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Cat sitting

It was one Sunday in the beginning of March, and I was working with renovating the entrance hall. There was still daylight left when I got to the point that I was finally ready to install a door. I was eager to get it done, as I had bought a brand new door already in the autumn, and the door had been waiting for the whole winter. First I realized that a lower support beam of my wall structure was not even enough, so the door couldn't properly stand on top of the beam. With a chainsaw and an orbital sander I soon got it all straigtened. After that the door fit perfectly - great! I stucked wooden wedges in between the door frame and the wall structure, so that the door would stand on its place. Next I need long screws and a screwdriver - but, alas, they are inside the hall, and I'm outside, and the door is closed. The door was shipped without a handle, so I had succesfully closed myself outside my house...

Well, when I was a kid, we often played spy games, also practicing lockpicking with old doors. Now, this brand new door of mine looked like it could as well be opened with just a knifeblade or some such simple tool. I went to gather suitable tools from the shed, but had no luck with opening the door. I didn't want to use too much force, trying to avoid damaging the lock mechanism. Then it came to my mind that I have a spare handle for opening windows - if I'm lucky, that same handle would fit into the square hole of the door lock mechanism. But that handle was also indoors, and I was outdoors. Ah, but the upper window of the hall is not yet installed - maybe I could just climb through the hole, get indoors and fetch the window handle. I placed a ladder on to the wall, and succesfully climbed through the hole of the upper window. But since there was no ladder inside the wall, I had to seek foothold on the wooden support structures of the wall. I managed it fairly well, until my knee accidentally hit the door - causing the wooden wedges to turn loose, allowing the door to collapse outwards onto the ground...

Anyhow, I went to fetch the window handle, and decided to try it while the door was still on the ground. No luck - I realized that the door was not only closed, but also locked. I soon figured out how to pick the lock with a knife blade - once unlocked, it was rather easy to open the door with the window handle. So, now I had all the necessary tools for opening the door. I lifted the door back into its place, stuck wedges to hold it, opened the door and slipped indoors. Using a cordless drill driver I soon got the door fixed to its place with long screws. Success! Then I went outdoors and realized that when the door collapsed, it also made the ladder to fall down - and the other end of the ladder had hit my car, shattering half of the windshield. Well, the windshield was still barely held together by its security structures, but clearly it was damaged beyond repairing. Uh oh.

For Monday I borrowed a car from my neighbours. And on my way to work I stopped at a repair shop, giving the details of my car so that they could order a new windshield. They said that if I leave my car there on Tuesday, it will be ready on Wednesday morning. Excellent, as for Tuesday I only had couple of customers, and Wednesday morning was all free. On Tuesday, after my work I left the car at the repair shop and took a taxi back home. Wednesday morning I took my bicycle, and enjoyed a peacefull winter morning cycling down the local roads. It took one hour to get to the nearest village centre, where I stopped for coffee and breakfast. From there it was bit more than half an hour to the repair shop. While I was cycling, I wondered why I don't do this more often. I think I have said this before, but here goes once again: I do like my work as a massage therapist, but it is the car driving part I don't enjoy that much. It would be great to have a source of income which is not based on driving a car on a daily basis. With such a lifestyle I could take it more slowly, using a bicycle to do the shopping, and things like that. Yup, it is controversial in a strange way - one would think that a car saves time and makes life more unhurried because of that. But actually without a car it feels easier to slip into a traditional peaceful state of mind - if it takes an hour to get to the supermarket, then be it so; doing the shopping becomes the program for half the day, with physical exercise and fresh air as a bonus, and a plenty of time to meditate on life =)

Well, but having a car makes it easier to visit Sami. Sami and his girlfriend had planned to visit their friends for a weekend, and they needed a cat sitter while they are away. Since I had a free weekend, I promised to go - thinking that it would be great to be away from my home, alone at Sami's place just concentrating on programming while cat sitting. On Friday I was on my way to Sami's place, but after more than half the way I felt too sleepy to drive safely. This time I had done some preparations, so I didn't have to stop at a gas station. Instead I chose a small roadside parking place and stopped there. I walked a short distance away from the road, and chose a nice place next to a frozen lake. I set up a portable stove which burns alcohol. I poured water into a kettle, filled the burner with fuel and lit it up. Soon the water was boiling and I made myself a mug of instant coffee. I enjoyed the coffee together with sandwiches, allowing the fresh winter wind to clear my head. After that I continued my journey - it was one hour of driving to get to Sami's.

And the weekend, it was excellent! Being away from home I didn't need to think about my daily chores, and as I couldn't work with renovating, I could just concentrate on programming. It felt good to get things done - things I've been planning in my head, but all too often failing to find time for actual coding. I drove back home on Monday, and wrote this in the evening. Now I think I'll take a proper look at my calendar and see if I can just reserve more time for programming regularly on weekly basis. (And after that, hopefully, writing some more lines of code for the path finding algorithm...)

a portable stove burning alcohol
a portable stove burning alcohol
letting the winter wind wipe sleepiness away
letting the winter wind wipe sleepiness away
tags: 
diary
homesteading
programming
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Comments

Hey there Erkka. I have been reading your blog for some time now and i am glad that you have trusted us with so much details of your life and worldviews. We love you! But, i was getting more and more curious about Sami's life. Not in a gossipy way. I felt curious about his world and life views, general personal philosophy and of course his thoughts on the usual problem; the everyday efforts to win your lunch and the ability to pay the bills versus personal time. So, my curiosity about Sami produced an idea. It would be interesting and quite funny if you interviewed him and uploaded the interview here!!!

Thanks - and a nice idea! I'll think about it and maybe we see later on if something comes out of it =)

At the moment UrW donations constitute Sami's main source of income, which he occasionally combines with small odd jobs. But, of course, there are many layers and questions in this issue - yeah, I can easily imagine it would make an interesting interview !

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