And Just What Do You Call That?

Ok, so granted it has been nearly six months since my last post here and I could go back through all the usual excuses that I've used in the past about summer months being super busy and what not and blah, blah, blah, but I'll spare you all that.

A lot has gone on since April. Thinking back I'm not really sure how I got all that stuff in there quite honestly. At any rate:

Construction season seemed to start pretty early this year. We had (and still have) more projects at the paving company then we will probably be able to complete before the snow flies. The crew is tired and I think we are all secretly looking for snow. Projects at the paving company this summer have ranged form railroad tunnels to airport runways to the usual highway jobs (just A LOT of them this year). We've done work out at the national park. Helped move buildings. I'm not sure how key I really was in most of this but I certainly pushed a lot of paper and spent a fair amount of time on the road for this and that which lead to a lot of this:
and this - 
It probably wasn't as bad as all that, but it was definitely a busy summer at the paving company and it isn't quite over yet. At the railroad after about 7 years of work from me (and more then that from someone before me) we had a large 7 figure pot of funding come in from the federal government for track upgrades that started in May. The project went as well as I could have hoped for, but it was still a pretty big undertaking. Not to mention the fact that the contractor we hired then turned around and subcontracted some of the work out to the Paving company I work for. Made for some interesting coordination meetings. I was literally sitting in a meeting where I was asking for some paperwork from the general contractor who then called the paving company for the paperwork who then called my phone to see when I could get that paperwork done. They all had a good laugh about it.
This is the executive director of the railroad talking with the owner of the paving company I work for. Clearly they are plotting some way to further upset me. 
The project really did go well. We had a great contractor on board (the subcontractor wasn't too shabby either if I do say so myself).

Also this summer I fulfilled what I realize has been at least a decade or more of tire kicking and bought a 2001 Ur Audi Allroad. I've been pining for one of these things since they came out,.... in 2001. I mean when a car manufacturer somehow manages to produce a car that ticks so many of your boxes and it's German how can you not sit up and take notice. So I finally found one that had all the features that I wanted (manual transmission) and in a color I liked (not green) and bought it against my better judgement. My brother Seth was nice enough to drive me out to pick it up in California.
I only had to keep him filled with gas station convenience store food, and I think that ended up being more then the cost of gas.
The car has a mountain of previous maintenance and repair receipts. As previously stated it came with the uber rare 6-speed manual transmission. Also, the cold and warm weather package (a unique combo). And what German car doesn't look good in silver?
Not the best pic but you get the point. 

I,.... love,..... this,..... car. However, it is plotting it's own destruction every minute of every day. These cars had so many odd features and were so complicated. Repairs by me to date have included a front axle replacement, a transmission output shaft seal, tires, a new roof top antenna, and an oil change. Luckily I've been doing my own work, but parts for this thing have not been cheap. Just waiting for the two turbos that it has to implode. That will cost about the same as a used Honda Civic in just parts to repair. Still, I had to have it. Just had to. Couldn't be helped. The Audi V8 I purchased last fall found a home somewhere else. Actually I sold it pretty quick. The 5/8 of a black Suzuki Samurai that my friend Marc got me for Christmas also found a new home this spring. I was surprised how fast that sold. So winter projects should consist of the Jeep and possibly re-homing the red wagon. We'll see what happens there.
The home renovation is reaching so very near the end (I think). Probably a lot farther then I really realize, but with the slow down at work I'm hoping that can get wrapped up here soon. My new front door came in this week and I'm really excited about it.
In addition to all that (and I'm sure some things that I'm forgetting) I also managed to have a fairly significant (significant for me anyway) relationship since my last post here. (Maybe that had something to do with the radio silence on the blog here, who can really tell?) I use the past tense for a reason, because the relationship ended. This relationship was significant for me in the sense that I was probably more invested here then in previous relationships and I think I really learned some things. I was and still am pretty shocked at how much of myself I was willing to give up at this point in my life for a relationship. I'm not sure if the extent to which I went in this particular relationship was healthy or not, but in reality at this point in my life where I've filled my time up with work, community involvement, family, hobbies, interests and whatever else I would need to let some things go to make room for someone. Probably a lot of things. Being faced with how that would actually look was helpful for me and I think going forward I'm going to start re-arranging things in my life (namely getting this house done and rearranging work some). Quite frankly I feel pretty pleased with myself that given the option of a relationship or hanging on tenaciously to the life I've built as a 30-something single (a life I rather enjoy) I could honestly say that I feel I could choose a relationship and let that life go. Not that it would be easy or all kittens and rainbow (ugh, who likes cats anyway, right?), but I think I've finally seen and experienced the benefit of one over the other. Breaking up was - and still is - pretty upsetting, but compared to past relationships where I felt like I would never do that again (and by some accounts I quite nearly didn't) I feel like I will definitely try that again. One of the other things I learned was that most of the preconceived notions I've harbored about how someone would need to look or things they would have to find interesting or habits or traits they would have to have don't matter as much as I thought they did. The other person just has to like me and I them. If a person is honest and genuine and likes me for reasons they can't really explain and vice versa everything else seems rather immaterial. I was pretty shocked by that one too. Of course it doesn't hurt to have some things in common and a shared or similar background certainly helps things go smoother I think. But some honest attraction and respect followed by some commitment really is what's mainly important,... for me anyway......I think. (clearly I am a wise expert now) At any rate, even given the unpleasant task of dealing with a break-up, I'm glad the relationship happened. Hopefully I really did learn something about myself and we'll see what comes next. Now on to the holidays! (or winter hibernation, whichever comes first)

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