This 4 legged vermin was by the side of the Sprain Brook Parkway this morning, as I drove down to Long Island to meet with my brother to shop for a counter top to be installed in the family homestead's kitchen. No, I did not hit the animal. But I wish we had more bow hunters in Westchester, so that these critters would not pose any danger to suburban drivers.
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When GFJ came over yesterday, we knew we'd have a short time together. My plans were to drive to Long Island early enough to meet my brother and get to West Babylon by roughly 1:00 pm. This would give us enough time to shop for a counter top, some tiles for the back splash, and more tiles for the bathroom. Although I set the alarm for 9:00 am, I didn't need it, because GFJ and I were up and running by 7:30 am. This made it possible for us to have a relatively leisurely morning before I left for Long Island.
Reaching Long Island, my brother was almost ready to go. I guess he wasn't ready to see me arrive before noon. On the way out to the tile store (which his boss does a lot of business with) we talked about many things, including my brother's visit to our mother's grave site. For the most part, we talked about the business end of this project. Once at the store, we quickly decided on a counter top, kitchen back splash tile, and both bathroom wall and floor tile. However, we realized that our project was about to encounter another delay - company shutdowns during the holiday (read: slow) season. With a 2-3 week lead time before we could get the counter top, we'll likely hit Christmas week, and not get the new counter top until early next year.
I continue to be disturbed about scheduling issues, and told my brother that I hold my breath a lot of times, because I think that having a family relationship is worth much more than money. Letting my brother control the scheduling has cost us several months of time, and each month represents money not being generated by our investment. At the end of this project, we should generate the work breakdown structure which should have been generated for this project, and develop a model schedule for our next project. If such a schedule had existed, we would have been able to get the house finished before year end, and possibly rented for January occupancy. Sadly, this will not be the case.
After we were done at the tile and counter top store, we then went to eat at one of my favorite Long Island hang outs, Southside Fish and Clam. The place has almost no atmosphere, but the fish is fresh, tasty and reasonably priced. Both of us were unable to finish what was on our plates.
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Although we stopped at a couple of stores on the way back from West Babylon, our focus was on getting to see my dad early enough, so that I could drive home before the worst of the snow hit. We spent a half hour with my dad before leaving - which was 15 minutes more than I wanted to stay. Even though New York City and Long Island wasn't expecting much snow, a bit of slop was expected North and West of the city. Over the years, I have learned to distrust traffic in our region, because I'm noticing that drivers have become much less cautious - and this often creates major problems for my ride home. So, I gritted my teeth for the worst, and started driving home around 5:30 pm. Strangely enough, traffic flowed very well for a ride home from Long Island, and the only problem I had to deal with was a couple of cars having trouble getting up the hill to my house.
Hopefully, the roads will be in better shape in the morning....