As I'd expected, Information Letter 14 led to no personal confrontation with anybody in the senior management or, for that matter elsewhere. The aftermath involved an intense discussion of strategy and tactics, which was conducted in an entirely amicable and professional matter. I must say, though, that I did wonder if somebody Upstairs didn't want me to finish Information Letter 14. Here's a description of what happened to me the night before I delivered the ``draft'' that got away, from an E-mail I sent at 4 A.M. to one of the people who was expecting the draft.
I'll send you a copy of my current screed if/when I get it finished. ``If'' seems like a real possibility at the moment. Last night, around midnight, as I was putting in some edits and getting ready to finish it off, a mud and water volcano erupted in the corner of my computer room. Apparently...
  1. The automatic (solid state) water level switch on the sump pump failed causing,
  2. The sump pump to fail to activate causing,
  3. Groundwater to fill the sump with mud causing,
  4. The pump, when it did finally trigger to fill the outlet hose with mud and rocks causing,
  5. The pump's thermal protection to trigger causing,
  6. Failure of the pump causing,
  7. Runaway accumulation of groundwater behind the retaining wall causing,
  8. Old face-full.
Other than about 3 hours of sleep last night between manually bailing out the sump beneath the house and waiting for the hardware store to open, I have been working on this continuously from then until about 1:45 A.M. today. Naturally, the full story was nowhere as obvious as I painted it above-particularly the plugged output pipe which really threw me for quite a while. Of course, now I get to clean up the mess the original disaster created plus all the muddy footprints I made trying to fix the problem.

Fighting the sump pump (which included such joys as digging out about a trash can full of mud and rocks with an entrenching tool, which was the only thing small enough to use in the space beneath the house) kept me from being able to collect the brush and pile it by the roadside during the day when it wasn't raining. This is Muir Beach fuel abatement week, when you have to get rid of the dead brush (the tree chipper will start to run in about 4 hours), before the fire department comes around to ticket you if you don't clean up. So, I spent the hour from 2 to 3 hauling dead branches in the dark, in the rain and (briefly) hail.

How have things been going for you?