Thursday, December 15, 2005

Snow Day!

Yesterday was the first “Snow Day” of the school year, here’s a chronology of what happened at Foxcroft:

5:20 AM I wake up, look out the window and realize there’s about 5 new inches of snow. I get up knowing that there is a lot of shoveling to do. I check the thermometer: 31 degrees. School closing seems unlikely

5:40 AM I go down to the basement to get my shoveling things off the clothesline. The phone rings, it’s the school district’s automated phone system contacting all employees with the message that school is canceled. Since I’m in the basement, the phone rings enough to wake EVERYONE ELSE in the house.

5:45 AM I fire up my computer and start my checklist of school cancellation updates
•School district’s cable TV channel
•School district’s web page
•Log into “Centerpoint,” our web based student information system, and place the following:
o“School Closed” message on the user log in page
o“School Closed” message on the District Announcements page, this message should also then be sent automatically to all parents who have requested to get district announcements via email. I immediately get a message saying that the email portion did not work. So I
oGo into the “message center” portion of the system and send an email to all parents informing them of the cancellation.

I then check to make sure the web page displays, and log into Centerpoint with my parent username to look at announcements and messages. While all this is going on I can hear Lisa trying to get the girls back to sleep. Eventually they end up in bed with her, a very rare occurrence. I realize later that since I'm online we're lucky enough to not get a second phone call as parents telling us of the school closing. Parent calls don't start until after 6:00 AM.

6:20 AM I check the local TV to see why we are canceling and to find out who else is canceling. The snow is mixed with sleet and some rain, and temperatures are forecast to drop, so fear of ice and the buses is what did it. The older daughter has already gone up to watch cartoons, and is not happy that I am doing this, but I turn to the school’s cable channel and show her the “Canceled” message. I tell her that I did that, and she is dutifully impressed. I am glad that the system is password protected.

7:30 AM I go out to shovel. Our earlier snows have been powder and easy to shovel; this is heavy slop. The girls come out and play in the snow fort they made last weekend. I grab the camera and shoot a few pictures. The kids are circled for easy identification!

9:30 AM The girls go in for breakfast, Lisa and I finish shoveling, so I drive to the tile store to pick up the linoleum tiles for the 2nd floor laundry, along with several other errands. When I come home I take a few more pictures, from the neighbors yards. I realize that if I stand next door, I can see both the old gable to the front of the house and the new one to the back at the same time. I also stand in our back yard and shoot toward the ravine.

11:00 Pete stops by to look at the roof, I had noticed a lot of melt on the back half last week, almost like there isn’t any insulation. He calls the insulation installers and they will send someone to look at 1:30. I start to empty the laundry room so perhaps I can tile it today. This room has served as our “tool room” so I relocate everything to Laurel’s closet.

1:30 PM Kevin the insulation guy comes, and goes up the access panel into the attic. He immediately notices what I did when I stuck my head up there: it’s rather warm. He does what I had not and crawls on the rafters over to the main HVAC trunk and watches the insulation moving as the air travels through it, there are several leaks when the lines to the bedrooms branch off the main. We call the geothermal guys, they will send someone tomorrow.

3:30 PM I start to spread the tile adhesive on the laundry room floor

3:31 PM The superintendent’s secretary calls to ask me to remove the “School Canceled” notice from the web page, they are already getting calls about tomorrow. I finish troweling adhesive and then update the pages.

4:15 PM I lay the first course, spread more glue, and then do subsequent ones.

5:30 PM Finish the room

Not a bad day. Of course this means an extra one in June, but I’ll take it!

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