Monday, October 15, 2007

The Week of the Flying Tub

It has been an interesting week.
In an effort to force myself to follow through on a big project that I really do not want to do (but will HAVE to do eventually), I purchased a one-piece fiberglass bathtub on Wednesday.
One of the guys at work offered to help me and use his pickup truck to take it to my house.
While we were loading the big tub on the truck, a bystander suggested that we turn the tub around on the truck so the wind would not blow it out.
I was willing to make the change but my helper/friend thought it would be all right as it sat.
He tied it in with some nylon twine.

So off we went with the big tub and a new back door in the back of the truck.
I was cringing with distress as I watched the speedometer needle sit on 40 mph.
“I think we're going too fast,” I mumbled.
My friend eased off the throttle to 39 mph.

We had gone about a quarter of a mile and everything seemed to be okay and I tried to force myself to relax.
Then WHUMP!

The tub went air born.
It landed in the road and bounced a couple of times.
“This is not good,” I said as I jumped out of the truck after we had pulled onto the median and stopped.
I was so distressed I could barely see.
As I feared, every corner of the tub was broken.
“It can be fixed,” my friend said, as a way of consolation.
I was thinking of how Christopher Reeves was “fixed” after his accident.

We gamely loaded it back onto the truck in a different orientation and drove the rest of the way to my house where we unloaded it.
We drove back to work and I thanked my co-worker for helping me with the logistical project.
The less I thought about it the better I was.

When I got home I looked at the tub again.
Slowly and deliberately.
There was a hole in every corner of the structure.
There was an 18 inch crack along the bottom side of the tub.

It was true, every hole could be patched and repaired so that it did not leak.
There was just one problem.
You cannot match the pure white color of the original tub with the patch material.
The tub would forever look like a patched mess.
While I could live with such a situation, any potential buyer of my house probably would not, and I (or my heirs) would have to replace the tub to sell the house.
That would involve removing and replacing an interior wall.

So, the next day, I told my story to my fellow workers in the absence of the man that originally helped me (he had the day off).
They agreed, the tub was ruined.
I would have to buy another one, if the store would not take it back.
One of them offered to take me back to the store to buy another tub.
So, Friday after work, me and the other co-worker – who also had a pick-up truck – drove me to the tub store, whereupon I bought ANOTHER fiberglass bathtub.
THIS TIME we loaded it low in the bed and tied it down with nylon strapping.
THIS TIME we drove about 30 mph all the way to my house (about three miles or so).
THIS TIME the tub arrived unscathed.
My co-worker offered to help me move the broken tub to the curb for removal by the city.
I accepted.

After the flying tub incident, I realized that I had lost my sunglasses.
Prescription sunglasses.
I went to the eyeglass store today (Monday) and picked out the cheapest frames I could find.
The total for the new sunglasses $240.00.
Almost the same cost as my new tub.
The tab for the week - $720.00.
It has been an expensive week.

The run last Saturday morning was pretty good.
It was cold.
My house thermometer showed 50 degrees.
That meant that the temperature was anywhere from 45 to 49 degrees away from the house.
I dressed appropriately with ear warmer, a long-sleeved top, leggings, and mittens.
I guessed just about right.
The mittens came off at the end of mile one.
Just carrying them in my hands provided enough warmth for the rest of the journey.
No other adjustments were required.

I started out at 6:03 and finished at 6:44.
That reads like 41 minutes to me.
Not bad for post two days of tub carrying.
As usual, I started out unsure of my endurance capacity.
I did surprisingly well until with last quarter mile, where I felt a bit tired/weak.
Even to the end, my breathing did not elevate to prolonged fast speed.
That surprised me, pleasantly.
It seems I am getting stronger, even with running only once a week.
This is good.

The other good thing is/was that my knees did not misbehave.
During Thursday and Friday at work, they produced sharp little shooting pains from time to time.
This was from the tub carrying and from the stooped position I must work in during the current installation.
Happily, my knees spoke not a word during my run.
Happy, happy, happy.

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