."
-Dr. Who