Furlough (or forced vacations)

The last week I had a furlough at work - the reasoning being that since vacation shows up as debt on the company’s books, they’ll force us to use vacation and thus reduce the company’s debt.

I just wish they would have let us choose when to go on vacation, rather than all at once; then I’d be able to choose a more convenient time. Oh well.

Angela & I went camping up in the Uintah mountains. We found a nice camping area whose only fault was a lack of restrooms. While not much of a big deal for a guy, apparently it’s a much bigger deal for girls. Having done the vast bulk of my camping without the fairer sex, it was a bit of a shock to me - even if it does make sense.

We had a pretty good time - and that’s including an incident involving me giving my keys to my dear wife, and her locking my keys (and hers) in the car - along with the food. We (almost miraculously) found two coat hangers just laying on the ground - so we tried to use them to get the car open. No dice. So we decided to see if we could get a ride into down, so I could call my folks (who have a copy of the key). Our “neighbors” decided to give the hangars a go - and managed to get better results, but were still unable to unlock the car. Apparently, my car is nigh unto impossible to unlock without a key.
- Pulling on the door handles (from the inside) does nothing.
- Manually turning the lock switch is futile. It just doesn’t work with a hangar.
- Pushing the power lock button doesn't do anything. Apparently there’s a timeout, and after the timeout passes, the power lock buttons are inactive.

So, they drove me to a Wal-mart in Evanston, Wyoming (a familiar town to me, actually), and I called my folks - who were actually grateful for the chance to go on a nice Sunday drive (and get out of a few boring meetings).

Our last morning there, I had quite the experience for breakfast: Angela left to go fishing earlier than I got up - so I was alone (yup, she’s the fisherman, I’m just a bored bystander). I’m a pretty decent cook - I’d never make it as a professional chef (not without years of school, that is), but I’m good. So, I start to cook myself breakfast. Hash browns, bacon, eggs. Simple. Easy. What could go wrong?

Well, I started by burning the first bit of bacon. Not surprising, given it’s a camp stove vs. a normal one, but still, disappointing. Then I tried to cook the eggs. One was already broken (in the package). There was one egg left. So, I grabbed it, cracked it against the cook stove, and promptly dropped it on the ground. Crap. Next I noticed the hash browns needed a bit more oil to crisp up the way I like ‘em. Unfortunately, the oil rushed out of the bottle in a torrent, and I drowned my hash browns in oil - they were simply too oily, even after several attempts at draining them.

So, with nothing else to wreck over the campstove, I decided to start the campfire - and took no chances. I used a Dura-Flame fire lighter (which really was worthless), set up the kindling the way I was supposed to, added larger wood over the top in a teepee, then liberally doused everything with lighter fluid. Then I lit it with a match.

Having gotten the fire going, I mourned the loss of my breakfast by sitting next to the fire with a can of Coca-Cola.