Pull It

I got the R1 out for a ride to work today. It was a beautiful ride in the morning, and then a little warm in the afternoon, but still nice at speed. We all ended up going to the middle school to pull a few lines, except for Brody, who misunderstood the assignment and went to the high school by himself.

I rode with Kyle to the building, where he parked in back, a ways away from where we needed to be. Then we had to walk to the front anyway, since we had to help unload the truck and bring everything inside. I kind of got stuck with him on one of the jobs, and though he seemed to be trying, he definitely had some issues climbing the ladders. He said he was terrified of them, but for being so small on such new, sturdy ladders, I just couldn’t see it. I tried not to be too frustrated with him, and definitely tried to nurture him along. I still ended up doing most of the climbing, and an hour job ended up taking us the whole day.

We tried using a couple of old lines that were already in the room, but only one worked. The others we found went back to where an old switch was located. There, we discovered a huge bundle of cables that had just been cut and left in the ceiling. We’ve been struggling to find work all week anyway, so I decided we should clean out all the old cable from the ceiling. We got most of it done before lunch, when Kyle dropped me off back at the shop.

I rode to Taco John’s and met with four of the others for a cheap lunch. I hate when they don’t automatically print receipts, because then I don’t get extra rewards points. The tacos were incredible today though. They were loaded with well-seasoned meat, and were some of the best tacos I’ve ever had from there.

We went back to the middle school to finish in the afternoon, but still had a couple hours to kill before quitting time. I took the old cable to Cunningham for scrap, then stopped at Casey’s for some snacks. When I got back to the shop, they had received one of the Dell dock/port-replicating monitors to test out, and everyone was in Thomas’s office trying to get it to work. I sat in the shop for most of it, since I was completely beat from going up and down ladders all day, plus I stank from the sweat, and I wouldn’t have really added anything to the group that was already working on it. Greg came back and ate some deer, offering me a couple bites, and then shared the top secret location of his cabin. It was neat that he wanted to talk to me about hunting for a bit, because it wasn’t like he was just talking to another hunter about things he had killed.

After work, Gary followed me home to get the weighted blanket I picked up for him. Then I went to my parents’ house to swim for a bit before picking Autumn up from karate. She wasn’t at all happy to see me, but she became nicer once we got home. Summer worked from home and made a corned beef for dinner, so the three of us ate at the dinner table before Autumn got current with Stranger Things.

I had sent Eaddie a picture of the corned beef, and she asked me to bring her some to band camp after nine, so I had her call me once she was ready. My old buddy, Neal, was there delivering some pizzas, so after I got my hug from Eaddie, we stood outside and chatted for quite a while. He always has all kinds of random stuff to talk about, and it was fun catching up a bit.

Everyone was off to bed when I got back to the house, so I tried not to waste any time myself. Hopefully I’ll sleep better after such a long day today.

Add it up.

Towsday

I had trouble sleeping last night, but fortunately it wasn’t too hard to get around this morning. I took Summer’s car home and debated taking a bike to work since the weather was supposed to be super nice. I knew I had to meet David to have the Murano towed sometime in the morning, plus I wasn’t sure what else I might have to do for work, so I decided to take the air conditioned option just in case I ended up in any uncomfortable heat. I’m definitely just a fair weather rider these days.

Zack and Gary were both out, so Thomas met with us and had Greg split the crew up for whatever work they could find. There wasn’t much, so nobody batted an eye when I just hung out at the shop all day working in SCCM. A couple ladies from other districts came downstairs for eSchool rollover, but I was gone for some of that to escort my tow to Accurate Automotive. Summer has sent customers there for some time, and even David said he trusts their work, and have had their work truck serviced there in the past.

Greg came back and ate at the shop, so I ended up just skipping lunch entirely for an apple and a bag of Cheetos Puffs. It was a really quiet day, and even quite cold in the air conditioning. The ladies outside my door weren’t there for long, since evidently eSchool was down for a bit. I just listened to music and tinkered at my own pace.

After work, I went home to change and then went to my parents’ house for some leftover shrimp soup. We chatted for a while about the car situation, and I was a little disappointed to find the value of the Murano to be under about $13,000. It is older now, but still in pretty fair shape. Hopefully the engine isn’t damaged, but I feel encouraged about buying a new car now that I’ve had a good raise, saved some extra money, and have another raise coming in a matter of days.

I eventually made it up to Summer’s for the evening, and I thought Autumn was going to be sour, but she ended up being pretty good all night. We got our letters absolving us of any wrongdoing in the case against Autumn, and enjoyed the weather on the front porch for a bit. Then I dressed up some of Autumn’s leftover chicken rollup things for Summer’s dinner, and everyone went to bed pretty early.

I’ve never gotten so many letters in my entire life!

This Time, at Band Camp

I slept in a bit today before getting up to take Eaddie to band camp. We all loaded up to take her to Paine Hall and found her dorm room. We didn’t stick around very long, because she was excited to get started. On the way back to the house, we stopped by the Murano to get an old Quiz Bowl buzzer set out of the trunk. I was curious to see if it would work. Summer briefly daydreamed about having a trivia team builder for work. Aside from some broken cable clips, which appeared to just be RJ45 connectors, everything seemed to work fine.

Autumn had been a bit argumentative all morning, but then tried to convince Summer and me to play Monopoly with her. We just kind of stared blankly at her for a moment, since she couldn’t seem to process why we might not be interested in playing board games with someone who says she hates us. She acted like we were only going to ignore her for the week because Eaddie’s gone, but Eaddie has been over her shit for just as long as us.

Summer eventually went to the gym while I tinkered around. I ended up taking a shower, and then the two of us went to New China for lunch when she got back. Autumn spent all day banished to her room, and that’s how she’ll stay as far as I’m concerned. She verbally expressed that she doesn’t want to verbally express anything to us, so I see no need to dance around each other pretending like everything is fine.

Autumn was out of her room making some food when we got back, and it didn’t take long for her to have an attitude with Summer, so she went back to her room for the rest of the evening while Summer and I laid around being super lazy for the rest of the afternoon and evening. We both struggled to stay awake. At one point, I put on School for Scoundrels, and then we watched some standup on Netflix before bed.

Ants everywhere but in my pants.

Cooling Issue

We got up and made Autumn mow the back yard today, and then Summer scrambled some eggs with some sliced up sausages from last night. Everyone else got a pretty slow start to the morning. The girls didn’t want to go to the Clarksville Aquatic Center like Summer had been planning all week, but she did convince them to go to a craft fair at the fairgrounds. I went home to clean up first, but was already unsure about joining them if it was held out in the heat. I ended up bathing for a bit, and then sitting it out.

When they finished at the fair, I met them at Walmart so Eaddie could get some things for band camp. My parents were on that side of town as well, having dropped off Mom’s car to have a couple tires replaced after ripping off a part of one of the sidewalls. I picked up some Stranger Things themed goodies on clearance, as well as some banana Soylents and a weighted blanket for Gary.

The girls were hungry when we finished, and my parents had mentioned food before we all met up at Walmart, so we all met back up at Zaxby’s. Summer and I shared a Zalad and a Wings & Things meal, which was a good mix. I ended up having to take off before everyone else, and went home for a bit before going to Wesley’s house to help with a WiFi issue.

Mister Wesley was outside working on an addition to the house, which I thought was just incredible. I didn’t realize how much he had built onto the property, but it was all really well done. The wireless issue was just due to some equipment removal after they dropped cable, and I had to give them their new wireless SSID and password. The rest of the time we just chatted about what he had built around the house, work, and anything else that came up.

On the way back up to Summer’s, I took the turn at Whatta-Burger at my usual speed, and the Murano sputtered. The engine service light came on, and the temperature was on the under-intimidating “H” so I kept driving, hoping to make it to the house. I got right up to G-Ray’s, and it sputtered enough that I decided to pull over rather than risk dying at the end of the driveway. Summer left the gym and went to my house to pick up a jug of water, but it didn’t suck it into the radiator from the overflow like we expected. She had me start the car and rev it a bit, but we never had any luck.

She dropped me off at her house, and then took Autumn with her to the gym while we waited for the car to cool in the shade. Afterward, we went back and added water directly to the radiator, but it appeared to pour right back out from wherever it was leaking. We went back home, and I messaged my old coworker, Marlena, to see if her husband might want a tow job on the side. That was about the time I realized that it was actually his father’s family business, so I felt incredibly stupid. It took her a while to respond, but she said he wasn’t on call this weekend. Dad and I decided to try and ghetto-tow it in the middle of the night.

The girls eventually dug out the Stranger Things brownies that we bought, and started to bake them. Eaddie had fun cutting out all of the accessories for that, as well as the drink mix. Autumn had apparently come back from the gym with some attitude about me, so I pried at that for a bit until she clammed up and we sent her to her room forever. Eaddie just wants to survive the year and be done with her too, but I’m hoping they can keep the pressure on her.

Dad came over after everyone had wandered off either to bed or to prepare for bed. On the first trip, we discovered my battery had died, and I guessed I must have left the power on. We came back to the house for some sockets to remove the battery and prevent an even deeper drain overnight, but those didn’t work. Fortunately(?), the positive cable was barely snug and I was able to wiggle the cable up and off of the post before giving up for the evening. After this evening and the rest of everything that’s come at me recently, I’m basically expecting the engine to be toast.

No execution. That’s the problem here. I need more executions.

Half Bad

I got to sleep in a half hour later today, since it was our first half-day Friday. I absolutely felt more tired and worthless all day because of it. Zach was back, but just sent everyone to go hide in their own buildings. I think only Brody actually had anything to do, by the way of imaging with Jacob. Zach had to do badges all day, and it wasn’t very long before I had to run outside to help the eSCO guys. He brought someone new with him today, and neither of them were particularly helpful when picking things up. Thomas came out to help, and then a few of the other guys eventually showed up as well.

The rest of the morning went by pretty slowly, and I ended the day by breaking network imaging. I almost wish I had just stayed to fix it, but Thomas came back to kick everyone out and left me in the dark. I went home for a little bit before heading up to get Eaddie for her flute lesson. She and Autumn were watching TV and being lazy. I dressed up some leftovers for lunch before we left.

It was hot outside, but I didn’t have anything else to do, so I just waited in the car for Eaddie to finish. Then we stopped by The UPS Store to ship an Amazon return before going back to their house. Summer eventually made it home, and after watching some TV, wanted me to grill some frozen jalapeƱo cheddar sausages for their dinner.

Autumn had asked me to play Monopoly earlier, and set up the game board while I grilled. I threw a wrench in that by asking her to tell me something she appreciated about me. Her mood immediately changed, and she got angry and bitter before putting the game away. I’m not content to ignore her issues like everyone else, so I’m relegated to irritating her into a constant state of annoyance as punishment.

I ended up having to take Summer to the bedroom to talk about it, but it wasn’t long before she fell asleep. Autumn brought her mattress into the living room and went to sleep in front of the TV, because she’s still not being punished. I guess we’ve just accepted this as our life, so we’re stuck like this for another year.

Snorey McBorey

Rhoid Rhaige

Today was super uneventful, but I needed the break. We’ve been blocked out of everywhere we need to go, and are waiting on other work to be completed before we can complete our own jobs. What’s worse is that we’re made to work longer days for these three weeks, so we spend all week frustrated with busy work.

I hung around the office all day, and Thomas had a bunch of us help move furniture since he’s being made to clear out his office. The minimalism cult is clearing out anything of comfort for the sake of efficiency. Josh and Jacob brought a couple computer desks back to the shop, where they put them together in the hallway for use when having new users sign in or change passwords. The computers will be unused for most of the months of the year, but c’est la vie.

Brody, Thomas, and I went to Nonna Bella for lunch, and all three had the spaghetti and meatballs. We split an order of cheese bread, and we all left pretty stuffed. The food was good, but I was a little concerned by the amount of cheese on the bread.

The afternoon went by incredibly slowly. I spent most of the time just sitting with Jacob in my office, waiting for the clock to run out. Thomas came back for a bit and chatted with us, but even he knew there wasn’t much we could get up to.

After work, I went home to lie down for a bit before heading up to Summer’s for the evening. I started the lawn mower with a single pull, so Autumn came out obediently to finish mowing. I picked at some leftover coleslaw that was on its way out, and the girls watched TV until bedtime.

aLL tHE sTeARoIDs!

That’s a WAP

I didn’t really know what to expect today, since things have hit a real lull. Gary had me fix some printers upstairs after he made some changes to the IP ranges for the building. Greg went up to work on the intercoms, and then met me halfway through to find the printers. Afterward, I took Kyle and Jacob across the street to inspect the lines at Transportation. They wanted to add a computer and an additional wireless access point to help with what they thought were signal issues. I wasn’t convinced, but Gary didn’t want to crank the signal up on their existing WAP either.

Greg came to help us actually pull the lines before lunch. Then I took Greg and Josh to meet Brody at Mulan’s to eat. We had forgotten they started closing on Wednesdays, so we headed to New China instead. I sent Eaddie a picture, and she sassed me on the phone for going without her.

After lunch, I finished up the Transportation lines, which took a while. It was hot and itchy up in the insulation, and several of the tiles had water damage. I finished up, and then Gary had me bring their high-end laptop back to troubleshoot why they couldn’t get it to work with an external monitor.

As soon as I plugged the laptop up to the TV, it fired right up without any trouble. Greg was shocked after having spent quite a bit of time with it over the past six months, but then had me try again on a VGA monitor, and then through a docking station. Finally we walked it back across the street, and it worked there in Christopher’s office as well. I gloated a bit, and then we went back to the shop to ride out the day.

After work, I went home to cool off for a while, then got gas and headed up to Summer’s for the evening. Autumn had tried to pry at Summer some more on the way home, but was told to expect and respect me since I’m not going anywhere. She actually greeted me once I arrived, which was an improvement over yesterday. She and Eaddie were watching TV, so I chatted with Summer for a while until she settled in bed. I cleaned up some guacamole before wrapping up my own nightly chores, and then it was off to bed.

That’s a wrap!

Tacoboutit Tuesday

I hardly got any sleep last night, so I really appreciated being left to my own devices again today. I made a bunch more flash drives for the imaging parties that are about to start, and that really got me most of the way through lunch.

We went to our usual Taco John’s, where I had a cheap meal, and then after we regrouped, I was sent on a side quest for some bubble wrap to help protect unboxed TVs that we needed to relocate. After a little research, I found that U-Haul actually had boxes for shipping TVs of various sizes, so I went and picked up four of those. They packed super small, which was neat. Then Greg and I went to the high school to retrieve four TVs out of Brody’s office.

It was nearly time to go by the time we got back to the shop. I parked my truck in the bus yard, and then helped Jacob park his in the pen since it was his first time. Everyone met in the shop to go over projects for the rest of the week since every day we’ll be missing one of the three head honchos.

I went home to cool down after sweating over those TVs. Then I went up to Summer’s for the evening. She had a work meeting to properly turn Superfast over to Justin, and then picked Autumn up from karate. Eaddie was just enjoying some alone time at home, so I warmed up some leftovers to eat while we waited for everyone else.

Autumn basically ignored me all night. I talked with Eaddie alone for a bit just to try and get her honest feelings without worrying how they might affect her mother. Then Summer and I chatted some more before bed, but I tried not to stay up too late. These extra-early mornings and long days are awful.

Don’t forget to submit!

The Parent Trap

Today was our first day of our three week “summer hours” nonsense, and it turned out worse than it had any right to be. I actually went to bed super early, so I didn’t have much trouble getting out of bed. It was cool outside for the drive in, but I knew it was going to heat up to an uncomfortable high on the bike. I kind of assumed I would be left alone again, but instead I was sent with a group to the high school. We had to possibly relocate some network lines to move the student computers in the library, and then remove the old journalism computers from the lab. Beyond that, we had to start inventory at that building, and there’s no mistaking how I felt about that.

Kyle and I rode with Brody, and I convinced them to work on inventory while I did all the network and computer pulling by myself. We ran into Al on his last day there, and I chatted with him for a minute before we started. From that point, the morning actually went really well by myself. Lunch time was an about-face.

Brody and Kyle were slow coming up to the office, and Kyle didn’t want La Chiquita, so I took the opportunity to skip as well while Brody caught up with the others. Instead, I ate an apple and chatted with Tammy at the shop until people started showing back up. Gary was the only one to ever come back, and it took me a while to find anyone else. I had to go back to the high school anyway, so I could unload the old computers from the cart I borrowed.

I finally found Brody, Jacob, and Kyle trying to pull a bunch of network lines to the old journalism room, and I caught them just as they discovered that three of their eight boxes of cable were not long enough for the run. The excuse was that they checked the length of available cable in the boxes, but not the actual length of the physical run. Frustration mounted as we finished that run, and then tried to wrangle up more boxes of cable to make another run. In the end, we decided to wait for a new delivery of cable, and I sent everyone to work on inventory for the rest of the day.

I went back to the shop and just announced very loudly outside the offices of the holy trinity that I needed a safe space where the republicans couldn’t get to me. Thomas jokingly called out to me, and I took his leave to cry exasperatedly at him about my experience with the crew. Zach came around the corner and joined in on the conversation, and we set forth a plan to grow from the experience. I spent the rest of the day hooking up a new-to-me desktop in place of my frustrating laptop.

Summer said Autumn was cooking dinner, so I went home to change before heading up. I was already emotional from the day, on top of being ignored as a parental figure yesterday, so I fell apart once I got there. I took Summer aside to talk to her, and found no comfort. I finally came out to the dinner table and started the uncomfortable conversation about whether I improved any of their lives. I knew what Autumn’s answer would be, but as usual she fell silent when confronted. Eaddie wasn’t any comfort either, but at least backed me up when I called them out for bad vibes. It took a couple of hours of talking, but we finally dug deep enough to find the root of some of the issues, and hopefully the growing and learning will continue with some action.

Obvious Protip: Don’t vent to the children.

Fauxther’s Day

I woke up early in the bright bedroom this morning, and didn’t allow myself to go back to sleep. Instead, I sat on the couch with the cat for a while, until I figured it would be a good time to wake Summer up. She got ready for her hike, and I made a hamburger. I was really wishy washy on whether I wanted to go to Petit Jean as well. Noah showed up, and I decided I didn’t really want to go if I wasn’t going to add anything to their day.

They went to get the girls from Hannah’s house while I went home, but then I decided I would ride the Shadow up the mountain with them, rather than sulk in the house all alone all day. I met them all at Casey’s to fill up, and we made our way to the mountain. Our first stop was the bear caves, and they climbed around on the rock formations while I puttered around on the ground.

Next up was the Cedar Falls overlook for some pictures. Autumn said she wanted to hike all the way down to the falls, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to, and Summer decided she didn’t want to either. Our last stop was the overlook and grave site. They sat on the bluff while I stayed out of the sun. Then the kids wandered around one of the old buildings there before we headed home.

I went straight to my house to get beach towels, and then met them at my parents’ house to swim. Dad had just started the grill when we got there, and threw on some ribs while we swam. Then I started the chicken wings, along with a kielbasa, and some hot dogs for Autumn. We fought the flies to eat outside, but Mom and Julie ate inside.

After a long day, the girls took Noah back to the house and I headed home. Tomorrow starts our three weeks of a modified work schedule that nobody seems to be able to justify. I guess some idiot in a tower just thought it would be a good idea.

to me?