Friday, June 28, 2013

Long Day of Errands

I headed over to my garage on First Street Wednesday to clean out my car's trunk. I threw everything into the middle of the floor haphazardly and click-shut the door with the remote. I'd deal with it later.

I drove up to Michael Kraiger's and picked him up at nine on the dot. We were heading to our now-former office to clean out the big stuff. Our US office is closing (well, the whole thing is closing, but that's a more complicated story of international intrigue and finance) and I didn't know what else to do with the printers except put them into my garage. If they're still there in September (and why wouldn't they be), I'll try to give them away. Failing that, I'll take them to the Incinerator Authority.

The office is 4.4 miles from Kraiger's house, but I'd forgotten about construction happening on the viaduct from the Heights to Hoboken, and then we had to inch through the Lincoln Tunnel, so the excursion took 40-or-so minutes.

Our office is located on a block of Eighth Avenue between the main Manhattan post office and the New Yorker hotel. There are about four hard-to-get metered parking spots in front of the post office, and all other parking is illegal. A few days ago I'd scoped out an underground parking garage behind our building. I'd never even noticed it before. Now, I overshot our street and headed back uptown to hit the one-ways right, and turned into the garage.

"We'll be here an hour," I said to the attendant. He showed us the elevator and said we could bring out cart down that way.

The move went smoothly. Kraiger loaded up the office cart (he's a moving whiz) and we headed down by freight elevator, rolled our stuff about 30 feet west and through a door to the garage elevator, put it all into the car, and took our cart back upstairs. We left again via the people elevator, got in the car, headed west on 33rd Street, and zipped right into the Lincoln Tunnel. This time the 4.4 miles took less than 15 minutes.

We put it all in my garage, then went to Home Depot. I'd convinced Kraiger to help me buy the backer board I needed for my bathroom floor project.

But it's 3x5. And I've slept in the back of my car before, and I had to scrunch up. I'm 5'6", and I had to scrunch a lot. I knew the boards wouldn't fit.

"Maybe we should go back to the garage and get the roof rack," said Kraiger. We were staring at the HardieBacker board, which I planned to cut after we bought it and before we put it in the car.

"Maybe," I said glumly, wishing I'd brought the roof rack.

"Can I help you?" A youngish man approached, dark hair, stocky, taller than me but not quite as tall as Kraiger. "I'm not from Home Depot. I'm from the company." He motioned at the HardieBacker display.

"Yes! How can I cut these to fit into my car?"

"I'll do it for you. Is there a  straight edge around here?"

I grabbed a T-square from the drywall display, and he went to work, cutting both pieces in a jiffy, then showing me how to cut the circle out for the toilet flange.

I thanked him profusely. This man was now my hero, or at least my second hero with the first being Texas State Senator Wendy Davis.

Kraiger and I walked out to the car. We both opened our mouths to speak, spotted the other about to talk, and burst out laughing.

"What a stroke of luck," we both said.

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