Many things happened this weekend. For those of you who missed it, I made a surprise (to some) visit back to KC for the annual Sinatra Party. I dusted off the suit, made some cursory efforts to get the liver in shape, and although I didn’t do nearly as much damage to the scotch supply as I have done in years past, I did enjoy my time in KC immensely. It was great to see all of you who were present to honor Frank. It is worth noting that in the one year that I missed the Sinatrafest, things have calmed down significantly. Two years ago, a few of us jokers were still pouring scotch down our gullets at 3:00 AM. Saturday, right around 10:30 there was a mass exodus. Seriously, roughly half the people at the party at the time fled within five minutes of each other. Smart money guessed that all those folks needed to relieve their sitters by 11:00. A core group of eight or so made it to 1:15ish, and then we gave up. I will say, though, I felt much better on Sunday than I did two years ago the day after the party.

For those who track my food intake during my travels, it was a pretty solid 32 hours or so. Gates for lunch on Saturday (more about that in a second), Minsky’s for dinner before the party officially got under-way, and Jack’s Stack for lunch Sunday. The only downer was the fact that for the second straight time, Gates on Paseo was out of burnt ends. How can that happen? It’s Kansas City’s signature barbecue specialty, and they’re out for at least two times, both if which happen to be days I’m there to order them. Oh well.

There was more to the weekend, though. Things got started with a bang Friday afternoon. I was about to go run some errands when I noticed the house was a little chilly. I bumped the heat up a degree or two to kick it on and….nothing happened. I bumped it up a few more. Still nothing. Finally, I pushed it up to 80 and still no sounds of burners firing up from the basement. I went down and checked what I know how to check. The power was on, the gas was working, the breaker hadn’t been tripped. I figured I better call someone since it was 3:15 on a Friday. They got out fairly quickly and found that the inductor motor, or something like that, had failed. Great. It had been 7 above the night before. Not a good time for the heat to be out. They said they had the part, but would have to have it sent up from the warehouse downtown. That took about two hours, they got back to work, and around 8:15 discovered the wrong part had been sent up. Terrific, no heat for the night and the girls were already in bed. So we piled some blankets on M. and hoped she’d sleep through. We put C. in our bed and rounded up more blankets and crawled under them. It didn’t get too bad; I was even hot under all the layers, and our house stayed above 50. We had a friend of a friend who lost her heat the night before and her house was below 40 the next morning. Still, it was pretty brisk when I got out of bed to go to the airport Saturday. Happily, the heat was fixed by the time I landed in KC that afternoon. Home ownership is grand.