Actually, last two weeks. It's been hellish because of a looming deadline, and because we haev a contract with offworlders to do some of the work on this job, and they are as slow as molasses in January.
And on La-A, January is 42 days long.
ysterday, to top off a real winner of a day to begin with, I cracked my head on the latch of a rotary, and opened a good gash there until I could get a triage nurse to glue it back up for me. It's almost healed now, but at the time I looked like Frankenstein's monster. And last night, I had to watch helplessly as an offworld electron-chaser spent seven hours connecting up an ansible that would have taken me twenty minutes tops.
And then I had to redo most of it after he'd left because he got it mostly wrong.
So I did something I rarely do; I stopped after work for a brew to calm my nerves and reflect on the meaning of life- or at least well chosen hops.
Sitting at the bar feeling a little sorry for myself, contemplating the demise of some of my ill-chosen assistants, and missing my home just a little, a tall drink of water wandered into the bar.
She wasn't from La-A because she wasn't carrying open, though there was a little print on the back of her shirt from what appeared to be a small auto. She had that walk peculiar to the type of people who spend most of their time in artificial gravity, and her clothes were pure Earth.
So I sent over a beer. Matt, the bartender, was a little taken aback- I'm neither a flirt nor the kind of guy who looks for women in bars, but it made me a little less lonesome.
She looked, smiled, and hoisted her mug, and I smiled back, and did the same. I didn't think anything else of it, I just sat back and stared off in space for a while. As I sat there woolgathering, she came over and sat on a stool closer, with an empty stool between us still. That wasn't a surprise, few people want to get THAT close to me. But she had to say hello three times before I quit woolgathering and looked in her direction.
She named herself Bobbi and said she was a tech on a booster. She was from earth, and had been there only a few days earlier, really. I was a little jealous. I explained why, she made suitably sympathetic noises.
She told me a little about things at home, and I told her about tech she could expect to see soon. it was nice to speak to someone outside of my own head who wasn't ten inches tall and furry, and I had a nice time.
I gave her a Nik pen I had given to me about a year back, when I finished a job I was working on at the time. They're not expensive or flashy, but theyre an engineer's pen. One end is a mechanical pencil, the other either a fountain pen or a sharpie, depending on how you take off the cap. The trick is, they never run out of ink or lead- or at least I don't think they can. They MAKE the ink- and the lead- inside the pen. the ink I understand, it absorbs moisture from the air and uses dried concentrate- the lead I just haven't figured out yet. ANyway, I sent it back to Earth with Bobbi. She said she'd look me up if she ever had leave here again, and I hope she does. I hope she didn't mind that the pen glows with my name on the side in the dark.
Anyway, this morning I got a little package marked "Lupine Stores & Carg0" At first it looked like a little snowglobe when I opened it but it turned out to be a little climateblock. A block of lucite with a globe of the earth showing the real-time climate all over the planet, with a little cursor in the base that allowed you to highlight the weather conditions of any major city and quite a few minor ones. I smiled. I have it on my desk now with the current weather for Santa Claus Indiana proudly displayed.