Lyle's Blog

Trin, lawnmowers, and other such things

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sometimes even I can not get over just how busy my life has become. The diner keeps me hoping but there always seems to be something else that is always happening. My last few says is very much an example.

To preface, I need to go back 6 months. Trinity had just decided to move up to Portland. I had asked her to get a place on the main floor as I was tiring from packing her stuff up and down steps. Judy had gone up to help her find an apartment and she gave me a call. A very excited Trinity said, "Dad, I have my apartment. I have good news and bad. The good news is that it isn't on the second floor. The bad news is that it is on the third.". So, with the help of Casey and one of my cooks, Kevin, I helped her rent a uhaul and moved her stuff up to Portland. Now, 6 months later, she has had her fill of Portland and wants to move home again.

Saturday, we flew up to Portland in the morning (it sure is great that she works for the airlines. I kind of hope that she stays there for a while). We rented a uhaul and started the packing up and carting down the two sets of steps (one was a double back so it felt like three sets). Around 10:30, I had to break away and drive down to the radio station, KBNP, where I was set to be featured in a hour long radio show called "Dining Out in the Northwest". We had been picked earlier on this year and I was looking forward to the event not knowing how much impact that it might have this far away from home. The show was fun and interesting and when they asked for call ins, a friend of the family, Anisha Slokum called in which added to the fun. On the way back to Trins, Anisha's husband, Randy, called to let two of their boys talk to me about how excited they were to hear both their mom and papa (they have decided since Jayden calls me that, that they will also). It was a kick to talk to the boys and one of them signed off by telling me that he loved me (I was deeply touched).

Back at Trinity's, we began the daunting task of packing down and loading up her stuff. We stopped for lunch at a local Chinese fast food place called Panda or something like that. That was a major mistake as the lunch worked on us while we finished up the move. Over and over, I would have to take breaks, out of breath with the sweat pouring down my brow. Finally, around 5 or so, we finished up and drove by her new place that she will live at while she is waiting for her transfer back to Redmond. It is a flop house closed to mall 205. A flop house is where pilots and flight attendant generally have a kind of home away from their base home. Trin's room is in kind of down in a hole in the basement. Other rooms in her section of the house are homes for a couple of pilots and a flight attendant. I hope that she does not have to stay there too long as I felt boxed in just being there a couple of hours. With the long drive home, I arrived shortly before 9 and had no problem sleeping after soaking in the tub for a short time. I knew that I would be feeling it on Sunday.

Sunday came and I was off for a busy day at work. Everything went well until we experienced a hick-up in the kitchen around 10am. I didn't notice it at first but then began to notice that the room wasn't rolling over as fast as normal. Going into the wait station in front of the kitchen, I found a group of waitresses puppy dogging. Now for those who don't know that term, it means they were standing staring at the cooks hoping to get one of their orders out of the kitchen. The term comes from the look in their eyes, like a puppy who wants some attention. I shued them all out back on to the floor to pour coffee or see to anything else that their customers needed and looked into the kitchen. Around 30 tickets or so were on the bar with the cooks stuck on the first three or so. Once something happens like this, it is hard to pull yourself out of the hole and it tends to kind of bloom throughout the entire operation and we end up with problems every where. I quickly began looking for the cook who was to arrive at 11 and as quickly as we got him in the door, we put him on the eggs which I could see would be the balancing factor that would help us calm back down. By 11:30, we were back in business and rolling smoothly again. Maybe one of the hardest parts of a problem like that is that most of the crew begins to panic a little and the customers become impatient. It is my responsibility to be the calm in the storm and try and smooth out all of the problems in a cool and calm manner while inside of me, I am being ripped apart. Between 1 and 2, the rush had subsided and I left to begin unpacking the van that I had drove back the night before. Judy brought over a couple of the crew to help and we finished unloading around 2:30. I plopped down on the couch, exhausted, and went to watch some TV.

Now, last week, we had finally decided that we finally decided to go out and get a TV for our family room. After much searching and looking over, we decided on a Vizeo from Walmart. Two days after getting it home, it began to mess up, popping and having funny lines all through it. I took a picture of it once when it happened and took the set back to Walmart with the pic showing what the problem was. I then went out to Costco and decided on a same size but a Westinghouse. I liked its picture next to the Vizeo and the plug ins on the back looked easier. Now two days after bringing it home, it too was having problems. This set was loosing where it was in the input and just shutting off.

As I rested on the couch with a coke and watched some TV, the Westinghouse acted up again. "That's it!", I shouted and preceded to pack up the new TV and took it back to Costco where I decided on a Panasonic Plasma instead. I just got it unpacked and had Trin and Judy help me put it back into place when it was time to take Trinity back to the Redmond airport so that she could return to Portland and her other job. Arriving back home, I collapsed back into bed and readied my body for another day.

Monday morning came too soon and Judy and I went out to get some supplies for the cater job that we had gotten for Monday evening and on our way back stopped by Sears to see if our lawn mower was ready. Sears was not open yet so I decided to call later when it was. I had received a call the week before stating that the mower would be ready on Monday sometime. Back at the diner, I attempted to call Sears up. The only number is an 800 number that takes you to Pakistan and they could not give me any information nor could they give me a local number. Calling a Sears store listed in Prineville, I secured the local number and finally reached a local person only to find out that they knew nothing of my mower as it wasn't even at their shop. It seems they shop out all of their repairs. "Do you mean that when I brought in my mower that you shopped it out and then just up charged me for the service?", I asked. "Yes.", was the frank reply, "We will let you know when it arrives back here.".

Carrie had told me that I could use hers so I drove over to her house and loaded up her mower. I brought it back to my house and preceded to fire it up only to find that it would not start. I went out and replaced the plug and drained off all the old gas putting fresh in. It still would not start so I called up Carrie and asked her when the last time she used it. "I have never used that mower.", she said, "You used it the last time a couple of years ago. I just use the push mower on my small yard.". So, I looked up for a local repair shop and found one on Greenwood. At the shop, I found that the carburetor was all gummed up and needed rebuilding. It would take a week or so.

By this time, it was time to begin taking out the food for the cater job. I was also invited to the event at the Porche club behind Carera Motors as it was a event for CORIL and we sponsor one of their people, Eric Benarbo, by giving him a job busing during the week. After helping pack up the food, I joined in on the event for a half hour before having to leave and set up for the weekly Habitat poker tourney at the diner. We had three tables of players and I managed to work my way into the final table only to be taken out 7th. After being knocked out of the tourney, I watched the rest of the game which finished up around 8:30, just giving me enough time to rush home and watch the Lets Make a Space show on the new TV with Judy. It was our show and I knew that Judy was a little nervous of seeing herself of TV. She did great but of course saw all of her flaws that no one else will notice. Another day gone by and I slept pretty good again.

Tuesday came and Sears called me and informed me that my mower was ready so early in the afternoon, I went to Sears only to find out that it wasn't even taken off of the truck yet. I waited as the employee sorted through the truck for my much needed device (my lawn had become very long by now). I loaded up the mower along with the sent back "bent" crankshaft that looked pretty straight to me and after picking up Jay from school, began mowing the lawn. One to two swipes around the yard was all that I could get before my bag was full and I quickly ran out of bags to put the cuttings into. Eight bags later and I finished off the yard just as the sun went down. Yet another day had ended.

Wednesday came and I went to work early to help out Judy with her group of Model A guys in the back room. I sure enjoy that bunch of guys. They are all full of fun and love to give Judy a hard time. I sat amongst them and watched them chide her about such things as bring their food back in the proper order and such. Customers like them make our job so much more fun and make up for the hard times.

The main floor got kind of busy and we both worked it for a couple of hours and then drove down to LMAS and chatted with Andy. I have come to really appreciate that man and his desire and passion for his business and life in general. We left there and drove over to the old house to mow its lawn. It has a much smaller lawn but the lawn is very thick and it took more bags than I had to finish the job. Returning with more bags, I finished off the job and then stopped by the new house and picked up Trinity for work. Jay asked to come with me and after Carrie arrived from her job, I returned to the diner and helped out during our weekly Hot Rod cruise night. Knowing Trin was almost finished, I retreated back to my office and worked on paper work while I waited (there always seems to be plenty of that). Getting off around 8:30, we took supper home with us and watched the final Indiana Jones trilogy movie getting ready to go see the new one in the theater.

So, even though I have slept so well in the previous days, I find myself not sleeping tonight, mulling over thoughts of the previous few days. Trin is moved, my lawn is mowed, my latest new TV works great, the radio show went off well and I will get a copy of it tomorrow, the TV show equally worked out well and it is up for people to see (but not hear) in the diner, the cater job went off real well with many positive comments coming back from it, I am sure the line will be much smoother on Sunday, and I still have not qualified for the big poker tourney later this year.......Wow.

<< Go back to the previous page

Jake's Diner on Facebook Jake's Diner on Twitter Jake's Diner on Yelp Jake's Diner on Foursquare